God spoke in our text through Isaiah to a very weak and wicked people. They have rebelled against God, and treated him like dirt. They have disobeyed His commandments; they have spurned His love, and have rejected His leading. They deserve nothing but God's wrath, but instead, God says, "Come now let's reason together." He is saying, there is still a way out of this mess. You do not have to remain in the rut of your sin. You can be forgiven and cleansed, and have a new start in life that will lead to success.
In verse 19 God says, if you are willing and obedient, you will be blessed, and eat the good of the land, but in verse 20 He says, if you refuse and rebel you will be destroyed. God is always the same in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and also, today. He is a God of grace who gives man a choice. He always deals fairly with man, even when they are not fair with Him. He always gives them a chance to determine their destiny. God says to every man in every situation, "Come now, let's work out this problem, and get on the right track."
God is not willing that any shall perish. He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
If any man dies lost, it is not because God willed it, but because that man refused to listen to God's invitation, "Come now." The call of God to all men is, "Come." It does not make any difference if you are the worse rebel that ever walked on this planet. It does not make any difference if you have broken every commandment God ever gave. It does not make any difference if you are so rotten to the core that you even hate yourself. God says come, let's get together and work this out so you can be forgiven and cleansed.
No matter how bad your sin, or how black it is, it can be made white as snow. You can be so clearly guilty that its like blood all over your hands and face, but if you will come, God can make you clean, and give you a fresh start. Thank God there is a way for the worst to be saved. The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. It is not just for the moderate sinner that this invitation is given, but for the worst and most radical. Nobody is left out.
God's invitation goes to all men, come now.
What a marvelous opportunity. You could not receive a greater invitation than this, even if you were invited to the White House, or to a royal wedding in England. Here is life's greatest invitation, and its not given just to some exclusive set, like the rich, the noble, the upper class. The best invitation, and most valuable in history, is offered to the least and the lowest, as well as the highest. Everyone has the invitation to come to God, and get a fresh clean start in life. You can receive it or reject it; you can respond or ignore it, but you cannot escape it. You are involved whether you like it or not. Even if you do nothing you are making a choice. You are choosing to miss God's best.
A man was telling his two buddies why he was so fed up. He said, "These three guys jumped out of an alley and knocked me to the sidewalk. One took my billfold, and another pounded me in the stomach while the other one kicked my ribs." "What did you do?" asked one of his friends. "Nothing," he responded, "I didn't want to get involved." It is obvious that he could not escape being involved when something so radical was happening to him. So it is with the Gospel and God's plan to save all people in Jesus Christ. You cannot not be involved. Jesus died for your sins, and paid the ultimate price, and bore the pain of your judgment, because He loved you. He now stands ready to receive you and save you from sin, death, and hell. All that He did directly involves you. There is no escape, for you are involved, like it or not. You have to do something about this invitation to come. You can't do nothing, for doing nothing is a major decision. It is doing that which loses you the best gift ever offered.
This is like being in a building they are going to blow up. They call out and ask if anyone is in the building, and announce that they must come out now for in 5 minutes the dynamite goes off. You can say, I'm not going to make a decision on this matter, and sit in your closet. But you cannot avoid making a decision, for that is a decision. You have decided to be blown up. Doing nothing is not nothing, it is a decision.
Spurgeon said, "The cry of the Christian religion is the simple word, come." Jesus was always saying come unto me and I will give you rest. The Bible is loaded with invitations to all men, and whosoever will may come. It is not a matter of how you feel. You may feel helpless and hopeless, with a heart that will not respond.
My heart, how dreadful hard it is,
How heavy here it lies,
Heavy and cold within my breast,
Just like a rock of ice.
It makes no difference if you will come. Coming is what counts, and all can come. When God says you can come, there is nothing in heaven or on earth that can stop the man who wants to come. Satan will fill the mind with fears and doubts. He will tell you it is hopeless, and that you are not worthy. It is true, but you can come nevertheless. If you come with all of your fears and doubts, God will receive you. God never says depart to anyone, until He first says come. All have a chance to come and be forgiven, and only when they don't come will they stand judged. God is never to blame for anyone being lost. He has done everything possible to prevent it.
When you come to God, you do not come with excuses, or with false views of your sin.
You do not try to justify your sin. It doesn't make any difference how scarlet your sin is,
for God promises to make it white as snow. You sin is probably far worse than you can imagine to a holy God. You cannot exaggerate your sin. Those who pretend they are too awful to be saved are being foolish. God's invitation is to come as you are, even if you are scarlet and blood red with sin. God delights in cleansing the worst, and making them new creatures in Christ.
Zaccheaus, that little scoundrel so hated and despised as a tax collector, came to Jesus. He was rejected by his own people as a traitor. He became all the corrupt for being hated, and so he over taxed people and became a criminal. He messed up his life with God and man. But then he came to Jesus, and his life was changed. He got back into favor with God and man. He became such a hero of the faith that children everywhere sing about him, because he responded to God's invitation to come and be cleansed. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is John 5:40 where Jesus said, "You will not come to me, that you might have life." The sadness is not that people can't come, but that they won't come. People are only lost for one reason, they will not come. People are saved for one reason, they come. Come to Jesus, and be a child of God forever.