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The Daily Word of Righteousness
John 6:25-58, #9
But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:36,37)
Whom the Father gives Me.
Right here is a concept that, as far as I know, is ignored in current evangelistic work. It is evident that no one can believe in Christ unless it has been given to him or her by the Father. Also, when the Father gives someone to the Lord, the Lord does not drive that person away.
There is a great deal to think about here, isn't there?
Now we know Jesus said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved." The Lord said this, and so it is totally, absolutely, irrevocably true. Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved!
We know in spite of all our preaching, only the people whom the Father gives
to Jesus Christ will believe in Him and come to Him. Since we cannot tell by looking at people whether or not they have been chosen by the Father to come to Christ, we have to preach whenever we have the opportunity.
Yet, since it is true that only those chosen by the Father can believe in Christ and come to Him, we need to watch the Holy Spirit carefully to make certain we are directing our attention to the people God is emphasizing at the time. Our tendency as Americans is to put on some spectacular program, using movie stars, or famous sports figures, or weight lifters. If we fill the building and have an exciting meeting we go away believing something significant has been accomplished.
It may be true that nothing at all was accomplished. We acted blindly, not trusting in the Holy Spirit to do His work.
I have come to the conclusion that no one receives anything unless it has been given to him or her by the Lord. Repentance is a gift. The desire to be righteous is a gift. The urge to pray is a gift. The ability to believe in Christ is a gift. The desire to seek more of God is a gift. The desire to do God's will is a gift.
"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." The hunger and thirst themselves are the blessing, the gift of God.
Every element of salvation is directed by the Lord. Sometimes we act as though we are in some kind of a freewheeling enterprise in which a certain number of people will respond. It is a "numbers" game. Then, when the church is full, we are afraid to preach stern discipleship because we know the people will leave. They were not brought by the Holy Spirit but by our skill in attracting people.
What a waste of energy, time, and money!
All that the Father gives Jesus Christ will come to Jesus Christ. This is the Word of God.
To be continued.