The Effectiveness Of The Gospel

The effect of the gospel involves a turning- turning towards God or away from him. The Christian life is doing all with the blessed hope of Christ's return in mind.


Transcript

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? Well sure I wait for you to answer, and some of you do as matter of fact, don’t you? I’m glad we’re together once again to share from God’s Word.

You and I have walked carefully through 1 Thessalonians, and it’s been a great experience for me at least – I trust also for you. I thought we’d sort of recap some of the big truths that you find in this wonderful book. Just as my father used to say, “Hit the high spots boy.” Just hitting the high spots, recapping some of the truths that the Lord gave us in our walk through the book. Chapter 1 – incidentally, every chapter speaks of the second coming of Christ. And you and I who read our Bibles know that we are nearing the end of the Age of Grace.

When our Lord Jesus may come is a matter that is not known to us so far as the exact date is concerned. But we know that major, major prophecies that must be fulfilled before our Savior comes back again, have been fulfilled. Israel is back in the land, Europe is uniting into one great group of, of interconnected nations once again. Crime is increasing, sin is increasing, natural disasters are increasing, inequity is abounding, apostasy is spreading, traffic is building.

Remember the Bible says that chariots will jostle each other in the streets. Well there’s lot of jostling goes on now, right? And trade will be a problem. The distress of nations with perplexity, that word perplexity is aporeo, lack of trade. Many a war has been fought not by, not for political issues but because of the money that was involved in, in trade – you know that. Well all of these things are happening. And the Russian bear is looking hungrily toward some areas to the south of him, that can be taken over – oil rich and mineral rich areas. So the, the prophecies of Ezekiel are about to be fulfilled. So you, you and I know that we’re coming to the end of the Age of Grace, and we better live then in the light of Christ’s soon return.

Personally I don’t go along with those who fix the dates. I just got a book in the mail saying that, that the Lord Jesus could be expected to return September 1 1990, or 1989, whatever. Well I… You know the date will come and go probably. If, if the person is correct, that’s great. I’ll be glad to see my Lord. But by and large you, you, you reject the date setters because they’ve all been uniformly mistaken. Jesus said of that “day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels in heaven, but My Father which is in heaven.” So leave it there. But you can know, you can know that the signs are there, that point to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With that in mind then, this 1 Thessalonians is, is extremely significant because it deals with various types of truth that relate to the, the second coming of Christ. Chapter 1 has to do with the Gospel and its effect in the light of the second coming of Christ. The end of the, of the chapter says, “Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come. The Gospel, our Gospel came unto you said, He in word, not in word only, but in, also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. As you know what manner of men we were among you, for your sake. And ye became followers of us and of the Lord, receiving the word with much affliction and the joy of the Holy Ghost.”

The Gospel, it is to be preached in power. The power of the Holy Spirit is to be received with joy and open heartedness. And the result is that you live after you’ve received Christ the Savior, you live in the light of His coming, you turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven. And as a result, you become an example to other people. “Ye became examples,” said he, “to all that believed who live in Macedonia and Achaia. From you sounded out the word of the Lord. Not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God is spread abroad. So we need not to speak anything.”

Interestingly enough you cannot keep a genuine Christian experience secret. You cannot keep a keep a genuine Christian experience secret – it’s going to show up. It will show up in your attitude, it will show up in your words, it will show up in your conduct, it will show up in your decisions, it will show up in your relationships. It is just going to be evident that you have been with the Lord Jesus. They said of the disciples so long ago, “They took knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus.”

Ah dear friend, there you have the great secret of Christian witness. It’s not what I say primarily, it’s the person I am that makes the difference. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” Paul doesn’t say, “If any man be in Christ, he speaks differently.” But he does say, he is a new creation. It’s what you are that speaks louder than what you say. Well it says, “People that know about you people,” in Thessalonica, “show unto us what matter of entering we had to you, how ye turned to God from idols.” Always and always the effect of the Gospel is a turning. When our blessed Lord, by his Holy Spirit speaks to the unsaved heart, and conviction of sin ensues, there will inevitably be a turning – either a turning to God from idols, or a turning away from God, sadly to serve those idols.

