When a man says, "I
will," it may not mean much. We very often say "I will" when we don’t mean to
fulfill what we say. But when we come to the "I will" of Christ, He means to
fulfill it. Everything He promised to do, He is able and willing to accomplish.
I cannot find any Scripture where He says "I will" do this or "I will" do that
but that it will be done.
1. The "I Will"
The first "I will"
is to be found in John’s Gospel, chapter 6 and verse 37: "Him that cometh to
me I will in no wise cast out."
I imagine someone will
say, "If I were what I ought to be, I would come. But when my mind goes over
my past record, it is too dark. I am not fit to come."
You must bear in mind
that Jesus Christ came to save not good people, not the upright and just, but
sinners like you and me who have gone astray and sinned and come short of the
glory of God.
Listen to this "I will"–it
goes right into the heart: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
Surely that is broad enough–is it not? I don’t care who the man or woman is
nor what his or her trials, troubles, sorrows or sins are, if that one will
only come straight to the Master, He will not cast him out.
Come then, poor sinner;
come just as you are and take Him at His word.
So anxious is He to
save sinners that He will take everyone who comes. He will take those who are
so full of sin that they are despised by all who know them; who have been rejected
by their fathers and mothers; who have been cast off by the wives of their bosoms.
He will take those who have sunk so low that upon them no eye of pity is cast.
His occupation is to hear and save. That is why He left Heaven and came into
the world; that is why He left the throne of God–to save sinners. "The Son of
man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). He did not
come to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
A wild and prodigal
young man running a career headlong to ruin came into one of our meetings in
Chicago. The Spirit of God got hold of him. Whilst I was conversing with him
and endeavoring to bring him to Christ, I quoted Luke 19:10. Then I asked him,
"Do you believe Christ said that?"
"I suppose He did."
"Suppose He did? Do
you believe it?"
"I hope so."
"Hope so? Do you believe
it? You do your work, and the Lord will do His. Just come as you are. Throw
yourself upon His bosom, and He will not cast you out."
This man thought it
was too simple and easy.
At last, light seemed
to break in upon him, and he seemed to find comfort from it. It was past midnight
before he got down on his knees, but down he went and was converted.
I said, "Now, don’t
think you are going to get out of the Devil’s territory without trouble. The
Devil will come to you tomorrow morning and say it was all feeling, that you
only imagined you were accepted by God. When he does, don’t fight him with your
own opinions, but fight him with John 6:37: ‘Him that cometh to me I will in
no wise cast out.’ Let that be the ‘sword of the Spirit.’"
I don’t believe any
man ever starts to go to Christ but that the Devil strives somehow to trip him
up. Even after he has come to Christ, the Devil tries to assail him with doubts
and make him believe there is something wrong in it.
The struggle came sooner
than I thought in this man’s case. While he was on his way home, the Devil assailed
him. He used Luke, chapter 5. We read of a leper who came to Christ and said, "Lord,
if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." The Lord touched him, saying, "I will:
be thou clean," and immediately the leprosy left him.
Any man or woman full
of the leprosy of sin who reads this, if you will but go to the Master and tell
all your case to Him, He will speak to you as He did to that poor leper: "I
will: be thou clean," and the leprosy of your sins will flee from you.
The Lord and the Lord
alone can forgive sins. If you say to Him, "Lord, I am full of sin; Thou canst
make me clean"; "Lord, I have a terrible temper; Thou canst make me clean";
"Lord, I have a deceitful heart. Cleanse me, O Lord; give me a new heart. O
Lord, give me the power to overcome the flesh and the snares of the Devil!";
"Lord, I am full of unclean habits"–if you come to Him with a sincere spirit,
you will hear the voice, "I will: be thou clean." It will be done.
The God who created
the world out of nothing, who by a breath put life into the world–do you think
if He says, "Thou shalt be clean," you will not be clean?
Now, you can make a
wonderful exchange today. You can have spiritual health in the place of sinsickness;
you can get rid of everything that is vile and hateful in the sight of God.
The Son of God comes down and says, "I will take away your leprosy and give
you health in its stead. I will take away that terrible sin disease that is
ruining your body and soul and give you My righteousness in its stead. I will
clothe you with the garments of salvation."
Is it not wonderful!
That’s what He means when He says, "I will." Oh, lay hold on this "I will"!
3. The "I Will"
Now turn to Matthew
10:32: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess
also before my Father which is in heaven": the "I will" of confession.
