Last Chance!

Posted: November 5, 2017 in Luke, Uncategorized

Luke 19:41-48, “Last Chance!”

If you’ve ever driven out west, you’ve seen the signs: “Last chance for gas, for 200 miles.”  It makes you check your tank and do some quick calculations.  Depending on how fueled up you are, you might be paying a pretty penny for gasoline!

Far more important than food or fuel is our opportunity to receive God’s forgiveness & eternal life!  Is there ever a moment when it becomes our last chance?  Yes.  No one knows when that might be.  Certainly, anyone with a still-beating heart has the opportunity to receive Jesus as their Lord & Savior – but just because a heart is beating doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.  Not every person is ready at all times to receive Jesus.  Some have said “no” to Him so often that their hearts have become permanently hard, and apart from a miracle of God, they will not be saved.  Others have a limited opportunity to ever encounter the gospel of salvation (such as those who live in Islamic, Hindu, or Buddhist nations), and if they don’t respond in their present moment, they might not get another chance in the future.  Who knows when another missionary might visit them?  Who knows if they’ll ever again hear the truth?

For the Jews in Jerusalem during the final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, they had a mix of the two.  On one side, these were the final days before Jesus went to the cross.  Soon, He would be crucified, dead, and buried (and thankfully, resurrected three days later!), and only a limited number of people would ever again see Him in the future.  On the other side, there were some in Jerusalem who had been so vehemently opposed to Jesus for so long, that their hearts were completely hardened to Him, even when seeing Him face-to-face and hearing His teachings directly.  This was their last chance to be saved (both physically and eternally), and they were wasting it.

Remember the events that led up to this point.  For weeks, Jesus had been headed to Jerusalem with His disciples, and when they were near to the city, Jesus reminded them all of what was to come: deliverance to the Gentiles, humiliation, torture, death, and resurrection. (18:31-32)  These things were absolutely certain, being the fulfillment of prophecy.  That might have turned many of us away, but not Jesus.  He was still set to go to Jerusalem, knowing everything that lay ahead of Him.  After travelling through Jericho, performing miracles of granting sight and salvation, Jesus eventually arrived at the outskirts of Jerusalem with great fanfare.  Riding to the city gates from the Mount of Olives on a donkey’s colt, His disciples (both the 12 and the massive crowd surrounding Him) hailed Him (rightly!) as the Messianic King.  Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises that God made to David in regards to a restored Jewish kingdom, and the people finally proclaimed Him as such.  Of course, this outburst of praise was detested by the Pharisees and Jewish leadership, and they rebuked Jesus for failing to rebuke the crowd.  Jesus’ response to them was wonderful, noting that the praise would not be stopped.  Even if every mouth was silent, the rocks themselves would shout for joy!

It was quite the entrance!  What followed all of this grand excitement?  Weeping.  It wasn’t exactly the most-expected response to the cheering of the crowds!  The city He was entering and the people He was teaching were about to experience their last chance to be saved, and many (most!) of them would waste it.

Don’t waste your opportunity!  Respond to the grace and gospel of Jesus while you still have the chance.

Luke 19:41–48

  • Lamenting over the city (41-44)

