Now Is The Time?
March 3, 2019
Now is the time for what? That is a good question which I will attempt to answer in this discourse. We need to understand what the question is asking, and that is, is now the time for salvation? If it is time, why? If it is now, how? Why is this important today?
Deciding to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior is the most important choice you will ever make. Why? The answer is simple. You are a sinner born into the sin of Adam. When Adam stood by Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he accepted the forbidden fruit from Eve, Adam took the bite that forfeited every good thing God had created for mankind. Now men would labor with difficulty to provide food for their family. Women would bring forth children with great pain. Worst of all, Adam and Eve would no longer walk together with God in the perfect garden because they were now tainted with sin. God had them tossed out and warrior angels set to guard the entrance to the garden that no one could enter.
Scripture tells us, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). In other words, Adam’s choice to receive the fruit from Eve rather than obey God caused them instant spiritual death, and eventually, physical death. From that one bite of fruit, Adam caused billions of people through time to lose their connection with God and their lives that were meant to be eternally lived on earth.
So, now what?
Now, the prophecies about Jesus would come to pass. 450 years after the prophetic writings in the Old Testament were completed, Jesus was born of a virgin in the little town, Bethlehem. Jesus came from the lineage of David. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped deaf ears and raised the dead.
But that wasn’t enough.
When the Pharisees, leaders of the Jews in Jesus’ time saw that His mission was not to deliver them from Rome’s oppression, they turned on Him. The Pharisees spent much time making indictments against Jesus to discredit him among the Jews, the Gentiles and the Romans. Judas, one from His inner circle of disciples sold Jesus out to the chief priests for 30 pieces of silver. The Sanhedrin arrested Jesus and put Him on trial after Judas kissed Him. Jesus was accused of and found guilty of blasphemy.
God’s law did not allow the Jews to kill Jesus, so they brought Him to Pontius Pilate. After much questioning, Pilate found nothing deserving of death in Jesus. But the Jews were determined and would not allow him to back out of the crucifixion. Pilate sentenced Jesus to hang.
During Jesus’ trial and before being crucified, Jesus was tormented and scourged with a whip, but not just any whip. This was a flagellum containing at least three straps weighed down my lead balls and/or pieces of bone. This whip meant to do harm. Many people didn’t survived scourging.
After the scourging, the soldiers placed the top beam of Jesus’ cross on His shoulder with the intent that Jesus would carry His cross to Golgotha. Jesus was in such awful shape He could not carry it all the way. When Jesus fell and could not stand and carry/drag the beam any further, a man from Cyrene was pulled from the crowd lining the street and made to carry it for Him. Jesus was then hanged and, later in the day, He was stabbed in His side so that blood and water flowed from Him.
The human body of Jesus was buried in the borrowed tomb of a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea. He went to hell and set the captives free, then He walked the earth making time to visit the disciples as He promised before He went back to Heaven on a cloud.
What has this to do with the declaration, “Now is the time?”
Jesus was the only sinless man ever to live on earth although He was tempted in the same ways we are. When He was hanged on the old rugged cross, it was not to pay for sins He had committed, but for the sins of the world. That is, you and me and all God’s people creation: The ones who were made in the image and likeness of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because of Adam’s weakness, all humanity is born tainted by sin. We are the ones who fall short of the glory of God. We are the ones for whom Jesus gave up His glory in Heaven to be born on earth. We are the ones for whom Jesus lived, suffered and died.
We are the ones in need of a Savior; and that Savior is Jesus the Christ the Son of God.
Jesus told Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6b). There are not many gods, there is one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are not many paths to Heaven, there is one path, the narrow path. If we walk that path it leads away from sin. There is one Jesus, one path and one God waiting for us in Heaven. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). What does this mean? There is only one Savior, Jesus the Christ: Messiah. No false god can get you to Heaven. Not religion, no cult has the right path to the Lord. A truckload of good deeds doesn’t pay your way. No matter how good you think you are, you are still a sinner and you need a sinless Savior to get you home to God.
Jesus is coming to “snatch” His church, His bride away to Heaven very soon. He will appear on a cloud for only Christians to see. He will call the dead in Christ first, that is, those who accepted Jesus as Savior, but died a physical death. Then Jesus will call we who are alive next. That is, those of earth who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives. Jesus will take us home to the Father.
Now is the time for your salvation. There is no longer time to waste up on your fence. Come down on the side of Jesus. That’s the side of salvation that assures you of a position in Heaven, in God’s home where you will have a mansion. Come to the place of no more tears, sorrow, pain or loss. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to Heaven to make a place for them that where He is, they would also be. You can be there, too.
How are we saved enough to get into Heaven?
First, we must believe Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, was crucified, died, was buried and raised from the dead.
Next, we must acknowledge or admit we’re sinners in need of a Savior. How can we know we are sinners? Scripture tells us. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
When we know we are sinners and we understand that we need a Savior, we must repent. To repent means to acknowledge the sin in one’s life and agree to turn from in.
Also, we must believe, have faith that Jesus truly is the Way. We must trust in the truth that Jesus died to save us from sin and death that is eternal separation from God. We must place our trust in Jesus knowing He gave His life as a ransom for many to save us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17). Then we confess the Lord with our mouths. “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Romans 10:8-11).
So – for you, is now the time? Do you see the truth of your sin? Are you looking for a relationship that will last throughout eternity? Jesus the Christ, Jeshua Ha Mashiach can make it real.
Father, I’m a sinner. I have sinned against You and now want to turn away from sin to a love relationship with You in Christ Jesus. Please forgive me of all my sin. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I accept Jesus now as my Savior and Lord of my life. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and truth so I can live a better life before You. Thank You, Father, in Jesus my Savior’s name, amen and amen.
Tonight’s message is about salvation. It’s about forgiveness of sin. It’s about believing in faith. It’s about letting God be God for our sakes. Is this all part of communion? Yes. Jesus came to reunite us with the Father through His sacrifice on the cross. He gave His life a ransom for many.
Yes - Jesus wants us to remember what He did for us on that cross. But what He really wants us to remember is how what He did affects our eternity. In Christ Jesus we are new creations, redeemed, cleansed and sanctified. We have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. In Christ we are kings and priests. “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5, 6).
As we take the bread and cup tonight, let’s thank God for Jesus and what He willingly did for each one of us. I pray you will only partake of communion with us if you are already saved. If not, now is the time to pray that prayer below, if you mean it with all your heart.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Matthew 26:26). Please eat the bread. “And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:27, 28). Please take the cup.
“Drink ye all of it,” in our vernacular would read, “Drink from it all of you.”
Father, we pray together asking You to consecrate this message so that everyone who reads it will know the truth of Jesus, turn from their sin and come to Jesus for salvation before it’s too late. Touch our families and their families, our friends and their families and our neighbors near and far and their families with the Truth so they can reach out and join the family of God.
Be with us all this week, Lord. Make us sure and steady on our course. Give us boldness to present the gospel anywhere we go that others might know the truth and the Truth shall set them free. Thank You, Father, in Jesus’ name, amen and amen.