John 7:37 “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Romans 10:13 “For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Matthew 16:24 “If anyone would come after me…”
Romans 2:11 says that “God shows no partiality” or in other words that He is no respecter of persons. He engaged the rich young ruler. Looking at him the Bible says He “loved him (Mark 10:21)” and exposed the idolatry in his heart. Jesus Christ said that if we hold a banquet we should invite “the poor, the crippled, the lame, (and) the blind (Luke 14:13),” because with Him there is no worldly biases. There is no one beyond the saving reach of Jesus Christ. He looked at a man that the world had cut off and fled from, who was running naked, violent, suicidal and tormented among the tombs, and Jesus said to his demons “Go (Matt 8:32)” and they fled. He restored the wild man, putting him in his “right mind (Mark 5:15)” and made him a beloved child of God.
Jesus Christ calls everyone regardless of race, religion, lifestyle, social status, gender, or age. No matter how deeply entrenched a person is in their sin or their false beliefs He calls them to forsake it all, no matter the cost, and to follow Him.
But I Thought You Said He Was Exclusive?
Jesus Christ is exclusive in the sense that He is the only way to enter Heaven. All other ways are therefore “excluded” and dead wrong. He pointed to Himself as the one and only door that all who enter Heaven must walk through.
But His gospel call is not meant to exclude anyone. Romans 10:12-13 says that “there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But the sobering truth comes in verse sixteen: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’”
Jesus Christ is Lord of all, using His followers to proclaim the gospel to whoever “has an ear (Rev 2:29).” A day will even come when even the angels in Heaven will fly overhead “with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people (Rev 14:6).” Yet, despite His call, His manifest wisdom and power, and even despite giving men many miraculous signs, they will not all obey the gospel.
Why will all men not believe? Why will they not understand and obey? In the book of John, Jesus Christ clearly explains why:
John 3:19-20 “This is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
John 5:40-44 “You refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”
John 8:43-47 “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires…Because I tell the truth, you do not believe me…The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
Man in his pride, stubbornly refuses to come to Christ. He does not want to hear hard words about himself, nor does he want to feel guilt about his sin because he holds it dear and repulses at the thought of having to forsake it. As we discussed above, man does not want a Lord over his life, but rather to vainly strive to have control over his own destiny. Therefore, it is a common thing for men to hear the gospel and to reject Jesus Christ.
If you are reading this portion, then I want you to know that the call of Jesus Christ which I will put forward is for you. Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess one day that Jesus Christ is Lord of all the earth (Phil 2:10-11). How I long that you would bow before Him now in humble submission and not later in fear and sure judgment. Remember that what I have laid out for you in this book is not a way, but rather the way, and a person: Jesus Christ. He is calling you and I pray that you would hear His call as if He were nearer to you than your closest friend, so near that He would even be working in your own heart. He once made Himself plain to me, and so impressed it upon my heart that I must follow Him, that I felt if I turned away then I would surely die. I pray He will do that for you! In the next chapter we will consider His call and His requirements.