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,

  • Notice Jesus’ location: “as He drew near.”  Apparently, Jesus wasn’t yet in the city.  He was still riding the donkey’s colt, surrounded by His disciples shouting His praises & receiving rebuke from the Pharisees who disapproved. One might expect that all of this excitement would lead to joy, or at least some sort of pumped-up response from Jesus.  Yet He’s weeping.  Strange timing?  Not at all, though it certainly would have seemed that way from the perspective of the crowd.  We can imagine the reaction of the disciples when they saw what was going on with Jesus.  No doubt, they were shocked.  One moment, Jesus was telling the Pharisees that He wouldn’t quiet the crowds, the next moment, He’s crying.
  • Understand that when Jesus wept at this point, it wasn’t a quiet act with silent tears running down His face, as it had been with Mary & Martha at the tomb of Lazarus. (Jn 11:35)  The word used by Luke indicates a bewailing, with a sort of bitter/vehement weeping. This is the same word used of those who engaged in ritual mourning at someone’s death: a loud wailing.  Of course, in Jesus’ case it was sincere – but it was still loud enough to be made known. Something truly grieved the heart of the Son of God.
    • What grieves God’s heart?  People who are eternally lost, suffering, and damned to hell. God mourns the loss of life – eternal life, all the more.  There’s no doubt that God’s righteousness is known in His wrath, and He receives glory from the awful result of His judgment – but that doesn’t mean He wants people to receive it. To the Jews headed straight for the terrible suffering of Babylonian conquest and captivity, He told them that He took “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.” (Eze 33:11)  In fact, He implored with them to turn from their evil ways – to repent, and live.  Their judgment was deserved, but God didn’t want them to face it.  He (better than anyone) knows what the fullness of His wrath includes, and although it glorifies Him, He doesn’t desire it upon anyone.
    • What does God want?  He wants people to be saved!  This is not a theological statement that needs to be guessed, or inferred from obscure interpretations of Scripture; this is something that God’s word plainly states.  When writing of the need for Christians to pray for all men, even evil national leaders, Paul concludes with this: 1 Timothy 2:3–4, "(3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."  And it’s not just Paul; Peter writes virtually the same thing in regards to a question of Jesus’ return: 2 Peter 3:9, "(9) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."  Does God want all people to be saved?  Yes!  There ought to be no doubt in our minds, nor debate in the church.  God’s desire is that people be spared from His righteous wrath, and enjoy His marvelous grace.  God may be glorified through His judgment, but He is also glorified through His redemption – and that’s what He desires the most!
    • The question for you is whether or not you’ve experienced it.  God desires you to be saved…are you?  Jesus wept tears over Jerusalem, knowing that many of them would not be saved – no doubt, He’s wept over untold numbers of people today, grieving their eternal fate.  He’s willing that you receive life…receive it!
  • Question: why is Luke the only author who mentions this?  All four gospels write of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but Luke is the only one who writes of Jesus’ lament on the way. Ultimately, it’s impossible to say – perhaps the Holy Spirit wanted Luke to emphasize that Jesus took no joy in Jerusalem’s destruction.  Perhaps it’s a way of emphasizing that Jesus’ joyous reception would soon be replaced with something grievous.  At the very least, it demonstrates that each of the gospels offers something different.  Even among the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), there are no mirror accounts.  Each author brings his own perspective and thus gives us more detail about Jesus.  If we want a complete view of our Savior, all of the Scripture is necessary.

42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

  • There is an emphasis in Jesus’ words.  If Jerusalem, even Jerusalem, had truly understood what was happening among them, things would turn out vastly different.  What made Jerusalem different?  Among other things, their name made their future violent destruction ironic.  “Salem” is derived from “shalom,” meaning “peace.”  This was a supposed city-of-peace, with the Prince of peace among them, fully willing and available to offer them true peace…yet they were blind.  They had so much going for them in the present “day.”  Jesus was actively at work among them, and the eternal plan of God for the salvation of mankind was unfolding right before their eyes.  The Son of God walked among them, offering them the gospel, but they saw nothing.  These things were “hidden from [their] eyes.” Again, they were blind.
  • The Jewish people are still blind today!  Christians often wonder how it can be that Jews don’t see the obvious fulfillment of Messianic prophecies such as Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Zechariah 9,11,12, etc., in Jesus.  It’s because they are blind.  God has sovereignly (and graciously) allowed the Gentiles (i.e. us!) to hear the good news of salvation through Jesus, and it means that for a time, the Jewish nation is to be blind.  The gospel was to go to the Jews first, and then to the rest of the world.  And that’s what happened.  It went to the Jews, they rejected it, and now it has gone out to every nation around the world.
    • That being said, know this: they won’t always be blind.  Romans 11:25–26, "(25) For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (26) And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;"  One day, the Jews will come to faith in Jesus and they will be saved!  That’s the graciousness of our God!
  • Question: If the truth of Jesus as the Messiah is hidden from them, are they still responsible for their sin & rejection of Him?  Yes!  Keep in mind, all their sin is still a willing choice.  No one forces them to sin against God. (Just like us!)  Beyond that, the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy has been done in full view for all to see.  The same thing is true with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – those things were not done in a corner, or in private.  The news and proof of Jesus has been fully revealed to all the world: Jew and Gentile alike.  Individual Jews have come to faith in Jesus, by the bucket-loads.  The initial church was all Jewish! …  Even so, by & large, the Jewish nation is blinded.  They are blinded by their sin – they are blinded by their pride.  They don’t want Jesus to be Messiah, so they don’t see Jesus as Messiah. 
    • Is this part of the plan of God?  Yes – but this stretches into the mysteries of His eternal knowledge & wisdom.  Ultimately, this falls into the category of things that cannot be known.  We need to be okay with a bit of mystery in regards to the infinite God.
  • BTW, never forget that we worship a God who heals the blind.  If someone is blinded to the truth of Jesus, what should be our response?  We pray that the blindness be removed – we pray that God grants them spiritual sight.  What they need is a miracle, and we serve a God who works miracles in abundance!

