"THE SAVIOR WHO IS AT HAND"
1. It is important for you lost folks to know that Jesus is ready to save. It is needful for you sinners to be aware of the fact that the Savior is ever ready to deliver you from your sins.
2. So, while it is true that most people do not get saved, while it is true that most who hear the Gospel consciously reject the Lord Jesus Christ and choose sin over salvation, it is a lie from the pit you have believed if you think Jesus is not immediately accessible to save you who are lost.
3. Listen to me, you who have been exposed to false teachings by those who fancy themselves theologians, though they are without training or reading or study. Attend to me this morning you who have been persuaded by some fool's theology that you cannot come to Christ today. No one knows that to be true.
4. Pay attention, during this exposition time, while I rehearse with you some certainties that you ignore at your own peril. I want you to contrast in your own mind the things that I will lay before you with the teachings you have received at the mouths of others, and the conclusions you have drawn from what others have taught you, who have no business teaching God's Word, according to James 3.1.
5. To paraphrase Paul, though you may have many spiritual teachers you have only one spiritual father. Though many would seek to influence you, there is only one man in this room who will be held accountable by God for his watch care over your soul, Hebrews 13.17. That man is me.
6. Let me rehearse to you four matters of vital importance. I urge you to listen carefully to my words.
Let me focus your attention on only two of God's glorious moral attributes.
1B. First, God Is Good
1C. In Exodus 33.19 God refers to all His goodness.
2C. In Exodus 34.6 God declared Himself to be "abundant in goodness."
3C. In Psalm 27.13 tells how the good of the LORD sustained him.
4C. In Psalm 31.19 David writes, "Oh how great is thy goodness."
5C. And in Psalm 52.1 David declares that "the goodness of God endureth continually."
2B. As Well, God Is True
1C. In Second Samuel 7.28 prayed to God, saying to Him, "thy words be true."
2C. In Second Chronicles 15.3 the prophet of God described God as "the true God."
3C. In John 3.33 the evangelist writes, "God is true."
4C. In Christ's high priestly prayer He spoke these words to the Father, in John 17.3: "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God."
5C. In Second Corinthians 1.18 Paul prefaces a statement by saying, "but as God is true."
6C. Listen to what the apostle writes in First John 5.20 about God: "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."
7C. Listen to an oft repeated refrain in heaven, found in Revelation 15.3: "Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways."
8C. And if the positive assertions of God's truthfulness are no convincing, consider this negative statement that gives insight into the character of God. Titus 1.2: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."
As with God, I focus you attention on only two of man's immoral attributes.
1B. Man Is Not Good
1C. God's creation is described in Genesis 1.31 as "very good."
2C. But man fell into sin in the garden, and by Genesis 4.8 we find that man has sunk to the level of murder. Not just murder, mind you, but murder of a brother. Fratricide.
3C. In Romans 3.12 Paul repeated the psalmist's conclusion regarding the goodness of man by writing "There is none that doeth good, no, not one."
2B. Man Is Not True
1C. Psalm 58.3: "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." The truth about our children, and ourselves, is so sad.
2C. Please make sure you pay no attention to the words of those who speak lies about you and God and sin and salvation. Psalm 40.4: "Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies." You'll be better off not to listen to lies.
3C. Proverbs 6.19: "A false witness that speaketh lies"
4C. Proverbs 14.5: "A false witness will utter lies"
5C. Proverbs 14.25: "A deceitful witness speaketh lies"
6C. Proverbs 19.5: "he that speaketh lies"
7C. Proverbs 19.9: "he that speaketh lies"
3A. THE CHARACTER OF SCRIPTURE
Further, two aspects of the character of God's holy Word.
1B. God's Word Is Good
1C. In Psalm 138.2 David wrote, "thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
2C. Psalm 119.89: "For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven."
2B. God's Word Is True
1C. Psalm 119.160: "Thy word is true"
2C. John 17.17: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
4A. GOD'S COMMAND TO SINNERS
Let us consider only the most important of God's commands, expressed in a singular fashion.
1B. From The Mouth Of John The Baptist Matthew 3.1-2: "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
2B. From The Mouth Of The Savior Mark 1.14-15: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."
3B. From The Mouth Of The Apostles Mark 6.12: "And they went out, and preached that men should repent."
4B. From The Mouth Of The Apostle Paul Acts 17.30: "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."
1. I could elaborate the point, if I had more time, but to repent means to turn away from sins and turn to Jesus Christ. A sinner cannot really repent of his sins unless he turns to Jesus Christ for salvation.
2. A person who repents is a person who obeys the Gospel. A person who repents is a person who gets saved. A person who repents is a person who trusts Christ.
3. In short, the good God Who is always truthful, Who speaks through His good and truthful Word, the Bible, commands you to do something that some well-intentioned fools or wicked men may have told you you cannot do.
4. Ignore them. Pay no attention to the blathering of idiots. Instead, listen to God and God's Word. You are commanded to repent, to turn to Christ, to get saved.
