From A. W. Pink’s Exposition of the Gospel of John:
From what has been said, it will be evident that when God told Moses to make a serpent of brass, fix it upon a pole, and bid the bitten Israelites look on it and they should live, that He was preaching to them the Gospel of His grace. We would now point out seven things which these Israelites were not bidden to do.
4. They were not told to make an offering to the serpent on the pole. God did not ask any payment from them in return for their healing. No, indeed. Grace ceases to be grace if any price is paid for what it brings. But how frequently is the Gospel perverted at this very point! Not long ago the writer preached on human depravity, addressing himself exclusively to the unsaved. He sought by God’s help to show the unbeliever the terribleness of his state and how desperate was his need of a Savior to deliver him from the wrath to come. As we took our seat, the pastor of the church rose and announced an irrelevant hymn and then urged everybody present to “re-consecrate themselves to God.” Poor man! That was the best he knew. But what pitiful blindness! Other preachers are asking their hearers to “Give their hearts to Jesus”- another miserable perversion. God does not ask the sinner to give anything, but to Receive HIS CHRIST.
Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me! We have nothing to bring.
I had a hard time understanding Pink’s harsh criticism of that pastor at first, but I guess Pink is seeing “re-consecrate” as “you do something to get back into God’s favor,” a.k.a. “Give your hearts to Jesus.”