Why Sinners Do Come to Christ
Not too long ago, I preached a sermon on why people wont come to Christ. And, indeed, our Lords words are true that wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. And narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. And so to one group of sinners He was compelled to say, "But You are not willing to come to Me that you mave have life."
But leaving the story there would not be telling the whole story. Jesus Christ is not a defeated Saviour. He has conquered death. He is a victorious King. Christ shall see the travail of His soul and be satisified. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom comprising redeemed saints from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Therefore the gospel of Christ is a powerful gospel and is bound to bear much fruit. So, now that weve already considered why people will not come to Christ, this morning well consider why sinners do come to Christ.
And, like before, well consider this question on the human plane, from mans perspective. Because the Bible teaches us that the ultimate reason that sinners come to Christ can only be found in God Himself. God the Father has elected them before the foundation of the world, God the Son died for them to purchase their redemption, and God the Holy Spirit quickens them and draws them to Christ. But our purpose will be to consider the specific things that take place within an awakened soul that result in the sinner believing on Christ to the saving of his soul.
Why do sinners come to Christ?
1. Because they have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their sin
The vast majority of people would admit to being sinners. Hardly anyone would argue with Solomon when he wrote, "there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin" (Eccl 7:20). Yet, this admission not withstanding, people are prone to downplay their sin. Sin to most people is like the common cold; its a bad thing but everybody gets it and theres not much you can do about it.
But when the Holy Spirit begins working in a soul, drawing a person to Christ, that person begins to look at himself and his sin in an entirely new light. More and more, sin appears to such a person as a hideous and an awful thing. Sin takes on the appearance and stench of gangreen of the soul. The soul becomes consciously aware of the crippling burden of guilt that is the result of sin like John Bunyans character in Pilgrims Progress.
And at the same time that the persons sin appears more and more evil, the holiness of God and His hatred of sin become more and more dreadfully clear. It is this horrible realization that the wrath of God abides upon the sinner and justly so that drives sinners to Jesus Christ for pardon. Lets see this reality illustrated in the Scriptures
"And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'"
PRICK (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words):
katanusso ^2660^, primarily, "to strike or prick violently, to stun," is used of strong emotion
The case of the Apostle Paul
Before he became a Christian, he thought he was a righteous man. When he compared himself to the outward requirements of Gods law, he thought himself to be blameless. He was indeed a Hebrew of the Hebrews. All the while, however, he was conducting himself in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and was, in fact, a child of wrath by nature. But he was blind to his own sin. Then, when Christ began to work in him
I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
What about you? Have you been made acutely aware of the awful guilt of your sin?
Why do sinners come to Christ? Because, in the first place, they have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their sin. But then, in the second place
2. Because they are convinced that they cannot save themselves
This reason naturally flows from the first. Sinners who have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their - like the tax collector beating hid breast begging God for mercy, or like the crowd of Jews who were pricked in their hearts because they suddenly realized that they had murdered the Messiah such sinners are convinced that they cannot save themselves. The same awareness of their own sinfulness convinces them that there is nothing originating from within themselves that can possibly contribute to their salvation.
But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
" How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? If even the moon does not shine, and the stars are not pure in His sight, how much less man, who is a maggot, and a son of man, who is a worm?"
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
The plea of the awakened sinner is represented well by the words of the hymn-writer:
"Not the labors of my hands can fulfill thy laws demands; could my zeal no respite know, could my tears for ever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling; naked, come to thee for dress, helpless, look to thee for grace; foul, I to the Fountain fly; Wash me Saviour, or I die."
Why do sinners come to Christ? Because they have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their sin, and, they are convinced that they cannot save themselves. But then, in the third place
3. Because they believe that Christ is the only one who can save them
1 Tim 2:5
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Why do sinners come to Christ? Because they have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their sin, and, they are convinced that they cannot save themselves, they believe that Christ is the only one who can save them, and, in the fourth place
4. Because they count the cost of following Christ
"It costs something to be a true Christian. Let that never be forgotten. To be a mere nominal Christian, and go to church, is cheap and easy work. But to hear Christs voice, and follow Christ, and believe in Christ, and confess Christ, requirres much self-denial. It will cost us our sins, and our self-righteousness, and our ease, and our worldliness. All all must be given up. We must fight an enemy, who comes against us with twenty thousand followers. We must build a tower in troublous times. Our Lord Jesus Christ would have us thoroughly understand this. He bids us count the cost.
"Our Lord spoke as He did to prevent men from following Him lightly and inconsiderately, from mere animal feeling or temporary excitement, who in time of temptation would fall away. He bids all who think of taking service with Him count the cost before they begin.
"Well would it be for the church and the world if the ministers of Christ would always remember their Masters conduct in this passage. Often, -far too often, - people are built up in self-deception, and encouraged to think they are converted when in reality they are not converted at all. Feelings are supposed to be faith. Convictions are supposed to be grace. These things ought not so to be. By all means let us encourage the first beginnings of religion in a soul. But never klet us urge people forward without telling them what true Christianity entails. Never let us hide from them the battle and the toil. Let us say to them come with us, but let us also say count the cost."
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
Why do sinners come to Christ? Because they have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their sin, , they are convinced that they cannot save themselves, they believe that Christ is the only one who can save them, they count the cost of following Christ and, in the fifth place
5. Because they respond in faith to Christs invitation to come to Him for salvation
Christ does not command sinners to go and make themselves better; He does not send them away to do penance or to grovel in the mud until they are worthy to be saved, no! Christ simply invites sinners to come to Him and be saved
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
And sinners who are saved from their sins are those who dont just theorize and philosophize about Christ and the gospel, they are those who actually lay hold of Christ by faith as He is offered in the gospel. Christ simply says, "Come," and they come. Listen to the words of the hymn:
"Just as I am, without one plea But that thy blood was shed for me, And that thou biddest me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am, and waiting not To rid my soul of one dark blot, To thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. Just as I am! Thou wilt receive, Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve, Because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come."
Why do sinners come to Christ? Because they have an acute sense of the awful guilt of their sin, they are convinced that they cannot save themselves, they believe that Christ is the only one who can save them, they count the cost of following Christ, and they respond in faith to Christs invitation to come to Him for salvation.
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