HRIST will not die in vain. His Father gave him a certain number to be the reward of his soul travail, and he will have every one of them, as he said, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me." Almighty grace shall sweetly constrain them all to come. My father gave me recently some letters, which I wrote to him when I began to preach. They are almost boyish epistles; but, in reading through them again, I noticed in one of them this expression, "How I long to see thousands of men saved; but my great comfort is that some will be saved, must be saved, shall be saved, for it is written, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me.'"
The question for each of you to ask is, "Do I belong to that number?" I am going to preach with the view of helping you to find out whether you belong to that "all" whom the Father gave to Christ, the "all" who shall come to him. We can use the second part of the verse to help us to understand the first. "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out," will explain our Saviour's previous words, "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me."
I shall have no time for any further preface; I must at once get to my subject, and try to put everything in a condensed form. Kindly give heed to the word, think about it, pray over it; and may God the Holy Ghost apply it to all your hearts!
First, notice in the text THE NECESSITY OF CHARACTER: "Him that cometh to me." If you want to be saved, you must come to Christ. There is no other way of salvation under heaven but coming to Christ. Go wherever else you will, you must be disappointed and lost; it is only by coming to him that you can by any possibility have eternal life.
What is it to come to Christ? Well, it implies leaving all other confidences. To come to anybody, is to leave everybody else. To come to Christ, is to leave everything else, to leave every other hope, every other trust. Are you trusting to your own works? Are you trusting to a priest? Are you trusting to the merits of the Virgin Mary, or the saints and angels in heaven? Are you trusting to anything but the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, leave it, and have done with it. Come away from every other reliance, and trust to Christ crucified, for this is the only way of salvation, as Peter said to the rulers and elders of Israel, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
“To Jesus bleeding on the tree,
Turn thou thine eye, thine heart,"
and come to him at once,
and thy soul shall live for ever.”
To come to Jesus means, in brief, trusting him. He is a Saviour; that is his business, come you to him, and trust him to save you. If you could save yourself, you would not need a Saviour; and now that Christ has set up to be a Saviour, let him do the business. He will. Come, and lay all your needs at his feet, and trust him. Resolve that, if lost, you will be lost trusting alone in Jesus; and that can never be. Tie up all your hopes into one bundle, and put that bundle upon Christ. Let him be all thy salvation, and all thy desire, and so thou shalt be surely saved.
I have sometimes tried to explain to you what the life of faith is like; it is very much like a man walking on a tight rope. The believer is told that he shall not fall, he trusts in God that he shall not; but every now and then he says, "What a way it is down there if I did fall!" I have often had this experience: I have gone up an invisible staircase; I could not see the next step, but when I put my foot down on it, I found that it was solid granite. I could not see the next stair, and it seemed as if I should plunge into an abyss; yet have I gone on upward, steadily, one step at a time, never able to see farther into absolute darkness, as it seemed, and yet always with a light just where the light was wanted.
When I used to hold a candle to my father, of an evening, when he was sawing wood out in the yard, he used to say, "Boy, do hold the candle where I am sawing, don't look over there." And I have often thought to myself, when I wanted to see something in the middle of next week, or next year, that the Lord seemed to say to me, "Hold your candle on the piece of work which you have to do today; and if you can see that, be satisfied, for that is all the light you want just now." Suppose that you could see into next week, it would be a great mercy if you lost your sight a while, for a far-seeing gaze into care and trouble is no gain. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," as sufficient unto the day will be the good thereof. But the Lord does train his people for the skies by testing their faith in the matter of his daily care of them. Often, a man's reliance upon God for the supply of his earthly wants proves that he has trusted the Lord for the weightier affairs relating to his soul's salvation. Do not draw a line between the temporal and the spiritual, and say, "God will go just so far; but I must not take such and such a thing to him in prayer." I remember hearing of a certain good man, of whom one said, "Why, he is a very curious man; he prayed about a key the other day!" Why not pray about a key? Why not pray about a pin? Sometimes, it may be as important to pray about a pin as to pray about a kingdom. Little things are often the linch-pins of great events. Take care that you bring everything to God in faith and prayer. "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
I have turned aside from my subject for a minute, but let us now think again of this matter of coming to Christ. To come to Jesus, not only implies leaving all other confidences, and trusting Christ, it also means following him. If you trust him, you must obey him. If you leave your soul in his hands, you must take him to be your Master, and your Lord, as well as your Saviour. Christ has come to save you from sin, not in sin. He will therefore help you to leave your sin, whatever it is; he will give you the victory over it; he will make you holy. He will help you to do whatever you should do in the sight of God. He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him; but you must come to him if you would be saved by him.
To put together all I have said, you must quit every other hope; you must take Jesus to be your sole confidence, and then you must be obedient to his command, and take him to be your Master, and Lord. Will you do that? If not, I have nothing to say to you except this, - he that believeth not in him will perish without hope. If you will not have God's remedy for your soul malady, the only remedy that there is, there remaineth for you nothing but blackness and dismal darkness forever and ever.
