The hope and certainty of His Second Appearing should keep up spiritually "on the job".
Alright, thank you very much. Always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I appreciate my friends, fellows and gals at the transmitters. God bless you. Through the years, I’ve had the experience of being put on the air by people who were less than friendly. [chuckle] I was on network TV, two or three years ago, whatever it was now, and the person who was announcing the next feature, which happened to be yours truly, said, “And now next we’re gonna have this and that and the other,” and named my name and gave a big yawn. I knew exactly how the individual felt. Well, don’t you yawn now, if you’re awake, stay awake. We’re gonna have a great time together. [chuckle] God bless you and keep you in His care.
Well, we’re in 1 Timothy 6:14. Paul says, “Keep this commandment.” That’s the commandment to live by faith, to live by eternal values, and to share your faith effectively, in a good confession of faith. These three things,” he said, “Keep this, hang on to this, be faithful to this commitment.” And he said, “Without spot,” don’t let anything really spot it.
You know, there are things that we might do that are legitimate that spoil the effectiveness of what we’re trying to do. Recently, in this past calendar year, you know all of the things that have happened to bring some doubt on the credibility of those who are in the broadcast ministry. God is just shaking things up When the dust has settled, it’ll be better, I can assure you that. But, the problem arose out of the fact that there were some things that were done, which could probably be explained, which gave the lie to what people were talking about. For instance, you take the term ‘sacrifice,’ and if you preach that people should sacrifice for the Lord’s work and then you show up at the meeting with an expensive automobile and people know that you have other luxuries available to you, it isn’t gonna go down so well, is it? Of course not.
Al Metsker, of course, is a… he’s a legend in his own time, out there in Kansas City. As you know, the work of Youth for Christ, in which he has been involved for so many years. He and I sorta grew up together in that work. But, I remember, oh, this would have been maybe more than 30 years ago now, one of his young men, he calls them, “My boys.” [chuckle] And one of his boys showed up at the job one day… This was a club director, a fellow who was responsible for five or six Bible clubs in high schools. Showed up at the headquarters office one day with a new car. Well, it wasn’t new, it was several years old, actually, but it was in pretty good condition, and it happened to be a Jaguar, a roadster. Well, even in our day, anybody driving a Jaguar is supposed to be somebody special; either odd, or rich, or both. [chuckle] You know that? Anyhow, here’s this boy with this Jaguar roadster. It was old, but it was running and it was in pretty good shape and he’d gotten it by trading in his old Chevrolet and adding a few dollars.
And he was so thrilled with it and he brought it around, he said, “Ah, look at this, isn’t that great?” Al looked at it and said three words, “Take it back.” And the boy was aghast, he said, “Oh, I can’t do that, I bought it.” He said, “Take it back, if you wanna work here, you can’t drive a Jaguar.”
Now, well, what was the logic about that? Well, it was just this: That if you’re appealing to people who are down to their last dime and asking them to sacrifice, you better not show up with a fancy car that just shouts luxury. That’s pretty good logic, wouldn’t you say? Yeah, I think that’s true. Now, that doesn’t militate against anybody who’s driving a Jaguar; two or three of my good friends do and I have nothing against them, I’m glad they can do it, and it’s a beautiful automobile and I’m always glad to ride in it for free, I’ll tell you that. [chuckle]
I’m not against Cadillacs and fur coats and all of that. No, I’m not against it and neither, indeed, should you be. The point is, you wanna watch out if you’re thinking in terms of an eternally valuable ministry. You wanna watch out that what you say and do that is defensible. You can explain it, doesn’t militate against the effectiveness of your testimony. Pretty good idea?
Yeah, I think that principle is one that we always need to bear in mind. Don’t let anything spoil it. Don’t let anything reproach it. That word ‘unrebukable’ means that nobody can reproach you. And literally, it means nobody can lay a hand on you. Nobody can say, “Listen, you did this and that has spoiled it all.” He said, “You be careful,” Paul said to Timothy, “You be careful. You’re living by faith and you’re living for eternity and what you say involves people, other people, and their destiny.” He says, “You be careful not to do or say anything that can be reproached, because it brings reproach on the name of Christ.” The prophet Nathan said to David that by that sin that he had committed he had allowed the enemies of God to blaspheme.
