"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And YE WILL NOT COME TO ME, that ye might have life."(John 5:39,40)
I find it amazing that unregenerate, lost, moral sinners WILL COME to anything and everything except Christ and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ALONE, even coming to those things that are absolutely forbidden by God when it comes to this all important matter of ETERNAL LIFE. In the context of this verse, these SINNERS our Lord was addressing HAD COME TO THE SCRIPTURES. By nature, in an unregenerate state, we all think that if one picks up the Scriptures, studies them, memorizes them, and even seeks to live by them they must at least be on the right track to eternal life, if not have it already! When Christ made this statement: "Search the Scriptures", He wasn't INVITING or ENCOURAGING them to search the Scriptures. He was actually saying to them: "You HAVE EXAMINED and LOOKED INTO the Scriptures thoroughly". They did SEARCH, but they were searching for the WRONG REASON and for the WRONG THINGS.Think about it: They were searching the Scriptures, thinking by their searching it proved they had eternal life. Yet He who WAS and IS "eternal life" stood right in front of them, was even addressing them directly, and THEY DID NOT EVEN KNOW IT.
In John 6:65, our Lord told these SAME PEOPLE: "Therefore said I unto you, that no man CAN COME UNTO ME, EXCEPT IT WERE GIVEN UNTO HIM OF MY FATHER." Actually, this was the second time Christ told them the same exact thing. He told them the first time in John 6:44 - "No man CAN COME TO ME, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." The RESPONSE of these men (who did indeed "SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES") to Christ's TWO EMPHATIC STATEMENTS teaches us the true thoughts of the NATURAL MIND toward the truth of God - "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked with Him no more."(John 6:66) When these moral, sincere, self-righteous, lost religious sinners departed, Christ turned to His Apostles and said: "Will ye also go away?"(John 6:67) But thank God, notice the RESPONSE of a fisherman, a sinner who had been brought to feel and see His need, one who had been given life by God - "Then Simon Peter answered Him, to whom shall we go? THOU HAST THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE."(John 6:68)
These men searched the Scriptures without the KEY. The KEY to the Scriptures is Christ - "and they are they which testify of me." The books of Moses, "testify" of Christ. The LAW OF MOSES is our "schoolmaster to bring (literally drive us) to Christ". The prophets and the Psalms "TESTIFY" of Christ. The New Testament (all of it), "testify" that Christ has accomplished EVERYTHING NECESSARY to "save His people from their sins", that which was testified and set forth in both the Law and the Prophets - "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, CONCERNING ME. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things."(Luke 24:44-48)
Lost sinners today, just like these sinners our Lord addressed in John 5, have THESE SAME SCRIPTURES that testified of Christ, and yet "ye will not come to me that you might have life." Truly, "pride goeth before a fall"! The preacher I heard the Gospel from over 3 decades ago had a saying that has always proved true: "Sinners will come to the front and take a preacher by the hand; they will come to the fount (the baptismal pool); they will come to the Scriptures; they will come to one another; they will come to morality, sincerity, and religion: they will come to a PROFESSION; but THEY CANNOT and WILL NOT COME NAKED to Christ, resting in His accomplished work of redemption at Calvary as their ONLY HOPE and CAUSE of salvation."
Will you "come to me", i.e., come to Christ as "the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS"? All who do come reveal they HAVE LIFE ETERNAL.
Richard Warmack has been the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Ruston, Louisiana since it's establishment in October of 1987. The message he has faithfully and...