God’s promises are for you, my brother, my sister, and He want to send you to somebody today.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright? I trust everything’s alright with you, bless your heart. Yes, it’s your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you.
We’re looking at 1 Timothy, chapter 2, and we’re down to about verse 3 of that second chapter. We were looking at the idea of “the good life.” What is it? A life, a prayer. Verse 1: intercession and thanksgiving. A life that’s “quiet,” a life that’s “peaceable,” a life that’s godly (the quality of God in the ordinaries of living), and a life that’s “honest;” that’s “the good life.” “This is good,” Paul says in verse 3, “and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
We come now, then, to verse 4: “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come onto the knowledge of the truth, because there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Now, “Why does God want everybody to be saved” (verse 4)? “Because the price has been paid for everybody” (verse 6).
Recently I was a guest at the western chapter of the convention of the religious broadcasters. Well, the convention went on very well. It was, it was filled with blessing, I must say, a warm and blessed and precious spirit of fellowship. And then came the evening of the last banquet, the last evening, and there were a few empty chairs – not more than five or 10, I suppose – but the, the, the chairman, Ray Wilson, leaned over to me, and he said, “You know, I’m amazed at how many people have their tickets paid for, but never show up.” Said, “They could be here enjoying this, but they’re not here. They’re paid for, their tickets are waiting for them with their name on it, but they’re not here.” Well, that happens, I suppose, that at every event that’s ever scheduled; you have a certain amount of what we call “no-shows.” Isn’t that true? The airlines have found that out, and so we take it more or less as a fact of life.
But, see, the tragic thing about this matter of salvation is that God has paid the price for everyone who, everyone who wanted to come and ask for forgiveness. He “gave Himself a ransom for all.” “The Son of Man came to be ministered unto” – I should say – “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, to give his life a ransom for many.” “I am the good shepherd,” said He, “the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” “For God so loved the world…” – that’s you and me and everybody else the little child said – “God so loved the world, that whosoever believe in Him should not perish.” “He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” “Whosoever.” God wants all men to be saved. He “gave Himself.” Lord Jesus “gave Himself a ransom for all.” Does that say anything to you?
Let me ask you something. Have you realized that the Lord Jesus Christ died specifically for you? That He rose again to be your living Savior? And that all the blessings of being a child of God – cleansing, salvation, forgiveness, and inheritance in heaven, belonging to the family of the Lord, a hope for the future, and power for the present – all of these things are yours for the taking because the Lord Jesus purchased them for you? Have you thought about that? Oh, many people go on not realizing that the price has been paid. “God commended His love toward us,” Paul says in Romans 5:8. “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Before you wanted Him, He wanted you. Before you sought Him, He was seeking you. Before you were able to do anything to help yourself, He was in the business of arranging to help you. That’s what that verse says. “Who will have all men to be saved.”
Jim Kimery was a member of my church in LaSalle, Illinois many years ago. His father was chairman of the board of deacons; a dear blessed man he was. Jim went off to war with about 90 young men from the community and from our church, particularly, after Pearl Harbor. He was in the Navy. God spared his life and brought him back to us after the close of the war, and I would spend some time, now and again, talking with him. One evening he was talking with me about the, the suicide bombers, the kamikazes, that came to attack our ships from time to time. Well, he said, “Sometimes they would miss – and we were glad if they would miss – but then they would crash in the water near us, and we would put down a small boat over the side of the ship, and we’d go on out to see the pilot bobbing there in the water, and as we neared him, he would simply slide beneath the waves and be gone. Why was that? Because he had been told that under no circumstances was he to allow himself to be rescued. Under no circumstances was he to allow himself to be picked up as a survivor.” And Jim told me that story that evening, and he heaved a sigh, and he said, “You know, preacher, I guess if a man doesn’t want to be saved, you can’t save him, can you?”
There’s the truth of it, beloved. If you don’t want the Lord Jesus, He can’t do much for you. People are always asking, “Why would a loving God send people to hell?” God doesn’t send you; you choose it. If you don’t want Jesus, He’s the only way there is. “For there is one God,” says the Bible, “and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” He’s the man in the glory, the second person of the Godhead who took on Himself a human frame so that He might identify fully with all our needs and save us by His grace. Yes, Jim Kimery said, “If a man doesn’t want to be saved, you can’t save him, can you, preacher?” He was right then, and that truth is still truth today.
Well, he said, “I’m ordained a preacher, and an apostle. I speak the truth in Christ and lie not; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” Notice, notice how he characterizes himself there. Here’s a profile of Christian work. “Preacher.” That’s the Greek verb “kerusso,” which means “to proclaim.” I, I’m a proclaimer. An “apostle” is, is a person who is said… The word “apostle” comes from two Greek words: “appo” means “out from,” and “stello” means “to send.” Somebody that’s sent out with the message. So I’m a proclaimer and I’ve been sent out with the message. You don’t sit around and, and hope that somebody will come to hear it. You’ve been sent out with it. And then he said, “a teacher of the Gentiles.” A teacher is a person who leads you into knowing not only the theory of the truth, but applying it to your life. You don’t really teach a person until he is able to apply the truth himself. Then you’ve taught him.
So there is a profile of what everyone needs to be doing in our daily life for the Lord, to proclaim the good news that Jesus saves, and keeps and sanctifies and, and leads. And that we’re on our way to being glorified with Him. Proclaim the good news. To be sent by God to people who have a need, an apostle. Now, we’re not apostles in the sense that Paul and the others were – I know that – but in another sense we are. We’ve been sent to the gospel. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” And Peter the apostle said, “the promise is unto you, and unto all those that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” God’s promises are not just for the people who lived in the first century A.D. God’s promises are for us in 1987 and eight and nine, 1990 and on, into the 21st century. God’s promises are for you, my brother, my sister, and He wants to send you to somebody today.
Let me ask you something. Have you ever asked God to send you to somebody that He had ready for you? Have you ever got started, the day before you went out to work or to school, and you prayed, “Lord send me to somebody today that’s ready to hear about Jesus. Put me next to somebody that’s ready for Christ.” Did you ever pray that prayer? Let me tell you, God will answer it if you pray it.
My dear friend, Ben Weiss, is now with the Lord for many years. He was a principal in a Los Angeles high school. After his retirement he became more active in, in the Christian teachers fellowship organization (CEAI), which he founded out there in California, and which now of course is nationwide, with people all over the world. My dear friend. Every time I would go out to Los Angeles, I’d look him up. We’d have breakfast or some other meal together. I’d come with my pen and notebook and ready to take down some things. I always learned something from him.
I learned, for instance, how to get your faculty to agree with you. Now, that’s a pretty good idea, you know – you administrators – that’s a pretty, pretty good trick if you can do it. He said, “Whenever anything was to be discussed that I knew folk would disagree with, I would go to some of the faculty who I knew were my critics and I would say, ‘Jim this has come down from upstairs. I want you to take a look at it, because I’m not quite sure how to handle it and I need your help on it.’” And he would go to his critics in the faculty and share the idea with them before the meeting. He said he could always count on cooperation when the meeting came. Well, that’s a good idea.
Well, Ben Weiss… His wife passed away, and so he formed the habit of working late hours at his office and then going directly to some restaurant for dinner, so he didn’t have to go home and open a can of sardines or something. On this particular occasion, he finished his work, closed up the desk and prayed. Said, “Oh God, where do You want me to eat dinner?” He couldn’t think of any place but one place that was always crowded, and then he thought, “I don’t want to stay there because you always have to stand in line.” But he couldn’t get away from the idea, and so he headed for that particular restaurant. Sure enough, the place was crowded, but he found a parking space almost in front of the door, and as he stood in line, the hostess said, “Is there someone here who wouldn’t mind sharing a table with another gentleman?” Well, Ben lifted his hand and said, “Sure I don’t mind.” He sat down and the man immediately said to him, “You know, I’ve been walking the streets all day, trying to get up the courage to kill myself.” He said, “I wish somebody could talk to me about God.” Well, Ben talked to him; indeed he did. Then after the meal was over, the two of them went outside, and standing by the fender of Ben’s ancient Chrysler, the man prayed and gave his heart to Jesus. Yes, God can send you to people who are ready. You ask Him about it.
Dear Father today, send us to people who are ready for Your good news. In Jesus’ name, I ask it, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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