41 The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.
Ever since I was fourteen years old I have been involved in evangelism. From passing out tracts, going door-to-door, asking people to complete a survey that ended with the gospel, street preaching, private witnessing, counseling, and talking to people wherever I am about Christ and faith in Him. There have been times when I have “pressured” people to pray and ask the Lord to save them. In retrospect, all that I have called never had spiritual fruit grow in their lives. During these years there have been many whom I have seen when God called them and their salvation did produce the fruit of the Spirit, a changed life. Since are not the author of salvation we cannot call anyone to salvation. We are to proclaim the gospel. There is no getting around that for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We are not called save a person for that is God’s job.
There is much debate about this but how can we interpret the words of Jesus any differently? Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” No one can be saved unless the Father draws him. These people to whom Jesus was talking had Jesus Himself preaching to them and they rejected salvation from His hand. If they rejected salvation from Jesus’ hand do we really think that we can one-up Him and become more persuasive than He?
Understanding this great teaching frees us to preach the gospel and leave the people alone. We don’t need to hound them. We don’t need to get the mood right. We don’t need to answer all of their questions. We do need to live and to proclaim the gospel of God’s grace. In the quiet moment of their hearts the Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and breaks through their hardened will to bring them to repentance.
I would love to be more persuasive. Furthermore, if the salvation of men was up to me I would be both persuasive and annoying. I am committed to give the gospel to everyone that I can. But I am also committed to leaving conviction and calling up to God. Sure, I will lead someone to pray to receive Christ but if they are not interested I will be finished for now and will pray that God will bring them to salvation before long. When God calls, people come.
We helped a family last night. I don’t want to give details but pray for this family to come to church to come to Christ. Something is not right there but Rob and I spent a couple of hours caring for them and serving them.
Pray for a pastor friend of mine in Downers Grove. His name is Phil. Phil has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. We are meeting Phil this morning for prayer.
Saturday is our church work day. We are beginning at 8:00 and going until 3:00. Whatever time you have we can use it.
Have a great day in the Lord,