(There is a special message at the end of this article for those who do not have Jesus in their life and are looking for peace and a way to better understand the present-day insanity and confusion.)
A few years back, I was witnessing to a close friend. During the conversation, his face became anguished and very distraught, and he literally blurted out, “It’s too late for me!”
It was a very emotional moment for us both.
For him, it was a soul-born expression of hopelessness and despair.
For me, it was a heart-wrenching, twisting moment of sadness as I realized that he had no idea of the mercy of God, the price Jesus paid for him, and the joy of the Holy Spirit’s promise of guiding all who receive Jesus into all Truth.
For a moment, there was the silence of despair.
I asked him what he meant by it being too late for him. In his response was a clear glimpse into the price paid for Biblical ignorance and a failure to understand the true nature of God that is constantly revealed in His Bible “stories.”
He couldn’t have had any idea of the mercy of God, I realized. He didn’t have the indwelling Holy Spirit.
He said he didn’t have enough “time” to make up for the bad things he had done. He didn’t call them sins. I think he was afraid to use that word because of the conviction that went with it.
The Holy Spirit did not leave me unprepared, however, but let me first state my opinion: there is no such thing as a Bible story that is just “a Bible story.”
There are only revelations of the Glorious God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) that is displayed to all in “story form,” parable, or the historical record of the Word. All these are, in reality, lessons.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).
It is the clear revelation of the Love, Mercy, Grace, Peace and Hope that He offers to ALL people who will receive Him. In the case of our God, capitalizing these characteristics falls far short of the Honor that He is due, but it is my poor attempt at it.
The real measure of loving God is obedience.
I asked him if he had ever heard the record of what happened during the crucifixion of Jesus. He was aware of the popularized version of the “story” that surfaces during the Christmas season, but no, he didn’t really know that much about it.
So I told him about the two thieves who hung, one on either side of Him that day, and then I asked him a question.
“One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, ‘Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!’ But the other answered, and rebuking him, said, ‘Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he was saying, ‘Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!’ And He said to him, ‘Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise'” (Luke 23:39-43).
I simply asked him, “How much time did the man who confessed his guilt and confessed Jesus as King and Lord have to make up for the bad things he had done?”
He quietly responded, “None.”
Then I mentioned that it wouldn’t have mattered if the thief had a hundred years. God saves people who repent, and it is by Grace, not works. No amount of “making up for anything” matters. It is a free gift to anyone who asks for it.
It was not the right time to pursue the conversation further. It would have been counterproductive.
It was time to let the Spirit work in his heart and his mind — to help him to analyze the account he had just heard and the reality of what he had just been given.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Emphasis added by me.
I had planted, and now it was time to let the Holy Spirit do the work He does so well, and more importantly, that we can’t do without Him anyway.
There was an old Clint Eastwood movie with a line that went, “A man has to recognize his limitations.”
While the source is obviously un-Biblical, the principle applies quite appropriately, and I am well aware of its truth in practice.
These many years later, I still see the rough edges in my friend, but I also hear him speak reverently of Jesus, so I am confident in that. That day was unusual in that he doesn’t let his internals out very often. When the time is right and the Spirit leads, I will ask him “the question.” Based on what I am seeing around me, it will need to be soon.
In the meantime, I will continue to place my trust in the only One in whom Trust can be placed along with all Confidence and Hope:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
As followers of Christ and out of obedience and love, it is incumbent on us to witness to the Truth in love and then to Trust. Not to worry that we “didn’t do a very good job” or to be afraid, but to leave the results to Him. We will receive a blessing regardless of the results. A blessing of obedience from Him who said, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). Emphasis added by me.
With the Lord, a “said” is as good as a promise.
Now to the crux of this article.
As long as you are still breathing, it is NOT too late.
If you have not received the blessing of eternal life given by Christ when He died on the cross, you can still be saved from the consequences of your sins. You, like the thief on the cross next to Jesus, also had all your sins paid for by Him. You need only follow the steps in the special message below, and all your sins can be washed away.
You can have hope. You can have the peace that Jesus has promised to all who have made Him their Lord and Savior.
It requires that you come before God on His terms.
And, what are His terms according to His Word?
- Genuine repentance (turning to God instead of continuing to reject or ignore Him).
- Confession of sins (that you are a sinner and acknowledge that to God).
- That you understand that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
- To acknowledge to God that you are unable to pay that debt.
- Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross.
- To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion.
God has made it absolutely clear that there is no one who comes before Him, under His terms, that will be refused.
- No one: no race, no color, no country of origin, regardless of any previous belief system: no one.
- No matter what your past sins have been, God can and WILL forgive you because He says He will.
- Salvation is available to everyone without any exceptions.
If you put all your trust for salvation in Jesus and Him only, you can follow that prayer up by simply saying, “Thank you, Father God, for hearing my prayer and saving me,” because we can trust Him to keep His Word. He always has. He always will.
John 5:24: “Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears My words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life.”
There are no answers and there is no hope in the world by governments, organizations, politics or politicians. There are only lies and deception. But you can have the Truth and the peace you seek.
The answers are in the Word of God. The Bible. If you ask God with all your heart, He will hear you.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org