ATTENTION! FINAL NOTICE! by Narita Roady

I recently received my 15th “LAST” notice from Fingerhut warning me that without an order I would not receive any more catalogs. The notice read, “We’re sorry, but unless you order something, this could be the last catalog we send you. Don’t take a chance!”
I throw away my “last” catalog and go on. As sure as night follows day, another one comes in the mail. I have yet to be taken off the mailing list! Have you ever stopped to think, what would we do if God sent us a final notice concerning certain matters in our lives? How many of us would treat it as I do my catalog, toss it in the trash, and proceed with life as usual? What would you do if God sent you a final notice? I can think of several areas people commonly neglect and take for granted.
One of the most important is our relationship with Christ. Do you claim to know Christ as your Savior but in your heart you know you are lost? Maybe you have always had doubts about your salvation, but you push those concerns aside and never make sure your eternal destiny. Have you felt the Holy Spirit convicting you of your need to be saved, but continue to put it off until tomorrow? Let’s say tomorrow you received a letter from God that read, “I’m sorry, but unless you accept Christ right now, this could be the last time you ever can. Don’t take a chance!” For those who are unsaved each moment they are alive may be their last chance to be saved. Death may come or Christ may break the Eastern sky. None of us know when either will occur. “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
Perhaps your salvation is sure, but God has laid someone on your heart that you need to go witness to. Has fear of rejection or indifference prevented you from obeying now? Most would profess, “Boy, a letter like that would sure get my attention! I’d take care of it right away!”
I’m sorry but I don’t believe you would. You see, God has already sent notices in His Word sharing His good news with others and you’re disregarding them.” And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23
Let’s think about a few other notices we might receive as Christians. What if your notice read:
“This could be your last chance to pray!” Who and what would you pray for? For forgiveness, wisdom, protection, friends, family, the lost? How frightening to think of having no way to speak to God and have Him hear us! Prayer is a privilege and a gift that we cast aside so carelessly. If prayer was so important to Jesus, it should be just as important to us. “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” Isaiah 55:6
“This could be your last chance to read your Bible!” Where would you begin? What verses would you read? Would you frantically attempt to memorize large portions? This is not so far-fetched, just ask Christians in those countries who have no Bibles. We of all people across time and even in the present have unequaled access to owning and reading all of God’s Word. He has faithfully protected His inspired Word throughout the ages for us to have, yet we frequently disregard it. Other reading material such as novels, magazines, newspapers, and internet articles take the place of the Bible. Have you ever thought about spending an equal amount of time reading the Scriptures as you do other things?
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 3:15-17
“This could be your last chance to attend church!” Here is another condition that is not as outlandish as it sounds. It is reality in much of the world and becoming even more so as time goes on. Everyone wants a good Bible believing church to attend, support them, and call upon in times of need, request prayer, and fellowship with. Then why do members treat worship attendance as a hobby instead of an honor and command of God? In America, countless churches close each year due to indifference. It’s one of those things we will not realize the importance of what we have until we lose it. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25)
What other “last chance” notices might God send? Truly take time to stop and think – Your last time to: obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, use one of your talents in His service, teach your children about Jesus. Try making your own list to search your heart and priorities.
The realization that something is going to be taken away always creates urgency, or a deadline, that motivates us to action. It also brings to light the value of what we have taken for granted. Sadly, if finality is all that opens our eyes to the importance of what we have neglected, we may be too late. Don’t wait for your final notice, act now!
Published in the Oklahoma Baptist Newspaper, September 2014

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