|SIX PRESSING REASONS WHY
YOU SHOULD BE SAVED TODAY
|By Dr. John R. Rice
"Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, "Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: "When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. "So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; "While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation."—Heb. 3:7–15. "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."—II Cor. 6:2.
These Scriptures give strong reasons why every unconverted person should turn to Christ today. The Holy Ghost has a message, and it can be summed up in one word: "TODAY!"
"The Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts." Readers are to "exhort one another daily, while it is called To day." And again, "While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." The message of the Holy Spirit of God to every lost sinner is, "Today!" Be saved today!
Again the same message is brought in II Corinthians 6:2: "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." What time is the acceptable time for a sinner to be saved? "Behold, now is the accepted time," answers the Scripture. When is the day of salvation? "Behold, now is the day of salvation." Unsaved friend, I beg you to consider some pressing reasons why you ought to be saved today. Not one single soul ought to lay this printed message down until you have said "yes" to God, until you have earnestly confessed yourself a sinner and depended on Him for mercy and claimed Him as your own Saviour! Today is the day to be saved!
I. If It Is Ever Right to Be Saved, Then Be Saved Today
No one has a right to go on in sin.
No one would claim that it is all right to continue a life of murder, then just before he dies, quit murdering people.
No one would claim that it is all right to go on stealing and being dishonest for a season, then at some convenient time, quit being a thief.
But the most horrible of all sins is the sin of rejecting Christ. If you have not accepted Him, you have rejected Him. If you are not for Him, you are against Him. If you are not saved, you are lost. And as long as you continue unsaved, you are living in deliberate and willful sin, the most horrible sin.
Never try to defend your delay in accepting Christ. To postpone your salvation is like the murderer who continues to murder; the blasphemer who continues spewing out oaths; the adulterer who continues his vile sin. Not to be saved is an open sin, a willful sin of disobedience to and rebellion against God.
Anyone who will admit that one ought to be saved must admit that he too ought to be saved. Anyone who will admit that he ever ought to be a Christian, must admit that he ought to be one today.
On the general ground, then, if it is right to be a Christian, it is right to be one today; and if it is right to accept Christ, honest people ought to accept Him now, turn from their sins and trust Him for salvation. If repentance is commanded, then sinners ought to repent this very day.
The very moment you know you are a sinner, you ought to flee from your sins and turn to the Lord Jesus for mercy and salvation. Not to do so is deliberate sin, continual sin, sin indefensible and inexcusable.
II. You Ought to Be Saved Today Because Today the Holy Spirit Calls
"The Holy Ghost saith, To day…." Then the rest of the statement follows, "…if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts."
Are you interested in what the Holy Spirit says? Are you interested in the will of God? Then hear what the Holy Spirit says—that today is the day to be saved! An alarming example is given. Sinners are urged:
"Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
"When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. "Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
"So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest."
The children of Israel in the wilderness who did not hearken to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who kept telling them, "Today, believe in God! Today, trust Him for salvation!" died unsaved in the wilderness. You should not be like them, lest your heart be hardened and lest God’s wrath fall on you too!
To the wicked Jews at Jerusalem who had crucified the Saviour, then would not hear His ministers, Stephen cried out, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye" (Acts 7:51).
What was wrong with those Christ-rejecters? They resisted the Holy Spirit! They would not listen to the call of God through the Spirit. Hence the terrible punishment that came on Jerusalem in a.d. 70 when it was destroyed by Titus; and the Roman army came on a nation that would not listen to God’s voice through the Spirit. Individuals who died unsaved could only blame their hard hearts and the fact that they would not listen to the call of the Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God says "To day," then it is time for sinners to be saved today.
Doubtless in your own heart the Holy Spirit says you should be saved today. This very day God’s Spirit speaks to you through the Scriptures, through this printed sermon. He moves upon your heart to accept Christ and be saved. To dally, to trifle, to delay is to continue in sin. Such delay, such disobedience, such resistance to the Spirit of God may harden your heart and doom you forever to Hell, the place prepared for Satan and his angels. Heed today the calling of the Spirit of God!
III. The Danger of a Hardened Heart Makes It Urgent to Be Saved Today
The Holy Spirit urges, "To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts." And again, "But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
The hardening of the heart is the most terrible calamity that can come upon a lost sinner this side of eternal destruction.
One reason the great majority of all those who are ever saved are saved in childhood is that the child has theadvantage of a tender heart, a tender conscience that grieves over sin. The child is easily moved by the fear of punishment. He knows that it is dangerous to go on in sin. Only as one violates his conscience, goes against his reason, ignores the call of God and the principles of honor and righ-teousness, can he harden his heart and become accustomed to sin. Only by resisting the Spirit of God and continuing in the willful sin of rejecting Christ can one get a hardened heart.