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Eternal life is given to all who come for it

III. This brings us to the third point: that ETERNAL LIFE IS GIVEN TO ALL WHO COME FOR IT. There never was a man who came to Christ for eternal life, for legal life, for spiritual life, who had not already received it, in some sense, and it was manifested to him that he had received it soon after he came. Let us take one or two texts:- “He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto him.” Every man who comes to Christ will find that Christ is able to save him-not able to save him a little to deliver him from a little sin, to keep him from a little trial, to carry him a little way and then drop him but able to save him to the uttermost extent of his sin, unto the uttermost length of his trials, the uttermost depths of his sorrows unto the uttermost duration of his existence. Christ says to every one who comes to him, “Come, poor sinner, thou needst not ask whether I have power to save. I will not ask thee how far thou hast gone into sin. I am able to save thee to the uttermost.” And there is no one on earth can go beyond God’s “uttermost.”

Now another text: “Him that cometh to me, (mark the promises are nearly always to the coming ones) I will in no wise cast out.” Every man that comes shall find the door of Christ’s house opened-and the door of his heart too-Every man that comes; I say it in the broadest sense-shall find that Christ has mercy for him. The greatest absurdity in the world is to want to have a wider gospel than that recorded in Scripture. I preach that every man that believes shall be saved-that every man who comes shall find mercy. People ask me, “But suppose a man should come who was not chosen, would he be saved?” You go and suppose nonsense and I am not going to give you an answer. If a man is not chosen he will never come. When he does come it is a sure proof that he was chosen. Says one, “Suppose any one should go to Christ who had not been called of the Spirit.” Stop, my brother, that is a supposition thou hast no right to make, for such a thing cannot happen; you only say it to entangle me, and you will not do that just yet. I say every man who comes to Christ shall be saved. I can say that as a Calvinist, or as a hyper-Calvinist, as plainly as you can say it. I have no narrower gospel than you have; only my gospel is on a solid foundation, whereas yours is built upon nothing but sand and rottenness. “Every man that cometh shall be saved, for no man cometh to me except the Father draw him.” “But,” says one, “suppose all the world should come, would Christ receive them?” Certainly, if all came, but then they won’t come. I tell you all that come-aye, if they were as bad as devils Christ would receive them; if they had all sin and filthiness running into their hearts as into a common sewer for the whole world, Christ would receive them. Another says, “I want to know about the rest of the people. May I go out and tell them-Jesus Christ died for every one of you? May I say-there is righteousness for every one of you, there is life for every one of you? “No; you may not. You may say-there is life for every man that comes; but if you say there is life for one of those that do not believe, you utter a dangerous lie. If you tell them that Jesus Christ was punished for their sins, and yet they will be lost, you tell a wilful falsehood. To think that God could punish Christ and then punish them-I wonder at your daring to have the impudence to say so! A good man was once preaching that there were harps and crowns in heaven for all his congregation, and then he wound up in a most solemn manner: “My dear friends, there are many for whom these things are prepared who will not get there.” In fact, he made such a pitiful tale, as indeed he might do; but I tell you who he ought to have wept for-he ought to have wept for the angels of heaven and all the saints, because that would spoil heaven thoroughly. You know when you meet at Christmas, if you have lost your brother David and his seat is empty, you say: “Well, we always enjoyed Christmas but there is a drawback to it now-poor David is dead and buried! “Think of the angels saying: “Ah! this is a beautiful heaven, but we don’t like to see all those crowns up there with cobwebs on, we cannot endure that uninhabited street: we cannot behold yon empty thrones.” And then, poor souls, they might begin talking to one another, and say, “we are none of us safe here, for the promise was-’I give unto my sheep eternal life,’ and there is a lot of them in hell that God gave eternal life to; there is a number that Christ shed his blood for burning in the pit, and if they may be sent there, so may we. If we cannot trust one promise we cannot another.” So heaven would lose its foundation, and fall. Away with your nonsensical gospel! God gives us a safe and solid one, built on covenant doings and covenant relationships, on eternal purposes and sure fulfilments.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

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It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

2. It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning: Which is also expressed in Psalm lxxiii. 18, 19. “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!”

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 127

TO REV. A. A. REES

WESTWOOD, Mar. 22, 1881.

DEAR FRIEND, —

When you speak of 40 years’ ministry you make me look up to you with reverent awe. Surely you must be getting old. Blessed be the Lord who has upheld you in honor and in strength. I joy and rejoice in His name as I think of His faithfulness to you.

I have had rough sailing of late. This place, above the fogs, is perhaps worse in extreme winter for my disease, by reason of increased cold; but in ordinary times it must be much better; besides I can breathe here and do not feel like being inside a saucepan with the lid on. I feel sure the position with God’s blessing will be a permanent boon to me.

Many thanks for £5 from your thanksgiving. The Lord is with us graciously in this work.

Peace be to you, and all the blessings of the covenant.

Yours ever most heartily,

C. H. SPURGEON.

Duty of Gratitude for Divine Grace: Sovereignty of Grace: Effectual Calling- Book Seventh- Chapter 4- Section 3

Book Seventh

CHAPTER IV.

SECTION III.–EFFECTUAL CALLING.

THE HOLY SPIRIT EFFECTUALLY CALLS ALL THE ELECT TO REPENT AND BELIEVE.[85]

The gospel calls all who hear it to repent and believe. This call proceeds from the Holy Spirit, who qualifies the ministers of the gospel for their work, and gives them the written word. But men resist and disobey this call of the Spirit, and remain under condemnation. “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye.” “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?”[86] “He shall be revealed, taking vengeance on all them that obey not the gospel.”[87]

Besides the call which is external, and often ineffectual, there is another, which is internal and effectual. This always produces repentance and faith, and therefore secures salvation. The former external call is intended in such passages of Scripture as the following: “Because I have called, and ye refused.”[88] “Many be called, but few chosen.”[89] The internal and effectual call is designed in the following passages: “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling.”[90] “Whom he predestinated, them he also called; whom he called, them he also justified.”[91] “Called to be saints.”[92] “Among whom are ye also called to Jesus Christ.”[93] “To them who love God who are the called according to his purpose.”[94] It is not true of all who receive the external call, that they are predestinated to life, justified and saved. Whenever these blessings are represented as belonging to the called, the internal and effectual call must be meant.

We have before distinguished between the direct and the indirect influence of the Holy Spirit. The external call being by means of the written or preached word, belongs to the indirect influence of the Spirit. To render this call effectual, the direct influence is superadded; and the gospel is then said to come, not in word only,[95] but in demonstration of the Spirit and with power.[96] The external call is disobeyed, because men will not come to Christ that they may have life: the internal call operates on the will itself, working in men to will and to do, and rendering God’s people willing in the day of his power. As distinguished from the external call the internal is always unresisted. In the process of conversion, the Holy Spirit is violently resisted; but his resistance is directed against the outward means. The internal grace softens and subdues the heart, and brings it into peaceful subjection to the gospel of Christ.

The internal grace, which renders the outward call effectual, is the grace of regeneration. Hence regeneration, considered as the work of the Holy Spirit, is the same as effectual calling; considered as the change of the sinner’s heart, it is the effect of this calling. The calling is effectual, because it produces regeneration in the subject on whom it operates.

In effectual calling, the Holy Spirit displays his omnipotence. “We believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead.”[97] The same power which created the world, and said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” is needed in the new creation of the sinner. “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts.”[98] “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”[99] “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”[100] His power in creating the world was unresisted; and equally unresisted is the power by which he new-creates the heart. The outward means which the Spirit sends may be resisted; but when the Spirit himself comes in the omnipotence of his grace, resistance vanishes.

In effectual calling, the Holy Spirit acts as a sovereign. In bestowing the various gifts which he conferred on the ancient Christians, he acted as a sovereign: “All these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”[101] He is equally sovereign in giving regenerating grace. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.”[102] Grace is sovereign in election by the Father, redemption by the Son, and effectual calling by the Holy Spirit. The discrimination which grace makes among the children of men, first appears in effectual calling. This work of the Holy Spirit leads up, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, to God the Father, to whose electing love we are taught to ascribe all the blessings of eternal salvation. In this reverse order we look back, along the stream of mercy, to the fountain from which it flows. The reverse order is observed in the precept, “Make your calling and election sure.”[103] Our calling proceeds from our election; but we ascertain our election by first ascertaining our calling.

In effectual calling, the Holy Spirit operates on the elect. These are “sanctified by God the Father, preserved in Christ Jesus, and called.”[104] They whom the Spirit calls are “chosen in Christ from the foundation of the world.”[105] “As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”[106] The Spirit’s effectual calling fulfils the word of Christ, “All that my Father giveth me, shall come to me.”[107] “Other sheep have I, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring.”[108]

It has been asked, for what purpose does God send his outward call to the non-elect, since it will be ineffectual, unless accompanied with his omnipotent grace. We might as well ask for what purpose does God give men his law, when they will not obey it; or why does he institute a moral government over them, when they will not submit to it. Instead of demanding God’s reasons for what he does, it becomes every man rather to inquire, what reason he can render to God, for violating his holy law, and rejecting the call of his gospel. We may be sure that God will do right, and will be able to vindicate his ways before the intelligent universe; and we should regard our propensity to call in question the wisdom and righteousness of his procedure, as an alarming evidence of our want of submission to his will.

Objection. If repentance and faith are gifts of grace bestowed by the Holy Spirit in effectual calling, men on whom this grace is not conferred, are not blameworthy for being impenitent and unbelieving.

The objection virtually assumes, that men are under no obligation to serve God further than they please; or that if their unwillingness to serve him can be overcome by nothing less than omnipotent grace, it excuses their disobedience. Let the man who makes to himself this apology for his impenitence and unbelief, consider well, with what face he can present his plea before the great Judge. “I did not serve God, because I was wholly unwilling to serve him; and so exceedingly unwilling that nothing less than omnipotent grace could reconcile me to the hated service.” Who will dare offer this plea on the great day?

