This devotional first appeared in https://www.revivalandreformation.org
Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:19, 20, NKJV.
The Lord has plainly revealed His will concerning the salvation of the sinner. And the attitude which many assume in expressing doubts and unbelief as to whether the Lord will save them is a reflection upon the character of God. Those who complain of His severity are virtually saying: “The way of the Lord is not equal.” But He distinctly throws back the imputation upon the sinner: “Are not your ways unequal? Can I pardon your transgressions when you do not repent and turn from your sins?” …
The Lord will receive sinners when they repent and forsake their sins so that God can work with their efforts in seeking perfection of character…. The whole purpose in giving His Son for the sins of the world is that people may be saved, not in transgression and unrighteousness, but in forsaking sin, washing their robes of character, and making them white in the blood of the Lamb. He proposes to remove from sinners the offensive thing that He hates, but they must cooperate with God in the work. Sin must be given up, hated, and the righteousness of Christ must be accepted by faith. Thus will the divine cooperate with the human.
We should beware that we do not give place to doubt and unbelief, and in our attitude of despair complain of God and misrepresent Him to the world. This is placing ourselves on Satan’s side of the question. “Poor souls,” he says, “I pity you, mourning under sin; but God has no pity. You long for some ray of hope; but God leaves you to perish, and finds satisfaction in your misery.”
This is a terrible deception. Do not give ear to the tempter, but say: “Jesus has died that I might live. He loves me, and wills not that I should perish. I have a compassionate heavenly Father; and although I have abused His love, though the blessings He has graciously given me have been squandered, I will arise, and go to my Father, and say: ‘I have sinned …, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.'”
The parable tells you how the wanderer will be received…. Thus the Bible represents God’s willingness to receive the repentant, returning sinner.–Testimonies for the Church 5:631, 632.