I’ve had one or two experiences where people made that decisions to turn away from God, and it’s so sad. The newspaper executive on a Saturday morning in Los Angeles, where Roy McCuen and I were speaking with him and, and pleading with him to give his heart to Christ. And he turned his back on us for a moment – we were in his big plush office, big picture window looking out over Los Angeles. He turned his back on us and looked out that window for what seemed to be a very long time. And then he turned back to us he said, “No boys, no dice. I’m not going to do it.”

And my heart sank, but then I thought, “Well I’ll ask him.” I said, “Well sir, would you mind if I ask you a question? While you were thinking there momentarily about your decision, were, were you saying to yourself, “Why should I get down and humble myself, and get on my knees and pray, and confess my sins to God and all of that, when I am such a nice person?” And his face lit up with a smile. He said, “You are right.” And he used a little profanity which I will clean up here in the interest of, of being respectable. He said, “I am a nice person.” It is that conviction that you don’t need God, and that you’re all right the way you are, and that you’re a pretty nice person, that stands in the way oftentimes, of a commitment to Christ. That’s what happened with him.

A man said to me one time, “I don’t want to be one of your converts. I just want somebody to care about me.” I was at dinner on another occasion with a very prominent member of the show business world. It was his birthday, and he and his wife number 3 had been invited by some believers who were remotely related I think to him, for a midnight birthday dinner. And he came, and we were eating fried chicken and all the fixings. And the talk got around the Gospel. And he brought his hand down on the table with a thump that made the silverware jump, and he said “I don’t want any of this religious mumbo-jumbo. I just want to be a nice person.”

See, that’s the attitude of the world. And so with that kind of an attitude you do turn from God, you turn away from God. How much better beloved, how much better to realize the truth of the matter. When you get really honest with God, you and I know that we don’t deserve anything but judgment in hell, we know we are sinners, we know that we can’t save ourselves, we know that we need somebody to help us. And if we listen to the Word of God, we know that Jesus came down the stairways of the stars to give that help by offering Himself as God’s Passover lamb to, to die for our sins, to pay the penalty of sin.

God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Little word ‘for’ is Greek word huper, up, over, instead of, ‘in our place’. He died in our place so that you and I today might look up and, and call God our father, Abba Father, Papa God. Jesus paid it all, He paid the debt of your sin. And you can turn to God in faith in the Lord Jesus, and all of his work that was finished there on Calvary’s cross. Your sins forgiven, your life changed, turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.

The genius to the Christian life is not only that you’re working for God, but that you have a future that is definite and filled with hope. Much of the world’s population is hopeless. I suppose some of you know that because you’ve traveled widely. Others of you will have to believe that that’s so – but it is. Much of the world’s population is hopeless. They go on living from day to day. The main job is to get enough to eat, and a roof over your head if possible, and clothes to wear. Just to keep alive, just to keep alive is the main business of multiplied millions – we might say billions now, for there are 4 billion people on Earth. Billions of people just to stay alive is the main business.

And they don’t have any hope for tomorrow. And if the precarious living that they have, that they scratch either from the soil or from, from foraging and the trash heaps, or in selling some little some little things – if the precarious living that they have were to vanish, they would simply starve, they don’t have any hope. And even those who are more affluent are hopeless. And you see it in their eyes, and you see it in their attitude, and you see it in their conduct. Tomorrow, tomorrow what is it? I don’t know, I’ll live for today. But a Christian has hope to turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.

Jesus is coming again. He said, “If I go away, I will come again and take you unto Myself, that where I am there ye might be also.” He wants us to be with Him, He wants us to be with Him, and He’s coming for us. What a blessed hope that is. The Bible calls it the blessed hope, the Bible calls it the blessed hope. Why? Because when you think of the fact that Jesus loved you enough to die for you and rise again, and be your living Savior, and that He’s coming back to get you and take you to be with him for all eternity in the final wrap-up of God’s redemptive plan, what a blessing that is in realizing that God Almighty has plans for you. He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God has plans for you beloved, and that involves the coming again of our Lord Jesus. Well hallelujah! It’s good isn’t it?

