ALL Who Desire To Be!
For, “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.” (Rev. xxii. 17.) “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isa. lv. 1.) “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. xi. 28.) “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool;—if ye be willing and obedient.” (Isa. i. 18,19
“The Guide” published this article in 1873. And 147 years later, the message is still the same! “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”—Hebrews 13: 8
“Not one class, not one sect, but everyone who wishes to be saved, “may come” And our Saviour saith, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” The young and the aged, the poor and the rich, the weak and the strong, may come. And coming, shall not be sent away empty.
God is waiting to be gracious. “He desireth not the death of a sinner, but would rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live.” He has bidden you to come. He has told you that if you come you shall not be rejected. You will not be rejected on account of your past sins, for Christ died to save sinners. Nor on account of your weakness, for “God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.” Nor on account of your ignorance, for “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James i. 5.) God has bidden you to “come,” with all your imperfections—therefore you have no excuse.
All are bidden, but some refuse to come. Oh! that such may think of all that is meant by refusing to accept God’s offered mercy, ere it be too late, and the same sentence be passed on them which was passed on those who were bidden to the great marriage supper, but who treated the invitation so carelessly and slightingly: “For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” (Luke xiv.24.) “Oh! see that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For our God is a consuming fire.”
All may come now. God will receive all who come unto Him, for the sake of what our Saviour has done and suffered for us, “the just for the unjust.” But “now” is the time of trial; and the only chance we have of regaining our forfeited inheritance. If we despise the offer of salvation now, or carelessly banish it from our thoughts, it may be that the heart will get more and more hardened in sin, which may only be stopped by the hand of death; and—
“There is no repentance in the grave: nor pardon offered to the dead.”
Oh! ye who have not yet come to God, put it off no longer. You have tried the world’s pleasures: have they satisfied you? have they fulfilled their promises? Rather, have you not found “that the way of transgressors is hard .“?
- But God hath never promised you more than He will perform;
- He has promised you everlasting happiness—not for a few years, but for ever;
- He has promised that He will receive you into His fold;
- That He will purge and purify you; and when the work of regeneration and sanctification is complete, that He will receive you into everlasting glory;
- If you on your part “will come.” To come is all that is asked of you.
You cannot make yourself clean, for “who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean.” But you can come to God, and He will make you clean: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
This is God’s promise:
- But you must come “now.” “For now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” God’s part is done.
“We had a tempter, but we have also a Saviour. But if you will not come to be saved—to be made pure and holy, to have your sins blotted out in the blood of an atoning Saviour —there is no other offer, no other remedy: “For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts iv. 12.)
There may be some that say: I should like to come to God, but I do not know the way. Have you ever sought after the way? “For those that seek shall find.” If you are in earnest, it shall come to pass “that before you call, the Lord will answer: and while you are yet speaking, the Lord will hear.” (Isa. lxv. 24.) “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” (Hos.vi. 3.) “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” (John vii. 17.) When the returning penitent son was only considering in his heart what he should say to his father, “His father saw him a great way off, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.”
Thus, all are left without excuse: and no one can say that the Lord doth not care for them. For God cannot cease to care for us, when the Son of God died for us; when there is “joy in heaven” even over one that repenteth.
Jesus wept, when He thought of the misery and destruction which was so soon to fall upon Jerusalem, as a punishment for their sins. And we know not how often we grieve our dear Redeemer, when we will not receive His gentle warnings: but rush heedlessly on our own way: which must bring down inevitable destruction upon us were it not for the patient waiting and kind intercession of Him, who saith, “Lord, let it alone this year also,” in the hope that during “this year” something may soften our hearts and lead us with tears of repentance to the footstool of mercy. If we wish for proofs of God’s readiness to forgive, we may find them in these promises: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.” (Hos. xiv. 4.).
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. xxxi. 3.) “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” (Isa. xliv. 22.) “When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.” (Ez. xviii. 27.) “None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.” (Ez. xxxiii. 16.)
What more could we desire than these tender words, which tell us of God’s readiness to pardon and forgive. Forgive in its most beautiful sense: fully and freely. So that all we have done wrong shall not even be mentioned to us. It shall be expunged forever, if we will return unto God. “But seek ye the Lord while He may be found:” for when once “the Master hath shut-to the door,” those near to the door are excluded, as well as those afar-off. It is no good to be almost a Christian and not quite one; to say, I will give up everything but what I most prize; and at the last “to go away sorrowful.”
The great offer of salvation is not a thing to be tampered with—it may never be repeated.
I think there is no one but has had serious convictions of truth at some time or another of their lives—whether heeded or unheeded. A something which will be a witness against the unrepentant at the last day; “Because when the Lord called, they refused.” But to the repentant a source of unfailing delight: because then the Lord met with their soul.
All are not called by the same means, nor by the same way. To one the call may come in the recollection of a pious parent; “Go thou, and do likewise.” To another, a religious book has been the instrument in God’s hand. Or a word from the lips of a friend; or a sermon has reached the heart that God has prepared to receive it.
These may seem small things; “But who hath despised the day of small things.” It is God that speaketh to you, through these very means. Then, resist not the influence that would steal over you for good. Cast it not aside and say, “When I have a more convenient opportunity I will listen;” for that is hardening your heart; and the warnings, if rejected, will grow fainter and fainter, till at last they cease: for God hath said, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man.”
Source: The Guide; 1873. Additional Scripture ⇒ John 3:16; John 3:18; John 3:36; Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9; Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8; 1 John 4:15; 1 John 5:1 † Consistent key words defined; ‘whoever‘ ‘anyone‘ ‘everyone‘.