Influencing Others

We don't need to trim the gospel message or have the world's approval for the message to be successful.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2, Philippians 4


Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend, Dr. Cook. Bob Cook to many of you. And somebody wrote me one time rather tartly and said, “Why do you use that Dr. Robert Cook?”

Well, I will tell you one reason is that there are several other Robert A. Cooks, and the only way to be sure that your mail gets to me is to have something that distinguishes it. (Laughs) I think we have two or three of them this very county, imagine that. My name should have been Probosniak or something like that so they could not mistake it. Oh well, I got a new name written down in glory. How about you?

Ray Shulenberg and I used to sing that back in the 19, well it was 1931 when we sang it together. He played his guitar, and I would stand beside him and we would sing “I got a new name written down in glory. There is a new name written down in glory, and it is mine. Oh yes, it is mine.

The angels sing the story, a sinner has come home, Halleluiah.” Great old song, you will never hear that anymore. It’s a pity really, isn’t it that some of the good old songs had gone out of vogue. Yes, well things change and you have to change along with them but never change your gospel message.

Methods change, and atmosphere, and culture, and habits, and relationships change but Jesus is the same. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever, the Bible says. So make sure that you know what to change, and what to keep, right? Well, through that in free, no charge for that.

We are looking at 1 Thessalonians 2: And Paul engages here in quite a monologue that has to do with his recollection of how things went when he came to Thessalonica. He said, “Yourselves, brethren, know our entrance unto you that was not in vain. He said something happened, it was the real thing. If you want a thrill, read the story of what happened when Charles G. Finney was conducting revival meetings all through New England, and the Middle Atlantic states, and particularly in New York State, where there was a great surge of revival.

Why when he came into a town, people would fall under conviction. The Holy Spirit’s power was so great. “Our entrance,” he said, “was not in vain;” which challenges me to ask this question, what happens to other people’s lives when I make contact with them? When I come into a situation, what happens? Does anything happen, is God in evidence by His Holy Spirit. It is quite a question, isn’t it? And it is a legitimate one.

Beloved, you and I are not to drift through life just as sanctified clods. Jesus said, “you are the salt and you are the light,” and both of them although they don’t make any noise do make a difference. “Our entrance”, he said “was not in vain.” He said there was certain toughness about us.

He said after we were shamefully treated, we’d suffered, and we’re shamefully treated at Philippi, and I guess you know you read that story and you know that they really had a rough time there. Have you read recently what happened to them?

Paul had commanded the demon to go out of the body of this young woman, whose masters were making money on her ability to tell fortunes. And so she was following Paul and the rest saying, these men of the servants of the most high God which show on to us the way of salvation. This she did many days, Paul was grieved, turned, and said to the spirit that dwelt within her, “I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” He came out that same hour.

Small thought here: you don’t need the devil’s promotion to be successful in the gospel. This young woman was under the control of demonic, devilish force, but the demon within her was making her say something that was true. These men were the servants of the most High God. They show the way of salvation. That was true, but you don’t need the devil to say it about you in order to be successful. You don’t have to get the world’s approval.

You never need to trim your message, beloved, and get the world’s approval. You don’t have to do that. Stand true to the Lord Jesus. Stand true to the inherent infallible Word of God. Stand true to the, the Christian life in all of its beauty and holiness, and let the Lord himself see you through. That is what Paul said. We had a rough time in Philippi.

Well, when her masters, it says the people who had been making money off of this young woman that was full of the power of the demon, when the masters saw that hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas drew them into the market place, brought them to the magistrates, and said, these people are upsetting us. They teach customs that are not lawful for us. And the whole crowd rose up again, the magistrates rent off their clothes and commanded to beat them. Then they had laid many stripes upon them. They cast them into prison, charging the daily jailer to keep them safely, and having received such a charge, he put them in the inner prison and made their feet fast in the stocks. Bleeding backs, bruised bodies, and, and their feet in the stocks.

Oh what happened? “And at midnight,” it says, “Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly, the earthquake, the doors open, everyone’s bonds were loosed, the keeper of the prison was about to commit suicide.” Paul said, “don’t harm yourself, we are here.” And then he came in and said, “what must I do to be saved?” Great story, wonderful proof that God will see you through.

And Paul said, “after we were shamefully treated, and we had suffered at Philippi,” What happened? We pull in a little do we?, said to ourselves, Now listen let us ask God not to get into this kind of a scrape again, did we say that? Oh no, he said. “We were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.” That is our word urgency. We really urge it upon you.

Now, what is the point here? You don’t have to be disagreeable, and you don’t have to be like a human bulldozer riding rough shod over people’s feelings. You can be tactful, you can be courteous. You can be loving human, you can be kind, and you should be. But there is a point at which any bible believing Christian is going to say, “Listen, you can do whatever you want to. Me, I’m still going to preach this gospel.” There is no substitute for being true to the Word of God in giving it out. “We were bold in our God.”

That praise reminds of one in the Old Testament where David was being chased by King Saul, who wanted to kill him. And David hid in the cave of Adullam. There came to a people who were in trouble, some who were in debt, and some who were in trouble at the law and whatnot, a bunch of ragtag, ragamuffin, and outlaws who attached themselves to David, and he didn’t have very much to look forward to. He was a refugee, running away from the king’s anger who wanted to murder him, and here were all these people who were all in trouble that wanted some place to cluster, somebody to be their leader, and David was the one. And then you read in the Bible, David encouraged himself in the Lord, his God.

When you are down to nothing at all, then for the first time in your life you may realize that God is enough. “We were bold in God,” said Paul. David encouraged himself in his God.

“Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice.” The secret of joy is God. The secret of peace is God. “That would keep him in perfect peace, His mind stayed on Thee because he trusteth in Thee.” The secret of hope is God. “Now the God of hope filled you with all joy and peace, and believing that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.” The secret of power is God. “He able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh within us. In God, there is your answer.”

How do you make this real? Well you, you face any given turning of life’s corner by getting to your knees, and say, “Lord, handle this for me.” Or maybe you don’t have a chance to kneel down but you can always pray, can’t you? And say, “Lord, handle this for me. You be God in my life.” Give God the right to interfere with you. I remember Bob Pierce praying earnestly one night in an all night prayer meeting, and he said, “Oh God I give you the right to interfere with me. I don’t have to have things my way, and give you the right to interfere with me.” Well, all right Let Him be God, bold in God.

Are you facing something that’s rough today? It comes to all of us. I know how it feels. It is rough, It may be an impossible situation, and you don’t know quite what to do. Well, number one, don’t worry about everything at once. That’ll drive you wild. Take one thing at a time, and bring it to the Lord. In everything by prayer, and supplication with thanksgiving, let your your requests be made known unto God, and the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

One thing at a time, turn it over to God, and you will find that He will see you through, and you will find that God has been the answer himself, not what He does necessarily, although He does work in answer to prayer, but the presence, and the touch, and the love of God himself is the answer. Bold in God.

You want to turn some of your problems over like that today? Take one thing at a time, say: “Lord, look at this, handle this,” like Hezekiah taking the letter from the Syrian king, who was about to invade him, said Hezekiah spread the letter before the Lord. Bring your anxiety, and care, and spread it before the Lord, and let Him be God in your life, all right?

Holy Father, today may our lives be centered in Thee so that our problems will be solved by Thee. Bold in God. 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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