My God, My God, Why?

“My God, My God, Why?”

by Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is being interpreted, My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?”

Mark 15:33, 34

Why God, Why God?
My God, My God, Why?

Here is an insight into the tremendous depths of the personal suffering which the Lord Jesus endured on the cross of Calvary. This is what He prophetically referred to when the two brothers, James and John, came to Him, as recorded in the tenth chapter of this same Gospel, asking for the privileged seats on His right hand and on His left in the coming kingdom. The Lord Jesus told them, “Ye know not what ye ask; can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Vs. 38). The cup, of course, referred to His inward sufferings; the baptism to the outward.

They foolishly said, “We can.”

Then the Lord replied, in effect, “Well, all right, you can. You, too, will die a violent death at the hands of men.”

One of the brothers, James, was the first of the apostles to die a violent death, and John, the other brother, was the last. But when Jesus asked, “Can you drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with,” He was in reality referring to the agonies, the sufferings at Calvary that He was to endure in our place and stead.

Of the depth of the drinking of that cup and the awfulness of that baptism, I don’t suppose any individual can ever know or will ever fully, truly understand. In order to comprehend the intense sufferings of Christ, in order to understand this cry, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” one would have to go to Hell and taste the agonies of Hell itself.

But even to go to Hell would not be sufficient. We would need to go to Hell as a sinless one, as one who had never committed any iniquity of our own, one never guilty of any personal sin. Yet even that would not be sufficient.

In order to understand the agonies of the suffering He endured it would be necessary to go to Hell as the sinless Son of God. Only He, God the Son – the only one who was sinless in Himself – could understand fully all that was involved when He died on the cross and cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

It was said that the great reformer, Martin Luther, sat for hours in one position in his study studying this cry from the cross. After considerable meditation he was seen to rise from his seat and heard to exclaim in amazement, “God forsaken by God! Who can understand that?”

Who can understand that? God forsaken by God! When we arrive in Glory and know as we are known, I dare say we will not even then fully comprehend all the sufferings and all the implications behind the agony of Jesus Christ when He was forsaken by the Father. And let me emphasize, too, that He was forsaken on the cross, that the Father did turn His back upon Him at Calvary.

One time I was talking with a fellow minister of the gospel who was passing through a particularly grievous situation. His boy had gotten into trouble out in the West; word had come to the father and mother about his awful sin, and they were heartbroken. I talked with them a bit and prayed with them; then, as I got ready to go, the man’s wife said to me, “Brother Sumner, I don‘t see how I can stand it sometimes. It seems in this that God has forgotten all about us. It is like the heavens are brass. It just seems that the heavens have clouded over and hidden God’s presence, and God doesn’t even know or care about the circumstances we are passing through.”

When she said that, the husband interrupted with an emphatic, “No, no!” And turning to me, he said, “Robert, it’s just as I’ve tried to tell her and help her to see: Our situation is like that of the Savior on the cross. His agony was so great and His suffering so intense that when He died, He cried out, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ But the Father hadn’t forsaken His Son. It was just that in agony of the hour He imagined His Father had forsaken Him.”

That was neither the time nor the place for a theological controversy – and he was old enough to be my grandfather, say nothing of my father – so I remained silent, but as I left the house that day, I said in my heart, “No, that is not right; Jesus Christ was never mistaken about one single thing, ever, not on one single occasion. He was never deceived about any matter whatsoever! It was not merely that He thought He was forsaken by the Father, but He actually had been forsaken, and there was a real reason for it.”

There are several reasons, for that matter, but note first that the word forsaken in itself is a composite of three different words – “to leave,” “down,” and “in.” It means literally to leave in the lurch, to leave destitute, to leave helpless, to forsake, to quit. And the total meaning is that of leaving someone helpless in a terrible situation – when everything looks hopeless – in a circumstance of despair and apparent defeat. That is exactly the meaning of the word, and that is exactly what happened on the cross of Calvary when the Father turned His back, and when the Son cried out in agony, “My God, my God, why …?”

Surely you will acknowledge that the reasons compelling the Father to turn His back upon the Son must have been tremendous! So much so that the earth trembled and shook beneath the load and the sun blushingly refused to look upon the scene, dressing itself instead in a black mourning robe for three solid hours – from 12:00 o’clock noon until 3:00 o’clock that afternoon. Tradition says that Diogenes – the man literature portrays with a lantern going about looking for an honest man – observed in Egypt the solar darkness that covered the earth and said to his companions, “Either Deity suffers at this hour or sympathizes with one who does.”

Deity was suffering at that hour! Eternal fellowship was being broken between Deity – Father and Son. But why? What was the reason; what was the cause? Was it necessary? Did it have to be? There are three answers that I want to impress upon you now, any one of which is alone sufficient to prove it was necessary for the Son to be forsaken.

The First Answer I present to You is:

I. BECAUSE OF HIS POSITION:

Bearing Our Sin!