43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

  • Some have criticized this passage, saying that it was so descriptive of what the Roman general Titus did to Jerusalem in 70AD, that there was no way Jesus could have known about it.  Thus (they claim), Luke wrote all of this afterwards, inventing the prophecy.  There are two responses to this: (1) What Jesus said was typical of Roman war tactics.  Jerusalem was not the first city leveled by the Romans, nor would it be the last.  If Jesus was going to describe a Roman destruction of Jerusalem, it would only make sense this would be the way He would do it.  (2) Jesus is God.  Those who dismiss Jesus’ prophecies dismiss His deity…thus the critics can be dismissed altogether!  Of course, Jesus knew how the Romans would conquer Jerusalem, because He as the Son of God has all knowledge.  Whether He states it specifically or generically isn’t really the point; it’s the fact that Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be destroyed at all.  Yes, He knew it in advance, and that’s not a reason to doubt His deity; it is proof of His claims.
  • So was He right?  Was the city truly leveled in the way Jesus prophesied?  Yes.  Josephus (Wars of the Jews, Book 7, Ch 1): “(1) Now, as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be objects of their fury (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other such work to be done) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne, and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. (2) This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison; as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; (3) but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited.”  Stones still exist in Jerusalem today (specifically outside the temple) that had been thrown down during the Roman siege.  What Jesus spoke was 100% accurate.
  • Why would all of this terrible destruction come? “Because you did not know the time of your visitation.”  The word for “visitation” is interesting, in that it’s the same word from which we get the denominational name “Episcopal.” (ἐπισκοπή) It’s a compound word that literally speaks of “watching over” something.  A different form of the word is what’s often translated as “bishop/overseer.” Jesus is basically saying, “All of this terrible trial is going to come to you, because you didn’t recognize the hour that the Messiah came among you to watch over you.  You didn’t recognize the time of your supervision.”  It’s one thing to do your job – most people have a fairly good work ethic.  It’s another thing to do your job while being directly supervised by your boss.  Even if you did everything right on your own, you take special care to do it correctly then!  Why?  Because you recognize something’s different – someone else is present, and you want to treat that time appropriately.  The people of Jerusalem during Jesus’ day didn’t recognize the time.  They were blinded to the hour.  They didn’t recognize Jesus as their Messiah King & God walking among them, offering them His salvation, and thus their opportunity to be saved would be wasted.
    • How terrible it is to have been visited by Jesus, and never recognize Him!  It seals one’s own destruction. 

All of this took place outside the city, as Jesus was still on His way in.  What happened when He arrived?  Things got pretty interesting pretty quick.  Both Matthew and Luke write generically, making it seem as if the following events took place that afternoon.  Mark’s account fills in a few more details, noting that on the day Jesus arrived in the city, He went to the temple, but didn’t stay there.  Because it was already getting late, He left the town and stayed in Bethany overnight (most likely at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha).  The next day He came back, and that’s when Jesus started to make some waves.

