- From the Editor -
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Consider this subject, Then Jesus Came. History and culture are rich with evidence that Jesus came. He left an indelible mark that the heathen cannot erase. No matter how much they try, they cannot eliminate the Lord Jesus from the equation. History, prophecy, and culture bear witness to the fact that He came and He left a very indelible mark.
How He came, He was born of a virgin. “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14) That sign was the virgin birth of our Saviour. Of course, in modern Bible versions they take out the word ‘virgin’ and replace it with ‘maid,’ trying to eliminate the miracle. That prophecy was given 700 years before Jesus was born, and everything that came to pass at His birth fulfilled what the Old Testament had prophesied. Everything that happened at Calvary on the day of His death fulfilled Psalm 22, penned 1000 years before His coming.
Everything that surrounds the life of the Lord Jesus was prophesied, and was fulfilled. Everything else that the Bible says about Him will be fulfilled. There were multiple reasons why Jesus came to be born of a virgin in that town of Bethlehem. We know that He came. But do we know why He came?
We read in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” We know the primary reason why Jesus came to earth. It was so that He could live a sinless life and then die in our place to pay the price of our sins, to save sinners from Hell, to make a way of escape.
Matthew 5:17 says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” You understand that He came to fulfill every prophecy that was ever written of Him. He came to fulfill the plan of God, to do what was planned before the foundation of the world with the Godhead. He came to fulfill that, to fulfill the Scriptures. He came to fulfill the prophecies.
He came to fulfill the moral law. The only Man that ever did was the God-man. He lived a perfect, sinless life, which enabled Him to be my Substitute and your Substitute, because He fulfilled the law. He was tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin. That’s what the book of Hebrews says. Certainly, He lived in a body of flesh, but He fulfilled to the ‘T’ everything that the law of God required. Everything in the ceremonial law was fulfilled in Him, because the Old Testament ceremonies, every type, every metaphor, every sacrifice, the Tabernacle, the Temple, every piece of furniture, all of it pointed to Calvary. Jesus Christ fulfilled all of that and put an end to the ceremonial law and sacrifices, because the Lamb of God that was being pictured had finally come and taken His place.
Every thing the prophets foretold of Him was fulfilled. You understand that He fulfilled over 300 prophecies in His lifetime to the finest and most minute detail. Thirty-three prophecies were fulfilled to the ‘T’ on the day of His crucifixion. I don’t know if you realize the odds, the possibility of that happening. It is almost unbelievable. We could put a one up here and just put zeros around the walls and just keep putting them around. We would run out of wall space and still wouldn’t come to the chance of all those things coming together as they did, not by chance. It was by divine providence. It is exactly as God said. Jesus came to fulfill the law. He didn’t destroy the law; He fulfilled it. He didn’t destroy the ceremonial law; He fulfilled it. Everything it pointed to, He was. Everything it pictured, He accomplished, not only in His sacrifice, but in His perfect life as He lived on this earth, a virgin born, perfect life.
Matthew 20:28 tells us another reason why He came. “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” He paid the ransom price, and his purpose was not to be ministered unto, but rather to minister to us.
To minister means to serve. Remember what Jesus told His disciples: “I am among you as he that serveth.” He taught them that servitude was the epitome of Christianity. It’s not a matter of me lording over somebody. It’s a matter of me serving them. You don’t decide how great a leader is by how many people they boss around, but rather by how many people they serve. That is the definition of Biblical leadership. Jesus came to minister and to give His life a ransom.
Isaiah 53, also penned 700 years ahead of time, tells us that God was pleased when Jesus was bruised. God saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied. People are always talking about the love of God, and God’s love provided the sacrifice, but you do understand it was the holiness of God and the righteousness of God and the justice of God that demanded a sacrifice? God is love. One hundred twenty times the Bible says that. But 722 times the Bible says, “God is holy.” God’s chief attribute is His holiness. God’s holiness demanded a sacrifice and His love provided One.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Do you understand what ‘lost’ implies? Have you ever been lost? Have you ever been somewhere and you genuinely were lost? Stop and think. If you are lost, then you do not know where you are. If you are lost, you do not know how to get back where you need to be. If you are lost, somebody is probably going to have to find you, because you don’t have a clue. You don’t know where to begin. You have no idea where to start. The Bible says, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He is looking at people that He views as hopeless and helpless in their sin. They don’t have a clue how to solve their problem, a major problem that will ultimately destroy them. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.
Matthew 9:13 says, “...for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Several years ago, there were folks saying that repentance was only for Christians. I can’t find that anywhere in the Bible. I find when you get saved, you repent. Repentance is not a work. Repentance is a change of heart and attitude. In other words, for me to repent means that I acknowledge that I have a problem and I come to God without terms. That’s what it boils down to. It is not a matter of me fixing everything that is broke in my life, and that’s repentance. There is the fruit of repentance the Bible talks about in II Corinthians 7:10-12. No doubt whenever I repent and God does a work of grace in my life, some things are going to dramatically change. That is the fruit or the outcome of godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Repentance is not me changing; it is, however, me being willing to be changed.
I ran from God for six months after my parents got saved. I did not want to go to Hell. I did want to go to Heaven. Do you know what I didn’t want? I did not want God changing me like He changed them. I was not willing to be changed. When I was willing to be changed and I took my hands off of it and I came to God without terms. Up to that point I wanted to be saved, but I wanted to be saved on my terms. I wanted to be saved without being changed. I wanted to go to Heaven when I died, but I didn’t want God to transform my life.
Of course, I didn’t understand how wonderful the transformation would be. A lost man can’t comprehend that and to him it looks pretty bad. The Bible talks about ‘the abomination of the Egyptians.’ What was a sweet savor to God was an abomination to the Egyptians, and it was good for Israel. For the Jews to offer sacrifice would be an abomination to the Egyptians. It was one of the concerns that Moses had. He said, “You’ve got to let me go out of the land. I can’t sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians.”
Do you understand that doing right is an abomination to the heathen? Do you understand being a decent Christian, trying to obey God, is an abomination to them? They look at it with disdain, and turn their nose up. “How do you know?” Because I was a heathen. Remember before you got saved, how you viewed Christians and knit-picked all the time. That’s what amazes me. When you were lost, you knew everything that was wrong with every Christian. Then you got saved and got amnesia. You became what you used to criticize.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. I have to acknowledge that I am a sinner before I can be saved. A person that won’t admit they are a sinner and won’t acknowledge their problem can’t get saved. By the way, that ‘s what He is talking about in Ecclesiastes 7:16 where He said, “Be not righteous over much;...” He is not talking about you doing right too much. He’s talking about you being too self-righteous so you don’t acknowledge your need. Don’t get the idea that you don’t need forgiveness. Don’t be righteous over much. Don’t get so righteous in your own eyes that you don’t recognize your need of repentance and faith in Christ, your need of a Saviour.
In John 10:9-10, He takes it a step farther, and says, “...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” You need to understand the difference between eternal life and abundant life. They are not one and the same. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you immediately have eternal life, but He came not only so that you could have eternal life, but so that you could also have abundant life. Eternal talks about duration; abundant talks about the quality and fullness and the blessedness of that life. He wants you, not only for eternity to have eternal life; He wants you to live the abundant life filled with blessing while you’re here. That’s available to you right now. Fullness of blessing, fullness of power, the hand of God on your life.
He came that you might have life. “That’s wonderful. I’m saved.” Yes, but it doesn’t stop there. He came that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly. So I can be enjoying that eternal, abundant life today. I don’t have to wait until I die to enjoy it. I can start enjoying it as soon as I get it. If I have eternal life, I need to surrender to God and enjoy everything He has for me in this world, and live that eternal, abundant life that He had in mind.
The Bible tells us again and again why He came. It is pretty clear that He had some practical things in mind. When the Lord’s disciples wanted to call down fire upon those who did not receive Him and His message, He said in Luke 9:56, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them...” We are not just talking about their eternal soul, but also about their lives. He said, “I didn’t come to destroy anybody’s life. I came to save them.” Salvation doesn’t destroy your life. Salvation is what enables you to have real life and find out what life is about.
In my mind as a lost man, when I looked at my parents and saw the wonderful transformation that had taken place, I thought, “Man, that would destroy my life. I’d be miserable.” Why? Because everything I thought was pleasurable was sinful. I really thought you couldn’t have any pleasure in life without sin. “If I got saved and God changed me like that, I couldn’t party like I party. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t do that. That would destroy my life.” No, The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. He came to deliver you, not only for eternity from Hell, but to deliver you from this present evil world according to Galatians 1:4. There is deliverance, not only from the penalty of sin, but from the power of sin that rules and governs people’s lives while they walk on this planet. Jesus said to them, “I didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” I actually believed that getting saved would destroy my enjoyment of life, but I had no clue how much better my life was going to be.
The reason I thought that was because I had never tasted. The Bible says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good:...” (Psalm 34:8) Did you ever have a child come to the table and you put broccoli or something green out there. They go, “Oh yuck, I don’t like it.”
You say, “Have you ever tasted it?”
“No, I don’t like it!”
“How do you know you don’t like it?”
You’ve never tasted. You looked at it and decided because of the color and how it looked that you didn’t like it. So you refused to taste of it. There’s a certain level of commitment to putting something in your mouth to actually find out what it tastes like. There are all kinds of people that look at Christianity and look at salvation and look at the Lord Jesus with tainted eyes because they are still in sin and lost. They decide, “I’m not getting saved. That would destroy my life.” No, He didn’t come to destroy men’s lives. Sin is what will do that. Jesus came to save them. If you’ve never tasted, you don’t know.
At one point when I was a boy, my dad was laid off from the brick-yard, and was picking stones for $1 an hour at a golf course. My mom was scrimping all she could on the grocery bill. Back then you could get a half gallon of milk in a glass jug. So my mom thought she could fool me, since I could drink a lot of milk in a week. She mixed up some powdered milk and put it in that glass jug and stuck it in the refrigerator and thought I wouldn’t know the difference. Oh boy, it only took one taste!
But think about it. If the only thing you had ever tasted for milk was powdered milk, you might actually develop a taste for that stuff, but I could cure you of that pretty quick. All I would have to do is give you a taste of the real stuff with the cream on it and you wouldn’t have any hankering for powdered milk ever again!
What’s happened to a lot of folks is we’ve been raised on the powdered milk of the world, the powdered milk of the flesh, the powdered milk of the devil, the powdered milk of sin and carnality, and we just can’t imagine anything being better than that. We’ve never tasted anything else, so we have nothing to compare it with. If we ever got a taste of the true stuff, the real stuff, the true riches, we’d lose our hankering for that counterfeit stuff we’ve been feeding on, that we think is so great. The Son of man came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. The life that comes from Christ is the best life, and if you’ve never tasted the real thing, the devil has got you duped. You have been cheated.
In John 12:46 Jesus said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Darkness is acquainted with a lot of things. Groping in darkness, not being able to see where you are at. Darkness that is equated with oppression. Darkness that creates an ignorance based on the inability to see. Darkness that produces fear and apprehension. There is also an outer darkness spoken of, the blackness of darkness, which is a term describing the awfulness of Hell and the danger that awaits every lost sinner.
The Lord Jesus tells us in John 12:46, “I am come...” Why? “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” To abide means to stay there, to live or dwell there. I don’t have to abide in darkness. I don’t have to abide in fear, ignorance, or oppression. I don’t have to abide the awfulness of Hell for eternity, and I don’t have to abide the troubles in this life without the light of the Lord Jesus. I don’t have to do any of that because there is a light come into the world. His name is Jesus Christ. He came to fulfill the promises. He came to minister and to give His life as a ransom. He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to call sinners to repentance. He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. He came to give light to those who are in darkness.
We have a statement like that in Acts. Jesus comes to you today like He came to those in the Bible. Yes, He came physically and Yes, He died and arose and ascended, but do you realize He comes again and again? Not physically, not by another virgin birth, but He comes to us and deals with us again and again. The Lord Jesus passes by. He does not force Himself upon us, but He passes by and gives us opportunity again and again.
In Matthew 8:7, 13, we find a centurion whose servant had died. It was a hopeless situation. The Bible tells us, “Then Jesus came,” and the hopeless situation all of a sudden was changed. His servant was brought back to life. Only the Lord can do that.
In Matthew 9:22-26, we find a ruler of the synagogue whose daughter died and Jesus came. Everybody else was hopeless. Everybody else had written it off and already begun the mourning process, but Jesus came and restored life.
The first time D.L. Moody was asked to preach a funeral, since he had never yet preached a funeral sermon, he had no clue how to approach it. He decided he would go to the four gospels and find out what Jesus preached at a funeral, and follow His example. But when he examined the four gospels he found out that Jesus never preached a funeral. He just showed up and raised the dead every time. We don’t have the capacity to raise the dead. We do have to preach funerals. But when Jesus comes, His presence is a place of no unmet need.
In Matthew 8:14-15, we find Peter’s mother-in-law is sick of a fever, bedridden, unable to do much of anything. Then Jesus came and when He touched her, she rose and ministered unto them. He not only delivered her from her ailment, but gave her power and desire to serve. When Jesus comes and touches a life, He not only removes the problem; He puts in us a desire and ability to be a blessing and to serve, to wait upon others.
In Luke 8:26, Legion is a man filled with devils, demon-possessed. He is dwelling out in the tombs, living in the graveyard, enamored with death. He is naked. He is cutting himself. He is crying out. He is so ferocious and scary that men won’t pass by that way. He has been bound with fetters and chains and broke them off with supernatural, Satanic power. The Bible says he is crying out, apparently tormented in his being and enslaved and driven of the devil. Nobody could help him.
Then Jesus came, and when he met the Lord Jesus, his life was transformed. The Bible tells us his condition after he met Jesus was dramatically changed. This man had been naked, cutting himself and marring his body. Have you noticed people don’t wear much clothes today? I wonder if maybe the devil has something to do with that. Have you ever noticed people are marring their bodies, ugly stuff. It got to be painful to do and it’s ugly when it is done. Ugly is in. Repulsive is in. Could it be that the culture has become so influenced by the devil or devils plural?
Could it be that the enemy has such an influence on people that they are self-destructing? They are enamored with death. They are running around with all this make-up on, looking like they are dead, joining groups where they are enamored with death, crying out, enslaved.
But then Jesus came. After he met Jesus, we find him clothed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, in his right mind, which means he wasn’t before. No lost man is in his right mind. They are not all totally insane, but I’m telling you they are not in their right mind. Their mind is not working properly. When Jesus comes, He changes the mind. When Jesus comes, you’ll find yourself sufficiently clothed again. When Jesus comes, you’ll want to be at His feet. This guy is desiring to be with Jesus. Jesus said, “No, you go back home and tell them what great things the Lord hath done for you.” When he did everybody was in shock and revival broke out. This guy was a soulwinner. He was in a bad way, a pathetic state. What changed all that? Then Jesus came.
In John 4, we find a Samaritan woman living a dissipated life. She’s been married five times. Now she is shacked up with a guy she is not married to. I mean in a sad state. Then Jesus came. The Bible said that He ‘must needs go through Samaria.’ Why must He needs go through there? There was a divine appointment. There was a woman there in need. He must needs go through and He came to her.
You’ve heard the song, “When I could not come to where He was, He came to me.” She didn’t even know where He was, or how to find Him. She was lost and suffering the effects of being lost. That maniac in Gadara was lost and suffering the effects of being lost. Then Jesus came. The Bible tells us that when Jesus came to the maniac, he didn’t drive Him away. He didn’t run from him.
When Jesus came to this woman at the well, she asked Him some questions out of her prejudice. She was a Samaritan. There was no love lost between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans were considered half-breed dogs. They were not well received, not well liked. When Jesus began to talk to this woman she said, “How is it that You being a Jew speakest to me who am a woman of Samaria?” Not just a Samaritan, but a woman of Samaria.
Jesus began to tell her about a well that was better than the one Abraham dug, a well that she could drink from and never thirst again. When the Lord Jesus came and this woman got that water of life from the Lord Jesus Himself, she ran and dropped her waterpot and left that old boy she was shacked up with high and dry. She went to town and said, “Come see a man that told me all things that ever I did.”
The Bible said that many believed on Him because of her testimony, but there were many others that believed on Him because of what they saw themselves. They didn’t believe because of her testimony, but they went to see Him for themselves because of her testimony. From being in a pathetic state, she became a witness for Christ and was used to see lives changed, but it all happened when Jesus came. Things change when Jesus comes into a life. Things change when we make contact with the Son of God. Things change, and they don’t change for the worse because the Son of man is not come to destroy mens’ lives, but to save them.
In John 5:1-11, we find an impotent man who had been lying at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. Every time the angel would stir the waters and there was healing, someone would get in ahead of him. He was in such a bad way that he couldn’t get from the edge into the water before someone else did for 38 years. You’d think some time there would be a lull. You’d think some time he’d be the one, but for 38 years he tried everything he could and he got as close as he knew how to get, for 38 years. Getting as close as he could didn’t help him until Jesus came.
I’m inclined to believe when you get as close as you can, Jesus will come. When with sincerity you are trying to grope and find your way, the Lord Jesus will make sure you get the Gospel. He’ll make sure that there is a fella like the Apostle Peter who came to Cornelius’ house, who was a devout man, who prayed earnestly, who gave money, gave alms which has to do with giving to people in need.
This man at the pool had been in a pathetic state. Thirty-eight years is a long time, folks. When Jesus came, that quickly everything was changed. He said, “...Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” It was the sabbath. I love it because God emphasizes that again and again, that He is Lord of the sabbath. Those Jews made so much to-do of the sabbath they forgot that we don’t have a seventh day sabbath. We have a seven day a week sabbath, according to Hebrews 4. Our rest, our sabbath is the Lord Jesus Himself, not a day but a person. I can rest in Him every day of the week, but I have to be in Him to rest in Him. I have to receive Him. When He comes, I have to receive Him. When He comes, I have to be careful not to flee. When He comes, I have to determine not to reject Him.
In Acts 9, we find a religious man, who is literally tormented. “Where do you get that?” Because when the Lord addressed him, he sees a great light. He hears a voice. He said, “...Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” A prick is pointed stick, also called an oxgoad, like we’d use an electric cattle prod. The intention was not to harm the animal, but create enough discomfort to get them to move in the direction they were supposed to go. But if the animal kicks against the pricks instead of moving in the right direction, that’s a very painful thing. He will do himself harm and damage. I believe that from the time Stephen was stoned until this time, two chapters later, Paul is trying to snuff Christianity out to get some relief. He fell under deep conviction. He saw the face of Stephen as an angel. He heard him testify of seeing Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He saw him die with grace and say, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”
Religious people are the hardest ones to help. They are tormented by Gospel preaching. They hate it because it tells them, ‘You are not good enough. You must have a Saviour. You’ve got to get born again.’ They just don’t want to believe that their religion is not good enough. ‘This is what my grandparents had. This is what my parents had. I’ve been this all my life.’
Here is a man by the name of Saul of Tarsus, who after conversion became the great Apostle Paul. We see the miraculous transformation, how God marvelously used him as the apostle to the Gentiles, but it all happened when Jesus came. Do you know the key? When Jesus came Paul said, “...Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?...” When Jesus comes, you need to have that same submissive spirit and get saved. You have to have that in order to serve God. “...Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?...” When Jesus comes and deals with my heart, I’m going to have to respond as did Saul, or I’ll miss my opportunity.
In Mark 6:48, we find the disciples in a storm that was threatening to take their lives. These people already have the salvation of their soul. They are on their way to Heaven, but they were in a desperate situation and they cry out. Guess what? Jesus shows up. He speaks and the waters lay down at His feet and become placid and the raging storm ceases. “What manner of man is this that even the winds and sea obey His voice?” It’s the God-man. It’s Jesus. It’s the One who comes to you in your hour of need. He’s the One who comes to you as a lost soul. He’s the One who comes not to take, but to give. He comes not to steal, but to give what He purchased with His own blood. Then Jesus came.
You’ve probably heard Lester Roloff sing the song, “When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken. When Jesus comes, all tears are wiped away. He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory, For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.” He’s not going to force His way in. He has to be received. He said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:...” It sounds like somebody came. If I’m knocking at your door, I’ve come to you. He said, “I stand. I knock at the door,” but I’m going to have to be invited and received. “...if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
I assure you if some of you had met me before I knew Jesus Christ, you would have treated me like the maniac of Gadara. If you had seen me then, before God did a work of grace in my life, you would know His coming into my life has made a drastic change.
Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,...” He comes with compassion, with the compassion of a parent seeking a lost child.
When I was a small boy, maybe five, I remembered the way to my grandmother’s house. It was about three miles, and you had to cross a busy highway, though not a four lane interstate. I remember my dad had left and I thought he went to my grandmother’s house, and I wanted to go with him. So I took off and didn’t tell anybody. I just took off down the road, started walking. I walked three miles, crossed the roads, got to her house and he wasn’t there. Here I am, about five-years-old. I’m oblivious to any danger out there, just blundering along there and crossing roads. I wasn’t a bit worried, but my dad showed up an hour or two later at my grandma’s house and he had been looking for me almost since I left. He was frantically looking for me. He recognized the danger that I did not see. He was searching for me to protect me, trying to get me out of harm’s way.
What I notice is a lot of people are blundering through life. They have good intentions like I did. They may even be trying to get closer to God, but they are trying to do it without getting born again, without coming through Jesus Christ. They don’t recognize the danger they are in. Because of that, the Lord is seeking us. He comes to us and He realizes this is urgent. He comes seeking you, realizing the grave danger you are in, though you are oblivious to it.
I remember the testimony of a young woman who testified and she said, “When I was a baby, my parents left me on a doorstep. Some compassionate people took me in and adopted me. They raised me and were very good to me. Then religion left me on the doorstep of Hell.” That’s where religion always leaves you, on the doorstep of Hell. There is not anything religion can do for your eternal soul, not Baptist religion, not Catholic religion, not Lutheran religion, not Presbyterian religion, not Jehovah’s Witness religion, not Muslim religion. Religion of whatever brand, can only leave you on the doorstep of Hell. She said, “Just like when I was a baby, my parents left me on a doorstep and abandoned me. Religion left me on the doorstep of Hell. Then Jesus came.” There are a lot of religious people, but religion will leave you on the doorstep of Hell. You need Jesus and His payment upon the cross of Calvary to pay the price of your sin and make you a child of God.
There was a man who was trapped in a burning building. The fire company came, but didn’t have a ladder to reach that high. But they did have a net they spread below. They beckoned to the man to leap. Help had come, but he had to trust them. He had to make the leap of faith. He had to depend on them. Once he leaped, it was up to them to catch him and keep him from crashing to the ground. He was so paralyzed by fear that he curled up in the fetal position and died of smoke inhalation and was burned in the fire, because his fears kept him from leaping, even though help had come.
I say to you today, help has come. Jesus has come. He is passing by today. Don’t miss your opportunity. Remember when Bartimaeus knew that he passed by. He cried out and the people said, “Don’t cry out. Be quiet.” He just kept crying out until Jesus came and met his need. What I’m trying to tell you today He’s come, but He came for a reason.
All is well because Jesus came. But it’s only well for those of us that have received Him in. It’s only well for those who have responded. It’s only well for those of us that have cried out to Him. It’s only well for those of us that have responded to His coming and said, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” That’s what makes all well.
Jesus comes today and He tells us now is the time. You say, “Well, that’s good, but I’m already saved.” If you have been saved, then you know that we desperately need revival. Remember Jonah? The Lord came to him a second time. Do you remember Peter who got backslidden? The Lord came to him again and used him. The Lord comes not only to save and to give us eternal life, but He comes again and again to prod those of us that have eternal life to have life more abundantly, for us to get in the position of a servant and fulfill His word, for us to rise up and minister as Peter’s mother-in-law did, when He touched her. You and I need the touch of God. The good news is you don’t have to get to Him. He’s come to you. You don’t have to chase Him down, or find Him. He came that you might have life and you might have it more abundantly. He came to seek and to save that which was lost.
I’m glad He came to me. I’m glad that I responded positively. Time is running out and the Lord is coming again to you. I don’t care what people think you have. God knows the truth. Do you have eternal life? Do you have the abundant life? Do you even want it? May God help us to decide ‘I want whatever He came and died and rose again to give me. I want what He wants me to have.’
I’ve often told the story of Ed Stump, the father of one of the little girls who rode my bus. Ed trusted Christ when I talked to him on a Saturday afternoon. He did come to church the next morning and we sat down in the front. Dr. Wallace got up and preached and gave an invitation. I bumped Ed and said, “Ed, it’s time to walk forward and make it public.” Ed Stump walked down here and stood. Dr. Wallace asked him, “Ed, have you trusted Christ as your Saviour?”
He said, “Yeah, I did.”
He said, “Ed, you do want to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism and live your life for Him, don’t you?”
I’ll never forget what he said. He looked up at Dr. Wallace and said, “I want to get all of it!”
I don’t know about you, but whatever Jesus died to provide, I want to get all of it. Whatever He suffered to provide, I want to get all of it. Whatever He came to achieve in my life, I want to make sure it gets done. I want to get all of it.
Then Jesus came, and He is come again today, passing by person to person, aisle to aisle today. I wouldn’t let Him pass by. I’d reach out. I’d cry out today. I don’t care if it’s the first time, and of course I’m not talking about getting saved again. I’m talking about Him passing by again like He did with Peter, and the old backslidden prophet, Jonah. I don’t care if it is the first time, the second time, the fifteenth time. Jesus is passing by today. Don’t let Him walk by. Lay hold of the skirt of His garment. Make sure that you get what He came to provide.
Then Jesus came.