Behold Now is the Acceptable Time

The October 1990 issue of “Pulpit Helps” tell the following story: The late Lord Congleton had tenants who owed him much back rent. He was a Christian and he wanted to give them a lesson of how faith secures forgiveness, while unbelief shuts us out from the promises of God.

To their surprise, a notice was posted up over the estate, promising a remission of all rent to any tenant who would meet Lord Congleton on a certain day in the estate office between the hours of ten and twelve. The tenants, governed by the corruption of their evil hearts, immediately suspected a snare, and spent the intervening days trying to find out what plan was designed for their injury.

On the promised day, Lord Congleton sat in his office, and the tenants crowded the streets of the little country town, whispering and talking with much excitement, but not one entered past the open door of the house. Ten o’clock, half past ten, eleven o’clock, half past eleven came, but no tenant appeared. Still their landlord sat waiting to befriend them. At last, a little before twelve, a tenant entered the office, and asked for the promised receipt. “Do you really expect to be forgiven your debt?” asked Lord Congleton? “Yes, my Lord.” “And why?” “Your lordship has promised it.” “And do you believe the promise?” “Yes, my Lord.” “Why?” “Your lordship would not deceive a poor man.” “But are you a good and industrious man?” “The notice said nothing, my lord, about that.” “So do you believe the notice and have come for the receipt?” “Yes, my Lord.”

Lord Congleton wrote the receipt and handed it to the man, who sprang to his feet, waving the paper over his head and shouted, “I knew you wouldn’t deceive us! Now I’ll show it to the boys,” and he made toward the door of the room.

“Stop!” cried Lord Congleton, “It is not yet twelve o’clock.” Directly the hour struck and Lord Congleton said, “You may go.” The man ran out of the house into the street, waving the receipt over his head and shouting, “I’ve got it! Didn’t I tell you it was all true! I’m a free man!”

In the same way, God offers to each a free pardon for all the debt of sin that we owe to Him, if we only will receive it as found in His Son Jesus Christ!

But, we must also not take for granted that this great opportunity will always be available. There will come a day when we will all die. None of us knows when that day will be. Should we not take advantage of His offer of pardon while there is yet time? 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation!”

(1949 - 2012)