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God’s Word to You


“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)


The Lord God here commands you to come to him by faith in Christ, and promises the full forgiveness of sin to all who obey his command.


God’s Command

The gospel is not a bare invitation, which may be accepted or refused, as you may choose, without impunity. It is a command, a summons from the throne of the Most High God. When God says, “Come,” he does not mean, “Come if you please.” He means “Come!” You cannot disobey an invitation. But a command is different. If you refuse to obey God’s command, if you refuse to come to Christ, you shall be judged of God as a disobedient rebel (Romans 10:21). This is a gracious command, a very gracious command. The gospel of God presents you with God’s commandment (1 John 3:23). — “Come!” And you are responsible to obey it.


To You

This command is addressed to you. It is addressed to sinners everywhere, without qualification. If you hear the command, God gave it to you. If you read the command, God gave it to you. I know many would-be theologians frown at it, many will cry, “That is not consistent Calvinism. Bro. Fortner’s theology needs to be more precise.” I care nothing for that. — God commands you to come to Christ.


No Qualifications

Many place qualifications in front of the word “sinners,” implying that before you can come to Christ in faith you must meet certain conditions. They try to sneak works into the scheme of grace by making works sound like humility. They say, God commands “sensible sinners” to come, or “seeking sinners,” or “thirsty sinners,” or “hungry sinners,” or “weary sinners,” or “lost sinners,” or “convicted sinners,” or “penitent sinners,” or “broken sinners.” But this is God’s word to you, sinner, without qualification or condition. In fact, in the context, those to whom God is speaking were sensible of nothing. They did not feel any need of a Savior. They had no sorrow, or remorse for sin. They were not broken at all. A more graphic description of utter godlessness, depravity, and spiritual death could never be found. Here is thick darkness, without one ray of light. Yet, to these hard-hearted, spiritually dead sinners, God says, “Come.” — They were senseless sinners who would not hear, ungrateful sinners who did not care, beastly sinners who would not think, utterly depraved sinners without one commendable trait, a people laden with iniquity, sinners who promoted sin in others, hardened sinners. They were the very worst of sinners, they were self-righteous sinners, whom the Lord God compares to Sodom and Gomorrah (vv. 2-14).

      The gospel is addressed to sinners as sinners. The gospel net is cast into the sea of fallen humanity to catch all kinds of sinners. None are exempt from this command. None are excluded, not even you who shake in your boots fearing that you have committed “the unpardonable sin.” If God commands me to come to him, then I may come to him. And if I come to him in obedience to his own command, I will not be turned away (John 6:37).







Don Fortner








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