A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Morning, November 13, 1864, by C. H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.
All whom the Father gives to me shall come to me; and he who comes to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)
1. Let it be for evermore remembered that the words of Jesus Christ are full of grace and truth; 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 whom the Father gives to me shall come to me”; “Why! here is high doctrine; here is the security of the covenant, the purpose of God effectually carried out; in this is the truth 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 liberality: this is good free gospel indeed”; and therefore they will always proclaim the second sentence to the neglect of the first. But, brethren, let us not sin by setting one Scripture over against another, or attempting to divide the living child of revelation. It is one , and it is equally 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, and cannot hear any 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, yet there is the promise: “What I do you do not know 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, thus shall we be in the path to true wisdom; whereas, if we boast of our wisdom, we shall be on the high road to great folly.
2. Let us consider the text carefully; and since it divides into two branches, let us view them one by one. Here we have grace and truth triumphant in speciality; and, secondly, we have grace and truth triumphant in liberality. May God help us to handle these, so that much instruction may flow from it.
3. I. In the first sentence, we have GRACE TRIUMPHANT IN SPECIALITY.
All whom the Father gives to me shall come to me.
4. I wish to bring out the meaning of this passage by a few observations.
In the Hand of the Father
5. 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 hand. All men, then, are naturally, from the beginning, in the hand 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 the throne, judging righteously. The elect were especially in the hand of the Father; for he had chosen them. The choice is always described as being with the Father: “I thank you, oh Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to 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 author of it all. Remember, beloved, that he who first of all chose you, was none other than our Father who is in heaven; and although our Lord Jesus Christ undertook your cause, yet it was because the Father first of all, out of his great love, gave you to the Son. Do not forget the Father’s grace, and do not cease to sing about his love.
’Twas with an everlasting love
That God his own elect embraced;
Before he made the worlds above,
Or earth on her huge columns placed.
Long before the sun’s refulgent ray
Primeval shades of darkness drove,
They on his sacred bosom lay,
Loved with an everlasting love.
A Great Transaction
6. 2. The Saviour 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. Since Jesus is God, these people always were his own; but as Mediator, he received them from the hand 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 from the Father’s hand, and considering us to be his precious jewels, his particular portion. The people referred to as being given by the Father, are not all men; although, it is true, that the Father has delivered all things into the hands of Jesus, and he has power over all flesh. We must always interpret one passage of Scripture by another; and the thirty-ninth verse of this chapter very clearly interprets the thirty-seventh:—“And this is the Father’s will who has sent me, that of all whom he has given to me I should lose none, but should raise them up again at the last day.” (John 6:39) 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 except the chosen. In the tenth chapter we find the same explained thus: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29) And if this should not explain the matter sufficiently, we have it again in our Lord’s prayer in the seventeenth chapter: “I have revealed your name to the men whom you gave to me from the world: they were yours, and you gave them to me; and they have kept your word.” (John 17:6 So you see that the people given were sheep; they are brought to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, and to follow him; they are in his hand, and they are safely kept there beyond all fear of harm; Jesus reveals the Father’s name to them, and they learn to keep the Father’s word. So that this does not respect any gift of all men which the Father has made to the Son; although in a certain sense all men have been given to Christ in order that they may be the unconscious instruments of his glory, although not saved by his redemption; in order that they may, even as his enemies, be compelled to do his pleasure, although 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 particular treasure. The text speaks in the present tense; but then the thirty-eighth 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 for ever. Moreover in a certain sense Christ does receive from his Father’s hand 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.
Transaction Will Involve a Certain Change in Time
7. 3. Further proceeding, Jesus assures us that this transaction in eternity involves a certain change in time. “All whom the Father gives to me shall come to me.” They may be living in sin, and they may continue to do so twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy years, but before their time shall come to die, they shall be brought to Christ. To come to Christ means to turn from sin, and to trust Christ. Coming to Christ is a leaving of all false confidences, a renouncing of all love for 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—and 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 at last to the hilltops of glory.
There is a period known to God,
When all his sheep, redeem’d 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 lust, 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 where’er they stray,
With pricking thorns to hedge their way.
Glory to God, they ne’er 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.
