Sunday, March 12, 2017
Sun, March 12, 2017
The Christian Scriptures, particularly the Gospel of John, contain two truths which appear to stand opposed to each other.
One is that whosoever will may come to Christ. The other is that before anyone can come there must have been a previous work done in his heart by the sovereign operation of God.
The notion that just anybody, at any time, regardless of conditions, can start from religious scratch, without the Spirit's help, and believe savingly on Christ by a sudden decision of the will, is wholly contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
God's invitation to men is broad but not unqualified. The word 'whosoever' throws the door open wide, indeed, but the church in recent years has carried the gospel invitation far beyond its proper bounds and turned it into something more human and less divine than that found in the sacred Scriptures.
What we tend to overlook is that the word 'whosoever' never stands by itself. Always its meaning is modified by the word 'believe' or 'will' or 'come'. According to the teachings of Christ no man will or can come and believe unless there has been done within him a prevenient work of God enabling him so to do.
No one can come to me unless the Father draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
The verb translated draw is used of Peter drawing his sword (John 18:10); of Peter dragging fishing nets (John 21:6. 11); of Paul and Silas dragged from the temple (Acts 21:30). The Father draws. Initiative in salvation is always with God.
Father, how deceived we are in assuming that we can bring people to You. Only You can draw them. In intercession we can pray that You will do so.