In Returning and Rest

Isaiah 30:8-11 ESV

“And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
and inscribe it in a book,
that it may be for the time to come
as a witness forever.
For they are a rebellious people,
lying children,
children unwilling to hear
the instruction of the Lord;
who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’
and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
prophesy illusions,
leave the way, turn aside from the path,
let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.’”

Now, interpreted in New Testament terms, since these were God’s children by them being descendants of Abraham and Sara, and they did not all have faith in God, and many of them were living in rebellion against the Lord, we can most likely apply this to both the saved who have fallen back into sin and who need to repent and return to the Lord and to those who made an outward profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but it was not in truth.

In both cases they are making professions of faith in Jesus Christ but they are not walking in the faith that they profess. They are living in open rebellion against the Lord and against his teachings, for they are engaged in willful and deliberate and habitual sin, and they are not walking in obedience to the Lord in holiness and in righteousness. And lying is usually a tactic used to disguise and to hide hidden and secretive sins.

And they are unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lord, so many of them are adopting a cheap substitute for God’s true grace and for the gospel of our salvation. And they are buying into a message that tells them that God does it all and that they do nothing. All they have to do is acknowledge what Jesus did for us on that cross or make a profession of faith in Jesus, and now they are promised that all their sins are forgiven, and heaven is their eternal destiny, regardless of how they live their lives on this earth.

For they don’t want to hear that to follow Jesus Christ we must deny self and die daily to sin and to self and follow our Lord in obedience. They don’t want to hear that we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives. They don’t want to hear that we must repent of (turn away from) our sins and now surrender our lives to Jesus Christ to walk in his ways. And they definitely don’t want to hear that if they make sin their practice, and if righteousness and obedience to the Lord are not their practice, they will not have eternal life.

So, they are indeed saying (though not all are) to those of us who are still teaching the truth of the gospel that we should stop teaching what we are teaching. For they want us to tell them pleasant things which make them feel good and which don’t tell them to repent and to obey the Lord. For they call that being negative, or legalistic, or they call it “works salvation,” which it is not. It is walking in the salvation already provided by the grace of God and in his power and strength, by God-given faith.

Isaiah 30:15,18 ESV

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
‘In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’”

“Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.”

So, the Lord Jesus is calling out to them and he is calling them to repent of their sins and to turn (or return) to the Lord in humility and in obedience and in submission to Jesus Christ as Lord and Master of their lives. And their trust is now to be in him and him alone and not in all these things of the flesh and of the world, which includes their pet sins. All is to be forsaken in order to follow Jesus, and then they will be saved.

For we serve a merciful God, but we have to remember that he is also a just God. Yes, if you return to the Lord (or turn to him in truth for the first time) he loves to show you compassion and mercy. And he will forgive your sins if you repent in truth, and you forsake your sins to follow him in obedience. But if you refuse, and in your own stubbornness you hold on to your sin and to doing things your way, and you choose not to obey him, then you will not enter the kingdom of God, regardless of what your lips profess.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

My Heart’s Desire

An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24

Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.

The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.

Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.

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