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DID YOU COME TO CHRIST
You profess that you are a believer.
You profess that Christ died for you.
You profess that you have been born again.
You profess that you are saved. You
profess that you have repented and come to Christ - that you have come in a
genuine and saving way to Him. May
it be so! But this is not the case
with most of humanity. Most people
in this world have not come in a saving way to Christ.
Most do not even profess to have come to Christ.
Many of this world's inhabitants, perhaps most, have never even heard the
name of the Son of God. They have
not come. Others have never heard
that name used except used as a curse. They
have not come. But what about those
who live in places where the gospel is preached?
What about in our own country? What
about the majority of folk around us who have never come to Christ?
What about your family, friends and neighbors?
Why have so many of them not come to Christ?
And we ask, why did you come and they did not?
Why did you come to Christ?
You say you came because you saw
yourself as a lost sinner in need of a Savior.
That you are a sinner is most certainly true.
All men are sinners. All men
need a Savior. God has provided only
one Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost said of Jesus Christ, "Neither
is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given
among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
So it is that in order to be saved, men and women must see themselves as
sinners and must come to Christ. However,
just because an individual knows that he or she is a sinner will not cause them
to repent and come to Christ. Those
around us who have not come to Christ will admit that they are sinners.
This preacher has never yet met a person who claimed to be sinless.
In spite of this knowledge they have not come to Christ.
We say again; just knowing of one's own sin will not cause an individual
to come to Christ.
You say that you saw yourself such an awful sinner as to have no hope
within yourself. You say that you
saw Jesus Christ and His finished work as your only hope and so you came.
It must be that you saw yourself differently than others see themselves.
It must be that you saw Christ differently than others see Him.
But why did you see yourself in that lost condition when others around
you do not? Why did you see Christ
as God's Lamb sacrificed in your place? Why
did you see Him as your only hope? Why
is there this difference between you and them?
So again we ask the question: why did you come to Christ and they did
Perhaps you have a brother or sister or other close relative or friend
who is not a believer. Perhaps you
have witnessed to them, prayed for them, and done all you can to influence them
to come to Christ. You may have
taken them to hear preaching, but still they have not come to Christ.
Why is it that you came to Christ and they have not?
Is it because you are more intelligent than they?
Are you wiser than they? Are
you better than they? What was the
cause of your coming to Christ? You
may answer, I came because I was willing to come.
Perhaps you say that others do not come to Christ because they are
unwilling to come. We readily admit
the truth of both those statements. Some
are willing to come, but the majority are unwilling.
Why are some willing and why do some remain unwilling?
The question remains: why were you willing?
Now then, you must admit to one of these two possibilities.
One possibility is that you were willing to come to Christ because of
something superior in your person or character.
In that case you are better than those who refuse to come.
If that is the case then we must conclude that God saves only good
people; or at least only people who are better than others.
According to that view, He must only save people who are superior in some
way to others. That must be the case
if we say that God saves individuals because something in them causes them to
come to Christ. Do we dare say that
God saves people based upon their innate goodness?
That would be saying that salvation is based upon works.
In contrast to that idea, the Lord Jesus Christ said,
"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to
repentance" (Luke 5:32). Paul
also made it clear that salvation is not of works when he wrote, "For by
grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the
gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians
2:8-9). We may rightly conclude from
the Bible that men and women do not come to Christ because of their superiority
or goodness or works. Our own honest
appraisal of ourselves is in agreement with that.
We each know within our own hearts that we who have come to Christ are
not better than those who refuse to come.
The only other possibility is this:
you became willing to come to Christ because of something outside yourself.
If there was nothing in you that caused you to come to Christ, then it
logically must follow that it was something outside yourself that caused you to
to come to Him. If that is the case
we must conclude that God somehow worked in you to cause you to be willing to
come to Christ. This is the truth
according to the Bible. But human
nature objects! To admit that would
mean that God deals with some people differently than He does with others.
Surely you will agree that if God had worked in your lost friend or
relative in the same way as He did in you they would have come.
After all, God is not a wimp. No
one "can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
(Daniel 4:35). Nevertheless, our
human nature rejects the idea that God has a right to do as He pleases with His
creation. Humanistic ideas cause us
to think that God must act in the way that we think is right.
We make all kinds of judgments as to what we perceive to be
"fair" and "right." In
doing so, we would deny to God the freedom, right and ability to do what we
demand for ourselves. Consider this:
we demand the freedom to chose our friends and our spouses, but we would deny
that freedom to God. We demand the
freedom to chose whom we want to inherit our possessions when we die.
We demand the right to chose whom we will allow into our company and our
homes. Fraternal organizations
choose those who shall be members of their lodges.
We Baptists even vote on those individuals that we will accept as members
in our congregations. We think all
this is right and proper. But God
cannot, in our thinking, choose whom He will befriend.
We demand the freedom to persuade an individual to become our friend.
Men demand the right to court the person we want for a wife.
Women demand the right to choose whom they will marry.
But we will not allow God to choose whom He wants for His friends.
We will allow that it is right for a man to woo a woman whom he has
chosen in order to persuade her to be his wife.
But we will not allow God the right to woo those whom He has chosen in
order to persuade them to be His friends. How
vain and self-centered we are! How
shallow and unscriptural is our thinking!
