Matt 11:28-30 The Call to Salvation 8/5/2001

 

* Where Art Thou? (Matt 11:28-30, Gen 3:8-9)

 

 

1. Come Unto Me (Rev 22:16-17, Isa 55:1-2)

 

 

* All Ye That Labour and Are Heavy Laden (Acts 9:3-9,17-18)

 

 

* And I Will Give You Rest (Heb 4:7-10)

 

 

 

2. Take My Yoke Upon You (Heb 4:11, II Pet 1:5-10)

 

 

* And Learn of Me (Heb 5:8-9, Matt 11:27)

 

 

* For I Am Meek and Lowly in Heart (Matt 21:5, Phil 2:5-8)

 

 

 

3. For My Yoke Is Easy (Gal 5:1, Isa 55:12)

 

 

* And My Burden Is Light (Phil 2:13, I John 5:3)

 

 

* Unload Your Burdens (Rom 9:1-3, Isa 55:6-7)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 11, beginning at verse 28. We read here in these last three verses of Matthew, chapter 11, The Call to Salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Glory who knows the end from the beginning, the One who knows who will be saved and who will not be saved, addresses the entire human race with this call to salvation.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The Lord Jesus extends this general call to everyone, and it is a gentle call. Why did I say that the Lord Jesus extends this call to the entire human race? It is because the entire human race is in trouble and is in need of salvation. When Adam and Eve ate from the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they too needed salvation. It was then that God extended the first call to salvation to Adam. We read that in Gen 3:9 when God called Adam and said:

* Where Art Thou? (Matt 11:28-30, Gen 3:8-9)

We read about that in Gen 3. Adam and Eve had sinned, and Adam and Eve immediately began to hide themselves from God. Then we read in Gen 3:8,

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, "Where art thou?" (2X)

Did God not know where Adam was? Of course God knew where Adam was, and Adam knew that God knew where he was. God called Adam with a personal and effective call, to make him willing to come out of hiding, and he came. And after God told Adam and Eve of the consequences of their sin, God replaced their silly fig leaves with coats of skins, and God clothed them.

The entire human race was born as sinners, in the likeness of the fallen Adam, and as a result the entire human race is hiding from God. They are hiding in their work; they are hiding in their pretended ignorance of God; they are hiding in their entertainment, etc., all hiding from the God of the Bible.

This is the reason why Christ extends this call to the entire human race. We too were hiding from God, because we sinned. Only when God calls us individually and effectively are we made willing to come out of hiding, and then God will clothe us with the true covering of the righteousness of Christ.

That is why the Lord Jesus says to us:

1. Come Unto Me (Rev 22:16-17, Isa 55:1-2)

How many will come? Is there anyone who, of his own free will, comes to Jesus? The Bible says: NO! There is NONE that seeketh after God; there is NONE that doeth good, NO, NOT ONE. And yet we read about the general call to the human race in several places in the Bible. Like in Rev 22:16,

Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. (2X)

Let him that heareth say, "Come". It is the call to salvation. The whole question of your salvation hinges on your being able to hear with joy that Christ is saying: "I come". And then the Bride of Christ responds: "Come". But only those who look forward to the coming of the Judge of all the earth, and who have nothing to fear, will say, "Come Lord Jesus". Everyone else will be in stark terror when Christ comes on the clouds of glory. Therefore, "Let him that heareth" does not mean that everyone in the human race will hear the Gospel call, and it does not mean that everyone in the human race will come. They are all born as enemies of God, and no one will come of his own accord. Only those whom God is drawing will come, because they have heard that their sins have been paid.

God extended this special call to us already in the O.T. Please turn with me to the Prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 55. The words of Isa 55:1 are echoing those we have heard in Rev 22:17. Here again God tells those who are thirsting that they can drink freely. How free is freely? Let's read Isa 55:1,

Isaiah 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy (grain) and eat; yea, come, buy (grain,) wine and milk without money and without price.

This verse seems to contradict itself: "Buy grain, and wine and milk but without money and without price"? It indicates that the grain and the wine and the milk are representing something that is of such great value that you cannot pay for it. This is the Gospel call again, and it is the call to those who have been made wiling to receive salvation FREELY. How free is free? You cannot pay any price for it; in fact you cannot do anything to earn it. This call goes out to "everyone that thirsteth", which is the same group of people whom God described in Rev 22:17 as "him that heareth", and "him that is athirst", and "whosoever will". God is not giving salvation to those who want to pay for it by some means, or by some action on their part. There are people who want to pay for it. We read in verse 2,

Isaiah 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

Don't spend your money and your labor on that which is not Christ, the Bread of Life. Hearken diligently to Christ. When God starts to draw you, then you can hear Him saying: "Come unto Me"

* All Ye That Labour and Are Heavy Laden (Acts 9:3-9,17-18)

Who are those that labor and are heavy laden? God has opened their eyes to their sin problem. Now they feel heavy laden with their sins. But not everyone is aware that they are sinners.

