God Is Still God
Don't put your faith in religion, put your trust in a living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends, how in the world are you? [chuckle] Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your friend Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God. I treasure these moments that we share together. I tell you it means so much to me to be able to open the Word of God and just share it with you and know that the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit in your life and in mine, is taking some of these truths and applying them to you. We’re looking at the closing verses of John, Chapter 11, “The Pharisees and the chief priests said, ‘What are we gonna do? If we let Him alone, all men will believe on Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.'” Concerned about themselves. Concerned about themselves and their own security, more than about any religious question.
I’ve lived a few years and I have noticed that most religious arguments are based in a desire for influence or control. You got a power play working here, right at this point. And it ended up in conspiracy for murder. That’s exactly how it was. Our place, our nation, our security, our position, our prosperity, our influence in the nation, our reputation. Oh, yes. I think so often of that Pennsylvania Dutch proverb that my precious friend, John Houtkamp, told me many years ago. He was deacon at Weston Memorial Baptist Church, which I served when I was fresh out of college. John Houtkamp, everybody called him “Howty” and somehow for some reason, he befriended me in a special way, and used to come and pray with me on Saturday mornings. Oh, that was so great; dear man. And he said to me one time, he said, “There’s a saying that I sometimes think of… ” Said he, in deacon’s meetings, Now I’m quoting him. [laughter] He said…”First me, then me, after that you, but not for a long time.” [chuckle]
Human nature, yes it’s still with us. I can prove to you the fact that you really are self-motivated as well. You know how I’ll do it? Answer this question, whose face do you look for first in any group photo? [chuckle] You know, don’t you? Well, our place, our nation, our reputation, that’s what we’re concerned about. “We gotta get rid of this man because he is endangering our place.” Now Caiaphas, the high priest, said, “Ye know nothing at all nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. This speak he not of himself, but being high priest that year.” See, every high priest, at some time during his tenure spoke words of prophecy that were sovereignly impelled by the Spirit of God. Whether or not the priest was a good priest is beside the point. Being high priest that year, he prophesied that, “Jesus should die for that nation and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together, in one, the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
Now, here’s prophecy coming from the lips of a person who was certainly not a worthy example of the high priest. He was selfish, he was self-motivated, he participated later on in the mock trial of the Lord Jesus Christ and advised for His death. But God actually used those lips to say a true thing that was prophetic. Prophesied that, “Jesus should die for that nation, and not for that nation only, but that He should also gather together, in one, the children of God that were scattered abroad.” Now here is something that bothers people and I’m gonna approach it gingerly, I confess, but I’m going to just talk about it for a moment. What do you do about people who preach the Gospel, whose lives and characters don’t seem to add up and make their witness credible? What do you do about the people like Caiaphas, who are in religious leadership, but who don’t seem to be the right kinda people? Well, in the first place, you don’t throw all of your faith out the window.
Just recently now, you’ll hear this broadcast some weeks after I record it, but right now, while I’m recording it, there is a good deal of attention being paid in the press to the trial of a US congressman. And there are a number of other people who were indicted, who were high and elected to government. Do you think that because of that we oughta throw out all the congress? No, we’re not doing that. Of course not. That process is known, in slang or familiar idiomatic usage, as throwing the baby out with the bath water. Don’t forsake your faith because somebody doesn’t add up in terms of consistent living. Don’t forsake your position with Jesus because somebody else doesn’t measure up. Our Lord Jesus said, when peter asked about the apostle John, He said, “What shall this man do?” And our Lord turned upon him and He said, “What is that to thee? Follow thou, me.”
You want to face that in your own life? Yes, like you, I get distressed, and upset, and hurt, and angry when somebody who is in high position of leadership fails to measure up to Christian standards. Yeah, I feel just as you do. But do you want to face that thing? Listen, leave God’s servant with God, you just be sure that your life is right with Him. Don’t throw away your faith because somebody else failed. That’s the first thing. Now the second thing is, God is still God, and His work is going to go on. What Caiaphas and the rest didn’t realize was that they were in the middle of God’s redemptive plan. For God’s plan included our Lord Jesus coming down the stairways of the stars, and being born of the Virgin Mary, and being brought up in Joseph’s carpenter shop, and having that earthly ministry of three years or so, and then being crucified, and dying, and being buried, and being raised again. God’s redemptive plan included what was happening that minute.
Would you realize that although you and I may be disappointed at what is happening in various lives, God is still God, and He’s on the throne, and He’s working out His will. There is tremendous peace in committing the situation, as it is in your life and in the lives of those around you, committing it to God. “Cast thy burden on the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” That word cast is really our idea of rolling the thing over. Roll your burden over on the Lord and He shall sustain thee. God carries both you and the burden. Just as my father used to carry me and the heavy bag of groceries, when I’d come trudging up the hill on 17th Street or 18th Street, in Cleveland, from the grocery down the hill a ways. He’d pick me up and pick up the groceries with me, and carry us both on into the house. “Cast thy burden on the Lord, He shall sustain thee.”
You just be sure, beloved, yes you may be hurt and disappointed, and even angered by the failure of others. But don’t let that affect your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t let that affect your faithfulness to His will. You be sure that you’re walking with your blessed Lord step by step. You be sure that the effect of your life is to win other people to Christ. Criticism never won any souls. Did you know that? My father used to say to me, “Boy, it doesn’t take any brains to criticize.” [chuckle] Well, it doesn’t. You’re just running your mouth. It doesn’t win anybody to Jesus, for you to run off at the mouth and say how bad everything is. Caiaphas didn’t know it, but he was in right in the middle of God’s redemptive plan, even though he, himself, was an evil man. God is not gonna be frustrated by anybody’s failure. Hallelujah. Did you get that? God’s will, and God Himself is not going to be frustrated by anybody’s failure. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Let God work in your life, He’s still on the throne. Hallelujah for that.
Well now look, these are religious people. These are religious leaders, they’re supposed to have the truth and proclaim it and apply it. And it says in verse 53, of John 11, “Then from that day forth, they took counsel together for to put Him to death.” Religion with murder in its heart. The bitterest wars that have ever been fought were religious wars. Oh, my friend, don’t put your faith in religion, put your trust in a living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. When you talk with people, don’t argue religion, present Christ, present Christ, that’s what counts. Like the man who was just recently converted, who worked on the assembly line in Pontiac, Michigan, or Flint, whichever one it was, I forget anymore. But he was working right next to a profane person, and when something went wrong on the assembly line, the profane man would erupt into profanity, and this new convert will look at him and smile, and say, “That’s my Savior.” [chuckle] “That’s my Savior you’re talking about. I trusted Him as my Savior.” Well, finally got to the profane man, and he, himself, was brought to Christ as well.
Don’t argue religion, just hold up Jesus. “If I be lifted up,” said He, “Will draw all men unto me.” He’ll do the drawing if you lift Him up.
Father God today, oh may our love for Thee be pure, may our service be dedicated, and may the Holy Spirit lead us to glorify 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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