#THE CERTAINTY AND FREENESS OF DIVINE GRACE
"All who the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and he who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out."
- John 6:37
LET it be forevermore remembered that the words of Jesus Christ are full of truth and grace; and that in each of these two sentences, whether we perceive the fact or not, there is the surest truth and the freest grace. There will be some, who from the peculiarity of their minds, will prize most the first sentence. They will say, as they read these words, "All who the Father gives Me shall come to Me," why, here is high doctrine! Here is the security of the covenant, the purpose of God effectually carried out; here is the truth of God which we love and the grace in which we glory." Other brethren, overlooking the first sentence, lest it should raise questions too hard to be answered, will rather grasp at the second sentence, "He who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." "Why," they say, "here is universality of description! Here is a freeness of invitation; here is a gracious overflow of generosity—this is good free gospel, indeed," and they will, therefore, fall to proclaiming the second sentence to the neglect of the first. But, beloved, let us not sin by setting one Scripture against another, or attempting to divide the living child of revelation. It is one, and it is alike glorious in all its parts. You who love to hear the gospel preached to sinners, do not be afraid of the doctrines of sovereign grace; and you who love sovereign grace, but cannot well hear doctrine too high for your taste, do not be afraid of the free invitations of the gospel, and the wide door which Jesus opens for needy sinners in many passages of Scripture. Let us receive all truth, and let us be willing to learn every lesson which the Lord has written, remembering that if we cannot as yet reconcile truths of God, there is the promise—"What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter." If we could know everything, we would be gods! Being mortals, some things must be unknown to us; let us know our ignorance, and despair of becoming infallible, and thus we shall be in the path to true wisdom; whereas, if we boast of our wisdom, we shall be on the high road to great folly.
Let us consider the text carefully; and as it divides into two branches, let us view them one by one. Here we have grace and truth triumphant in specialty; and, secondly, we have grace and truth triumphant in generosity. May God help us to handle these, that much instruction may flow from them.
I. In the first sentence, we have GRACE TRIUMPHANT IN SPECIALTY—"All who the Father gives Me shall come to Me."
I would bring out the meaning of this passage by a few observations.
1. You perceive here that _the Lord Jesus leads us up to the original position of all things_—for since a people were given to Him by the Father, it is clear that they must first have been in the Father’s hands. All men, then, are naturally, from the beginning, in the hands of the Father; and so it should be, for He has fashioned them all, and made them for His pleasure. God, absolutely considered, created all things, and His kingdom rules over all. Having a right to make laws, to issue rewards, or to threaten with punishments at His own pleasure, Jehovah sits upon His throne, judging rightly. The elect were especially in the hands of the Father, for He had chosen them. The choice is always described as being with the Father—"I thank You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Your sight." They belong to the Father, then, as Creator, as Governor, and as the source and fountain of election.
How often do believers forget the part which the Father has in their salvation; and yet He is the basis and prompter of it all. Remember, beloved, that He who first of all chose you, was no other than our Father who is in heaven; and though our Lord Jesus Christ undertook your cause, yet it was because the Father, first of all, out of His great love, gave you to His Son. Forget not the Father’s grace, and cease not to sing of His love—
"‘Twas with an everlasting love
That God His own elect embraced;
Or earth on her huge columns placed.
Long before the sun’s shining ray
Primeval shades of darkness drove,
They on His sacred bosom lay,
Loved with an everlasting love."