The efficacious grace which renders the gospel successful, is the grand peculiarity of the gospel dispensation.

This grace was bestowed in a smaller measure, before the coming of Christ, and during his personal ministry; but the abundant outpouring of it was reserved for the Pentecost that followed the Saviour’s ascension, and the times succeeding. The apostles were commanded to remain in Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high, and the power of the Holy Spirit which fell on them rendered their preaching far more successful than the ministry of Christ himself had been. Had God bound himself, by rule, to give an equal measure of grace to every human being, and to leave the result to the unaided volitions of men, the extraordinary success which marked the first period of Christianity would not have existed. It must be ascribed to the efficacious grace of the Holy Spirit, whom the Saviour promised to send after he should go to the Father. To the power of the Spirit, the success of the word, in all ages, must be attributed: and the glorious millennial day so long expected by the church will not come, until the Spirit be poured out from on high.[109] Hence, all good men looking forward to this glorious day, have not relied for its coming on the superior morality and religious tendency of future generations, but have prayed for it and have hoped for success, only through the abundant influence of the Holy Spirit.

[85] John vi. 37; Rom. viii. 26, 30; 1 Cor. i. 24; 2 Tim. i. 9; 1 Pet. ii. 9; Jude 1, 2; 1 Cor. ii. 4; 1 Thess. i. 4–6.

[86] Acts vii. 51, 52.

[87] 2 Thess. i. 7, 8.

[88] Prov. i. 24.

[89] Matt. xx. 16.

[90] 2 Tim. i. 9.

[91] Rom. viii. 30.

[92] Rom. i. 7.

[93] Rom. i. 6.

[94] Rom. viii. 28.

[95] 1 Thess. i. 5.

[96] 1 Cor. ii. 4.

[97] Eph. i. 19, 20.

[98] 2 Cor. iv. 6.

[99] Eph. ii. 10.

[100] 2 Pet. i. 3

[101] 1 Cor. xii. 11.

[102] James i. 18.

[103] 2 Pet. i. 10

[104] Jude 1.

[105] Eph. i. 4–13.

[106] Acts xiii. 48.

[107] John vi. 37.

[108] John x. 16.

[109] Isaiah xxxii. 15.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

In not a few instances the Scriptures possess both a literal and a mystical force: Example 7

1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-4, furnishes another illustration of what we are here treating; to wit, the spiritual content of many passages in God’s Word. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” As a matter of fact, historically, Divinely recorded, they partook of material food and drank of water which flowed from a literal rock; yet three times over the apostle declared that the same were spiritual. In so doing Paul was not merely intimating that there was a close analogy between God’s dealings with the Hebrews of old and with His saints today: rather was he insisting that the wilderness experiences of Israel after the flesh adumbrated the soul experiences of Israel after the spirit. It is not only that the Divine institutions under Judaism possessed a symbolical and typical significance, but that Christians enter into the spiritual substance of which they were but the shadows. Christ is our altar (Hebrews 13:10), our passover (1 Corinthians 5:7), our high priest (Hebrews 4:14). In Him we are spiritually circumcised (Colossians 2:11).

“But ye are come unto mount Sion” (Hebrews 12:22)

is also to be understood spiritually, and not literally. That should be quite obvious, yet, because of the gross and carnal ideas of modern Dispensationalists, there is need for us to labor the point. That is one of the many passages where the blessings and privileges of the new covenant are expressed in language taken from the old, the antitype being presented under the phraseology of the type.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

There is eternal life in Christ Jesus

In the third place, there is eternal life in Christ Jesus; and, oh! if eternal death be terrible, eternal life is blessed, for he has said, “Where I am there shall my people be.” “Father, I will, that they also, whom thou hast given unto me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory.” “I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish.” Now, any Arminian that would preach from that text must buy a pair of India rubber lips for I am sure he would need to stretch his mouth amazingly; he would never be able to speak the whole truth without winding about in a most mysterious manner. Eternal life-not a life which they are to lose, but eternal life. If I lost life in Adam I gained it in Christ; if I lost myself for ever I find myself for ever in Jesus Christ. Eternal life! Oh blessed thought! Our eyes will sparkle with joy and our souls burn with ecstasy in the thought that we have eternal life. Be quenched ye stars! let God put his finger on you-but my soul will live in bliss and joy. Put out thine eye O sun!-but mine eye shall “see the king in his beauty” when thine eye shall no more make the green earth laugh; and moon, be thou turned into blood!-but my blood shall ne’er be turned to nothingness; this spirit shall exist when thou hast ceased to be; and thou great world! thou mayest all subside, just as a moment’s foam subsides upon the wave that bears it-but I shall have eternal life. O time! thou mayest see giant mountains dead and hidden in their graves; thou mayest see the stars like figs too ripe, falling from the tree; but thou shalt never, never see my spirit dead.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Freewill- A Slave,” A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, December 2, 1855

They were always exposed to destruction

Their foot shall slide in due time (Deut. xxxii. 35).

1. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding. The same is expressed, Psalm lxxiii. 18. “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction.”

Jonathan Edwards- Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God