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God's Light Is Green

by Julius Hovan

Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program

We welcome you to this radio broadcast of Words of Life and we are glad for the title of this radio broadcast because it is life that we try to share, life found in the precious and divine Word of God and through the person of our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ. So we are glad you have tuned in. Maybe you have someone you can call and ask them to tune in as well and both of you can receive the blessing that comes through the Word of God.

Interesting story that is told some years ago. This lady and her young son were stopped behind a lady at a red light and the light turned green, but the car in front of them didn’t move. And so the little boy leaned way out the window and hollered at her and said, “Hey, lady, it won’t get any greener.” Well, that is true in that situation. That light is as green as it is going to get. But, my friend, I want to talk to you today about the fact that God’s light is green and it will not get any greener. Well, what are we talking about?’

Number one, we are talking about the fact that God’s light is green regarding immediate salvation. The book of 2 Corinthians chapter six and verse two says: “Behold now is the accepted time. Now is the day of salvation”.

Let me remind you that now is the only hour on God’s clock regarding salvation.

You may be familiar with the story when the Lord Jesus came to the house of the sinner Zacchaeus and he said to him, “Today I must abide at your house. Today.” And when he was called down from the tree the Lord Jesus said, “Make haste and come down.” There is something urgent about this invitation of God, this invitation of the Lord Jesus, this invitation of the gospel to be received. And the only time we have it is now. Indeed, God’s light is green regarding immediate salvation.

And it is so beautifully said in Luke chapter 19 and verse nine when Jesus went into the house of Zacchaeus and shared with him his plan and program for service to God and Jesus said because Zacchaeus responded in faith he said, “This day is salvation come to this house.” How about your house, my friend? Is it possible that you have not become a Christian? Is it possible that you became a Christian some time ago and you allowed Satan and the temptations of the world to draw you back out into it? What a terrible picture that is. Well, the invitation of the Lord Jesus as he told in that parable in Luke 14. Come, for all things are ready. And we might want to add the word to that if we may, all things are ready now for you to receive salvation.

Off the coast of Scotland in the Orkney Islands, residents there harvest the eggs of the seabirds. Now these birds nest among the high, steep rocky ledges of those mountains and hills. And so it is quite a chore to harvest those eggs. Some men were gathering those eggs one day and this man saw a very large nest about 100 feet below where he was. And so he put on his harness. He had a rope with a seat and he let himself down that 100 feet from the top and he was swinging back and forth because the nest was rather under a ledge and he swung back and forth until his feet touched the nest, very close to where it was’ and he landed. And when he did, he let go of the rope and the rope swung out away from him. In an instant he saw his predicament. How am I going to get back up to where I want to be if I don’t have my rope? And so as the rope swung back to him, he knew he had one chance, just one last swing would come close enough for him to grab it. It was now or never to grab the rope and have a way of getting off of that ledge.

My friend, so it is with this message of the gospel of Jesus and coming to him to be saved and cleansed of sin and provided grace and glory and mercy and a home in heaven with our wonderful Lord. I hope today you will give serious consideration to accepting the salvation so freely given through our wonderful Lord Jesus. Now you must understand that if the salvation is available, and it is available immediately, it involves the necessity of another green light and that is immediate repentance.

The Old Testament prophet Zechariah says this in the first chapter and verses three and four, Therefore, say thou unto them, thus saith Jehovah of hosts, “Return unto me.” That is a word for repentance. “Return unto me saith Jehovah of hosts and I will return unto you saith Jehovah of hosts. Don’t be as your fathers were and to whom the former prophets cried out saying, ‘Thus saith Jehovah.’ Return ye now from your evil ways and from your evil doings.” That was the message of those prophets to their forefathers. But they did not hear, nor did they hearken unto Jehovah.

It matters not, my friends, if the message of salvation and salvation itself is now immediately available to any and all if it is not accompanied by repentance, a turning toward God from whatever direction, whatever religion, whatever idol you may be serving and worshipping, to turn toward God.

