A Person, Not Religion

The realness of God is what makes people different. Introduce God as a person, not a religion. Be Holy Spirit filled and bring all life's areas into His presence and care.

Scripture: Mark 16:14-15, Matthew 28, Luke 24


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? Well, this is your friend Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God.

We’ve been talking about this matter of awareness of the risen Christ. The only times when the Lord Jesus scolded people were times when they refused to believe His word and the word about Him from others. The only thing that makes God impatient with believers is unbelief. This is ridiculous, really. “You’re dealing with God, God that cannot lie,” the Bible says. “All the premises of God are in Him, yea and in Him, amen,” says Paul. 30,000 promises in the Bible and they’re all labeled, yes, for you. And so you face that. “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar because he believeth not,” says John in his first epistle.

So it’s ridiculous and it’s insulting when you and I refuse to believe the promises of God, the Word of God, the good news of God, and specifically right now, we’re talking about the presence of the living, resurrected Jesus in our lives. You end up being ridiculous if you’re a Christian and you don’t really exhibit the presence and power of the Lord Jesus. People in the world, unsaved people who have no intention of receiving Christ, nevertheless are disappointed when you and I fail to manifest the resurrection power of Christ. Instinctively, people in the world know that there should be something more about a Christian than mere profession. And they look for that and if they don’t find it, they’re disappointed and they’re offended. The opposition in the world oftentimes grows out more of disappointment than it does of religious prejudice. People expected more of us than just profession. Does that strike a familiar chord in your own heart? What I’m driving at then is awfully important, isn’t it? The reality of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, the last time we got together, I mentioned that the start of it is to make the Lord Jesus by faith your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your heart and life. If you haven’t done that, do it and do it right away. Don’t wait. You don’t know how long you’re gonna have to live. “He that being often reproved hardeneth his heart shall suddenly be cut off and that without remedy. Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” So if you’ve never trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior, do it right away. Talk to Him, say, “Lord Jesus, forgive my sins and come into my heart and make me a child of God.” Trust Him then to do what He says He will do. “If a man open a door,” He said, “I will come in.” So if you’ve invited the Lord Jesus into your heart, He comes in, that’s for sure. Then realize that when you become a Christian in the sense of inviting the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life, the Holy Spirit moves in and dwells there within you. That’s the second thing. Third, there are areas of your life that need to be filled with His presence and you can by an act of your own will, keep Him out or let Him in. Paul says, “Be filled with the Spirit,” Ephesians 5:18. It’s a command.

And so you and I need by faith to open the rooms in our heart house one by one, some of them that have been labeled private. We need to open those rooms by faith to the Holy Spirit of God to let Him come in. Now, our Lord Jesus said the Holy Spirit would testify of Him. He said, “He shall testify of me.” And He said, “He he’ll bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The business of the indwelling Holy Spirit is to reveal the presence and power of the risen Christ. And as you yield, then, all of your life to the indwelling Spirit of God and He takes over and fills you with His presence, the presence of Christ, the power of Christ, the word of Christ, the message about Christ then becomes real and powerful as you share it. The reason much of our witness falls dead at our feet is that the Spirit of God has had no share in implementing it to other people’s hearts. So your next job, it would seem to me, beloved, is to take every room in your heart house and open it up by faith to the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit of God and let Him take charge, so that He can manifest Christ in those areas of your life, the awareness of the presence of the risen Christ. Then you have the joy of realizing that the Lord Jesus is with you every, that is every moment of every day.

When you wake up, He’s there. “When I awake,” says the Psalmist, “I am still with thee, still still with thee when purple morning breaketh and when the dawn waketh,” and so on and so on. You know what the psalm says? Still with God. He’s there when you wake up. He’s there when you greet the family in those hurried moments when everybody is scurrying around to get ready for school and work and whatever. He’s there when you face the first problem of the day. He’s there when you get a letter that breaks your heart. He’s there when you get a telephone call that poses a big problem. He’s there when you face a bill for which you don’t have enough money at the time. He’s there when you’ve got decisions to make that will affect, let us say, your career, your job, or your life companion, or whatever it may be. Yes, He’s there when you’re tempted so drastically that you feel yourself caving in. You can cry out, say, “Lord Jesus, help me now.” Let me tell you something, you will never fall a victim to any temptation when you’re praying, “Lord Jesus, help me, save me, keep me now.” Will you remember that? You will never fall a victim to any temptation when you’re praying, “Lord Jesus, help me now.” Alright?

