The Seven "I Will’s" of Christ
When a man says, "I will," it may not
mean much. We very often say "I will" when we don’t mean to fulfill what
we say. But when we come to the "I will" of Christ, He means to fulfill
it. Everything He promised to do, He is able and willing to accomplish.
I cannot find any Scripture where He says "I will" do this or "I will"
do that but that it will be done.
1. The "I Will" of Salvation
The first "I will" is to be found in
John’s Gospel, chapter 6 and verse 37: "Him that cometh to me I will in
no wise cast out."
I imagine someone will say, "If I were
what I ought to be, I would come. But when my mind goes over my past record,
it is too dark. I am not fit to come."
You must bear in mind that Jesus Christ
came to save not good people, not the upright and just, but sinners like
you and me who have gone astray and sinned and come short of the glory
Listen to this "I will"–it goes right
into the heart: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." Surely
that is broad enough–is it not? I don’t care who the man or woman is nor
what his or her trials, troubles, sorrows or sins are, if that one will
only come straight to the Master, He will not cast him out.
Come then, poor sinner; come just as
you are and take Him at His word.
So anxious is He to save sinners that
He will take everyone who comes. He will take those who are so full of
sin that they are despised by all who know them; who have been rejected
by their fathers and mothers; who have been cast off by the wives of their
bosoms. He will take those who have sunk so low that upon them no eye of
pity is cast. His occupation is to hear and save. That is why He left Heaven
and came into the world; that is why He left the throne of God–to save
sinners. "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost"
(Luke 19:10). He did not come to condemn the world, but that the world
through Him might be saved.
A wild and prodigal young man running
a career headlong to ruin came into one of our meetings in Chicago. The
Spirit of God got hold of him. Whilst I was conversing with him and endeavoring
to bring him to Christ, I quoted Luke 19:10. Then I asked him, "Do you
believe Christ said that?"
"I suppose He did."
"Suppose He did? Do you believe it?"
"I hope so."
"Hope so? Do you believe it? You do
your work, and the Lord will do His. Just come as you are. Throw yourself
upon His bosom, and He will not cast you out."
This man thought it was too simple
At last, light seemed to break in upon
him, and he seemed to find comfort from it. It was past midnight before
he got down on his knees, but down he went and was converted.
I said, "Now, don’t think you are going
to get out of the Devil’s territory without trouble. The Devil will come
to you tomorrow morning and say it was all feeling, that you only imagined
you were accepted by God. When he does, don’t fight him with your own opinions,
but fight him with John 6:37: ‘Him that cometh to me I will in no wise
cast out.’ Let that be the ‘sword of the Spirit.’"
I don’t believe any man ever starts
to go to Christ but that the Devil strives somehow to trip him up. Even
after he has come to Christ, the Devil tries to assail him with doubts
and make him believe there is something wrong in it.
The struggle came sooner than I thought
in this man’s case. While he was on his way home, the Devil assailed him.
He used John 6:37, but the Devil put this thought into his mind: "How do
you know Christ ever said that after all? Perhaps the translators made
Into darkness he went again till about
two in the morning. At last he came to this conclusion: "I will believe
it anyway; and when I get to Heaven, if it isn’t true, I will just tell
the Lord I did not make the mistake–the translators did."
When kings and princes of this world
issue invitations, they call round them the rich, the mighty, the powerful,
the honorable and the wise; but the Lord, when He was on earth, called
round Him the vilest of the vile.
That was the principal fault the people
found with Him. Those self-righteous Pharisees were not going to associate
with harlots and publicans. The principal charge against Christ was: "This
man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them."
Who would have such a man around him
as John Bunyan in his time? He, a Bedford tinker, couldn’t get inside one
of the princely castles.
I was very much amused when I was over
in England. They had erected a monument to John Bunyan, and it was unveiled
by lords and dukes and great men. While he was on earth, they would not
have allowed him inside the walls of their castles, yet he was made one
of the mightiest instruments in the spread of the Gospel.