2. The Savior then proceeds to inform us of a great transaction. He says that the Father gave His people to the Son, and put them into the hands of Christ—the God-Man Mediator. As Jesus is God, these people always were His own; but as Mediator, He received them from the hands of the Father. Here was the Father’s condescension in noticing us at all, and in bestowing us upon the Son—here was the Son’s infinite mercy and compassion, in accepting such poor souls as we are at the Father’s hands, and counting us to be His precious jewels, His peculiar portion. The persons referred to as being given by the Father are not all men; although, it is true, that the Father has delivered all things into Jesus’ hands, and He has power over all flesh. We must always interpret one passage of Scripture by another; and the 39th verse of this chapter very clearly interprets the 37th—"And this is the Father’s will which has sent Me, that of all which He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." The given ones, it is clear, are by appointment delivered from being lost, and appointed to a glorious resurrection which is not true of any but the chosen. In the 10th chapter, we find the same explained thus in the 27th verse—"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hands. My Father, which gave them to Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hands." And if this should not explain the matter sufficiently, we have it again in our Lord’s prayer in the 17th chapter, sixth verse—"I have manifested Your name unto the men which You gave me out of the world: Yours they were, and You gave them to Me; and they have kept Your word." So you see that the persons given were His own sheep; they are brought to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, and to follow Him; they are in His hands, and there they are safely kept beyond all fear of harm; Jesus manifests the Father’s name unto them, and they learn to keep the Father’s word. This does not respect any gift of all men which the Father has made to the Son—though, in a certain sense, all men have been given to Christ in order that they may be the unconscious instruments of His glory, though not saved by His redemption. They are, even as His enemies, compelled to do His pleasure, though they shall never be lifted up to the adoption of children, nor to the dignity of being brethren of the Lord.
We see, then, that there was a certain period when the eternal God gave into the hands of the Mediator a multitude which no man can number, whom He had chosen from among men to be His choice and peculiar treasure. The text speaks in the present tense; but then the 38th verse speaks in the past tense; and the passages we have been reading to you, all have it in the past—therefore, understand that the gift of the elect to Christ was performed in the _past—_before the skies were stretched abroad, or the mountains lifted their heads to the clouds, God had given a people to Christ. But the deed may well be said to be performed in the present, since with God there is no time, and what He did yesterday, He does today, and will do forever. Moreover, in a certain sense, Christ receives from His Father’s hands His people in time as well as in eternity—the Father giving, by effectual calling in time, the very people whom once He gave in secret covenant in eternity. We are, by the words of our text, admitted into one of the secrets of the divine council chamber, and rejoice as we perceive that the chosen ones belonging to the Father were transferred by Him into the hands of the Mediator.
3. Further proceeding, Jesus assures us that this transaction in eternity involves a certain change in time. "All who the Father gives Me shall come to Me." They may be living in sin, and they may continue so to do twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, 70 years—but before their time shall come to die, they shall be brought to Christ! To come to Christ signifies to turn from sin, and to trust Christ. Coming to Christ is a leaving of all false confidences, a renouncing of all love of sin, and a looking to Jesus as the solitary pillar of our confidence and hope. Now, every soul whom God the Father gave to Jesus must do this, and this is the token by which the secretly chosen are known—they openly choose Christ because the Father has secretly chosen them. You can never know your election by any other means. That you are not one of His sheep will be proven by your continuance in unbelief; but if humbly and hopefully you come to Jesus and make Him all your salvation and your desire, let no doctrine of election alarm or keep you back—you are one of His, for this is the seal which He sets upon His sheep—in due time they hear His voice, are led by Him into the green pastures of grace, follow Him through life, and are brought by Him
"There is a period known to God,
When all His sheep, redeemed by blood,
Shall leave the hateful ways of sin,
Turn to the fold, and enter in!
At peace with hell, with God at war,
In sin’s dark maze they wander far,
Indulge their lusts, and still go on
As far from God as sheep can run.
But see how heaven’s indulgent care
Attends their wanderings here and there
Still hard at heel wherever they stray,
With pricking thorns to hedge their way.
Glory to God, they never shall rove
Beyond the limits of His love;
Fenced with Jehovah’s shalls and wills,
Firm as the everlasting hills.
The appointed time rolls on apace,
Not to propose, but call by grace,
To change the heart, renew the will,
And turn the feet to Zion’s hill."
