by Herman Hoeksema
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When a book
stays in print for more than fifty years and is still in demand, it begins
to fall into the category of a "classic." This book can also be
How does the Calvinist preach a particular Christ for
the "whomsoever will"? In a series of messages originally
broadcast on the Reformed Witness Hour, Herman Hoeksema examines that
Does God turn away sincere seekers after Him? Never!
says Hoeksema: "Never will a man appear in the day of the revelation of
the righteous judgment of God who will be able to say that he longed and
desired and willed and sought earnestly to come, but was refused" (p. 6).
"Whosoever will may come", yet only those who are
hungry for the Bread of Life will eat, since man's condition is such that
"he is not merely incapable of longing for the Bread of Life; it is
nauseating to him, and he turns from it in disgust" (p. 42). Only
those who are burdened by sin long for the Rest that Christ gives; only
those who are thirsty for the Living Waters will come to Christ to drink;
only those who are raised from spiritual death will believe; only those
who are enlightened by the Holy Ghost will come to the Light of the World,
for "every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the
light" (John 3:20). One sinner does not make himself to differ from
another sinner. The truth of the Gospel is that God is gracious to one,
while passing by another. Salvation is particular! Salvation does not
depend on man!
Hoeksema is not interested in getting superficial
"decisions for Christ." Christ must be proclaimed, explained,
expounded and preached. The people must know Who Christ is, what He has
done, and what it means to come to Him, otherwise "instead of the new
birth, the emotions are aroused; a sentimental tear of self-pity is
mistaken for true repentance; and a temporary elation of the soul is
erroneously called joy in Christ" (p. 74). For this reason Hoeksema
writes several chapters explaining just who Christ is, why He came, what
He did and what He demands of His followers. No easy-believism here!
Salvation does not depend on man. It cannot. "If
it depends on the will of that man whether or not he will come to the
fountains of living water and drink, he will never come. Nor will a
veritable army of begging and hawking preachers persuade him to come" (p.
34), exclaims Hoeksema.
What of the man who will not come?: "If you do not
thirst for the living Christ, it is only because you are blind and dead
and naked and miserable; an enemy of God, hating righteousness though
boasting of your goodness, loving the darkness rather than the light, and
glorying in your shame" (p. 34).
But what of him who comes? "Boast not against the
Christ of God as if you had the power to decide to come to Him whenever
you please. Christ is the Lord. No one can come to Him unless the Father
draw him!" (p. 34).
This is the
antidote to the superficial and spiritually-deadly decisionism which
plagues the churches in our day.
"This is an
excellent book, and so much needed in this day of dishwater doctrine. It
displays God on the throne, not man" (Christian Literature World).
"Whosoever Will is unbelievably brilliant! Wish
I had read it much much earlier." - London
Click here to read a review of this book by one of our readers!
Click here to read this book in Spanish.
Click here to read chapter 8 of this book in Portuguese.
Click here to read chapter 8 of this book in German.
Click here to read chapter 10 of this book in German.