The Apostle Paul indicated the urgency of doing what God would have man to do with these words, “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). Webster’s Seventh Collegiate Dictionary defines salvation as the “saving of man from the power and effects of sin.” According to Romans 6:7, salvation means being “freed from the law or rule of sin.” Salvation is described in the context of New Testament Scripture as having four characteristics. (1) When one receives salvation, he has become a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). (2) When one receives salvation, he has been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18). (3) When one receives salvation, he has received forgiveness of sin (2 Corinthians 5:19). (4) And when one receives salvation, he has received God’s grace (2 Corinthians 6:1).  As we think of what Paul had to say in 2 Corinthians 6:2, we are confronted with the question, “Why is ‘today’ or ‘now’ the time of salvation?”

THE DANGER OF DEATHThe living should remember that death is coming (Ecclesiastes 7:2; Hebrews 9:27). From Scripture we note that there is just a “step” between life and death (1 Samuel 20:3). Perhaps that “step” is an hour, a day or a week away. Only God knows! As we are well aware, there are many ways for life on earth to be swiftly ended. One certain thing about earthly life is that it is uncertain (James 4:13, 14). Experiences of life should convince us of the uncertainty of life and death. Reports in newspapers constantly remind us of death. Deaths in our families should make us consider the matter more seriously. As we contemplate this, we are not seeking to be morbid; it is being realistic!

THE DANGER OF SIN HARDENING THE HEARTIf there were no danger of death, it would still be foolish to put off obedience.  Why? Because sin can harden the heart of man to the point where he no longer sees the need to obey (Hebrews 3:12, 13). The reality is, man’s “conscience” (consciousness, ASV, Hebrews 10:2) can, and often is seared (1 Timothy 4:1-4). One can get “past feeling”, as seen by the words of the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 4:19). Erring Christians face the same danger (Hebrews 6:4). If one knows he should obey Jesus, now is the time, as there may not be that realization in the future.

THE DANGER OF JESUS FINDING ONE UNPREPARED WHEN HE COMESHis coming is certain (Hebrews 9:27, 29; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:10, 11). When? No one knows (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4). For the unprepared, Christ will come as a “thief in the night.” Christians know that they cannot know when the Lord will come and consequently realize that they must live in a state of preparation. Peter wrote of scoffers who seemed to laugh at the idea of Jesus coming again (2 Peter 3:1-11). Some scoff orally while others do so by their actions. One who refuses to obey the gospel believes that he will have other opportunities to obey. Felix is a tragic example of one who waited on a more “convenient” time (Acts 24:25). The erring Christian believes that he will have time to return to his first love. But that is not always true.

If one believes God’s Word, the danger of delay is evident and he will delay no longer. The believers and those who love God and value their souls will come to the Lord in obedience when the opportunity presents itself.