4. Observe, yet further, that in the words of our text, Jesus hints at a power possessed by Him to compel the wanderers to return. He says, "All who the Father gives Me shall come to Me." Oh, the power and majesty which rest in the words "shall come." He does not say they have power to come, He does not say they may come if they will, but they "shall come." There is no, "if," no, "but," no, "perhaps," no condition—it is put down as an unconditional and absolute purpose of God and will of Christ that all whom the Father gave to Him shall come. "Well," says one, "but does Christ force any man to be saved?" I answer "No," in the sense in which the question is asked, no man was ever taken to heaven by the ears or dragged there by the hair of his head; but, at the same time, the Lord Jesus does, by His messengers, His Word, and His Spirit, sweetly and graciously compel men to come in that they may eat of His marriage supper. And this He does, mark you, not by any violation of the free will or free agency of man. God never treats man as though he were a brute; He does not drag him with cart ropes; He treats men as men; and when He binds them with cords, they are the cords of love and the bands of a man. I may exercise power over another’s will, and yet that other man’s will may be perfectly free; because the constraint is exercised in a manner accordant with the laws of the human mind. If I show a man that a certain line of action is much for his advantage, he feels bound to follow it, but he is perfectly free in so doing. If man’s will were subdued or chained by some physical process, if man’s heart should, for instance, be taken from him and be turned round by a manual operation, that would be altogether inconsistent with human freedom, or indeed with human nature; and yet I think some few people imagine that we mean this when we talk of compelling influence and divine grace! We mean nothing of the kind; we mean that Jehovah Jesus knows how, by irresistible arguments addressed to the understanding, by mighty reasons appealing to the affections, and by the mysterious influence of His Holy Spirit operating upon all the powers and passions of the soul, so to subdue the whole man, that whereas it was once rebellious it becomes obedient; whereas it stood stoutly against the Most High, it throws down the weapons of its rebellion, and cries, "I yield! I yield! Subdued by sovereign love, and by the enlightenment which You have bestowed upon me, I yield myself to Your will!" The weapons are not carnal, but mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds. They are the invincible artillery of the love of Christ, and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God! Of this teaching, no Arminian should complain when he remembers the strong expressions used in Wesley’s hymns; let me quote an instance—
"O my God, what must I do?
You alone the way can show;
You can save me in this hour,
I have neither will nor power—
God, if over all You are
Greater than my sinful heart,
All Your power on me be shown,
Take away my darling sin,
Make me willing to be clean;
Make me willing to receive
All Your goodness waits to give!
Force me, Lord, with all to part,
Tear these idols from my heart!
Now Your love almighty show,
Make even me a creature new.
Jesus, mighty to renew,
Work in me to will and do;
Turn my nature’s rapid tide,
Stem the torrent of my pride!
Stop the whirlwind of my will,
Speak and bid the sun stand still;
Now Your love almighty show,
Make even me a creature new.
Arm of God, Your strength put on,
Bow the heavens, and come down;
All my unbelief overthrow,
Lay the aspiring mountain low—
Conquer Your worst foe in me,
Get Yourself the victory;
Save the vilest of the race,
Force Me to be saved by grace."
There is an influence put forth by the Holy Spirit which makes men willing in the day of God’s power; and every soul that is numbered in the covenant of grace shall, let the devil do his worst, and let the human will do its utmost, and let temptations strain themselves to the last degree of intensity—they shall, I say, in obedience to divine decree, be brought to the foot of the cross, to cry, "What must I do to be saved?"
5. And to conclude our remarks upon this first sentence, the Savior declares that there is no exception to this rule of grace. He says, "All who the Father gives Me shall come to Me." Not some of them, but all; not all but one or two, but every one; each one in particular, and the whole collectively. It will be found when the archangel’s trumpet shall ring through earth and heaven, that every soul whom God ordained to eternal life has attained that eternal life to God’s praise and honor; and when the census shall be read of all the children of the living God, not one of the blood-bought and blood-washed shall be absent—they shall all come to Christ in heaven as they all come to Christ on earth. Now, albeit that some stumble at this doctrine, here is the greatest possible comfort to the preacher of the Word. Day after day we proclaim our Master’s truth, and yet to a great extent we have to cry—"Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" So many are stony-hearted; so many resist the invitations of the gospel; so many turn a deaf ear to the warnings of almighty mercy—what then? Have we sown in vain? Have we labored for nothing? No, verily, in no way. The purpose of God is certainly fulfilled in every jot and tittle, and the Master’s will is definitely, and in every point accomplished. Therefore, we labor with no broken heart, and we preach with no coward spirit in this matter. You, O proud and haughty sinners, may resist Him; but if you will not come, others shall—you are bid to come to the wedding—but if you will not come, the highways and the hedges shall find Him guests. His table shall not be empty. Think not that the blood of Christ shall be shed in vain; you may count it an unholy thing, but there are myriads who shall be washed in it, and who shall rejoice in its power to cleanse. You may put from you the kingdom of heaven, and count yourselves unworthy of it—if it is a "savor of death unto death" to you—yet it shall be a "savor of life unto life" to others! The great plans of sovereign mercy shall not be thwarted by the enmity of man; Jehovah shall yet, in the end get the victory; and all ages shall crown His head with fresh honors when they see how, despite all the enmity of the human heart, its treachery, and its hardness, that His purpose did stand, and He did all His pleasure, and displayed the bounty of His grace as He would, according to the good pleasure of His own will.
