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THE GREAT INVITATION

John A. Broadus

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come, and let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

The book of Revelation sets forth the progress of Christianity-its struggles, its reverses, its traits, its final triumph. Now at the close of the book, and of all God's teaching to men, is given this final invitation. With full knowledge of what awaits them, men are invited to come. Jesus, in his own person, as in the beginning of the book, here speaks. Often, when on earth, Jesus had said, "Come." So now, the revelation from on high closes with the same invitation.

It might seem that men would need only an intimation that they may come and would joyfully accept. But they are slow to come, and in infinite condescension and compassion, the invitations are multiplied.


I. Consider those who offer the invitations.

1. The Spirit of God invites men to come.

(a) The Scriptures, which he has inspired, abound in invitations.

(b) The Spirit by his own special influence leads men. Led by his spirit he does draw men so that they shall come. He draws them in a thousand ways-everything calculated to impress the heart, to arouse the conscience, to convince the judgment-is a part of that divine drawing. For observe, "I drew them with cords of a man with bonds of love." He draws us with influences suited to our nature-not as inanimate matter-not as irrational animals-but as men, with cords of a man. Oh, how often do men resist his drawings, withstand all his influences, and perish, complaining all the while, that men did not come, because not drawn.

2. The Bride. The church, including all true Christians of every age, offers an invitation.

(a) All efforts of Christians to do good form a continual invitation.

(b) The example of all earnest consistent Christians offers a silent invitation. The fact is that many become Christian, and truly live as such, whom we might have supposed beyond the reach of the gospel whether too bad or too good.

(c) Very many devote themselves to the work of urging this invitation.

3. And let him that heareth say, come. How forcibly does this exhibit the freeness of the invitation. The Saviour desires it to be spread among all men.


II. Who are invited?

1. Let him that is athirst come. Is a man convinced, whether for brief or protracted experiment, that polluted fountains of sinful good cannot satisfy the thirstings of the immortal soul? Not sensuality, not fame, not even knowledge?

Does he believe that there is a good, for this life and that which is to come, that can satisfy and endure?

Does he thirst for this? We ought to desire it-more than anything else, all things else. Many do desire it-at times, for a season, feebly, with distracted desires. Young man who came to Christ, "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" He was not thoroughly in earnest, or he would have partaken. Whosoever then thirsts, let him take.

But this might be misunderstood, as limiting the freeness of the offer. And it is added.

2. Whosoever will. As if carefully guarding against all misunderstanding, anyone who will is invited to come.

(a) Nothing else which man needs or desires, is promised as sure to be obtained. With other things there is still uncertainty. But here, here only, whosoever will may take, whosoever will shall surely receive.

(b) "If I only had become a Christian." "Whosoever will." "I do want to be a Christian"-"whosoever will." "I am so unworthy"-"whosoever will." "I have done my best"-this may be an excuse, "whosoever will." "I am not fit to come"-"come freely."

Many things call you away-but oh, heed the invitation of the text. And make up your mind that you will come to Christ.

 
 
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