Isaiah 55:6-7 ESV
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Time on this earth is not forever. One day it is going to run out for us. Not one of us knows when we are going to breathe our last breath. It could be now, or ten minutes from now, or it could be tomorrow, or the next day, or years from now. But the point is, we don’t know.
So, when this says, “Seek the Lord while he may be found,” it means there is going to be a time when he won’t be found. So, don’t think like you can do it another time, for another time may never come. For, you may die tonight. So, seek (pursue, go after, chase after) him now.
And Jesus said that if we want to come after him we must first deny (disallow) self (the flesh). Then we must take up our cross daily (not just once), and we must die with him to sin and to self. And then we must follow him in surrender and in obedience to his will for our lives (Lu 9:23-26; cf. Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
And please note this. A one-time decision to believe in Jesus will not pardon you forever. Scripture does not teach once saved always saved. It teaches our salvation as a process of a lifetime that will not be complete until Jesus returns and he takes us home. And it teaches that we will be judged by our works (Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8).
It also teaches that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh if we want to be saved from our sins and to have eternal life with God. And we must continue in that faith which daily dies with Christ to sin until the very end (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21; Col 1:21-23).
Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We, as humans, do not think like God does. Our ways are not his ways. And this could not be more evident by what so many people today who call themselves Christians are teaching with regard to the gospel of our salvation. For they are teaching a gospel the exact opposite of Christ’s.
For many of them are leaving out the part of the gospel which teaches the wicked to forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and that he should turn to the Lord in humble submission to God’s will for our lives. They are not teaching dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. For, they claim that is all works-based salvation.
There are those who are teaching a form of repentance, but it is more just like a confession (acknowledgement) of sin, but there is no turning away from (dying to) sin, for they keep repeating the same sins over again. But if we make sin our practice we will die in our sins, not have eternal life.
Most are teaching a gospel that is a one-time decision to believe in Jesus, but which does not require death to sin and living to righteousness or continued walks of faith until the end. And so, they give free license to their adherents to continue living in sin, only now without guilt or remorse.
But our Lord’s plan of salvation was/is to free us from our slavery to sin and to give us new lives in him empowered of the Spirit of God to walk in holiness and righteousness, strengthened by God’s Spirit. And it is that we continue in him and in his word and that we walk in it until the end.
Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
God will do what he says. His word will not return empty. It will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it. If he says we will die in our sins if we continue walking in sin, then we will die. We won’t go to heaven.
But if he says that if we die with him to sin, and if we live to him and to his righteousness that we will have eternal life with God, then we can count on it. For, his word is true. He does not lie. But we lie if we say we have fellowship with him but we continue to live in sin (1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
For, Jesus died to free us from our slavery to sin, not to forgive us our sins so that we can continue in sin guilt free. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And He shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God so that we would now be God’s possession, and so we would now honor God with our lives.
[1 Pet 2:24; Rom 6:1-23; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Co 6:19-20; Tit 2:11-14]
By Jonathan Foreman
I give you my destiny
I’m giving you all of me
I want your symphony
Singing in all that I am
At the top of my lungs
I’m giving it my all
So, I lay my head back down
And I lift my hands and pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours I pray
To be only yours
I know now you’re my only hope