The Importance Of Now

The Importance Of Now

Todays Blog is entitled The Importance of Now, and it comes out of a reading from St. Pauls Epistle, 2 Corinthians 6:1-2; “For he saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee; and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

And that little word “ Now” from Paul is an important word. “Now” is an urgent word. It is a word that is typical of God’s message on every page of His Book. Now is the time to get right. Now is the time to repent. Now is the time to believe. Now is the time to confess. Now is the time to be baptized. Now is the time to join God’s Church. Now is the time to call upon His name. Now is the time to pray. Now is the time to be saved. It is now!

One reason why that “now” is so important, and one reason that God insists that now is the time for you to be saved, “now is the day of salvation.” [2 Corinthians 6:2], is because of this: there is an unpardonable sin

[Matthew 12:31-32]. “Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.”

What is this sin that cannot be forgiven? I will admit I do not know all about it and I am not saying I understand it completely and I may struggle to describe it to you in its every form, but I know there is in this world a sin unto death. And I know one other thing about it: it has to do with the thing that you are playing with. It has to do with unbelief.

Saint Hilary, Chrystostom, and Severas seem to agree: “It follows that nothing is so beyond the pale of forgiveness as to deny Christ“ this is to forsake the nature of the Spirit of the Father residing in him. Any insult aimed at Christ is aimed at God, because God is in Christ and Christ is in God.”

Saint Augustine says, “This is the blasphemy that will not be forgiven: persistent and ongoing impenitence that continues absolutely to resist the Holy Spirit even after baptism.”

Jesus said, “He that is not with me, is against me.... Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.” [Matthew 12:30-32]. The Pharisees said, “He is not true; He doesn’t speak the truth. He is not God’s representative.” They said, “He is not what He says He is.” They refused Him! And Jesus said to the unbelieving leaders of Israel, there is an unpardonable sin! It has to do with unbelief.

John the beloved said: “He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.” [1 John 5:16].

There are adult children that a Mother or Father was burdened for. Every time they say their rosary together they bowed in intercession for that adult child, and year after year God’s Spirit pled with those children, and year after year those faithful catholic mom and dads remembered them in prayer. And then the day came when nobody fervently prayed for them anymore, there was no burden for them anymore; they barely mentioned them in their prayers. Those children were lost. Those children were forgotten.

Again I say that I don’t know all about that sin mentioned in [Matthew 12:30-32] I just know one thing: it has to do with unbelief. And to the lost soul that needs Jesus, that lost soul that needs to come back to the Church, there may be a burden on your heart, and there may be somebody praying for you, and there may be somebody interested in you; but my friend, there may come a time when there is no interest in your soul, no burden in your heart, when there is not one in this earth who agonizes before God for the salvation of your soul. So I repeat the word, “Now”, “now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Here is a second reason why “Now” is so important. God says that His Spirit will not always strive with a man.

Genesis 6:3. “My spirit shall not remain in man for ever, because he is flesh, and his days shall be a hundred and twenty years.” Time and time again we see that the scriptures corroborate these words spoken by God in Genesis. In Hosea 4:17 we see that, God sent His prophet to the Northern Kingdom. And after Hosea had preached and poured out his heart, and there were no men to repent—they stayed in their evil way—God said, “Ephraim (all the kingdom of the north) is joined to idols; let him alone [Hosea 4:17]. I am through. I am done.” God had sent Ahijah and Micaiah to the northern tribes [1 Kings 11:29, 22:8]; He had sent Elijah [1 Kings 17:1], and Elisha [2 Kings 3:11], and Amos [Amos 7:14-15]. Last of all God sent Hosea, and when they refused to repent God said, “Let them alone. I have sent My last prophet” [Hosea 4:17]. The Assyrians came down and destroyed their race [2 Kings 17:5-23]. “My Spirit will not always strive with a man” [Genesis 6:3].

Look in the life of Jesus. Our Master said, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet. Amen I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” [Matthew 10:14-15].

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” [Hebrews 10:31]. The scriptures are full of this awful word. Paul begins his treatise on salvation to the Romans; he begins it with a threefold chastisement of the men that he had watched, and this was his judgment about them: “Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened… God gave them up” [Romans 1:21, 24]. God turned them over. Saint Paul continues... “Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator..." and God gave them up. He “delivered them up to shameful affections.” [Romans 1:25-26]. If you have read anything in ancient literature that described the Romans to you, you will know what Paul meant; that they turned away in unbelief, in filth, and in iniquity, and God gave them up. Paul continues a few verses later: “And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” [Romans 1:28]. If men persist in unbelief, if men persist in iniquity, God lets them go. He doesn’t stop them. They die in their sins. [Romans 1:21-32]

Listen once again to Saint Pauls words...“And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them (strong delusions), to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.” [2 Thessalonians 2:10-12]. Can you imagine a thing like that in God’s Book? Because they had no love for the truth, that they might be saved, God sent them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie? [2 Thessalonians 2:10-11].

Here’s a third reason the word “ Now”, is so important. There comes a time when you can’t repent if you want to.

“Oh, Father, I’ve got lots of time, I don’t need to make things right with God right now. I am busy building my portfolio, I am enjoying my teen life right now, I can come to Christ later, when my life is settled down.” Listen it takes a regenerated heart to be saved. It takes a conviction of sin from God to be saved. “No man can come unto Me, except the Father draw him” [John 6:44].

You look at what God’s Book says: “Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith: To day if you shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation; in the day of temptation in the wilderness” [Hebrews 3:7-8]. “They could not enter in because of unbelief” [Hebrews 3:19]. He is talking about the Hebrew children, in the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Numbers, who came to Kadesh-Barnea. And He said, “This is the Promised Land. Enter in. But they said: “No way we're afraid because we see giants over there!” [Numbers 13:33]. They refused to enter in. God said, “How long will this people provoke Me and how long, how long will they tempt Me? Not a one, not a one shall enter the Promised Land except Caleb and Joshua, the son of Nun” [Numbers 14:1-39].

When that word came to the people, they repented to the last man. They said, “Okay God We will go.” an God said, “No, you will not.” They said, “We will go anyway” [Numbers 14:40-45]. They left Kadesh-Barnea and made their way into the Promised Land, but God did not lead them. Later, weary of the enemy, in defeat, they turned their backs on Kadesh-Barnea and wandered in the wilderness until they died [Numbers 26:64-65]. You just think you can repent when you please. You just think you can! Repentance is the gift of God! [Ephesians 2:8].

One other reason why the word Now is important: because of the number of days God has graced us with.

Will we be alive tomorrow? Do you know? What could happen between now and the time I go to work and come back home?

Why does God say “now”? Come to Him now. Believe in Him now. Forsake all and follow Him now. Come back to the Church now. Why does He say now? Because we have no assurance of another day, another night. “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh” [Matthew 25:13].

I repeat. God says it is now. How life, time, and opportunity speed away. If we are ever going to pray, let’s pray now. If we are ever going to trust in Jesus, let’s trust Him now. If we are ever going to go to confess, let’s go now. If we are ever going to be a Christian, let’s be a Christian now. If we are ever going to be baptized, let it be now. If we are ever going to repent, let’s repent now. If we are ever going to become a Catholic, it is now!