You will see, then, that this first sentence, if we understand it at all, involves, first, the doctrine of _election_—there are some whom the Father gave to Christ. It involves, next, _the doctrine of effectual calling_—those who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet the first sentence, the indispensable necessity of faith; for even those who are given to Christ are not saved unless they come to Jesus. Even they must come, for there is no other way to heaven but by the door, Christ Jesus. I must not expect, whoever I may be, that I shall be saved by my morality; I must not reckon to enter heaven by my integrity or my generosity. All who the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to Him; therefore, none can come to heaven unless they come to Christ, and it becomes indispensably requisite for princes and for peasants, for sages and for savages, for the polite and for the uneducated, for the most virtuous and the most vile to come just as they are, and accept the mercy of God which is freely presented to them in the person of Christ Jesus. And, mark, by this shall those be known whom God has chosen, that they do willingly and joyfully accept Christ Jesus, and come to Him with simple and sincere faith, resting upon Him as all their salvation and all their desire!
Some of you do not like this doctrine. Well, I cannot help that, I find it in the Scriptures, and I preach it. There is the text; to me it means nothing, if it does not mean what I have now stated. It is as plain and expressive as the Saxon language employed in it could possibly make it. Do not kick at the doctrine because you do not like it; but if it is taught in Scripture, like it or not like it, receive it. Perhaps, however, it does some people good to grow angry over a doctrine, for they would never think of it at all if they did not; and while this doctrine, like an arrow in a wound, rankles and frets them, it, nevertheless, is the means of making them consider spiritual things, and so they are brought to Jesus. I believe this is one of the virtues of this doctrine, that it excites people’s prejudices, and they grow vexed; but since they cannot get rid of it, it follows them, they dream of it, they argue about it, and at last, there is a joint in the harness through which the good Word of the gospel cuts its way, and they come to receive Christ in the fullness and plenitude of His mercy.
II. In the second sentence, we have GRACE TRIUMPHANT IN ITS GENEROSITY—"He who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out."
1. Please observe the generosity of _the character_—it is, "He who comes." There is no description given whatever, except, "He who comes." It means the rich man, the poor man, the great man, the obscure man, the moral man, the debauchee, those who have sunken into the worst of crimes, and those who have mounted to the best of virtues, those who are next akin to devils, and those who seem, by the correctness of their lives, to be somewhat like angels. All are included—He! He! "He who comes!" "He?" asks John Bunyan, "Why," he says, answering his own question, "any he in all the world who comes to Christ shall be in no wise cast out." "He who comes." To come, as I have explained before, is to leave something, and to go to something. There is motion. We leave all other grounds of trust, and we take Christ to be our solitary hope. We come to His blood to be washed, to His righteousness to be cleansed, to His wounds to be healed, to His life for eternal life, and to His death for the death of our sins. We come to Jesus for everything; and the promise is that any man who comes, whoever he may be, shall find that he is not cast out. "But suppose," asks one, "that the poor condemned wretch should come who has committed a foul and cruel murder?" Well, if he comes, he shall not be cast out. If in addition to murder, or without murder, he should have been guilty of uncleanness impossible to describe— suppose he to have wallowed in it year after year, and to have brought himself to such a state that he is scarcely fit to be touched with a pair of tongs; suppose he to be such an outcast, that he is only fit to be swept into some back corner in hell. Well, what then? If he comes to Christ, he shall not be cast out!
