As a pastor, one of the saddest things I hear is the words of those who believe they can “blow it” so badly that God will turn His back on them. Some have told me this with tears in their eyes and explained how they learned this growing up in church. And every time I tell them the same thing: Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus said:
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. (John 6:37)
Did you get that last part? “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” Now if that doesn’t light the fire of your faith, your wood is wet! In my admittedly simplistic way of explaining biblical truth, I say that there is NO BOOT FOR THE BELIEVER . . . EVER! Jesus meant what He said. And He had a great deal to say about this subject!
I give [my sheep] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30)
Christian, do you see the power in that promise? Never has God made a promise and turned His back on it. “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:29). Not one lost soul will ever charge Jesus with turning him or her away. They simply refused to respond to God’s gracious invitation to be saved by His grace, through faith alone.
The religious leaders of Christ’s day were furious with Him . . . but not for turning sinners away, but rather for receiving them! Jesus receives sinners—all types of sinners. Think of some of the scandalous sinners in the Bible that Jesus welcomed into His company: prostitutes . . . tax collectors (who were perhaps the most despised of all people in Jewish society) . . . He received liars . . . cheaters . . . murderers . . . deceivers . . . deniers . . . those who were weak in the faith . . . . He even received the religious leaders who came to Him, and they were sinning scoundrels of the highest order!
So have you messed things up a bit? Perhaps you’ve messed it up terribly? Jesus receives those who have messed it up, but He will never drive them away. “This is the will of [my Father] who sent me,” our Lord explained, “that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day” (John 6:39). He will lose none of those whom God the Father has appointed for eternal life. No one and nothing can snatch you out of His sovereign, nail-scarred hand!
Yes, friends and family may turn away from us. But Jesus simply cannot do such a thing. He paid too high a price for us to get in to ever drive us out. He has exalted His promise to us as highly as He exalts His own name (Psalm 138:2), and He will never abandon or revoke that promise. “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29)
So come to Jesus today, and come with the confident assurance that He is waiting to receive you with open arms and nail scarred hands. Come in your weakness and your worry. Come in your sin and your shame. Come in your fear and your faithlessness. Come just as you are—beaten, bloodied, and bruised. But come, because all that the Father gives to His Son He will never drive away.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!