The Evidence Of God
Holy Spirit of God comes in to dwell, so that the beginning of any rationale for Christianity is not found in Philosophy but in the dynamics of the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within a human being.
And hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? You doing Alright? Well, I trust so. Bless your heart, I’m fine, thank you for asking. [chuckle] It’s great to be alive and serve God, isn’t it? That’s the blessed combination. And so here we are, you and I together, sharing from God’s Word, and we’re in Chapter Three of 1 Peter. “Be ready always.” That’s where we stopped the last time we got together. Don’t turn off your radio. Keep in touch. Keep your heavenly receiver tuned in, so that God can tell you. My friend at the airstrip turned his radio off and disobeyed the orders from the tower and they had no chance to tell him then that his wings had not been put in place on this folding wing aircraft, so he landed in the swamp.
Keep your radio on. Keep in touch. Keep ready to obey God, and do it right away. God’s timing is perfect. He’s never early, never late. When God speaks to your heart through his Word and through the indwelling Holy Spirit, obey him right then. Ready always. Now, there is God glorifying communication, “Ready always to give an answer to every man that ask you through a reason of the hope that is in you.” Small thought here, he said, “Be ready to give an answer. When people ask you.” You don’t have to barge into people’s lives like a human bulldozer and run over their sensibilities roughshod in the attempt to witness to them about Christ.
Al Metsker told about a little red-headed boy many years ago who was a newly converted member of the YFC club in Kansas City. And they said they found him holding another boy down and had him by the throat and he said, “Listen, either you’re gonna become a Christian or I’m gonna beat you up.” [chuckle] Well now, you don’t do that. [chuckle] His intentions were good, but his method was faulty, wasn’t it? [chuckle] No, he said, “Be ready to give an answer to everyone that asketh who God provides the opportunity.”
Merv Rosell years ago told the story of riding in a plane and sitting down beside someone and as Merv travelled, he reached into his briefcase and pulled out his well-worn Bible and began to read it. And the conversation developed something like this. The man next to him said, “Oh, you’re reading.” Merv said. “Yup.” He said, “Bible huh?” The man said and Merv said, “Yup.” He said, “You like it?” And Merv said, “Yup.” He said, “Why are you reading your Bible?” And that opened the door for my good friend Merv Rosell to give him the Gospel. God will set you up with opportunities to share Christ. You don’t have to barge into people’s lives.
So many people I meet are afraid of offending. Hey, brother, sister. You don’t have to be afraid of that if you’re in-dwelt by the Spirit of God. He knows what He’s doing. And Jesus said, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” God will set you up if you’ll let him. All you have to do is to be ready. Right? Ben Weiss told me two stories that illustrate this. My dear friend Ben Weiss is now with the Lord, several years. But he was a sort of a mentor to me while he lived. I used to ask him for advice on all sorts of questions because he was a wise brother as well as being a famous educator out there on the West Coast and he told me two stories in this regard.
One was, and this has to do with being ready, one was that he got on a plane in Chicago bound for, and I think it was Iowa and maybe one or two other stops on the way to the West Coast and he was very tired, but as he sat down… Well, before we got on the plane, he prayed, “Lord just, I’m yours. Put me with anybody you want that if you want me to speak about the Lord Jesus.” And he got on the plane and sat down beside somebody. And he found that this person who was seated beside him was entirely uncommunicative, not a word, not anything. And so finally, Ben being almost exhausted, because of a very heavy schedule the preceding three or four days, fell asleep and took a good nap and woke up when the plane touched down at Des Moines, feeling refreshed.
And at the same time in his heart he felt that there was a certain rightness about it. He’d been ready, but there wasn’t any opportunity. On the other hand, he said he was sitting in his office in one of the large high schools in Los Angeles where he was Principal before he retired. His wife had passed away and he was alone now, and he hated to go back to that big empty house just at dinner time because he would miss her so much. And so, he formed the habit of working late at his desk and then going out to a restaurant to have dinner. And so it was that on this day, he said, it got time to close up shop and he bowed and prayed, “Lord, where do you want me to eat dinner?” Well, he thought about different restaurants. There was one that had good food, but there was always a long line waiting just at dinner time and he didn’t like to stand in line.
But there was another that didn’t have such good food and another. He didn’t really feel good, about any of them. And he kept praying and that one restaurant where there was apt to be a long line kept coming back to his mind. Finally he said, “Alright, Lord, I’ll go there.” He got in his car. He was driving an ancient Chrysler, I think, at the time. Got in his car and went across the area to this particular restaurant, and strangely enough, there was somebody pulling out from the curb just in front of the restaurant and he scooted in there and parked the car right in front of the restaurant. Sure enough, there was a long waiting line inside. The place was crowded and he thought, “Oh boy, I gotta wait.” But as he stood there, in a moment, the hostess came out and said, “Is there a gentleman here that wouldn’t mind sharing a table with someone else who has already begun his meal?”
