Speak Of Christ
The Lord is evident in many things that you do. It'll get out. So you just go on living for the Lord Jesus Christ and when there is a chance to speak up for him and God gives you an open door, then walk in it.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, dear radio friend. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. Well, these are busy days for all of us. Everything seems to crowd in doesn’t it? And I pray for you today the peace that passes all understanding. Paul the apostle says, “Don’t worry about anything. Be ‘care filled’ for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And as a result, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds, keep them like a garrison of soldiers placed around you, through Christ Jesus.”
Yes, our busy days, stress-filled days. Maybe some of you have worries and problems and heartaches, that’s the way life is. But if you’ll pray about it, if you’ll turn it over to Jesus, He knows how to handle it. What a joy it is to turn things over to Christ because He never drops you. He hasn’t brought you this far to dump you now and He says, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” So turn things over to your Lord today. Somebody needs that, I know. Try it. You pray about it and give the burden to Jesus.
Well, we’re looking at this matter of secret believers. “Joseph of Arimathea, which was a disciple,” it says, “But secretly for fear. And there came also Nicodemus, who at the first came to Jesus by night.” Now, what about secret believers? The last time we got together I was admonishing myself and all of you that we need to have a heart of compassion for people who face painful and sometimes dreadful circumstances if it be known that they are real Christians. Don’t criticize ’em because until you’ve walked in their moccasins- you don’t know how it feels.
At the same time, we look at the Word of God. It is possible to trust the Lord Jesus secretly but it isn’t God’s way. Our Lord Jesus said as recorded in Mathew 10, “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, Him will I also confess before My Father which is in Heaven but who so shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in Heaven.” Jesus wants you to be proud of Him.
One of the evidences that the Spirit of God has entered your heart and life is that you will proclaim the fact that you belong to Jesus. Inevitably, when the Spirit of God is dwelling within you and He comes in to dwell when you trust Christ as Savior, when the Spirit of God is dwelling in you He will speak up. Jesus said concerning the Holy Spirit, “He shall testify of Me.”
Now, you look at the book of Acts and what happens? These people who are scared to death before Pentecost, they met in little closed groups with all the shutters closed and the door locked, everything in secret, “Secretly for fear,” it says. Now they’ve been in the upper room waiting on God in prayer and now comes the day of Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit of God is bestowed upon the baby church. And there is that tremendous moving among them all so much so that the whole city was shaken up by it. And then of course came the inevitable wave of resistance and persecution. What was their answer? “We are His.” Come right out with it, “We are His witnesses, the God of our Father hath raised up Jesus whom He crucified.” Made Him both Lord and Christ, we are His.
So I have to tell you something. It may be that somebody listening to me today, your whole family are members of another religious belief, they’re very much against the Gospel. You’re considering trusting Christ as Savior or maybe you already have done so but you’re keeping very quiet about it. The Holy Spirit of God is going to speak up through you in some way or other and you’ll be saying, “I belong to Him. He shall testify of me,” Jesus said concerning the Holy Spirit. God’s way is for you to be proud of Jesus, “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men.” God’s way is for you to talk about Jesus with joy and with gladness and with your head held high. Regardless, that is, of the price you may pay. Well, you say, “What if my family disowns me?” That happens today in our country among some religious groups if an individual becomes a Christian. The family holds a funeral, they disown you, you’re dead.
What if that happens? Well I have to tell you, I’ve met people who’ve gone through that and what God has done is not only to bring ’em through, but to give them a whole new family of believers around them who love them and to whom they belong in Christian fellowship and love. God isn’t gonna forsake you if you decide to pay the price of frontal, overt, clear testimony about the Lord Jesus Christ, He won’t forsake you. You believe that?
Some of you are trembling even as I speak because you think of the tremendous price you might have to pay if it be known that you become a real Christian. I know, and I’m not diminishing that at all. I don’t talk down to you, I know there’s a price. But beloved, there’s a Savior who said, “I’m not gonna fail you. I’ll be with you all the way,” said he. And the keyword is ‘through’ as I’ve reminded you so often. “When thou passes through the waters, they shall not overflow thee.” See? “Ye though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil.” God brings you through and you can trust Him every step of the way.