Please turn with me to the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 9. When God makes us aware of our sin problem, it means that God is drawing us. For example, when God was drawing Saul of Tarsus, the Pharisee, God made him painfully aware of all his sins. Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus to take Christians captive and bring them bound to Jerusalem. Then we read in Acts 9:3,

Acts 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Acts 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

Saul was in agony. His life goal was to be a zealous Pharisee, a man who strives to pave his way into heaven by laboring in all the things of the Ceremonial Law. Saul was laboring very hard in his works gospel, but now Saul was heavy laden with all his sins. All along he thought he was doing the things that please God, and now he discovered that all his life he had been serving Satan. But God showed Saul that he needed to be saved from his sins, because God had chosen Saul to salvation in spite of the all the evil that he had done. So God sent His servant Ananias to Saul. We read in V.17,

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

This was the moment Saul was saved, because this was the moment Saul received the Holy Spirit. This was the moment Saul could rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally Saul had rest. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden",

* And I Will Give You Rest (Heb 4:7-10)

What is the rest that Jesus is talking about? It is equivalent to the Sabbath rest. All work is ended. All his life Saul was in a false gospel; it was a works gospel. His teachers have been saying to him: "You are responsible to lead a clean life". So all his life he has been trying to clean up his life and to do those things that the Law required of him. He did not lack zeal. He had a list of things to do, and his list got longer and longer, and the Christians whom he persecuted increased in number more and more. But now when he had been saved, Saul realized that he had to stop working for his salvation, and tear up his list. Saul realized that he had peace with God, and that he was no longer an enemy of God, and that he could rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But consider now: To whom does God offer that rest in the Lord Jesus Christ? Saul did not seek to come to Christ. But God mightily made Saul to come to Christ. God intended to save Saul and God did save him. There were many Pharisees whom God passed by. They never wanted to believe in Christ, they never wanted this salvation and they never became saved. Their wish was granted. They never entered into that rest, because God had not chosen them unto salvation.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, chapter 4. (2X). Let's ask ourselves now: What is the Gospel we are following? Is it the Gospel of the Bible? Perhaps we have been taught that we are responsible for turning to Jesus. Have we been laboring to do it on our own? Have we been laboring on our own to clean up our life before we come to Jesus? Have we been laboring on a list of things to do and not to do? Such as: Clean up your mouth, do not steal little things from the office, do not cheat on your taxes, do not ogle sexy shows on TV, do not get angry at your immediate family, do not tell any white lies, and so on. All these are dirty rotten sins, and the list gets longer and longer. I am not saying that it is OK to do all these things, but have you been trying to clean up your life on your own? The same snake will bite you again. You cannot do it on your own. God must give you peace, and then all these sins will go out the window, one by one. God will clean up your life. Christ must choose to make himself known to you. Then when you hear His voice, we read in Heb 4:7,

Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limited a certain day, saying in David (in a psalm of David), "To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Heb 4:8 For if Jesus (Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Can you see that God draws an analogy between the rest we have in Christ and the Sabbath? Stop working for your salvation and tear up that list. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 11:29,

2. Take My Yoke Upon You (Heb 4:11, II Pet 1:5-10)

What is a yoke? A yoke is a beam that is placed across your shoulders, and at the two ends of the yoke hang two buckets with whatever you are carrying. Well, there is work again. Are we to stop working, or are we to work? Heb 4:10 says that we have ceased from our own works to earn our salvation, since our own works are all tainted with sin. But Heb 4:11 says that we should labor to see if we have entered into the rest of salvation in Christ.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

What is this labor that we are to do? Please turn with me to the Second Epistle of Peter, chapter 1.

When Jesus said: "Take my yoke upon you", Jesus did not imply that this is an action that we take on our own. First God saves us, then He gives us the desire to be His ambassadors, then He volunteers us, and then the true believers will step forward to take the yoke of Christ, and God fills their desires. The Spirit of God motivates us to excel in our role as witnesses. We read in II Pet 1:5,

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2 Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (Love).

2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Make your calling and election sure. The Spirit of God motivates us to be diligent in our work. He motivates us to grow these characteristics of a Christian, so that we will be faithful ambassadors.

