23Oct.2013 Pastor Lee Title: Now or Later
Let’s Read our Scripture Text: Isa 45:19-25,23 Rom 14:7-12,11 Phil 2:5-10,11.
You should have noticed a familiar message in all those passages, did anyone hear the part of the message that was familiar to each passage? It was an event that was sure to come to pass.
Let me highlight it for you:
Isa 45:23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Rom 14:11 For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Phil 2:10,11 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;
And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that everybody is invited to this party, and everyone is going to participate in this event. Every knee will bow, in Phil.2:10 it says this event will include all the people
in heaven, in earth, and under the earth. Everybody is showing up for this one. Nobody will be too busy to attend this party.
So my question to you is: Will you acknowledge Him as Lord Now or Later? Because here’s the deal: there is coming a day when everyone will bow their knee to Jesus, and you will acknowledge that he is Lord. But friend, how much better is it for you that you do that now, then waiting till later? You do not want later to be your initial time of that acknowledgment.
It’s going to happen, that’s a given, so what will it be, now or later?
The answer that most of the world is giving today is: LATER. I’ll cross that bridge when it comes up sister. Why is it that we want to put off so many things till later? What is so fascinating about later ?
How many of us look around our homes and see that the dishes need washing the clothes need ironing, the carpet needs a vacuum, the furniture needs dusting, and any host of numerous other things that definitely need attending, and yet instead of activating ourselves to do those things we say: Ah, I’ll get to that later, or I’ll do it later, or later for that!
What’s wrong with now, why not do it now! How about some excercise? I’ll do it later. You need to lose weight, Yea, later. You need to pay a bill, I’ll send them some money later. God put it on your heart to call this brother or that sister, Yea I will, later Lord.
Honestly some of us should just walk around with a big ole stamp on our foreheads: LATER. In essence what you’re really saying is that: None of these things that I need to do are important enough for me to do right now, therefore, I will do them later.
Now listen to me: We make time for stuff we want to do, but stuff we need to do, that we don’t want to do, well that can wait. Wait till when? What if you don’t live to see a later, then what? Let’s explore that today. Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of NOW verses LATER.
I. What is LATER? Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines LATE: as occurring after the usual or proper time. Ex. So if I was in a habit of reconciling my bills and sending out payments on Tuesday, then if I didn’t do it until Friday, I would have done it LATER (occurring after the usual or proper time).
A. As Christians, those that are like Christ, was it Christ Jesus habit of doing things LATE?
1. Mary and Martha sent Jesus word that their brother, and his dear friend Lazarus was
deathly ill, and that he should come quickly in order to heal him. But the bible says that Jesus hesitated in coming on purpose, and when he got there, Lazarus had been in the grave for 4 days. Was he late? Nope, by their schedule yes, but God isn’t on our schedule. He knows exactly when to move and he never moves too fast or too slow.
2. I read a post on the internet where the writer asked a question: Is Jesus late for the Rapture? His take was that all the dumb Christians are waiting for him to come and take them away from here to the big pie in the sky. And all the signs Jesus said would take place before his return have seemed to occurred. So where is he? Is he late? Again, Nope Mark 13:32,33 Clearly tell us that only the Father knows the exact day of Jesus return so we should watch and pray because none of us know the exact day. So if you don‘t know the exact day when he is coming how can you say he’s late?
II. There are a lot of problems, disadvantages to doing things LATE (here’s just a few)
1. You might not be around LATER …you could die, …you could end up a vegetable and We others will decide things for you
2. Jesus could return before you decide to make him your Lord and Savior …your gambling with eternity right now, hesitating to receive salvation speculating that you’ll have time LATER
3. Your pretending that God doesn’t exist so there’s no Jesus, hence no reason to make a decision for Christ now. The bible calls you a Fool. Both Ps 14:1 & Ps 53:1 say the fool has said in his heart that, “There is no God.” Rom 1:20 says those people will be without excuse. So that excuse: “Lord I didn’t know you were real,” won’t fly on judgment day.
4. Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. If you still have receiving salvation on your list of things to get to LATER when Jesus comes, you won’t being going with him that day! 1John 14:2,3 Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you 1Cor 2:9 things prepared for those that love God Heb 11:16 a city prepared for them
Who are those that love Jesus: Jn 14:15,23 those that keep his words and his commandments. What is his commandment? 1Jn 3:23,24 Believe on Jesus and love others. When we do this God moves into our hearts and by the Spirit we know we are his.
II. There are great advantages to receiving Jesus NOW. Now is defined as: immediately, at the present time or moment, without further delay
1. God said salvation is a NOW thing, when you hear the gospel accept today: Heb 3:15
‘While it is said today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. Heb 3:8
‘the provocation’ refers to when Israel didn’t believe God in the wilderness, which resulted in that generation dying out during the extra 40 years they spent there, and them not seeing the promised land.
2. The only time God every tells us to WAIT is when it is in reference to God: 1Thes 1:10
V10. And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. Waiting on the risen Christ, God the Son. Acts 1:3,4 Jesus instructs his disciples to wait for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Waiting on God, the Spirit. And 1Cor 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Waiting on Christ return.
But when it comes to salvation and declaring Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no commandment to wait. Acts 16:31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household." Romans 10:9,10 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
So we see, pertaining to salvation, the only thing that hinders you from being saved now, is you! Jesus has already risen. The Holy Spirit has already come. The only one saying “Later” is you.
3. We are not promised to tomorrow, all we have for sure is NOW. 1Pet 2:10 Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. The time is NOW to become a part of God’s people and obtain God’s mercy.
III. If you don’t know God, don’t wait till LATER change that NOW. Don’t be under the earth that day.
Say this with me: Lord Jesus, right now, I believe in you and accept you as my Lord and Savior. I believe that God is your Father and he sent you into the earth to die for my sins. And by your precious shed blood that now I am redeemed and saved. Holy Spirit indwell me now, baptize me now in your power, enable me to speak with my new language now. And I will walk and talk with you the rest of my days, in Jesus name, Amen.