"NEVER" ALWAYS MEANS "NEVER"
Scripture Texts: John 4:14; John 6:35; John 11:25, 26; John 10:27
It is a real source of encouragement, to every true Christian, when we read of the many promises uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, time and time again, He brings before us the manifold blessings to be obtained and secured by those who trust Him as their own personal Saviour. Of course, neither time nor space will permit us to delve into the many blessings bestowed upon those of us who are truly saved. But to you who are yet unsaved, I'd like to mention a few of the promises given to all those who will acknowledge their sinnership in God's sight, and then who will be wise enough to trust in the sacrificial death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, at Calvary's cross.
Now friends, I'm sure that you'll agree that we are living in days which are truly momentous. Chaos, confusion, conflict, and compromise abound in almost every facet of our daily lives. Even true friendships, and loving family relationships, are becoming increasingly "few and far between". And one can't help but listen to his fellowman, and yet receive his words with the proverbial "grain of salt." Our governmental, corporate, and various types of media are not ashamed when their activities and/or utterances are exposed as deliberate deceptions and falsehoods. Yes, this is a very wicked world in which we live, and where many people would prefer to tell a lie than to tell the truth; and usually, for some personal profit or position.
But listen, my friend, when the Lord Jesus Christ, God's ONLY SON, makes a promise, you can be certain that He will keep that promise. Yes, and He has NEVER made a promise which He has failed to keep. In Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus Christ declared, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORD SHALL NOT PASS AWAY." So to you who are yet unsaved, let's take a brief look at a few of His promises in which He uses the highly emphatic expression, "NEVER"; keeping in mind the fact that in John 7:46 we read, "NEVER man spake like this Man." And that includes such mere men as Buddha, Confucius, and Muhammad.
First of all, in John 4:14, the Lord Jesus Christ declares to the woman at the well in Samaria, "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall NEVER THIRST; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." Friend, if you're unsaved today, I wonder if you're trying to find satisfaction in the fleeting pleasures of time and sense. Perhaps you are consciously, or otherwise, thirsting for adventure, amusement, alcohol, drugs, immorality, or a more favorable position in life.
Every year, untold billions of dollars are spent by people seeking satisfaction, recreation, and peace of mind; but sinner friend, there is nothing that gives real and lasting satisfaction like the salvation of the soul, or being "saved". No, all the sports, entertainment, pleasures, and perversions of this world just seem to create more anxiety, apprehension, and restlessness within the human breast; but when a spiritually-thirsty individual comes by faith to the Well of Living Water, the Lord Jesus Christ, he receives the water of life, his thirst is quenched, and he will NEVER THIRST again. No, he will NEVER THIRST AGAIN !
I know this for a fact, my friend, because I was spiritually-thirsty back on June 2, 1952, and my thirst was quenched when I trusted in the crosswork of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Yes, and today, I can honestly say like the writer of that very familiar hymn, "I've tried the broken cisterns, Lord, but ah! the waters failed! Even as I stooped to drink, they'd fled, and mocked me as I wailed. NOW NONE BUT CHRIST CAN SATISFY, none other name for me; there's love, and life, and lasting joy, Lord Jesus, found in Thee." Yes, my friend, the Lord Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, can meet the spiritual need of every unsaved person in the world today. And furthermore, the value and virtue of the blood which was shed by God's Son at Calvary, has lost none of it's power. It is just as powerful today, as it was nearly 2,000 years ago. Faith in the BLOOD of Christ can cleanse every sinner in the world today.
