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Holding Him to the Scriptures

By Reuben Archer Torrey


      (as told by Faris Daniel Whitesell)

      One time I received a letter, a very heartbroken letter, from a father who was a Presbyterian minister. He wrote that he had a son who was in awful spiritual darkness. The son thought that he had committed the unpardonable sin, and he was plunged into absolute despair. Would I take him in at the Bible Institute? I replied that though I had every sympathy with him in his sorrow, the Bible Institute was not for the purpose of helping cases like these, but to train men and women for Christian service. The father continued to write, beseeching me to take his son, and got other friends to plead for him. Finally, I consented to take the young man. He was sent to me under guard, lest he might do some rash thing by the way.

      When he was brought to my office, I showed him a seat. As soon as the others had left the room, he began the conversation by saying, "I am possessed of the devil."

      "I think quite likely you are," I replied, "but Christ is able to cast out devils."

      "You do not understand me," he said, "I mean that the devil has entered into me as he did into Judas Iscariot."

      "That may be," I answered, "but Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. Now He says in John 6:37. 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.' If you will come to Him, He will receive you and set you free from Satan's power."

      The conversation went on in this way for some time: he constantly asserting the absolute hopelessness of his case, and I on my part constantly asserting the power of Jesus Christ and His promise, "'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'" After a while I sent the young man to his room. Days and weeks passed, and we had many conversations, always on the same line, and I always holding him to John 6:37.

      One day I met him in the hall of the Institute, and made up my mind that the time had come to have the battle out. I told him to sit down, and I sat down beside him.

      "Do you believe the Bible?" I asked.

      "Yes," he replied, "I believe everything in it."

      "Do you believe John 6:37?" I asked.

      "Yes, I believe everything in the Bible."

      "Do you believe that Jesus Christ told the truth when He said, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out'?"

      "Yes, I do; I believe everything in the Bible."

      "Well, then, will you come?"

      "I have committed the unpardonable sin."

      "I replied, "Jesus does not say, 'Him that hath not committed the unpardonable sin that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in on wise cast out.'"

      "But I have sinned willfully after I have received the knowledge of the truth."

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that has not sinned willfully after he received the knowledge of the truth that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast our.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "But I have been once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have fallen away, and it is impossible to renew me again unto repentance."

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that has not tasted of the heavenly gift, and has not fallen away, if he cometh to me I will in no wise cast him out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "But I am possessed of the devil," he answered.

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that is not possessed of the devil that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "I mean that the devil is entered into me as he did into Judas Iscariot."

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that the devil has not entered into, as he did into Judas Iscariot, that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "But my heart is hard as a millstone."

      "Jesus does not say, 'If a man's heart is soft and tender, and he come to Me, I will in no wise cast him out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "But I do not know that I have any desire to come."

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that hath a desire to come, and comes unto Me, I will in no wise cast out. He says, Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "But I do not know that I can come in the right way."

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that cometh to Me in the right way, I will in no wise cast him out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "Well, I don't know that I care to come."

      "Jesus does not say, 'Him that careth to come to Me, and comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out.' He says, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      The man's excuses and subterfuges were exhausted. I looked him square in the face and said, "Now, will you come? Get down on your knees, and quit your nonsense."

      He knelt and I knelt by his side.

      "Now," I said, "Follow me in prayer."

      "Lord Jesus," I said, and he repeated, "Lord Jesus."

      "My heart is as hard as a millstone."

      "My heart is as hard as a millstone," he repeated.

      "I have no desire to come unto thee."

      "I have no desire to come unto thee."

      "But thou hast said in thy Word."

      "But thou hast said in thy Word."

      "'Him that cometh to Me I will no wise cast out.'"

      "'Him that cometh to Me I will no wise cast out.'"

      "Now the best I know how I come."

      "Now the best I know how I come."

      "Thou hast said, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "Thou hast said, 'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "I believe this statement of Thine."

      "I believe this statement of Thine."

      "Therefore, though I don't feel it, I believe thou hast received me."

      "Therefore, though I don't feel it, I believe thou hast received me."

      When he had finished, I said, "Did you really come?"

      He replied, "I did."

      "Has He received you?"

      "I do not feel it," he replied.

      "But what does He say?"

      "'Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.'"

      "Is this true? Does Jesus tell the truth, or does He lie?"

      "He tells the truth."

      "What then must He have done?"

      "He must have received me."

      "Now," I said, "go to your room: stand firmly upon this promise of Jesus Christ. The devil will give you an awful conflict, but just answer him every time with John 6:37, and stand right there, believing what Jesus says in spite of your feelings, in spite of what the devil may say, in spite of everything."

      He went to his room. The devil did give him an awful conflict, but he stood firmly on John 6:37, and came out of his room triumphant and radiant. Years have passed since then. Though the devil has tried again and again to plunge him into despair, he has stood firmly on John 6:37, and he is today being used of God to do larger work for Christ than almost any man I know.

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