Here is a prophecy that must be fulfilled. Before time is no more the Lord God will "say to the north, give up; and to the south, keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." The Lord our God has a people in this world whom he is determined to save. Their salvation is a matter of certainty. We have every reason, therefore, to throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the work of seeking the salvation of God's elect. Our labor will not be in vain!
Our Lord has many children who are yet far away from him. Though they are not yet saved, though they are lost and scattered among the fallen, depraved sons of Adam, though many may not even have been born yet, all who shall be saved are already God's sons and daughters, adopted by him in eternal, sovereign election (Gal. 4:6; 1 John 3:1; John 10:16). In all nations, among all people, there is a remnant according to the election of grace upon whom God's eye has been set from eternity. He has declared, in his eternal purpose, "They shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels" (Mal. 3:17).
God has given commandment for the salvation of all his chosen sons and daughters. "Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." To whom is this commandment given?
1. It is given to all of providence (Rom.8:28-30). Everything that happens in the mysterious movements of providence is under God's control and works by his sovereign power and purpose for the salvation of his people. Long before regenerating grace comes to the chosen, prevenient grace watches over them, orders their steps, and keeps them from going down to the pit, because God has found a ransom for them. This is beautifully illustrated in Hosea 2:6-8. Read Psalm 107 and see how that providence obeys God's command for the salvation of his elect. "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
2. This commandment was given to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in the covenant of grace, as our great Surety (John 10:16-18). The Son of God assumed all responsibility for the redemption of God's chosen before the world began and pledged himself to gather them out of Adam's fallen race, by his blood and by the power of his grace by the Spirit, and, in the end of time, to present them every one to the Father in perfect righteousness (Heb. 2:13; 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 5:25-27). The will of God the Father which Christ came into the world to accomplish, and did accomplish by his obedience unto death, was the complete redemption of his people (Heb. 10:5-14).
3. This commandment was given to God the Holy Spirit. As David sent Ziba to fetch Mephibosheth to him, so God the Father sends out his Holy Spirit to fetch his chosen from the four corners of the earth by his irresistible power and grace. As it was Christ's work in the covenant of grace to redeem God's elect, it is the Spirit's work to gather the redeemed from among the fallen sons of Adam (John 16:7-14; Ps. 65:4; 110:3; John 6:63; Rom. 9:16).
4. This is God's commandment to his church. I can see no other reason why God has left us upon this earth than that we should obey this command. – "Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth" (Matt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16; John 20:21). It is God's purpose that all his saints upon the earth be fishers of men. The business and purpose of the ministry of every local church is the gathering of chosen, redeemed sinners to Christ, for the glory of his name. Since we have no way of knowing who those chosen, redeemed ones are, the only way we can fulfill our purpose is to preach the gospel to "every creature." Tell everyone you meet about Christ and his glorious accomplishments for sinners. Go into the highways and hedges and persuade sinners to come to Christ. Cast the gospel net into the water where you are, gather in all the fish you can, and haul them to shore. You need not fear getting some of the non-elect into the kingdom! God will take care of that business. He will sort the good fish from the bad. Any who come in without a wedding garment will be detected and expelled by him who never makes a mistake.
Nothing so inspires evangelism and missionary zeal as the assurance God has given that he will save his elect. He will accomplish his purpose of grace. Armed with this assurance of success, let every ransomed sinner seek the salvation of God's sons and daughters for the glory of his name. Amen.