Do you note an urgency, and immediacy in that passage of Scripture? This present tense repentance? Too often when the Holy Spirit puts his finger on our personal sin, our personal need, our need to be responsive, we refuse to listen very carefully and respond. We might even see our sin as not being sin. We might say, “Oh, it is just a psychological abnormality, or that is the way I was born, or that is the way I am.” What a dangerous attitude that is. If God calls it sin, I better call it the same thing. Moving when God’s light is green regarding repentance is of immediate importance. And here is one reason why, if we fail to come when we hear the voice of God and the Spirit of God asking us to come, if we do not respond, our hearts easily become hardened and it becomes harder and harder to respond.

Christian, that is true for you if you have been dabbling with sin, dealing with sin, living in sin and you need to repent and come back to God. The longer you put it off, the harder it will be. And, oh, sinner friend, who has never come to Jesus to be saved, washed in the blood of the Lamb, know that every time you put it off it gets that much more difficult.

My own father was a man who never went to church except as a very young lad. He darkened the church doors no more. And as he grew into his senior years he was invited by some neighbors to go to a little church close to where he was and he decided out of curiosity that he would go. And so he did. I visited with him. I was away at school and went back to visit. And I visited with him and he said to me, “Son, I have been going to this little church up here.” Well, of course, I was glad to hear that. He said, “I enjoy hearing them sing those beautiful songs.” He said, “But when that man stands up in that pulpit and he opens that black book and begins to read from it, I cannot stand to sit and listen and I get up and leave.” What had happened to my own daddy? He had for so long said no to God, he had for so long hardened his heart that the Spirit and the Word could not penetrate and get to him and cause him to be repentant toward God.

Procrastination is the thief of time. More than that, my friends, putting something important off, like salvation, it is more than that. It is the thief of spiritual blessing. It is the thief of the peace of heart that you so much desire. It is that lacking having the power of God with which you can live your daily life and you can live victoriously.

Turn you now from your evil ways has been the call of the prophets and the priests and the apostles and prophets of the New Testament down through the ages. Listen to me. God’s light is green. It is green for salvation today this moment that you may have. It will necessitate your immediate repentance and turning to God for the blessing that he so freely offers.

Now the good news about all of this is that you will be provided for you an immediate blessing if you will immediately recognize salvation is available and you will immediately respond with a heart of simple faith and trust in what God has provided in the person and death of Jesus.

Hear me today, if you will. My friends, it is God’s specialty to love and to bless and to give grace and mercy and peace and joy and blessing for all who come to him in simple faith.

In the Old Testament toward the end of the Old Testament era, as we think of it, in the book of Malachi, a book written about 400 years before Jesus came to provide this salvation, God’s people Israel had wandered far, far away from God. They had been taken into captivity. Some of them had come back to the land. They had tried to rebuild the city and the temple and all of those things had gone on. But now they are scattered all over the world and they are far from God. And the message that Malachi chapter three, the last book of the Old Testament, the message that Malachi enters for us there. God says through that prophet, “Prove me now herewith saith the Lord.”

Come to me, in other words. Turn to me in repentance. Make that change. Make that step of faith and see if I will not give you a great blessing. I will open the windows of heaven and pour out to you a blessing like you have never had before.

Oh, my friends, would you not today consider letting God provide you with great blessing?

Now in that passage in Malachi mainly he is calling God’s people to be good stewards of time and money and talent and so forth. But he sets forth a principle that applies to not only our stewardship, but to all of our life. If we will be faithful to hear the commands of God, if we will be faithful to obey, if we will be faithful to by faith believe and accept the promises of God, what a great difference it will make as we turn to the Lord and share the immediate blessing that he delights to give to those who come to him for that precious salvation.

The Lord Jesus had so much to say in regards to such matters as that. He says in the 38th verse of the sixth chapter of the gospel of Luke—listen to the words if you will. Verse 38 of Luke chapter six.

“Give and it will be given to you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over and I shall give unto you, into your very bosom. For with what measure you mete, it will be measured to you again.”

What is God saying? The more we give to him, the more he gives to us.

Someone has well said, “God has a bigger shovel than we do in shoveling out the blessings.

And so he wants you to give yourself and he will, in return, provide the blessing that your heart so very much needs.

No man has ever yet lost one thing by turning to God and serving God with a whole heart. And may I say neither has anyone gained any blessing by serving God with half a heart instead of totally committing themselves to him.

