God’s Power To Save

God’s Power To Save

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.
–John 6:44

Years ago, I heard a preacher compare evangelism to saving people from a burning building. He said if one night you were to see a neighbor’s house engulfed in flames, you would not just ignore it. Instead, you would do everything you could to wake up that neighbor and get them out of the house. “We ought to do the same in our efforts to lead people to Christ,” the preacher said. That is true, but the analogy breaks down in one key point: it does not matter how hard you try or how frequently you share the gospel with somebody, the truth is, you cannot save anyone.

In order to live out our purpose of sharing the gospel message, we must first be convicted of people’s need for Christ. But we also have to have confidence in God’s power to save. We cannot awaken somebody who is spiritually dead and make them spiritually alive. Only God can give people both the desire and the ability to trust in Christ. In John 6:44 Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.” It is God Himself who has to awaken a person to his need for Christ and give him the ability to believe. You and I are to sound the alarm, but ultimately salvation is the work of God through His Holy Spirit.

You might be thinking, “If God is the one who does it, if He has already decided whom He is going to save, what purpose is there in my sharing the gospel with anybody?” Rowland Hill, an English pastor in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was a Calvinist who believed strongly in the sovereignty of God. But he was reportedly criticized by his fellow Calvinists for not preaching only to those people God had preordained to be saved. Reverend Hill responded, “I don’t know them, or I would preach to them. Have the goodness to mark them with a bit of chalk, and then I’ll talk to them!” In other words, he did not know whom God would save, so he would keep preaching to everyone. And that is to be our spirit. We have been given the mandate to share the gospel with everyone, and God in His power saves some. Unless we are convinced that God is the one who has the power to save, we are not going to try to share the gospel with people.

When you realize that God is the one who saves people, it takes a lot of the pressure off you in evangelism. It really does not depend upon your ability, your persuasiveness, or your rhetorical skill–it depends on the power of God using your faithfulness to share the message. That takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? All we are to do is to share the gospel and leave the results to God.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Booting Up For Service” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Vernon J. Charlesworth, “Rowland Hill: His Life, Anecdotes And Pulpit Sayings” (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1876), 34.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org