Come Unto Me

gospel song written by Charles P. Jones
commentary by:
P.B. Mistretta III

No religion in the world can boast of such a Savior that we have in Jesus Christ.  In light of what the prophets prophesied of the grace that would come unto us, of what Christ himself proclaimed and did, and of what the early Apostles lived, preached and wrote about the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, every other religion in the world pales in comparison.  All of the promises of God are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  It is he, who ministered for 3 and ˝ years performing hundreds of miracles, was crucified, was resurrected, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, and now lives in the hearts of those who believe in him.  He was not just a prophet, as some claim, but he is the Creator of all things and it is faith in what he accomplished for us in his death, burial, and resurrection that redeems us from our sin and brings us into fellowship with the Father.  He is not one way, but he Is the Way to the Father.  He is the only hope for humanity.

Consider the words of Christ recorded in Matthew 11: 27-30:

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

The songwriter, Charles P. Jones (1865 – 1947), uses this text as his foundational scripture for this gospel song.  His invitational song is devoted to giving a message of hope for the sinner in need of a glorious and mighty Savior.

 

Vs. 1    Hear the blessed Savior calling the oppressed, “O ye heavy laden, come to me and rest; Come no longer tarry, I your load will bear, Bring me every burden, bring me every care.”

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.  (Matthew 11:15)

Jesus begins this part of his discourse with the statement in Matthew 11:15.  The first thing that must happen before one comes to Christ is that you must hear the gospel.  Everyone heard the words of Jesus Christ while he was on this earth, but not everyone heard with the ears of the heart.  Everyone witnessed his miracles, but this still did not cause some to believe.  Jesus goes on to pronounce woes upon the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum for not repenting and turning to God even though they had witnessed “mighty works.” Verse 20 says that it was in these cities where most of his mighty works were done, yet they did not repent.  Could it be that many in these cities in Israel could not hear the gospel because they were deafened by their religious pride?

What is said next in this discourse is amazing to me.  After scolding these cities for not repenting, he then speaks to his Father and says, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”  (Vs. 25)  He then turns back to the multitudes and gives his invitation, recorded in our main text, to those who do hear.  This demonstrates perfectly, as Paul writes, “the goodness and severity of the Lord.” (Romans 11:22)  Even though he is harshly scolding those who refused to hear, he is thanking God for those who have allowed God to reveal the truth in them and for all of those who will in the future. 

What category would you fall in if Christ were to stand before you today?  Are you one, who because of your religious tradition refuses to hear the truth of the gospel, or are you one who humbles himself as a child (babe) and simply believes what the Master says?

 

Vs. 2    Are you disappointed, wandering here and there,  Dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care? Do unholy feelings struggle in your breast? Bring your case to Jesus, He will give you rest.

A few years ago, an older gentleman came in contact with my Pastor.  They were talking about the Lord, and the man said that he had been married for many years, had raised his family, and had never cheated on his wife, but that he has struggled with lust in his heart when he sees a beautiful woman.  My Pastor told him that Jesus said that if you look at a woman with lust you have already committed adultery with her in the heart. (Matt. 5:28)  The man broke down and began to cry.  He said that no one has ever told him that.  He said that he had talked to his Pastor about his problem and he told him that it was normal for a Christian to struggle with sin, and that he would struggle all of his life.  He was attending what I like to call one of these large “fun” churches.

It is a sad commentary on the Church in America when a Pastor would give this kind of a response to someone sincerely inquiring about such a spiritual problem.  Unfortunately, this is the norm more than the exception.  It is sad that in America we can raise the money, raise the building, get in the multitudes of people, and yet give the people nothing but fun, psychological reasoning, and empty unscriptural teachings.  Do we even believe the Word of God anymore?  How can we continue to twist the Scriptures and put our experiences above the Word of God?  If our experience does not line up with the Word of God, then we are the liars.  The Scripture says let God be true and every man a liar.

What about you?  Are you, as the songwriter asks, “dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care?”  Are you struggling with “unholy feelings in your breast?”  Oh, I adjure you, as the songwriter says, “to take your case to Jesus.”  He alone paid the price for your freedom from the struggle with his precious blood.  He finished the work at the cross so that we can enter into his rest.

 

Vs. 3    Stumbling on the  mountains dark with sin and shame,  Stumbling tow’rd the pit of hell’s consuming flame, By the pow’rs of sin deluded and oppressed, Hear the tender Shepherd, “Come to me and rest.”

I am the door:  by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but to steal, kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that may have it more abundantly.  (John 10:9,10)

The devil is a liar and the father of all lies.  He will do anything to try to deceive and to keep one from Christ.  He entices with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  He will try to paint the prettiest picture, but the end of the road will lead to destruction.  The 1960’s in America was a time of rebellion against the establishment, and the beginning of the so-called “sexual revolution.”  One of the mottos of that era was, “If it feels good do it.”  The movement actually had its roots in the 50’s with the birth of “rock and roll.”  “Sex, drugs, and rock and roll,” soon became the new catch phrase for the rebellious of heart. 