When you fall, stumble, fall, fail, compromise, beloved, you give the Devil’s crowd a chance to chuckle. Oh, how they’ve been chuckling this past year, haven’t they? Cartoons and jokes and articles and editorials, and all the rest. When ye fail, when we fail, we give the Devil’s crowd a chance to chuckle, don’t do it. He says, “Keep this thing, keep these principles.” What are they? Living by faith, trusting God, living for eternity, putting everything else second to eternal values, having a good testimony, because you realize people, other people are involved, many witnesses. He says, “Keep this so that it isn’t spoiled by something you say or do.” Good idea?
Now, there’s another element in that verse, I want you to see it. He said, “Keep this commandment without spot and unrebukable until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” What is going to motivate me most of all in this matter of living a life that is pure and effective and God-honoring and related to eternal values? What’s gonna motivate me?
Well, I’ll guarantee you that nothing that Bob Cook says in a broadcast will do it; at least not over a period of time. Because we tend to forget, by the time the broadcast is over, other things are crowding in, and what I say this minute, unless the Holy Spirit of God nails it down in your mind and heart, which I pray He might do, incidentally, but unless it’s nailed down in your mind and heart what is said any given minute, it passes along and it’s forgotten. It’s true, isn’t it? What’s gonna motivate me all day long in this matter of hanging on to these basic principles? What are they? Live by faith and trust God, relate your decisions to eternal values, and keep your testimony clear and clean and effective because other people are involved; these things. “What’s gonna motivate me,” he said, “Until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ?”
Jesus is coming again. The hope and certainty of His second appearing keeps me spiritually on the job. John the Apostle says in 1 John 3:3, “Every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself even as He, Christ is pure.” It is a purifying hope. “It is a blessed hope,” Paul calls it. “It is the hope of knowing Him, then I shall know even as also I am known,” full revelation of what Christ is and what I am by His grace. It’s a hope that involves reuniting us with our loved ones who have gone before. The dead in Christ shall rise first then we which are alive and remain under the coming of the Lord shall be caught up together with them in clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” Dr. Pettingill used to say, “That isn’t ‘clouds’ clouds, that’s clouds of believers caught up together in clouds of believers.” Well, that may well be so. Reunited with our loved ones.
I don’t remember my mother, Daisy Cook. She died when I was 16 months old. I’ve heard about her, read about her. All the relatives idolized her. One of them said, “I can never get enough of Daisy.” Well, I’m gonna get acquainted with her one day, I’ll see her again, I’ll see my father again, I’ll see all these other loved ones, Grandpa Nilsen and Grandma Nilsen, we used to call her Bestemore, lived with us for 21 years, precious woman of God. I’ll see all these different people, oh, yes.
Now, what motivates you? The reality of Christ’s return. Well, Peter realizes that there will be some cynics, because he said, “In the last days there will be scoffers saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were aforetime. God is not slack,” Peter goes on to say, “Concerning His promise but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” The only reason the second coming of Christ is delayed is not only to see that all prophecy is fulfilled, but that more come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, He’s coming again, our Lord Jesus is. You don’t know when. It could be today.
Some of you listen to this broadcast at the midnight hour, or almost so, and I have to tell you that our Lord Jesus could be here before the alarm clock goes off in the morning. And others listen very early in the morning, I know, I make these broadcasts generally in the early morning hours, because so many of you listen just after you’ve waked, and I like to feel like you do when I’m broadcasting. And I have to tell you that before the day is through, you may be seeing your blessed Lord. “The trump of God shall sound and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we, which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” It’s a comforting hope, and it’s a blessed hope, and it’s a reuniting hope, and it is a purifying hope, because you want to be ready for Him. And so John says, “Now, little children, abide in Him that we may have confidence before Him at His coming and not be ashamed away from Him.”
Confident. How can you be confident in the face of the second coming of Christ? Live close enough to Him so there’s no unfinished business. Dr. Dean Arlton was our professor of music at the college years ago. Died in a tragic boating accident and was greatly missed and still is. And he was a wonderful Christian. He said one time to his class, this was shortly before his life was taken. He said, “You wanna live so that when it’s your time to die there’s no unfinished business.” “Live so that when it’s your time to die there’s no unfinished business.” Well, we could transfer that to the second coming of Christ. Live so that when Jesus comes, there’s no unfinished business. It’s a great motivator, it’ll keep you on the job for Him.
Father God today, may we live in the light of Thy second coming, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I ask in His name, amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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