I like to put it in such a light that he who deems himself to have gone furthest into sin, may yet see that this text sets a door wide open whereby he may come for mercy; it says, "He who comes," and this shuts out no comer. John Newton was a blasphemer of so gross a kind that even the sailors in the vessel in a storm said that they would never get to port with such a sinner as John Newton on board; but he came to Christ and was not cast out, but he lived to preach the Word of God! John Bunyan was so foul a blasphemer that even a woman of the street, who passed him by, and heard him swear, said that he was enough to corrupt the whole parish; and he was astonished that a woman of so bad a character should so rebuke him. John Bunyan came to Jesus, and he was not cast out; he lived to have the honor of suffering for his Master, and to be the winner of multitudes of souls. Saul of Tarsus had stained himself with the blood of saints; he was a very wolf after Christ’s sheep. He was not satisfied with worrying them in his own land, so he obtained power to persecute them in Damascus; but when he fell upon his face and cried for mercy, he was not cast out. Manasseh was blood-red with the murder of God’s prophets. It is said that he cut the prophet Isaiah in two with a saw; and yet, when out of the low dungeon, he cried for mercy, he was not cast out. So that any kind of he, though he may have been a persecutor even unto blood, against the name of Christ, though he hated everything which is good, and despised everything held precious by believing men and women—yet if he comes to Christ, he shall not be cast out! Every man, woman, and child in this tabernacle, this morning, is included in such a word as this, if he comes to Christ. That is the point—if you come to Christ, no matter what your past character may have been, nor yet what your present feelings may be, "He who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." I thank God for so generous a promise as that.
2. Then, the next point of generosity is in the coming. Please notice it. "He who comes to Me." Here is no adjective to qualify it; here is no adverb to set out the manner. It is, "He who comes to Me." That is the point, "to Me." We must come to Jesus as crucified, and bearing our sin. We must come to Christ as pleading before the throne of God, and see the acceptance of our prayers there. It is not coming to baptism; it is not coming to the Lord’s Supper; it is not coming to the church; it is not coming to worship— it is coming to Christ! "He who comes to Me." Take heed that you do not come elsewhere, for if you rest short of anything but Christ, you rest short of the promise. But, O soul, if you build on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; if you touch the hem of His garment; if you look out of self entirely to Him, then rest assured of this, there is no other qualification to your coming but that you come to HIM! Some come to Christ at once; the very first time they hear the gospel, they lay hold of it, and are saved. They are not cast out. Some are months in coming; they go from strength to strength in this matter, and their faith is a thing of long growth. Well, they shall not be cast out. Some come running; some come walking; some come creeping on all fours; some have to get others to carry them, as that man did who was borne of four; but as long as they do but come, He does not cast them out. Some feel as if all their bones were broken, and they can only writhe into His presence, as it were, wriggle themselves to the mercy seat all full of aches, pains, woes, doubts, fears, whispers, distrusts, bad habits, and sins; but if they do but come, they shall not be cast out. One man comes with a long prayer, another comes with nothing but two words; one comes with many tears, another could not shed a tear if it would save his soul, but he groans; another can scarcely groan, but his heart feels as if it would burst. One has intense conviction, another has very little of it; one is shaken over hell’s mouth, another is attracted by the beauties of the Savior; one has to be thundered at as from the top of Sinai, another is but beckoned, and his willing heart runs to Calvary. But, however you come, sinner, He will not cast you out if you come to _Him_—that is the point! Do not waste time questioning what your experience is, or raising the point of how you came, or when you came—for here it stands, "He who comes to Me"—not he who comes in this way, or that way, but, "He who comes to Me." Oh, the generosity of this precious verse! It shuts me in, it does not shut you out poor sinner—"He who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out."