And Ben thought, “That’s alright, I will.” And so, he lifted his hand, he said, “Yeah, that’s fine.” And so she ushered him over to a table and here was a man who had already started his meal and then greeted him and they said, “Hello.” Ben sat down, and the man looked at him and he said, “Mister, I’ve been walking the streets all day trying to get up enough courage to kill myself.” He said, “I’d just been hoping that somehow, somebody could put me in touch with God before I did.”
Can you imagine a better opportunity to give the Gospel than that? Well, Ben Weiss was not one to lose an opportunity, and lovingly and deftly and with the expertise of living in the Word of God for a lifetime, he led this man into an understanding of what it means to trust Jesus Christ as Savior. They finished the meal and went outside, and this man bowed, leaning against the fender of Ben Weiss’s ancient Chrysler, and gave his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. Be ready always to give an answer. God will set you up. There are times when it’s not the time to say anything but the Spirit of God will guide you. He’ll help you at that point as well. You don’t have to always be chattering and talking and barging in and breaking into conversations or violating the space, as we say of another’s privacy. You don’t have to do that. God will set the thing up for you, you just be ready. Alright?
Now, he says, “Give an answer for the hope that is in you.” Why do you speak of Christ. Why do you have hope in him? And I thought about that, I thought, now, What is a good scriptural answer about that? I could line out for you the essence of the Gospel. Every man has sinned, everybody’s a sinner, you and me and everybody else. We can’t save ourselves. God can save us. Jesus paid the price for us. Salvation is a free gift, but you have to receive a gift in order to have it, so you need to receive Christ in order to be saved. We could say that to each other, but what is the rationale for it? And I thought, well now, on Pentecost Day, and in the days that shortly followed thereafter, the apostles were constantly confronted with skeptical questions about this very matter. And I thought, well now, let’s look and see what they did.
Well, when the Holy Spirit of God came to the baby church after these people, 120 of them had been praying for a while up in that upper room. Some mocking, said, “Why, these people are drunk.” And Peter stood up with the 11 and lifted up his voice and said, “Men of Judea, these are not drunken as you suppose, seeing it’s but the third hour of the day. Who gets drunk at nine in the morning?” Said he. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, “In the last days, saith God, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy. Young men shall see visions. Old men shall dream dreams, and on my servants and handmaidens I’ll pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy and I’ll show wonders.” And so on. This is that.
He went on to say, “Ye men of Israel, you crucified, by wicked hands, you crucified and slew the Jesus of Nazareth and God has raised him up.” Verse 24 of Chapter 2, “Having loosed the pains of death.” And then he said, “Be it known unto you that God hath made this same Jesus, whom ye crucified, both Lord and Christ.” They said, “What should we do?” He said, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The promise is to you and your children.” And all the rest of us that live in the 20th century. Well, what is the reason? This is Peter’s defense against people who said that, “These people are drunk.” “No.” He said, “There’s a reason for it.” What is it? He said, “What you’re seeing is the work of the Holy Spirit of God.”
Now friend, if you’re truly born again, the Holy Spirit of God dwells within the believer. Your job is to open every room in your heart house to him. You do that by faith, just as you trusted Christ as Savior, by faith. But the Holy Spirit of God comes into dwell so that the beginning of any rationale for Christianity is not found in philosophy, but in the dynamics of the Holy Spirit of God dwelling within a human being. That’s what Peter said, this is that, transformed human beings. There needs to be a difference in your life if you’re going to give any kind of a rationale for Christianity. Unless you are visibly and measurably different from the godless world around you because of the Spirit of God’s working in your life and the Word of God working in your life.
Unless you’re different, there isn’t much sense in trying to witness about your Christianity because they’ll put it down. The unbelievers will put it down as simply being a different point of view, but it’s the dynamic work of the Holy Spirit of God in the human life that makes them different. “Your sons and your daughters” he said, “shall prophesy.” “I’ll pour out my Spirit upon all flesh and servants and handmaidens I’ll pour out my… In those days, my Spirit, they shall prophesy, and I’ll show wonders.” See, the difference made by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of God in your life. That’s the second thing.
What you are seeing. Now, here’s what Peter said, “What you’re seeing is evidence of the Holy Spirit of God.” This is what Joel the prophet talked about, and it involves transformed human lives. Peter said, “I was a coward and a denier and now I’m the spokesman, I’m different. The Holy Spirit of God made the difference.” Then he spoke of Judgment Day coming. Verse 19 and 20 in Chapter Two, “And salvation freely offered.” In Verse 21, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Scripture offers salvation. And so he goes then from the dynamics of the Holy Spirit to the basis of that dynamics, the blessed Word of God. We’ll come back to this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, oh may we be ready to obey Thy promptings by the Holy Spirit and share the blessed Word of God with people. I pray 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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