Read the headlines or watch the news and you might think today is doomsday. There are riots, sex trafficking, global warming, and a pandemic, just to name a few.
Yet, in the midst of all of this, the Bible tells us from God’s perspective, we live in the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.” So, what does it mean that today is the day of salvation?
We live our lives one day at a time. Yesterday is gone. Today is the only day we have to be saved by the grace of God because we are not promised tomorrow.
The question is will you accept that God is real? Will you accept that He created this world? Will you accept that He has rules and standards He expects us to live by?
Will you accept the fact you need a Savior? Or are you too comfortable thinking, “I’m a good person, there’s no need to worry about when I die because I’ll go to heaven?”
We All Have a ‘Mr. Hyde’ Lurking Within
Here’s the truth, like the story of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the book reveals something in all of us. Like Jekyll and Hyde, we have two different persons trapped in our body: The put together person everyone sees and the darker person lurking just under the surface.
Behind the put-together person, the other snaps angrily at its spouse, gossips about a co-worker, is filled with jealousy over a neighbor’s new car, and ignores the need right in front of them — the homeless person asking for help, the single mom counting quarters for a gallon of milk.
We make excuses for our lack of action and lack of love for others. We compare our lives to others and think, “I’m not as bad as that person,” and think we are actually better than others. We then think we can somehow deal with “Mr. Hyde” on our own, but we can’t.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot take him down on our own. Why? Because when sin entered the world, we as mankind were cursed.
The Bible says that God has a plan and human beings are critical to that plan. Second, God is holy, and He cannot abide sin. Third, every human being has sinned and continues to sin.
We Need a Savior
The difficulty for us is that living for God requires sinless perfection, and none of us are perfect thanks to our sin nature, “Mr. Hyde.” So, God cannot accomplish His goals without first fixing humankind. That is why we need a Savior — and Scripture identifies Him as Jesus Christ (Luke 2:11; Titus 2:13–14).
We need Jesus because we need to be made holy: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). We need Jesus to put “Mr. Hyde” to death.
Jesus does not simply make us better people; nor does He improve our godliness or strengthen our holiness — we have none to begin with.
Rather, He makes us completely new creations. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
When Jesus was handed the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah at the synagogue in Nazareth, He spoke these startling words:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61:1-2).
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:17-21).
Isaiah 61 goes on to say a day of judgment is coming when Jesus does return. Until then, we are living in the year of the Lord’s favor because Jesus died and rose for our sins.
The Day of Salvation
Once we understand that we need Jesus, we understand what it means to repent. Repenting means to ask for forgiveness of sins and to turn from them. The Bible’s command to repent is accompanied by an urgent appeal to do it now.
In Acts 28, Paul quotes Isaiah 49:8, which speaks of “the day of salvation.” Then he says not to delay: “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” In other words, today is the day of salvation.
God wants all of us to be his children. He wants all of us to be saved. None of us know the day or the hour that we will pass, which is why the day of salvation is an urgent call! He doesn’t want us to delay — not for one minute.
Every time we choose not to repent, we continue to live in sin and our hearts get harder.
So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:7–8).
We become desensitized to sin and the evil that is around us and it gives Mr. Hyde the edge within us.
Every time a person says “no” to what’s right, it becomes a little easier to say “no” the next time, too. There’s a gradual hardening of the heart until we are numb to God calling us to himself.
At some point, it will be past the point of no return. James 4:17 reminds us, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
We dare not delay repentance especially when we know the difference between right and wrong. Once we know something is a sin, we are responsible for our actions and the state of our hearts.
Repentance should take place as soon as the Holy Spirit brings the sin to your attention. In other words, today is the day of salvation. “Today, if only you would hear his voice, do not harden your hearts,” (Psalm 95:7–8).
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Heather Riggleman is an award-winning journalist and a regular contributor for Crosswalk. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 22 years. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and a contributor to several books. You can find her at www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.