‘Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also.’ Luke 13:7–8
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 10:26–31
Jesus Christ has pleaded for you, the crucified Saviour has interfered for you. And you ask me ‘Why?’ I answer, because Jesus Christ has an interest in you all. We do not believe in general redemption, but we believe in every word of this precious Bible, and there are many passages in the Scripture which seem to show that Christ’s death had a universal bearing upon the sons of men. We are told that he tasted death for every man. What does that mean? Does it mean that Jesus Christ died to save every man? I do not believe it does, for it seems to me that everything which Christ intended to accomplish by the act of his death he must accomplish, or else he will be disappointed, which is not supposable. But did he in any other sense die for the rest of mankind? He did. Nothing can be much more plain in Scripture, it seems to me, than that all sinners are spared as the result of Jesus Christ’s death, and this is the sense in which men are said to trample on the blood of Jesus Christ. We read of some who denied the Lord that bought them. No one who is bought with blood for eternal salvation ever tramples on that blood; but Jesus Christ has shed his blood for the reprieve of men that they may be spared, and those who turn God’s sparing mercy into an occasion for fresh sin, do trample on the blood of Jesus Christ. You can hold that doctrine without holding universal redemption, or without at all contradicting that undoubted truth, that Jesus laid down his life for his sheep, and that where he suffered he suffered not in vain. Now, sinner, whether you know it or not, you are indebted to him that did hang upon the tree, for the breath that is now in you.
For meditation: Christ suffered and died on the cross to save all who would repent and trust in Him; God’s delays are to give us the opportunity to do that (2 Peter 3:9). To abuse His kindness and patience by continuing to reject Christ instead of repenting is to add insult to injury and to store up trouble for eternity (Romans 2:4–5; Hebrews 10:29).
Sermon no. 650
17 September (1865)