A Work In Progress

He’s the God who is there and all of His plans are being worked out for you, beloved. Take courage and take encouragement from the fact that God sees you in Christ and He sees you with the work all done.

Scripture: 2 Peter 2, Romans 8:28-30


Alright, thank you very much. And, hello again, my dear radio friends. How are in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and we’re back together again, you and I, to share something from God’s precious Word. I treasure these moments that we can invest together. Do you realize that a million years from now, you and I will be sitting down somewhere talking about what the Lord did for us by way of these radio broadcasts? That’s how significant and how important God’s Word is as we look into it together.

What I’ve been doing is referring to the eighth chapter of Romans as a contrast to 2 Peter 2. 2 Peter chapter 2 gives us a profile of people who, although they’re in the church, have never really been born again. And they’re chronic sinners and their influence is bad. They’re motivated by covetousness and they try to manipulate people. “And they love the wages of unrighteousness,” says Peter, “Cursed children”, he calls them. “Oh, what a list of invective expressions you have there.

But, we took Romans 8 as a contrast– not walking after the flesh. He said, “These people walk after the flesh and the lust of uncleanness.” Well, I said then, why can’t we find something that tells us not after the flesh and see what it says? So, we came over to Romans 8. You recall how that’s worked? And we got down Romans 8:28 and we went on into 29. And now, we’re in verse 30 of Romans 8. “Moreover,” says Paul. Now, this is all an explanation of Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

First of all, He talks about God’s plan, his foreknowledge. Second, about the implementation of that plan. He predestinated you and me to be conformed to the image of His Son that Jesus might be the first born among many brethren. God wants a big family. All of them like Jesus. Then, he said, “Whom He did predestinate, then He also called.” That’s the next step. God calls you by His grace. “Called me by His grace,” says Paul. The call of God to you and to me is one of the manifestations of God’s grace. He doesn’t have to do that. “Herein is love, not that we loved God,” says John, “But that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Do you recall when the Lord called you? I’m not speaking now about a call to preach or that sort of a thing. I’m talking about when God called you to trust the Lord Jesus Christ I recall very clearly now across the years. I was not quite six years old when the Lord spoke to my heart one Sunday evening in a little store building church in Cleveland Ohio. H.E. Nelson was the pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church meeting at a little store building on Cedar Avenue in Cleveland. My father was janitor and also Sunday School Superintendent of the small congregation. And we always sat together, he and I, on the back row. That was his perch, the back row right by the door, so that he could keep an eye on everything and his small stubbly haired, runny-nosed boy sitting beside him. That was I.

Well, that night the Lord spoke to my heart. I certainly don’t remember what the minister said in his sermon. I only know that when it came time to trust the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior, I felt this was it for me. And I said as much to my father and he said, “Go ahead, boy.” He always called me boy, you know. (Laughs) Victor Borge says he couldn’t remember my name. (Laughs) He said, “Go ahead, boy.” And I went on my way up to the mourner’s bench. The altar of prayer, a bench there in front of the platform and knelt down, and later on after the service had been dismissed, the pastor knelt on one side and my father on the other side of me, and prayed with me and showed me how to trust the Lord Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

Jesus called me that night and I responded. He calls us. Am I speaking to someone today who’s never responded to God’s loving call of salvation? I wonder about that. You’re religious enough to listen to me and that’s quite a concession in itself, isn’t it? Because all you would have to do if you didn’t want to, is turn off the radio. But so, you’re religious enough to listen to me and maybe you even enjoy it sometimes. But you’ve never opened your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.

And God again is calling you and saying, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” The Savior is saying, “Behold, I stand at the door,” That’s the door of your life. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me.” The Savior is standing there. He’s knocking. And then, because you haven’t answered He’s calling. Do you hear him? Your name, calling your name, asking you to come to Him.
“Salvation is free, bought for you with precious blood for as much”, says Peter, “as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold or from your vain lifestyle and traditions inherited from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” You may have salvation free. You may know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and your Savior freely taking of God’s gracious salvation because Jesus bought it for you at Calvary. And He’s calling for you now and saying, “Come on.”

Oh, if you’ve never responded to the Savior, do it now, will you? You don’t have to listen to the rest of this broadcast. If you’re driving your car somewhere, find a place where you can pull off the highway and bow your head and say, “Lord Jesus, I confess my sins to Thee and I repent of them and I trust you now as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart and make me a child of God.” Pray that prayer. He’ll answer it. Oh, yes, He will. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” You do that.

