"The Acceptable Year of the Lord" refers to the era in God's plan of salvation when He would permit His word, the unadulterated truth, of the gospel to be preached to the people so that they would worship Him in spirit and in truth and be reconciled to Him by His grace. How are we, as Christians living up to the demands of Christ? How diligent are we in proclaiming the truth to others? How Christ-like are we in our words and actions? These are some of the issues to which we shall address ourselves under this theme by the grace of God.
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” - Isaiah 55:6, 7.
This charge for us to call upon God at the time He will hear us shows that although He is longsuffering, God Almighty will not tolerate the sins of men indefinitely. The purpose of giving sinners a long time before He acts is that He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. (2 Peter 3:9) It is when they fail to make use of the opportunity given them to repent that God acts. The Almighty states, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” - Deuteronomy 32:35.
The Bible says that God “...knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust...” (Psalm 103:8-14) It is because He knows the extent of our imperfection, that He forgives those who repent and do not go back to their old ways. “Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.” (Ezekiel 18:27, 28) Let each person therefore prayerfully purge himself of sinful thoughts and actions and “return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon”, as stated in the text for today.