For He (God) says, "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2
The 80-year-old man showed up at the Chinese railroad station in the town of Yongkang.
It was his intention to take a railroad trip, and he knew the price of his ticket should be somewhere around 12.5 Yuan, which would be $2 American.
Expecting to get a handful of change, the old man handed the cashier a 500-yuan bill. Taking a look at the currency, the ticket master quickly handed it back and said, "I can't accept this."
The old man was shocked. He wanted to know why. Was it because the cashier didn't have enough change for such a large bill? Was it because the old man's money seemed counterfeit? No, neither of those reasons were the reason the money wouldn't buy the ticket.
So what was the problem? The cashier tried to explain, "I can't accept this bill because it was printed in 1943. Seventy years ago the country's founder, Sun Yat-sen was president, and the nation was struggling to be a democracy. But those days are gone now. Simply stated, the cashier said, "I can't accept this money, because it no longer is money. The bill which once was valuable is almost worthless today. Now you may be able to sell the bill to a collector, but you can't use it to get you to where you want to go."
As this devotion is being written, the Lord Jesus continues to offer forgiveness and salvation to all who are brought to faith in Him as their Lord and Savior. The Christ has sacrificed Himself, has defeated sin, Satan and death, so all who believe might be brought into heaven.
But ... and there is a but ... but the day is going to come when some people are going to be surprised the doors to heaven are shut to them. On that day, Judgment Day -- Too-Late-Day -- folks will find they have missed the opportunity for heaven.
It is not the first time such a thing has happened.
Thousands of years before Jesus gave Himself for our salvation, Noah preached repentance to a sinful world. In those messages Noah warned of the disaster that was going to come, and promised life to all who listened. You know what happened then. Nobody listened, and the Lord shut the doors to the ark. From that moment on, no amount of pleading, no calls for help were successful. The time of repentance and believing had come and gone.
This is why St. Paul wrote the warning that serves as our text for today. In 2 Corinthians 6:2 the Lord tells us, "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the favorable time; now is the day of salvation."
Yes, now is the day to believe, and now is the day for us to share with the world the story of salvation, which comes through the Savior.
Now is the day, because there is a day coming when it will be too late.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I pray for the lost. While there is still time, may the Holy Spirit bring them to faith and forgiveness, which is freely given in Jesus. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries