Before we take a closer look at it really means to “come” to Christ, we need to realize that the term “come” must be understood spiritually and not carnally. We know this because the Bible tells us that our natural mind is actually hostile to God:
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. (Rom 8:7)
The Bible also tells us that the natural man is unable to understand spiritual matters:
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)
Our coming to Christ not merely a matter of obeying God’s commandments, attending a Church service, going to a Bible study, listening to Christian music, or even reading the Bible. Anyone can do all of those things. Genuine coming to Christ is a spiritual matter.
With that understanding, we, can now try and describe our “coming” to Christ. To paraphrase John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress author John Bunyan described it as a “moving of the mind towards him”, from “a sound sense of the absolute want that a man has of him (Christ) for his justification and salvation.”
In simpler terms, when a person realizes his/her spiritually lost condition in sin, and that justification and salvation are only to be found in Christ, that person willingly comes to Christ. Coming to Christ involves both the will and the heart. So how can we describe those who genuinely come to Christ? Consider these evidences:
· They come with prayers, supplications and tears, demonstrating their heartfelt need for mercy.
“With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:9)
- They ‘run’ to Christ, fleeing the wrath to come. Realizing their desperate condition in sin and that Christ is the only way of escape, they fly to safety as fast as they can. (Matt 3:7; Psa 143:9).
- A genuine coming to Christ is marked by a clear sense of an absolute need of Jesus Christ to save and evident from the outcries of those even as they are coming to him. Consider the following examples:
PETER WALKING ON WATER
“But when he (Peter) saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” . (Matthew 14:30)
PETER PREACHING AT PENTECOST
“Now when they (the crowd) heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37)
THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER
“Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)
- A genuine coming to Christ is accompanied by an honest and sincere forsaking everything to follow him.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)
The above examples describe all those who have, or are coming to Christ. Anyone genuinely coming to Christ for salvation casts leaves everything behind and forsaking all to follow Christ. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer so eloquently said in his book The Cost of Discipleship:
“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die”
When we glance at today’s evangelical environment, we can see example after example of invitations to come to Christ for a multitude of reasons focused on what we mortals desire most in this life (our best lives now), rather than what God has done for us in sending his Son do die for our sins. Some have called them “adventures in missing the gospel.”
Anyone who truly comes to Christ comes because of being spiritually awakened to the reality of their sin, the dire consequences of it, and the reality that Jesus Christ is the only escape from the just wrath of God.