Does the Bible teach that God works differently in some people than in
others? Did He ever make a
difference - a choice - between individuals or groups or individuals?
The answer is yes! God
certainly made a choice between Israel and the Egyptians.
This is clear from Exodus 11:7 which says: "But against any of
the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast:
that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians
and Israel." God put a
difference between His chosen people and the people of Egypt.
He chose a tribal people; the descendants of Abraham.
He did not choose the Egyptians in spite of the fact that their
knowledge, accomplishments and civilization were in many ways superior to that
of the Israelites. Remember, both
Israel and Egypt were made up of individuals so that individuals were involved
in God's choice between these two nations. God
made a difference not only in those who were to be His people when He chose
Abraham and his descendants, He also made a difference between the tribes of
Israel. He chose the tribe of Levi
to be His priests. No other tribe
was allowed to serve as priests. He
chose the tribe of Judah as the kingly tribe.
Christ chose whom He would to be his apostles.
He clearly stated that fact in John 15:16.
There we read, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and
ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit
should remain... ." He
chooses men today to be His preachers. And
in Revelation 17:14, those who will be with Christ in His glorious end-time
victory "...are called, and chosen, and faithful." We
cannot deny that God makes choices among humanity unless we are willing to deny
the Bible. We cannot deny that in
making such choices He makes a difference between people.
The New Testament speaks of God having made a difference between
individuals when it says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before
the foundation of the world..." (Ephesians 1:4).
To another congregation Paul wrote: "Knowing, brethren beloved,
your election of God" (1 Thessalonians 1:4).
About God's people we read in Psalm 110:3: "Thy people shall be
willing in the day of thy power... ."
and Paul wrote, "For it is God which worketh in you both to will
and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
It is certainly biblical to say that God works in some individuals to
cause them to do His will. It is
also biblical to say that the choice is God's as to those in whom He will work.
Regarding those whom God chooses Paul wrote these words: "For ye
see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many
mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish
things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of
the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world,
and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are
not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his
presence" (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
From these verses we see that God did indeed make a choice between
people. He made this choice before
the foundation of the world. His
choice was not based on human goodness or willingness or superiority.
In fact, He has chosen the foolish, weak, base and despised.
This is clearly illustrated in the case of Jacob and Esau.
Jacob turned out to be a crook and a scoundrel.
Esau, on the other hand, was a pretty good fellow.
God chose Jacob over Esau before the children were born because His
choice was not based on their achievements or good or evil in them.
God demonstrated this by choosing one over the other before either was
born. Paul makes this clear in
Romans 9:11 where he writes of Jacob and Esau saying: "For the
children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the
purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that
God's stated purpose - "the purpose of God according to
election" - is this: "That
no flesh should glory in his presence" as quoted in context above.
No man can boast of his goodness, intelligence or superiority as being
the cause of his coming to Christ! Good
men do not come to Christ because of their goodness.
Wise and intelligent persons do not come to Christ because of their
wisdom or intelligence. Men and
women of superior gifts do not come to Christ because of those things.
Men and women come to Christ because they are drawn to Him by God.
Jesus said it this way: "No man can come to me, except the Father
which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day"
(John 6:44). God the Father draws
men and women to Christ. He draws
those whom He is pleased to call; those whom He has chosen.
Those drawn by God will be raised up by Christ at the last day.
This is the blessed resurrection. All
these things are clearly stated in the verses just quoted!
In this drawing process, God does indeed cause some men and women to see
both their awful sin and hopelessness. He
causes them to see Christ as their only possible Savior.
He quickens them and uses the Bible, His Word, to teach them truth so
that they understand, repent and believe the gospel.
All these things being true, we see that we cannot glory or boast about
anything in us! The cause of our
coming to Christ was not something within us.
We are neither good nor even better than those around us who have not
come to Christ. We are neither wiser
nor more intelligent. Paul wrote of
the differences God makes in people in this way: "For who maketh thee to
differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now
if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not
received it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Who makes the differences in people?
Who made you to differ? Why
do some men come to Christ and others do not?
The Bible teaches that it is God who makes the difference.
Only in this way can it be that "no flesh should glory in His
presence." Give all glory to
God! He is the cause of your coming
in a saving way to Christ.
If you have not yet come to Christ we urge you most earnestly to repent
and do so. Do not wait for some
special sign or manifestation or experience.
If you see yourself as a sinner and grieve over your sins, turn and come
to Christ for it is "God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his
good pleasure." No person was
ever willing to repent and come to Christ whom God did not cause to be willing.
Jesus said, "All that
the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no
wise cast out" (John 6:37). Christ
does not here speak of coming to the church nor to the front at the close of a
religious meeting. You can do that
and go away still lost in your sins. Coming
to Christ is not a physical act. It
is a purely spiritual matter between you and Him.
Christ says "come to me!" If
you are willing to repent and come to Christ, then come!
Repent and believe the gospel! Come
and welcome! Come and be saved!
Christ will receive you and will not cast you out!
Heed this Scripture: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And
let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever
will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).
Christ's churches say come! If
you are a hearer of the Word, come! If
you are thirsty for the water of life, come!
If you are willing, come! There
is bread for the hungry and water for the thirsty.
If you hunger and thirst after righteousness, come!
Remember! Jesus said,
"him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."