5. God, Who is good, Who is true, has told us in His Word that He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. So I am telling you, this morning, to dump your errant theology and listen to the Bible. God has commanded you to do what He wants you to do, which is to get saved.
6. And if you don't do what God commands you to do, if you don't do what the Bible says to do, unless you ignore the foolish things that wicked men may have told you, you'll die someday and go to Hell forever.
7. Now, let's stand as brother Isenberger comes to lead us in a song.
1. I was asked Friday night, "Pastor John, what do you do if no one listens to you, if no one does what you tell them to do?"
2. I told him, "You mean, what do I do when people respond to me the way you do, which is to not receive my counsel, to not respond to my urgings, to ignore my preaching? I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake some sense into them."
3. My friend, nothing happens in the Gospel ministry unless and until the Holy Spirit of God unplugs ears and opens the eyes of a sinner's understanding. But it is my prayer this morning that just such a thing happens to you.
4. It is important to you to look at me while I preach. It is essential that you so engage your mind that you become oblivious to distractions, deaf to disturbances, unaware of the time or the temperature.
5. Commit yourself to being absorbed in the consideration of the truth as it applies to you, casting off vain imaginations and petty concerns, and pondering only the great and majestic matters of God, sin, salvation and eternity.
6. God has commanded, through the mouths of His servants, and on the written page of His Word, that you be saved. Your nature and disposition as a sinner is to rebel at His commands, to ignore His will.
7. But not today. Not now. Today, and now, let me tell you how to become a Christian, how to obey God.
1B. Sinner? You Can Come To Jesus And Be Saved From Your Sins You can see this from declarations, illustrations and invitations found in God's Word.
1C. Matthew 11.28: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
2C. Matthew 14.28-29: "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus."
3C. Matthew 19.14: "But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
4C. John 7.37: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me."
5C. Revelation 22.16-17: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
2B. You Can't Come To Jesus? Then,
There were some in Jesus' day who had very little faith. Not enough faith to come to Christ. They had barely enough faith to extend a finger and touch Him as He walked by. But consider what happened with the slightest touch of faith.
1B. Two Of These Illustrations In Which Salvation From Sin Is Pictured By Deliverance From Diseases
1C. Mark 5.25-34: "And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26And had
2C. Luke 6.19: "And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all."
2B. So, You Can Be Saved By Coming To Jesus. You Can Also Be Saved By Touching Him. Just Reach Out With The Finger Of Faith And Touch Him. Do That Now. You Can't Do That? Then,
1B. There Was A Time When Men Were Afraid To Look Upon God, And With Good Reason Exodus 3.5-6: "And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 6Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God."
2B. The Prophets Later Made Reference To Looking To God For Salvation
1C. Isaiah 17.7: "At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel."
2C. Isaiah 31.1: "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!"
3C. Isaiah 42.18: "Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see."
4C. Isaiah 45.22: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else."
5C. Micah 7.7: "Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me."
3B. Then, When Jesus Became A Man, He Told A Sinner To Look To Him For Salvation
1C. He said, in John 3.14, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up."
2C. Numbers 21.8-9: "And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
4B. You've Been Invited To Come To Christ. You've Been Invited To But Touch The Hem Of His Garment By Faith. And You've Been Shown That You Can Fix Your Gaze Upon Him For The Salvation Of Your Soul. Do That Now. Can You Not Do Even That? Then,
You have enough faith in Southern California Edison to casually flip the light switch without the slightest doubt that the lights will come on. And you had confidence enough in the chair you're sitting on to plop yourself down without any fear of falling to the ground. The point that I make is that you implement different types of faith each and every day without a second's thought. Will you not now place your faith in Christ? That is, will you not believe in Him to the saving of your soul?
1B. Notice What Even The Faith In Christ Of A Little Child Accomplishes Matthew 18.6: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
2B. And To Be Sure, No Effort Is Required
1C. John 6.28-29: "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."
2C. Acts 16.30-31: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
3C. First Timothy 1.15-16: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting."
4C. First Peter 1.20-21: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
5C. First John 3.23: "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment."
3B. You're Commanded To Come To Christ. You've Seen That You Can But Touch Christ. The Savior Himself Showed That You Can Fix Your Gaze Upon Him And Be Saved. And It Is quite Clear That You Can Believe On Him And Be Saved. But If You Feel Yourself So Incompetent, So Weak And Inept That You Feel Incompetent To Do Anything, Then There Is Something Else. These Are All One And The Same In Reality, Described Differently Because Of The Weakness Of Our Flesh, Using Different Imageries So As To Make Salvation Understandably Simple And Easy. Surely, My Friend, You Can,
1B. A Passive Verb, With You Being The Recipient Of God's Son As Your Savior.
1C. John 1.11-12: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."
2C. Colossians 2.6: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him."
3C. First Thessalonians 2.13: "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
1. How much easier could it be to be converted? How much easier could it be to be joined to Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul.
2. If you stand up in a moment and walk out of here lost, it may be that the reason you remain unconverted is solely because you don't want to be saved.
3. For it is clear to me that God wants you saved, Jesus wants you saved, the Holy Spirit wants you saved.