Editorial – This Man Receives Sinners

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:15. Jesus experienced great difficulty with the religious leaders in the world at that time, because He received sinners and ate with them. The Monsignors of that day expressed great displeasure and insinuated that Jesus liked to associate with the sinful and the vile and was not even distressed at their wickedness.

Jesus addressed the outcasts of society as the children of God, estranged for the moment from the Father’s house but not forgotten in His heart. He gave every sinner the distinct impression that He could and would deliver them from the pit of sin if they were willing.

If you have done wickedly, if you have wandered far from your Father’s house, take courage. Do not suppose that there is any if with God. His power and authority are absolute, and He has already given word that He is willing to save completely anybody who comes to Him through His Son. (John 6:37; Hebrews 7:25.) He is waiting to pardon your transgressions and bring you back into His personal presence where there is fullness of joy. (Psalm 16:11.) If you are in a state of rebellion against Him, He is seeking you even now. All that He needs is for you to say “yes,” because He will never violate the power of choice that He himself has given you. He just needs you to acknowledge Him as the Saviour and Lord of your life. (Acts 2:36; 5:31.)

There is another side to this wonderful story of the Man who came into this world to save sinners. Maybe you have already surrendered your life to Him and consider yourself an experienced follower of Jesus Christ. If so, a heavy obligation is resting upon you. Every person whom Christ has rescued is called to work in His name for the saving of others who are lost. (John 17:18.) Are there souls going down to ruin around you? Are you reaching out to these with deep sympathy, realizing that the tempted and erring will be lost, unless some hand of sympathy and pity reaches out to them?

When our sympathies broaden and our love increases, we will realize that we have a work to do. God’s household embraces the world. Most of its inhabitants are at present under the control of an alien enemy prince who holds them in abject slavery with the power of his seductive and self-exalting but ruinous temptations. But this world is to be reclaimed! Not everyone will accept the offer of salvation, but there are many precious souls yet to win. We are to attract, not repulse, every sinner who will take a look at the gospel. We are to make a personal effort, showing them that we are interested in them personally and individually.

“All the resources of heaven are at the command of those who are seeking to save the lost. Angels will help you to reach the most careless and the most hardened.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 197.

“The Saviour longs to manifest His grace and stamp His character on the whole world. It is His purchased possession, and He desires to make men free, and pure, and holy. Though Satan works to hinder this purpose, yet through the blood shed for the world there are triumphs to be achieved that will bring glory to God and the Lamb. Christ will not be satisfied till the victory is complete . . . . All the nations of the earth shall hear the gospel of His grace. Not all will receive His grace; but ‘a seed shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.’ Psalm 22:30.” The Desire of Ages, 827, 828.