People everywhere are searching to find some way to know God. They long to have peace with Him.
Why, then, if man is seeking after God, does he not find Him?
The answer is: THEY ARE NOT SEEKING HIM WITH THEIR WHOLE HEART.
In the Bible God has said, "Ye shall seek me, AND FIND ME, when ye shall search for me with ALL YOUR HEART."(1)
People are not finding the peace with God that they desire because they want it on their own terms. "My way is all right," they say. "I simply cannot understand why God will not meet me on my terms." But the Bible says, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (2)
You see, man has his thoughts and actions centered upon doing what he considers good for himself. He is so wrapped up in living for himself first that he has no time for God, or his fellowmen, except when he can gain something from them. THIS IS SELFISHNESS. It is the basis for all sin. It is that which makes man a rebel against God and alienates him from God.
Therefore, as long as man persists in pursuing his own way--even his own way to God--he will not find peace.
First, God requires man to turn from his sins, saying, "...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."(3) Now this turning from sin means a turning from living for self first to give God His rightful place as the Supreme Being in the Universe. It also means giving your fellowmen their rightful place as beings of equal importance with yourself. The Bible commands, "...thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, ...soul, ...mind, ...and ...strength: ...And ...thy neighbour as thyself." (4)
Secondly, to have peace means to be reconciled to God. On God's part, this was made possible through the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, on Calvary. Because Jesus died for the sin of the whole world, God is able to be merciful and forgive the sinner and still uphold his righteous government. Therefore, as ambassadors for Christ we beseech you to be reconciled to God.(5)
This reconciliation is not a paper transaction. It must be an actual fact, accomplished in your heart. A sinner is in an attitude of enmity and rebellion and does not love or desire the will of God. There must be a change of heart attitude, which is a transaction of the will. The Bible calls this repentance.(6)
No man can experience the peace of salvation without repentance. God requires it. No man can believe to the saving of his soul without repentance. Saving faith follows repentance and no amount of understanding the facts of Bible doctrine with our mind will substitute for this saving faith. The Apostle Paul says he taught "both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (7) You must repent. God cannot repent for you.
Thirdly, just as faith follows repentance, obedience follows faith. In fact, obedience and saving faith are inseparable, because in the act of repentance, your will becomes reconciled to the will of God to do His will. So the Scripture says: Jesus "became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him;" (8) "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (9)
To recognize Jesus as our Saviour is also to recognize Him as our Lord. No one is more fit to govern man and the universe, which He created, than the Creator Himself. Obedience to the will of God is necessary for the welfare of all men.
You must agree that all God requires from rebellious man to have peace with Him is reasonable and just. God has necessarily pronounced judgment, that is, separation from His presence, upon man because of his sins; but He has also graciously found a way to reconcile repentant sinners to a renewed relationship with Himself through the death of His Son. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"(10)
God has said, "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;" (11) You do not need to die in your sins. Choose the life that is in His Son, Jesus Christ. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (12)
(1.) Jeremiah 29:13. (2.) Proverbs 16:23.
(3.) Luke 13:3 & 5. (4.) Mark 12:30 & 31.
(5.) II Corinthians 5:20. (6.) Acts 17:30.
(7.) Acts 20:21. (8.) Hebrews 5:9.
(9.) James 7:17. (10.) Romans 5:1.
(11) Deuteronomy 30:15. (12.) John 14:6
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*A Gospel Tract published by Men for Missions, Minneapolis, MN. They have moved on to be with the Lord Jesus Christ.