The Effectual “Shall” and “Will” of God

Oh! I love God’s “shalls” and “wills.” There is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say “shall,” what is it good for? “I will,” says man, and he never performs; “I shall,” says he, and he breaks his promise. But it is never so with God’s “shalls.” If he says “shall,” it shall be; when he says “will,” it will be. Now he has said here, “many shall come.” The devil says “they shall not come;” but “they shall come.” Their sins say “you can’t come;” God says “you shall come.” You, yourselves, say, “you won’t come;” God says “you shall come.” Yes! There are some here who are laughing at salvation, who can scoff at Christ and mock at the gospel; but I tell you some of you shall come yet. “What!” you say, “can God make me become a Christian?” I tell you yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel. It does not ask you consent; but it gets it. It does not say, Will you have it? But it makes you willing in the day of God’s power. Not against your will, but it makes you willing. It shows you its value, and then you fall in love with it; and straightway you run after it and have it. Many people have said, “we will not have anything to do with religion.” yet they have been converted. I have heard of a man who once went to chapel to hear the singing, and as soon as the minister began to preach, he put his fingers in his ears and would not listen. But by-and-by some tiny insect settled on his face, so that he was obliged to take one finger out of his ears to brush it away. Just then the minister said, “he that hath ears to hear let him hear.” The man listened; and God met with him at that moment to his soul’s conversion. He went out a new man, a changed character. He who came in to laugh retired to pray; he who came in to mock went out to bend his knee in penitence; he who entered to spend an idle hour went home to spend an hour in devotion with his God. The sinner became a saint; the profligate became a penitent. Who know that there may not be some like that here? The gospel wants not your consent, it gets it. It knocks the enmity out of your heart. You say, “I do not want to be saved;” Christ says you shall be. He makes your will turn round, and then you cry, “Lord, save, or I perish.” “Ah,” might Heaven exclaim, “I knew I would make you say that;” and then he rejoices over you because he has changed your will and made you willing in the day of his power. If Jesus Christ were to stand on the platform to-night, what would many people do with him? “O!” say some, “we would make him a King.” I do not believe it. They would crucify him again, if they had the opportunity. If he were to come and say, “Here I am, I love you, will you be saved by me?” not one of you would consent if you were left to your will. If he should look upon you with those eyes, before whose power the lion would have crouched; if he spoke with that voice which poured forth a cataract of eloquence like a stream of nectar rolling down from the cliffs above, not a single person would come to be his disciple. No; it wants the power of the Spirit to make men come to Jesus Christ. He himself said, “No man can come to me except the Father who hath sent me draw him.” Ah! we want that; and here we have it. They shall come! They shall come! Ye may laugh, ye may despise us; but Jesus Christ shall not die for nothing. If some of you reject him, there are some that will not. It there are some that are not saved, others shall be. Christ shall see his seed, he shallprolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. Some think that Christ died, and yet, that some for whom he died will be lost. I never could understand that doctrine. If Jesus, my surety, bore my griefs and carried my sorrows, I believe myself to be as secure as the angels in heaven. God cannot ask payment twice. If Christ paid my debt, shall I have to pay it again? No.

“Free from sin I walk at large

The Saviour’s blood’s my full discharge;

At his dear feet content I lay,

A sinner saved, and homage pay.”

They shall come! They shall come! And naught in heaven, nor on earth, nor in hell, can stop them from coming.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92), Sermon: Heaven and Hell, Delivered on Tuesday Evening, September 4, 1855, in a field, King Edward’s Road, Hackney.

HT: Tom Ascol & W.A. Criswell

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Filed under Bible, Christian Thinking, Christology, Church History, Effectual Calling, Free Will, God, Gospel, Gospel of Matthew, Grace, Knowledge of God, Love, Regeneration, Soteriology, Sovereign Grace, Sovereignty, Theology

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