Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Seek and Forsake

Isaiah 55:6-7
Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.


Comment

It would seem today that many Christians have a fatalistic attitude towards a relationship with God. Whatever will be, will be. I think Calvinism has contributed to such an attitude. And consequently many Christians have taken a rather passive attitude in their relationship with God, and so also concerning their ideas as to how a person attains a right relationship with God. This in contrast to Peter's exhortation to the Jews "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Acts 2:40 or to Paul's sermon to the Gentiles in Athens, "He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us." Acts 17:26,27 Whether the Lord has mercy on a person is not a matter of fatalism. People need to take initiative to seek the Lord.

Sure people might seek Him for various reasons at times. They may ask for financial assistance or good health or many other things. But these are secondary to the most important thing which is to deal with one's sinfulness. Seeking God for the forgiveness of one's sins is most important. But notice here what else God requires of us: Not only seeking forgiveness, but also forsaking sin - both in terms of thought and deed. For if a person comes to God just for forgiveness, with no intention of changing their ways - such is hypocrisy and unworthy of God's ear. "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened" Ps 66:18 But realize also that God is being gracious here to those he characterizes as "wicked" and "evil men". It is acceptable to come to God as sinners, but with the intention of forsaking sin. We don't have to be "good" people doing good works to come to God.  In fact "the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." Romans 4:5 But don't be deceived. Inherent in such faith is a forsaking of sin.

Notice also it says, "while he may be found" and "while he is near". For only on occasion will Christ be knocking. "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Rev 3:20


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