Nobody Is Promised Tomorrow :: By Nathele Graham

What a joy it is to know that Jesus paid the price to redeem us from eternal death. Do you feel that joy? Many things can cause us to forget that joy. One thing that always seems to take joy away is confusion. There are so many “teachers” who have contradicting opinions, and they all speak with confidence and conviction. A new Christian, or one who hasn’t studied Scripture, can become confused as to whether they are saved or not. All conflicting teachings cannot be correct, so how do you know who to listen to?

I’ve been as confused as anybody, but through the years, I’ve learned to run everything through Scripture. God never changes, and His word always is truth. Confusion over what God’s word means isn’t a new problem but has been around for thousands of years.

The Apostle Paul did more to spread the Good News than anybody in history, and from various letters, we know that there were false teachers who would confuse people with new ideas. The gnostic teachers were very busy trying to corrupt the truth. Today we hear of people pushing New Age, meditation, yoga, purpose-driven, contemplative prayer, “Christian Meditation,” and more. Also, there were Judaizers who tried to draw Christians into thinking they were still beholding to the Law of Moses. Today, it’s called the “Hebrew Roots” movement. Some groups today say you cannot eat certain foods or be out after sundown on Friday night. It’s very important to understand the Law and the Prophets, but Christ died to provide us with the only way to find salvation. That way is to be born again.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

There’s even confusion over that verse. Some would have us believe that proof of your faith is speaking in tongues or suddenly becoming perfect. It’s not that complicated but means to admit you’re a sinner and humbly ask Jesus to forgive your sins.

The best way to know what to believe is to go to the source… Scripture. At various times in my life, I’ve been confronted with people who have very strong opinions of what God’s word says. I can’t think of one congregation I’ve attended that didn’t have unbiblical quirks. For instance, a very dear friend once told me that “God doesn’t even know you exist until you are baptized.” Not only did he equate baptism with salvation, but the baptism was only valid if done in his particular denomination. That was a very odd idea to me, so I went to Scripture and found this opinion to be false.

The entire Old Testament is account after account of people who lived prior to Christ being crucified and raised from the dead and never had a Christian baptism. People like Adam, for instance, and Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to name just a few. The pastor from that congregation wouldn’t teach from the Old Testament, so it’s no wonder there was confusion.

God certainly knew these men. Read about Jeremiah who was a young man who God called to be a prophet. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God certainly knew Jeremiah long before Christ gave His life on the cross. That was enough to convince me that baptism is something that is very important as a public declaration of a personal decision. King David was certainly known to God, as were all of the Old Testament heroes of the faith. Take a look at Hebrews chapter 11, and you’ll see accounts of people who lived prior to the cross and heard God’s voice. They responded and accomplished great things because of their faith.

How many Christians today rest contentedly on the fact that they were baptized so that’s good enough for salvation? Were you a baby when you were baptized? At that time, did you realize you were a sinner and make a confession of faith? Faith is a personal choice, and a baby cannot choose to accept Christ. A baby has no idea about sin, nor can they make a profession of faith.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

If you haven’t made your own decision or confession of faith but were baptized as an infant, then you need to study God’s word and truly understand that you are a sinner and need Jesus to forgive you. Baptism doesn’t bring salvation; only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will save you.

The final command to His disciples was to spread the Good News. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). It’s unbelief that condemns a person, not the lack of being baptized. That being said, baptism is very important. It’s a public declaration of an inward change and is an act of obedience.

Today, some well-meaning Christians would have us believe that we have to act a certain way or do certain things in order to be saved. The Apostle Paul was very to the point in his letters, which were all inspired by the Holy Spirit. He wrote to the Congregation in Ephesus to assure them, and us, that there is nothing that we can do to earn our salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If there had been a way to salvation other than through the shed blood of Christ on the cross, Jesus wouldn’t have had to suffer and die. There is no other way than by faith. You aren’t saved by “going to church,” although fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ will help keep you walking along the right path. Paul also made it clear, when writing to the believers in Rome, that it made no difference what a person’s ethnic background is, that faith is the key.

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:12-13).

Salvation is offered to everyone, and it’s up to each of us to share the Gospel with the people around us. Somehow, we’ve come to the false thinking that only pastors and missionaries are competent to share the Gospel with others. If your family and friends don’t hear the Gospel, they will never come to salvation. You need to share your faith.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15).

When we make a profession of faith, and it’s earnest, there should be a change of heart. Your neighbors and friends will see the new person you’ve become, and you’ll have the opportunity to share your faith. Don’t keep silent.

Once we come to realize how much we need Jesus and have placed our faith in Him, our faith should be evident in our changed life. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.

Remember that whatever you do and whatever you think, you will involve Christ. It isn’t easy to put sinful lifestyles aside. And the sin of gossiping and being judgmental or telling “white lies” are all sins to be overcome with Jesus’ help. There are many sins that are generally accepted by the world but aren’t acceptable in a Christian’s life. The Holy Spirit is sealed within us at the moment of true faith, and if we allow Him to work in us, we will bear His fruit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:22-24).

Christ gave everything for our salvation, and the only way to thank Him is to live our life to honor Him.

Salvation has many benefits. The first is the fact that we will live eternally with Jesus. The alternative is eternal death in the lake of fire. You see, your soul will live eternally, but we have a choice of living with Jesus or eternally dying. It only takes true faith to be assured of eternal life with Jesus. Admit that you’re a sinner. Too often, pride stops us from recognizing our sins. We are all sinners, but those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ are forgiven sinners. We will continue to struggle against sin, but the important thing is to keep your heart, mind, and spirit turned to Jesus.

Study your Bible and let the Holy Spirit show you God’s ways. Don’t try to twist Scripture to conform God to you, but honestly study and conform your life to God. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Don’t just sit back and let someone tell you what Scripture says. Study for yourself. Instead of watching television and filling your mind with the ways of the world, pick up your Bible and study. One thing you can be assured of is that we are all a heartbeat away from death. No matter how young or how old you are, death could come at any time. Nobody is promised tomorrow. If death doesn’t take you, then Christians have the promise of the Rapture.

There are many ill-informed people who deny the truth that time is getting short. Time will end just as Bible Prophecy discloses. There will be a final seven-year period of time filled with horrendous judgment, but Christians won’t face those final years. All Christians will be taken Home prior to that time. Many people don’t study Scripture, so they don’t have the joy of knowing that Jesus will call us all Home. So many signs are pointing to the fact that it will happen soon. I hope that it happens before you finish reading this commentary. God didn’t give us an exact date, but He did give many signs.

The world is swiftly moving to a one-world economic system, and that is a sign of the end. As Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine, we know it’s just a stepping stone to the Middle East. Russia is already aligning with Iran against Israel. As I see reports of battles breaking out in Syria, specifically near Damascus, I remember that Damascus will be destroyed.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 17:1-3).

It will happen; God said so. As you watch these things and many others happening, remember that the final seven years are on the near horizon, and the Rapture is even closer. You need to be sure that your salvation is secure. The only way to do that is to profess your faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism won’t save you, nor will any other work.

You can profess your faith now, today. Salvation is too important to think that you will always have time to repent. Nobody is promised tomorrow.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

All original scripture is “theopneustos,” God-breathed.

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