8. 4. Observe, yet further, that in the words of our text, Jesus hints at a power possessed by him to constrain the wanderers to return. He says, “All whom the Father gives to 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 wish, but they “shall come.” There is no “if”; no “but,” no “perhaps,” no condition; it is recorded as an unconditional and absolute purpose of God and will of Christ that all whom the Father gave to him shall come. “Well,” one says, “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 so that they may partake of his marriage supper. And this he does, notice that it is 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 around by a manual operation, that would be altogether inconsistent with human freedom, or indeed with human nature; and yet I think not a few people imagine that we mean this when we speak of constraining 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; for they are the invincible artillery of the love of Christ, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Concerning this teaching, no Arminian should complain, when he remembers the strong expressions used in Wesley’s hymns; let me quote an example:
Oh my God, what must I do?
Thou alone the way canst show;
Thou canst save me in this hour,
I have neither will nor power:
God, if over all thou art,
Greater than my sinful heart,
All thy power on me be shown,
Take away the heart of stone.
Take away my darling sin,
Make me willing to be clean;
Make me willing to receive
All thy goodness waits to give:
Force me, Lord, with all to part,
Tear these idols from my heart;
Now thy love almighty show,
Make e’en me a creature new.
Jesus, mighty to renew,
Work in me to will and do;
Turn my natures’s rapid tide,
Stem the torrent of my pride;
Stop the whirlwind of my will;
Speak, and bid the sun stand still;
Now thy love almighty show,
Make e’en me a creature new.
Arm of God, thy strength put on,
Bow the heavens, and come down;
All my unbelief o’erthrow,
Lay th’ aspiring mountain low:
Conquer thy worst foe in me,
Get thyself the victory;
Save the vilest of the race,
Force me to be saved by grace.
9. There is an influence exerted 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, he brought to the foot of the cross, to cry, “What must I do to be saved?”
10. 5. And to conclude our remarks upon this first sentence, the Saviour declares that there is no exception to this rule of grace. He says, “All whom the Father gives to 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 his praise and honour; 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, herein 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 laboured for nothing? No, truly, in no wise. 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 labour with no broken heart, and we preach with no cowardly spirit in this matter. You, oh proud and haughty sinners, may resist him; but if you will not come, others shall: you are invited to come to the wedding; but if you will not come, his guests shall be found in the highways and the hedges; his table shall not be empty. Do not think that the blood of Christ shall be shed in vain; you may consider 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 consider yourselves unworthy of it; but if it is a “savour of death to death” to you, yet it shall be a “savour of life to life” to others, The great plans of sovereign mercy shall not be thwarted by the enmity of man; Jehovah shall still get the victory in the end; and all ages shall crown his head with fresh honours 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.
11. 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—these who are given must and shall come; however stoutly they may set themselves against it, yet they shall be brought out of darkness into God’s marvellous light. And it also teaches us, and here I leave 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 except by the door, Christ Jesus. I must not expect, whoever I may be, that I shall be saved by my morality; I must not count on entering heaven by my integrity or my generosity. All whom the Father gives to our Redeemer must come to him; therefore no one can come to heaven unless they come to Christ, and it becomes indispensably necessary 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, notice that 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.
12. Some of you do not like this doctrine. Well, I cannot help that, I find it in the Scripture, 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, liked or not liked, 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 fulness and plenitude of his mercy.
Grace Triumphant In Its Liberality
13. II. In the second sentence we have GRACE TRIUMPHANT IN ITS LIBERALITY “He who comes to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Liberality of the Character
14. 1. Please observe the liberality 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. He! he! “he who comes!” “What one?” says John Bunyan: “Why,” he says, answering his own question, “anyone 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,” one says, “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 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 is 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 describe it in such a light, that he who deems himself to have gone furthest into sin, may still see that this text opens a door wide, by which he may come for mercy; it says, “He who comes,” and this excludes 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 should never get to port with such a sinner as John Newton on board; but he came to Christ and was not cast out, but lived to preach the Word. 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 rebuke him so. John Bunyan came to Jesus, and he was not cast out; he lived to have the honour 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 person , although he may have been a persecutor even to blood, although he may have been exceedingly mad against God until he could not speak without blasphemies against the name of Christ, although 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 liberality as that.