But, now, secondly, while there is this necessity of character, notice also THE UNIVERSALITY OF PERSONS: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Granted that he comes to Christ, that is all that is needed. Does some one say, "Sir, I am a very obscure person. Nobody knows me; my name was never in the papers, and never will be; I am a nobody"? Well, if Mr. Nobody comes to Christ, he will not cast him out. Come along, you unknown person, you anonymous individual, you that everybody but Christ forgets! If even you come to Jesus, he will not cast you out.
Another says, "I am so very odd," Do not say much about that, for I am odd, too; but, dear friends, however odd we are, though we may be thought very eccentric, and some may even consider us a little touched in the head, yet, nevertheless, for all that, Jesus says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Come along with you, Mr. Oddman! You shall not be lost for want of brains, nor yet for having too many; though that is not a very common misfortune. If you will but come to Christ, though you have no talent, though you are but poor, and will never make much headway in the world, Jesus says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
"Ah!" says a third friend, "I do not mind about being obscure, or being eccentric; but it is the greatness of my sin that keeps me back from Christ." Let us read the text again: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." If he had been guilty of seven murders, and all the whoredoms and adulteries that ever defiled mortal man, if impossible sins could be charged against him, yet if he came to Christ, mark you, if he came to Christ, the promise of Jesus would be fulfilled even in his case, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
"But," says another, "I am completely worn out, I am good for nothing. I have spent all my days and years in sin. I have come to the very end of the chapter, I am not worth anybody's having." Come along with you, you fag end of life! Jesus says, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." You have to walk with two sticks, do you? Never mind, come you to Jesus. You are so feeble that you wonder that you are alive at your advanced age. My Lord will receive you if you are a hundred years of age; there have been many cases in which persons have been brought to Christ even after that age. There are some very remarkable instances of that fact on record. Christ says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." If he were as old as Methuselah, if he did but come to Christ, he should not be cast out.
"Alas!" says one, "I am in a worse case than even that aged friend, for beside being old, I have resisted the Spirit of God. I have been many years troubled in my conscience; but I have tried to cover it all up. I have stifled every godly thought." Yes, yes; and it is a very sad thing, too; but for all that, if you come to Christ, if you can even make a dash for salvation, and come to Jesus, he cannot cast you out.
One friend perhaps says, "I am afraid that I have committed the unpardonable sin." If you come to Christ, you have not, I know; for him that cometh to him Jesus will in no wise cast out. He cannot, therefore, have committed the unpardonable sin. Come along with you, man, and if you are blacker than all the rest of the sinners in the world, so much the more glorious shall be the grace of God when it shall have proved its power by washing you whiter than snow in the precious blood of Jesus.
"Ah!" says one, "you do not know me, Sir." No, dear friend, I do not; but, perhaps, one of these days I may have that pleasure. "It will not be any pleasure to you, Sir, for I am an apostate. I used to be a professor of religion; but I have given it all up, and I have gone back to the world, willfully and wickedly doing all manner of evil things." Ah! well, if you can but come to Christ, though there were seven apostasies piled one upon another, still his promise stands true, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Whatever the past, or whatever the present, backslider, return to Christ, for he standeth to his plighted word, and there are no exceptions mentioned in my text: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
"Well, Sir," cries another, "I should like to come to Christ; but I do not feel fit to come." Then, come all unfit, just as you are. Jesus says, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." If I were woke up in the middle of the night by a cry of "Fire!" and I saw that someone was at the window with a fire-escape, I do not think that I should keep in bed, and say, "I have not my black necktie on," or "I have not my best waistcoat on." I should not speak in that way at all. I would be out of the window as quickly as ever I could, and down the fire escape. Why do you talk about your fitness, fitness, fitness? I have heard of a cavalier, who lost his life because he stopped to curl his hair when Cromwell's soldiers were after him. Some of you may laugh at the man's foolishness; but that is all that your talk about fitness is. What is all your fitness but the curling of your hair when you are in imminent danger of losing your soul? Your fitness is nothing to Christ. Remember what we sang at the beginning of the service: --
"Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness he requireth,
Is to feel your need of him:
This he gives you;
Tis the spirit's rising beam."
Come to Christ just as you are, foul, vile, careless, godless, Christless. Come now, even now, for Jesus said, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Is there not a glorious width about my text: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." What "him" is this? It is "him that cometh." What "him that cometh"? Any "him that cometh" in all the world. If he comes to Christ, he shall not be cast out. A red man, or a black man, or a white man, or a yellow man, or a copper-colored man, whatever he is, if he comes to Jesus, he shall in no wise be cast out.
When you mean to put a thing broadly, it is always best to state it, and leave it. Do not go into details; the Saviour does not. Some years ago, there was a man, a kind, loving husband, who wished to leave to his wife all his property. Whatever he had, he intended her to have it all, as she ought; so he put down in his will, "I leave to my beloved wife, Elizabeth, all that I have." That was all right. Then he went on to describe in detail what he was leaving her, and he wrote, "All my freehold and personal estate." The most of his property happened to be leasehold, so the wife did not get it because her husband gave a detailed description; it was in the detail that the property slipped away from the good woman. Now, there is no detail at all here: "Him that cometh." That means that every man, and woman, and child, beneath the broad heavens, who will but come, and trust in Christ, shall in no wise be cast out. I thank God that there is no allusion to any particular character, in order specially to say, "People of that character shall be received," for then the characters left out might be supposed to be excluded; but the text clearly means that every soul that conies to Christ shall be received by him.