  • Action in the temple (45-48)

45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

  • For as much as the other gospel writers say about this, Luke’s account is profoundly short.  He gives the basic details, and that’s all that is required.  The previous day (Sunday), Jesus had seen the corruption within the temple.  On Monday, He addressed the problem head-on.  As might be expected, Jews came to the Jerusalem temple in order to worship – especially during this week leading up to Passover.  They came with their sacrifices, only to be told their sacrifices weren’t any good.  Invariably, some defect would be found in the sheep or goat to be offered, so they would be turned away…or, they could purchase some of the temple-approved livestock that ‘just happened’ to be available that day.  Oh, and by the way, Roman money is no good in the temple, considering those coins were tainted because they were Gentile.  What they needed was temple money, which could easily be exchanged…for a small fee, of course.  The practice was a farce, corrupt to its core, and Jesus didn’t stand for it.  Early on in His ministry, He had driven out these charlatans from the temple (Jn 2:13-17), but in the months & years following, the practice had regrown (like a cancer).  So Jesus did it all over again.   He drove out/expelled the merchants from the temple grounds, exhibiting just a taste of His righteous wrath that was sure to come.
  • Was the problem the money?  Yes & no.  Money was simply the symptom of the actual issue: God’s holiness had been despised.  The temple had been defiled, and the priests were the ones responsible.  They may not have been the ones to actually sully their hands and sell the merchandise, but they certainly gave their approval to the ones who did.  They were the ones who set up the corrupt system to take advantage of worshippers.  The merchants and money-changers had their own faults, doing what they did of their own freewill, but they wouldn’t have been there at all if the priests hadn’t invited them.  The men who had the responsibility of representing God’s holiness to the people, and leading God’s people in worship had defiled it all.  The holy house of God had been turned into a means for greed, and Jesus wasn’t going to stand for it.
  • That wasn’t what God had intended for His temple!  He desired “a house of prayer.”  Quoting Isaiah 56 – the general context being God’s call to His people to live righteously, seeking the salvation from the Lord.  God promised to pour out His blessing upon the Jew, the foreigner, and even the eunuch.  That’s when God had invited all people to come to His house of prayer: Isaiah 56:6–7, "(6) And the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant— (7) these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."  The whole point is that the temple was to be a place of worship; not of commerce.  People were supposed to go there and seek salvation; not encounter a sales pitch.  They were invited by God to come freely, yet the priests had set up obstacle after obstacle, in order that they might gain some corrupt profit.
    • Jesus judged it then, and there’s no question that Jesus will judge it today.  Christian leaders who take advantage of God’s people for financial gain earn the judgment they will surely reap!  Pastors are to be those who love and shepherd the flock of God; not fleece them for our own benefit.
    • That said, keep in mind that the primary issue was a lack of reverence for God.  The things of God were degraded into cheap tools to feed the greed of the priests – but that sort of devaluation of God’s holiness can be done by anyone.  It’s perhaps easy to think of abuses on so-called “Christian” TV that does this, but we need to think about issues closer to home. Maybe we rip Scripture from its context to make us feel good about “what it means to me.”  Maybe we treat the assembly of the saints in worship as a side-show, where we go to get an emotional-high, or we go merely to have our own needs met without any thought as to what God might have us to for Him or for others…if we show up at all.  Maybe we treat the Bible as a spiritual buffet line, picking which commands of God we want to obey & which we want to ignore.  All of that devalues the holiness of God.  It moves God from the position of ultimate authority to us.  Instead of us giving our worship and devotion to Him, it places our attention on ourselves, for the things we can gain…exactly as the priests and merchants did in the temple.
    • What can be done about it?  The same thing that happened with the temple: we need the cleansing of Jesus.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn 1:9)  Dwell in the word of God richly, in order that Jesus might continue to cleanse us by His washing, and sanctify us (purify us, set us apart) by His truth. (Eph 5:26, Jn 17:17)  Bottom line: submit yourself humbly & wholly to God.  Ask Him do His work within you for His glory, and He will do it.
  • It was quite the beginning to Jesus’ week in Jerusalem!  Of course, things didn’t end there – not even in the temple.  Once the temple was cleansed, then Jesus could start using it for its intended purpose.  Vs. 47…

