26 May 2012

"There Will Be No Invitation Songs On the Day Of Judgement"

The title of this article is a quotation taken from brother Wayne Jackson’s ‘A New Testament Commentary’ and his remarks on Luke 12:35-48 regarding the watchful and foolish servants (I do recommend this one volume commentary by our beloved brother). Now this statement of truth I have known but just had never thought of it in this manner. The emphasis is on the necessity of being prepared when our Lord returns to claim His own and to judge each individual as taught in Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 2:6. Procrastination is a work of the devil. We have all heard the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” We are taught in Proverbs 27:1: “Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.” The people that the inspired writer James spoke about in chapter 4:13-17 had made ‘big plans’ about their future business but they had left God out of their proposed endeavors; so they were informed as follows: “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” In the immediate context you have this statement: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to them it is sin.” Since we do not have the promise of tomorrow we should always include in our thoughts and plans, “If the Lord wills” we shall “do this or that.”

The Heavenly Father desires “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 2:4). “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” (2 Peter 3:9). God gave His Son to die for the sins of the world (John 3:16); and the good news about His death, burial and resurrection “is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Faith in Jesus as being the divine Son of God comes through the “word of  God” (Romans 10:17; John 20:30, 31). This living active faith motives one to repent of sins and be immersed into Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:36-38).

There is danger in delay. A person should obey the commands of the gospel when they are first learned. The exhortation in Hebrews 4:7 can be applied here: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” Over the years we have had a practice of singing a song of encouragement in our worship assemblies to give opportunity for people to make known their desire, that is, to complete their obedience based on their confession of faith in Jesus Christ as being the Son of God. One song that used to be sung during the evening assemblies as well as during gospel meetings was “O Why Not Tonight” No doubt scores of sinners have responded during the singing of that grand old hymn. The lyrics really stress the need to give one’s life to Jesus while there is time. Remember, there will be no invitation songs sung on the judgment day!

O Why Not Tonight?

O do not let the word depart,
And close thine eye against the light;
Poor sinner, harden not thy heart,
Be saved, O tonight.

Tomorrow’s sun may never rise
To bless thy long deluded sight,
This is the time, O then be wise,
Be saved o tonight.

Our God in pity lingers still,
And wilt thou thus His love requite?
Renounce at once thy stubborn will:
Be saved O tonight.

Our blessed Lord refuses none
Who would to Him their souls unite;
Believe, obey the work is done;
Be saved O tonight.


O why not tonight?
O why not tonight?
Wilt thou be saved?
Then why not tonight?

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