To use the example that Jesus gave: God puts the yoke of Christ on us. From this yoke hang two buckets of water, which symbolizes the water of the Gospel. The yoke of Christ is to bring the Gospel into the entire world. Paraphrased, it is as if Jesus says to us: Come, work for Me. Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. This does imply work, but it is the work we do after having been saved. It is the work that Christ does in us and through us. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. The Lord Jesus said: "Take My yoke upon you",

* And Learn of Me (Heb 5:8-9, Matt 11:27)

Please turn back to Hebrews, chapter 5. (2X). The more you learn of Him, the more you want to bring those buckets of water. Listen to what God is saying about Jesus, in Heb 5:8,

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

This says that Christ was obedient in the things which He suffered. Why did He have to suffer? The Bible says that Christ came to suffer for our sins in our place, so that our sins may be blotted out. The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many. He ransomed us, or He purchased us from the power of Sin and Satan. And Christ did that almost 2000 years ago, long before we could make a decision whether we would follow Christ or not. Therefore, God determined at least 2000 years ago who the persons were whose sins Christ was going to blot out, or who Christ was going to purchase on the cross. There are people whose sins have not been blotted out, and who will have to give an account to God on Judgment Day of every sin in their life, down to small sins as speaking an idle word. In fact, the Bible records that God made the decision whom Christ was going to purchase before the foundation of the world. But that decision became final when Christ actually paid the full price for the sins of whom He came to save. The full price means that He had to pay the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Can we rest assured that our sins have been paid in full? Yes we can be sure of that, because Christ paid the full price. And because He purchased us, He could send God the Holy Spirit into our life, to make us hear the Good News that Christ has purchased us on the cross. Therefore we read in Heb 5:9 that Christ "became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him". Our gratitude to Him is so great that we want to serve Him and obey Him all our life.

We find in Matt 11:27, the verse just before our text, that Christ will reveal Himself to all those whose sins He came to pay. We read in Matt 11:27,

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Only they "to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" will know the Father and will know the Son. All other people are identified with: "No man knoweth the Son", & "Neither knoweth any man the Father.

The Lord Jesus said: " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me",

* For I Am Meek and Lowly in Heart (Matt 21:5, Phil 2:5-8)

"For I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls". Was the Lord Jesus meek and lowly? Yes indeed He was. In Matthew chapter 21 we read that the Lord Jesus came triumphantly riding into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday, one week before He was crucified and arose from the grave. He was meek. He submitted Himself and was subject to God the Father in all things. And there in Matt 21:5 we read,

Matthew 21:5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

The Lord Jesus is described here as meek. He was not overbearing, but meek. That is the reason why we want to work for Him. We do not desire to work for an overbearing master.

Please turn with me to Philippians, chapter 2. God says that we must take Christ as our example and walk humbly before God. We must not be stuck-up in pride for our accomplishments, because "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble". Take Christ as our example, in Phil 2:5, 2X

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto

death, even the death of the cross.

For our sakes Christ, who was equal with God, made himself of no reputation, but offered Himself. Are we living for our self, or are we living for others? What are our goals in this life?

"And ye shall find rest unto your souls", is a sure promise from God. Faith is to put our trust in the finished work of Christ. The Lord Jesus is not lying when He says to us that we shall find rest for our souls. If we find that we are restless in our souls, perhaps we are not living our life in the way God has laid out in the Bible. Perhaps we want to go our own way, our own desires and pleasures, and we think that we cannot live without them. We try to justify our own ways, and then we are surprised that we are restless in our souls.

For example, Boy meets girl, but girl is not saved. What is God's advice about this situation? God does not give advice on this situation; God commands. God commands to cut those ties and run, before the two get too much entangled in each other's webs. God says: "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; what communion hath light with darkness; what agreement hath Christ with Satan?" But boy is not satisfied with such black and white statements. So boy tries to find loopholes, and gets himself into terrible mess. Is it any wonder that this boy is not finding rest for his soul?

If we find this Christian life hard and difficult to keep, who is to be blamed for that? Not Christ!

3. For My Yoke Is Easy (Gal 5:1, Isa 55:12)

The more we grow, the more we learn of Him, the more we want to work for Him. His yoke, means the work He gives us to do, is easy because He does all the work. We can bring buckets full of water, but He does all the work. Our work is not measured by the level of our accomplishments. Our work is measured by how faithful we are in our work. It is Christ who brings the increase. Is it not marvelous to work for such a Master? Our Lord approves everything we do, as long as we faithfully do our work.

