sing, "Thanks be to the hell that saved us by our own suffering!" Just how much weight is there to thatcriticism? It is a marvelous truth that CHRIST ALONE can save! There is no other way! How werejoice that it is so! But there is one thing that must be dealt with before any man can come to Christand be saved. MAN'S REBELLION MUST BE REMOVED. His pride and self-confidence andstubborness and trust in things and pleasures that damn and lead away from God must be
. And this is where judgment comes in. Judgment destroys the power of the carnal mind which blinds,which is enmity against God but judgment does not grant redemption. It only breaks rebellion! Itbreaks man's stubborn will! But redemption was purchased upon the cross.
It is a small matter for God to break the resistance of men. Men without God live like animals. Theyeat, sleep, entertain themselves, labor, but they are not in touch with God at all. He has no place intheir thoughts nor in their lives. Finally man awakens. Like the old country preacher who was telling of the prodigal son. He said, "He took off his coat and spent that. Then he took off his vest and spentthat. Then he took off his shirt, and when he took off his shirt, he
ame to his self
e come toourselves in various ways!
hen the prodigal was feeding hogs in the "far country" he "came tohimself," according to Jesus. Did he, then, have a "hogpen redemption?" Not at all! The hogpen didn'tsave him, but he did get some sense knocked into him there it was there his willfulness and rebellionleft him, but he was not saved until he got back to his Father.I have read about men in the foxholes on the battle front getting saved. Did they get a "war redemption?" Did the war save them? No! No! No! Men in the danger and horror of war often begin tothink as they never thought before, but war does not save. At best, it can only awaken them, and turnmen to the Christ they have ignored. And if they are saved at all it is because they call in all sincerityupon the Saviour who died for them on Calvary's cross.
Now the prodigal didn't have to go home. He was not compelled to do so, no one dragged him. He
to! But he didn't want to until all his money was gone and he got to feeding hogs. Thecircumstances had to crowd in upon his life which caused him to come to the place where he choseto "arise and go to the Father." The heart of the Father is calling, calling, calling to His waywardchildren, "Come unto Me." Long before the prodigal son had come to his home, the Father waswaiting, and looking for him. He saw him coming along the weary way, no longer with servantsattending, no longer in rich robes; but ragged, poor, dirty, in wornout sandles, he came along theroad, with the stench of the swineherd and the stains of the fleshpots upon him. Creeping along, sick,sore, and weary, he said, "Oh, if I could but be one of my Father's hired servants! "Is it he? Can it be -O God, can that be he who left only a few months ago, so strong, so happy, so bright, with the worldall before him? Can that be he?" "It is. It is he."
ill the Father reject him?
ill the Father not say, "Igave him his portion and he has spent it all in riotous living; let him stay away for ever?" No, no. TheFather saw him afar off, and he ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him, not heeding his filthinessand his rags. The Father interrupted the prayer, after the son told him of his sin, that he mightbecome a slave in the Father's house; for there are no slaves in our Father's house. They are all sonsand daughters of the Most High God.
Thank God for that!
hy, then, should we be slaves to Satan, and to sin, and to death, and to hell? The Father took himand kissed him. He told the servants to bring the best robe and the signet ring that made himcontroller of his Father's estate. He told them to get out the musical instruments and the dancers, andto make merry and be glad. "Spread the feast, for this my son was dead; dead to me; dead to mother;dead to purity; dead to truth; dead to love; dead to God; and he is alive again. He was lost and isfound."
henever judgment has done its work; whenever a man comes to himself and says "I will"; "Iwill arise and go to my Father, and I will say to my Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Your sight and am no more worthy to be called your son," then the Great and Eternal God and Father willtake that man, sin-stained and foul as he is in spirit, and in soul, and in body, and He will make himwhiter than snow. If you ask Him to give you the lowest place as a servant, He will lift you up, and kiss