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By Curtis Pugh

In the New Testament not a single instance of Christ accepting a volunteer can be found. When Jesus met with a volunteer he always spoke words which caused the volunteer to go away from Him.

First consider the rich young ruler. “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?...Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions,” (Matthew 19:16 & 21-22). The Lord Jesus told this man to do that which he could not bear to do. Christ told him to sell all that he owned, give the proceeds to the poor and then come and follow Him. But “he went away sorrowful.” Christ never required any other person in the Scripture to sell all their possessions. Jesus knew this man was willing to follow Him if he could keep his affluent lifestyle. Christ did not accept that kind of volunteerism then and we have no reason to believe that He accepts it today.

A second time Jesus rejected volunteerism: “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head,” (Luke 9:57-58). The Lord's pointed words about His own poverty seem intended to cause this man to reconsider and leave. The context gives us every reason to believe that this man gave up his volunteerism.

Again we read: “And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God,” (Luke 9:61-62). This man had such ties with family that he was willing to put off following the Lord for a time of farewells with them. Jesus spoke pointed words of rebuke to him. This was the end of his volunteerism.

God calls sinners with an irresistible call. He drafts His soldiers. He does not accept volunteers. “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence,” (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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