How to Come to Jesus
(A Short, Simple Sermon on Salvation)
by Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980)
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37.
Anybody who wants to be saved can be saved right now, as you read this article. I mean the worst drunkard, the most abandoned woman, or even the person most ignorant of God and the Bible, can be saved now and know it, beyond the peradventure of a doubt, just by taking to heart the Scripture given above, which we will explain.
And now let us read it again, because all I say is simply going to be an explanation and illustration of this plain statement which Jesus Christ made in John, chapter 6, verse 37.
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Here Jesus tells us that God the Father gives certain people to Him, Jesus. And He receives all who come to Him and will not, under any circumstances, turn down, reject, or cast out! I will show you from the Word of God that you too may come to Jesus Christ and be saved. He will not ask you to wait, nor refuse you, but will immediately take you into His heart and into His blessed kingdom and make you God's child, forgiving all your sins!
I hope you will memorize this verse because it is one of the sweetest in the Bible, and one of the best for winning souls.
There are two parts to this verse. Will you please consider the first part:
I. "ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVETH ME SHALL COME TO ME"
Here we learn that God gives certain people to Jesus.
That does not mean that anybody is left out of God's plan. No, no! Many, many Scriptures make it clear that anybody who wants to be saved can be saved.
For example, 2nd Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God wants ALL to come to repentance.
Again, the same blessed promise is given in Revelation 22:17. There the Lord Jesus told John to put this last sweet salvation promise in the Bible: "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.". Blessed by God, "whosoever will" may "take the water of life freely". So nobody is left out.
And we know from 1st John 2:1-2 that Jesus Christ on the cross paid for the sins of the whole world:
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
So any poor sinner may know that Christ is the propitiation for his sins and be saved. Yes, he is invited and urged to be saved. No one is left out.
But it is true that this short sermon is not dealing with everybody, but just with you who are reading it now. And this blessed verse is an especially sweet promise to certain people because God the Father has given them to Jesus Christ in some special way, or dealt with them in some special way, as I will explain.
First, God knows those who will trust Him, and He has determined ahead of time that the moment you trust Him, He will save you. Oh, how eagerly He watches your heart! How He sends the blessed Holy Spirit to move you to repent and turn to Christ!
In this same chapter, in verse 44 Jesus said, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him... You see, we poor frail sinners are so lost, so cold and blind and dead in our sins, that if God just left us alone, we would all go on to Hell. Our consciences would not bother us. We would not fear death. We would not see the danger of delay. We would not want to come to Jesus.
So the dear Father in Heaven, who wants every sinner to become His child, draws people to Jesus. And God gives to Jesus those who heed the wooing of the blessed Holy Spirit, those who do not resist God's call.
Do you have any sense of guilt over your sins? If so, that shows good sense! What a foolish, wicked thing to go on with no thought of the future, with no sorrow for your sins, with no concern over your poor lost soul. Do you find, from time to time, that even when you want to do good you fail? Do you break every resolution?
A man who had been drinking for years, wanted to be saved. But he feared and feared. "How can I ever get rid of this enslaving habit?" He had made so many vows and broken every one! When he had promised his wife to quit, he never had the willpower to do it. He was soon dragged into the clutches of drink again. So when in deep distress of soul he knelt down to pray and call on God, he said, "O God, I don't promise you anything! I promised my wife I would quit drinking and I could not do it. I don't know whether I can quit now. I don't promise you anything, but my friend keeps telling me that you can give people a new heart. If you have a new heart for me, I sure need one!
God did give him a new heart, and did help him to turn his back on liquor that had enslaved him so long.
But the thing I am telling you is that this concern, even this consciousness of your weakness, is good proof that God is drawing you to Jesus and that Jesus wants to save you.
It may be someone reads this who had had deep trouble of heart. Maybe you are like the man who called me at Shamrock, Texas, to come and preach the funeral service of his newborn baby boy. He was a poor man. The baby was brought to the grave in a little pine box covered with muslin, held on the lap of two men in the back seat of a model T Ford car.
We had a simple service at the grave, and when the box was covered and rounded up and homegrown flowers put on it by loving neighbors, he turned to me with a sob and said, "He was so big and fine! I can't see why he didn't live! The doctor said he just didn't breathe, that's all!
As we stood by the grave together I told this troubled father that I felt sure God was speaking to his heart and calling him to trust the Saviour so he could meet the dear little one in Heaven.
"That is just what my wife said this morning!" he said, with a startled face.
I put my arm around his big, brawny shoulders and suggested that we kneel down there by that new-made grave and ask Jesus Christ to come into his heart. That is exactly what he did. We knelt together and in his tears he asked the Lord Jesus to forgive and save him. And he went home to tell his sick wife that he would meet his baby in Heaven.
You see, God was calling him and bringing him to Jesus. The sorrow, the trouble was just part of God's way to show him his need of the Saviour and to bring him to Jesus.
Well, then it is clear that if you want to come to Christ, God put that desire in your heart. If you feel guilt over your sins, God put that consciousness of your need and your guilt in your heart to bring you to Jesus. If the Holy Spirit is dealing with you, striving with you, warning and convicting you, that is God drawing you toward Jesus Christ. He has offered you to Jesus Christ, and if you will come, you will not be rejected!
Now let us see the rest of the verse and the wonderful thing it means.
II. "HIM THAT COMETH TO ME I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT"
What does it mean to come to Christ? Well, there are different ways of saying it in the Bible. Sometimes the Bible says, "Look! In Isaiah 45:22, God calls out to sinners everywhere, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. God simply means that the heart should turn to face Him and rely upon Him.