Holy Father, today may we live in the light of Christ’s coming again, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doin’ alright today? Well sure I wait for you to answer, and some of you do as matter of fact, don’t you? I’m glad we’re together once again to share from God’s Word.

You and I have walked carefully through 1 Thessalonians, and it’s been a great experience for me at least – I trust also for you. I thought we’d sort of recap some of the big truths that you find in this wonderful book. Just as my father used to say, “Hit the high spots boy.” Just hitting the high spots, recapping some of the truths that the Lord gave us in our walk through the book. Chapter 1 – incidentally, every chapter speaks of the second coming of Christ. And you and I who read our Bibles know that we are nearing the end of the Age of Grace.

When our Lord Jesus may come is a matter that is not known to us so far as the exact date is concerned. But we know that major, major prophecies that must be fulfilled before our Savior comes back again, have been fulfilled. Israel is back in the land, Europe is uniting into one great group of, of interconnected nations once again. Crime is increasing, sin is increasing, natural disasters are increasing, inequity is abounding, apostasy is spreading, traffic is building.

Remember the Bible says that chariots will jostle each other in the streets. Well there’s lot of jostling goes on now, right? And trade will be a problem. The distress of nations with perplexity, that word perplexity is aporeo, lack of trade. Many a war has been fought not by, not for political issues but because of the money that was involved in, in trade – you know that. Well all of these things are happening. And the Russian bear is looking hungrily toward some areas to the south of him, that can be taken over – oil rich and mineral rich areas. So the, the prophecies of Ezekiel are about to be fulfilled. So you, you and I know that we’re coming to the end of the Age of Grace, and we better live then in the light of Christ’s soon return.

Personally I don’t go along with those who fix the dates. I just got a book in the mail saying that, that the Lord Jesus could be expected to return September 1 1990, or 1989, whatever. Well I… You know the date will come and go probably. If, if the person is correct, that’s great. I’ll be glad to see my Lord. But by and large you, you, you reject the date setters because they’ve all been uniformly mistaken. Jesus said of that “day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels in heaven, but My Father which is in heaven.” So leave it there. But you can know, you can know that the signs are there, that point to the soon return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

With that in mind then, this 1 Thessalonians is, is extremely significant because it deals with various types of truth that relate to the, the second coming of Christ. Chapter 1 has to do with the Gospel and its effect in the light of the second coming of Christ. The end of the, of the chapter says, “Ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come. The Gospel, our Gospel came unto you said, He in word, not in word only, but in, also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. As you know what manner of men we were among you, for your sake. And ye became followers of us and of the Lord, receiving the word with much affliction and the joy of the Holy Ghost.”

The Gospel, it is to be preached in power. The power of the Holy Spirit is to be received with joy and open heartedness. And the result is that you live after you’ve received Christ the Savior, you live in the light of His coming, you turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven. And as a result, you become an example to other people. “Ye became examples,” said he, “to all that believed who live in Macedonia and Achaia. From you sounded out the word of the Lord. Not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God is spread abroad. So we need not to speak anything.”

Interestingly enough you cannot keep a genuine Christian experience secret. You cannot keep a keep a genuine Christian experience secret – it’s going to show up. It will show up in your attitude, it will show up in your words, it will show up in your conduct, it will show up in your decisions, it will show up in your relationships. It is just going to be evident that you have been with the Lord Jesus. They said of the disciples so long ago, “They took knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus.”

Ah dear friend, there you have the great secret of Christian witness. It’s not what I say primarily, it’s the person I am that makes the difference. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation.” Paul doesn’t say, “If any man be in Christ, he speaks differently.” But he does say, he is a new creation. It’s what you are that speaks louder than what you say. Well it says, “People that know about you people,” in Thessalonica, “show unto us what matter of entering we had to you, how ye turned to God from idols.” Always and always the effect of the Gospel is a turning. When our blessed Lord, by his Holy Spirit speaks to the unsaved heart, and conviction of sin ensues, there will inevitably be a turning – either a turning to God from idols, or a turning away from God, sadly to serve those idols.

