‘Behold, now is the day of salvation’, v.2, is a bold and true claim! It is the day of salvation – Jesus hasn’t returned yet because He loves the world and wants as many as possible to turn to Him and enjoy eternal life.
Do you believe it is the day of salvation? For your spouse, your kids, your grandkids – loved ones you would desperately love to be part of God’s glorious kingdom? Why are we not always experiencing it? Paul follows his bold statement with the statement that he has put no obstacles in anyone’s way. Could it be that we put some obstacles in the way of loved ones and strangers coming to faith?
Paul makes a challenging list:
- Endurance – he keeps going and going. Thomas Edison was once asked how he carried on trying to invent the light bulb after 1,000 failures. He answered that he found 1,000 ways not to make it. Winston Churchill defined success as going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm! Keep going!
- Purity – there is something attractive about a life that imbibes the power of the Spirit to be holy. Integrity is attractive to people. Be pure!
- Knowledge – do you know how to answer questions? Or who to point friends to? What books/podcasts they may find helpful on their journey?
- Patience – a demonstration of patience in the face of unbelief may change the perspective of the non-believer, though it might not be immediate. It may help to remember all the ways others have been patient with you during times of difficulty.
- Kindness – kindness to others is a powerful witness of God’s goodness in us. The basics of being helpful and thankful are powerful.
- The Holy Spirit – oh, how we need Him and His power in us!
- Genuine love – our friends and family aren’t evangelism projects, they are people we love and God loves!
- Truthful speech – stop lying. Trump’s lawyer Rudi Gulliani’s daft outburst “Truth isn’t truth” is not true! Be truthful even when it costs.
- Power of God – believe God for healing as we meet with people suffering sickness.
- Weapons of righteousness – be alert for the enemy and his schemes, be armed with the Word of God, be confident of your identity in Christ, be clean in the outworking of grace. Be holy because you are already holy.
- Speaking freely – perhaps people don’t come to faith in this day of salvation because they have not heard us – faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). St Francis of Assisi’s quote “Preach the gospel, use words if you have to”, is nonsense! People need acts of love and words of truth.
- Don’t be yoked with unbelievers – the yoke was a piece of wood that connected two oxen together as they pulled a plough – it speaks of not entering into marriage with an unbeliever (balance that with ‘stay as you are’, 1 Cor 7:20). If you are single and desperate for a partner, hold out for a believer . Trust God in it and He will come through.
Let’s go for it in this day of salvation!