47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

  • Vs. 47 begins with a summary statement.  Note that this isn’t a specific description of a specific day; it’s a general statement of what Jesus was doing “daily.”  For the next several days, if someone in Jerusalem wanted to find Jesus, all they needed to do was to go to the temple.  Generally speaking, that’s where He was: teaching.
  • Never forget that Jesus is a teacher!  For as many miracles as Jesus performed, what He did most often was teach the word of God.  Even on the occasions when He healed as many people as came to Him in a single day, Jesus was still teaching the entire time (as Luke has often showed).  Physical healings would last for a time – perhaps all the way until the person’s eventual death – but each of them had an expiration point.  What people needed most was a spiritual healing that brought them from eternal death to eternal life, and that only comes as a result of Biblical teaching of the gospel of God.  As Paul wrote to the Romans: Romans 10:17, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek."
    • The teaching of God’s word and the gospel was, and is still necessary!  If the priests and the people had been continually submitted to God’s word in the Scriptures, there’s no way that the corruption in the temple would have ever arisen in the first place, much less return after Jesus’ initial cleansing.  What is the best way for us to remain pure, fit to be used by God for His glory?  Us being submitted to His word, filled with the Holy Spirit, grounded in the gospel of Christ.  We need the word of God.  This is His primary way of speaking to us, and equipping us for every single thing we face in life. (2 Tim 3:17)
    • When Paul was writing to the Romans, his primary context was obviously the gospel.  That is the most important word of God.  Even all, all of God’s word is necessary for us.  When Jesus taught in the temple & around Judea, He obviously taught the gospel, but He taught vastly more than only news of how-to-be-saved.  He taught about prayer – what it means to live by faith – the importance of obedience – the value of humility, etc.  Jesus taught all kinds of things regarding Gods’ word because all of God’s word is necessary & edifying for us.  Again, His major & primary activity during the course of His earthly ministry was teaching
  • There were two responses to the teaching of Jesus.  The first was from the Jewish leadership, who rejected Him outright and “sought to destroy Him.”  By this point, there were no “and’s, if’s, or but’s” in regard to the intent of the priests, scribes, and Pharisees regarding Jesus.  They didn’t want Him somehow corrected or deflected; they wanted Him dead.  They sought out any opportunity they had to destroy Him – both in His reputation, and in His person.  Ch. 20 will detail their failed attempts to discredit Jesus; Ch. 22 will detail their conspiracy with Judas Iscariot which actually does lead to Jesus’ death.  Does that mean they were ultimately successful?  No…it means they were only able to do what God the Father allowed them to do.  Until the timing was right, they weren’t allowed to do anything at all (as Luke notes in vs. 48).  Try as they might, they couldn’t do anything against Jesus until God let them…and then He freed them to accomplish the fullness of their wickedness.
    • The point is that God was always in control.  That’s a theme that becomes incredibly important to remember as the narration of the final week of Jesus continues.  As bad as things get, God never stops being sovereign – His ultimate plan for salvation is never derailed.  The things that happen are things that God allows to happen, and all of it is used to glorify Himself, His Son, and to offer to us His salvation.
    • God is always in control!  Never forget!
  • The second response to Jesus’ teaching came from many of the regular people in Jerusalem.  They didn’t balk at Jesus’ words; they hung upon every one of them.  Luke writes that they “were very attentive to hear Him.”  The word for the NKJV’s “very attentive” literally means “to suspend something from an area” (BDAG) or “to hang from” (ESL).  It could be said that they were “hanging upon what they were hearing” from Jesus.  They couldn’t get enough…at least for a time.  What Jesus said, they received gladly.  They were, as Jesus quoted back to Satan in His wilderness temptation, living on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Mt 4:4)
    • Is that what describes you?  Do you hang upon His words – do you cling to His teaching?  The necessity for the word of God in the life of a Christian cannot be overemphasized!  If we don’t value His word so much that we cling to it – if we don’t hang to it as our very life – we need to ask ourselves why not.  At that point, something’s wrong.
    • Think about it: If God’s word is truly our daily bread, then something is terribly wrong if we can go months (or even weeks) without eating & never feel any effect.  A person might be able to fast from food for a time, but eventually some kind of hunger pang is going to kick in.  At some point, life kicks in & your ability to function suffers.  If there’s not, it means you’re not dependent on it in the first place.  From a food perspective, that means something is terribly wrong…our basic humanity is off.  The same principle is true from a spiritual perspective.  A Christian who is unaffected by a lack of Biblical spiritual food has something terribly wrong – that’s simply part of who we are as born-again believers.  At that point, there is something foundational that is wrong.
    • What do you do about it?  Start feeding!  People who make foundational dietary changes often have trouble going back to the way things were. Their bodies start to desire the good stuff.  If someone is a true born-again Christian, when they start feeding upon the Scriptures, hanging upon the words of God, then his/her spirit is going to start desiring the good stuff.
  • Notice what had to happen for the people to react this way to Jesus: nothing.  As long as they could see Him clearly, and hear His words for themselves, that was enough.  When Jesus is lifted up, He draws people to Himself.  No gimmicks, no marketing required.  When we as the church clearly demonstrate the person, love, and truth of Jesus Christ, others around us won’t be able to help from seeing Him.  And that’s good news!  After all, it may be their last chance to be saved.  If they don’t see Jesus in us, they might not see Jesus at all.  Let His word dwell richly in you, in order that you might show Him clearly to others!

