Ready To Testify

Know the reason for your faith, don’t be satisfied until you are well versed in the Gospel.

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Yes, this is your friend, Bob Cook, and I am so glad to be back with you. I’m feeling fine, happy in the Lord. It was a little hard to get up this morning ’cause you have to get up and it’s still dark, and… But I found if I get one foot out of bed, the other will follow it. And so, I staggered around, put on the coffee pot, made some oatmeal for myself, and now I’m conscious and happy to be with you. It’s not quite daylight out yet. I know many of you have to get up early in the morning and you hear this broadcast in the early morning hours and now during the winter months, it’s still dark when we get up. So I like to do things the way you are doing them, so I feel as you do, at the same time. You don’t mind that, do you? [chuckle]

You get yelled at enough in life. And so, I sort of like to just have the same mood and the same conditions that many of you do, as I open the Word of God. And that way, we’re together in our moods as well as in our words. Oh well, I enjoy it. That’s all. I hope you do, too. We’re in 1 Peter Chapter 3 and we’re looking at verse 15, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.” The last time we were together, I was asking you to do something that may have turned out to be rather difficult for you, and that was to make a list of the areas where you need to give God His place as God. You need to commit the control of those areas or those relationships to Him. And I don’t know what it is with you. It could be all manner of different areas in our lives that we have reserved for our special personal supervision. The thing that you think about the most, that which you treasure most deeply in your heart, and that gets into some of the private areas of your life, things about which you don’t speak to anybody, but God knows our hearts.

“Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart,” the Bible says, and He knows exactly what the score is with me. And so, this matter of giving God his place as God means I have to go into the closed rooms. Every one of us has a sort of a McGee’s closet in his life, where stuff has been put in there and the door closed so that nobody will notice it. Isn’t it true? And so, what I have to do is go on in there and open the door to McGee’s closet, and stuff comes tumbling out, and I think, “Oh God, I can’t stand to think about all of this.” Oh, yes you can. You can do it if you turn it over to your Lord. You commit all of your heart to your savior. You follow that?

Sanctify. Set apart a special place for God in your heart. Then, what is that? Commitment. Then, the second thing in this matter of letting God be God is a follow-through, with surrender to His will, item by item, because you see, the Christian life is more than a point action. It is a process that stretches from here on into eternity. And so I… And Paul says in Colossians 2:6, a verse which I memorized years ago and which sticks with me, and which I use day by day, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk it.” It means live every day in Him. How did you trust Christ as Savior? By faith. You committed yourself to Him. You said, “Just as I am without one plea.” You brought yourself to the cross without trying to fix anything up because you knew you couldn’t. And so, then you came to Jesus by faith and asked Him to save you. Right?

And incidentally, listener friend, if you haven’t done that yet, you’re lost. Just now, you don’t have to listen to the rest of this broadcast. Just now, turn to the Lord Jesus and say, “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner, and save me for Jesus’ sake. I wanna become your child. I accept Christ as my savior.” Pray that prayer. Become a child of God and start living the miracle of Christian life. Anyhow, the process of living for Christ is the same process as that by which you entered into salvation, by faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please him. “For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Faith is risking the situation on God. That’s my little Cook-ism definition of faith. Risking the situation on God, turning it over to Him, letting Him handle it.

And so, this matter of letting God really be God in your heart is determined by a process of continual surrender to Him, item by item, and incident by incident. From here until you reach the pearly gates, you’ll never get through surrendering to God. Always there’ll be something new, always there’ll be a different situation, always as the clock ticks, you’ll find new things, new situations, new relationships, new challenges that you turn over to God by faith, just as you trusted Christ to save you. That’s how you do it. Surrender as a follow-through process, moment by moment, item by item, incident by incident, challenge by challenge. Make God a special place in your heart for Him as God. Put Him on the throne of your heart. You do that by continual surrender.

What else? Well, he said, “And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.” Small thought here. He said, “Be ready, always, to give an answer.” You can’t wait until you get set up. The situations of life won’t wait. I think, with regret even yet, today, after the years of past, I was a student at the Moody Bible Institute and they had, in those days and still do have, what they called Practical Christian Work, where you would be sent out to various kinds of meetings. On one occasion, you’d go to a rescue mission. On another occasion, you’d go to a jail service. And on another occasion, you’d visit in a hospital. And still on another occasion, you’d go out to an open air meeting, a very fine training in learning the various phases of Christian work and witness.

And so, I was engaged in all of that and on one occasion, it was my assignment to visit in the wards of Cook County Hospital, a great hospital that has good medicine, even if it’s under Spartan conditions. Those of you who visited there know that it’s a vast cavernous institution, where the individual seems to be lost sight of in the grinding efficiency of modern medicine, good medicine. Anybody who’s ever trained at Cook County will tell you that they have the finest training and you get the finest experience there, at least that’s what they’ve told me. I’m not a doctor, so I couldn’t tell you personally. But back there now, and it’s 1929, ’29 from ’89 is how many years ago? Boy, it’s a long time, huh? And there I was. I entered Moody when I was just 16, so I was just, just a kid. And now, I’m making these visits among the people going bed to bed in the wards of that hospital.

Well, I came upon one gentleman who was half asleep and he didn’t seem to be very responsive, and so I thought, “Oh well, I just, I won’t bother him.” And I didn’t talk to him. I went on to the next person who was awake. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess. You don’t… Although, in the hospital, you know, if you ever fall asleep, a nurse will come and shake you and say, “Are you sleeping?” [chuckle] Is that true? Well, but you don’t wake a person up if he’s drowsing and sleeping. So, there wasn’t anything sinful about that, I guess, but I still remember the shock that I received the next time just a few days later. I visited in that same ward and I came to that same bed and it was empty, and I inquired of the nurse there. I said, “What happened to this man?” “Oh,” she said, “He died just a couple of days ago.” And I thought to myself, “Well, I waited until he would wake up, but it was too late.”

You can’t say wait with your questions, wait with this emergency, until I get ready, until I’m set up, until we can have a church service. Wait until we can call the preacher. You can’t do that in life. You need to be ready. One of the tests I used to give to people who applied to teach at the college was something like this. I would sit and say, you know, if you were driving along and you came upon a dreadful accident, and you got out of the car to see if you could help, and there I was lying on the ground, badly injured. And as you approached, I said to you, “Buddy, I think I’m dying and I’m scared. I’m not ready to die. Help me.” What would you say? I remember one person who seemed very cultured and very cordial, I must say, to all of the things for which we stand at the college, but he said, “Well, I suppose I would tell you to think of all the good things you’ve done in your life and then you wouldn’t feel so bad. [chuckle] Well, I promoted him to greener pastures in a hurry because he didn’t know the gospel.

You can’t wait till you are ready because life won’t wait. He said, you gotta be ready always to give an answer. Would you give some thought to the matter of knowing for sure? Number one, how you got saved, number two, how other people can find Christ. Know the gospel. Know how to lead people to Christ. Know the reason for your faith. Don’t be satisfied until you are well-versed in the Gospel and you can share it with other people, because there will come a time when you’ll have to do it in a hurry and you won’t be able to get set up or wait around or call a minister, and you’ll be, as we say, on the spot. Be ready always. Good idea. And don’t do as I did 60 years ago, and pass by an opportunity to speak with somebody for Christ, because the next time around, he or she may not be there. Be ready always. Now, he says give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.

You trust in Christ. Why do you trust in Christ? That is the probing question that people ask. They don’t ask it always in that same words. Why do you trust your Christ? What makes you a Christian? Why are you different? Why do you have any hope of Heaven? These are questions you and I need to be ready to answer. We’ll talk about that the next time we get together.

Dear Father God, oh, we love you. Help us to put you on the throne of our hearts in every area of life, I ask this 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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