Friday, May 7, 2021

You're welcome to come

When I was much younger, I misunderstood what people meant when they said, "You're welcome to come." I thought that sounded a whole lot like, "I'd love to have you come." But of course it really means something more like, "You won't actually offend me by your presence." Once I realized what people actually mean when they say, "You're welcome to come," I made a habit of politely declining those invitations.

Sometimes we interpret the Gospel as a sort of "You're welcome to come." Like, God wouldn't mind us being with Him for all eternity, but He wouldn't be particularly upset if we weren't there. Or maybe we think that God has a sort of a general benevolence, like He wants to be sure that there are some (as opposed to none) with Him through all eternity, but He's not particular about who they are.

When I was in high school, I spoke with a man who had fled communist Hungary. He talked about the difference between the Marxist notion of "the masses" and the scriptural notion of a name graven on God's hand. God sees us not as some mass of humanity, but as individuals. He knows us intimately (cf. Psalm 139). God isn't interested in me in some vague, general way: His interest in me is very specific, very individual. He doesn't treat me as an afterthought.

The Lord makes our relationship with Him intensely specific: " No one can come to me except the Father who has sent me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day" (John 6:44). We should pause to let that sink in. The Lord sees each individual (notice it's "him" and not "them" in His mind), He sees each of us as brought to Him by the Father, and His commitment to us is total: not even death will come between Him and someone the Father has brought to Him.


1 comment:

HandWrittenWord said...


All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me;
and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.
(John 6:37)