¹ Some men, after having spent a lifetime in the service of Satan and in the rejection of God, even though they may call upon Him for mercy, do not necessarily receive His favor. This fact is implied in Psalm 50:14-23:
But I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
14 Offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving;
And pay thy vows unto the Most High;
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble:
I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16 But unto the wicked God saith,
What hast thou to do to declare my statutes,
And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth,
17 Seeing that thou hatest instruction,
And castest my words behind thee?
18 When thou sawest a thief, thou consentedst with him,
And hast been partaker with adulterers.
19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil,
And thy tongue frameth deceit.
20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother;
Thou slanderest thine own mother's son.
21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence;
Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself:
22 Now consider this, ye that forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver:
23 Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth me;
And to him that ordereth his way aright
Will I show the salvation of God.
The World's Greatest Library Graphically Illustrated.) Having, in a measure at least, complied with these conditions, I feel that the Lord has made good this promise to me--to some degree. I therefore present this message of the atonement and ask the reader to consider it with an open mind and with a real desire to know the truth of God on this most important subject.
From this quotation we learn that, if men turn to God and follow Him consistently, He will hear and answer them in times of stress and trouble. It is further stated that, if they do not follow Him constantly, they may in times of disaster cry to Him; but He gives no assurance that they will be heard. A continued and willful rejection of God and Christ on the part of the sinner has a disastrous reaction upon him in that such an attitude most frequently hardens the heart and renders the sinner incapable of genuine "repentance toward God and faith toward Christ" (Acts 20:21). But at the same time through fear one may cry out for mercy--when it is too late. On this very point Hosea spoke to the nation of Israel, together with the priests and the royal house. Having condemned them for their evil, sinful lives, the prophet declared that "They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek Jehovah; but they shall not find him: he hath withdrawn himself from them" (Hosea 5:6). (See Ps. 18:39-42.)
On the other hand, every earnest heart that turns in genuine repentance to "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world" and in true faith accepts Him shall be saved; for "him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37), declared the Saviour.
² In presenting my views on this subject, I wish to state in no uncertain sound that what I shall set forth concerning this matter is what I have got from the study of the Word of God and what the Lord has given me in answer to believing prayer. I feel that the Lord has fulfilled to me, in a measure at least, the promise that "... if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." God does honor faith. He urges us to pray for spiritual illumination and understanding. To Him be all the glory for whatever truth I may be able to present in this book, or in any other treatise. I am convinced that God flashes truth into the mind of the one who is ready to receive it, who has stored up the Word of God in his heart, who prays for spiritual understanding, and who searches and digs for it as one does for gold, silver, and precious stones (Prov. 2:1-5)--but never apart from the Written Word, nor contrary to it. (For a discussion of Prov. 2:1-5 see "Conditions of Understanding the Word," page 20, of my volume,