By Earl Robertson
John wrote, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him who athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). Many of the creeds of men limit, in scope, the salvation from sin which Christ offers through the gospel. This erroneous position is assumed because of a misunderstanding of the nature of man and the nature of God’s dealings with man. In spite of what the creeds say, however, the Lord makes the same offer to all without any respect of persons. God’s love for man manifested at Calvary included the whole world – “he tasted death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). His death was not only for the people who live under the New Testament, but it was “for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament” (Heb. 9:15). This is why John could write “whosoever” in our text. Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). All were away in sin, but all by the Lord are invited to come to Him. Anyone who wants to be saved can be. The Lord is not in the business of saving some while refusing to save others the same way.
As surely as salvation is offered to all in the great commission (Mk. 16; Matt. 28), it is offered conditionally. As John wrote the will of Christ in Rev. 22, he included, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14). The blessed city of God is entered when the gospel of Jesus Christ is obeyed. The “doing” of His commandments to enter the city makes the entering conditional! Men constantly tell us there is not anything we can do “to take the water of life” but the Lord says there is something that must be done. Men tell us it was the Lord’s doing and dying that saves us from sin – that there is not anything we can do. His death – His blood – makes possible our salvation, but its benefits are not received and enjoyed by man until man appropriates the benefits of Jesus’ death in gospel obedience. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). “He that doeth” is conditional!
Truth Magazine XXIV: 9, p. 155
February 28, 1980