Cheryl Emborg – Acts 17 – Salem, Oregon – October 14, 2007

Acts 17:30-31, and the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent. Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead.


I suppose we all have a lot of favorite verses and I love these verses. It was about my eighth year in the work when I discovered them. God hath appointed a day – even now. We are living in the NOW of that verse.


Acts 14:16, who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. God was allowing it, but nobody gets by. Let us be faithful in learning about the now of these verses.


Hebrews 1:2, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things by whom also He made the worlds.


Matthew 3:1-2, in these days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea and saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”


Matthew 4:17, from that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The very same message that John the Baptist spoke.


Repent – it is not something that we do once, but daily, just turning from our own ways and turning to the will and purpose God has for our lives. Often He asks us to step out of our own comfort zone. Repentance doesn’t change our past but it changes our record in heaven. We can think of those of old who sinned then repented, the record in heaven was wiped clean. Think of Peter and of David, and many others who sinned yet were forgiven when they repented. To repent just means – I see my sin – I will turn from my sin – I don’t want to do it any more. There is wonderful help on our side when we are just willing to repent.


I stayed with a lady during special meetings one year and she was telling me of something that she used each morning that she knew just wasn’t right and wasn’t comfortable with but kept using. She would throw it out into the garbage only to go to the store for more. It was when she prayed to God for help that that appetite was changed and she was able to forsake that which so troubled her. It brought a change of mind, a change of masters into her life. Sometimes people will say, “Oh, I could never serve God in that way, I could never stand up and give my testimony.” But you know it’s not far down the road that we find those same people with a change of mind and a change of masters and oh, how they love having fellowship with God’s true people. If our master is only the god of this world, we will never know this wonderful help that is held out to those who have true repentance.


We have been studying in the Book of Acts and have read about Saul of Tarsus and the wonderful change in his life when he allowed the God of heaven to reach down in his life and do a work there. You might say a real about face. He had a change of life, a change of mind, and a change of masters.


Acts 17:31, because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead. There will be a day, if we ignore this day, it would be like Noah not paying any attention to God about building the ark. Noah didn’t need that ark for about one hundred years and could have felt nothing was really going to happen. But then it would start to rain and the fountains of the deep were opened, now he needed that ark in the worst way. Would he not be so thankful that he had day after day built on that ark that was to the saving of not only himself but his household. Noah, as he built didn’t really need the ark, but the day came and it meant his salvation.


There are lots of days in our lives, the day of our birth, the day of our death, happy days, sad days, common days. We as workers will never know the day of marriage, but we can enjoy your marriages. But the day that God has appointed every one will be there, no excuses. It is an appointment we will have to keep. I was in a home recently when the lady of the home glanced at the calendar and said, “Oh, no, I missed my dentist appointment.” She had meant to keep it and had to reschedule but the day of the Lord none of us are going to miss it. We don’t have a choice of whether we will keep it or not. It will be a day in which he will judge the world by that man, Christ. Will it not be wonderful to be there and to be found a part of those on His right hand, be found among the sheep of his pasture.


Judgment – revelations, confirmation of what is right. We want judgment in our lives now, day by day, so when we stand before Him it will be a day of rewards and not of judgment. We will be judged in righteousness, in fairness. We don’t live very long on this earth before we know that life is not fair. But on that last great day God will have all the facts. Have you ever listened to two people telling a story and it doesn’t even sound like the same story. I’ve read something in the newspaper, then heard someone tell me about that article, the facts seem to get all mixed up! But our God is faithful, He has the facts, the true facts. (I remember back in the first grade one of the little first graders couldn’t get the hang of writing the number eight. The teacher asked me to help her. Years later she kept telling me, “Remember when you couldn’t write the number eight and I had to show you how?”) I have a dear sister who can tell you almost word for word something she had read, then a sister-in-law who embellished the same article so one couldn’t recognize it for the one you just read. On the judgment day, the facts will be all there, we won’t be able to say to God, “Oh, no I never said that or I never did that.” The judgment day will be a very serious day. Let us be ready for the test.


I knew a lady who got picked up three times in three weeks. The first time was for speeding. Then a week later, speeding once again. The third week, she was stopped once again. She was so upset she just lay her head down on the steering wheel and wept. The policeman walked up, and looked in the open window,”Ma’am – I just wanted to tell you you have a light out.” Oh, what a relief. If we are going to be judged by that man, Jesus, we need to get to know that man. In school, we often had tests for which if we were wise we spent some time studying for. In high school, we mainly had classes that were required. Maybe one elective, later we had more electives. But let us never put our salvation on the elective list.


I Corinthians 13, this beautiful chapter describes to us about charity. Uncle Howard told us years ago that we could replace the word charity with the word Christ – and then with “I.” This chapter tells us what charity does – Christ suffereth long, and is kind; Christ envieth not; Christ vaunteth not itself is not puffed up. Now if we put in the word, “I,” what do we get? Do we really fit into these verses? Do we suffer long and are kind, or do we envy not, etc.? I’m afraid we’d not pass that test as we would like to pass.