An Acceptable Time

Before the Lord created the universe, He had all of us in mind. It was His plan to create one planet in which human life could be blessed and sustained. It was only because sin entered our world that Jesus was compelled to come and rescue us. This plan of God to save us, was not an afterthought. In the mind of God, He determined that on one specific day, He would send His Son into the world to become one of us. In this next prophecy, Isaiah describes an “acceptable year,” an appointed time, a moment in human history, when our Savior would arrive and make the day of salvation a reality.

Isaiah 61:2 the LORD has anointed Me… To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…

New Testament Fulfillment:

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

2 Corinthians 6:2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

A Limited Offer

In the Old Testament, the Lord describes a period of time in which He would accept man’s repentance and a turning to the Messiah’s sacrifice for his salvation. This offer of pardon has a fixed and finite time when it will be valid. God has given all people the limit of one life to make a decision—to accept God’s offer of pardon or reject Him. If a person should die without receiving the Messiah’s sacrifice as the payment for his sins, this person will be lost forever, with no hope of redemption.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

The Grace of God, though it is far-reaching; of long in duration, and with great patience; it does have a limit. God will not strive with us over our sins and our great need for salvation, forever.

The time period in which God will hear a sinner’s repentance and plea for salvation is now; before we die; before Jesus returns to make His final judgment on the world. If anyone should remain obstinate and refuse the Lord’s offer of forgiveness, this offer will expire, and there will be no right of appeal.

Isaiah 61:2 is a proclamation by God that the acceptable time of salvation is now. The Messiah has come, and He has finished His sacrifice. The time to repent and receive Him is today. To put off this decision, even for an hour, is to jeopardize our eternal life. We do not know if we will still be alive a moment from now. God holds each one of us responsible to hear and respond to His offer of salvation.

To those who have never heard of Jesus Christ, God will rely on the witness of our conscience that He has placed into the heart of every person. He will hold each one of us accountable for the knowledge we have of our sins and our need for salvation. This is a truth that God has placed within the heart of every person. God has also placed a knowledge of Himself inside our heart, so that we are without excuse. Finally, God is known instinctively by every person, by the things that He has made. He knows that when we see the beauty of the earth, the wonder of the universe, and the miracle of human life; we all know that God exists. To deny this truth is a lie against our own conscience. God knows, that we know, and He will hold us accountable for what we do with this knowledge.

Romans 1:19-21 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…

By these two immutable truths, even those who have a very limited knowledge of the Bible, or Jesus Christ, will still be held accountable for what they do know, in their heart, as-well-as, creation.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 … He has put eternity in their hearts…

Psalms 98:2 The LORD has made known His salvation; His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations.

There will be no valid excuses heard when a person stands before God to give an account for their life. The Lord will not accept the excuses of those who claim that they didn’t know, because He has hardwired this information into our being. He has given us the Bible that contains His word, His promises, and His warning. If we choose not to read or ignore it, we will not be able to use this as an excuse. He sent people into the world with the message of salvation—to every generation. In every place of the Bible where a person stood before God, we see that they were unable to speak a word. Those who stand before the Lord simply collapsed before Him and are unable to utter a word or even stand.[1]

The unsaved will be aware of their guilt and the fact that there is no valid excuse for why they refused God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

In the Book of Revelation, John is taken to heaven to see the events of the Tribulation period that will occur on the earth. As John stands before Jesus, he falls before the feet of the Lord, unable to utter a single word.

Revelation 1:17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.”

When the Angel Gabriel tells Zechariah that he is going to have a son and that he will be the forerunner of the Messiah, Zechariah does not believe the words of the angel. Because of his unbelief, he is not able to speak until after John is born.

Luke 1:20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.

The day of salvation is today. The time when the Lord is ready to hear our prayer of repentance and our turning to Jesus Christ, is now. God loves us all. He has proven this fact beyond any doubt by giving us His only Son to die in our place. His patience, though it is long and enduring, will not last forever. There is a finite period of time in which God will hear the prayer of the sinner. There is an expiration date appointed for all of us. I pray that you will make your decision for Jesus and receive Him as your Savor, before the time allotted to you has expired.

[1] 1. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple, So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:1-5
2. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. Revelation 1:17
3. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15