The same thought is given in the wonderful story of the Israelites encamped in the wilderness who were bitten by fiery serpents, as told in Numbers 21:5-9. There many people were dying, the others, in despair, begged Moses to pray. And when Moses prayed, God told him to make a snake out of brass and put it on a pole. And everyone who would look to that brass snake on a pole in the midst of the camp would immediately be cured of the snakebite! What a simple and wonderful way to be saved from the fatal poison of the serpent!
And Jesus told Nicodemus in the third chapter of John, "...As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.".
So, another word for coming to Jesus is to "look". If in your heart you come, He will not turn you down. So turn and look to Him now.
Another way for coming to Jesus is to "call upon Him", or pray. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13). That need not be audible prayer. For how then could a deaf and dumb man call? No, this means calling upon God in the heart. That is another way of saying, "Come". One who, in his heart, asks for mercy, asks for forgiveness, and has come to Jesus already!
In this same chapter, Jesus has reminded the people that He is the true bread from Heaven. "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)
You see, the preceding day Jesus had fed 5,000 men, besides women and children, with five little barley biscuits and two small fishes. The people were amazed at that. But Jesus reminded them that He was the true Bread from Heaven.
And just as hungry people could take the bread and fish, just so any sinner, wanting the Bread of Life, could take Jesus, and have everlasting life at once. Here Jesus said that coming is believing.
In the same chapter, "Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent" (John 6:29). To believe on Christ, that is, to depend upon Him, to rely upon Him, to trust Him - that is coming to Jesus. And when one comes, He never turns you down!
Repentance and faith go together, and both are part of this same little word, "Come". One who comes to Jesus comes to get forgiveness, comes to get help about his sins, and comes for a new heart and a new life. And always one can get it, for Jesus never casts one out, as He so many times promised.
I looked into the sad eyes of a woman who had gone into sin. She did not know whether she was saved or not. I read John 6:37 to her and she read it for herself. "Did you come to Jesus?" I asked.
"I do not know. I wanted to come. I tried to come. But I do not know whether I came aright or not."
"Oh, but if you wanted to come that is what He means. It is the "want to" that is real coming to Jesus! It is not walking down an aisle. It is not joining a church. It is a simple heart decision that says, 'I want to be saved. I want Jesus to forgive me. I want to have a new heart. I want Jesus to take me now and make me God's child. This moment I decide it. I won't delay for anything, and I won't turn Him down any more. Those who really wanted to come and chose to come have already come in their hearts. So I said to her and so I say to you.
Do you fear you couldn't come aright? Well, if you come at all, that is all Jesus asked. He didn't say, "If you come with a sober face. He didn't say, "If you come with tears.". He didn't say, "If you make big promises. He didn't say, "If you come saying, 'Hallelujah!' and with joy running over. Jesus simply said, "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Never mind the fireworks. Never mind the emotions. If in your poor, tired, sinning heart you want to come to Jesus, then I beg you just come right now, this moment!
Joshua challenged Israel, "...choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). Coming is choosing. If in your heart you take Jesus, then He is yours. If you choose Him, that heart-choice settles the matter and Jesus receives you.
It was said about some people, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). It was the sad complaint of Jesus to some poor sinners, "...ye will not come to me that ye might have life" (John 5:20). But one who will come, can come. Yea, if he chooses to come, decides to come, then he does come.
And Jesus promised, "...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." That means there are no delays. Jesus has no quibbles.
I knew of a firm years ago that advertised sewing machines on television for $29.95. But when people called and the salesman came to see them, the company was always out of that cheaper model and wanted to sell a more expensive model, one that cost two and a half times as much!
Well, crooked men may do that way about their promises, but never the Lord Jesus! If He said "come", then He will receive you. He has promised and you may rely upon it.
"But how will I know that He has received me?" someone asks. Why, poor foolish man or woman, can you not believe what Jesus said? Do you want more evidence than the solemn promise of the Son of God? You will honor the signature of men on a check, you will believe a printed guarantee of a company: then are you willing to risk the plain promise of the Son of God Himself, written down here in the Bible?
You see, you do not need any further evidence. Ho, there will be plenty of things to encourage your heart and to give further assurance later, but the thing to do now is simply to believe what Jesus said and risk everything upon His honor. He who loved you so much, He who never lied, He who died to save sinners, He who has been running you down so long and pleading with you to be saved - surely, surely He will not reject you, will not deny you, will not fail you now when you come!
No, and He will not turn you out later. There is no chameleon that you face when you come to Jesus. Rather, it is the unchanging, eternal Son of God, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever" (Heb. 13:8). He loves you now; He will love you tomorrow. He gives you life today, but He gives everlasting life for all the tomorrows. He gives you life, but not only that - He gives you ETERNAL life. He will not turn you down when you come, but promised, "I will in no wise cast out.
Thank God, you are in good hands when you turn your case over to Jesus, and you are permanently taken over by the Lawyer who has never lost a case, the Saviour who never rejected a penitent sinner, and by the good God whose eternal Word is at stake!
Oh, wonderful salvation for today and for eternity! So one has everlasting life when he comes to Jesus.
Now I hope you understand this blessed promise. Only one thing remains. Will you take Jesus Christ up on His promise?
God put it in your heart to read this sermon. The Holy Spirit now reminds you of your sin. You know that one day you will die. Your conscience tells you that you ought to be saved. All these things are the call of God. This sermon itself is part of God's blessed plan to bring you to Jesus. And that proves that Jesus is ready to save you.
Now the only thing left is for you to come honestly and immediately, with all your heart, to Jesus Christ. Will you trust Him, depend upon Him today? The moment you do, He gives you everlasting life.
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