If there is a spiritually-lost and rebel sinner reading this Gospel message today; and you know, from personal experience, that you lack true satisfaction in the worldly pleasures of which you've been a participant, thus far; then why not come by faith to the Fountain of Living Water, the Lord Jesus Christ? Acknowledge the burden of your sins, and your desire to have rest and peace, by having your sins forgiven. If you do that right now, He promises in Matthew 11:28, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Yes, whether you're red, yellow, black or white; whether you're Irish, Polish or any other nationality; whether you're Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Muslim; the universal promise of assurance is given by God's Son in John 6:37, "that him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
So friend, the only prerequisite to you receiving the life-giving water, which the Lord Jesus Christ ALONE provides, is for you to admit your thirst for that water. In John 7:37, the Son of God declares, "IF any man thirst, let him COME unto Me, and drink." Furthermore, the final invitation given in the Bible to those who are still unsaved, is found in Revelations 22:17, "And let him that is athirst COME, and WHOSOEVER WILL, let him take of the water of life freely." Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Living Water to "WHOSOEVER WILL" acknowledge their thirst, and "WHOSOEVER WILL" admit that they can't do anything of themselves to quench that spiritual thirst. No, they can't do a thing to save their own soul.
You'll also notice in our text that the Lord Jesus Christ says that He GIVES this "water of life" to the thirsty individual. Friend, salvation is a GIFT from God, through FAITH in His Son. And you know very well that you don't work for a GIFT; for if you did, it would then be WAGES for work that you've done. In Romans 4:5, we read, "But to him that WORKETH NOT, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his FAITH is counted for righteousness." Again, in Ephesians 2:8,9 we're told, "For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast." In Romans 6:23 we read, "For the WAGES of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Friend, God's salvation is not for sale. Why? Because the price has already been paid for our soul's redemption when God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, died for our sins at Calvary's cross. In I Peter 1:18,19, we're reminded that we're "not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot." Even the Prophet Isaiah reminds us in Isaiah 55:1, "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Yes, I thank God that salvation is absolutely a free GIFT, completely apart from so-called "good works", sincerity, high moral character, religious rituals such as baptism, confirmation, dedication, or any such activity. Listen my friend, if these sincere characteristics or activities could quench your spiritual thirst, then answer this question, "Why did the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, die that cursed, shameful, and agonizing death on Calvary's cross?"
Now then, let's take a look at still another wonderful promise by the Lord Jesus Christ, as we find it in John 6:35. There, He declares, "I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall NEVER HUNGER; and he that believeth on Me shall NEVER THIRST." Here we have two "NEVERS" brought before us; "NEVER HUNGER", and again, "NEVER THIRST". Friend, every person who has ever been "saved", or "born again", has NEVER regretted having accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Yes, thank God, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only true and eternal satisfying portion to every blood-bought child of God.
We know that the two basic temporal needs of all mankind, are food and water. And here in this verse of Scripture, John 6:35, the Son of God gives the blessed assurance that if a sinner will come to Him by faith, that sinner will NEVER, no "NEVER HUNGER"; and if that sinner receives Him as his Saviour and Lord, that sinner will NEVER, no "NEVER THIRST". Yes, his every spiritual need will be met in the person of Jesus Christ. He will have a "Friend that sticketh closer than a brother." He will have a Comforter that will be touched with the feelings of his infirmities. Yes, he will have a Companion and Guide, God's Son, Who will lead him into sweet communion and fellowship with His Father, God.
Unsaved friend, if you will accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour today, you'll have unspeakable joy, and you'll be a completely new creature in Christ Jesus. You'll have Him walking beside you in your daily life, and He will help you to overpower, and overcome the many tests, trials, and temptations facing people today. Friend, at times, you'll be so enthralled with reading the Bible and praying to God, that you'll hardly be able to contain the joy of your salvation. Furthermore, you'll want others to know about your wonderful Saviour, too; and just to talk about Him, will thrill and fill your soul with thanksgiving unto God for His "Unspeakable Gift".
Now friend, you must remember that you can only eat of the "Bread of Life", when you acknowledge that you are hungry. In other words, before you can be saved, you must admit that you are spiritually lost. Lately, it seems as though there are more and more people claiming to be "converted", without ever having experienced conviction of sin. Well friend, it just can't be done! No, conviction of sin is just as essential to the salvation of your soul, as is the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He tells us in Luke 19:10, that He came "to seek and to save that which was LOST." Again, in Luke 5:32, He declares, "I came not to call the righteous, but SINNERS to repentance." Yes, only lost and rebellious sinners can possibly be saved.
