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Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away? Robert Macdonald once pondered this in helpful ways in light of the parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-24).


In the parable of the Great Supper—designed to set forth the fulness of redemption and the generous freeness with which it is offered—those to whom the servant was first sent might have been thought the worthiest to get the invitation, and the likeliest to accept it. They were the respectable, the industrious, the well-to-do— men who had ground of their own, and oxen of their own. But not one of them would come. Though civil to the servant and respectful, yet with one consent they began to make excuse. Thus the likeliest to come first never came at all, and entirely missed the feast with all its joy.

Not succeeding in his first attempt, and with the first class, the servant had to go out a second time,—not an easy thing to do after such previous failure. Fishermen have little heart to cast in the net again, if all the night before has been one of weary and fruitless toil. So this servant, after such discouragements in the beginning, would have but little heart for renewed message-bearing, especially to another and seemingly outcast class, in the streets and lanes, the highways and hedges. Nevertheless, at his master’s command, he went forth and did as he was enjoined, with cheering results.

How often is it that those who were expected to be the first to welcome this salvation are the very last to do so, if ever they do so at all!

—Robert Macdonald

Now, in like manner, Christ’s servants still go forth with the invitations of grace, commissioned to tell that all things are ready; and in particular, that in and through Christ, forgiveness, acceptance, adoption, and peace, yea, and all redemption blessings, are provided in richest fulness, and yet without price. Nevertheless, how often is it that those who were expected to be the first to welcome this salvation are the very last to do so, if ever they do so at all! And why? Simply this: they are too busy with other pursuits; the farm and the family take up all their time and thoughts. In all such cases, ‘I cannot come’ is the alleged reason, but ‘I will not come’ is the real one; for when the heart is true the duties of the farm never interfere with the privileges of the feast, nor is it ever found that there is any necessary antagonism between family joys and the joy of the Lord.

A dying child, urging his father to repentance, said, ‘Father, I am going to heaven; what shall I tell Jesus is the reason why you won’t love him?’ Such a question might well startle any rejecter or neglecter of the great salvation.

  • How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? (Hebrews 2:3)
  • And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5:40)

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