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Grace Baptist Church

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Too Late

Too Late

Dec 27, 2015

Passage: Jeremiah 8:20

Preacher: Tom Ascol

Category: Sunday Morning

Keywords: ended, gospel, grace, harvest, salvation

Detail:

Pastor Tom Ascol makes a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a message entitled “Too Late!” based on the eighth chapter of Jeremiah, particularly verse 20. Opportunities, it seems, are not forever. Often important opportunities are not fully appreciated or recognized until they have passed us by. Then it is too late. Lost opportunities can be the source of great regret. More than mere regret is the tragedy of a missed opportunity involving one’s eternal destiny.

The biblical narrative in Jeremiah 8 regarding Judah serves as an example to us. God was about to send judgment upon Judah despite Jeremiah having continually warned them. They ignored the warnings, refused to repent and return to God, believed false prophets, and, therefore, suffered judgment. This passage in Jeremiah is sad, drained of hope, and filled with regret. It reminds us that one day the opportunity for people to repent, turn to God, and be saved will be passed. One day it will be too late to be saved!

The text provides us with three lessons, first among them is that spiritual opportunities can be repeatedly wasted. Judah had many opportunities. The godly king Josiah tried to turn the nation to God as did the prophet Jeremiah. Rather than turn to their covenant with God, Judah turned to alliances with other nations. They rejected God’s Word and turned to idolatry. Reading this history ought to provoke some inward searching of our own. What is our attitude toward the Bible; are we faithful in study and application? What is our attitude toward God; are we faithful in obedience and love? Do we presume upon God in thinking we will always have the opportunity to be saved? Judah’s confidence in their position as God’s chosen people led to their undoing as God’s judgment came at the hands of the Babylonians. Judah refused to admit their need. All of these sins seem commonplace today yet we should remember, just as with Judah, God’s longsuffering patience does have an end and the time of that end is unknown. Today, the Bible tells us, is the day of salvation for none of us are promised tomorrow. Therein is the second lesson.

Seasons of spiritual opportunity do not last forever. Jeremiah preached for twenty-five years. Noah preached for 100 years without seeing a single person come to God. Nevertheless, and though the people may have become used to the day-after-day sameness of existence, a time came when God closed the door on the ark and it was too late to be saved. Today we live in a time of grace, a time of spiritual opportunity which will not last forever. Why do some not listen? That opportunity will come to an end and it will be too late to be saved.

Finally, the third lesson is that where lost opportunity is final the regret will be eternal. The conquest of Judah was temporary and many eventually returned to the land. The lost opportunity for eternal salvation is final; there will be no second chance. Do not trifle with your eternity; turn to Jesus Christ for salvation today.