3. Observe the liberality of the time. "He who comes." It does not say when. He may be 70—if he comes he is not cast out. He may be but seven—and, thank God, there have been many boys and girls who have come even at that age—but He will not cast them out. Your candle may be little more than a snuff, but He will not quench it; or it may be but newly lit—He will accept either. The full-blown rose, or the flower in the bud shall alike be received by His gracious hand. Some came to Jesus when He was on earth—He did not cast them out; a long file of sinners saved by grace has been streaming up from the cross to the throne ever since then, and not one of them has ever been rejected. We have fallen upon 1864, and the year is almost spent, yet, think not that we have come to the dregs of Christ’s mercy; do not imagine that, because time grows old, Christ’s love grows decrepit. Ah, no, He will not cast us out in 1864, any more than He did the thief who looked to Him upon the cross, and found mercy that day! What a blessed thing it is that there is no limit as to time! I was remarking to myself the other day that the most of the conversions which occur in our place of worship are among new people, persons who come in once or twice, and perhaps, before they have heard a dozen sermons, God blesses them; while those who have been hearing us for seven or eight years, are not converted in anything like the same proportion. It is a very sad reflection, but still I couple with it this thought—"Well, if they have not come yet, still it is not too late; if they have been invited to come for seven, eight, nine, ten, twenty years—and oh, there are some of you who have heard the gospel ever since you were children—yet it does not say that you shall be shut out because you come so late, but, "He who comes"! You may have turned a deaf ear until you are now growing gray; you may have despised Christ times without number; He waited to be gracious; with outstretched arms He bade His minister woo you to come to Him, but you would not come. But still, if now, by grace, you are led to come, He will not cast you out. At the last moment of life, if you come, He will not cast you out. And now this morning—God make it an auspicious hour to you—come and try Him this hour, it is just 20 minutes past noon, but you will find if you come, that He will not cast you out, for the gates of the city of mercy are never shut!
4. Further, notice that there is no limit as to the duration of the promise. I mean, He does not merely say, "I will not cast you out when you have come," but, "I will never cast you out." The original reads, "I will not, not cast you out," or, "I will never, never cast you out." The text means that Christ will not at first reject a believer; and that as He will not do it at first, so He will not to the last. If I come to Christ today, He will accept me; and He accepts me in that act forever—He will never cast me out! Suppose the believer sins after coming? "If any man sins we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Suppose that believer backslide? "I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for My anger is turned away from him." But believers may fall under temptation. "God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it." But the Believer may fall into sin as David did. Yes, but He will "Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean: He will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow," From all their iniquities will He cleanse them—
"Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from His love can sever,"
and that doctrine this text teaches most expressly—"He who comes to Me I will never, never cast out." He will never allow one who has once been grasped in His hands to be wrested from them. No member of Christ’s body can ever be cut off, or else Christ would be mutilated. No sheep of His flock shall ever be torn by the lion—He will rend the lion, and, as David did, He will take the lamb out of the jaws of the lion, and out of the paws of the bear. "I give unto My sheep," says He, "eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hands." What do you say to this, sinner? Is not this a precious mercy, that if you come to Christ you do not come to one who will treat you well a month or two and then send you packing about your business, but will receive you and make you His child, and you shall abide forever, no longer receiving the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby you shall cry, Abba, Father? Oh, the grace of this passage! Would that I had an angel’s tongue to set it forth!
5. Still we have not exhausted it. Something of the generosity of this passage is to be found in its certainty. "He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out." It is not a hope as to whether Christ will accept you—it is a CERTAINTY. Oh, if there were only half a shadow of a hope that the Lord Jesus would have mercy upon such a poor worm as I am, would I not go into His presence hoping against hope? If it were a case of sink or swim, yet, since I could lose nothing by trusting Him, I would gladly do it, as the hymn puts it—
"I can but perish if I go;
I am resolved to try!
For if I stay away,
I know I must forever die."
But, dear friends, we must not put it in that way, or at least, only for the sake of bringing out a thought, for there is no but about it. You cannot perish if you go! O, try at once and you will find that he who comes, in no wise can be cast out!