It is no doubt that our beloved nation is now reaping horrible consequences from our rebellion.  The Ten Commandments have been ripped off of the walls of our public schools.  More of our young people are experimenting with sex, drugs, and drinking at an alarmingly early age.  The sexual revolution has given us incurable sexual diseases including Aids.  The rebellion has given us the most corrupt Presidential Administration in American history under Bill Clinton in the 90’s.  I can see the broken families and broken lives all around me.   We are still killing over a million unborn babies in their mother’s womb each and every year.

This nation that was once founded upon Christian principles, now teaches the awful lie of evolution as fact in every public school.  The once Bible teaching Universities of Princeton, Yale, Harvard, etc., of the northeastern portion of America, where once mighty revival swept across it at times in the 1700’s and 1800’s, are now ungodly liberal institutions.  The fastest growing religion in America is now Islam.

Incidentally, at the time that our national society began to deteriorate, the “charismatic movement” began, as thousands of people filled these mega churches.  They say that we are in the greatest revival America has seen.  One thing is for certain - you cannot have true revival in the church without a positive change in society.

What the movement has brought in is damnable heresies and doctrines of devils into the churches.  It has brought covetousness into the churches.  Its results have been sinners in the Church claiming to be Christians, and void of almost any spiritual understanding whatsoever.  It has brought the religious scandals of the late 80’s.   It has brought no distinction between the Churchgoer and the sinner on the street.  How can we convince the world that it is in need of a Savior, when the Church itself is a sinner?   It has brought confusion to the world where they say, “Why bother?  They are sinners just like me.”

The only thing that will convince the world of its need of a Savior is a holy church.  I thank God that he is moving across this nation and raising up men and woman of God who are preaching the truth of the Gospel. 

Are you, as the songwriter says, diluted and oppressed by the powers of sin?  Is the thief stealing and destroying your life?  Has sin left you “diluted and oppressed?”  Would you “hear the tender shepherd” knocking at the door of your heart and saying, “Come to me and rest?”   He alone can quench that hunger and thirst in your heart.  He alone can truly satisfy.  He can give you that abundant life.  The psalmist proclaims, “Thou will show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.  (Psalms 16:11)

 

Vs. 4    Have you by temptation often conquered been,  Has a sense of weakness brought distress within?  Christ will sanctify you, if you’ll claim his best,  In the Holy Spirit,  He will give you rest.

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.  (Hebrews 13:12)

For both he that santifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:  for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.  (Hebrews 2:11)

If you were to ask churchgoers as to what is the purpose of Calvary, most would respond with, “to forgive us of our sins.”   Very few even know what sanctification is.  If they do have an idea, more often than not, they are told that it is a process.  If your Bible has a side margin description for the word “sanctify,” it may say, “to set apart.”  But, a look in the Strongs Concordance and you will find the definition, “make holy.”  Sanctification simply means to make the believer of the gospel holy.  It was the very purpose of Jesus’ suffering at the cross as stated in Hebrews 13:12, and the path by which we are saved as stated in II Thessalonians 2:13 that, “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth.”  He suffered to make the believer holy with his own blood.  He is the sanctifier and those whom he sanctifies are one with him.  They receive of his righteousness and holiness.  They receive of his divine nature.  They are placed in Christ and Christ is in them.  They abide in the holy Vine, and “as the root is holy, so are the branches.” (Romans 11:16)   That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren; they are not sinners anymore, but are the saints of God “amidst a crooked and perverse nation.” (Philippians 2:15)

Have you been conquered by temptation often?  Has “a sense of weakness brought distress within” your heart?  If you have heard that this is normal for the Christian, then you have not been told the truth of the Gospel. 

He gave his best at the cross to sanctify you.  Will you “claim his best?”

 

Chorus:    Come unto me;  I will give you rest;  Take my yoke upon you,  Hear Me and be blest.  I am meek and lowly,  Come and trust My might;  Come,  My yoke is easy  And My burden’s light.

In the third and fourth chapter of Hebrews, Paul speaks about the rest for the people of God.  He speaks of the children of Israel who did not enter into the rest of God, as they wandered in the wilderness for forty years, because of their unbelief.  He exhorts us in the New Testament times to “harden not our hearts” (3:1), to “take heed” (3:12), and to “fear” (4:1), lest we also fall short of the promise of God’s rest.

The table is set before us.  The price has been paid.  All one has to do is simply believe the Word of God and trust is his might.  The prophet Isaiah says that he is “mighty to save.” (Isaiah 63:1)  Peter says that, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promises.” (II Peter 2:9)   If he promised a holy people in Him, then the provision has been made at the cross to accomplish it in all those that believe it.  If he promised rest from the weary soul, then he can do it. 

Dare to believe the Word of God.  If you are one that “has ears to hear,” then “come unto” Him.  “Claim his best,” and trust in his “might” today.