That’s the next thing
that takes place after a man is saved. When we have been washed in the blood
of the Lamb, we get our mouths opened. We have to confess Christ here in this
dark world and tell His love to others. We are not to be ashamed of the Son
A man thinks it a great
honor when he has achieved a victory that causes his name to be mentioned in
the English Parliament or in the presence of the queen and her court.
How excited we used
to be during the war when some general did something extraordinary and someone
got up in Congress to confess his exploits! How the papers used to talk about
In China the highest
ambition of the successful soldier is to have his name written in the palace
or temple of Confucius.
But just think of having
your name mentioned in the kingdom of Heaven by the Prince of Glory, by the
Son of God, because you confessed Him here on earth! Confess Him here; He will
confess you yonder.
If you wish to be brought
into the clear light of liberty, you must take your stand on Christ’s side.
Many Christians go groping about in darkness and never get into the clear light
of the kingdom because they are ashamed to confess the Son of God. We are living
in a day when men want a religion without the cross, the crown but not the cross.
But if we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we have to take up our crosses
daily–not once a year or on the Lord’s Day, but daily. And if we take up our
crosses and follow Him, we shall be blessed in the very act.
A newly converted man
in New York came to pray with me. His burden was that he was afraid to confess
Christ. It seemed that down at the bottom of his trunk he had a Bible. He wanted
to get it out and read it to the companion with whom he lived, but he was ashamed
to do it.
After he had carried
the burden for a whole week and after a terrible struggle, he made up his mind,
"I will take my Bible out tonight and read it." He did. Soon he heard the footsteps
of his roommate coming upstairs. His first impulse was to put the Bible away,
but then he decided he would face his companion with it in hand.
His roommate came in.
Seeing John at his Bible, he said, "Are you interested in these things?"
"Yes," John replied.
"How long has this
been?" asked his companion.
"Exactly a week," he
answered. "For a whole week I have tried to get out my Bible to read to you,
but I have not done so till now."
"Well," said his friend,
"it is a strange thing. I was converted on the same night, and I too was ashamed
to take my Bible out."
You are ashamed to
show your Bible and say, "I have lived a godless life for all these years, but
I will commence now to live a life of righteousness." You are ashamed to open
your Bible and read that blessed psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not
want." You are ashamed to be seen on your knees.
No man can be a disciple
of Jesus Christ without bearing his cross. A great many want to know how it
is Christ has so few disciples whilst Muhammad has so many. The reason is, Muhammad
gives no cross to bear.
There are so few who
will come out to take their stand.
I was struck during
the Civil War with the fact that there were so many who could go to the cannon’s
mouth without trembling but who had no courage to take up their Bibles to read
them at night. They were ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the
power of God unto salvation.
shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which
is in heaven.
shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in
4. The "I Will"
The next is the "I will"
There are a good many
Christians who have been quickened and aroused to say, "I want to do some service
Well, Christ says, "Follow
me, and I will make you fishers of men."
There is no Christian
who cannot help to bring someone to the Saviour. Christ says, "And I, if I be
lifted up…, will draw all men unto me"; and our business is just to lift up
Our Lord said, "Follow
me, Peter, and I will make you a fisher of men"; and Peter simply obeyed. On
that day of Pentecost we see the result. I doubt if Peter ever caught so many
fish in one day as he did men on that day. It would have broken every net they
had on board if they had had to drag up three thousand fish.
I read some time ago
of a man who took passage in a stagecoach. There were first-, second- and third-class
passengers. But when he looked into the coach, he saw all the passengers sitting
together without distinction. He could not understand it.
By and by they came
to a hill. The coach stopped. The driver called out, "First-class passengers
keep their seats. Second-class passengers get out and walk. Third-class passengers
get behind and push."
In the church we have
no room for first-class passengers–people who think salvation means an easy
ride all the way to Heaven. We have no room for second-class passengers–people
who are carried most of the time, and who, when they should be showing their
faith by their works, go trudging on giving never a thought to helping their
fellows along. All church members ought to be third-class passengers–ready to
dismount and push with a will.
John Wesley’s definition
of a church: "All at it and always at it." Every Christian is to be a worker.
He need not be a preacher or an evangelist to be useful. He may be useful in
business. See what power an employer has with his employees! Often a man can
be as useful in a business sphere as in another.
There is one reason–and
a great reason–why so many do not succeed at Christian service. I have been
asked by a great many good men, "Why is it we don’t have any results? We work
hard, pray hard, preach hard, yet the success does not come."
I tell them, "Because
you spend all your time mending nets. No wonder you never catch anything."
The great matter is
to give invitations and compel sinners to come and thus pull the net in and
see if you have caught anything. If you are always mending and setting the net,
you won’t catch many fish. Who ever heard of a man’s going out to fish and setting
his net, then letting it stop there and never pulling it in? Everybody would
laugh at such a man’s folly.
A minister in England
came to me one day and said, "I wish you would tell me why we ministers don’t
succeed better than we do."
I brought before him
this idea of pulling in the net: "You have to pull in your nets. There are many
ministers in Manchester who can preach much better than I can, but I pull in
Many people have objections
to giving invitations, but I urge upon them the importance of offering people
the chance to make a decision.
The minister said, "I
never did pull in my net; but I will try next Sunday."
He did so, and eight
anxious inquirers went into his study.
The next Sunday he came
down to tell me he had never had such a Sunday in his life. He had met with
The next time he drew
the net, there were forty. And when he came to see me later, he said to me joyfully,
"Moody, I have had eight hundred conversions this last year! It is a great mistake
I did not begin earlier to pull in the net."
My friends, if you want
to catch men, just present the Gospel and pull in the net. If you only catch
one, it will be something. It may be a little child, but I have known a little
child to convert a whole family. You don’t know what is in that little dull-headed
boy in the inquiry room. He may become a Martin Luther, a reformer who shall
make the world tremble.
God uses the weak things
of this world to confound the mighty. God’s promise is as good as a bank note.
And here is one of Christ’s promissory notes: ‘If you follow Me, I will make
you fishers of men.’
Will you not lay hold
of the promise and trust it and follow Him now?
If a man preaches the
Gospel faithfully, he ought to expect results then and there. It is the privilege
of God’s children to reap the fruit of their labor three hundred sixty-five
days in the year.
"Well, but is there
not a sowing time as well as a harvest?" you ask.
Yes, there is; but then,
you can sow with one hand and reap with the other.
What would you think
of a farmer who went on sowing all the year round and never thought of reaping?
I repeat: we want to sow with one hand and reap with the other. And if we look
for the fruit of our labors, we shall see it.
"I, if I be lifted up…,
will draw all men unto me." We must lift Christ up, then seek men out and bring
them to Him.
You must use the right
kind of bait. A good many don’t do this, then they wonder why they are not successful.
You see them getting up all kinds of entertainment with which to try to catch
men. They go the wrong way to work.
This perishing world
wants Christ and Him crucified. There’s a void in every man’s bosom that wants
filling up, and if we only approach him with the right kind of bait, we shall
This poor world needs
a Saviour; and if we are going to be successful in catching men, we must preach
Christ crucified–not His life only, but His death. And if we are only faithful
in doing this, we shall succeed. Why? Because there is His promise: ‘If you
follow Me, I will make you fishers of men.’
That promise holds just
as good to you and me as it did to His disciples and is as true now as it was
in their time.
5. The "I Will" of
The next "I will" is
in John 14:18: "I will not leave you comfortless."
It is a sweet thought
that Christ has not left us alone in this dark wilderness here below. Although
He has gone up on high and taken His seat by the Father’s throne, He has not
left us comfortless.
In other words, He said,
"I will not leave you orphans." He did not leave Joseph. When they cast him
into prison, "God was with him." When Daniel was cast into the den of lions,
they had to put the Almighty in with him. They were so bound together that they
could not be separated.
If we have Christ with
us, we can do all things. Let us not be thinking how weak we are. Let us lift
up our eyes to Him and think of Him as our Elder Brother who has all power given
to Him in Heaven and on earth. He says, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto
the end of the world."
Some of our children
and friends leave us, and it is a very sad hour. But the believer and Christ
shall never be separated! He is with us here, and we shall be with Him in person
by and by. We shall see Him in His beauty. But not only is He with us, but He
has sent us the Holy Ghost. Let us honor the Holy Spirit by acknowledging that
He is here in our midst. He has power to give sight to the blind, liberty to
the captive, and to open the ears of the deaf that they may hear the glorious
words of the Gospel.
6. The "I Will" of
Then there is another
"I will" in John 6:40; it occurs four times in the chapter: "I will raise him
up at the last day."
