Saturday, August 16, 2008

Return of the Prodigal


If thou hast no good thoughts or feelings, if hitherto thou hast been the most damnable of rebels against God, if up to this moment thy hard and impenitent heart has been at enmity against God and against Christ, yet if now, this very day, thou wilt believe that Christ incarnate, Christ died, Christ risen, Christ pleading, can save thee, and if thou wilt rest thy soul upon that fact, thou shalt be saved.

God, the infinitely loving father, is willing to receive thee just as thou art. He asks nothing of thee. O prodigal, thou mayst come back in thy rags and filthiness, notwithstanding that thou hast spent thy living with harlots; notwithstanding that the swine have been thy companions, and thou wouldst fain have filled thy belly with their husks; thou mayest come back without upbraiding, or so much as a word of anger, because thy Father’s only begotten Son has stood in thy stead, and in thy place has suffered all that thy many sins deserved. If thou wilt now trust in Jesus, the Lord, who loved thee with unspeakable love, thou shalt be this very day received into joy and peace, with a Father’s arms about thy neck, accepted and beloved; with thy rags stripped from off thee, clothed in the best robe; with the ring upon thy finger and the shoes upon thy feet, listening to music and dancing, because thy soul which was lost is found, thy heart which was dead has been made alive.

From a sermon entitled "Believing With The Heart," delivered July 12, 1863. Flickr photo by daita saru; some rights reserved.

No comments: