“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). “Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).
The gospel is really quite simple. Sometimes we complicate it…but the invitation remains the same, “Come unto Me.” Are you labouring under the stress of sin and the burden of a bad conscience? Are you overwhelmed and seeking rest of heart and peace of soul? Do you have a spiritual thirst that you can’t seem to satisfy? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then the only thing to do is to hear and obey the words of the Lord Jesus who is lovingly saying to you, “Come unto Me.”
“Come” is one of the simplest words to understand. Every toddler knows what it means when their father holds out his hands and says, “Come.” Just so, the Lord Jesus is holding out those hands that were pierced on Calvary, and saying to every sinner, “Come.” The question is not whether we are invited, but whether we have responded and “come.”
Q. What does it mean when the Lord says to the church at Laodicea, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot” (Revelation 3:15)?
A. “Cold” would be those who were out and out giving up the truth and apostatizing. “Hot” would be those who were out and out for the Lord…on fire for Christ. John is really saying, if you are not a real believer it is better to be cold than just drifting along, and if you are real, don’t just drift along, be on fire and in the fervency of “first love” (Revelation 2:4).
Coming from Canada I appreciate a cup of good, hot tea, and many Americans like a glass of good, cold, iced tea. Both are refreshing. But there is nothing worse than “lukewarm” or “Laodicean” tea. The Lord goes on to say, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16). He will never spue a believer out of His mouth, but those who merely profess and pretend with no reality, are nauseous to Him, illustrated by “lukewarm” water. Worldliness and self-importance had caused a condition repulsive to the Lord.
“Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of Him that was to come…For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:14,17).
The law reigned from Moses to Christ:
“Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:23-24).
Grace reigns in this age:
“As sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21).
Righteousness will reign in the Millennium:
“Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness” (Isaiah 32:1).
1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Self-occupation is a great mistake for the Christian. Of course, until a person learns that he is a sinner, he must be occupied with himself, so that he will cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13), and find salvation and peace in turning to God. So, too, a Christian must be reminded of himself as long as he thinks there is anything good in him. But when he can say with Paul, “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing,” (Romans 7:18), he is privileged to turn from himself to Christ to find his all in Him.
What a relief it is! Instead of thinking about my feelings, my attainments, my work, and my dignity—to live in the joy of the Lord and what He has done for us. And then let Him work in us that which is wellpleasing in His sight, in the desire that He may be glorified. This is what is meant by the words, “For me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).
Are you thinking about yourself? Then you are in danger of being a Pharisee, or being miserable. Do you long to be happy, or holy? Turn to “Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2). You will find in Him all your joy and everything you need for a holy Christian life.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:17,23).
What will you get accomplished this week?
Sometimes I start out with a list on Monday, and don’t always get it done by the end of the week. Often it is because of some circumstance that has hindered me, or sometimes it is neglect or forgetfulness, and once in awhile something more important comes up that needs immediate attention and so the list-item gets put off or shuffled to next week’s agenda.
However, there are some things we should have on our list, and never forget or neglect them; and never should something else seem more important. Things such as, reading the Bible; spending time in prayer; attending meetings for Bible study, prayer, and worship with fellow-believers; and serving the Lord and others as He gives opportunity. What is on your “to-do” list? Make sure, above all, that they are things that will please the Lord and bring glory to His name.
“And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save Thyself. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking Him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:39-42).
Was Jesus the Son of God? Absolutely. No question about it. Could He have come down from the cross? Yes, He could have.
If He could have come down from the cross we might well ask ourselves, why didn’t He? The answer is simple and yet profound. Because His love for you and me was SO STRONG that it kept Him on the cross. If Jesus had come down from the cross there would be no blessing and no heaven for us. The Lord Jesus didn’t need to prove who He was by coming down from the cross. No, He proved who He was and proved His great love by staying there, by dying, shedding His blood, and rising from the dead after three days. What a Saviour! What love!
“The times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
John was a Christian man who loved the Lord and loved his Bible. He also loved to attend the weekly meetings for prayer, reading of the Word, and worship, at the meetinghouse in the village where he lived. One day he was stopped by an acquaintance, who was an avid fisherman. “I say, John,” said the fisherman, “I have often wondered what attraction there is up at that meetinghouse you so often attend? You go week after week to the same old place, see the same folks, and sing the same hymns.”
“Wait a minute,” interrupted John. “You fish very often at the same old spot, and in the same water, don’t you?”
“Yes that’s true,” agreed the other.
John smiled, and then exclaimed, “Well, you don’t, for the water you fished from yesterday has passed out to the sea, and fresh water has taken its place, and just the same, every time I go to the meetings the Lord has something fresh for me to enjoy.”
Joel gives us prophesies concerning a day when the rights of the Lord Jesus will be asserted, that which is referred to in the Bible as the Day of the Lord. “Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come” (Joel 1:15). The judgments that Joel speaks of are judgments that take place both before and after the millennium, which is the thousand-year reign of Christ.
There is a solemn summons to repentance in view of the chastening hanging over them, and there will be a remnant who do respond and turn to the Lord. To such the Lord will bring deliverance and wonderful and complete kingdom blessings. There will be full restoration and a pouring out of His Spirit at that time. “And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and My people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (Joel 2:27-28). What a wonderful day of peace and blessing it will be for Israel.