No book that has ever been written
comes so near the Bible as John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress; and yet the
author was a poor Bedford tinker.
Thus it is with God. He picks up some
poor lost tramp and makes him an instrument to turn hundreds and thousands
George Whitefield, standing in his
tabernacle in London and with a multitude gathered about him, cried out,
"The Lord Jesus will save the Devil’s castaways!"
Two poor, abandoned wretches standing
outside in the street heard his silvery voice ring out on the air. Looking
into each other’s faces, they said, "That must mean you and me." They wept
and rejoiced. They drew near and looked in at the door at the face of the
earnest messenger, the tears streaming from his eyes as he pled with the
people to give their hearts to God. One of them wrote him a little note
and sent it to him.
Later that day, as he sat at the table
of Lady Huntington, his special friend, someone present said, "Mr. Whitefield,
did you not go a little too far today when you said that the Lord would
save the Devil’s castaways?"
Taking the note from his pocket, he
gave it to Lady Huntington. "Will you read that note aloud?"
She read: "Mr. Whitefield: Two poor
lost women stood outside your tabernacle today and heard you say that the
Lord would save the Devil’s castaways. We seized upon that as our last
hope. Now we write to tell you that we rejoice now in believing in Him,
and from this good hour we shall endeavor to serve Him who has done so
much for us."
2. The "I Will" of Cleansing
The next "I will" is found in Luke,
chapter 5. We read of a leper who came to Christ and said, "Lord, if thou
wilt, thou canst make me clean." The Lord touched him, saying, "I will:
be thou clean," and immediately the leprosy left him.
Any man or woman full of the leprosy
of sin who reads this, if you will but go to the Master and tell all your
case to Him, He will speak to you as He did to that poor leper: "I will:
be thou clean," and the leprosy of your sins will flee from you.
The Lord and the Lord alone can forgive
sins. If you say to Him, "Lord, I am full of sin; Thou canst make me clean";
"Lord, I have a terrible temper; Thou canst make me clean"; "Lord, I have
a deceitful heart. Cleanse me, O Lord; give me a new heart. O Lord, give
me the power to overcome the flesh and the snares of the Devil!"; "Lord,
I am full of unclean habits"–if you come to Him with a sincere spirit,
you will hear the voice, "I will: be thou clean." It will be done.
The God who created the world out of
nothing, who by a breath put life into the world–do you think if He says,
"Thou shalt be clean," you will not be clean?
Now, you can make a wonderful exchange
today. You can have spiritual health in the place of sinsickness; you can
get rid of everything that is vile and hateful in the sight of God. The
Son of God comes down and says, "I will take away your leprosy and give
you health in its stead. I will take away that terrible sin disease that
is ruining your body and soul and give you My righteousness in its stead.
I will clothe you with the garments of salvation."
Is it not wonderful! That’s what He
means when He says, "I will." Oh, lay hold on this "I will"!
3. The "I Will" of Confession
Now turn to Matthew 10:32: "Whosoever
therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my
Father which is in heaven": the "I will" of confession.
That’s the next thing that takes place
after a man is saved. When we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb,
we get our mouths opened. We have to confess Christ here in this dark world
and tell His love to others. We are not to be ashamed of the Son of God.
A man thinks it a great honor when
he has achieved a victory that causes his name to be mentioned in the English
Parliament or in the presence of the queen and her court.
How excited we used to be during the
war when some general did something extraordinary and someone got up in
Congress to confess his exploits! How the papers used to talk about it!
In China the highest ambition of the
successful soldier is to have his name written in the palace or temple
But just think of having your name
mentioned in the kingdom of Heaven by the Prince of Glory, by the Son of
God, because you confessed Him here on earth! Confess Him here; He will
confess you yonder.
If you wish to be brought into the
clear light of liberty, you must take your stand on Christ’s side. Many
Christians go groping about in darkness and never get into the clear light
of the kingdom because they are ashamed to confess the Son of God. We are
living in a day when men want a religion without the cross, the crown but
not the cross. But if we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we have to
take up our crosses daily–not once a year or on the Lord’s Day, but daily.
