Our second point is THE FATHERS DRAWINGS. “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” How then does the Father draw men?
Arminian divines generally say that God draws men by the preaching of the gospel Very true; the preaching of the gospel is the instrument of drawing men, but there must be some thing more than this.
Now there is such a thing as being drawn by the gospel, and drawn by the minister without being drawn by God. Clearly it is a divine drawing that is meant, a drawing by the Most High God the First Person of the most glorious Trinity sending out the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, to induce men to come to Christ.
Another person turns round and says with a sneer, “Then do you think that Christ drags men to himself, seeing that they are unwilling!” I remember meeting once with a man who said to me, “Sir, you preach that Christ takes people by the hair of their heads and drags them to himself” I asked him whether he could refer to the date of the sermon wherein I preached that extraordinary doctrine, for if he could, I should be very much obliged.
But said I, while Christ does not drag people to himself by the hair of their heads, I believe that he draws them by the heart quite as powerfully as your caricature would suggest. Mark that in the Fathers drawing there is no compulsion whatever; Christ never compelled any man to come to him against his will. If a man be unwilling to be saved, Christ does not save him against his will. How, then, does the Holy Spirit draw him?
Why, by making him willing. It is true he does not use “moral suasion;” he knows a nearer method of reaching the heart. He goes to the secret fountain of the heart, and he knows how, by some mysterious operation to turn the will in an opposite direction, so that, as Ralph Erskine paradoxically puts it, the man is saved “with full consent against his will” that is, against his old will he is saved. But he is saved with full consent for he is made willing in the day of Gods power.
Do not imagine that any man wilt go to heaven kicking and struggling all the way against the hand that draws him. Do not conceive that any man will be plunged in the bath of a Saviours blood while he is striving to run away from the Savior. Oh, no.
The first thing the Holy Spirit does when he comes into a mans heart is this: he finds him with a very good opinion of himself: and there is nothing which prevents a man coming to Christ like a good opinion of himself. Why, says man, “I dont want to come to Christ. I have as good a righteousness as anybody can desire. I feel I can walk into heaven on my own rights.” The Holy Spirit lays bare his heart, lets him see the loathsome cancer that is there eating away his life, uncovers to him all the blackness and defilement of that sink of hell, the human heart, and then the man stands aghast.
Man is as much drawn willingly, as if he were not drawn at all, and he comes to Christ with full consent, with as full a consent as if no secret influence had ever been exercised in his heart. But that influence must be exercised, or else there never has been and there never will be, any man who either can or will come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me assure you, in Gods name, if your religion has no better foundation than your own strength, it will not stand you at the bar of God. Nothing will last to eternity, but that which came from eternity. Unless the everlasting God has done a good work in your heart, all you may have done must be unravelled at the last day of account.
A spiritual heaven must be inhabited by spiritual men, and preparation for it must be wrought by the Spirit of God.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible