"THE DAY OF SALVATION"
I. I BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS A PLAN FOR EACH OF OUR LIVES.
A. That God has appointed the times and seasons for our lives. ECC 3:1
To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
1. We know that He had an appointed time for the salvation of Israel.
a. And right on time He presented Himself to them as their Messiah. Their Savior.
b. The prophet had said that from the time the commandment went forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah the Prince, would be 483 years.
c. It was exactly 483 years to the day from the time the commandment went forth from Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the day Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey as the prophet Zechariah had foretold.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
d. Note, having salvation. It was the appointed day for their salvation.
e. It is interesting that Jesus expected them to know that day. Luke tells us that as Jesus rode down the path from the Mount of Olives
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
f. They allowed the day of their salvation to pass, and the results were calamitous.
g. I believe that one of the saddest scriptures in the Bible is found in Jeremiah.
The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
B. I believe that God has a set time for your salvation.
1. I can well remember the Sunday night I was sitting in church in Ventura and when the invitation to come forward was given, I knew that that was my time. I was about 14 years old at the time. The Spirit was so heavy on me that when I got home I was still shaking.
2. The book of Hebrews tells us that God limited a certain day as He said in the Psalms, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
3. I believe that a person can sin away the day of grace for his life.
a. In verse one Paul was exhorting them not to receive the grace of God in vain.
b. God declared to Noah, "My Spirit will not always strive with men."
c. You never have a guarantee that there will be a tomorrow.
d. When Paul was witnessing to the governor Felix, Felix was under deep conviction and he said to Paul: "Go your way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."
e. Tragically that more convenient season never came for Felix.
f. How many others have shared the same fate as Felix because they were waiting for a more convenient time which never came.
g. The prophet Isaiah said, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."
II. PAUL SAID TO THEM "NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME."
A. What can be gained by waiting?
B. Why is it that you want to put off your salvation?
1. Is it that you have some unfinished sins to commit?
2. How many who wanted that one last fling in the world before making the complete commitment, never survived the last fling.
3. Don't you realize that, that one last fling is the most dangerous fling of your life, for Satan knows your intention to make this the last time, and he seeks to make sure that it is the last time. He will do his best to take you while you are still on his turf.
C. It stands to reason, that to every man God gives a final call. Everyone who is in hell today had that final opportunity to accept the grace of God, but they rejected. This could be God's final call to some who are here today. This could be your last chance to receive the salvation that Jesus provided through His death for you.
1. There is a time, we know not when,
A line we know not where, That marks the destiny of men,
Twixt sorrow and despair, There is a line by man unseen,
That once it has been crossed, Even God, Himself, in all His love,
Has sworn that all is lost.
2. So many say, "I will wait until I am older, I want to have some fun before I get serious with God."
a. Solomon said, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth before the evil days come, or the years draw near when you say, I have no pleasure in them."
b. How many older people are paying for the wild oats that they sowed in their youth.
c. They ruined their health or their minds. They destroyed their capacity for good judgment.
d. It is so tragic to see a young person who is headstrong as he races down the path of destruction. You know that disaster awaits them around the next bend, but they will not listen to the warnings. That anxiety is only compounded when that youngster is your own child.
III. NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.
A. Not tomorrow, not next month, not next year. Now.
B. Just now, one more time God is giving you an opportunity to receive His grace. You will either accept or reject. If you reject, there is no guarantee that there will ever be another opportunity.