Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Lk 14:23.
Daily Service: COMPEL THEM TO COME IN Part 9
Now does anything else remain to the minister besides weeping and prayer? Yes, there is one thing else. God has given to his servants not the power of regeneration, but he has given them something akin to it. It is impossible for any man to regenerate his neighbor, and yet how are men born to God? Does not the apostle say of such a one that he was begotten by him in his bonds? Now the minister has power given him of God, to be considered both the father and the mother of those born to God, for the apostle said he travailed in birth for souls till Christ was formed in them. What can we do then?
We can now appeal to the Spirit. I know I have preached the gospel, that I have preached it earnestly; I challenge my Master to honor his own promise. He has said it shall not return unto me void, and it shall not. It is in his hands, not mine. I cannot compel you, but thou O Spirit of God who hast the key to the heart, thou canst compel. Did you ever notice in that chapter of the Revelation, where it says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” a few verses before, the same person is described, as he who hath the key of David? So that if knocking will not avail, he has the key and can and will come in. Now if the knocking of an earnest minister prevails not with you this morning, there remains still that secret opening of the heart by the Spirit, so that you shall be compelled.
I thought it my duty to labor with you as though I must do it; now I throw it into my master’s hands. It cannot be his will that we should travail in birth, and yet not bring forth spiritual children. It is with him; he is master of the heart, and
the day shall declare it, that some of you constrained by sovereign grace have become the willing captives of the all-conquering Jesus, and have bowed your hearts to him through the sermon of this morning.
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