May I ask you a personal question?
Do you ever plan to humble yourself before Almighty God and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
If you do, could I ask one more?
What are you waiting for?
What’s keeping you from turning to Him today and giving Him yourself (as much as you know, as fully as you can) right this minute?
People say to me, “Well, I’m going to do that. One of these days.”
One of these days.
I have three things to say about that.
“One of these days” is pure self-deception.
It’s how we fool ourselves into getting rid of the haunting feeling that we are missing out on what life was really meant to be. It’s how we fool ourselves into thinking we are all right with God in spite of the great guilt which rides on us day and night, because “we intend to get saved.” One of these days.
Just not today.
You’re fooling yourself, my friend. And no one else.
You’re buying into a lie which you are telling yourself.
“One of these days” is the biggest scam in the universe.
You may have thought the biggest scam in the world was some woman in Nigeria whose husband died leaving her zillions in some American bank and she needs your help to get it. That’s a big scam, all right.
Perhaps you thought the greatest scam was the email you got from someone you barely know stuck in a London hotel after being mugged or losing his credit card, and needing you to send money. Another scam.
But the biggest scam originated in hell and has targeted you. It goes like this: Sure, you want to be saved and live for God. Sure, you want your sins forgiven and your name written in Heaven. Yes, sir. No doubt about it. And you’re going to. One of these days. Just not today.
You’ve heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Hell itself will be populated by millions who had every good intention. They had intended to turn to the Lord and be saved and live for Him. They just never got around to it.
They were suckered into hell by the greatest scam of the universe.
“One of these days” is rebellion against God.
Let me prove it to you.
You’re ten years old. Your mama comes into your bedroom. “Look at this room! Get up from here right now and clean this up!”
And you say, “I will, mom. One of these days.”
Will that go over? Not in a heartbeat. Mother knows rebellion when she hears it and knows what to do about it.
So does the living God.
Another one I hear is, “I’m going to get saved. Just as soon as I get the feeling.”
Your mother comes into your room. She says, “Get up right now and clean up this room!” You answer, “I will, mom. Just as soon as I get the feeling.”
As she reaches for a switch or hairbrush, I can hear her say, “I’ll give you the feeling!”
Delay is a form of rebellion when mother or God either one calls.
Scripture says, “Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7,15 and 4:7).
Scripture says, “Now is the accepted time. Behold, now is the day of salvation” (II Corinthians 6:2).
I was 11 years old when the words of an ancient hymn penetrated my heart. All around me people were singing, “O Why Not Tonight?” I could not think of a single reason why I should not repent of my sin and open my heart to the Lord Jesus that very moment. When the pastor urged us to step forward in faith, I went. It was the best thing ever, a life-changing step I’ve never once regretted.
What are you waiting for? Why not invite Jesus Christ into your life this moment.
“Lord Jesus. I bow before you. I thank you for dying for my sin. I thank you for loving me that much. Please forgive me of all my sin. I repent of it. To the best of my ability, I put my faith and trust in Thee. Come into my life, Jesus. Live there. Show me how to live from now on. Show me how to serve you. And Lord, write my name down in Heaven’s book; make me your child. Then, some day, whenever you are ready, take me there to live with Thee forever and ever. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.
That’s the starting point, my friend.
NOW, IF YOU STILL HAVE NOT DECIDED, PLEASE READ ON….
Let me tell you a couple of stories.
I was visiting an old man in the Intensive Care Unit at our local hospital. I didn’t know him, but his family had asked me to speak to him about his soul.
The old gentleman was barely holding on to life, and plugged up with every kind of tube. I walked in, introduced myself, and told why I was there. He nodded and returned my greeting.
He listened reverently as I spoke to him about what Jesus had done for him. At the end, I said, “Sir, would you like to do this? Would you like to pray with me and invite Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior?”
I was not prepared for his answer.
“I’m going to do that, preacher,” he said. “One of these days. I’m not ready yet.”
I felt like saying, “Sir, you don’t have any days left. You’ve used them all up.”
I knew what had happened. He’d gotten so into the habit of postponing this ultimate decision that now that his life was almost over, he couldn’t quit.
Don’t wait too long, friend.
Ty Cobb was one of the best baseball players ever to suit up for the game. He put in 22 years with the Detroit Tigers and set so many records, many are still on the books. But in addition to being one of the best players, he was also one of the surliest, one of the rudest, with the worst attitude. No one liked Ty Cobb much. He was hard to be around.
Someone told me that a few weeks before he died of cancer in a small town in Georgia, Ty Cobb turned to Jesus Christ and was saved. Before he died, he sent a message to the men he had played baseball with. Fellows, I got in at the bottom of the ninth. I sure wish I had come in the top of the first.
What inning is it for you?
There’s no way to know, of course. The only way we will know what inning it is now will be when life is ending and we look back and say, “Well, that was the last of the ninth inning for me!”
It would be foolish for you to postpone coming to Jesus Christ because you are young and have plenty of time.
There’s an experiment I want you to do.
Get down the newspaper from a large metropolitan city. Turn to the obituaries.
I want to tell you two things about the people listed there:
a) You will find someone younger than you.
b) There is no way to prove this, but I’d be willing to bet that one week ago, fully half of the people in the obituaries had no idea that a few days later they were going to be making starring appearances on these saddest of all newspaper pages.
My father lived to be 95-and-a-half. And, as I write, my mother will be 96 in 4 months. So you might assume I have a great life expectancy and could plan accordingly. However, my youngest brother–mom and dad’s youngest child–died a few years ago at the age of 62.
So, there is no predicting.
It would be the ultimate folly to postpone making this greatest of all commitments for some future date.
Please note a couple of things….
1) I am not suggesting you simply pray the prayer above as though it were magic words. There are no magic words. More important than your exact words is the broken heart you offer to Jesus. Bow before Him and invite Him in.
2) After you have done that, it’s not over. In fact, it’s just begun. You are, after all, starting a new way of life. You will want to get yourself a Bible (one you can read and understand) and start reading at page 1 of the New Testament (the Gospel of Matthew). Keep reading until you finish it, then go back and read it again. You’ll get more the second time through.
3) God wants you in a church with brothers and sisters in Christ. You will be worshiping with them and studying God’s Word with them. In time, you may be teaching others and helping them to grow in Christ.
4) If you are doing the Christian life right–obeying the Lord, daily reading the Bible and praying, staying close to other Christians–you will find it hard sometimes. This is the natural order of things. For one thing, you were formerly floating downstream, but now you are going against the flow and trying to swim upstream. That’s harder. Furthermore, the devil will target you to discourage you. That’s why you will need a church family.
5) Remember, there are no perfect churches and no Christians who have “arrived.” They’re all like you, imperfect and in need of God’s guidance and help.
6) Send me an email and let me know you’ve done this. firstname.lastname@example.org I will do anything I can to encourage you, and will delight in praying for you.
7) Now, go tell someone else what you have done. The worst thing you can do is keep this as your little secret. Read Matthew 10:32-33 and see what Jesus thinks of that.
God’s richest blessings on you.