A Gospel Address to the Young
Is it not true of each and all my readers, that they have sinned and come short of the glory of God?
My first Behold is about your sins, and can be read in Numbers 22:23,
“BEHOLD, YE HAVE SINNED
against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
Ye have sinned against the Lord. If a purse of gold were offered to every boy and girl who had never sinned, who could apply for it? Not one. Were any so self-satisfied as to come forward for the coveted prize, it would but prove how dark and deceived they were. For God has declared, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word in not in us” (1 John 1:10).
If God had provided blessing and privilege for those only who had never offended against Him, such favours would remain untouched by man. The angels might partake of His bounties, but none upon earth among the children of Adam could share in the benefits.
The whole world is pronounced guilty. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23; 5:12).
All are thus declared to be subject to God’s just judgment. “Behold, ye have sinned against the Lord.” But this is not all; for the scripture adds, “And be sure your sin will find you out.”
The sin may be hidden for a time. It may be cloaked from sight and covered from view; unknown by the nearest and dearest of our friends. But sooner or later the sin will find us out, and the judgment will fall.
With many it may not be until the great white throne that their deeds of darkness will be displayed. Whether, however, in time or in eternity, the refuges of lies will assuredly be torn away, and the evil be dragged into the light.
Remarkable and unexpected discoveries of crime have been made, from time to time, by the police. In some cases years have rolled by, and no trace of the perpetrator of the wrong has been forthcoming. Then some slight clue has been brought to light, and the guilty one detected and sentenced. A condemning conscience has in other instances led to the full confession of the evil.
Still there are numberless examples where the evil-workers have escaped punishment at the hands of their fellows; but their sin will find them out. The day swiftly approaches when “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.”
Do you fear that day, dear reader? Do you turn with alarm from the thought of the secrets of your life being disclosed? Are you saying with the prodigal, “I have sinned”? or crying with the jailer, “What must I do to be saved?” If so, there is a gracious message for you. Tidings of salvation are being proclaimed. For such as you there is forgiveness.
“BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD”
These words were first spoken by John the Baptist as he looked upon Jesus as He walked (John 1:29).
The long-looked-for Saviour had come at last; the promised Deliverer was now present.
God had Himself provided the Lamb for a burnt offering—His own beloved Son had come to do His will. Perhaps Abram upon the mountain-top learned to look for Him when, having heard the angel’s voice telling him not to kill Isaac, he lifted up his eyes and beheld a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. This ram was offered in the stead of Isaac. I have no doubt that this ram foreshadowed the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, who was yet to come.
Then, again, before the messenger of judgment passed through Egypt’s dark streets, the Israelites had been commanded to take them every man a lamb for a house. “Your lamb,” said Jehovah, “shall be without blemish.” Here we have an evident type of the Saviour, “Christ our Passover.” But we did not provide Him; He is not our Lamb, but the Lamb of God. God Himself planned our salvation. He Himself gave the Son of His love to suffer and to die. Thus our redemption is altogether of God.
God the Father planned it in heaven.
God the Son wrought it by His death upon the cross.
God the Holy Spirit tells us of it in the Scriptures.
Many, many times we find lambs were used in sacrifice. According to the law a lamb was to be offered every morning and evening, and many other animals were to be offered as well. Why was it that all these creatures were slain? Was there any value in their blood? Was it any real pleasure to Jehovah that they should die? No! Their value was in this alone, that they showed man that because of his sinfulness and guilt he could not come near to God without blood being shed; and besides this the death of these animals typified the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
What a glad day it must have been to John the Baptist when he could point Him out and say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Several times in the Scriptures the Lord Jesus is referred to as the Lamb.
In 1 Peter 1:18-19 we read, “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold. . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
It is the Lamb who is seen in the midst of the throne of God (Rev. 5:6), and before whom the golden crowns are cast.
It is in the blood of the Lamb that the great multitude of Revelation 7 have washed their robes and made them white.
The church, composed of all true believers on the Son of God, is called the Lamb’s wife. The Lamb is the light of the holy Jerusalem, and only those written in the Lamb’s book of life can ever enter into that city (Rev. 21:9, 23, 27).
These are only some of the passages. There are several others which you can search out for yourselves.
Now let me ask you, Have you beheld the Lamb of God? Have you looked upon Him in His wondrous journeyings?
You may follow Him from the glory of God to the Bethlehem manger. To Egypt. To Nazareth. To Jordan. Through Galilee. Again and again to Jerusalem. To Gethsemane. To the cross of Calvary. To the grave in Joseph’s garden. To the mount of Olives. To the throne of God.
Look to Him there in the glory now. Behold! Behold the Lamb—of God! You have sinned against the Lord. Your sin will find you out in the day of judgment, unless it finds you out in the day of grace. Now there is salvation for sinners, for sinners as guilty and defiled as you. Turn in faith to Christ. Look unto Him and be saved. His precious blood alone can cleanse.
As cleansed by the precious blood of Christ, the believer is spotless in the sight of God. Clothed with the garments of salvation. Comely with the comeliness that God has put upon Him. He stands in the Father’s presence, fitted for the inheritance of the saints in light. Christ looking upon him can say—
“BEHOLD, THOU ART FAIR,
my love; behold, thou art fair” (S. of Sol. 1:15).
Thus the Saviour shows His present delight in those whom He has delivered. Once their sins covered them from head to foot. Now every stain is removed. They are cleansed from ALL sin, and are His joy and pleasure.
“Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
“Christ loved the church,” that is the past.
“That He might sanctify,” that is the present.
“That He might present it,” that is the future.
Could anything equal such love?
His love to us took Him to Calvary to give Himself for us. Love fills His heart now that, as great High Priest and Advocate, He sits at the right hand of God. Love will lead Him to rise and to come into the air to call us to meet Him and to be with Him for ever.
Already the cry has gone out—
“BEHOLD THE BRIDEGROOM
cometh, go ye out to meet him” (Matt. 25:6).
When taking leave of His sorrowing ones the blessed Saviour said, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).
The Spirit of God cheers the hearts of the waiting ones, telling them, “Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:37).
From His glory the Lord Himself says, “Surely, I come quickly” (Rev. 22:20).
In the well-known parable where the cry, “Behold the Bridegroom,” is found, there are two classes aroused by the announcement. Those who have oil in their vessels with their lamps and those who have not. The one class is composed of the wise (true believers); the other, of the foolish (mere professors). All had gone out to meet the coming One. All at first appeared to be in readiness; but in fact only half of the whole number were fitted for His presence.
Awaking from their sleep, the foolish virgins, when too late, discover their need, and seeing that they cannot procure oil from their companions, hasten off to those who sell. During their absence the Bridegroom came. “They that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” It was in vain that the foolish knocked. They were unknown, and so not admitted. “Verily I say unto you, I know you not” were the solemn words to those who had expected to enter into the marriage feast.
Are you ready if Christ, the Bridegroom, come today?
“Behold, ye have sinned,” is the witness of the Scripture against you.
“Behold the Lamb of God” tells the gospel message to you.
“Behold, thou art fair,” shows the blessed Lord’s thought of the believer.
“Behold the Bridegroom” should awaken all slumberers to trim their lamps.
Scattered Seed 1892, p. 36