I’ve had one or two experiences where people made that decisions to turn away from God, and it’s so sad. The newspaper executive on a Saturday morning in Los Angeles, where Roy McCuen and I were speaking with him and, and pleading with him to give his heart to Christ. And he turned his back on us for a moment – we were in his big plush office, big picture window looking out over Los Angeles. He turned his back on us and looked out that window for what seemed to be a very long time. And then he turned back to us he said, “No boys, no dice. I’m not going to do it.”

And my heart sank, but then I thought, “Well I’ll ask him.” I said, “Well sir, would you mind if I ask you a question? While you were thinking there momentarily about your decision, were, were you saying to yourself, “Why should I get down and humble myself, and get on my knees and pray, and confess my sins to God and all of that, when I am such a nice person?” And his face lit up with a smile. He said, “You are right.” And he used a little profanity which I will clean up here in the interest of, of being respectable. He said, “I am a nice person.” It is that conviction that you don’t need God, and that you’re all right the way you are, and that you’re a pretty nice person, that stands in the way oftentimes, of a commitment to Christ. That’s what happened with him.

A man said to me one time, “I don’t want to be one of your converts. I just want somebody to care about me.” I was at dinner on another occasion with a very prominent member of the show business world. It was his birthday, and he and his wife number 3 had been invited by some believers who were remotely related I think to him, for a midnight birthday dinner. And he came, and we were eating fried chicken and all the fixings. And the talk got around the Gospel. And he brought his hand down on the table with a thump that made the silverware jump, and he said “I don’t want any of this religious mumbo-jumbo. I just want to be a nice person.”

See, that’s the attitude of the world. And so with that kind of an attitude you do turn from God, you turn away from God. How much better beloved, how much better to realize the truth of the matter. When you get really honest with God, you and I know that we don’t deserve anything but judgment in hell, we know we are sinners, we know that we can’t save ourselves, we know that we need somebody to help us. And if we listen to the Word of God, we know that Jesus came down the stairways of the stars to give that help by offering Himself as God’s Passover lamb to, to die for our sins, to pay the penalty of sin.

God commendeth His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Little word ‘for’ is Greek word huper, up, over, instead of, ‘in our place’. He died in our place so that you and I today might look up and, and call God our father, Abba Father, Papa God. Jesus paid it all, He paid the debt of your sin. And you can turn to God in faith in the Lord Jesus, and all of his work that was finished there on Calvary’s cross. Your sins forgiven, your life changed, turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.

The genius to the Christian life is not only that you’re working for God, but that you have a future that is definite and filled with hope. Much of the world’s population is hopeless. I suppose some of you know that because you’ve traveled widely. Others of you will have to believe that that’s so – but it is. Much of the world’s population is hopeless. They go on living from day to day. The main job is to get enough to eat, and a roof over your head if possible, and clothes to wear. Just to keep alive, just to keep alive is the main business of multiplied millions – we might say billions now, for there are 4 billion people on Earth. Billions of people just to stay alive is the main business.

And they don’t have any hope for tomorrow. And if the precarious living that they have, that they scratch either from the soil or from, from foraging and the trash heaps, or in selling some little some little things – if the precarious living that they have were to vanish, they would simply starve, they don’t have any hope. And even those who are more affluent are hopeless. And you see it in their eyes, and you see it in their attitude, and you see it in their conduct. Tomorrow, tomorrow what is it? I don’t know, I’ll live for today. But a Christian has hope to turn to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven.

Jesus is coming again. He said, “If I go away, I will come again and take you unto Myself, that where I am there ye might be also.” He wants us to be with Him, He wants us to be with Him, and He’s coming for us. What a blessed hope that is. The Bible calls it the blessed hope, the Bible calls it the blessed hope. Why? Because when you think of the fact that Jesus loved you enough to die for you and rise again, and be your living Savior, and that He’s coming back to get you and take you to be with him for all eternity in the final wrap-up of God’s redemptive plan, what a blessing that is in realizing that God Almighty has plans for you. He said, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, thoughts of good not of evil, to give you a desired end.” God has plans for you beloved, and that involves the coming again of our Lord Jesus. Well hallelujah! It’s good isn’t it?

Holy Father, today may we live in the light of Christ’s coming again, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!



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