The Command to Come
‘Come unto me. . . . Now thou art commanded, this do ye, . . . and come.’—Gen. xlv. 18, 19.
WE are too much inclined to forget that ‘Come’ is not merely an invitation, but a command. An ordinary invitation can be accepted or refused; but a Royal Invitation1 is always a Royal Command, giving no option, but requiring obedience. Therefore, just so long as we are hanging back, just so long as we have not come to Jesus, we are living in a state of actual disobedience to Him.
Joseph, whose dealings with his brethren are among the most beautiful types, was to say to them not only, ‘Come unto me,’ but ‘Now thou art commanded, this do ye,—and come 1’
The Lord Jesus, the King of Glory, has said the very same words, ‘Come unto Me !” to you and me. And so we are commanded. There is no excusing ourselves by any uncertainty about it.
1 Matt. xxii. z, 3. 2 Matt. xi. 28.
The very moment that ‘Come’1 first fell on our heart, the command was upon us, and we were responsible for obeying it. And every moment since, we have been disobeying the plainest and sweetest word of command that ever fell on mortal ear, unless we have really and truly ‘come to Jesus.’
So it is not at all a light thing, but a heavy and tremendous sin in which we are living,—the sin of direct and continued disobedience to Christ.
If one single and sudden act of disobedience was enough to lose Paradise2 and lead to incalculable consequences of misery,3 what about this persistence in refusal* to obey this strong and gentle command, clearly understood, continually reiterated, and unmistakably personal, Christ’s personal command to you personally? ‘Death without mercy’ is as terrible a punishment as can well be imagined; but what must be the ‘much sorer punishment’ than that, which is denounced by the Word of our God on those who, instead of merely ‘ despising Moses’ law,’ have ‘ trodden under foot the Son of God ?’5
We must not and dare not leave out of sight, the awful revelation that it is the Lord Jesus Himself,6 the very same tender Saviour who now bids you ‘Come,’ who will take vengeance in flaming fire on them ‘that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,7 who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. ‘8
1 Deut. XXX. II, 14. 2 Gen. iii. 24. 3 Rom. v. 19.
4 Prov. i. 24-26. 5 Heb. x. 28, 29. * Acts i. ix.
7 2 Thess. i. 7-9. 8 Matt. xxv. 41, 46.
When I began to write this little book, I never meant to say all this. I only wanted to win you by the sweet, sweet music of my Master’s call. I only meant to tell you of His patient, forbearing love,1 waiting so long for you, wanting you to come to Him.2 But what can I do? Half a truth is not ‘the truth.’ You may not like it; but I dare not speak to you only smooth things,* I dare not shun to declare unto you the whole counsel of God* in this matter. ‘I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God to do /«\r.’5 I should come under the awful condemnation of those who ‘take away from the words of the book,” if I did not tell the whole message. The Lord has said, ‘Diminish not a word,” and so I entreat you to look for yourselves at the passages I have quoted, and ‘hear the word of the Lord’ in them.
Oh, ‘see that ye refuse not Him that speaketh 1″ If you do not obey the ‘Come unto Me,’ there remaineth nothing for you but the ‘Depart from Me.”
Life alone is found in Jesus,
Only there ’tis offered thee,—
Offered without price or money,
‘Tis the gift of God sent free: Take salvation,
Take it now, and happy be.
1 Rom. X. 21. 2 Rom. ii. 4. 3 Isa. xxx. 10.
4 Acts XX. 27. 5 Num. xxii. 18. ^ Rev. xxii. 19.