Saturday, September 17, 2005
I ran across this sign near Mt. Pleasant, N. C. It caught my eye, because it contained more words than I'm accustomed to seeing. First let me say that I appreciate the fact that at least the first part of the sign is directing those who need help to call upon Jesus. That is good and it is biblical. The Scriptures repeated exhort us to call upon the name of the Lord. From the opening book of Genesis we see that godly men called upon the name of the Lord (4:26) throughout the pages of Scripture we find that men are to call upon God for help and He is an ever present help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).
The most help a person needs is for God to raise them from spiritual death to spiritual life and though I am thoroughly convinced that they will not have spiritual life unless The Resurrection gives it to them, then they are at His mercy. I always encourage the lost to call upon God for a new heart, a new spirit and peace with God through His Son the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:37, 38, Rom. 10:13). If you are a Calvinist and don't do these things, then your Calvinism isn't worth speaking about. As a matter of fact, it isn't true biblical theology or Calvinsim at all. We must give the remedy and right response to sinners. Peter and Paul and all the apostles did this in their messages to Jew and Gentile alike. They commanded them to turn from sin and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and call upon His name. Therefore, this is good.
However, I am in a little debate over the second line. It is good in that it directs men to thank God. Well said. We are commanded over and over to thank Him, for from Him are all things (Col. 1:16) and He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Throughout Scripture we are to be thankful in all things (Ps. 100:4; Col. 3:15).
However, there is a premise here that bothers me: "If you don't need help". Who is there among us who truly does not need help? Is this to assume such a statement? The Scriptures are clear that we all sin and that we all fall short of the glory of God. We all remain under His wrath and that we all turn aside to our own way rather than walk in His ways. Some might stand up and say that there are those who now have been delivered out of His wrath by His Son. To that I say a hearty, "Amen!" Yet are we who have been summoned by His effective grace ever without need? Oh brothers and sisters we are always in need of the grace of God. Though we may look back on our life and see the wonderful evidence that god has indeed worked in our lives, we can also see how much we continue to miss the mark and we continually, more and more, see the evidence of our need of the continued grace of God to sustain us.
Therefore, let us continue to be those recognizing our need, even in the midst of abounding grace and let us come boldly before the throne obtaining grace from the hand of God. Let us come humbly thanking Him for the grace He has already provided to us in Jesus Christ and let us give Him glory for His goodness, mercy and love that has abounded to us in Christ. If you are among those who still practice sin, then come in fear and trembling before Him with a broken heart over your sin and a sincere desire to be delivered from it and call upon the name of the Lord and He will deliver you.