God’s light is green. It is green for your immediate salvation if you will come. It is presenting the necessity of immediate repentance and it is promising us immediate blessing.

Allow me to close this broadcast this morning by reading from the book of Romans chapter 13 and I will begin reading with verse 11.

Paul is writing to Christians here, but surely there is a message for all who need to repent and turn to God. Listen to what he says, Romans 13, verse 11 and following.

And this, knowing the season that already it is time for you to awake out of sleep. For now is salvation nearer to us than when we first believed. The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness. Put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness and chambering and wantonness, strife and jealousy, but put you on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Do we not know there is the need for immediate watchfulness? What does he say? It is time for us to awake out of sleep. Surely that is true. If you are listening to my voice today and you have never been saved by the precious gift of God, the grace of God given through the Lord Jesus Christ, if you have never come and confessed his name, accepted him as your Savior and Lord, obeyed his command to be buried in water of baptism, there is that burial in baptism, raised then to walk in newness of life. And accepting, then, that salvation in that blessing that he so much wants to give us. The admonition, of course, is to the Christian here to understand we are living in great days of darkness and we need to walk as Christians, walk like people who are walking in the light, to have put on as a garment the Lord Jesus, to let him provide for us not live according to the flesh.

Now there is that urgency. There is that green light. There is that immediacy. Do you need to awake out of sleep, my friend today, regarding spiritual matters? Now more than ever before, if it was true 2000 years ago when Paul wrote this, how much truer is it for us today in these end time days when they are growing so evil? How sad that even today many are like even those who are God’s people, are like Jonah when he was down in the belly of that ship and the great storm came and what was happening? Jonah was asleep. And the people aboard the vessel had to come in the fifth verse of this first chapter of that little prophecy of Jonah and wake him and say, “Call on your God so that he will save us from this terrible storm.”

It was a pagan captain awakening the prophet of God to ask him to pray. Oh, how sad when we as the people of God are sleeping when we ought to be watching and awake. What a contrast Jonah is to the apostle Paul that he was in that horrible storm there in the book of Acts and he was out on the deck of that ship tossing about, barely surviving, barely staying above the waters, sharing with those aboard the vessel, the Word of God, a message of hope, calling for immediate repentance in order to have immediate blessing.

And so the many warnings and admonitions come to us from the Lord Jesus Christ and from the Word of God and through the Spirit of God that would speak to your heart today if you will open it up so that you will hear what I have been saying about your need for coming. We need to watch for we know not when our Lord will come. And when he comes, it will then be too late.

My friends, God’s light will not get any greener. For every phase of the Lord’s work, for his salvation, for that repentance that is needed if we will heed the voice of the Spirit, for that immediate blessing that is going to come if I will trust and walk with him and that will help me, then, be one who is watchful toward the things of God.

The poet has written these sobering words.

 

Tomorrow, he promises his conscience.

Tomorrow, I mean to believe.

Tomorrow, I will think as I ought to.

Tomorrow, my Savior receive.

Tomorrow I will conquer the habits that hold me from heaven away.

And ever his conscience repeated one word, and one only, today.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, thus day after day it went on,

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, till youth with its vision was gone.

Till age and his passions had written the message of fate on his brow,

And forth from the shadows came death with a pitiless syllable. Now.

 

Oh, to live our lives, to hear the voice of God, to fail to turn and to let death slip in on us and us not be ready. When God’s light is green, my friend, we need to respond.

Will you pray with me?

Holy Father and great God and almighty Creator of the heavens and the earth, we ask you this morning to take this message of the gospel of grace, the Word of life to these who have heard my voice and that they will understand if they have a spiritual need, a care, a concern, that they can come to God through the Lord Jesus. They can turn to the Word of God and blessing will come by their immediate response as they commit their life in a step of faith to the Lord Jesus. Help those who are believers. Some under the sound of my voice living in difficult places, hard places. Persecution comes because they are Christians. Would you hold them up and sustain them? And we ask for these blessings in the precious name of Jesus and Amen.

God bless you today. Please tune in next week to this broadcast of Words of Life.

 

Julius Hovan preaches for the Bohon Church of Christ near Harrodsburg, KY

 




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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10