In today's lesson, God, in grace, calls for sinners to repent while He may be found.
Isaiah Chapter 55
Lesson from the text
Grace and Justice
In today’s Scripture, God says that we are to seek Him while He may be found, implying that we will not always be able to find Him. God’s justice demands that He give every person an opportunity to be saved; that is, since entrance into heaven is gained by acceptance of Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, it would be unfair of Him to deny entrance to you if you have never been told about Jesus.
Such is why in some form or fashion God has revealed to every soul the need for a savior. He gives us a conscious to tell us the difference between right and wrong so that we can know that we have all committed wrong. He gives us all a small measure of faith so that we are able to believe that He exists (Rom. 12:3). Then, He, through the Holy Spirit, sends conviction at some point to the soul to make the person turn to God.
Having perfect wisdom, He knows exactly when is the best time to “knock” on your heart to ask you to give your life to Him. Again, to satisfy His perfect justice, He approaches you to be saved at the exact moment when you have the best chance of being saved. It does not matter if you are a child or an old man; if God is calling you to repentance to accept His Son, that is your moment to be saved. If you reject God, is He required to ask again?
Justice actually requires that you then pay the price for your decision. The murderer deserves death. The thief deserves punishment. The person who rejects a holy, righteous God deserves to be separated eternally from Him. Thankfully, God does not do so.
Just as we extend grace to prisoners and give them a chance to change, God gives us grace and space to repent. Grace means to gives better than what is deserved. In regards to salvation, that means that God will continue to ask us to come to Him for forgiveness of our sins. When we reject Him, we are not instantly thrown into hell, even though we deserve it. Instead, He pleads with us to be saved. He will ask again and again until He sees in His perfect wisdom that we will never accept Him. Then, He quits dealing with our souls.
If God calls me to repentance, can I just brush Him aside for later? After all, He is “faithful and just to forgive us” if we confess our sins (I Jn. 1:9).
How do you know that this is not your last chance to be saved? How do you know that God will be there to hear you when you decide it is time to be saved? How do you that God will not withdraw Himself from you so that you cannot find Him?
You don’t know.
That is why even though God’s grace may give you another chance to be saved, you had better accept His invitation because He may never ask again. Search your heart: is God trying to reach you? If so, answer!
Verse by Verse Commentary
1 See John 7:37-39. Salvation is free. The waters are the waters of life, which is the Holy Spirit. One thirsts for the Holy Spirit when one desires righteousness and yearns to be close to God. When one drinks, one takes the water inside of oneself; even so, when one “drinks” of salvation by accepting Christ and repenting of one’s sins, then the Holy Spirit comes inside to dwell in one’s body.
Jesus likens the body to a house; one is full of demons, empty, or filled with the Holy Spirit (Mt. 12:43-45, I Cor. 6:19). The wine and milk represent the blessings one can have when one asks of God. These things are free, but one must still ask for them.
2 Instead of turning to God, people seek to satisfy their souls with worldly goods. People will spend money on exotic foods, liquor, cars, inappropriate materials, drugs, and all manner of things in an attempt to satisfy a desire for happiness and fulfillment. Yet such is a waste of time and money because the worldly things are not food for the soul.
The only “bread” that satisfies the souls is what has been freely given by God: Himself.
Jesus says that He is the bread of life and that obedience to God is sustaining meat (Jn. 4:32, Jn. 6:35). As is Jesus is the word of God, He is saying that when one reads the Scriptures and obey them, one’s soul will be satisfied and full.
3 The sure mercies of David is the covenant with David that God will build David a house and His mercies will never depart from that household (II Sam. 7:12,15). When one enters into the new covenant with God, one is acknowledging Jesus as the sacrifice for one’s sins in exchange for everlasting life. In this relationship, God will never leave or forsake one (Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5). If one turns back into towards sin, then God will chastise one, but His mercy will not depart from that individual. One will still have to pay the price for committing sin, but God promises to never stop trying to get that individual to repent.
4 The born-again believer is a light and witness to the world. Such a one is to lead the lost to a saving knowledge of Christ. He is a living witness of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the surety that God is real.
5 The Gentiles were a nation that God did not know and that did not know God. God did not know the Gentiles because they had not entered into relationship with Him. Seeking after their own gods and after wisdom, they were a stranger to the living God.
After Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, the Gentiles began to know and enter into a relationship with Him. Now, the entire world has in some form or fashion heard about the true God. Anyone anywhere can now run to the Lord by calling on Him for salvation. A good imagery would be a someone in the back row of a church who falls under conviction and runs to the altar to repent and ask God into his heart.
6 The Lord has not promised sinners that He will always deal with their souls to save them. Those in a covenant relationship with Him have the promise that God will always be available to them, but not the lost.
Consider Noah. He preached of the coming flood and warned people, but they did not listen. When the flood came, God shut the door. The people of Noah's day were given time to repent, and when the time was up, God cut them off. (II Pet. 2:5, Gen. 7:1-16)
After one repeatedly spurns God, He may give one over to a reprobate mind and withdraw Himself completely (Rom. 1:28). God calls every person to repentance through the drawing of the Holy Spirit. He gives everyone at least one chance to be saved. If one misses that opportunity, there is no guarantee that God will hear one when one decides to get saved.
Jesus says that no man comes to the Father unless he is drawn (Jn. 6:44). One cannot get saved on one's own timing. One must be drawn by the Holy Spirit and choose to come to God. If God has withdrawn Himself, one cannot get saved no matter how hard one prays. Today is the day of salvation (II Cor. 6:2). If God is calling one to repentance, do not put it off because one has no promise that He will call again.
7 While God is calling, He will forgive any person who forsakes, or repents of, evil and chooses to follow Him.
8-9 To the human mind, it does not make sense that a mass murderer or child molester should be given equal opportunity to repent as a sweet old lady who has never lied. To God, however, even the vilest person is worth redeeming. He loves and values every human. All the ways in which He reaches out to humanity to make people aware of their need of Him are beyond comprehension. That is, God can see and understand things too difficult for the human mind. More importantly, from a moral perspective God is much higher than man. His righteousness, justice, grace, and love are perfect and undefiled.
10-11 Even when man does not see what good God is accomplishing by a certain action, God is always working somehow to a good. God does not fail. What He sets out to do He will accomplish. Even if one does not except His salvation, God will have succeeded in His purpose of making one aware of one's sin and the need for one to repent.
12-13 Even though not all repent, God still has succeeded in bringing humans back into a right relationship with Him. Christ's sacrifice has not been in vain because people have been redeemed to the original fellowship with God that He created humans to have. His people are now led with joy, peace, and celebration in God their savior. Where evil once had been, now there is that which is good. God will succeed in reclaiming all of creation from sin with His righteousness when He creates a new heaven and earth free from sin (Rev. 21:1,27).
Thank you for your faithfulness in studying God’s word.
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