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“For this reason every one of your faithful followers should pray to you while there is a window of opportunity” (Psalm 32:6 NET).

GOD GRANTS US THE TIME TO SEEK HIM, BUT THE SPAN OF THAT TIME IS NOT UNLIMITED. Eventually, our time in this world comes to an end; after that, there will be nothing left but the rendering of God’s judgment on the way we responded to His salvation. “Just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:27,28).

In Hebrews 3:13, the writer encouraged his fellow Christians with these words: “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” There are many reasons to do what is right in a timely way and not postpone it, but one of the most practical reasons is that waiting to obey God always puts us in danger of being hardened by our sin. The longer we delay, the more our conscience becomes callous. For all practical purposes, our window of opportunity begins to close on the day when we start telling those who try to help us to mind their own business.

Just days before His death, Jesus stood outside Jerusalem, surveying the city: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:37,38). To be lost, then, is a double tragedy. It is to have separated ourselves from God by our sins and then to have refused the salvation which He tried to offer us.

If we are cut off from God, standing under the penalty of eternal death which He has justly decreed, we need to obey the gospel of Christ. But, to use an old idiom, we need to “strike while the iron is hot.” If we fail to use the opportunity which His grace has provided, the word “regret” will crush us with horrible force. There is no love more painful than a love that dies untold. So tell Jesus Christ that you love Him. Tell Him today — by your obedience.

“You cannot repent too soon because you do not know how soon it may be too late” (Sir Thomas Fuller).

Gary Henry — +

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