Another reason why the yoke of Christ is easy: It is not a yoke that brings us into bondage, but it is a yoke that that makes us free. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed". We do not leave the slavery of Satan and come under the slavery of Christ. That is not salvation. Christ has set us free at a great cost to Him. In our gratitude to Him we want to serve Him all our life.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

When Christ sets us free, He also teaches us discernment, so that we do not slide into a false gospel where we are brought under another yoke of bondage. When we study the Word of God under the guiding hand of God the Holy Spirit we find many passages like Gal 5:1, which teach us what salvation really is. And when God saves us, somehow we have a burden to bring the Gospel to other people. This brings up another reason why His yoke is easy. It is a joy and a privilege to serve Him in the capacity of ambassador for Christ. God stated it very well in Isa 55: 12, where God says:

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall

break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

When we engage in witnessing, all creation shall seem joyous and cheerful around us, because Christ is exalted. His Word shall not return void, but shall accomplish that for which is was sent. In other words, we will be 100% successful in what we do.

The Lord Jesus said: "For My yoke is easy",

* And My Burden Is Light (Phil 2:13, I John 5:3)

His burdens are not hard to bear. For example, Jesus said that the Pharisees bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders. Those burdens are heavy because the religion of the Pharisees was a works gospel, whereby man was responsible for his salvation and had to work for his salvation. Pity those people who believe they must do something for their salvation, like accepting Jesus Christ, or say the sinner's prayer, or something else they must do. They go home and wonder if they had been sincere enough, or they wonder if they really have confessed all their sins, or they wonder when they will be ready for the second stage in their relationship with the Holy Spirit, or they wonder how many people they must lead to Christ, and so on.

The Lord Jesus says that His burden is light. It is light because God says in Phil 2:13 that,

Philippians 2:13 It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

We do not whip ourselves into shape. God is at work in us, and God certainly does not give us a burden hard to bear. God teaches us in the Bible that God has chosen us unto salvation before the foundation of the world, not because of anything we have done, but according to the good pleasure of His will. Even after we have been "Born Again" our good works are still dominated by "God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure". God will not give us burdens hard to bear.

This is again reflected in I John 5:3, which says:

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

His commandments are not heavy; His commandments are not severe or cruel; His commandments are designed for our own good. What are His commandments? His commandments are all the commandments of the Bible, including the one that we "be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers". Christ gave everything He had to set us free. Would we not want to please Him by keeping His commandments? Why would we deliberately scrap His commandments? There are many Churches who teach that, but they have not understood the meaning of "gratitude".

Three times do we find recorded in the N.T. that the Lord Jesus said: "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me". If God recorded it three times, certainly it must be important. Why should we not gladly take up His burden and follow Him? He promised that His burden would be light. The joy of carrying His burden is like the joy Simon of Cyrene had in carrying the cross of Jesus. Would you not find it a great privilege to have been in the shoes of Simon of Cyrene and carry the cross of Jesus? Well, to take up His burden in this life is far easier than having carried the cross of Jesus to Golgotha.

The Lord Jesus Christ said: "For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light". We must remember that the entire passage of Matt 11:28-30 is the Call to Salvation. Christ has a burden for the unsaved in this world. We must share this burden for the unsaved around us. That also means you must learn:

* To Unload Your Burdens (Rom 9:1-3, Isa 55:6-7)

The Apostle Paul had a great burden for his unsaved kinsmen. We read in Rom 9:1-3,

Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

Romans 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

Paul's burden for his unsaved kinsmen was so great that he was willing to take their place to bear the wrath of God for them. Only Moses and Paul are on record for daring to say that. And yet, the Apostle Paul was the great missionary to the Gentiles, not to the Jews. It must have grieved him deeply that he could not lead many Jews to the Lord Jesus, but Paul could go to the Lord in prayer and unload his burdens.

This is what we need to learn. We too carry burdens for the salvation of immediate family around us. Especially in our own family we are not effective evangelists. The Lord Jesus characterized this situation as follows. He said: "No prophet is accepted in his own country". We are not heard in our own family. God may or He may not save these people. We must learn to take these burdens to the Lord in prayer and leave them there.

For our consolation the Lord has given us an extended family in the Church we are attending. In addition, God has also given us a more fruitful area of evangelism outside our immediate family. For this we also must give Him thanks. These apparent strangers outside our family we may call to come to Christ using the words of Matt 11:28-30,

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

or we could use Isa 55:6-7,

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

We must sow the Word faithfully. God will take care of the increase.