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FOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT COMING TO JESUS ANSWERED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, June 1, 2008

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).


Here is a simple text. There is nothing unclear in it. It is a plain invitation. To make it as easy to understand as possible, I will ask four questions and answer them from this verse.

I. First, who is speaking?

The answer is given in verse twenty-five,

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth…” (Matthew 11:25).

This is not God the Father. This is the only begotten Son of God – Jesus of Nazareth. You must not think that this is God His “Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Matthew 11:25). It is not who people generally refer to as “God.” You cannot come to God the way you are. God cannot look upon sin. You are a sinner. If you came directly to God you would instantly be consumed in fire because the Old Testament says,

“God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God”
      (Deuteronomy 4:24).

And the New Testament says the same thing,

“Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

That is why God appeared to Moses “in a flame of fire” (Exodus 3:2).

“And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God”
      (Exodus 3:6).

Nadab and Abihu were unafraid. They disobeyed God,

“And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:2).

And that would happen to you as well, if you came in direct contact with God, because you are a sinner, just like Nadab and Abihu. Fire would come out from God and devour you in flames.

No, the text was not spoken by God, the First Person of the Trinity. It was spoken by Jesus, the Second Person.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all…”
      (I Timothy 2:5-6).

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

This is Jesus, “the mediator of the new testament” (Hebrews 9:15). This is Jesus, who took the fiery wrath of God upon Himself on the Cross.

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin”
      (Isaiah 53:10).

Picture Jesus dying on the Cross. Hear Him cry out,

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
      (Matthew 27:46).

This is Jesus, who died in your place, to pay the penalty for your sin.

“For Christ…hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (I Peter 3:18).

This is Jesus who shed His Blood to cleanse you from sin in the sight of God. This is Jesus, who is saying,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

II. Second, to whom is Jesus speaking?

It is clear that He isn’t speaking to everyone in this verse. No, He is only speaking to “all ye that labour and are heavy laden.” He is speaking to all of those who labour and are heavy laden, but He is not speaking to anyone else.

Until a person is laboring and heavy laden, he will not see any need for Jesus. He will be happy enough the way he is. He may come to church every week, but be quite satisfied to stay away from Jesus, quite happy just to come and be with friends in the church, quite content to go on the same way he has always gone on, with no concern for his soul or his eternal destiny.

Only when God’s Spirit begins to convict him of sin will he become desperate.

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said…Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).

"Ye that labour and are heavy laden" helps to explain what it means to be “pricked” in the heart. It means to be “heavy laden” with the weight of your sin. Then you will feel that you are sinful. Then you will try to get rid of your sins. You will "labor" to do so. But you will find that nothing you can learn or do helps you at all. Then you will feel

“My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

Then, and only then, will Jesus’ words speak to you.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

III. Third, what is Jesus telling you to do?

He is not telling you to pray, is He? I don’t see any praying in our text, do you? He is not telling you to ask questions and get more information, is He? I don’t see Him telling you to or ask questions, do you? No, Jesus is not telling you to pray, or ask for anything. There is no asking, and no prayer, in these words,

“Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28).

All Jesus is telling you to do is come to Him. That is the only command in the text. That is the only thing Jesus is telling you to do,

“Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28).

What does it mean to come to Him? Different words are used to describe this act. Sometimes we are told to “believe on” Jesus. Other times we are told to “look to” Jesus. At yet other times we are told to “come to” Jesus or to “trust” Him. All of these expressions refer to the same thing – to your heart going out to Him, trusting Him and relying on Him.

If you knew you had a particular disease, and you heard about a doctor who specialized in curing that disease, you would go to him. You would say to the doctor, “You cured my friends. You cured others. I trust you to cure me.” You would place yourself in the doctor’s care. You would come to the doctor, believe in him, look to him, and trust him. And that is what Jesus means when He says, “Come to me.” He is saying, “Believe on me, trust me, rely on me, come to me.”

Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
   Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
   Full of pity joined with power;
He is able, He is able,
   He is willing, doubt no more.
He is able, He is able,
   He is willing, doubt no more.

Come ye weary, heavy laden,
   Bruised and mangled by the Fall;
If you wait until you’re better,
   You will never come at all;
Not the righteous, not the righteous,
   Sinners Jesus came to call.
Not the righteous, not the righteous,
   Sinners Jesus came to call.
(“Come, Ye Sinners” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

In our modern hymnals Joseph Hart’s words are changed to “Bruised and broken by the Fall.” But I like Hart’s original words better, “Bruised and mangled by the Fall.” So we have put it in its original form here in the sermon. Indeed, the Fall of Adam caused the human race, including you, to be not only bruised, but mangled – that is, mutilated, deformed, destroyed, killed – by the Adamic curse! Yes, “mangled” is the right word!

