John Piper – Sinner Come Home!

John Piper TFG2014

John Piper – Together for the Gospel 2014

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Notice those two things: My heart is aching and my prayers are rising. „My heart’s desire’, that’s one level, and ‘my prayer to God’, that’s my verbal level- is that they may be saved. I’m gonna close with an illustration of the weaving together of these things, that has helped me enormously, not make stupid mistakes, about the doctrine of unconditional election. My father was an evangelist. Sixty years he heralded a beautiful Gospel. I heard it preached dozens of times. He was a traveling mini-Billy Graham. And he had crusades and tent meetings in the early days. And he had his 500, where Billy Graham had his 50,000. I would go with my dad and listen to him plead for sinners. He had a spectacular gift of evangelism and he was faithful to it to the very end. What an amazing life he led.

He was very traditional. He gave invitations at the end. And they sang songs. They sang, as often as any,

‘Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me,
See, at the portholes, He’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home
You who are weary, come home.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, „Oh, sinner, come home!”

Can a calvinist sing that? „Calling, watching, waiting..” I have heard young people mock that song. Not too may, recently; we got a little more nuance today. But, I have heard people mock that song, old people: „The sovereign Christ, risen from the dead, omnipotent of the human heart, NEVER merely calls and waits, and watches, for goodness sakes!” To which I respond, „Where did you hear the word ‘merely’? Did I say ‘merely’? Did we sing ‘merely’? I love precision.

Now, let’s finish the picture. The song has begun. There’s 300 people in the room. My dad has walked out of the pulpit, where he’s delivered  a beautiful, glorious Gospel message, and he’s standing at the front,  as close as I am, now, to you with these 300 people. And he’s got his arms out, and regularly, no show, there were tears in his eyes. He looked right up at people, „Would you come? Would you step out? Come! He will have you.” And you felt everything in your body say: He’s standing in the place of Jesus, inviting people to come.

About 10 rows back there’s a mom with her college age son. He’s an out and out unbeliever and hates being here. But mom asked him and to make her happy, he came along. And, my dad says, „Every eye closed, every head bowed,” we mock this, right? „every saint, praying.” Alright. Jesus is standing at the front, at the portal, calling, waiting, watching. Having been lifted up as the triumphant Christ of the Gospel. Here’s a mom, and she’s praying. What does she pray? He’s standing right here (next to his mom) eager to be out of this place. And she’s praying, „Oh God, please pour out your Holy Spirit on my son. I beg of you, take out the heart of stone; put in a heart of flesh. Open his eyes, break him. Destroy him, have him. Take him. Come. Come, save him, God. Come.”

And, God, the Holy Spirit, opens his eyes, and he sees the risen, waiting, calling Christ as irresistibly beautiful. And he says, „Excuse me, mom,” and he falls into the arms of my father, as if in the arms of Jesus.

Will you be those arms? I beseech you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to Christ!” Yes, God is sovereign. God Almighty, through His own unconditional election, through the crucified risen, waiting, watching Christ, through the tears, the praying, the preaching, and through the all conquering Holy Spirit, God saves sinners!

Sinner, Come Home from Desiring God on Vimeo.

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