No Substitutes

There is no other alternative – Aside, that is, from surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture: John 6:66


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, bless your heart and I hope everything’s alright at your house. I pray that God may bless these moments to you.

People have written and spoken to me personally as well and said that in the broadcast it seems as though God was speaking directly to them. Isn’t that a wonderful answer to prayer? I pray every time I approach the microphone that God may speak directly to hearts and when that happens, I’m just overjoyed. Oh, pray with me that God may always use these broadcasts to minister directly to people’s needs. We don’t need anymore speech making. We don’t need somebody shouting at us and we don’t need a lot of theorizing and blue sky. What we want is something practical that’ll meet our needs, isn’t it true?

We’re in John 6, “Jesus knew,” it says, “from the beginning who they were that believed not and who should betray him.” Now remember there was a big crowd following the Lord Jesus, not just the apostles but there were others that followed him from one place to another. And so, he had been talking about the fact that he is the bread of life and he’s the only way to God. And he says, “This is the bread that came down from heaven. You partake of me and you’ll live by me, you’ll live forever.” Of course, he meant the spiritual life that he was able to give and that cameth through the Word and the Holy Spirit as we just talked about the last time we got together, “it is the Spirit that quickeneth. the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”

And so he said, “Therefore, said I unto you that no man can come unto me except it were give unto him of my Father.” God knows the hearts and God then makes it possible for those who propose to be honest with Him and to seek Him, God then opens the door of grace for them. Now, verse 66, one of the sad verses of the Bible. “From that time, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him.” Why? Well, because of a number of things: [1] Because he was claiming to be the only way to God. [2] Because he had made it quite clear that he was heading toward a confrontation with the value systems of the culture and the government in which he lived, and the opposition of the Pharisees and the scribes and the leaders made it clear to these disciples, these camp followers, he made it clear to those who were moving along with the Lord Jesus, sort of hangers on, that they were in for some stress and some rough days if they kept on with the Galilean. And so it says, “They went back and walked no more with him.”

I wanna ask you a question. Is there any point at your life, any point in your life at which you would have to say that’s it, I can’t take that much, I’ve got to quit? You see, the test of reality and Christian things is, where is the point at which you say I can’t go any farther with God? The ideal is to say all the way my Savior leads me. What have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy? That’s the ideal but it would seem to me as I observe people across the years that far too many come to a point where they say, “I can’t do that, God. I can’t put up with that.”

This lady with whom we were praying years ago down in Miami, after a meeting we’d given the gospel invitation, people had come forward, she was among them and she was kneeling, and people were around her praying. I saw that there didn’t seem to be much progress as I observed so I went on over to that little group, bent over them, and I said to the lady, “What seems to be the problem?” She said, “Oh.” She said, “My husband has said if I become a Christian he would divorce me, and I can’t face that.” So say, she got up from her knees, reached over and got her mink stole, put it around her neck, went on out, and got into her new Cadillac and drove off. “I can’t face that.” Now, it’s true, some have to pay a tremendous price for their Christian faith. You may be the only person in your family who’s a Christian and everybody else picks on you and excludes you from their love and their fellowship. A very painful experience, isn’t it? Nobody knows till they go through it.

There’s some prices to be paid. Salvation is free but it’s not cheap. And so, you have to look all of these things squarely in the face and say, “Am I willing to pay the price of what it costs to go all the way with the Lord Jesus?” It may be that God is calling some of my listeners to the mission field. “Oh,” you say, “I’m old, I’m almost nearing retirement.” Yeah, I’m talking about you. Take an early retirement and go out to the mission field and share your skills with the missionaries and the nationals on some of the mission fields of the world. Are you a builder? You certainly can be used in building. Are you a business person? You can be used in management. Are you an accountant? You can be used in helping ’em keep those figures straight. Are you a teacher? You can be used in teaching in schools and that sort of a thing.

God may be asking you to do something extra. Or if you’re a young person bent upon following your own career, God may be asking you to change your career. I remember a meeting in Independence, Missouri on a Sunday afternoon when, having given an appeal I was moving from one to another after the service, and praying with them I came to this fine young man, and talked and prayed with him, and as we spoke he said, “God has changed my whole life plan.” He said, “I was planning to be a specialist, a doctor, and I was gonna make a lot of money. And now God has changed my plan. I know I’m heading for the mission field, and I’m gonna have to have a different kind of training.”

I don’t know, dear friend, what God has in mind for you. How could I know? Maybe you don’t even know as yet, all you know is there’s a strange turbulence in your soul and you feel as though God is stirring you up to do something. Well, that’s a good sign. Whenever God stirs you up and you feel that moving in your own spirit, God is gonna do something for you and with you. So wait on Him in prayer, and let Him speak to you.

But there’ll come that time when God says, “This is what I want you to do and it’ll involve some cost.” It may involve breaking up with an unsaved sweetheart, it may involve changing your major course of study in college and university, it may involve changing your business procedures, it may involve an early retirement so you can go out to the mission field. I don’t know what it’ll involve. I may not have mentioned anything that may be near what God says to your heart. I only know that I better ask myself this question, “Is there a point in my life at which I’ll back off?” Dimas reached that point. Paul had to write sadly, “Dimas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.” Dimas looked at the bright lights, shining as he looked through the prison bars, he was there taking care of Paul, and he looked at the bright lights of the city, and he thought, “I’m missing too much. This is too much, I’m going.” And he left.

Well, you’ll have to answer that, beloved. You know what the right answer ought to be. Nothing between my soul and the Savior. “Naught of this world’s delusive gleam. I have renounced all earthly favor. Jesus is mine. Let nothing come between.” Can you answer that way? Oh, I trust that you can. Don’t ever reach the point where you say, “This is it. I can’t go any farther, it costs too much.” You will find that the best bargain you ever made was to do as Paul did, where he listed everything that was precious to him and he said, “I count all this just like so much garbage that I may win Christ and be found in Him. I count all things but lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.” You see the contrast there, on one hand is lost, the other is excellency. He said, “All of these things are lost. Write ’em off. They aren’t worth bothering with, but I’ve got something that’s excellent. Something that’s the best.” Oh, that’s great.

“From that time many of the disciples went back, walked no more with him.” It was too much for them. You will have to decide, and I hope you’ll decide right. You’ll have to decide whether or not you’re willing to pay the price of walking with the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, it hurt Him. He was human enough to be hurt by that. And Jesus said to the 12, “Will ye also go away?” You gonna quit too? Then Simon Peter answered him, “Lord to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was one that always spoke up whether or not anybody asked him, but this is one of those occasions where his statement is beautiful and right. “There isn’t anybody else to whom we can go. You have the word of eternal life and you are God’s chosen Messiah, the Christ of God.”

Now, settle that in your own life, beloved. Settle it under the heading of this, “No other alternative.” Some people always have a side exit. They’ll show you what they’re committed to, but you talk with them for awhile and you’ll find there’s a side exit so they can get out of the relationship and still save face. Some folk work at that very hard. And I think when it comes to dealing with God and God’s will, all of us may from time to time be guilty of the same thing. We say, “Well, I’m all for Jesus except if this and that and the other happens.”

Now I wanna urge upon you the attitude that is summed up in those three words that I gave you: No other alternative. Aside, that is, from surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. “Lord to whom shall we go?” No place else to go. No one to whom I can turn. This Savior is the one who has eternal life for me.

Oh, make up your mind that that’s true. The world solicits you, Satan tempts you, your own human flesh is weak and responsive to evil, and you find yourself sometimes thinking, “What if I could do this or that or the other? And can I do this or that and still be a Christian?” Remind yourself that there isn’t any substitute for surrender to Jesus. There isn’t any substitute for absolute surrender to Jesus. Body and soul and spirit. Your work, your friendships, your associations, your career, your education, your high hopes for the future, and the package of things you drag along from past in memory. Some of them good and some not so good. All of it known to Jesus. There is no substitute for surrendering all that you are to him.

Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ. Tell him that for yourself today, will you? Tell him once again that you don’t want any other outlet, you don’t want any other alternative. You don’t want any other way, but His way, His control.

Father God, today, oh, may we commit ourselves absolutely without alternative, without any substitute, without any whereases, without any fine print. Commit ourselves to Jesus. I pray 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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