Many will come from east and west
A number of Emmanuel folk enjoyed an excellent TNT Weekend Away this weekend at The Oast Houses. Christopher Ash was our speaker for the weekend, answering the question, 'Is God Really In Control?' – the talks will soon be up on the website for those who couldn't be there.
Whilst speaking about God's total power to save us and others, Christopher shared a wonderfully heartening quotation from the nineteenth-century London preacher Charles Spurgeon. Commenting on Jesus' promise that 'many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven', he said:
'I love God's "wills" and "shalls" There is nothing comparable to them.
Let a man say "shall," what good is it? "I will," says a man, and he never performs; "I shall," he says, and he breaks his promise. But it is never that way with God's "shalls." If He says "shall," it shall be; when He says "will," it will be. Now here He has said, "many will come." The devil says, "they will not come;" but "they will come." Their sins say "you can't come;" God says "you will come." You, yourselves, say, "you won't come:" God says "you will come." Yes! there are some here who are laughing at salvation, who can scoff at Christ and mock the gospel; but I tell you some of you will yet come.
"What!" you say, "can God make me become a Christian?" I tell you yes, for herein lies the power of the gospel. It does not asks for your consent; but it gets it. It does not say, "Will you receive it" but it makes you willing in the day of God's power. Not against your will, but it makes you willing. It shows you its value, and then you fall in love with it; and immediately you run after it and make it yours… It knocks the hostility against God out of your heart. You say, "I don't want to be saved;" Christ says you shall be. He makes your will turn around, and then you cry, "Lord, save me, or I will perish." "Ah," Heaven might exclaim, "I knew that I would make you say that;" and then He rejoices over you because He has changed your will and made you willing in the day of His power.
If Jesus Christ were to stand on this platform tonight, what would many people do with Him? "Oh!" some say, "we would make Him a King." I do not believe it. They would crucify Him again, if they had the opportunity. If He were to come tonight and say, "Here I am, I love you, will you be saved by me?" Not one of you would consent if you were left to your own will. If He should look on you with those eyes, before whose power the lion would have couched; if He spoke with that voice which poured forth a downpour of eloquence like a stream of nectar rolling down from the cliffs above, not a single person would come to be His disciple. No; it takes the power of the Spirit to make men come to Jesus Christ. He himself said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." Yes! We want that; and here we have it. They will come! They will come!
You may laugh, you may despise us; but Jesus Christ shall not die for nothing. If some of you reject Him, there are some that will not. If there are some that are not saved, others will be. Christ shall see His seed, He shall lengthen his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands.'