And if we take up our crosses and follow Him, we shall be blessed in the
A newly converted man in New York came
to pray with me. His burden was that he was afraid to confess Christ. It
seemed that down at the bottom of his trunk he had a Bible. He wanted to
get it out and read it to the companion with whom he lived, but he was
ashamed to do it.
After he had carried the burden for
a whole week and after a terrible struggle, he made up his mind, "I will
take my Bible out tonight and read it." He did. Soon he heard the footsteps
of his roommate coming upstairs. His first impulse was to put the Bible
away, but then he decided he would face his companion with it in hand.
His roommate came in. Seeing John at
his Bible, he said, "Are you interested in these things?"
"Yes," John replied.
"How long has this been?" asked his
"Exactly a week," he answered. "For
a whole week I have tried to get out my Bible to read to you, but I have
not done so till now."
"Well," said his friend, "it is a strange
thing. I was converted on the same night, and I too was ashamed to take
my Bible out."
You are ashamed to show your Bible
and say, "I have lived a godless life for all these years, but I will commence
now to live a life of righteousness." You are ashamed to open your Bible
and read that blessed psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
You are ashamed to be seen on your knees.
No man can be a disciple of Jesus Christ
without bearing his cross. A great many want to know how it is Christ has
so few disciples whilst Muhammad has so many. The reason is, Muhammad gives
no cross to bear.
There are so few who will come out
to take their stand.
I was struck during the Civil War with
the fact that there were so many who could go to the cannon’s mouth without
trembling but who had no courage to take up their Bibles to read them at
night. They were ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power
of God unto salvation.
"Whosoever therefore shall confess
me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
"But whosoever shall deny me before
men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."–Matt. 10:32,33.
4. The "I Will" of Service
The next is the "I will" of service.
There are a good many Christians who
have been quickened and aroused to say, "I want to do some service for
Well, Christ says, "Follow me, and
I will make you fishers of men."
There is no Christian who cannot help
to bring someone to the Saviour. Christ says, "And I, if I be lifted up…,
will draw all men unto me"; and our business is just to lift up Christ.
Our Lord said, "Follow me, Peter, and
I will make you a fisher of men"; and Peter simply obeyed. On that day
of Pentecost we see the result. I doubt if Peter ever caught so many fish
in one day as he did men on that day. It would have broken every net they
had on board if they had had to drag up three thousand fish.
I read some time ago of a man who took
passage in a stagecoach. There were first-, second- and third-class passengers.
But when he looked into the coach, he saw all the passengers sitting together
without distinction. He could not understand it.
By and by they came to a hill. The
coach stopped. The driver called out, "First-class passengers keep their
seats. Second-class passengers get out and walk. Third-class passengers
get behind and push."
In the church we have no room for first-class
passengers–people who think salvation means an easy ride all the way to
Heaven. We have no room for second-class passengers–people who are carried
most of the time, and who, when they should be showing their faith by their
works, go trudging on giving never a thought to helping their fellows along.
All church members ought to be third-class passengers–ready to dismount
and push with a will.
John Wesley’s definition of a church:
"All at it and always at it." Every Christian is to be a worker. He need
not be a preacher or an evangelist to be useful. He may be useful in business.
See what power an employer has with his employees! Often a man can be as
useful in a business sphere as in another.
There is one reason–and a great reason–why
so many do not succeed at Christian service. I have been asked by a great
many good men, "Why is it we don’t have any results? We work hard, pray
hard, preach hard, yet the success does not come."
I tell them, "Because you spend all
your time mending nets. No wonder you never catch anything."
The great matter is to give invitations
and compel sinners to come and thus pull the net in and see if you have
caught anything. If you are always mending and setting the net, you won’t
catch many fish. Who ever heard of a man’s going out to fish and setting
his net, then letting it stop there and never pulling it in? Everybody
would laugh at such a man’s folly.
A minister in England came to me one
day and said, "I wish you would tell me why we ministers don’t succeed
better than we do."