He Who Comes To Me
15. 2. Then, the next point of liberality 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.” There 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, 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 except Christ, you rest short of the promise. But, oh soul, if you build on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; if you touch the hem of his garment; if you look entirely away from self to him, then be rest assured of this, there is no other qualification to your coming, except 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, just as that man was who was carried by four friends; but as long as they only 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, and pains, and woes, and doubts, and fears, and whispers, and distrusts, and bad habits, and sins; but if only they 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 Saviour: one has to be thundered at as from the top of Sinai, another is only 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 stumble over the rock of 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 such a way, or such a way, but “He who comes to me.” Oh! the liberality 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.”
Liberality of the Time
16. 3. Observe the liberality of the time. “He who comes.” It does not say when. He may be seventy, if he comes he is not cast out; he may be only 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 only newly lit: he will accept either. The full blown rose or the flower in the bud shall be equally 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 crown ever since then, and not one of them has ever been rejected. Many centuries have passed and this year is almost gone, yet, do not think that we have come to the dregs of Christ’s mercy; do not imagine that, because time grows old, Christ’s love grows decrepid. Ah! no; he will not cast us out this year 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 concerning time! I was thinking to myself the other day, that most of the conversions which occur in our place of worship are among new people, people 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 grey; you may have despised Christ times without number: he waited to be gracious; with outstretched arms he asked his minister to 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—may God make it an auspicious hour to you!—come and try him this hour, it is just twenty minutes past twelve o’clock, 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.
17. 4. Further, notice that there is no limit concerning 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 just 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; but he accepts me in that act for ever: 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 believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for my anger is turned away from him.” But suppose believers may fall under temptation? “God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, so that you may be able to bear it.” But suppose 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”; “He will cleanse them from all their iniquities.”
Once in Christ, in Christ for ever,
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 tear the lion, and, as David did, he will take the lamb out of the jaws of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear. “I give to my sheep,” he says, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What do you say to this, sinner? Is this not a precious mercy, that if you come to Christ you do not come to one who will treat you well for 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 for ever, no longer receiving the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption by which you shall cry, “Abba, Father?” Oh! the grace of this passage! Oh that I had an angel’s tongue to proclaim it!
Certainity of Acceptance
18. 5. Still we have not exhausted it. Something of the liberality 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 concerning 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 for ever 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. Oh, try at once, and you will find that he who comes, can in no wise be cast out. We sing sometimes—
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,” one says, “he will reject me because I do not repent enough”—“in no wise.” “Perhaps he will reject me because I have been so long in coming”—“in no wise.” “But he will reject me because I do not pray properly”—“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 express the liberality of this before you. The devil, I know, will be suggesting twenty 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 he who comes.”
Liberality in the Text
6. I must conclude, by observing, that there is great liberality 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 whom the Father gives to 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 those who come, but “he who comes.” Why is this so? Why, because sinners need personal comfort; they need something that will suit their case. Do you see, sinner, he does not take men in general, 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 said it in the plural, you might say, “Ah! but he did not think of me.” But now he has said 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 just for you. It is not a cordial which may be passed around the table, but it is set 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 it shall be well with you. Sinner, come! There is a dying Saviour; he died in the room and place of sinners, In the room and 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 for you? To trust him? “Why,” one says, “that is simple enough”; but 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; but I do not want any, because this saving truth must always he 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 have the honour. Now, do you see it, soul? For if you do, I am content—if you do 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, white robed, 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. But the moment that faith is exercised, perfect pardon is given; there is no sin in God’s book against a soul that trusts Christ, and there never can be.
There’s pardon for transgressions past,
It matters not how black their cast;
And, oh 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? Oh heavens, hear, and be astonished! Oh earth, hear, and be amazed! God sends the gospel to men, but they refuse it. That gospel says to them, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: although your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; although they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” But though God calls, they refuse and will have nothing to do with his words. May his mighty Spirit come and make a difference in some of you, and bring you now to the foot of the Saviour’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 in themselves, and only mighty because of the truth they convey, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.