Can anything feel more hopeless than being rejected by God. John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, felt this way. He desperately wanted to come to Jesus, but he did not feel that God wanted him. He knew that he was a great sinner. He knew he deserved hell. And he knew the gospel. But he felt that God would not accept him. He felt that he had not been called. Oh the horror of wanting God and yet not being able to get to him. You could almost hear John saying, “Curse those stink’n Calvinist and their doctrines of God’s sovereignty.”
Perhaps some of you can relate. Perhaps some of you have kids in this spot. They claim that they want to repent but do not feel that they can. They feel hopeless. So what do we do? We remind them of God’s character.
It is true that only those called by God can and will repent. But it is also true that everyone who truly wants to repent is called. Notice what happens in Mark 3:13 “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.” Everyone whom Jesus calls comes to him.
If someone is under conviction, if they desperately want to repent, if they are eager to embrace and to follow God, all they have to do is come. The Holy Spirit never convicts someone only to leave them languishing in hopelessness. God never dials the wrong number. When He calls someone, he will save them. There is not one person in the Bible who desired to be right with God and was rejected. Everyone from Adam on who wanted to believe in God did. As Jesus said in John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
All who feel God’s call will be saved. If your kids truly feel God calling them to faith, simply tell them to repent. Encourage them to embrace the cross. Salvation can be attained because Christ has died for them. Regardless of how great their sins are, Christ has paid for them all. As II Corinthians 5:21 boldly declares:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Ultimately the truth that God saves all whom he calls, comforted John Bunyan’s soul. He saw that Christ could and would accept him. Christ has already died to pay for Bunyan’s sin. And he has already died for our sins and the sins of our kids. If you or your kids feel God’s call, go to Jesus. What are you waiting for?