“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up.” – Hosea 6:1
The Bible tells us that the Lord corrects those that He loves. Many times when that correction comes, we are much like little children and complain that He doesn’t love us. We rebel and do not submit to His Kingship and Lordship. And, as a result, we are not able to receive or respond to His love with the right heart.
Hosea’s prayer here is a beautiful one. He is leading the people in a prayer of humility and submission. He is giving the people an “altar call” and inviting them to come back to the Lord.
I was watching Pastor Greg Laurie on television recently, and his humility in prayer and call for people to accept Christ into their hearts reminded me of Hosea in this setting. Pastor Greg, after all of these years, is still preaching the same message and giving the same simple invitation to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior! In that same way, my Pastor, Raul Ries, continues to provide that same invitation. These are men who believe that if Jesus’ name is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself.
Whatever happened to the “altar call”? Whatever happened to the invitation to accept Jesus as Savior? In today’s church, we see a lot of inviting to come to church. When people come in we have signs that read “Welcome Home” or “You’re Welcomed Here” and many other cute sayings. Many of us Pastors post on social media and quote ourselves rather than the Word of God. Are we more interested in getting people who are already saved in the seats or are we after lost souls and discipleship?
Hosea was not asking people to come to synagogue and maybe turn back after hearing the message. He was inviting directly. Going to church is imperative and commanded, but accepting Jesus into your heart can be done anytime, anywhere.
If you are reading this and do not know Jesus or need to rededicate your life to Him, consider this your invitation. Will you accept Him today?