Always Say Yes
Don't take it personally if someone hates you because you're a Christian. Hearts that turn away from God react this way. Say yes to God's will and be sure that when the truth of God comes to you that you don't quench it. Everyone makes mistakes and you will always remember them. But repent to God and things will be made anew.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that greeting establishes the fact that this is your good friend Dr. Cook, and I’m delighted to be back with you once again. We’re looking at the gospel of Mark chapter 6, and I think we got as far as verse 13 the last time we were together. Our Lord Jesus had sent out His disciples and they went out, preached that men should repent, cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them. Now, “King Herod”, this is verse 14, Mark chapter 6, “heard of Him for His name was spread abroad”, and he said, “John the Baptist was risen from the dead and therefore mighty works to show forth themselves in him”. Others said it’s Elias, another said it’s a prophet, or one of the prophets, but when Herod heard thereof he said, “It’s John who might be heaven. He is risen from the dead”. For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, bound him in prison for Herodias sake. Herodias was his brother Philip’s wife, he had married her. John had said unto Herod, “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife”. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him, but she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and holy, and observed him and when he heard him, he did many things and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his Lord, of high captains and chief estates of Galilee, when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and sat with him, then sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, “Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt and I will give thee. Whatever thou shall ask, I will give it thee unto the half of my kingdom”. He must have been pretty drunk to do that. Well, anyhow, she went and asked her mother, “What shall I ask?”, and she, that’s Herodias said, “Ask for the head of John the Baptist”. “She came in straightway with haste unto the King and said, ‘I will that thou give me by-and-by in a charger the head of John Baptist the King’”. The king was exceeding sorry, yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her and immediately the King sent an executioner and commanded John’s head to be brought and went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head in a charger, that’s a platter, and gave it to the damsel, and the damsel gave it to her mother, and when John’s disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse and laid it in a tomb.
Sad, isn’t it? Now, let’s think about this for a moment. Here’s a case of a man with a guilty conscience, who never had the courage to do the right thing. Notice, he said, “Herod feared John, he knew that John was a just man and a holy man, and he observed him and when he heard John”, it said, “he did many things and heard him gladly”. That is to say John’s message about repentance and doing right and having a just relationship with other people, all that, Herod tried to observe some of those things, but there was one thing that he was not willing to face up to, and that was the fact that he’d had an affair with his brother’s wife and had married her. So he’s living in adultery, and he wasn’t willing to face that. Furthermore, you know what has no fury like a woman scorned, and Herodias, knowing that John was the person who was being used of God to prick Herod’s conscience said, “She had a quarrel against him and would’ve killed him”. Oh, she hated him, but she couldn’t. Now, what about this? Well, number one, as you come into this, story Herod says, “This is John who I beheaded. He is risen from the dead”. You never get away from the memory of what you’ve done wrong. You try to forget it, all you do is to bury it deeper in the unconscious and it pops up again and again and again. You don’t get away from the memory of what you’ve done wrong. Herod remembered, oh yes, he did, and it was there before him constantly, the memory of the fact that he had murdered a person who told him the truth. Now, what is the answer to the memory of things that were wrong in my life? Do I have to go on all through my lifetime being plagued with the memory of my mistakes and my wrongdoing here and there? All of us have made mistakes, all of us a gotten out of line at sometime or other. The Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, you know your own life and I know mine, and there is something we don’t like to think about. Isn’t that true? What you do about it? Do you have to go on suffering through life? No, you don’t. The Bible says, “That the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living and the true God”. You won’t forget, but God can handle that memory to where it no longer is a threat to you. You can look at it so to speak it at arm’s length, and it’s not going to be a threat to you because you accepted what it is and you placed it by faith under the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. Will H. Houghton was president of the Moody Bible Institute for a good many years, before that he was the distinguished pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City, and he was my friend. I heard him tell in my hearing, that in the early years he was bound and determined to be a successful showbusiness person, and I guess he was on the stage for some time. Came back to his hometown and he was the example of the small-town boy who made good. Well God got a hold of him and saved him and now he’s preparing for the ministry, and he said in the night hours when he couldn’t sleep, the tempter would come to him and say, “What business of you to preach the gospel? Do you remember the things you said and did? How can you dare to ask other people to repent and trust the Lord?” He said that thing just plagued him, and it just got to him. Then as he was thinking and praying about it, there came to him this realization, that the of the heavenly Father says, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more forever”, and he said, “I looked up and I said, ‘Oh, Devil I remember what I said and did, and I know you do too, but God has forgotten it. Hallelujah”. Now, that’s the meaning of 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The writer to the Hebrews said, “If the blood of bulls and goats, the ashes of a heifer, were efficacious in removing the guilt of sin”, now he said, “The blood of Christ, how much more will the blood of Christ cleanse your conscience to serve the living and the true God”. There you are. “Let us draw near”, he said, “having boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil that is to say His flesh. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hold fast the confession of our faith”. You see, your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your stand concerning that faith when you proclaim that the Lord Jesus is Lord and you confess Him with your mouth and believe in your heart, God removes the stain and the stigma of your sin and He keeps His premise. He says, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more”.
The old holiness preachers used to say, “God took my sins and put them in the deepest place in the ocean and posted a no fishing sign”. Yes, you remember and I remember the mistakes we made, but because we’ve been to Calvary, because we’ve confessed our sins, because we forsaken them and repented of them and Jesus is Lord, because of all that, God has forgotten them and they’re put away forever, and the accuser of the brethren, Satan that is to say, he can’t successfully accuse. Who is he that condemns? It is Christ that died, ye rather that is risen and makes intercession for us, the one who banished Satan and who won the victory over him at Calvary is seated there at the right hand of God the father, naming your name and mine. He’s able to save to the uttermost, all them that come up to God by Him seeing He ever liveth to make intersession for them. Your name and mine is being mentioned in love before the heavenly father, by the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s great, isn’t it?Hallelujah. No, you’ll never forget, but you can accept, and you can be free from the plague and the nagging of a guilty conscience. God could cleanse my conscience till it’s clean and my memories then are sanctified. God can sanctify your memory. You don’t have to flinch and wince at your memories because God can sanctify them. Aren’t you glad that’s so? Oh, I am. Now, another observation on this story is that the that the deepest and fiercest hatred comes from a heart that has been convicted and refuses the truth. Herodias, it said, “Had a quarrel against John and would’ve killed him”. She knew she was wrong, and she heard his message straight and true from the very heart of God, but she hated him because she was unwilling to face up to the truth of his message. So don’t be surprised if you experience that extreme, bitter, vicious, biting hatred from time to time and you wonder, “What did I do to deserve that?” nothing. The fact is you represent the truth of God and the son of God of the gospel of God and the person who is turning away from it deliberately has no other human choice but to resent you, and he or she does. So, don’t take it personally if somebody hates you because you’re Christian. That’s the way it is with hearts that turn away from God. “We ourselves”, says Paul describing the unsaved heart, “were sometimes foolish deceived serving different lusts and pleasures, hate filled and hating one another”. See, that’s how it works. So don’t be surprised, human nature works that way. Just be sure beloved, that you’re saying yes to God’s will. Just be sure that when the truth of God comes face-to-face with you concerning a matter, that you don’t resist Him or quench the Holy Spirit, but that she say yes to Him, so that you keep your own spirit sweet and loving, instead of resentful and hateful. You see the idea?
Dear Father today, help us to say yes to Thy Will, every step along the way in, Jesus’ name I pray this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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