While There’s Still Time

Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

While He May Be Found

The Lord and his salvation are not going to be available forever. One day he is going to return to judge the people of the earth and to take his bride to be with him for eternity. And to be his bride we must deny self, take up our cross daily (daily die with him to sin and to self) and follow him in obedience to his ways and to his commands (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).

Many people today are professing faith in Jesus Christ who are not living for the Lord but they are still living for their flesh, for self-pleasure, in deliberate and habitual sin against God and against their fellow human beings. And according to the Scriptures, they are not in fellowship with God, they don’t know God, they don’t love him, and they don’t have eternal life with him.

[Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Co 6:9-10; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:1-17; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rev. 2-3; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27]

Some of them faked or are faking their Christianity, putting on a show of righteousness while they continue to live in sexual immorality, and in pride, and in idolatry. And some of them are now backing away from their facades and they are not making a show of righteousness but they are now just living however they want, but still hiding their sins in secret.

Instead of making a pretense of living righteously they are just wasting time, watching movies and videos and playing on Facebook, etc. seemingly living aimlessly, just living for the day doing whatever pleases them at that moment, and engaging in sexual immorality and in all kinds of immoral behaviors. They are just messing around, not taking God and his word and his judgements seriously. So, they are basically testing fate.

And a big reason that people are doing this, professing to be Christians while living in sin and in gross immorality is because they believe that God’s grace gives them that freedom to keep on living in sin only now without guilt and without the fear of punishment and with a guarantee that heaven will be their eternal destiny no matter how they live their lives on this earth.

Let the Wicked Forsake his Way

But God’s grace does not grant us permission to keep on in our sins in sinful rebellion against our Lord and in deliberate and habitual sin. His grace, which brings us salvation, instructs us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For his grace delivered us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.

So, if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, thinking it doesn’t matter to God, and that we can just sin as much as we want while we claim Jesus as our Savior and heaven as our eternal destiny, then we need to think that over again, only this time by reading what the Scriptures teach us (in context) and not by cherry picking the Scriptures we like while we discard all the ones we don’t like because they don’t fit with our lifestyles.

Again, salvation from sin is not going to be offered indefinitely, so please don’t play around with sin and take lightly the judgments of God. For we will all reap what we sow on this earth. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. So, obedience and repentance and submission to Christ as Lord are critical to our salvation and to eternal life with God.

So, if this is where you are, living in sin and for self while testing fate and not taking God’s judgments seriously, then I pray you will repent of your sinful practices, and that you will change, in truth, by the power of God, away from living in sin and for self to now walking in obedience to our Lord in surrender to his will for our lives.

For, if we do not forsake our wicked ways, heaven is not our eternal destiny, but hell is. It doesn’t matter what you profess with your lips or think you believe in your heart. We must die with Christ to sin daily and follow him in obedience to his commands. It doesn’t mean we will live perfect lives, but it means that sin no longer has dominion over our lives but Jesus is truly Lord (owner-master) of our lives. And we live to serve him.

His Thoughts and our Thoughts

We can’t go by our own thinking and reasoning. We can’t go by our own opinions, for if they are our opinions and not of the Spirit of God, because they do not agree with God and with his word, then they are lies, and they will lead us astray if we give in to them. For we can’t go by our feelings and our emotions, either, but we must set God’s word as our standard.

When our thoughts conform to his thoughts then we are on the right path. So, we can’t just make it up as we go along and expect God to go along with us. He doesn’t work that way. The New Testament is loaded with instructions and warnings to the church letting us know God’s standards which we are to follow and letting us know the things we are to discard from our lives. And we need to do what the Lord says if we want eternal life with him.

The Lord does long to be gracious to us and to show us compassion and mercy. He wants to pardon our sins and to give us new lives in him free from the control of sin and of Satan and free now to walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God. For he is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But we have to do things his way, not go with our way of thinking that God should align with us.

So, again, if this describes you, just living for self and for self-pleasure, doing what you want with the time you have been given, just wasting away your days on things which are meaningless and which have no eternal value, and on things which are evil and which are against God and our fellow humans, then I pray you would forsake your sins and follow Jesus in obedience while there is still time and while he is still near.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

Pie Jesu

Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd-Webber

Merciful Jesus,
Pie Jesu,

Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi

Give them rest, grant them rest
Dona eis requiem, dona eis requiem

Lamb of God
Agnus Dei,

Who takes away the sins of the world
Qui tollis peccata mundi

Grant them eternal rest
Dona eis requiem

Forever
Sempiternam

Requiem
Requiem

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