The Time to Ask for God's Mercy

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    (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
    Dan Delzell is an exclusive CP columnist.
By Dan Delzell, Special to CP
February 2, 2014|10:10 am

Solomon wisely wrote 3000 years ago, "There is a time for everything." (Ecclesiastes 3:1) And with that in mind my friend, may I encourage you to realize that now is the time to ask for God's mercy. We are still living in a day where your request can receive mercy and forgiveness. The time is coming, however, when each one of us will come before the Judge. And on that day, those without a white robe will no longer have the opportunity to accept Jesus and receive mercy.

"You're just a sensationalist, and an extremist. Don't bother me with your opinions about a so-called 'Judgment Day' or end of time scenario. I don't buy it. It's all just a myth."

Well that is certainly one way to look at it. And many do look at it just that way. They figure, "If I can't see it today, and if it doesn't make sense to me, then it must be just a figment of some religious fanatic's imagination."

But what does God say about it? After all, He knows what is true and what is false. And He knows exactly how it is going to go down at the end of time.

Jesus said, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory." (Matthew 25:31) It's not "if" He comes back, but "when" He comes back.

"All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats." (Matthew 25:32) It's not that He "might" separate the people, but that He "will separate the people." This stunning event will definitely take place.

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"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) Everyone dies, and everyone will "face judgment."

"By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:7) The ungodly are those who don't have God living inside them through faith in Jesus Christ, and therefore they do not live for the glory of God. (see 1 Cor. 6:19)

"Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him." (1 John 4:17) Real Christians demonstrate real love because they have received God's love into their hearts through faith in Christ. And this love fans into flame our confidence that Jesus paid for all of our sins on the cross, and that we will stand before Him on Judgment Day holy in His sight with the white robe of Christ's righteousness covering us. (see Revelation 7:13,14)

But many people will not be wearing a white robe on that dreadful day. "Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (Jude 14,15)

So you see, the Lord really is coming back one day. It's not a myth. It's not a fairy tale. It is just as real as what happened "in the beginning" when "God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

You don't have to spend time begging God to forgive you. He wants to do it. He will do it. But only if you come to Him in the way that He has made available to you. And that way is through the Son of God and His death on the cross for your sins.

In this life, doors close all the time which bring an end to the opportunity to enter. It happens at the supermarket and the athletic arena. It happens at the bank and the doctor's office. The hours of service are not unlimited. Likewise, the time to ask for God's mercy is not unlimited. There is a deadline approaching, but it hasn't quite reached that point yet.

Think about a time when you were late for something and you couldn't get into the building or the event. Now picture what that will be like for those on Judgment Day. Talk about being in a state of shock! But you don't have to be one of those in shock that day. If you will take God at His Word, you can receive mercy today.

But if you put it off, you are in essence playing a game of "Russian Roulette" with your soul. And every time you pull the trigger by saying "no" to Jesus, you are one step closer to the day when no mercy will be available to those without a white robe.

Are you sure you want to stay on your current path? This is no game to God. And it will seem like anything but a game to you once your soul leaves your body at the moment of your death, or on the day when Jesus Christ returns to earth, whichever comes first.

The time to ask for God's mercy is today. And Jesus is the only way any of us can be received by the Father. (see John 14:6) With all that Christ has done to pay for your sins and mine, why stay on a path that only leads to you being punished for your sins?

This isn't only about you. It's also about the spiritual condition of your family members and friends. Your response to Jesus will determine whether or not you are in a position to help them be prepared for that day. "They will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." (1 Peter 4:5)

Do you remember what happened to the people in the days of Noah? There was a specific time when the Lord closed the door to Noah's Ark. (see Genesis 7:16) No one else was able to get inside the ark once that happened. Think of heaven as being "a big ark" so to speak, only so much better. If you don't make your reservation today through faith in Christ, you could end up missing out on the greatest opportunity you were ever given in time or eternity. The flood of God's wrath against sin is going to be unleashed on Judgment Day. You can be safe and secure aboard "the ark of the cross" where Jesus died for sinners.

There were many people in the days of Noah who laughed it off. But when the rain didn't stop, their laughing came to an end. That doesn't have to happen to you my friend. God loves you. But do you want to be forgiven of your sins and made righteous in God's eyes through faith in Jesus? Now is the time to get on board with God's plan. That is, unless you think some of those people outside of Noah's family survived the flood. Even if that were the case, which it isn't, no one will be able to survive Judgment Day without faith in the One who died in our place.

It has always been about Jesus, whether you realized it or not.

"There is a time for everything." (Eccl. 3:1) With that in mind, will you come to Jesus in time? Or will you regret your rejection of Christ throughout eternity? Those are the only two options available to you. Your belief (or unbelief) in time is what you will live with in eternity.

Therefore, in the name of Christ and in the love of God, I urge you to call upon the Lord for His mercy while you still have the opportunity to humbly trust your Creator and Redeemer. The end of this world is coming to a planet near you, and it's only a matter of time before it gets here.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.
 

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