AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH
Presbyterian Call to Christ
A Presbyterian Call to Christ
THE FOUNDATION FOR FAITH and
In Hosea, we have an amazing life. Called by God to minister to Israel, as its time for judgment began to draw near, he was asked by God to marry a harlot, and this became a symbol of the fact that Israel, at first taken by God, had been sinful and without the salvation of God. Later, the new wife is unfaithful again, even after his kindness, and she needs to be redeemed, as she is sold into slavery of some kind; so the prophet redeems her.
This speaks of a shallow, superficial relationship in which the Nation, Israel, failed, and of the coming Messiah who alone can pay for sin, through whom any one who comes, may be redeemed and brought back for ever. Accordingly, at the end of the account of the long historic dealings of God with Israel, we have this in Hosea 3: "Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days," and this in Hosea 1:
"And it will come to pass in the place where it was said to them,
'You are not My people,', There is shall be said to them, 'You are the children of the living God.' "
Romans 11 tells the same tale in terms of the Olive Tree from which Israel is cut off for unbelief, into which the Gentiles, as many as believe, are engrafted, and from which those of them who are mere 'sports', not genuine, but wild stock, will be removed. It tells the so-called Christian nations to beware of being 'high-minded' lest they fall, for ceremonial Christianity is no more real than a 'sport'.
In the end, the redeemed soul is no mere recipient of a divine pay-out, but in order to be redeemed, has to be sought, wrought, regenerated, brought back to God and finding God when the barrier is gone and repentance is real, live with, for, by and with Him, through the divine Redeemer, the everlasting expression of the deity (Hebrews 1, John 8:58).
You get that basic in Hosea 13:14, where God, the Lord Himself indicates that as to the redemption, HE HIMSELF will pay, HE will strike down death by taking it Himself. Incarnate as Christ, He did so! (II Cor. 5:17-21).
Here is the request to come, as when the wedding
guests were invited to the prince's
wedding, and many making excuses, no time, new wife, new land and so forth, did not come, and so inherited no place in the king's domain (Luke 14:15-24). The parable is applied further by Christ as seen in Matthew 22:1-10. It was brought to a point when someone who DID come, failed to wear the wedding garment, signifying the clothes of righteousness, the cover of Christ (Isaiah 61:10, Romans 5:15), and so was excluded in disgrace for his presumption. For this, he inherited not place but an abiding wrath. It all abides. Here is the pivot of eternity in Jesus Christ.
invitation is real, definitive, essential,
and its refusal the same; or its acceptance (John 3:16,34). It extends to
These things, then, they are faith fundamentals, impossible to hearts still twisted, but foundational to all believers. The Gospel has never changed: only two things in this field change. The first is the coming of Christ to DO the predicted payment, now duly fulfilled on time; and the second ? It is the RECEPTION of that same Christ as Redeemer and Lord by new persons!
This leads us to the dramatic and essential theme of the RETURN OF CHRIST, for our return to HIM, is stage one, and HIS return for us, is stage two. We take the communion, for example, UNTIL HE COME, and as to the nature of that, John in Revelation 1 shows how it will impact the earth, as does Matthew 24:36-44. Many will mourn! It is better to mourn now (Matthew 5:4, Luke 6:21).
Man is to be ready, not just for possible death before that return, but for the return itself, when all receive what is fitting: hypocrites the rewards of their trade or craft, like goats, and Christians, His sheep, the reward of His grace, always sufficient, by which He has with His own last breath before death, snuffed out the warrant for sin, and provided His own life instead (II Cor. 5:15, Colossians 3:2-4). “It is finished” (John 19:30, Hebrews 9-10).
Let us close with this word of Paul:
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
"For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
"Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
"Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do."