“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” These words were famously said by the brilliant mind of Benjamin Franklin. I cannot even recall the number of times this quote was recited to me growing up, and all I have to say about it is THANKS A LOT, Mr. Franklin! No, that is not a genuine showing of gratitude but more along the lines of extreme sarcasm. I do not know about you, but this quote belongs in the “easier said than done” category if you were to ask me. Procrastination might be a character flaw, but man, do I enjoy doing it. Sometimes I wonder how it is not my middle name. Can you relate? Whether it be a graduate school assignment, getting some chores done, or that honey-do list, there is almost something artistic about the ability to dodge those responsibilities for as long as humanly possible.
It is not that we do not understand the merit of Mr. Franklin’s sentiments for those of us who feel this way. Trust me; we do. It is not like we ENJOY cranking out school assignments the day before they are due or completing that chore right before our spouse’s patience runs out. It is just that some of us understand the adage “diamonds are made under pressure.” I mean, if I actually crackdown and stay on top of things, what’s the fun in that? Of course, I am being facetious and know full well the dangers of procrastination. Putting off until tomorrow what you could have done today is quite possibly the worst advice someone could ever give another. Nevertheless, some flirt with this mantra when it comes to the most essential part of themselves, their soul. If there is one thing in life that we should not, cannot, and must not procrastinate… it is our salvation.
Putting off a chore or an assignment is admittedly poor judgment. However, procrastinating in our spiritual lives creates an infinitely larger problem. In fact, it is an eternal one. The Bible is far from silent on the severity of sin. The prophets spoke about it, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2. Jesus talked about it, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where ‘Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” Mark 9:42. Paul even said, “For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a.
If we know our sin separates us from God to the point that He can no longer be in our presence and we can no longer even communicate with Him, shouldn’t that be enough to make us deal with our sin problem? Or perhaps the knowledge that it is better for us to cut off our hand, or foot, or eye than to enter the place where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched… perhaps that knowledge will force us to finally deal with our sin. Maybe the bluntness of Paul’s words will be enough to show us how the only thing that awaits someone who procrastinates with their soul is death. We know all these things and have read them in God’s Word countless times. Yet, there are still those who refuse to crackdown and stay on top of things in their spiritual lives.
The same way some of us would rather watch Netflix than get things done… some would rather enjoy the pleasures of sin than get their lives right with God. One of these COULD result in some bothersome consequences. The other WILL result in eternal death and punishment. At the end of the day, Netflix was not worth the stress that procrastination brought, and neither was the pleasure of sin. Both of these have produced or will produce the same reaction. “What in the world was I thinking?”
When it comes to lost souls, there are two kinds of people. The first kind has blinded themselves to the severity of the sin in their lives. They may know what they are doing is wrong but ultimately have lost sight of the eternal consequences of their shortcomings. This person lives by the “I’ll quit sinning tomorrow” idea. The second kind of lost person never got their life right in the first place. They never received the blood of Jesus through baptism so that their sins could be forgiven to begin with. This person lives by the “I’ll come to Jesus when the time is right” idea. To both kinds of lost people, Paul would say, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2. God has given us the cure for spiritual procrastination. The first lost person must repent, and the second lost person must obey the Gospel. Why would you ever put these off till tomorrow when you could easily do them today?
“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” Acts 22:16
-Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism