Christian Credibility

People tend to believe you or not depending on how they see you in your daily life.

Scripture: John 10:41


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? I trust everything’s alright at your house, bless your heart. If you struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” And He will, for He hath said… The Bible tells us, “He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.'” You’re not alone in whatever situation you face this very moment, He’s there, trust Him, trust Him.

Well, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you for a few moments of sharing from the Word of God. We’re looking at the gospel of John, beginning… Well, ending, really, chapter 10. I wanna refer you to verse 41, our Lord Jesus went back to Jordan at the place where John had first been baptizing and there, he stayed there. And verse 41, “Many resorted unto him and said, ‘John did no miracle but all things that John spoke of this man were true. And many believed on Him there.'” John did no miracle but everything he said about Jesus was true.

Miracles are not in themselves, a necessary adjunct of religious reality. It’s quite a mouthful there, isn’t it? [chuckle] Miracles by themselves are not a necessary factor in spiritual credibility. In reality, John did no miracle. “But he was,” Jesus said, “the greatest born of women.” “He was a burning and a shining light,” that’s what the Savior spoke of him as being. And yet he didn’t do any miracles.

We tend to equate the unusual with the genuine in religion. Someone was healed dramatically, “Well, this must be the real thing.” Well, it may well be but it’s not necessarily true that unless you have some dramatic miracle that you don’t really know the Lord. I think one of the cruelest things that people do is to come to somebody who’s all crippled up with arthritis or dying of cancer, or something like that, and then say to that person, “Well, if you had faith, you’d be healed.”

As I read the Bible, it does not appear to be God’s will to heal everybody. Just drawing a board of entry here, you remember the story in John 5, it said, “There were a great multitude of sick people, and impotent, and lame people lying there around the pool, waiting for the troubling of the waters.” Did it ever occur to you that Jesus only healed one of them? Is that because all the rest of ’em were such terrible sinners? I doubt it. I only can say as I look at my Lord, He does what He wills to do. He’s sovereign and God chooses, “I know to heal dramatically and answer to prayer.” He also chooses sometimes to say, “No, that isn’t my plan.” And what we look for as an answer to prayer comes in a different kind of an answer.

Now, if you disagree with me, don’t write and argue with me, we’ll be in heaven someday and as my father said, “We’ll be in heaven and you’ll know I was right.” [laughter] God bless you. The point being, the reason I raised this point at all is John did no miracle. Was he the real article? Yes. Did he have a true message? Yes. Was he a man of God? Yes. Jesus said he was great. But that didn’t necessarily mean that he had to do miracles. You understand me? Now our Savior did many miracles, so many things that John, in his last chapter of this very gospel of John, said, “If we were to tell all of the things, the world couldn’t contain all the books, there were so many.” Well, you’re dealing with a sovereign God, that’s all I wanna tell you.

You’re dealing with a sovereign God, your best prayer is to make your request known unto God and everything by prayer and some application with thanksgiving, let your request be made known unto God. It is no sin to tell God what you want. “Delight thyself in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” It is no sin to tell God what you want. Level with Him, tell Him what you want and then, follow the example of your blessed Savior who prayed and ask for something and then said nevertheless, “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” “Not my will, but thine, be done.” Whatever the direction of your praying, always link it to the sovereign will of God. You’re gonna be safe, you’ll be all right.

Now, what is the index of credibility? “All things that John spake of this man were true.” The credibility crisis is with us these days. People say downwardly, gloomily, “Whom can you believe? Who can you trust?” Credibility crisis, because a few highly visible Christian leaders have failed here and there, people tend to equate all of religion with that particular failure which, of course, is a mistake.

The very day I’m making this broadcast, you won’t hear it for a month, but the very day I’m hearing this broadcast, a Congressman is being indicted and is about to be sentenced for some very serious felonies. Does that mean we should throw the Congress out? No, it doesn’t. It means there’s a human being that failed among those honorable gentlemen and ladies. So don’t get your eyes on the failures around you, get your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ. The index of credibility is Jesus. Did you hear that? The index of religious credibility is not you, but Jesus.