I brought before him this idea of pulling
in the net: "You have to pull in your nets. There are many ministers in
Manchester who can preach much better than I can, but I pull in the net."
Many people have objections to giving
invitations, but I urge upon them the importance of offering people the
chance to make a decision.
The minister said, "I never did pull
in my net; but I will try next Sunday."
He did so, and eight anxious inquirers
went into his study.
The next Sunday he came down to tell
me he had never had such a Sunday in his life. He had met with marvelous
The next time he drew the net, there
were forty. And when he came to see me later, he said to me joyfully, "Moody,
I have had eight hundred conversions this last year! It is a great mistake
I did not begin earlier to pull in the net."
My friends, if you want to catch men,
just present the Gospel and pull in the net. If you only catch one, it
will be something. It may be a little child, but I have known a little
child to convert a whole family. You don’t know what is in that little
dull-headed boy in the inquiry room. He may become a Martin Luther, a reformer
who shall make the world tremble.
God uses the weak things of this world
to confound the mighty. God’s promise is as good as a bank note. And here
is one of Christ’s promissory notes: ‘If you follow Me, I will make you
fishers of men.’
Will you not lay hold of the promise
and trust it and follow Him now?
If a man preaches the Gospel faithfully,
he ought to expect results then and there. It is the privilege of God’s
children to reap the fruit of their labor three hundred sixty-five days
in the year.
"Well, but is there not a sowing time
as well as a harvest?" you ask.
Yes, there is; but then, you can sow
with one hand and reap with the other.
What would you think of a farmer who
went on sowing all the year round and never thought of reaping? I repeat:
we want to sow with one hand and reap with the other. And if we look for
the fruit of our labors, we shall see it.
"I, if I be lifted up…, will draw all
men unto me." We must lift Christ up, then seek men out and bring them
You must use the right kind of bait.
A good many don’t do this, then they wonder why they are not successful.
You see them getting up all kinds of entertainment with which to try to
catch men. They go the wrong way to work.
This perishing world wants Christ and
Him crucified. There’s a void in every man’s bosom that wants filling up,
and if we only approach him with the right kind of bait, we shall catch
This poor world needs a Saviour; and
if we are going to be successful in catching men, we must preach Christ
crucified–not His life only, but His death. And if we are only faithful
in doing this, we shall succeed. Why? Because there is His promise: ‘If
you follow Me, I will make you fishers of men.’
That promise holds just as good to
you and me as it did to His disciples and is as true now as it was in their
5. The "I Will" of Comfort
The next "I will" is in John 14:18:
"I will not leave you comfortless."
It is a sweet thought that Christ has
not left us alone in this dark wilderness here below. Although He has gone
up on high and taken His seat by the Father’s throne, He has not left us
In other words, He said, "I will not
leave you orphans." He did not leave Joseph. When they cast him into prison,
"God was with him." When Daniel was cast into the den of lions, they had
to put the Almighty in with him. They were so bound together that they
could not be separated.
If we have Christ with us, we can do
all things. Let us not be thinking how weak we are. Let us lift up our
eyes to Him and think of Him as our Elder Brother who has all power given
to Him in Heaven and on earth. He says, "Lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world."
Some of our children and friends leave
us, and it is a very sad hour. But the believer and Christ shall never
be separated! He is with us here, and we shall be with Him in person by
and by. We shall see Him in His beauty. But not only is He with us, but
He has sent us the Holy Ghost. Let us honor the Holy Spirit by acknowledging
that He is here in our midst. He has power to give sight to the blind,
liberty to the captive, and to open the ears of the deaf that they may
hear the glorious words of the Gospel.
6. The "I Will" of Resurrection
Then there is another "I will" in John
6:40; it occurs four times in the chapter: "I will raise him up at the
I rejoice to think that I have a Saviour
who has power over death. My blessed Master holds the keys of death and
Hell. I pity the poor unbeliever and infidel who has no hope in the resurrection.
But every child of God can open that chapter and read the promise, and
his heart leaps within him for joy.