Conclusion:
Jesus wept – Jesus cleansed – Jesus taught.  He wept over the people and city who would soon reject Him and face terrible punishment and judgment.  He cleansed the temple from the defilement that existed due to the devaluation of God’s holiness on the part of the priests.  He taught daily in the temple, giving people their final opportunity to hear the word of God and to respond to it.

When Jesus showed up in Jerusalem, He gave the people their last chance to be saved.  Would they take it?  Will we?

For some of us, we responded to the gospel of Jesus years ago, gratefully turning from our sins & believing upon Him as our Lord & Savior.  For us, it would be tempting to read these verses & think of how wonderfully they might apply to someone else.  After all, He doesn’t need to weep over us – we know Him.  We’ve not lost our chance to be saved, because we are saved.  Praise God!  Even so, consider this:

  • Just because we’re saved doesn’t mean we’re hanging upon the words of God.  Just because we’re born-again believers doesn’t mean we never devalue God’s holiness.  We can fall just as much into those traps as anyone else, and we need to take heed.  Take stock of your own walk with Jesus – make the adjustments needed to ensure you’re relying fully upon Him, and His grace.  Make sure you’re seeking His glory & not your own, giving Him the reverence and worship He’s due.
  • What we’ve heard is what others need to hear.  You may have responded to your last chance, but many others have not.  We need to reach them with the good news of Jesus before they’ve reached their last chance.  It’s been observed that 150,000 people die every single day.  How many of those have perished without ever responding to the news of Jesus?  How many have never even heard the message of Jesus?  Beloved, we are the ones to take it to them…may we do so with faithful purpose!

For others of you, this is your opportunity to be saved.  And who knows?  Perhaps it is your last chance.  Don’t waste it!  While you hear the invitation of Christ to respond in faith, do it!  While you feel the leading of God the Holy Spirit, move!  If today you understand that Jesus truly is the Son of God who died for your sins at the cross & rose back to life from the grave – if today you understand that He offers true & eternal forgiveness of sin to those who ask – then this is something to which you must respond.  Turn away from your sins in repentance, and believe upon Jesus.  Trust Him alone for the forgiveness of sins.  The Bible makes His promise clear: Romans 10:9, "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." 

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