So then, you experience His presence in the practicalities of life. He’s there to guide you when you go on a trip. He’s there to help you even in matters of finding a parking space. He’s there to help you when you have matters that have to do with the government and you’re afraid and confused and you don’t know what’s coming next. Let’s suppose that you’re being audited by the IRS or you’ve got some kind of a legal tangle that you have to be involved in, whatever it may be, you can trust your Blessed Lord Jesus, He’s there. He’s gonna see you through. He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake you.” He said, “Lo, I am with you always, always, even unto the end of the age.” Jesus is real. This is the transforming truth that makes Christians different from anybody else in the world. Can you get hold of that? Oh, I trust you can. I trust you will. Now, the essence, the essence of the message you share with other people is not that they should join such-and-such a church or do something or stop doing something else. The very heart and the essence of what you share with other people in the world is, Jesus is real and He’s running my life and it’s a great adventure now instead of a tragedy. I want you to know Him.

The essence of soul winning is introducing somebody to a person, not to a position, not to a point of view, not to a group or an organization, but a person. If you want to engage in scriptural soul winning, just specialize in introducing other people to your Blessed Lord. This can be done by sharing with them what He’s doing in your life, by praying with them, by showing them from the scripture truths that have to do with His atoning work and their opportunity of trusting Him as Savior. Many different ways of sharing, but the essence of it, I say, is introducing other people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what a joy that is. And you’ll find to your delight that you don’t have to try to impress people. When you’re full of the Spirit of God, He does the impressing. When the Lord Jesus is real in your life, he does the impressing of other people. They sense his presence. I’ve often said in my messages, and I say it to you once again, when you walk into a room, people should sense God’s presence. He said, “I will dwell in them and walk in them.” Oh, let the Spirit of God be so real in our lives and the presence of the living Christ so dramatically demonstrated in all that we do that when we walk into any kind of a situation, people will feel His presence. Amen. Oh, amen.

Well, He said unto them… Now, we’re into Verse 15, we won’t finish it this time, but we’ll start. He said unto them, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Now that says, “Go and preach.” You go back to Matthew, the 28th chapter of Matthew, and he said, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth, go ye therefore and teach.” It makes disciples, that’s the word, “Disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” That’s Matthew’s record of it. Then Luke said, “Repentance and remission of sins shall be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And behold, I’ll send the promise of my Father upon you, that’s the Holy Spirit, tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high.”

So now, there you have the… You have what we call the Great Commission. John doesn’t include that in his record, he has a little different record because it has to do with the deity of our Lord Jesus. John’s record has to do with presenting Christ as the Son of God. And so it ends with his admonition, “If I will that he tarry ’til I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.” Alright, you put all those things together and what do you have? You have a complete agenda for the believer. You have authority, “All power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth.” You have a command to go. The disciples were a little slow in going, so God allowed them to be persecuted. And they were scattered abroad after the persecution that arose upon the stoning of Stephen and that sent them out. But go and He says, “Disciple all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to observe.”

This is evangelism, therefore, and Christian nurture that is involved in the Great Commission. Then He said, “Every creature…” We go back to Mark where we’re presently studying, and He said, “Preach the Gospel to every creature,” right? And then Luke talks about the message. Let me get back to it again. He talks about the message and the enablement, “Thus it is written that repentance and remission of sins shall be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, and ye are witnesses of these things.” That’s the combination. You have the authority, you have the command, you have the activity prescribed and you have the guarantee of His presence. Boy, that’s great, isn’t it? Well, we’ll get at that the next time we get together, under the question, what does the Great Commission mean for us today?

Dear Father, today, make us good witnesses for the living Christ. In His name I pray. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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