I knew and evangelist who was checking into a motel,bone tired and anticipating a week of services. As he walked down the hall to his room, he had an urge to go back and talk to the man at the desk. He thought,” I am always wanting to talk to everyone and this would make me even more tired. I’ll talk to him tomorrow.” He did not sleep well! The next morning he went to the desk to ask when the worker from the previous evening would be on. The man replied, “Why?” ” I’m an evangelist and I just wanted to talk to him about eternal life.” “Too late”, was the reply, “He killed himself last night.”
Another evangelist was running late on the first night of a campaign and decided to wait till the next evening to have an altar call and invite people to repent and find salvation. THAT NIGHT CHICAGO BURNED TO THE GROUND. 300 people died and the campaign had to stop.
A young man I knew talked his girlfriend into using drugs along with him. He then found salvation in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to give up his drugs. She however went on to die of an overdose.
They all went on to accept the forgiveness of God and to listen far more attentively to the Spirit. They came back to the now, by God’s grace, grabbing the present encounter. So often, we trash today because we trashed yesterday, which excuses trashing tomorrow. Today is the accepted time. God loves to restore the years that the locust has eaten.
Why, when we need forgiveness so much, do we resist it so strongly? We are not even sure we will accept a God who would forgive someone as bad as we are!
You’ll have to examine yourself, are you resting in the forgiveness of God? Do you feel and act clean and pure and worthy because He has taken upon Himself all-all-all your sins? Or do you secretly believe that your sins are bigger than the finished work of Jesus on the cross? Perhaps you are afraid that:
1. If I accept forgiveness for the full debt that I owe, I lose all rights. All “right” to bitterness or blame and have to accept God’s right to forgive my enemies. See Jonah.
2.If I accept forgiveness, I owe God big time and no longer have any basis for justifying defending my rights, owning my time, judging others, feeling superior, feeling sorry for myself etc.
3. If I accept forgiveness, I lose the rational behind not serving in the kingdom, realizing that no one is worthy to serve and, since I can see that I am the least worthy, that makes me “much more necessary”. So when God calls- I should GO!