The message of the cross tells us that Christ crucified turned alienation into reconciliation, and forever changed the pronouncement of God toward mankind. The message of Calvary now proclaims to sinners: WELCOME, all who are sinful. Welcome, welcome, welcome! God is a pardoning, reconciling, forgiving, welcoming, friendly Father because of the Cross. Come and welcome home, every sinner. Welcome home, sinner, welcome home. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” God is ready to be reconciled to any sinner who will come. Come freely, without money, without price, without goodness, without self-improvement, without self-effort, without good works, without righteousness, without contribution, without hesitancy, and without delay– come now and be fully welcomed by Jesus Christ.

The most sinful person who reckons it to be true that Jesus died for sinners, and believing that, comes himself genuinely seeking a Saviour for himself, will not see a divine finger pointed at him, “Naughty boy, shame on you!” He will not get reprimanded, lectured, scolded or corrected. He will not get a cold shoulder, be looked down upon, or be gripped at: “I want you to know how bad you’ve been! Now, you need to be good, so I’m putting you on probation to see if I can really trust you!”

The sinner fears, “If I do come, what will I find–an angry, hesitant God?” But when the sinner final does come, what does he find?

He finds a reconciled God and Father. He finds a friendly, welcoming, loving Saviour. He finds ONLY a “welcome home” sign extended, a rejoicing Father embracing him, and the free gift of inner cleansing; he finds all his sins and guilt gone, and hears a pronouncement of “fully forgiven!”; he finds he has received the status of being a fully-loved son; he finds complete restoration and a joyful reunion. He finds heaven throwing a party and a banquet feast of mercy, unconditional love, and full reconciliation. He hears, as the prodigal son heard, “It’s time to celebrate!”

If Jesus died for the worst of sinners, will He not then also freely forgive the same sinners?

As William Hewitson said, “It is as sinful to doubt God’s willingness to save me as to doubt His existence. God is benevolent and friendly-minded toward sinners in the gospel.”

As the song says, “Come and dine, the Master calleth, come and dine!”

– Mack Tomlinson

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