It’s Time To Turn To The Lord

Title: It's Time To Turn To The Lord

Bible Book: Isaiah 55 : 6-7

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Time; Procrastination



In the book of Ecclesiastes, we find these words, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). According to one commentator, the meaning of this verse is as follows:

Everything in nature and in human life is under a set scheme. There is a season (an appointed period) and a time (a predetermined occurrence) for all that takes place under the sun. Seeming chance events are all part of a huge plan.[1]

I don’t think that implies that man’s decisions are meaningless, or that his choices change nothing, but simply that God has not left His creation to function based on mere chance. Even the mistakes and mishaps of man’s foolhardiness were foreseen by an all-wise God, Who will carry out His plans and purposes in spite of man’s lack of wisdom and foolish choices. Nothing takes God by surprise.

Suffice it to say, God’s Word teaches that there is a season and a time for every purpose. For instance, Paul told the Roman saints that it was time for the saints to awaken from their spiritual lethargy, when he said, “…it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed” (Rom. 13:11).

However, Paul made another statement that fits well with what’s on my heart this morning. He said, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2b). According to Paul, there is but one period of time of which one can be sure, when it comes to turning from one’s sins, and trusting Christ for salvation; that is now. Only now. God promises nothing more, and nothing less. A lot of lost folks think to themselves, “I plan to get saved sometime—someday.” The truth however, is that you aren’t promised sometime, or someday. You only have now.

There comes a time when God’s patience with man and his sin runs out. Genesis 6:3 says, “…My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Mankind had become so wicked in the days of Noah that God finally decreed that He would give man but 120 more years in which to repent. However, when Noah finished the ark, judgment came just as God had decreed.

In view of eternity, one’s commitment to Christ must not be taken lightly. Hence, the title, “It’s Time to Turn to the Lord.”

Consider the following thoughts with me today.

Theme: If you’ve never given your heart to Christ, turn to the Lord…


A. He Tugs at the Sinner’s Heart by Convicting Him of Sin.

John 16:8 “And when he (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;”

Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

B. He Tugs at the Sinner’s Heart by Convincing Him of His Need for the Savior.

Acts 16:29 “Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Conversion of the Philippian jailer)

NOTE: [1] Dear friend, if you ever become convinced that you are lost and that you face a Christless eternity in Hell, and that committing your whole life to Jesus by faith is the only answer to your dilemma, you won’t be afraid to publicly give your heart to Christ. You won’t care about the pettiness of being embarrassed that others might think badly of you.

[2] Once, I was about to drown in a river. Embarrassment never crossed my mind. I screamed for help. When help arrived in the form of a young man named Gerald Gun, I clung to him with all my might. I wasn’t ashamed that I needed help; I was about to die. That’s all that mattered at that moment.

C. He Tugs at the Sinner’s Heart By Calling Him to Salvation.

John 6:44a “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…”

Rev. 22:17 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

NOTE: [1] The Holy Spirit is still tugging at the hearts of men to turn from their sins and turn to Christ in faith and full surrender. However, there are many misconceptions used by Satan to keep people from Christ:

[1a] Rather than telling the sinner that salvation isn’t necessary, Satan convinces them to wait. He tells them that they can always get saved later. God, on the other hand, will never suggest that the sinner put off salvation, for He says, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2b). The Bible clearly states that no one can be certain about tomorrow. We are warned, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow…” (James 4:14a). Satan fails to mention the fact that no one can be sure they will be alive tomorrow. All you have is today.

[1b] Satan also misrepresents salvation. He has convinced many that salvation is no big deal; you either believe in Jesus or you don’t. Nevertheless, salvation has never been about whether a person simply believes that Jesus exists. It is not a matter of giving mental assent to the idea of Christ, or joining the church. Kyle Idleman has accurately noticed that, “…It wasn’t the size of the crowd Jesus cared about; it was their level of commitment.”[2] A lot of lost people have their name on the roll of a church somewhere, and they sit on church pews Sunday after Sunday, but they have no relationship with Christ. You can go to Hell as easily from a church pew as you can from a city gutter, a crack house, or a bar.

[2] Many have failed to understand that salvation is not jumping on the “Jesus Bandwagon.” Salvation is turning from what one knows to be sin, and turning to Jesus by faith, and completely committing one’s whole life to Him. I agree with Idleman concerning the problem in our churches today, when he says:

It may seem that there are many followers of Jesus, but if they were honestly to define the relationship they have with him I am not sure it would be accurate to describe them as followers. It seems to me that there is a more suitable word to describe them. They are not followers of Jesus. They are fans of Jesus.
But Jesus was never interested in having fans. When he defines what kind of relationship he wants, “Enthusiastic Admirer” isn’t an option. My concern is that many of our churches in America have gone from being sanctuaries to becoming stadiums. And every week all the fans come to the stadium where they cheer for Jesus but have no interest in truly following him. The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires anything from them.[3]