Perhaps you're thinking that you are a righteous person, and therefore not in need of God's salvation. If so, then you should read those 14 indictments given by God against all mankind, in Romans 3:10-18. In verse 10, God, through the Apostle Paul, begins by saying that "There is NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE." In verse 12, God says, "there is NONE THAT DOETH GOOD, NO, NOT ONE." He then sums it all up in verse 23, where God declares, "For ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD." We're again reminded in Titus 3:5, that it's "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." So that's it, my friend. God's salvation is only available to those who thirst for it. Friend, God will NEVER save your soul against your will. But if you are thirsty enough to come to the "Bread of Life", and the "Fountain of Living Waters", the Lord Jesus Christ, He assures you that you'll "NEVER HUNGER", and you'll "NEVER THIRST" again. Yes, He will meet your spiritual needs and satisfaction for all your lifetime, and throughout the endless ages of all eternity!
Let's look at still another promise of the Lord Jesus Christ which has the word "NEVER" in it. In John 11:25, 26, He declares, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall NEVER DIE." Well friend, this is one of the most comforting promises ever uttered by God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. And I'm quite sure that you have heard this portion of Scripture read at most funerals. It is read in hopes of giving comfort to the family, relatives, and friends of the person who has died; and it is intended to assure the people who may be grieving, and in bereavement, that the person who died has passed from "life unto life".
Unfortunately, this is NOT always the case. Yet, regardless of who has died, the "clergyman or clergywoman", will read these same Scriptures to give some comfort and hope to the bereaved. Yes, a person can live for the Devil all of their adult life, or they can be "religiously lost" during all that time, but when it comes to their funeral service, the preacher, priest, or other "clergy", will give the impression that the dead person was a living "saint". What a stench this must bring to the nostrils of God !
Listen friend, the only people who "NEVER DIE", are those who have "ETERNAL LIFE". Sure, a true Christian may die physically, but spiritually speaking, when a saved person dies physically, their soul immediately goes to Heaven. They are "absent from the body, and present with the Lord." Yes, they have the promised "ETERNAL LIFE", which began the very moment they were saved, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 6:47, the Lord said, "He that believeth on Me hath (HATH is present tense) EVERLASTING LIFE." He follows up with these words, "I am that Bread of Life This is the BREAD which cometh down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and NOT DIE. I am the Living Bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall LIVE FOREVER."
The Apostle John also gives us some wonderful words of assurance in I John 5:10-13. "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God HATH GIVEN TO US ETERNAL LIFE, and this life is in His Son. He that HATH the Son HATH life; and he that HATH NOT the Son of God HATH NOT life. These things have I written unto you who believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE." Friend, nothing can be stated clearer than that. You'll notice that he doesn't say that you'll have eternal life if you have a certain "feeling", or if you "hold out", or "endure to the end", or "live a sinless life", or "go up to the altar every week", or "be baptized", or "go to confession", or "speak in tongues", etc.. No, let's stick to the word of God, "he that believeth on the Son HATH EVERLASTING LIFE." Friend, God says it, and God CAN NOT LIE !
Let me hasten to add, that a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour, will not be sinless; but neither will he live for the Devil, nor act like a demon. No, he won't be perfect till he gets to Heaven, BUT salvation is not a license to sin, because we are told in II Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." If we're really saved, we will live a life well-pleasing to our professed "Lord"; and we will do what He wants; we will say what pleases Him; and we will go where He would go; if He were visibly with us here on earth. It is unfortunate that some people want a "Fire Escape", or "Saviour", but they don't want a "Lord". Friend, He will either be your LORD OF ALL, or He will not be your LORD AT ALL !