We sometimes sing—
"Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude,"
but there is no venture in the case—it is an absolute certainty! Merchants will often speculate at a high figure; but there is no speculation here. We drink the medicine which the physician gives us in the hope that it may cure, but this will cure; here is water that will quench your thirst; here is a balm that will heal your wounds—"He who comes" He will receive, "He will in no wise cast out." What a hammer that word "no wise" is with which to smash your fears to pieces. "Perhaps," says one, "He will reject me because I do not repent enough"—"in no wise." "Perhaps He will reject me because I have been so long coming"—"in no wise." "But He will reject me because I do not pray aright"—"in no wise." You cannot mention any shape or form of a fear which this does not slay upon the spot—"I will in no wise cast out." I say again, I wish I had an angel’s tongue to put the generosity of this before you. The devil, I know, will be suggesting 20 reasons why you should not come—let this one reason why you should come, be enough to answer all of his—that Jesus says, "I will in no wise cast out him who comes."
6. I must conclude by observing that there is great generosity in the text, if you notice its personality. Reading over this verse carefully, I observed that in the first sentence, where everything was special, Jesus used a large word, and He said, "All who the Father gives Me shall come," but in the second sentence, which is general, He uses a little word, a word which can mean only one, and He says "he." There is a personality here—"He who comes." It does not say they who come, but "He who comes." Why? Why, because sinners need personal comfort; they need something that will suit their case. Do you see, sinner, He does not take men in the lump, but He picks you out as if you were the only sinner in the world; He says to you, "He who comes to Me I will in no wise cast out." Had He put it in the plural, you might say, "Ah, but He did not think of me." But now, He has put it so that it just fits your case. This is no medicine in the bottle of which many may drink, but here is a glass set for you! It is not a cordial which may be passed round the table, but it is put at your place. Drink and be satisfied—"He who comes." Lord, does "he" mean me?" Yes, it means you, if you will come. Come now; put your trust in Jesus. What do you say? I hope the Spirit is speaking to you in these words of mine; and if He speaks to you as I speak to you, then shall it be well with you. Sinner, come! There is a dying Savior; He died in the place of sinners. In the place of what sinners? Why, of all sinners who trust Him! Will you trust Him? Is it a hard thing to trust God to save you? To trust God who became Man, and so proved His love to you? To trust Him? "Why," says one, "that is simple enough." And that is all the plan of salvation!
When I am preaching from such a text as this, I feel as if I have no scope for metaphors, and figures, and illustrations—I do not need any—because this saving truth of God must always be proclaimed as plainly as possible; and then if souls are saved by it, it is not the excellency of words, but the truth itself which shall get the honor. Now, do you see it, soul? If you do, I am content—if you trust Christ to save you, you shall not be cast out. You have come to Him! Your coming to Him proves that the Father gave you to Him. You are saved! You are one of His chosen! You shall never be cast out! Your heaven is secure; you shall sit at the right hand of God, and sing the new song, as surely as they do now, who, whiterobed, are singing the Redeemer’s praise. This is not an affair of months and weeks, is it? It does not need a moment. To look is the work of an instant. And the moment that faith is exercised, perfect pardon is given; there is no sin in God’s Book against a soul who trusts Christ, and there never can be—
"There’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast!
And, O my soul, with wonder view,
For sins to come, here’s pardon too."
What? Are there none who will accept this? Are there none here who say, "I will trust my soul in Jesus’ hands"? What? Will you build on your own righteousness? Ah, fools! To pile up the sand which the next tide must sweep away! What? Do you despise the mercy of my God? Will you turn away from the bleeding wounds of His own dear Son? What? Is forgiveness not worth your having? Is God’s free mercy a thing to be scoffed at? O heavens, hear and be astonished! O earth, hear and be amazed! God sends the gospel unto men, but they refuse it! That gospel says unto them, "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." But though God calls, they refuse and will have none of His Words! May His mighty Spirit come and make a difference in some of you, and bring you now to the foot of the Savior’s cross to look up! Do nothing else but look up; and looking there, you shall never perish, but have eternal life! May the Master bless these words, feeble of themselves, and only mighty because of the truth they convey, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.