Do people still have time to accept Christ until he returns?

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Do people still have time to accept Christ until he returns?

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:41 pm

Absolutely. As Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth, I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation—Paul, II Corinthians 6:2b. Obviously Paul was passionate about his mission of preaching the gospel, but he was also passionate because the offer of salvation is within a limited timeframe. Nobody knows that better than God Who, when speaking through the prophet Isaiah—seven centuries before the coming of Christ—said, Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near—God speaking, Isaiah 55:6. Several decades after the life of Christ and the initial establishment of the church, the author of Hebrews noted that the promise of entering his rest still stands—Hebrews 4:1a. However, there will be an end to what has been called the “age of grace”—the period of time when the Holy Spirit is active throughout the world through the presence of the church and it is very possible for people to be saved; precedent comes from the very early days of Scripture, in the chaotic time before the Flood, when God ominously said, My Spirit will not contend with man forever—God speaking, Genesis 6:3a. Obviously God’s word is truth; the Flood came shortly thereafter and destroyed mankind—apart from Noah and his family—off the face of the earth. Centuries later, when Christ was walking the earth performing His ministry, He said this regarding the timeframes of God’s ministry: As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work—Jesus Christ, John 9:4. And of course, at the very conclusion of Scripture, Jesus again was the speaker, closing out the book of Revelation, and indeed all Scripture revelation, with these words: Yes, I am coming soon—Jesus Christ, Revelation 22:20a. He said that 2,000 years ago; imagine how much sooner His coming is now. And of course, since none of us know the moment of our own death, as Christians, we need to see and feel the urgency of the need of people all around us to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. As the writer of Hebrews points us, [M]an is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment—Hebrews 9:27. Therefore it is the unique grace of God, shown in the singular life of Jesus Christ, who came to sacrifice Himself on our behalf to provide an offer to wash away all our sins, that must be preached and taught to those around. As Jesus Himself said to His disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me—Jesus Christ, John 14:6. As His disciple Peter reiterated before the Sanhedrin—the very body that condemned Christ to death, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved—Peter, Acts 4:12. And the greatest blessing of all is not only that Christ provided us with this incredible gift, but that the gift He provided is complete—it is lacking nothing to provide us with everything we need to be presented as pure and perfect before our the holiness of our Father in heaven. As the writer of Hebrews said so well, Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them—Hebrews 7:23-25. The word in the Greek is panteles (pan-tel-ace^), which means: complete, whole, entire. Another way to phrase that idea is found in Paul’s letter to the Colossian church—in an amazing portion of Scripture where he writes: See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ [ye are complete in Him—KJV], who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross—Paul, Colossians 2:8-15. The idea here is found in the Greek word pleroo (play-ro^-o), which means, in this context, to fill, supply abundantly with something, impart richly. In this case, we have been filled completely by Jesus when we surrender our lives to His life. We are literally filled with the completeness that is Jesus Christ. He completely satisfied God’s holy requirements; He completely fulfilled God’s plan of salvation. We stand complete because He completely accomplished His mission.

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