Last week, we looked at Isaiah 1:18 and saw that God was willing to give his people an opportunity to come to their senses and turn back to him. Those people failed to heed God’s warnings. Surely, man can learn from their mistakes (Romans 15:4).
If today’s headlines were compared with those of Isaiah’s day, it would be difficult to determine a difference. Man has turned to selfish passions, trying to get the best of his neighbors. Life is considered cheap by many.
Yet, with all this wickedness existing, God still is the answer. He has offered pardon to all. Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s promise to man is just as sure today as when it was first uttered to man. The reason being, God wants and always has wanted the best for man. He just leaves the decision making up to man.
When man allowed himself to be overcome by temptation, and sin came into the world, God justly could have destroyed man. But his love for man led him to provide a way for mankind’s redemption (Genesis 3:15). He later promised Abraham that through his lineage, all nations would be blessed. From the time of that promise until Christ came and gave himself for man, God’s plan was in action.
It is difficult for some to understand this love. All they see is the physical, the wickedness of the world — the hatred, prejudice, the idea of having it all, of letting money and glory become their idols. They seek to serve it no matter what. Because they desire more, they are overcome with this idolatry. And just as in Isaiah’s day, God still can make the scarlet as white as snow, but man has to come to his senses and turn to God.
God offers pardon to man through the blood of his son. Notice the paradox: sin as red as crimson and scarlet can destroy, yet red as the color of Christ’s blood can cleanse the soul. Men still has to reason, or think things through. Heaven is a place that can be reached — a place God has prepared for man (John 14:1-6), a place where there is no sickness, tears of sorrow or death. The alternative of this is a place prepared not for man, but for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). It is described as a place of torments, where there is pain and suffering.
God wanted his people in Isaiah’s time to come to their senses, but they never did. Assyria came and carried them away into captivity in ways that were cruel beyond compression. It all could have been avoided.
Eternal damnation can be avoided, and heaven can be attained, if man will turn to God on the Lord’s terms. His offer of salvation is available to all: “Come now, let us reason together.”