True Commitment To Christ
God isn't examining your track record as much as He is examining your love and commitment to him. Becoming a Christian involves: giving up idols, beginning true service, looking for Christ to return to earth.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing all right? Oh, I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and we are back together again for a few precious moments around the Word of God. I delight into looking into God’s Word, and sharing it with you because I get blessed in the process. I hope to be able to broadcast the Word of God as long as I live. I have just finished asking God to keep me vigorous and active serving Him, and giving out His Word as long as He keeps me around on this old earth.
We are looking at 1 Thessalonians. Paul said, “From you, you Thessalonians, you people who live in Thessalonica 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 that we need not speak anything.”
You get real with God, and the word get around. He says, “They themselves,” that is all the people that lived in that, in that area. “Show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from Heaven, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.” Great passage, isn’t it?
To wait for your Son from heaven, even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come. Now, you turn to God from idols to serve, to wait. These are the verb forms that you want to have reference to as you think about this passage – turn: turn from, turn to, serve, and wait.
The last time we got together we talked about turning to God from idols, didn’t we? Remember that? It is impossible to exercise true saving faith unless I am willing to turn from those things that have separated me from God, my sin in other words, and to repent genuinely of it. This is part of the, the given in the manner of doing any business with God.
Have you dealt with that manner in your own life? It is something that I have to relearn all the time. It is far too easy for us, I think, to say well Lord, just please help me and bless me, and then go on our merry way, not realizing that an absolute commitment to Him precedes anything else of value in our spiritual life.
I know that when I was interviewing perspective faculty members, and staff members for the college during that nearly quarter of a century that I served there as a president, I would very often begin by saying, “Tell me how you met the Lord. What does Jesus mean to you? What has been happening in your Christian life?”
And if a person stumbles around, and does not know what to say, you know pretty well that he doesn’t have much of a walk with the Lord. If however he were as clear as the one he was saved, and what has been going on since, and what the Lord has done for Him, and what he got out of the Word this morning. Oh well, then that is different.
A complete commitment to God precedes anything else of value in your spiritual life. Learn it, and nail it down in your memory. God is not examining your track record so much, as He is examining your love for Him, and your commitment to Him.
Simon Peter denied three times that he even knew the Lord Jesus, and broken, and devastated, and ashamed. He then met his Lord later on after the resurrection, and our Lord Jesus Christ did not say, Simon Peter why did you deny that you even knew me. Why did you cave in under pressure? He did not say that. He just said, “Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?” With a pure Calvary, John 3:16 kind of love. Agapao is the verb that He used, get to noun agape from it, God’s divine love.
Do you love me with a pure Calvary, John 3:16 kind of a love? Peter said, “Lord, you know I’m fond of you.” Three times our Savior asked that question. Why? Because God probes in my heart as to whether I really, I am committed to Him. Oh it is so important, beloved.
Go over that truth again in your own life, in your own mind. It is nobody’s business but yours and God’s. No one else can do it for you. But go over that truth again, and ask in every area of your life, Am I truly, truly committed in love and devotion to my Lord in this matter.
Turn from idols to serve. Greek verb doulio, serve like a slave. When you give yourself to God, you also give up the right to give orders. Someone defined repentance in a paraphrase sort of way. True repentance is giving up the right ever again to give orders concerning your life. When you trust your Blessed Lord, as Lord and Savior, He gives the orders, and you then serve, and you do not have any rights so called of your own except the right to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need except that it is the right of a joint heir with Jesus Christ. “All things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s,” says Paul to the Corinthians.
That kind of right you have, but the kind of selfish, self-will that characterized one’s life before is now gone, washed away in the blood of Calvary. Serve. “Lord, What will thou have me to do?” asked Paul. To serve the living and the true God, and then it says, and to wait for His Son from heaven.
Why bring that in? Well of course, all of the chapters in Thessalonians refer to the second coming in one way or in another. You know that already I suppose most of you, so that Paul is following out a given theme here, where he is discussing the relationship of everyday life to the hope of Christ’s second coming, His return to earth.
But implicit in the business of becoming a Christian is forsaking idolatry, number one; Beginning true service, number two; and three, learning daily to look up expecting your blessed Lord. Why? John says, “he that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as He, Christ is pure. He that saith he abided in Him ought himself also, so to walk amidst, live everyday as he walked.
So part of the business of being a Christian is to live in the light of Christ second coming. He could be here at any time, and He could be here before this broadcast concludes. Students of Bible prophesy say that all the major prophesies that need to be fulfilled before the second coming of Christ have been fulfilled.
The Jew is back in his own land as a sovereign nation once again. The Old Roman Empire is rapidly being assembled. The common market nations are roughly a configuration of the Old Roman Empire. Inequity is abounding, certainly we don’t have to argue that point, you just have to look around you and see. And the faith of many is waxing cold, and all sorts of movements that are calculated to detour you around faith in God. The New Age Movement, for example, and kinds of secular humanism are part of the very atmosphere in which millions of young people are being educated. Crime is increasing. The capital of our beautiful country, America, the beautiful, the capital of our country is known as the murder capital of the nation, a pity.
Well, you say He is not here yet. Well of course, He isn’t but He could come anytime. Simon Peter says, in the last times, scoffers will arise saying, where is the promise of His coming, for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning. But He is coming, and He’ll be here. And He said to His disciples, “What I say unto you, I say unto all, watch, watch therefore that that day does not take you unaware,” said He.
Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. Let me say it again, the business of being a Christian involves turning to God from your sin, service to God and the expectation of Christ’s soon return. Why? Because it has a salutary cleansing, disciplining effect on your life.
When I was younger, they used to sell little mottos. I haven’t seen them for a long time. It has gone of vogue, I guess. “Do nothing today that you would not want to be doing when Jesus comes. Say nothing today you would not want to be saying when Jesus comes, and so on. Go no place today that you would not want to be found when Jesus comes”. Remember that little motto, you could get them in the bookstores in the old days.
But it is a pretty good idea, isn’t it? Order your life in a way that will make it unnecessary to explain anything when our Lord Jesus Christ returns to take His church back to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Years ago, we lived in the, what is called the President’s residence. It has a wing that was originally occupied by the servants I am told. The wing includes a spacious kitchen, and upstairs a number of smaller rooms where the servants used to stay, that is what they told me in any case. And when we would have a large group into the, into the house in any kind of a reception, we generally darken that part of the house, and told people that it was off limits.
On one such occasion I happened to go upstairs, and walking into the darkened end wing of the house which had incidentally my two little offices, one for broadcast, and the other for writing and studying. I heard footsteps, and here came a man whom I recognized immediately as a, an official of another Christian organization. And there he was, in the dark walking down the hall toward me (Laughs) in my house. (Laughs) I said, what are you doing here? Well, he began explaining. He was embarrassed. Why? Because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that is all.
You know, John says it so clearly, “Little children,” said He, “abide in Him, that when He shall appear we may have confidence before Him, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” Let me live today in a way that will honor my blessed Lord, so that should He appear any moment, I would be glad to look up and say even so come, Lord Jesus. Hallelujah. Good truth there, isn’t it?
Dear Father, today may we serve Thee and love Thee, and be ready for the coming of our Lord Jesus. In His name I pray. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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