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           In 1880 Will L. Thompson wrote the old song “Softly and Tenderly.” Since that time the song has been used as a song of invitation to all who believe in Christ and want to receive atonement for sin. Mr. Thompson wrote, “Soft and tenderly Jesus is calling, Calling for you and for me; See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching, Watching for you and for me.  Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home; Earnestly and tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O Sinner, come home!” Matthew recorded the words of Jesus; stating, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV).

 

            Sin is a reality! Paul wrote, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:20-23 NKJV). The consequences of sin are dire.  Not only does sin bring death (separation from God) but it also brings eternity without God.  Paul wrote, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Matthew 6:23).  Jesus stated, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24).

 

            The Bible speaks of unbelievers telling of their lost condition. Saul had persecuted the church and was separated by sin from God. When Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, he asked Jesus “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do” (Acts 9:6).  Jesus told him “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6). In Acts chapter 22 when Paul recalled the account of his conversion, he told the brethren that Ananias came to him and told him what the Lord required of him. Ananias spoke with him and then questioned him saying, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Paul told the Romans “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4). It is in the death of Jesus that one has his sins removed (washed away) and he rises from the water (grave) a new creature. He is, at that time, added by the Lord to the church (Acts 2:37-47).

 

            The Bible also speaks of Christians who sin and fall from the grace of God: Paul recorded that some of the brethren at Galatia had accepted a perverted gospel and had therefore caused the death of Christ to be ineffective in saving their souls. He stated, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4 NKJV). The church at Ephesus had drifted away from her first love (Revelation 2:4). John recorded the words of Christ in a letter to the brethren stating, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (Revelation 2:5 NKJV). The only avenue of return to God for the Christian who commits public sin, is to repent of sin, confess his sin to others, and ask for the prayers of others for forgiveness (I John 1:5-10; James 5:16).

 

            Will L. Thompson wrote, “Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, Pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies, Mercies for you and for me? Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, Passing from you and from me; Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, Coming for you and for me. O for the wonderful love He has promised, Promised for you and for me; Tho’ we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon, Pardon for you and for me. Come home, come home, Ye who are weary, come home; Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner come home!” Many who were once faithful Christians have allowed themselves to drift away from the truth and  allowed sin to overcome them (Hebrews 6:1-12; 10:25-30; II Peter 2:1-22). If these are to be saved, they must return to the Lord and ask for forgiveness.

 

            Is the Lord walking with you (Psalm 23)? If Jesus were to return today, would he find you ready for eternity? Will you answer the call of Jesus and allow Him to greet you on the Day of Judgment with the words “‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” (Matthew 25:34 NKJV)? Jesus has fulfilled His earthly mission! He now calls for us to do what we must do in order to have a home with Him in heaven (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 11:28-30; Acts 22:12-16).

 

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