Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nigh Time

Romans 13:10 "Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."
This passage goes along with the ones about the hope of salvation:
Lamentations 3:26 "It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord."

1 Thessalonians 5:8 "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."
Let us be clear: salvation is not at the moment of the new birth. That's when we receive hope! That is in anticipation of some desired future event. The hope that Christians have is that we will be saved - not should be, or shall be - but will be. The degree of hope that we have is proportional to our faith. The more that we trust the Lord, the more hope that we have!

According to Romans above, the hope of salvation is dependent on our love. The more faith we have, the harder we work because work is accounted to us as faith. Of course works is not physical things, but things of the heart which demonstrate love (Romans 13:10 above).  This love that we are to have is the assurance that we (Christians) will be saved. The more that we are inclined to love, the more grace we receive.  The ultimate love is when God says, well done good and faithful servant. That happens when the Christian is presented to Him on his throne. That is the day that salvation is consummated. Until then, God keeps us safe from evil the evil one. He protects us from our wicked genetic father, and adopts us as his children. That adoption is when we are born-again.

At that time God cloaks us with his armor. That is our safety until the judgment comes. We must use the armor, for it's ours for the wearing. Wise men of faith bear the sword of the Word. That keeps us safe, and out of the clutches of the evil one!

If we are sober and do the work of love (Romans 13:10), then with each labor we are closer to the day of salvation (Romans 13:11). The day of salvation is sometimes in the future, and each day that we persevere in Christ, we are closer to that day. The day of salvation is there at the end of the narrow path, and is the location of the prize - eternal life!

Some say, "I know that I know that I know that I am saved." That certainty is a good feeling, and comes with great faith. Those with less faith and more doubt are less certain, and rightfully so, because Satan can convince them that the wide path is more pleasurable. With deception, even the elect can be deceived. Those who know salvation aren't saved yet, but they take comfort in their safety. In fact, they are so trusting in the Lord that for them, salvation is already a certainty. If only we all were that trusting, then Satan's task would be impossible!

My point is as we approach the day of salvation, we are not to assume that we can live a life of sin. To demonstrate our love to God, we must want to obey his commands. It's not the obedience that gains favor, but the willingness to obey God out of love. Sure, we can show just a little love for God and squeak through, but we want to arrive there in heaven full of passion! To have passion later, we must have it now!

As we get closer, the time of salvation is nigh upon us. We are not even assured that tomorrow will come, It may be the day of salvation for Christians. On the other hand, the day of salvation for a few, may be the day of damnation for most. We will all stand before God and make our excuses, but to no avail. We must love now because the day of salvation is upon us!


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