I rejoice to think that
I have a Saviour who has power over death. My blessed Master holds the keys
of death and Hell. I pity the poor unbeliever and infidel who has no hope in
the resurrection. But every child of God can open that chapter and read the
promise, and his heart leaps within him for joy.
The tradesman generally
puts the best specimens of his wares in the window to show us the quality of
his stock. When Christ was down here, He gave us a specimen of what He could
do. He raised three from the dead, that we might know what power He had–(1)
Jairus’ daughter, (2) the widow’s son, and (3) Lazarus of Bethany. He raised
all three so every doubt might be swept away from our hearts.
How dark and gloomy
this world would be if we had no hope in the resurrection. But when we Christians
lay our little children down in the grave, it is not without hope. We have seen
them in the terrible struggle with death; but there has been one star to illumine
the darkness and gloom–the thought that though the happy circle has been broken
on earth, it shall be completed again in yon world of heavenly light.
You who have lost a
loved one, rejoice as you read this "I will"! Those who have died in Christ
shall come forth again by and by. The darkness shall flee away, and the morning
light of the resurrection shall dawn upon us. It is only a little while, and
the voice of Him who has said it shall come, shall be heard in the grave–"I
will raise him up at the last day."
Precious promise! Precious
I had an unsaved brother
for whom I was very anxious. For fourteen long years I tried to lead that brother
to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
He was the Benjamin
of the family, born a few weeks after my father’s death. When he was seventeen,
he had a long run of typhoid fever, and he never fully recovered from it.
I did everything I could
to bring him to Christ. He was a young man of considerable promise. I know no
one who could sit down and discuss against the divinity of Christ like that
man. I was not any match for him in argument. But day by day I preached to him
as best I knew how.
I think I never loved
a man on earth as I loved that brother. (I never knew what it was to love a
father, because he died before I remember.) Because he was sickly, that drew
my love and sympathy toward him; and oh, how my heart yearned for his salvation!
After preaching one
night, I said, "Now if any of this audience would like to take up his cross
and follow Christ, I would like him to rise." I cannot tell you what a thrill
of joy filled my soul when that brother of mine arose! It seemed the happiest
night of my life. I was full of joy and thankfulness.
Afterwards my brother
and I worked together for a time. We talked of the Gospel. And in the summer
we sat upon the hillside and talked of the old home.
After a year had passed,
I went to Chicago. He was to go with me. He bid me good-bye, and I said, "Samuel,
I will see you in a few days, so I will only say good-bye till then."
A few days after, a
telegram came, saying, "Samuel is dead." I traveled a thousand miles to bury
him. I got more comfort out of that promise, "I will raise him up at the last
day," than anything else in the Bible. How it cheered me! How it lighted up
my path! As I went into the room and looked upon the lovely face of that brother,
how that passage ran through my soul: "Thy brother shall rise again." Thank
God for that promise! It is worth more than the world to me.
When we laid him in
the grave, it seemed as if I could hear the voice of Jesus Christ saying, "Thy
brother shall rise again."
Blessed promise of the
resurrection! Blessed "I will"! "I will raise him up at the last day."
7. The "I Will" of
Now the next "I will"
is in John 17:24: "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be
with me where I am."
This was in His last
prayer in the guest chamber on the last night before He was crucified on Calvary.
Many a believer’s countenance begins to light up at the thought that he shall
see the King in His beauty by and by.
Yes, there is a glorious
day before us in the future. Some think that on the first day we are converted
we have everything. To be sure, we get salvation for the past and peace for
the present; but there is the glory for the future in store. That’s what kept
Paul rejoicing. He said, ‘These light afflictions, these few stripes, these
few brickbats and stones that they throw at me–why, the glory that is beyond
excels them so much that I count them as nothing, nothing at all, so that I
may win Christ.’
And so, when things
go against us, cheer up! Remember that the night will soon pass away, and the
morning will dawn upon us. Death never comes there. It is banished from that
heavenly land. Sickness, pain and sorrow come not there to mar that grand and
glorious Home where we shall be by and by with the Master. God’s family will
be all together there.
Glorious future, my
friends! Yes, glorious day! And it may be a great deal nearer than many of us
think. During these few days we are here, let us stand steadfast and firm, and
by and by we shall be in the unbroken circle in yon world of light and have
the King in our midst.