God’s way is for you to hold your head high and say as did the Apostles, “We are His.” Now you don’t do that in your own strength. You only do it as the Holy Spirit of God enables you because He’s the One that does the testifying. “It is not ye that speak,” Jesus said, “But the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” The Spirit of God is the one that does the testifying and the witnessing because He dwells within the believer and He makes it possible for you then to speak of Jesus. Not with a pious tremulant in your tone, not with something you’ve pumped up, not with some wild-eyed courage that says, “I’ll do it!” No, this is simply the overflow of your love for a Savior to Whom you’ve committed your life.
Now, I want to show you something that is in the way of just the way things work. Our Lord Jesus spoke to His disciples and to the crowd about what He called ‘hypocrisy.’ “Beware,” said He, “of the leaven.” That’s our word yeast. “Yeast of the pharisees,” which is hypocrisy. “Because,” He said, “you can’t really hide the things anyway.” He said, “Whatever you said in the closet is going to be shouted from the housetop, and whatever you whispered is going to be revealed.”
Let me just turn to that. “There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light and that what you have spoken in the ear in closet shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” You never really keep a secret, you only tend to reveal it, either yourself or through other people. The truth about you will get out. I have often said there’s room for the occasional misunderstanding, but what people say about you over 20 years will be precisely the truth.
The truth will get out anyway, and if you know the Lord Jesus, it’s going to become known. It is gonna be known in your attitude, in your conduct, in your decisions. You may not say a word using His name, but the fact that you belong to Him is going to show up in the way you make decisions and the way you react to the stresses and irritations of life. If any man be in Christ he is a new creation, so that all of your personality is under the control now of a different power of the Holy Spirit of God Who indwells the believer. Do you follow that? He said, “Listen, there’s no markup in trying to put on something, to try to appear to be something that you’re not.”
The obverse side of that is what you really are will show up. What you really are will show up, so commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ day by day. Some of you are in a very uncomfortable situation and what I’m saying really isn’t all that pleasant to you because you say to yourself, “Cook doesn’t realize, he doesn’t know what I’m up against.” Of course, you’re right ’cause I don’t know, but I love you and I’m giving you God’s word on it.
Number one, we realize that circumstances are very difficult and it’s not easy. Number two, our hearts go out to you in understanding, I think, of the fact that it is a very difficult situation and risky for you. Number three, we are telling you that Jesus, His way is for you, to hold your head high and as the Holy Spirit enables you to let it be known that you follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
And then I’ve said the truth about you is going to get out anyway. If you are really are obeying Christ, it’ll show up in your attitudes, and in your conduct, and in your decisions. Does that make sense?
So, where do we go from there? We take step by step in life trusting the Savior who said, “I’m not gonna leave you.” He hasn’t brought you this far to drop you, I often say to people. He’s still there, He’s still on the job. And He said to His disciples, “No man is able to take them out of my hand, My Father Which gave them Me is greater than all, and no man is able to take them out of His hand.” So you’re held in the hand of the Almighty. You, in God’s hands. That’s a good safe place to be, isn’t it?
There’s nobody more boring or offensive than somebody who is officially religious. Come up to you in person and say, “Now I’m gonna be a blessing to you, brother.” Oh no, they’ll give you up for lent. [chuckle] If you’re not bold, don’t blame God. Jesus didn’t die and rise again to make oddballs and weirdos- we have to blame human nature for that. But you’d be different, your standards are different, your decisions are different, your conduct is different. And the Lord is evident in many things that you do. It’ll get out. So you just go on living for the Lord Jesus Christ and when there is a chance to speak up for Him and God gives you an open door, then walk in it.
Dr. Trumbull many years ago wrote a book which is now out of print called ‘Taking Men Alive.’ And this is an anglicization of the Greek verb that Jesus used when He said, “From henceforth thou shalt catch men.” Fishing, instead of fishing for fish, you’ll fish for men. And that verb there is ‘take them alive’ as in a net, taking men alive. And He said that you don’t make a big case out of witnessing. But He said, “Whenever I am justified in choosing the subject of the conversation, there’s sometimes when you don’t butt-in,” you know that.
And you don’t try to make an artificial opportunity to witness but there are other times when God opens the conversational door and you can speak of Jesus. I often say, “You expect to be a Christian someday, do you know how to become one?” And at that point, people will say is no generally and I can explain the Gospel to them. I’ll talk about this again the next time I get together with you.
Father God, today, O may we know the presence of God and the power of the Spirit to make Jesus real. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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