That’s happened many times in these broadcasts. People write to me and say, “While you were talking, I pulled off the highway and gave my heart to Christ.” Well, that’s wonderful. Whatever you’re doing, stop just a moment. If you’ve never yield into Christ, do it this very moment. “Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Save me now.” Pray that prayer. He will. “Them He also called,” it says. “and whom He called, them He also justified.” What a wonderful word that is, ‘justified’. Means ‘just as if I’d never sinned.’ The record is wiped away clean, gone forever.

There’s a little chorus that’s gone out of vogue now, nobody ever sings it anymore. But back in the 40s, people used to like to sing, “Gone, gone, gone, gone. Yes, my sins are gone.” Remember that? “Buried in the deepest sea, yes, that’s good enough for me. I shall live eternally. Praise God. My sins are gone.” Oh, what a good little chorus that was. What a pity that some of those nice songs go out of vogue. People get tired of them, I guess. But always true. “Them He also justified.” Just as if I’d never sinned. God wipes the record clean.

God says their sins and their inequities will I remember no more forever. God is the only entity in the universe with the right to forget. The devil and his demons remember. You and I most certainly remember and memory will still be active beyond the grave. The Lord Jesus in His story of ‘Lazarus and the Rich Man’ has Father Abraham saying to the rich man who’s crying out for help. Says, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime hast thy good things in life, likewise, Lazarus his evil things. But now, he is comforted and thou art tormented and beside all this there is a great gulf fixed…” and so on. “Son, remember.” Yes, you may remember but God has forgotten.

Dr. Will H. Houghton was my friend during the years when he was president of the Moody Bible Institute. I used to come and see him now and again and he would welcome me into his office and talk with me and pray with me. Great heart for God, great man of God. He told me one time the story of what had happened in his early days because he had done some things of which he was heartily ashamed seeking a career in show business and wanting somehow to be very successful in that line of work. And then, coming to the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and finding that God was calling him to be a minister.

And he said, sometimes, when he was trying to pillow his head and sleep wouldn’t come and instead the tempter would say to him, “You, a preacher, how can you have the nerve to preach to anybody else? Think of what you’ve done.” This and this and this and he would be reminded of some of the things of which he was then ashamed. And finally, he told me. He said, finally, the Lord just spoke to his heart and reminded him that God had forgotten those sins. They were all under the blood. They were all buried as the Bible says, “in the depths of the sea. And as far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed their transgressions from them.” And so, he said, “I found myself saying one night, ‘Oh, devil. I remember and I know you remember but God has forgotten.’” Hallelujah. He said, at that point, he had peace.

Well, there’s the truth of it, isn’t it? Justified, just as if I’d never sinned, the records clean. Yes. The record is clean because Jesus wiped it away for you. And the old song says, “The old account was settled long ago. Yes, the old account was settled long ago and the record’s clear today for He washed my sins away. And the old account was settled long ago.” Hallelujah for that. Justified.

And then it says, “With prophetic look now, whom He justified, them He also glorified.” Well, that hasn’t happened yet for most of us. I can’t find any halo around my head today. And maybe you cannot either. But God sees us as already safe home in glory, shining as jewels in the crown of the Savior. “They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in the day when I make up my jewels.” Remember that passage in the Old Testament? God is going to put you as a shining jewel in the crown of glory. That adds to all of the effulgence of Christ’s glory in that glad tomorrow when He and you and I will be together for all eternity, glorified.

What does that mean? The life of Christ what you now share but only in a limited sense because you live in a human body, a dying body, a limited body. The life of Christ which you now share and that’s real, isn’t it? Christ in you, the hope of glory. Oh, yes, it’s there. A slice of eternity implanted in you by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is going to be made so clear, so powerful, so all embracing, that you’ll be shining as one of God’s jewels, glorified, the shine of God upon your life for all eternity. No tarnish there. No turning down of the incandescence of that wonderful glow of God’s presence when in that resurrection body, you are revealing all that He means to you, glorified. God sees you that way now because He can see the future as well as the present and the past.

He’s the God who is there and all of His plans are being worked out for you, beloved. Take courage and take encouragement from the fact that God sees you in Christ and He sees you with the work all done. You and I are on the way. And sometimes, we get a little discouraged with the process, don’t we? And maybe, sometimes, we don’t feel very shiny (Laughs) not very glorious, but God is working. “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure,” and He’s not finished yet. Hallelujah. Keep on and shine for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear Father, today, may the glory of God rest on us as a wonderful foretaste of what Thou art going to do when we get safe home to heaven. In Jesus’ 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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