[3] Like Nicodemus of old, there are a lot of religious people who need to choose between their religion and a relationship with Jesus. Some folks could have a relationship with Christ if they’d lose their religion. Religion often gets in the way of following Jesus. I saw a banner on FaceBook the other days that accurately stated, “Jesus is my Savior; not my religion.”[4] Again, Idleman offers this helpful observation:

…Fans are happy to follow Jesus as long as that doesn’t require any significant changes or have negative implications.
There is no way to follow Jesus without him interfering with your life. Following Jesus will cost you something. Following Jesus always costs something.
Most of us don’t mind Jesus making some minor change in our lives but Jesus wants to turn our lives upside down. Fans don’t mind him doing a little touch-up work, but Jesus wants complete renovation. Fans come to Jesus thinking tune-up, but Jesus is thinking overhaul. Fans think a little makeup is fine, but Jesus is thinking makeover. Fans think a little decorating is required, but Jesus wants a complete remodel. Fans want Jesus to inspire them, but Jesus wants to interfere with their lives.
Many have made a decision to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow Jesus. The gospel allows for no such distinction. Biblical belief is more than mental assent or verbal acknowledgment. Many fans have repeated a prayer or raised their hand or walked forward at the end of a sermon and made a decision to believe, but there was never a commitment to follow. Jesus never offered such an option. He is looking for more than words of belief; he’s looking to see how those words are lived out in your life. When we decided to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow him, we become nothing more than fans.
One of the reasons our churches can become fan factories is that we have separated the message of “believe” from the message of “follow.”
If you try and separate the message of follow from the message of believe, belief dies in the process. Our churches will continue to be full of fans until we break down the dichotomy between following and believing. Following is part of believing. To truly believe is to follow.[5]


A. Satan wants to Hinder the Heart.

1. He wants to hinder the heart through the corruption of sin.

Gal. 6:8 “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

2. He wants to hinder the heart through the confusion of spiritual blindness.

Eph. 4:18 “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”

2 Cor. 4:3 “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

3. He wants to hinder the heart through the casual practice of procrastination concerning salvation.

Acts 24:25 “And as he (Paul) reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”

4. He wants to hinder the heart through the carnal concept of “salvation by self-righteousness.”

Luke 18:9a “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous…”

Tit. 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

B. The Savior wants to Help the Heart.

1. Jesus helps the heart by washing it from the guilt of sin.

Rev. 1:5b “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”

1 Pet. 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers:

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

2. Jesus helps the heart by working inner peace within the heart of the believing sinner 

Rom. 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Col. 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

C. The Sinner can Harden his Heart.

1. The sinner can harden his heart through contemptible rebellion against God’s Spirit.

Prov. 29:19 “He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

1 Thess. 5:19 “Quench not the Spirit.”

NOTE: Once a lost man was being pressed by a Christian to accept Christ as his Savior and give his heart to the Lord. The man said, “I can’t.” When the Christian asked why he couldn’t receive Christ, he said the following:

Many years ago, I was strongly convicted of my lostness and my need to repent and to receive Christ into my heart. Day after day, as the Holy Spirit continued to burden me about the need to accept Christ as my personal Savior, I continually resisted His prodding.
Finally, in a fit of anger, I told God, “God, if You won’t bother me anymore, I won’t bother You.” From that day to this, God has never dealt with me again.[6]

2. The sinner can harden his heart through continued unbelief of the truth.

Heb. 3:15 “While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.


17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?


19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”


A. Life is Extremely Short.

Ps. 144:4 “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.”

James 4:14b “…For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

B. Death is Ever Sure.

Heb. 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

C. Turn to Christ for Eternal Salvation.

2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

NOTE: If you have never given your heart to Christ, the time to do that is now. Not tomorrow, but right now. Time stands still for no one. You can’t turn time off, as this story points out:

You can’t Turn Time Off

James W. Moore says, “One of the greatest comedy acts in the history of show business was the beloved husband and wife team of George Burns and Gracie Allen. In real life, Gracie Allen was a bright, wise businesswoman, but she always played the part of a naive, off-the-wall personality, sweetly simple in her approach to life.
On one of their radio programs, Gracie became very upset because her new electric clock kept losing time. Each day it lost lots of time, so she finally called a repairman. He discovered the problem immediately. There was nothing wrong with the clock—it just wasn’t plugged in!”
When George asked Gracie why it was unplugged she said, “Well, I only need it when I need to know what time it is and I decided to turn it off in between to save electricity.”

You can’t turn off time—it is moving toward that day when we will all stand before God![7]

Theme: If you’ve never given your heart to Christ, turn to the Lord…




Check out the author’s recently released book, entitled, Meditations of the Heart: Thoughts on the Christian Life, at:
























Copyright © August 1990 by Rev. Donnie L. Martin. All rights reserved.

[1] The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, eds. Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1987), p. 588.

[2] Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, n.d.), p. 13.

[3] Ibid, pp. 24-25.

[4] Source unknown.

[5] Ibid, pp. 30-33.

[6] Source unknown.

[7] Source unknown. Acquired from, B. Pate, editor.


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