And 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. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (Joh 3:14-16)And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (Joh 12:32)
This is the last mini-article on “God Has Shown It Unto Them.” The focus has been on what God has shown the whole world by His creation. It relates to the question: “Can the un-preached heathen be saved before they are preached to?” Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples and all believers who were to follow them, to “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
That is the mind-set we are to have as we go throughout the world, wherever we are. I’m not aware that Christians have preached the Gospel to every creature in any generation since the Great Commission was given. The Body of Christ has been present on the earth and has made its mark on human history, but has not reached “every creature.”
The Great Commission was not to force Christianity upon “every creature” but to evangelize, to explain the “death, burial and resurrection of Christ and His offer of eternal salvation to everyone who would repent and receive Him as Savior and Lord.
We obey this command because our Lord said to do it. Jesus said in His days of ministry: “…The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. (Luk 10:2) I must confess that for many years, every time I read this verse, I inwardly wondered why the Lord wanted me to pray for Him to send forth laborers into His harvest. It’s His harvest, so, why doesn’t He just take care of it?
Finally, it dawned on me that God is honoring us by sharing with us His outreach to the people of the world. He shared with us His project of populating the earth by letting human beings give birth to new human beings. He also shares with us His passion for pointing people to His throne of grace for eternal salvation.
The Word of God tells us why God made the earth: For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. (Isa 45:18)
God instructed Noah and his sons after the flood: And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Gen 9:1) The Great Commission was: “every creature – in all the world.”
The Holy Spirit Convicts (convinces, draws) the Whole World of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (Joh 16:8) We cannot do that and it is not our job. Walvoord and Zuck comment:
“One of the Spirit’s new ministries was to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment. Conviction is not the same as conversion but is necessary to it. The words “convict… of guilt” translate the one word elenxei, “to present or expose facts, to convince of the truth.” The Spirit works on the minds of the unsaved to show them the truth of God for what it is. Normally this process includes human aid (cf. Joh_15:26-27).”
“Jesus’ words, When I am lifted up from the earth, refer not to His Ascension but to His crucifixion (cf. Joh_3:14; Joh_8:28). He knew how He would die — by being “lifted up” on a cross. Jews, however, normally stoned those they considered worthy of death (cf. Stephen’s death, Act_7:58-60).
“Jesus said that at the cross He would draw all men to Himself. He did not mean everybody will be saved for He made it clear that some will be lost (Joh_5:28-29). If the drawing by the Son is the same as that of the Father (Joh_6:44), it means He will draw indiscriminately. Those saved will include not only Jews, but also those from every tribe, language, people, and nation (Rev_5:9; cf. Joh_10:16; Joh_11:52. (BKC) (Emphasis in red added.)
Jesus said He would draw all men unto him. I scanned about 25 commentaries on John 12:32, concerning Jesus’ statement: He would draw all men to Himself. Some said nothing. Some waxed eloquent and said nothing. A few thought it meant that Jesus would draw the dead out of their graves. A few concluded that it simply means what it says: Jesus will draw all men to Himself. That’s what I believe. He drew me that night in the bean market in October, 1943 when I was nine years old. You can’t be saved unless He draws you and He draws ALL men to Himself.
Jesus also said that people must be drawn to Him by His Father: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:44) During the days of Noah, God said: … My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (Gen 6:3)
God’s plan was to make an earth to be inhabited. When it was inhabited, the people were to spread out and populate the whole earth. They were to notice the strong witness of God, their creator in the things He had made. Jesus came and died for the sins of the whole world. He sent His followers into the whole world to preach His Gospel to every creature in the world.
God said through Isaiah: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (Isa 45:22-23)
This same message was repeated in the New Testament and updated to focus on Christ:
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php 2:9-11)
Isaiah and Paul were saying the same thing: the whole earth is to look to God and be saved, bowing the knee and confessing with the tongue that God the Father is God and there is none else. The Father and the Son are one. The Holy Spirit does the drawing and no one can be saved just any time they decide. In the first place, no one will decide to call on God unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit. No one will bow the knee to Jesus as Savior and Lord unless they are drawn by the Holy Spirit.
God has built His preacher into the things He has made, that men should call upon Him. He sent His Son to die on the cross and be raised from the dead, that men should call upon Him. He sends His servants with Bibles in hand to preach and teach His Bible message that men should call upon Him. His simplest of all messages is: Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom.10:13) and (Joel 2:32)
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. (Rev 22:17)
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 17, 2017 – FRIDAY
A.M. Deut 29-30 P.M. Mark 16
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
Let the words of my mouth, and meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psa 19:14)
Song for Today:
What A Friend We Have in Jesus (3:37) – (Gaither Group)
(Wait a few seconds. You may have to delete an ad.)