Read the headlines or watch the news, and you might think today is doomsday. Terrorism, genocide, food riots, epidemic diseases, spiraling gas prices, global warming, and a host of other unsettling events, are now daily media fare.
Yet in the midst of a world that seems increasingly dark and difficult, the Bible tells us that, from God’s perspective, we are living in an extremely favorable time.
When Jesus was handed the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah at the synagogue in Nazareth, He spoke these startling words: “‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing'” (Luke 4:17-21).
Isaiah 61 goes on to proclaim not only the year of the Lord’s favor but also the day of vengeance of our God. A day of judgment is coming when Christ returns. Those who have rejected Christ will face an eternity apart from the presence of God. The Bible calls this “hell.”
Until then, though, we are living in the year of the Lord’s favor because Christ died and rose again for our sins. Salvation by grace through faith is now available to everyone who repents and believes in His atoning work on the cross.
Even as bad news swirls all around us, the Good News of His forgiveness and reconciliation is freely extended.
The Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians still ring true. “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).
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If You Know Christ as Your Savior
At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), we are working around the world to reach millions of people, calling on them to turn from their sins and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior–while it’s not too late. But we need you! Your prayers and donations are the lifeblood of this ministry.
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Most importantly, we need your prayers! As Billy Graham says, “What a glorious thing it would be if millions of us would avail ourselves of the greatest privilege and the greatest power this side of heaven–the privilege and power of prayer!”
Excerpted from the June 2008 issue of “Decision” magazine