The Lord Jesus is willing to save sinners. “He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9). “He would have all men saved and come to the knowledge of the truth,” (1 Tim. 2:4). This is a mighty principle of the Gospel, and one which sorely perplexes narrow-minded and shallow theologians. But what says the Scripture? The words before us, no less than the texts just quoted, are distinct and express. “I would have gathered thy children,” says Christ, “and ye would not.” The will of poor hardened unbelieving man, and not the will of Christ, is the cause why sinners are lost for evermore. Christ “would” save them, but they will “not be” saved.
Let the truth before us sink down into our hearts, and bear fruit in our lives. Let us thoroughly understand that if we die in our sins and go to hell, our blood will be upon our own heads. We cannot lay the blame on God the Father, nor on Jesus Christ the Redeemer, nor on the Holy Ghost the Comforter. The promises of the Gospel are wide, broad, and general. The readiness of Christ to save sinners is unmistakably declared. If we are lost, we shall have none to find fault with but ourselves. The words of Christ will be our condemnation: “Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40).
Let us take heed, with such a passage as this before us, that we are not more systematic than Scripture. It is a serious thing to be “wise above that which is written.” Our salvation is wholly of God. Let that never be forgotten. None but the elect shall be finally saved. “No man can come unto Christ except the Father draw him (John 6:44). But our ruin, if we are lost, will be wholly of ourselves. We shall reap the fruit of our own choice. We shall find that we have lost our own souls. Linked between these two principles lies truth which we must maintain firmly, and never let go. There is doubtless deep mystery about it. Our minds are too feeble to understand it now. But we shall understand it all hereafter. God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility shall appear perfectly harmonious one day. In the meantime, whatever we doubt, let us never doubt Christ’s infinite willingness to save.
J.C. RYLE, EXPOSITORY THOUGHTS ON LUKE, VOL. 2, (THE BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST: 1998), 140–142.Now, wasn't that better than anything I've written? As you ponder these truths, please enjoy your week in review (kind of):
- Perry Noble's Newspring Church wants you to "write what you hear during the silence".
- If I ever find myself in Roanoke, I will be stopping at Crumb & Get It bakery.
- Romans 1, anyone? A Texas state representative has identified herself as a "pansexual".
- More Romans 1, anyone? This story is almost too disgusting to share.
- Speaking of progressive, now men are allowed to wear skirts at Oxford University.
- The LEGO story. (Warning, there is one expletive used at about 10 minutes in. Just cover your ears, because the rest of this thing is really interesting...if you like Legos.)
- Will Israel disappear once Islamic unity is achieved? Not likely.
- Here's a picture of a baby octopus hatching. Now, tell me again how we all evolved from the same cell?
- What is it going to take for Pat Robertson to stop talking?
- Mormonism and visitations from the dead. Take a look at what the Mormon church teaches their children.
- Brian McLaren wants you to know that we're all God's children.
- Don't miss this free booklet written by Pastor Larry DeBruyn: In the Name of Jesus: Oneness Pentecostalism & Jesus Only Baptism.
- An amazing story of God's providence: