Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1c)
Dwight L. Moody was perhaps the greatest evangelist of the latter part of the 19th Century. On October 8, 1871, Moody was preaching in Chicago a message entitled, “What will you do with Jesus?” He ended his sermon by stating, “I wish you would seriously consider this subject, for next Sunday we’ll speak about the cross. Then I’ll ask you, ‘What will you do with Jesus?’” The service was ended with a hymn; however, before the completion of the hymn the roar of fire engines could be heard. The terrible 1871 Chicago fire swept through the city that night and nearly destroyed the city. Moody’s sermon on the cross was never preached at least not to those who were present on the day of the fire. Moody would often say in the years to follow, “I have never since dared to give an audience a week to think of their salvation.” Moody often thought of those who were present during the October 8 service who may have died in the fire and never had another opportunity for salvation.
The fact is that when the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts about a decision we need to make - that is the time, that is the moment we should say, “Yes”. If you know that God is speaking to you about receiving Christ as your Savior; now, today is the time to receive Him. If you know that God is speaking to you about recommitting your life to Him; now, today is the time for recommitment. If you know that God is speaking to you, calling you to preach His Word, or to special service, or full time Christian vocational service; now, today is the time to respond to His call.
People do wait too long and do go out into eternity without Christ. We think that we have years of time to make these spiritual decisions but we do not even know if we have the rest of today. You may know that God wants you to serve Him in some way and you think, “What is the harm in waiting until next week, or until I finish college, or until I’m more financially secure, or you can fill in the blank.” The harm and the problem with this is that the more and longer you resist the Holy Spirit’s call; the dimmer, the less audible that call becomes. Finally, you can no longer hear that call and you no longer have a desire to respond to the call. One of my great-uncles always thought that He had missed God’s call to preach. I believe he probably did.
Not only can people fail to respond to the Holy Spirit’s call to salvation but also we can fail to go and share Christ with those who are lost. How many have gone out into eternity without Christ because someone did not respond to the still, small voice of God? How many have I been responsible for? How many have you been responsible for?
I would urge you even now if God has spoken to you that you would respond today!
Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Permission is given for use of the devotionals
on a non-profit basis with source credited. On June 8, 1998 the email
version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.