“Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders, and spoke according to the command of the king: “Children of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria. And do not be like your fathers and your brethren, who trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, so that He gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.”
II Chronicles 30:6-8 NKJV
Call to return
It has been almost two thousand years since the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross, was buried, rose again and ascended back to Heaven. In that time, many have gone away from the faith, either by disorder in practice, or by simply walking away. Many others have been taken captive by the world, bent on destroying those who believe.
Some of us have found ourselves completely fallen away, having become captive anew to gross sins and strongholds from which we were once liberated. Life filled with faith is now devoid of the Lord, and where His word and fellowship with the saints filled our lives, it is now missing and seldom even regarded with passing remembrance.
Continuing to read of Hezekiah and his rebuilding of the temple of God, and now I see the next of the work, as he has sent runners through Israel and Judah to call his brethren home. He reached out to those in Judah, and those who had remained free from captivity. Hezekiah reminded them that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had not forsaken them and desires their worship.
In many ways, we who are the faithful followers of Jesus today, are in a similar situation, as many of us are in a state of revival, and desire to reach those who have fallen away.
The times we are living in are filled with warnings of dire things to come, and the soon coming of the Lord. We sense that time is running out.
I know that many of us have people that we are praying for, who have departed from the faith, and have seen themselves corrupted by the world. I am praying for many parents with broken hearts, crying out to God for children who have gone astray.
The signs are everywhere that the storm is coming. Yesterday, I saw a news story of a man who entered a Subway to order a sandwich, and when he felt there was too much mayo on, he shot the two workers on duty, killing one.
We are witnessing what I call the great unhitching, as the frail, moral connections, framed by past Christian heritage, have finally broken and humanity is now unfettered and doing whatever it deems right in its own eyes. We have entered those perilous times that Paul cautioned Timothy about.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
II Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
We are as in the days of Noah, and the filthiness of humanity is as a stench that has reached the nostrils of Holy God. There will be no flood this time, but there will be fire, the Lord Jesus will soon bring true justice. Before that, man will play out his own destruction.
It is now time seek the refuge through faith, and make sure our sealing against the wrath to come.
Brothers and sisters, we are all runners, going through out the world telling of the great salvation found in Christ. We have been sent by our King. We are also being sent out to those who once walked in the faith, seeking to remind them that the Lord is the only way, and the only safe space in these uncertain times.
Let us be bold to go and tell, pressing on each day, reminding, exhorting those around us to a stronger faith. I think back to my mothers, asking me everyday if I had prayed or if I had read my bible. She was persistent and consistent. I praise God for her every day.
There will be mocking and opposition, but we must press on, that we reach some.
“So the runners passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun; but they laughed at them and mocked them. Nevertheless some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.”
II Chronicles 30:10-11 NKJV
Some will be saved, and makes it more than worth to endure whatever trials may come.
Let us demonstrate the change salvation has brought by our own lives, remembering that many who are making eternal decisions are watching. Let us walk-in the Spirit before the lost and the backslid, showing the glory of God.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
Ephesians 5:15-21 NKJV
I’ll say it once, and again and again: the lost are experts on the saved. They know how we should behave, and they are quick to see when we fail. Let us be always mindful of this. May they see only the love of Jesus in us.
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