Now this leads to still another promise by the Son of God, and again He uses the word "NEVER". In John chapter 10, beginning at verse 27, He declares, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them ETERNAL LIFE; and they shall NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, Which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand. I and My Father are One." Oh ! How I thank God for these wonderful words. Yes, the sinner saved by the grace of God will not only "NEVER DIE", but he will also "NEVER PERISH".
In other words, he will NEVER suffer the condemnational wrath of God. The Apostle Peter tells us in II Peter 3:9, that the Lord "is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that ALL should come to repentance." Friend, a loving and patient God has no desire to see you PERISH, and that's the reason He sent His Son to die for your sins at Calvary's cross. Yes, nearly 2,000 years ago, in the heat of a noonday sun, they crucified the Lord Jesus Christ on a cross, made from a tree which He, Himself, had created. It was there that He Who "knew no sin, was made sin for us, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him". He was our Sinless, Sacrificial, Substitute. He died, so that we might live. In Isaiah 52:14, we read that "His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men." Yes, He bare our sins in His own body on the tree. He has paid the price which a Holy God has demanded for our soul's redemption. And that price was His own life's BLOOD. Over in I John 1:7, we read that "the BLOOD of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from ALL sin." Hallelujah, what a Saviour! Friend, wouldn't you like to have Him as your Lord and Saviour too?
Unsaved friend, you can read about yourself in John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT THE SON SHALL NOT SEE LIFE, BUT THE WRATH OF GOD ABIDETH ON HIM." And that "abiding wrath" means that you'll be in the "Lake of Fire" forever and forever. Your unquenchable thirst, and the unquenchable flames of torment, will be the result of your rejection of the love, mercy, and grace of God which was expressed in the sacrificial death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In the most familiar verse in the Bible, John 3:16, the Lord Jesus Christ declared, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him SHOULD NOT PERISH, but have everlasting life." Friend, are you one of those "whosoevers"? If so, please accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour right NOW; for if you do, He promises that you'll "NEVER PERISH". NO, YOU WILL "NEVER PERISH". And you'll be as sure of Heaven, as though you were already there !
Now I would be remiss, if I did not remind the unsaved reader that the day of God's grace is quickly drawing to a close. Yes, every indication in the world today points to the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Friend, if you're not saved soon, the likelihood is that you'll NEVER be saved at all. The Holy Spirit of God, through God's word, is warning you, even NOW, to flee from the wrath to come. In Isaiah 1:18, we read, "Come NOW, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Friend, please don't be like millions of others who've heard the Gospel in the past, but they kept on "putting it off" until they had what they would consider a "more convenient season". Today, they are in the torments of Hell, and they will NEVER, NEVER have another chance to be saved. In Proverbs 29:1, God warns, "He, that being often reproved(or warned) hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, AND THAT WITHOUT REMEDY." Again in Proverbs 27:1, God warns, "Boast NOT thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest NOT what a day may bring forth."
In conclusion, I've been bringing before you today, some of the wonderful promises of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, He promises that if you, by faith, accept Him as your own and personal Saviour, you will "NEVER THIRST"; you will "NEVER HUNGER"; you will "NEVER DIE"; and you will "NEVER PERISH". And friend, God goes a step further in Hebrews 13:15, where He promises that He will "NEVER LEAVE NOR FORSAKE" those who trust His Son as their Lord and Saviour. What a comforting promise this is from the lips of God, WHO CANNOT LIE !
So friend, right NOW, whoever you are, and wherever you may be, just acknowledge that you're a spiritually-lost sinner who can't save yourself; then repent of your sins, and simply trust in God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as your personal Saviour. Friend, if you'll do that right now, God, WHO CANNOT LIE, says that you'll be saved, or "born again"; not only for time, but for all eternity. And remember my friend, THIS IS FOR ETERNITY ! YES, THIS IS FOR ETERNITY !
Evangelist: Minor C. Hawk