You need a doctor because you are bruised and mangled, your soul mutilated like a human body twisted in the wreckage of an automobile accident. You need a doctor for your mangled soul – and Jesus is that doctor. But you must come to the Great Physician, or He will not heal you. In John 6:37, Jesus said,

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

In modern English we might put it,

“Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37).

I don’t like these modern Bibles, because they are translated from faulty manuscripts. But I do not see a fault in this particular verse, for it gives the sense of the Greek words. Jesus does say,

“Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

Never! Never! Never! He will never drive away any serious soul that comes to Him.

“Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

Amen! And Hallelujah! What a wonderful promise from Jesus!

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

“Whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

Since there is no chance that He will drive you away, why not come to Him? Why not come to Him this morning? Why wait another day? There is nothing to lose, for Jesus has promised,

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Believe it! Believe what Jesus says! He will not chase you away or reject you if you come to Him. No! Never in a thousand years! He will welcome, pardon and receive you as a newborn child of God! Oh, I pray that you will obey the words of Jesus and come to Him, that you will fall at His precious pierced feet and trust Him now, this very day!

Out of my bondage, sorrow and night,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness and light,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of my shameful failure and loss,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.

Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
   Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
   Jesus, I come to Thee.
(“Jesus, I Come” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

Oh, may you come to Jesus and be saved for all time and eternity, world without end.

I know that Joseph Hart, the author of “Come, Ye Sinners,” and William Sleeper, who wrote “Jesus, I Come,” were both men who came to Jesus with simple faith. Jesus did not cast those men out. He never drove them away. He received both of these sinners and saved them, and they wrote about coming to Jesus in those beautiful hymns which I have just quoted. Those hymn writers came to Jesus. He did not drive them away. Jesus saved them. He washed away their sins with His Blood. And I know Jesus will never drive you away either, if you come to Him, and throw yourself on Him by simple faith this morning, for Jesus says,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

IV. Fourth, what will happen to you when you come to Him?

Why, the text makes that very clear,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

What will happen to you, a struggling worried soul, if you come to Jesus? Why, He will give you rest, rest from your heaviness, rest from the terrible feelings of conscience pricking, rest from the awful thoughts that you might not be one of the elect, rest from the malignant fear that you might go to Hell. He will give you rest from all those frightening thoughts and piercings of conscience, rest from the gloomy thought that there may be no hope for you. All those awful, frightening thoughts will be gone, the very moment you come to Jesus – and you will have rest in your soul, salvation that will last for all time. How wonderful! How glorious! How delightful and happy you will feel when you come by simple faith to Jesus! 

What will happen to you if you do what Jesus says? You will find rest. After the long and bitter struggle you have been through, you will find rest, everlasting rest, by simply coming to Jesus, who loves you more than any human words can tell.

Will you come to Jesus this very morning? If you do, you will find “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” when you come to Jesus, the Saviour. I beg you to do so. I plead with you to come to Him, and be washed clean from every sin and burden by His all-atoning Blood! And you will leave the church this morning filled with a happiness and joy that you have never known before in your life. Simply throw yourself on Jesus. That’s the word I was trying to think of – “throw yourself on Jesus” by faith and you will have a new life that lasts for all eternity in God’s great Kingdom.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Let us stand and sing the last song, Joseph Hart’s beautiful and meaningful hymn, which I have already quoted. It is the last hymn on your song sheet. Sing good and loud.

Come ye weary, heavy laden,
   Bruised and mangled by the Fall;
If you wait until you’re better,
   You will never come at all;
Not the righteous, not the righteous,
   Sinners Jesus came to call.
Not the righteous, not the righteous,
   Sinners Jesus came to call.
(“Come, Ye Sinners” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Matthew 11:28-30.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Come Unto Me” (by Charles P. Jones, 1865-1949).


THE OUTLINE OF

FOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT COMING TO JESUS ANSWERED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

I.   First, who is speaking? Matthew 11:25; Deuteronomy 4:24;
Hebrews 12:29; Exodus 3:2, 6; Leviticus 10:2;
I Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 9:15; Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 27:46;
I Peter 3:18.

II.  Second, to whom is Jesus speaking? Acts 2:37; Psalm 51:3.

III. Third, what is Jesus telling you to do? John 6:37.

IV. Fourth, what will happen to you when you come to Him?
Matthew 11:28.