4 Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
God has not chosen the ignorant and disobedient-such are "without the city," and belong to the company that "loveth and maketh a lie" (Rev. 22:15). They, and they alone, have boldness to draw nigh the throne of grace, who have cleansed themselves with the blood of Jesus, having their hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and their bodies washed with pure water (Heb. 4:16; 10:19, 22).
The natural mind is disposed to think that worship, if it is only offered sincerely, must at all times be acceptable, whether the worshipper be enlightened or unenlightened. ... Devotion and sincerity, like earnestness and zeal, are right in their places, but they must be governed by knowledge. It is man's nature to worship; he cannot refrain from it; but to worship acceptably, he must have received a divine education.
It is a rule laid down in the Scriptures that prayer to be efficacious must be made nothing doubting (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:6; 1 Tim. 2:8). Now is it possible for the alien to approach God with intelligent unwavering confidence, with a "full assurance of faith," when they have received no invitation?
... The standing of the unsanctified is otherwise. The argument of some would seem to imply that God requires the alien to seek Him before He seeks them; that it is necessary to attract God's notice by crying unto Him before He will regard. This is a great error, and tends to becloud the truth. Where God wills His word to go, it goes, and He does not wait to be entreated for it. He knows what His children want before they ask Him, and He knows what His to-be children need before they are in a position to ask Him.
In regard to the latter class, the evidence is that He will bestow good upon them unasked. In return for which He demands their obedience. His requirements run:
"Hear," "Believe," "Repent," "Be baptised," "Continue in well-doing."
When these commands have been observed (and not until) a well-grounded Scriptural confidence may be entertained that God, who is of
"purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity,"
will take pleasure in prayer and praise.
Bro AT Jannaway - TC 06/1886