ISSUES OF FAITH: An invitation to come to Jesus

AS I JOURNEY through the Bible, I’m blessed by the incessant invitational nature of God. He beckons.

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price … Incline your ear and come to me” (Isaiah 55:1, 3 ESV).

Come. He satisfies.

And we should be humbled and grateful that our sinful nature doesn’t deter God’s invitational nature.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

As we keep turning the pages, we hear Jesus, Immanuel, aka God with us, frequently extend the invitation to come.

Recruiting disciples, Jesus approached two fishermen, Peter and Andrew, who were casting their nets into the lake.

Jesus extended them an intriguing invitation, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19 NIV).

And they did. Immediately.

Later, the frightened disciples thought they saw a ghost walking on the stormy sea, but Jesus urged them to “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” (Matthew 4:27 ESV).

But Peter wanted verification. “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (28).

Jesus said, “Come,” and Peter came (29).

Jesus extends an invitation to all of us on our stormy seas of life by saying, “Come to me, all 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” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Does your soul ever need rest? Come.

Because of Jesus’ invitational nature, it’s jarring to hear Him say, “Depart from me” (Matthew 7:23, Luke 13:27).

It’s His strong words to people who believe they’re Christians simply because they do certain things, good things — amazing things.

However, coming to Jesus must precede going in His name.

Not too surprisingly, the last word in the Bible is “Amen.”

But just before that final amen is a sequence of comes.

“The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).

Come. Come. Come.

Jesus’ last words in the Bible are, “Surely I am coming soon.” And the response to that is “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (20).

Please note that the beckoned become the beckoners.

So let me conclude this article by beckoning you to come to Jesus.

Today.

And I also beckon you to be beckoners.

Beckon others to come to Jesus. And beckon Jesus to come again.

Today — and every day until He comes again.

This is my final article in the PDN.

My wife and I are returning to our home town of Cle Elum. I am grateful to the PDN for giving me the opportunity to write to you for over 13 years, and I am humbled and grateful for the feedback many of you have given me.

“The grace of the Lord be with you all. Amen” (22:21).

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Greg Reynolds is pastor of Joyce Bible Church. His email is [email protected].

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