The bible is a call for the children of God who have lost their way. Deuteronomy 32:15 “They abandoned the God who made them and rejected the Rock their Savior. 19 The Lord saw this and rejected them because he was angered by his sons and daughters. 20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” The word of God is a call to come home. When Israel was taken captive to Babylon they knew they were captive, that is those who were still alive. Daniel 9:2 “Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.” Jeremiah 29:10 says, “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.” One of the great promises is that the captives will be able to come home. Deuteronomy 30:4 “Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back.” Jesus said in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” In the church today they do not know they are captive and continue in their own ways.
The word of God is all about returning home. In Genesis they were cast out of the garden. There they were told Genesis 2:16 “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 3:17 “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.” Scripture is then a journey home in the name of Jesus now we have both trees available to us. Revelation 2:7 “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
Many Christians get confused when the bible talks about unbelievers. It was usually Israel, God’s chosen people that were being told to repent. Then it was the Jews as Peter said to them 36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Save yourself from this corrupt generation.” Now the same can be said about the Gentiles who have turned away to follow their own paths. That is us by the way. Now time is short and there is no second chance. If you die today and you have been deceived, it will be too late for you but most are not worried because they believe that God will not keep His word concerning those who reject Him. The fear of God is all but gone but so is the fear of living forever in hell. Most do not take this serious. Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” We have been called to return to the Lord. Hosea 14:1 “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount warhorses. We will never again say ‘Our gods’ to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion.” Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?” Yes most will not return but the remnant will just like they returned form Babylon. Most will ignore the call and remain in captivity till they die but there is a call right now to return home.
The time is now to repent and be freed from captivity. John 4:23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
Even when Jesus presented himself alive over the period of forty days, many did not believe. This is still the case, as many do not believe that there is power for all who believe. Ephesians 1:19 “His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Now is the time to wake up. Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Revelation 3:2 “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” Revelation 3:19 “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 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 that person, and they with me.” These are words to the church.
We have been told to humble ourselves and repent. Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 said, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Notice it said my people and their wicked ways. When talking about the Kings of Israel and Judah they either 1 Kings 15:26 “Did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the ways of his father and committing the same sin his father had caused Israel to commit.” 1 Kings 15:11 “Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done.”
The church needs to return to the Lord and seek him as Josiah did. 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” We have been commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart soul mind and strength. As we return we must do the same and follow God’s word wholeheartedly.
Sadly we are now in the same category as Israel was and is. Romans 10:20 “And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me. 21 But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” It was God’s grace that has allowed us the opportunity to be saved from God’s wrath but have we not shrunk back. Acts 15:15 “The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 16 After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ 18 things known from long ago.” Now the Gentiles are disobedient and obstinate and it appears that many will not believe until they see a sign from God. They should read the word of God and believe but they don’t. We have not talked a lot about signs and wonders because that is just part of the gospel, that is when the Holy Spirit is poured out on us. Many Christians have been deceived into thinking that signs are not of God and they give all the credit to satan for them. Luke 11:14 “Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. 15 But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” 16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. 17 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18 If satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. 19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” They only asked for a sign because they did not believe. The same is happening today with those who still do not believe are asking for a sign. Most are not walking by faith but by sight. Matthew 16:1 “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.” It does not mean you are wicked and adulterous if you believe the power is still available. That argument is pure absurdity.
Mark 7:6 “He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” We have churches full of these unbelieving so-called believers. They are actually worse than these teachers of the law because most don’t even believe in healing. Mark 2:8 “Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Most doubt this is even possible today, as they have been blinded. Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
We have been told to separate ourselves from these unbelievers. 2 Timothy 3:1 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.” 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
Ask yourself these questions; am I seeking the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind and do I really expect to find him? Am I really looking for the narrow gate? Most of us cannot answer this question with a yes so Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Psalm 14:2 “The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” Amos 5:4 “This is what the Lord says to Israel: “Seek me and live.” Deuteronomy 4:23 “Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. 25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God and arousing his anger, 26 I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”