Harmony Baptist Herald Number 5, Spring, 2006
“Come unto Me . . .” said the Lord Jesus, “. . . and I will give you rest . . . rest unto your souls.”
Oh, what wonderful, hope-filled words. How few who are reading this know the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding.” Mankind naturally does not know the peace of God, as the Bible says, “Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known.” To compound a bad situation we spend our lives searching in all the wrong places or simply trying to drown out our guilt and sorrow by endless activities.
Why is it many do not like to sit alone in quiet? Why are men and women always looking for a new thrill, a new experience, or a new way of escape? Why is it our society is wealthier perhaps than any in history, and yet so very few are content or truly happy? Rather most are in debt up to their eyes, and still “need” a new car, a bigger house, a new boat, a better vacation, the newest electronic gizmo, etc. . . .? Why? Because there is no rest in the soul. Only the Lord Jesus can give this.
Looking in the Wrong Places
Some reading this are searching for peace in drugs, in one meaningless relationship after another, in your career, sports, or some other kind of activity, but to no avail. Please read carefully the full context of the beautiful words at the top of this tract: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
Who is Invited?
Notice to whom Jesus calls, to those “that labour and are heavy laden.” To men, women and young people burdened down by sin and guilt. For sin is the name of the burden that causes the soul to know no peace or rest. God’s Word is clear in teaching that we are sinners both by nature and by choice. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” And, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God . . . there is none that doeth good, no, not one . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
We did not have to be taught to be selfish or to lie or to think evil thoughts, that is our nature. We are sinners, and, therefore, we sin. Cursing, drinking, gambling, immorality, lying, hatred, jealousy, and covetousness are simply the sinful symptoms of our nature. We all have broken the greatest commandment, which is to love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Rather we spend our strength, mind, and love on sinful pursuits; and by God-given grace and conscience, we have guilt and shame.
This burden of guilt caused by sin forces man to labor under the additional burden of religion in a vain effort to find rest for his soul. Religion says to the sinner seeking God, DO or BE. Rather than relief and rest, we only have our burden increased by such commands as, “Do better,” “Say prayers,” “Go to church,” “Be baptized,” or such like. For example, each year many spend 40 days denying themselves and saying extra prayers and going more to “church” in vain hopes of finding peace with God. But they do this year after year, and to no avail. Their sin and guilt cannot be removed by their own religious efforts any more than by the “magic” of some witch doctor. Only the precious blood of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, can take away sin and give a pure conscience and rest in the soul.
“Come unto Me”
To you, sinner Friend, Jesus Christ says, cease your labor, turn away from your sin, and “Come unto Me, . . . and I will give you rest.” Notice the word “come” implies that you must leave where you are. Leave all hope of saving yourself. Forsake all your sin and the vain hope of religion. I do not mean that you must clean up your own life before you can come to Jesus for salvation. No, that is impossible. You must repent of your sin. That is, you must turn from it in your heart. Right now, perhaps God is bringing something to your mind, some sinful habit, relationship, or thought that you must forsake if you would have rest for your soul and everlasting life in the Lord Jesus Christ.
To “come” also implies faith. That means to cast all of your hope and trust upon Him and Him alone. Allow me to illustrate briefly. Imagine for a moment that the floor under you right now is about to give way and plunge you into the bottomless pit of Hell, but next to you is a solid pillar. Your only hope is to cling to that pillar. What will you do? Will you sink into hell or cast yourself on that solid rock? Such is your case. David said, “There is but a step between me and death.” And so it is with each of us. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death.” And “the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” It is only the grace and mercy of God that keeps you out of hell this very minute. That “Rock” is Christ. Cast yourself upon Him now.
Rest, a Free Gift, In Jesus Christ
Jesus says, “Come unto Me, . . . I will give you rest.” Notice the word, “I.” The “rest” of salvation is not in religion or self effort, it is in HIM Who said, “I will give you rest.” Because He is the Son of God Who came into this world and took upon Himself, not only our likeness, but also our sin and condemnation and died for sinners and rose again, He is able to save all who come to Him. Again, God’s Word says, “But God commendeth (demonstrates) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” and “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Jesus gives every sinner who comes to Him peace WITH GOD and the peace OF GOD, because He has taken away the sin and the enmity between God and men.
If you know yourself to be a sinner who knows not the peace of God, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Remember, to those who confess themselves as burdened down by sin and unable to save themselves the Lord Jesus extends this invitation, “Come unto Me, . . . take My yoke upon you, . . . I will give you rest.” Right now cast yourself on Him, and receive His rest and His salvation.
If God has opened your heart to believe upon the Lord Jesus, please contact us for more helpful information. Or if you have any questions, or need more information, please contact us.