It is necessary to make amends to return to the Lord. When the gospel calls by reasoning with the importance of returning to the Lord, those with understanding will come to receive His grace. If you have fled from the enemy, return to Him, who will be to you the unassailable refuge. For so long the works of unprincipled men have given power to the Adversary to suffer you in many derogatory ways. You have lost peace, joy and blessings. But now as you realize the calling of the gospel, come to the Lord and He will come into you. This is more than sufficient, since all things needed for you are provided in Him. He who returns to the Lord having escaped the pretense of men has already obtained greater knowledge. The Lord’s grace overflows in him.
It is indeed a good omen that His grace runs over in those who return to Him. What it brings to them, firstly, cannot be measured. It surpasses their heart and mind by the things belonging to Him. They will be counted along with those that never missed Him. They live alongside His children. Their wages will not be deferred. Whether they come in the first hour or the last the Lord God justifies them as the children of His kingdom. Their justification will not be ineffective. For God’s grace makes them whiter than snow. It is for this reason that even the men of the former days called on their people to gather to the Lord. For they having tasted the kindness of the Lord and having been alongside Him did not want their brethren to be with any less benefit than them. “The couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes, even according to the command of the king, saying, ‘O sons of Israel, return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from the hand of the kings of Assyria’” (2 Chron. 30:6).
When men return to the Lord having absolute faith in Him, they will receive grace. The grace that guarantees their justification will give them unfailing joy to worship the Lord. Do not be unaware that grace has the absolute way of guaranteeing our justification. He who does not have it or does not know it is yet to be justified. What a cup of cold water causes to a man on a hot summer day grace received from the Lord causes to the spirit of men that returned to Him. It changes their perception about Him; changes the way they understand and approach Him. Indeed this implies their salvation. There was a reason behind the godly addressing the Lord as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For when those men heeded the word that called them out of wilderness they received grace beyond their imagination. They were absolutely stunned to see what God was able to do for and through them. And, those that continued to know God like them knew there are endless possibilities in His grace. They realized His love toward them is far more than their offerings to Him; that His kindnesses toward those that return to Him are never dry. Consider this saying and it will provoke you to come to the Lord. “Take away the wicked before the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness” (Prov. 25:5).
How true it is that a king’s influence upon his kingdom depends on those around him! Whatever rule he puts forth by them, whether good or bad, has a drastic impact on his people. And if he is a king like Rehoboam, the effect upon his kingdom will certainly be calamity. Bad company always paves way to bad morals leading to unpleasant results. Whether it is a king over a kingdom, a man over his house or a shepherd over his sheep, their association with men of pretense and wickedness will always yield unrighteousness. Unrighteousness derails them to death. If they are to return to Lord, they must remove the false works or principles surrounding them. And, for their sake the Lord continues to call them through His servants. Nothing can stop them from coming to Him when they heed His call. For His call is His power for salvation to all who believe. It is pleasant integrated with His will for them. It has both the promises and blessings for establishment in righteousness. Day to day righteousness pours into them revealing to them the nature of their God. It is a sign of God’s desire to overflow them with His grace and magnify His name. “How great are His signs and how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and His dominion is from generation to generation” (Dan. 4:3).
Grace did overflow in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, because of the righteous God in them. Every day they walked with Him. They did not let anything hinder their walk. There were many obstacles placed before them by wicked men. Yet, they overcame them by the righteousness in which they were established. The outcome is well known. They came out unscathed from the fire that burned seven times more than the usual. The men that made the fire were engulfed by the heat, but the Lord stood by His servants. By His work the Lord trampled the principles of men that stood as obstacles to His servants. Nebuchadnezzar could not refrain from expressing his amazement at the work of the Lord. He honored His servants. The eyes of the nations were opened; the Lord glorified His name. This is the effect of His grace in the people with righteousness, and those who hear of it and return to Him will receive the same.
You who desire for the Lord to glorify His name through you come to Him fleeing the principles of men. For the Lord will be your unassailable fortress. He will make you His disciple through the countless possibilities in His grace. When by faith you come to fully know Him, He will undoubtedly make you His disciple. Do not be deceived. He is the One who chooses His servants. The one who has not fully known Him will not see the lot falling for him. Consider the words of the apostles: “beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us– one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection” (Acts 1:22). This is the prerogative to be a witness of His resurrection: you must fully know Him; grace must overflow in you. If you have been raised up in the likeness of Christ, that is to say you have been one with Him in the likeness of His death, you have the prerogative. Grace worked through faith to avail it to you. It changes your perception of the Lord; changes the way you understand and approach Him. You seek to possess His fullness. You allow Him to freely move in and out of you having repentance for the forgiveness of sins. This is the absolute way of grace to guarantee your justification.
Not all can become witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. It is only for those who believe what the disciples saw and believed. What the disciples believed in those days is what we see in the word for faith. Remember the words of Jesus about those who did not see and still believed. He said they are blessed. The word is the sure witness of everything concerning Jesus. And if we have that Word in us so as to fully know Him, we will be chosen to be His witnesses. Grace works to bring about in all the believing the common realization of His resurrection. (Hence, it cannot be measured). If this is not the case, none in the present days or, for that matter, none since the death of the apostles had the veracity to proclaim Christ. Then, the calling of God is not irrevocable. His kingdom too is not everlasting and His dominion is not from generation to generation; His signs and wonders do not pertain to us and are as good as dead. Nevertheless, His word is living working unequivocally in all who believe. “For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8).
Is it not true that when the present Christians have a different faith and different way of seeing Christ than those of the former times, their faith is squandered? Just as a bugle should not produce an indistinct sound we who believe in the gospel should not bring about another tradition. Or else, calamity will surely surprise us. Many are producing an indistinct faith; a faith that does not repudiate the teachings of men. It will be impossible for them to return to the calling of the Lord’s servants. If they seek establishment in righteousness, they must remove every false way from around them. For this to take place they ought to take the help of the Lord. “Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension” (1 Tim. 2:8).
Heeding God’s call and calling upon Him is the only way out of the impending calamity. It would be absurd to assume a day for the coming of the Lord or neglect the significance of His coming. But, to call upon the Lord will certainly avail forgiveness leading to salvation. There is so much that goes into praying to Him. Firstly, it beckons our reverence and humbling before Him; then, acknowledging His all-powerful and all-knowing nature. To follow the pattern that Paul describes will primarily give the knowledge of the truth, the salt that has been the missing ingredient in many churches. They are without the grace that savors their spirit. Instead of owning the truth like the disciples to witness about Jesus, they are creating pandemonium in peoples’ lives. They must examine the ground they stand on. But if you are fleeing from them, you are doing well. For it is written, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11).