NOW is the Day of Salvation
- By Gary Amirault
NIV 2 Corinthians 6:1 As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. 2 For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.
Evangelists and preachers have used this verse to bring a person to a decision for Christ so that they may have eternal life on the other side of the grave. But I don't think that's what the writer really had in mind at all when he wrote those words.
The Greek word "sozo" means healing and deliverance to make a person whole again. One can be "saved" from depression or lusts or addictions which robs one of the fullness of the life God wants us to enjoy. Traditions of men and teachings of demons can also rob us of the fullness God desires for us. The primary meaning of the Hebrew form of the word often translated "salvation," is the word "yeshua," which in English is Joshua or Jesus. Jesus IS our salvation. A primary verb meaning of yeshua is ''to be roomy.''
The idea behind the Biblical (NOT theological) sense of the words for salvation speak of deliverance, wealth, keeping, saving, benefiting, preserving the inner being, help, healing, escape, etc. The source of these things can come from anyone; deliverance can come from your neighbor, a judge, an army, a circumstance, God and even something like a simple change of mind. To receive salvation means to have one's heart enlarged, to be made roomy so that God can fill it with His fullness.
I think this 83 years old woman finally came to the understanding of ''salvation'' and when one receives it. I hope the reader doesn't have to wait until they are facing the grave before they receive and enjoy the salvation which Jesus meant for us to have each and every day of our lives.
''The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.'' (John 10:10)
Written by an 83-year-old woman to her friend:
''I'm reading more and dusting less. I'm sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.
I'm spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I'm not 'saving' anything; we use our good China and Crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.
I'm not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
'Someday' and 'one of these days' are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I'm not sure what others would've done had they known that they wouldn't be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, or for whatever their favorite food was. I'm guessing; I'll never know.
It's those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn't tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special.
Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.''-endquote. (Author Unknown)
Stop thinking that you must wait until death before you can enjoy your salvation. He came to make you blameless and whole in THIS life so that His joy and YOUR joy might be full. Live the miracle of life in the Spirit that Jesus brought into this world. If all we have is words about how great our salvation will be on the other side of the grave, then we should question whether we have salvation at all.
"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the FULL MEASURE OF MY JOY WITHIN THEM.'' (John 17:13, NIV)
It is sad, but true, that the majority of the Jews in Jesus' Day missed the ''day of their salvation.'' They missed it because they had false expectations. They had false expectations because they read the Scriptures through the definitions and meanings the Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers and scribes put to them. Today we would call them Seminary Professors, Bible teachers, Pastors, Superintendents, and Sunday School teachers. They were seduced by the ''traditions of men'' and the ''doctrines of demons.'' Jesus said there is something more powerful than the Word of God. ''What could that possibly be'' you might ask?. The traditions and teachings of MEN AND WOMEN! (Matt. 15:6-9)
We should not be too harsh in our opinions of those Jews who missed their day of salvation. Most Christians are missing their Day of their Salvation as well. Most Christians expect to receive their salvation in the sweet by-and-by. They put on grimacing faces showing how difficult it is to survive in this evil and corrupt world. Their faces look like prunes. They can't wait to fly out of here soon so that the world finally gets what they think it has coming to them. Their hope of ''fullness of joy'' is in the sweet by-and-by. They have been seduced into error just like the Jews of old. TODAY is the Day of Salvation! NOW is deliverance! Today Jesus wants our Joy to be full so that the world that God Himself LOVES (not hates), might be drawn to Him.
Prunes are fine for old folks with constipation. Our drawn, tight, worry-wrinkled, angry faces don't really manifest joy very often, do they? Why not? Because we believe that this good stuff is on the other side of the grave. We have no faith that we are to manifest this stuff NOW. And without faith - it is impossible to please God. It is by faith--belief that we can and should have these things NOW that we begin to appropriate them.
We, Christians, have been robbed just like the Jews of old. Their traditions and doctrines prevented them from seeing the Day of their Salvation. So, too, have our traditions prevented us from receiving all that God desires for us.
But today is a NEW DAY. Let us make our hearts ROOMY for all the goodness that the Lord wishes to give to this world through us. Let us come humbly before our Maker in full realization that we have greatly fallen short (sinned) from manifesting that which Jesus would like to express to this world through us. We have filled our houses (minds and hearts) with traditions that are man-made. We have divided ourselves from each other with thousands of rituals, creeds, articles of faith, etc. which have created hundreds of denominations proving to the world that ''church'' could not possibly be Christ's body because the body of Christ is NOT divided! (Matt. 12:25; 1 Cor. 1:10-13)
No denomination has the whole truth and never will. So why do we divide into denominations that are against each other when Jesus and Paul made it absolutely clear that Christians should NOT divide into sects? Well, we've succumbed to the same demon-inspired traditions the Jews were overcome by---traditions of men and teachings of demons. ''I am of Paul, I am of Apollos.'' ''I am of Luther, I am of Calvin.'' Get it?
Shall we get saved (delivered) from these abominations which prevent us from becoming ''roomy'' enough for the Holy Spirit to fill us to overflowing with His deliverances, His healing, His wealth, His protection, His preserving---His Salvation? It's up to you. You have to take a step in faith AWAY from these traditions to make your heart roomy for Christ.
What do I hope to accomplish with a writing like this which I'm sure has probably offended many Christians, especially many in leadership positions in many denominations? A man recently sent me a copy of his testimonial. In part of it, he came to a place in his walk where some people pointed out some error's in his denominations understanding of the Scriptures. Rather than go back into his camp for ammunition to rebuff his opponents, he went to Jesus Christ Himself with a heart willing to be made roomy. He had a sincere desire to know the truth. And Christ showed him that his opponents were in the right and that he and his denomination were in the wrong.
Accepting this truth meant that all his religious friends would turn against him and probably throw him out of their church. Would the ''fear or reverence'' of man prevent him from receiving the truth from Jesus which would enlarge His understanding of who God really is? Or would the pressure to conform to false traditions and the fear of rejection cause him to reject the truth?
This man overcame the power of rejection from his fellow church-members and chose to pursue the truth. Unfortunately, most Christians won't. The fear of man-the desire to be respected among people-the need to ''fit in'' is a mighty force-mightier than the word of God according to Jesus. (Matt. 15:6-9)
May this writing give the reader a little more courage to walk away from the traditions of men and women to make room from the true Word of God, Jesus Christ. May Jesus (Joshua, Yeshua=salvation, deliverance) be YOUR Salvation TODAY! May you have the boldness in your walk in this earth to do the right thing. May the faith of Abraham, who had the courage to walk away from the idolatry of his day be sent to you even today, so that you, too, will walk away from the many idols which beset us so that we can truly ''be saved.'' The world must see ONE BODY full of grace and truth, not 30,000 denominations, divisions, sects, etc. We must leave our idolatrous houses behind and seek ONE city whose Maker is God. Jesus prayed that we be one even as He and His Father were one. (John 17:11)
''I tell you, NOW is the time of God's favor, NOW is the day of salvation.'' (2 Cor. 6:2, NIV) Most Jews missed the Day of their Salvation-don't miss yours. Enlarge your tent. Remove your idols that the king of Glory may come in. (Isaiah 54:1-9; Ez. 14 chapter 14; Psalm 24:7-10)) Make your heart ''roomy'' that it might receive the fullness of joy which will also make Jesus full of joy as well. (John 17:13)