THE ‘DRAWING’ AND THE ‘COMPELLING’ OF GOD TO BRING HIS ELECT IN TO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
Here is the truth: God has spread the feast but the fact is that NOBODY is hungry, and NOBODY wants to come to the feast, and EVERYBODY makes an excuse to keep away from the feast. and when they are bidden to come they say, “No, we do not want to”, or “We are not ready yet.”
Now God knew that from the beginning, and if God had done nothing more than spread the feast every seat at His table would have been vacant for all eternity! I have no hesitation in saying there is not one man or woman in this church tonight, but who made excuses time after time before you first came to Christ.
You are just like the rest. You made excuses, so did I, and if God had done nothing more than just spread the feast every chair would have been vacant, therefore what do you read in that parable in Luke 14? Because the feast was not furnished with guests God sent forth His “servants”. Oh, put your glasses on. It does not say “servants”, it says God sent forth His “servant” and told Him to “COMPEL” them to come in that His feast might be furnished with guests. And there is not a man or a woman in this church tonight or in any other church that would ever sit down at the marriage-supper of the Lamb unless you had been COMPELLED TO COME IN, and COMPELLED BY GOD!
Well, you say, what do you mean by “compelled?” I mean this, that God had to overcome the resistance of your will, God had to overcome the reluctance of your heart, God had to overcome your loving of pleasure more than loving of God, your love of the things of this world more than Christ. I mean that God had to put forth His power and draw you, and if any of you know anything of the Greek or have a Strong’s Concordance, look up that Greek verb for “draw” in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” —
It means “use violence”. It means to drag by force. There is not a Greek scholar on earth that can challenge that statement—I mean—and back it up with proof. It’s the same Greek word that is used in John 21 when they drew the net to the land full of fishes. They had to pull with all their might for it was full of fishes. They had to drag it!
Yes, my friend, and THAT is how you were brought to Christ. You may not have been conscious of it. You may not have known inside yourself what was taking place, but every last one of us was a rebel against God, fighting against Christ, resisting His Holy Spirit, and God had to put forth almighty power and overcome that resistance and bring us to our knees, and if any of you object to that strong language, then I am here to tell you, you do not believe in the teaching of this Book on the ABSOLUTE DEPRAVITY OF MAN.
Man is lost, and man is dead in trespasses and sins by nature. Listen, it is not simply that man is sick and needs a little medicine: it is not simply that man is ignorant and needs a little teaching: it is not simply that man is weak and needs a little hope: man is dead, dead in trespasses and sins, and only almighty power from heaven can ever resurrect him and bring him from death unto life.
THAT is the gospel I believe in and I do not preach the gospel because I believe the sinner has power in himself to respond to it. Well, you say, then what is the use of preaching the gospel if men are dead? What is the use of preaching it? I will tell you. Listen! Here was a man with a withered hand, paralyzed, and Christ says. “Stretch forth thine hand!” It was the one thing that he could not do! Christ told him to do a thing that was impossible in himself. Well then you say why did Christ tell him to stretch forth his hand? Because Divine power went with the very word that commanded him to do it! Divine power enabled him to. The man could not do it of himself. If you think that he could you are ready for the lunatic asylum, I don’t not care who you are. Any man or woman here who thinks that that man was able to stretch forth his paralyzed arm by an effort of his own will is ready for the lunatic asylum! How can paralysis move?
Well, I will give you something stronger than that. You need something strong today, you need something more than SKIM-MILK, you need STRONG MEAT if ever you are going to be built up and grow and become strong in the Lord and the power of His might—
Here is a man who is dead and buried and his body has already begun to corrupt so that it stank. There he was in the grave and someone came to that graveside and said, “Lazarus. come forth”, and if that someone had been anyone else than God Himself manifest in flesh. He might have stood there till now calling, “Come forth”. What on earth was the use of telling a dead man to come forth? None at all, unless the One Who spoke that word had the power to make that word good.
Now then my friends, I preach the gospel to sinners, not because I believe the sinner has any power at all in himself to respond to it: I do not believe that any sinner has any capacity in himself whatever. But Christ said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life”, and by God’s grace I go forth preaching this Word because it is a word of power, a word of spirit, a word of life.
THE POWER IS NOT IN THE SINNER, IT IS IN THE WORD WHEN GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT IS PLEASED TO USE IT.
And my friends, I say in all reverence; if God told me in this Book to go out and preach to the trees. I would go! Yes sir. God once told one of His servants to go and preach to bones and he went. I wonder if YOU would have gone! Yes, that has a local application as well as a future interpretation prophetically.
[From a sermon A.W. Pink preached in Sydney, during his Australian ministry in the 1920’s.]