He’s The Blesser

God reserves the right to bless people with whom you disagree.


Scripture: Romans 14:1

Transcript

And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing all right? Hope everything is okay at your house. It’s nice to be back with you to share once again from the Word of God. We paused a while on Romans 14:1 talking about what Paul really meant when he used the expression “weak in the faith,” and also when he used the verb “receive.” “Receive the person who is weak in the faith.” What does it mean to receive a person? Notice him, consider him a person of real value, eternal value, recognize and give respect to the points at which he differs from you in any matter, listen to him and refer your position and his to the Word of God.

Now, he says, “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” Doubtful disputations. The word “doubtful” actually means judging, comes from a verb diakrino which means “to judge,” not judging him. And the word “disputation” has the idea of inward thoughts. Well, now, that puts a different cast on it, doesn’t it? Because you don’t really know why a person feels the way he or she does about any given matter. Now, in our family, we like dogs. We’ve had a pet dog, I guess, ever since we were married. And so, you know, it’s just natural for me to refer affectionately to man’s four-footed flea-bearing dirt-bringing loud-mouth best friend, you know.

Somebody else, however, shrinks in fear at the very sight of this gentle mannered Doberman that we have presently at our house. You know, it wouldn’t possibly bite anything or anybody but here is a person that just shrinks in fear. Now, why? Well, it develops that this person was bitten on one occasion by somebody’s dog and that left a lasting impression. You may be sure not only on the place in the body that was bitten but in the mind of the person. Now, it does me no good to argue with that person and say, “You shouldn’t be afraid. Oh, look how gentle this Rusty is, our four-footed loud-mouthed dog here.” Why? Because there’s an inner reason why the person feels the way he does.

Now, all that Paul is saying is recognize the fact that people feel differently about different things. He goes on to say “One believeth that he may eat all things: another who is weak eateth herbs.” Now here’s the old vegetarian controversy. Somebody says, “If you’re a vegetarian, then you’re doing the right thing.” And somebody else says, “Why, no. Under Grace you can eat whatever you want to.” So he says, “There’s the basis for an argument. Why argue about it?” He says, “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.” Now, what’s the point here?

I think it’ll do us all good to recognize that as long as we’re here in this world and we see things with fallible and sometimes clouded human vision. We are going to differ in some matters. Now, most assuredly, there are some things on which we may not differ. Paul says, “If anybody preaches any other gospel than that which I have preached to you, let him be accursed. Don’t even fellowship with him; have nothing to do with him.” He said, “You stick to the message that we’ve given you.” Now, there are some things, then, I say, on which you may not disagree. These are what we call the givens. These are the basic truths of the Christian faith.

“How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that, he was seen by about five hundred brethren at once of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some have passed away. After that, he was seen of James then of all the apostles and the last of all, me, too. By the grace of God I am what I am.” He said, “This is the gospel.” You have here the integrity of the Word of the written Word of God. He uses this twice, the expression “according to the scriptures.”

So the integrity of the Word of God is at stake here. The redemptive plan of God. Christ died “for” our sins. That word “for” is up over instead of He died in our place. He died “for” our sins then He was buried. The fact that He tasted death for every man. He rose again, the bodily resurrection of Christ. And then that personal experience with Him as part of the gospel. So there are some things on which you may not disagree. If somebody comes and says, “Well, there’s some doubt as to whether Jesus is indeed the virgin-born Son of God.” There’s no basis there for fellowship on that point.

You know what? You just have to take your stand on thus saith the Lord. This is what the Bible teaches. This is what we’re going to obey. Do you follow me on that? There are some things about which you do not argue. You simply receive them as being the givens. These are the things that God has said “This is it.” There are other things that are not strategic either to salvation or to fellowship with other believers. On those, don’t argue, says Paul. Don’t argue about the peripheral. Take your stand on that which is foundational.

Don’t be judging another person’s inward doubts. Okay, now then, what does he say? Well, one believeth that he may eat all things. This is just, I think, an illustration of the whole truth because there are many areas of doubtful conduct as you know. In our day, it has to do with certain practices related to the entertainment industry, for example, you know? But always you can get different points of disagreement and certainly throughout the world there are differences in matters of culture. I can recall getting an anguished letter from someone down in the Caribbean.

Some dear believer in the islands wrote and said, “Dear Brother Cook, please do not print anymore pictures of young people wearing earrings because when we get saved, we get saved from wearing any jewelry at all.” For them, wearing of any kind of jewelry was sinful. For us in North America, it was taken as a matter of course. So there are differing standards in different places in the world, different cultures, different ethnic backgrounds—the whole bit. He says, “Don’t argue about that. Don’t argue about the peripheral points of difference.” Why? The person is responsible not to you ultimately but to God.

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up for God is able to make him stand.” God reserves the right to bless people with whom you disagree. This is a lesson I learned many years ago and it stood me in good stead. And I think that if you’ll learn it and live by it, it will take a good deal of the stress out of your day-to-day relationships with other people. “God reserves the right to bless people with whom I disagree.” Why? Because they are responsible ultimately to Him and His blessing is sovereignly bestowed not with reference to our likes and dislikes but with reference to His perfect plan.

I think of the man who lectured me all of one afternoon in a German city concerning all of the, what he called “You stupid Americans make so many mistakes; the stupid mistakes of Americans coming to preach the gospel in Germany.” This was right after the close of World War II feeling anti-American, feeling oftentimes ran high and so there I was up against it. And here was this dear brother, a precious saint of God he was but he was lecturing me on all of the mistakes that we were said to be making. And at the same time, he was on our payroll; he was living in a house the rent for which we had paid and the very food he was putting in his mouth have been purchased with money sent from America from offerings taken from American believers.

And, you know, it kind of irked me. I got upset. I got offended with him. Didn’t say much but I was offended. And I thought to myself, “Well, the meeting tonight is going to be a total frost. God can’t bless anybody with this kind of a spirit,” never realizing, of course, that my own reaction was something less than spiritual—you can see that immediately. Well, he said to me, “When you preach tonight, when you’ve gotten through preaching, you sit down and I’ll get up and try to repair the damage.” And I thought that was gracious, too.

But I preached the best I knew how. Preached through an interpreter and God wonderfully gave me a Spirit-filled interpreter. When you preach by interpretation in a foreign country, it is an experience of absolute delight because the Holy Spirit of God is working with both of you in a holy rhythm. Well, that was what happened with me. I had a great time preaching the gospel and sat down. Then I thought, “Well, now, the meeting is over, it’s ruined.” This brother got up—this brother who disagreed with me and who said that there were so many things wrong with my approaches—he got up and he said, “Now, those of you who want to repent of your sins and trust Christ to save you, you go to this room.” And he pointed to an inquiry room off to the left and he said, “We’ll talk with you.” And here they came scores and hundreds of people with tears and contrition and real, deep feeling about Christ seeking the Lord for salvation. And God spoke to my heart that moment and He said, “See, I’ll bless whoever I decide to bless. I’m not gonna ask you about it.” God will bless people who disagree with me as long as they are trying to do His will and He wants to bless them, He will. God reserves the right to bless people with whom you disagreed. Don’t insist on everybody agreeing with you. It isn’t necessary. Just specialize in obeying God, Amen?

Dear Father, today, let us know Thy touch upon us as we obey Thee, 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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