The flight of time hurries me on, therefore, I beg you to listen earnestly while I speak to you, in the third place, about THE UNMISTAKEABLENESS OF THE PROMISE: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise" - that is, for no reason, under no circumstances, at no time, under no conditions whatever, - "I will in no wise cast out"; which means, being interpreted, "I will receive him, I will save him, I will bless him."
Then if you, my dear friend, come to Christ, how could the Lord cast you out? How could he do it in consistency with his truthfulness? Imagine my Lord Jesus making this declaration, and giving it to us as an inspired Scripture, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out," and yet casting out somebody, even that unknown somebody up in the corner. Why, it would be a lie; it would be an acted lie! I pray you, blaspheme not my Lord, the truthful Christ, by supposing that he could be guilty of such conduct as that. He could do as he likes about whom he would receive until he made the promise; but after he had pledged his word, he bound himself by the veracity of his nature to keep it; and as long as Christ is the truthful Christ, he must receive every soul that comes to him.
But let me also ask you, suppose that you came to Jesus, and he cast you out, with what hands could he do it? "With his own hands," you answer. What! Christ coming forward to cast out a sinner who has come to him? I ask again, with what hands could he do it? Would he do it with those pierced hands, that still bear the marks of the nails? The Crucified rejecting a sinner? Ah! no; he hath no hand with which to do such a cruel work as that, for he has given both his hands to be nailed to the tree for guilty men. He hath neither hand, nor foot, nor heart with which to reject sinners, for all these have been pierced in his death for them; therefore he cannot cast them out if they come to him.
Let me ask you another question, What profit would it be to Christ if he did cast you out? If my dear Lord, of the thorny crown, and the pierced side, and the wounded hands, were to cast you away, what glory would it bring to him? If he cast you into hell, you who have come to him, what happiness would that bring to him? If he were to cast you away, you who have sought his face, you who trust his love and his blood, by what conceivable method could that ever render him the happier or the greater? It cannot be.
What would such a supposition involve? Imagine for a moment that Jesus did cast away one who came to him; if it were ascertained that one soul came to Christ, and yet he had cast him away, what would happen? Why, there are thousands of us who would never preach again! For one, I would have done with the business. If my Lord can cast away a sinner who comes to him, I cannot, with a clear conscience, go and preach from his words, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Moreover, I should feel that, if he failed in one promise, he might fail in the others. I could not go and preach a possible but doubtful gospel. I must have "shalls" and "wills" from the eternal throne of God; and if it is not so, our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also vain.
See what would follow if one soul came to Christ, and Christ cast him out. All the saints would lose their confidence in him. If a man breaks his promise once, it is of no use for him to say, "Well, I am generally truthful." You have caught him false to his word once, and you will not trust him again, will you? No; and if our dear Lord, whose every word is truth and verity, could break one of his promises only once, he would not be trusted by his people any more, and his Church would lose the faith that is her very life.
Ah! me; and then they would hear of it up in heaven; and one soul that came to Christ, and was cast away, would stop the music of the harps of heaven, would dim the lustre of the glory land, and take away its joy, for it would be whispered among the glorified, "Jesus has broken his promise. He cast away a praying, believing soul; he may break his promise to us, he may drive us out of heaven." When they begin to praise him, this one act of his would make a lump come in their throats, and they would be unable to sing. They would be thinking of that poor soul that trusted him, and was cast away; so how could they sing, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood," if they had to add, "But he did not wash all that came to him, though he promised that he would"?
I do not like even to talk of all that the supposition would involve; it is something so dreadful to me, for they would hear of it in hell, and they would tell it to one another, and an awful glee would take possession of the fiendish hearts of the devil and all his companions, and they would say, "The Christ is not true to his word; the boasted Saviour rejected one who came to him. He used to receive even harlots, and he let one wash his feet with her tears; and publicans and sinners came and gathered about him, and he spoke to them in tones of love; but here is one, - well, he was too vile for the Saviour to bless; he was too far gone, Jesus could not restore him, Christ could not cleanse him. He could save little sinners, but not great ones; he could save sinners eighteen hundred years ago. Oh! he made a fine show of them; but his power is exhausted now, he cannot save a sinner now." Oh, in the halls of Hades, what jests and ridicule would be poured upon that dear name, and, I had almost said, justly, if Christ cast out one who came to him! But, beloved, that can never be; it is as sure as God's oath, as certain as Jehovah's being, that he who comes to Christ shall in no wise be cast out. I gladly bear my own witness before this assembled throng that -
"I came to Jesus as I was.
weary, and worn, and sad:
I found in him a resting-place.
And he has made me glad."
Come, each one of you, and prove the text to be true in your own experience, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake! Amen.
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