Is Today the Only Day of Salvation?
Is our present age the only time during which people can repent and be saved?
Some people assume that is what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote: "As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, 'In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.' I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:1-2, NIV).
Paul meant exactly what he said. But be sure to notice what Paul did not say. He did not say that today is the only day of salvation, nor was that his intent.
In the original Greek there is no modifier before the phrase "day of salvation" in this verse. Most translations have added the word the before day in an attempt to clarify Paul's words—but in so doing have inadvertently distorted the meaning.
The Darby Translation italicizes "the" here to indicate that it has been added. Other versions translate this phrase as "a day of salvation" (Green's Literal Translation, Living Oracles New Testament).
Still other versions inconsistently translate the same phrase as "a day of salvation" in the first part of the verse and "the day of salvation" in the latter part (American Standard Version, Bible in Basic English, Green's Literal Translation, Modern King James Version, New Revised Standard Version, Phillips Modern English).
For those in the Church in this age, now is their day of salvation. God is calling them now. Salvation is available today to anyone who is willing to repent. That is what Paul meant.
But he neither said nor impliedthat salvation is available only in this age. Paul in no way meant to contradict the many passages in the Bible that show that many others will have an opportunity for salvation in future ages.
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