By: Lou Yeboah
Oh, the limits of God’s patience! When God’s mercy ends, it’s all over [Amos 8-9]. Peter 3:9, says “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” God is certainly gracious. He is rich in kindness, forbearance, and patience, which is why He does not bring an immediate end to all sinners [Romans 2:4]. In fact, He often gives us many chances to repent. During the old covenant, He even sent prophets to warn Israel of its impending doom and the discipline that was coming if the people continued in their sin. These oracles of judgment were words of grace, for the Lord could have brought His wrath to bear on the Israelites without any advance notice. But He compelled prophets to speak His Word that the covenant people might turn from evil [Amos 3:1–8]. Don’t take God’s grace for granted! His patience will run out eventually [Romans 2:4–5; 2 Peter 3:8–10]. Going Once, Going Twice, Gone!
Let’s learn from the people of Nineveh not to try God’s patience but to repent while the invitation to come back to Him is still available. Understanding as [Amos 7:8] says, “…that there does come a time when the God of great mercy might say of His own people, “I will spare them no longer.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not foolishly, but wisely, knowing how to make the most out of every opportunity, because what David said to his friend Jonathan in [1 Samuel 20:3] is true of all of us: “…as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between us and death. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! Take advantage of the opportunities God’s grace provides. “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” [Hebrews 4:7]. For, “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.” [2 Corinthians 6:].
Think a moment; “What is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” [James 4:14]. You are being offered mercy. What will you say? What will you do? And what shall I say to God when it comes to report the matter; must I bear my testimony that you would not hear? If you’ve never done so, I urge you to repent of your sins and by faith to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, and to do it NOW. If you’re a Christian, but have gotten off-track in your daily walk, I urge you to confess your waywardness and make a new start this very hour. If you need to go to someone and ask that person’s forgiveness and renew your fellowship with that individual, I encourage you to do it right now while you still have an opportunity.
As [Ecclesiastes 3:1-8] says, “For there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” [Jeremiah 8:20]. Listen, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” [Hebrews 9:27]. Take full advantage of the opportunities God gives. Remember, Jesus’ first recorded sermon was simple: “The time [kairos] has come. . . . The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” [Mark 1:15]. The call is….REDEEM THE TIME – NOW! Do not put it off until tomorrow. “Now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation.” For, “Tomorrow is the fitting epitaph for many tombstones. Tomorrow is the barred and bolted door that has shut many people out of Heaven.” God has never promised us tomorrow. [Proverbs 27:1; 2 Corinthians 6:2]. So the best preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today. Don’t be like Governor Felix who was listening to Paul speak, and “as [Paul] reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, ‘Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity [kairos] I will summon you’” [Acts 24:25]. Fexlix fatal mistake!
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found call ye upon him while he is near.” [Isaiah 55:6]. Now is the time to be saved! Now is a time of mercy!
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.’ Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” [2 Corinthians 6:1, 2].
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death….” [Deuteronomy 30:19-20].