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have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15: 16, 19; 6: 70; 13: 18). “The Master is come, and calleth for thee” (Luke 11: 28). “ Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5: 24). “ Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began ” (2 Tim. 1:9).
God's calls to His people to give up their idolatry and return to Him, repeated again and again, in almost every age, are very touching, and full of pathos. They offer, like the Parable of the Prodigal Son, not only forgiveness, but a loving reception to the backslider and the fallen, if they will repent and turn to God. “My people are bent to backsliding from me. *** How shall I give thee up, Ephraim ? how shall I deliver thee, Israel ? how shall I make thee as Admah ? how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? Mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man” (Hosea 11: 7). “Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child ? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore my bowels are troubled for him: I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD" (Jer. 31: 20). “O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isai. 44: 21). “Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD” (Jer. 3: 12). “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding” (Jer. 3: 22). “I have spoken unto you, rising early, and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me. I have sent also unto you' all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them' (Jer. 35: 14). "For why will ye die, O house of Israel ? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye" (Ezek. 18: 31).
Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exod. 19: 5). “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD, thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” (Deut. 14: 2). ye
are are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
" Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you,
shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6: 17). "And the God of all grace, who hath called you unto His eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffered awhile, shall Himself perfect, stablish, strengthen you. To Him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. GOD COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY
WHERE TO REPENT.
Man, a sinner by nature and by practice, “is condemned already” (John 3: 18). And "the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3: 36). While he remains in rebellion against God, he is increasing his guilt and his indebtedness every moment of his existence. He takes advantage of the long suffering of God “to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). Proving, as the Word of God says, that “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8: 11). God “now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because He hath appointed a day; in the which He will judge the world" (Acts 17: 30).
The first step to save men is to convict them of sin. Unless this is done, they will not repent and will not accept Christ. The first work of the Holy Spirit is, “He will convict the world of sin" (John 16: 8). The first preaching to men recorded in the New Testament was commanding them to repent. No baits were offered to allure men to come and hear the Gospel, as is being done at the present time. The messenger was sent by God, to deliver the message of God. Repent! for you are lost. It is to be remembered that these messengers and the messages were sent first to the church. “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem ” (Luke 24: 47). John the Baptist began preaching, saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3: 1). And “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel " (Mark 1: 14). “And He called unto Him the twelve, and began to send them forth two and two." "And they went out and preached that men should repent" (Mark 6: 7, 12). On the day of Pentecost, after Peter's preaching, the record says, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said nto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:37). And again he says, “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you" (Acts 3: 19). Paul says, God “now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: