Pristine Grace

Won't You Let God?
What!!?!?!
by Maurice Montgomery

     A few months ago, an elderly friend stopped by my study and, after an exchange of greetings, sat down and immediately began to tell me about something that was troubling him. "Maurice," he said, "my pastor is always saying, Won’t you let God do this or that. I get so tired of hearing those words, let God. It doesn’t sound very God-like does it?" I said, "No sir, it sure doesn’t. I could never use those words in reference to the God of the Bible. But sir, men preach the God they believe in. Your pastor is merely preaching his God." My friend agreed with me but went back to sit under the same pastor, and to hear those same troubling words, "let God."

     A few weeks ago a seemingly nice young man came by my home and gave me a small religious tract entitled, "God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation." On the back side of that little tract were the words, "Please! Let God save you this very moment!" I was surprised and shocked. I cannot understand how anyone who has given any serious time and attention to the Word of God could make such a statement!

     Nevertheless, dear reader, more and more often I am hearing preachers address men and women with statements such as, "God is trying to do this or that" or "Won’t you let God do this or that." I urge you to consider the implications of such statements. Is God honored and glorified by such statements? Do such statements exalt and magnify God in the mind of the hearers? Furthermore, do such statements have any biblical support, either by precept or example? The answer is no, absolutely not! The whole of the Word of God is an open rebuke to those who make such statements.

     I am astonished that anyone would make statements so demeaning, so belittling and so dishonoring to God! Does the puny, sinful creature give his almighty Creator, Sustainer and Benefactor permission to act? "Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance…..All nations before him are as nothing, and vanity…..He sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers"(Isaiah 40:15-20). If I were to tell you to let the sun shine you would probably think me insane, but that would be far more reasonable than telling you to let God Almighty do something!

     The psalmist says, "Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased"(115:3), and again, "Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places"(135:6). LET GOD? "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?(Daniel 4:35). "He worketh all things after the counsel of his own will"(Ephesians 1:11). "My counsel shall stand," says the Lord God, "and I will do all my pleasure"(Isaiah 46:10). In a word, "What his soul desireth, even that he doeth"(Job 23:13). LET GOD?

     The God of the Bible, the only true and living God, is absolutely sovereign, absolutely independent, and absolutely free - He is GOD! He dwells above all need, above all constraint, and above all restraint - the only free Being in the universe! He does as he pleases, always as he pleases, and only as he pleases - because he is God! He never does anything which he does not desire to do and never desires to do anything which he does not do. If this were not true, then, quite simply, he would not be GOD!

     Now what about those words in the little religious tract, "Please! Let God save you this very moment"? Let God save you? Who is in need, God or man? Who is the dependent one, God or man? Who is the beggar, God or man? Whose well-being depends upon whom? Let God save you? That statement presents the notion that God’s almighty, saving grace is like water shut up in a pipe, and can only drip or flow if some puny sinner is pleased to turn the faucet(John 5:21; 17:2). Reader, do you think of God in that way? Do you think of God as a water faucet which puny, sinful men may turn on and off at will? The apostle Paul would cry out against such a God-dishonoring thought, "No, no, no, perish the thought!"(Acts 9:1-6; Galatians 1:11-16; II Corinthians4:3-6).

     Dear reader, I urge you to read the Word of God. Did any of Christ’s apostles ever say to a sinner, "Please! Let God save you?" Did the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour himself, ever say to any sinner, "Please, let me save you?" The answer to both questions is no, absolutely not! The admonition from God is, "Seek the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near"(Isaiah 55:6; Acts 17:26), and "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart"(Jeremiah 29:13). The word from the Lord Jesus Christ to one and all is, "Strive to enter in at the strait gate"(Luke 13:24). Let God save you?

     Perhaps you are thinking, "Are not sinners saved simply by believing God, or through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?" Yes, that is true (Ephesians 2:8,9; Acts 10:43; 16:31; 26:18; Romans 3:23-5:1). But no sinner ever savingly believed except out of need, an abiding need created in his soul by God the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-11; Philippians 1:6). This need is revealed and illustrated by the publican (Luke 18:9-14), blind Bartimaeous (Mark 10:46-52), the leper (Matthew 8:1-4), the prodigal son(Luke 15:11-24), the Syro-Phoenecian woman (Matthew 15:21-28), and is known and experienced by all whom God saves. They need Christ and life! This need is not produced in the soul of a sinner by persuasive preachers and little tracts which merely lead men and women, under the influence of their natural conscience, to acknowledge and acquiesce to a few chosen verses of Scripture!

     Furthermore, precious soul, God’s gospel is no mere offer of Christ and life sent by God into the world for the sinner’s vote – acceptance or rejection. Wherever the gospel is truly preached it is a mandate from God: "Repent or perish!" "Believe or be forever damned!" "God commands all men everywhere to repent"(Acts 17:30). God’s gospel is "made known to all nations for the obedience of faith"(Romans 16:26). To hear the gospel and not believe and obey it is to make God a liar (I John 5:10), to choose to remain in rebellion and divine condemnation (John 3:18), and to abide under God’s infinite and just wrath, which may consume the soul at any moment (Romans 6:23; John 3:36). One day soon (perhaps today!) the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return to this earth, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ"(II Thessalonians 1:8). I repeat, dear soul, God’s gospel is not sent into the world as a mere offer or invitation, or for human and/or religious speculation. It carries a mandate from heaven: "Believe God!" "Believe now!" "Believe or perish!"

     The church which I pastor often sings that old Fanny Crosby hymn which contains the words: "Pass me not, O gentle Saviour-Hear my humble cry! While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by!" We sing that old hymn because it is true to the teaching of God’s Word, because it sets forth the proper attitude which lost sinners should have before God (mercy seekers!), and because it expresses the abiding attitude and heart-cry of every true child of God. May God bless you.