“All things that he said of this wonderful Savior, this man, were true.” Be sure that you’re telling the truth about the Savior as found in the revealed Word of God, the infallible, inerrant Word of God, The Bible. Let me ask you this question. When you talk about the Savior, are you telling the truth? Are you giving out the, what Paul called “the whole counsel of God?” That doesn’t mean you have to preach sermons. I mean to say, when people listen to what you have to say about Jesus, can they say as did these folks so long ago, “Everything he said about Jesus is true?”

Now, what is the leverage of credibility? What makes it work? Obviously, it’s not just the saying. John the Baptist backed up his message with the kind of person he was. So true to the truth that he was willing to go to jail for it and ultimately, to die for it. If you want to know the leverage, what makes credibility work, you have to look and see what kind of a person you are.

Because people tend to believe you or not believe you depending on how they see you in your daily life. If they see you as consistent, and honest, and true, and God-glorifying, they will tend to believe what you say about Jesus. But if they see you as phony, and self-centered, and undependable, and worldly-minded, they will tend to discount what you say about Jesus. You see that? John did no miracle and neither, indeed, may you or I unless God sovereignly allows us to do so. Day of miracles isn’t passed, Hallelujah! I believe in answered prayer and I believe God does miracles every day.

I’ve seen it especially on the mission field where God has used miracles to convince the hearts of those who had never heard of Christ before. Yes, God still does miracles but we’re talking now about the continuing credibility of your witness which may or may not be accompanied by some supernatural manifestation. What God looks for is reality. What God looks for in your life is reality. “All things that John spake of this man, Jesus were true.”

So ask yourself today, how credible is my witness? Do people believe the person I am and the words I say about Jesus? Might be a good subject for inquiry, just you and the Lord. Talk that over. Good idea? Well, it says, “Many believed on Him at that place.” Interestingly enough, where John did his baptizing was a remote place, and not near any large city. I don’t know what the Lord Jesus had for a place to stay, maybe He slept out in the open. Certainly, there weren’t any supermarkets around anywhere nearby so He may very well have had just a Spartan diet of bread, and some fish, or whatever now and then. Who knows?

But what happened was many believed on Him there. The real outcome of your life has to be measured by the number of people who have been introduced to Jesus Christ because you came along. I know, immediately, someone’s gonna say, “Brother Cook, I’m not a preacher. I can’t preach. I can’t talk. I’m not outgoing. I’m shy. I’m bashful. I’m embarrassed with people and don’t expect me to be a soul winner.”

Well, there are two or three things to say about that. Number one, I find that you who are shy tend to talk about what you’re interested in regardless of your shyness. I found some very shy people who when you got on a subject they were interested in, lost their shyness, and embarrassment, and conversed quite naturally about something that really interested them. So, if you got the Lord Jesus on your mind and you’re comfortable with Him and with His message, you’re going to enjoy talking about Him. That’s the first fact. Get comfortable with the Lord Jesus and with His message of hope in the Gospel and you’ll lose that feeling of shyness in talking about Him. Many people are embarrassed to speak of Christ because they have so little to say about Him.

The second thing is, the real reason why you’re left here in this world instead of being taken straight home to heaven when you got saved. It’d be much cheaper for God to take you to heaven right away instead of having you hang around here. But the real reason why He leaves you here is that you might be part of His harvesting process. “I sent you,” He told His disciples, “to reap.” You went into the town, you’re interested only in groceries. You came back with lunch, but in the meantime, I’ve been interested in the harvest, look on the fields.

And they tell me around that town where the Lord Jesus was speaking there, Sychar, the ancient town with Jacob’s ancient well. They say there are not many fields right there. He said, “Look on the fields. What are they?” All of these townsmen come tumbling out of town to see the gentleman concerning whom this lady, who was no lady until she got saved had said, “There’s a man out there that told on You.” The harvest is what God is interested in. Be a harvester, get interested in Jesus, feel comfortable with His message, and realize that the reason you’re living is to introduce somebody else to Him.

Father God, today, oh, may we be winning others to Christ. By Thy enablement and by the indwelling Holy Spirit, I ask in Jesus 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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