The tradesman generally puts the best
specimens of his wares in the window to show us the quality of his stock.
When Christ was down here, He gave us a specimen of what He could do. He
raised three from the dead, that we might know what power He had–(1) Jairus’
daughter, (2) the widow’s son, and (3) Lazarus of Bethany. He raised all
three so every doubt might be swept away from our hearts.
How dark and gloomy this world would
be if we had no hope in the resurrection. But when we Christians lay our
little children down in the grave, it is not without hope. We have seen
them in the terrible struggle with death; but there has been one star to
illumine the darkness and gloom–the thought that though the happy circle
has been broken on earth, it shall be completed again in yon world of heavenly
You who have lost a loved one, rejoice
as you read this "I will"! Those who have died in Christ shall come forth
again by and by. The darkness shall flee away, and the morning light of
the resurrection shall dawn upon us. It is only a little while, and the
voice of Him who has said it shall come, shall be heard in the grave–"I
will raise him up at the last day."
Precious promise! Precious "I will"!
I had an unsaved brother for whom I
was very anxious. For fourteen long years I tried to lead that brother
to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."
He was the Benjamin of the family,
born a few weeks after my father’s death. When he was seventeen, he had
a long run of typhoid fever, and he never fully recovered from it.
I did everything I could to bring him
to Christ. He was a young man of considerable promise. I know no one who
could sit down and discuss against the divinity of Christ like that man.
I was not any match for him in argument. But day by day I preached to him
as best I knew how.
I think I never loved a man on earth
as I loved that brother. (I never knew what it was to love a father, because
he died before I remember.) Because he was sickly, that drew my love and
sympathy toward him; and oh, how my heart yearned for his salvation!
After preaching one night, I said,
"Now if any of this audience would like to take up his cross and follow
Christ, I would like him to rise." I cannot tell you what a thrill of joy
filled my soul when that brother of mine arose! It seemed the happiest
night of my life. I was full of joy and thankfulness.
Afterwards my brother and I worked
together for a time. We talked of the Gospel. And in the summer we sat
upon the hillside and talked of the old home.
After a year had passed, I went to
Chicago. He was to go with me. He bid me good-bye, and I said, "Samuel,
I will see you in a few days, so I will only say good-bye till then."
A few days after, a telegram came,
saying, "Samuel is dead." I traveled a thousand miles to bury him. I got
more comfort out of that promise, "I will raise him up at the last day,"
than anything else in the Bible. How it cheered me! How it lighted up my
path! As I went into the room and looked upon the lovely face of that brother,
how that passage ran through my soul: "Thy brother shall rise again." Thank
God for that promise! It is worth more than the world to me.
When we laid him in the grave, it seemed
as if I could hear the voice of Jesus Christ saying, "Thy brother shall
Blessed promise of the resurrection!
Blessed "I will"! "I will raise him up at the last day."
7. The "I Will" of Glory
Now the next "I will" is in John 17:24:
"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where
This was in His last prayer in the
guest chamber on the last night before He was crucified on Calvary. Many
a believer’s countenance begins to light up at the thought that he shall
see the King in His beauty by and by.
Yes, there is a glorious day before
us in the future. Some think that on the first day we are converted we
have everything. To be sure, we get salvation for the past and peace for
the present; but there is the glory for the future in store. That’s what
kept Paul rejoicing. He said, ‘These light afflictions, these few stripes,
these few brickbats and stones that they throw at me–why, the glory that
is beyond excels them so much that I count them as nothing, nothing at
all, so that I may win Christ.’
And so, when things go against us,
cheer up! Remember that the night will soon pass away, and the morning
will dawn upon us. Death never comes there. It is banished from that heavenly
land. Sickness, pain and sorrow come not there to mar that grand and glorious
Home where we shall be by and by with the Master. God’s family will be
all together there.
Glorious future, my friends! Yes, glorious
day! And it may be a great deal nearer than many of us think. During these
few days we are here, let us stand steadfast and firm, and by and by we
shall be in the unbroken circle in yon world of light and have the King
in our midst.