Very Good News
The key to hope is the gospel. Christ died for my sins and Christ is alive.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m so glad to be back with you.
I’ve just been praying that God would put His love and peace and power and wisdom and blessing and inspiration, even into the tone of my voice and into the words that I say, so that somebody somewhere might be blessed and helped and encouraged. We try to put a handle on the Word of God as we go through a book of the Bible, verse by verse.
Currently, we’re looking at Colossians. We’ve come now to verse five, “The hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, whereof you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel, which is come unto you as it is in all the world, and bring forth fruit does it doth also in you, since the day you heard of it and knew the grace of God in truth. Now, you get two references to truth, “You heard the Word of the Truth of the Gospel”, and, “You knew the grace of God in truth”. Little difference there, but we’ll get at that.
You heard of the hope, “The hope that is laid up for you in Heaven where you heard before in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel”. Now, ordinarily if you would ask some of us, ‘What is the Gospel?’ we would probably, to oversimplify the matter, turn immediately to 1st Corinthians 15, and we would quote that passage, don’t you think so? The Gospel which I preached unto you. I delivered first of all, that which I also received”. Here it is, “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures, that He was seen by Cephas, then the 12 and after that 500 brethren at once and last of all, me too”.
The Gospel is, Christ died for my sins. He was buried and He rose again, He’s alive today and He could be a living Savior and the key to the authority of the proclamation of the Gospel is for Paul, or anybody else, you and I to say, me too. I met Him.
Now, that’s true, but he says, “The hope that is laid up for you in Heaven, and you heard about that in the Word of the Truth of the Gospel”. What occurs to me as I think about this verse, is that the essence of the proclamation of the Gospel,(which means “good news”,) the essence of the Good News is that there is hope. Everything else pales in insignificance before the vast and ineffable despair of a lost world.
Joe Weatherly asked a man who had held his arm heavenward for many years until the joints had stiffened and calcified, said, ‘Why do you do that, sir”? The man said, “Fifteen years ago I made a vow that I would lift my hand to Heaven until I found forgiveness of my sins and peace in my heart”, and Joe asked him, “Have you found forgiveness and peace?”, and the man said so sadly, “Not yet, sahib, not yet”.
All over the world there are people who are busy doing something in the hope of either assuaging the wrath of whatever gods they serve, or of changing, as someone told me in Canton, China many years ago, she hopes she will change her luck by doing this sacrifice. Whatever their hopes are, they are short-lived and there is a vast unspeakable despair in the hearts of people who don’t know God. You know that. Some of you have been through it yourself and you know.
Now, all the essence then of the Gospel is that there’s hope. The man or the woman who has blown it, as we say, spoiled your life and people around you have suffered because of your mistakes, and you say, “Well it’s all over for me. No more chance for me”. Someone comes and says, “Jesus loves you and God has a plan for your life and there’s hope”. You can start where you are and God can do something with your life. There’s hope.
Someone else says, “I’m handicapped. I didn’t ask to be born this way, but I’m handicapped and there isn’t much chance for me to be anything in life”, and you feel that deep, gnawing, bitterness in your heart because nature, we say, has dealt you an unfair blow, and you’re handicapped in some way. Then, the Gospel comes and somebody says, “God loves you, and the way you are and what you are and where you are is part of His Plan designed to make you a blessing to someone”. And so a person like Joni Erickson Tada, who is a paraplegic, can paint beautiful pictures holding the brush between her teeth, and a person who can’t move a finger can operate an IBM typewriter through an electronic hookup that allows her to type by the use of her tongue moving a toggle bar that is especially set up to operate that typewriter. Beloved, there’s hope, there’s hope.
God is the God of the second chance, “The Word of the Lord came the second time to Jonas saying, ‘Arise, go onto Nineveh and preach the preaching that I bid thee”. We have forgiveness, “There is forgiveness with Thee that thou mayest to be feared”, the psalmist said.
You have hope, my friend. Go on, give yourself to God and let Him work in your life. The essence of the effect of the Gospel is that there’s hope. Hope for today, hope for tomorrow, hope for eternity. “We’ve been born-again”, Peter says, “unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He was dead and is alive and He’s there in the Presence of the Father interceding for you and for me. He ever liveth to make intersession for them that come unto God by him”.
Hubert Mitchell said to me one day, “Do you know what the chief job of the Savior is”? The question struck me, I hadn’t thought quite that way and I hesitated and I said, “Well you better answer the question yourself”. He said, “He ever liveth to make intersession for them that come unto God by Him”. His occupation now is to mention your name beloved, before the Holy Father and to plead your cause through His matchless grace. Yes, the hope that there is in the Gospel.
Am I talking to somebody today who needs this so badly? You’ve been discouraged, you’ve been despairing, you’ve been giving up on yourself and on other people? Oh, remember, God isn’t through with you yet. God hasn’t given up on you yet. “Great is thy faithfulness”. “Great is thy faithfulness”, the Bible says. It is of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They’re new every morning. “Great is thy faithfulness”. God won’t give up on you, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee”, is the promise that God gives us. “Him that cometh unto me”, Jesus said, “I will in no wise cast out”. So, there is hope for you beloved.
Don’t give up don’t give up on yourself, don’t give up on people, and don’t give up on God. There’s hope for you. The key to it is surrender to Jesus Christ. You won’t make it on your own. It doesn’t do any good to say, “Well give me one more chance and I’ll make it”. You haven’t made it yet and you won’t if you give 100 more chances. The key to hope is the Gospel. Christ died for my sins and Christ is alive to be my Savior and I give myself then to Him. He’ll manage my thoughts, He’ll manage my actions, He’ll monitor my whole life, He’ll give me His will beginning this minute. Get hold of that by faith beloved, will you?
Some of you need that so badly. “The hope that you heard in the Truth of the Gospel which is come unto you as it is in all the world, and bringeth forth fruit as it does also in you since the day you heard of it anew the grace of God in truth”. To bring fruit, to bring forth fruit means to make something effective, in the scriptural parlance here. If an idea is fruitful that means it’s implemented, right? If a relationship is fruitful that means that it is solidly put together and has good results.
So that this matter of the hope that there is in the Gospel has come to these folk and it says, “It brings forth fruit”, that means they got some hope themselves and they began to implement the truths that are found in the Word of God.
Now, what is the key, what is the key to fruitfulness so far as the Gospel is concerned? Well, it’s very simply put forth here in this sixth verse, we’ll just bring it out and lay it before you before our time runs out on this broadcast. The Truth of the Gospel is come unto you as it is in all the world. Now it’s one thing to hear the Gospel, it is one thing to know about Jesus, it’s another thing to apply that truth to your life. So he says, “The Word of the Truth of the Gospel is come unto you and bringeth forth fruit since the day ye heard of it and knew the grace of God in truth”.
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, this blessed message that Christ died for our sins and was buried and rose again and He’s alive today to be our living Savior, to save to the uttermost, becomes real to you when you apply God’s grace to your life. Now, there are certain areas where we feel religiously comfortable, but there are other areas in our lives and in our personalities, that we really hate to think about. Dark rooms and set apart enclaves that scarcely ever see the light of God’s Truth because we just don’t want to face up to them. And it varies with differing people obviously, but you know because you’re thinking about it right now, the area of your life where it’s hard for you to even to think about it, and you certainly don’t want to face up to it and you don’t really want to let go of it. You understand me, don’t you?
Now, what makes the Gospel fruitful? Why, it’s to bring God’s grace into that area. “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”. To bring the grace of God, that is to say, to bring the truth that Jesus died for that specific area of need or failure in my life. Am I a congenital liar? Am I tempted to take things that are not my own? Do I have trouble with sexual impulses? Am I the slave of some drug abuse relationship? Am I bitter and unforgiving? Am I proud and haughty?
I don’t know what the problem may be, but the fruitfulness of the Gospel comes when you take God’s grace and apply it to the area of need, realizing that Jesus died and rose again for that specific area of need in your life. And you say, “Oh God, this is the kind of person I am. This is where my need lies. Save me and help me and fill me and conquer me and use me, in spite of this, sanctify this part of my life”. That kind of praying, beloved, helps you know the grace of God in truth, and you’ll be fruitful.
Dear Father today, may the Gospel get in where we live, in Jesus’ 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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