Why Will You Stay Away?
by Joseph Franks
God foreordains our sin. There is much mystery here. Our human responsibility is not being denied. God is not the author of our sin. However, whatsoever comes to pass, we know it has been sovereignly decreed by our sovereign God.
God foresees our sin. He is omniscient and knows those transgressions which he has decreed. He also can look down the corridor of time and see the end from the beginning. Therefore, before we take our first breath, he has fully read our entire diary. Yes, God knows and notes all our sinful affections, thoughts, words, and deeds.
God foreloves sinners. Fully knowing the rebels we were destined to become, God predetermined to come to earth to live, die, and redeem us — his children. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Before we were yet sinners, Christ loved us. And why do we love him now? We love him because he first loved us.
God forgives sinners. Through the mediation of his Son, he paid the price for all the sins of all the elect. Consequently, when the Just Judge looks at his books of righteousness, nothing is owed; nothing is left outstanding. Our righteousness account is full and overflowing.
God forever dwells with sinners. Before our reconciliation, we could not walk in his garden. He had his holy mountain, but we were forbidden to touch it, much less climb it. His tent was nearby, but his Holy of Holies was completely off-limits to us. And whatever we do, we had better never touch the Ark of the Covenant and the accompanying lid (Mercy Seat) that represented his throne. With good intent, Uzzah did that once, and it did not work out well for him. However, now that we have been completely reconciled by Jesus Christ our Great High Priest, we belong in his garden, at his table, on his mountain, in his tent, and in his presence. Now that we are his perfectly redeemed and righteous children, we are invited into his Holy of Holies, we are his Holy of Holies; and we are encouraged to come very near the Ark of the Covenant or Throne of Grace:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Friends, let not Satan encourage you to keep your distance. He is the Accuser who began in the Garden telling lies about the compassion of God. Listen not to him. Ignore his empty accusations. Open your Bible and hear the voice of God calling you to come near and repent.
Let not your busyness keep you from your Lover’s presence. There are many things you can do to numb the pain. You can always find something else to temporarily take your mind off your God. However, nothing is more vital and beneficial than communing with your Creator and Savior. Be still and know God. Spend huge amounts of time with him today.
Let not the strict holiness of God keep you from talking with Him right now. He is not your angry Father waiting to pummel you with his hand of discipline. What we see in Scripture with capital punishments, Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Ananias and Sapphira are the exceptions and not the rule. As God disciplines you, it will only be out of love, and it will often be tempered with great mercy and tenderness.
Let not your sins keep you from talking with God right now. He knew all your sins before he called you into his presence today. He knows your most wicked inner thoughts and theological questions. Yes, he sees all your sins — mental and physical. And, he has paid for them all. Do not let your guilt keep you from your God. In Christ, you are viewed as perfectly righteous in his sight. Enjoy your inheritance.
Believer, right now, God stands like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. With reckless indignity he is ready to run to you. As a matter of fact, he has already done so once before in the person of his Son. He wants to talk. He wants to pronounce forgiveness again. He want to sing over you with love. He wants to put his arm around you and bring you back in the house. He has shoes for your feet, a robe for your back, a ring for your finger, and bounty for your stomach. Your Heavenly Father loves you. He wants to talk with you. Come home and approach the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Throne of Grace with confidence. Because of Jesus Christ, this is where you belong.