The first reason the Father forsook the Son was because of His position – He was bearing our sin. Please keep in mind that God has always, eternally, as long as iniquity has existed, hated sin with a holy passion. You need only to pick up the pages of this sacred Book and begin to read its story until you are impressed over and over and over again with the intensity of the hatred of God against iniquity, against unrighteousness, against sin.

For example, when you commence reading this Book, in only the third chapter of Genesis you will find an earthly pair – Adam and Eve – who lost an earthly paradise because of a single sin. It tells of the curse of God upon the man, the curse of God upon the woman, the curse of God upon Satan, and the curse of God upon the ground because of one single act of disobedience. Just one sin caused them to lose that wonderful paradise! Just one sin and the wrath and the judgment and the curse of God came upon them. Just one sin expelled them from the beautiful Garden of Eden. Just one sin – but the awful curse and wrath of God was poured out upon them because of it.

A few chapters on in the Word of God you will find where, because of the sin of man and because of God’s holy hatred of that iniquity, God broke up the fountains of the deep and opened wide the windows of Heaven – water boiled up from beneath and water flooded down from above – and a mighty torrent of water which continued for forty days and forty nights blotted out all life, destroying every single human being upon the earth with the exception of the eight righteous souls who were in the ark that had been prepared under the instruction and supervision of Almighty God. An entire human race save eight souls was wiped out in a moment’s time because of God’s holy hatred of sin!

You read on in the book of Genesis a few more chapters and you will learn how the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot, because of the stench of their sin and the wickedness of their actions, were destroyed as “the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven” (Genesis 19:24). Yes, from God, from Heaven, came the mighty judgment of the Almighty upon the Sodomites because of their homosexual sin. God does hate sin with a holy hatred!

You read on in the Bible and you will discover, in the tenth chapter of Leviticus, where the sons of a High Priest – Aaron’s two sons, Nadab and Abihu – offered strange fire which God had not commanded at the altar of the Lord. Verse 2 tells us, “And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” because they had offered the strange fire. Strange fire, and the judgment of God came! The iniquity of a priest in his service for God, but doing that which God had not commanded – or contrary to what God had commanded – brought the judgment of God immediately upon them. Yes, God hates sin.

You can read in Joshua 7 how an entire nation was defeated in battle, stymied in their forward advance into the Promised Land, because of the one sin of one man, Achan. Because of God’s wrath over that single sin, the entire nation was blighted and held back in defeat until it had been judged and put away; then the nation rode on again to victory and triumph with the blessing of God.

You will read in the New Testament the same story of God’s hatred of sin. Just one illustration: Ananias and Sapphira were both struck dead – both of them smitten by the judgment of God about three hours apart – because they broke their vow and lied to the Holy Spirit.

Yes, all the way through this Book – Old and New Testament alike – every place you turn you will find the curse, the wrath, the blight, the judgment of Almighty God upon sin. God hates sin!

Everything in the world about you reminds you of His hatred of sin. The toiling laborer who earns his bread by the sweat of his face is a reminder of God’s hatred of sin. The laboring, travailing woman who goes down into the valley of the shadow of death in childbirth to bring back life – the sorrow, the agony of that pain is a mark, an evidence of His hatred against sin. The thistles, thorns, briars and kindred results of God’s curse upon the ground are evidences, reminders of the Divine hatred of sin. Sickness, sorrow, death, blindness, deafness, lameness, – all are evidences of the fact that God hates sin with a holy hatred.

Even in such things as beautiful roses – with all their fragrance and loveliness – God has attached the piercing thorns to remind the admirers of the rose and the lovers of beauty, fragrance and sweetness that He hates sin, and that His curse because of sin is upon this earthly creation. Yes, wherever you turn you find the evidence, the fruit, the proof that God hates sin.

Then remember that when Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary, He was dying according to I Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree …” He was bearing our sins on the cross of Calvary.

It says in II Corinthians 5:21 “He [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” When Jesus Christ hung on that wooden cross on that skull-shaped hill of Golgotha, he was bearing your sin, my sin, and the sin of all the world. God had made Him to be sin for us!

The word translated sin here is a word that means – and is translated thus in other places – a sin offering. He made Him to be a sin offering for us and the Father placed all of the sin of all ages on Him there. John 1:29 describes it with the words, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

We sometimes talk about this sin offering in abstract terms. We speak of how Jesus died for the sin of all mankind, how all the sin of all men of all ages was upon Him at the cross of Calvary; yet our weak finite minds comprehend very little of the magnitude of that load of sin.

Take the sin of lying for example. People are born liars, and continue to lie throughout their lifetimes. “They go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies,” the Scripture tells us (Psalm 58:3). Think of the lies that were spoken just today, this one day in this nice religious college town of Wheaton [where this message was preached]. Then add to that the lies of Dupage County, plus all the lies told in neighboring Cook County’s Chicago, plus all the lies told throughout the State of Illinois, plus all the lies told today throughout the entire United States of America. Then add to that all the lies of the Kremlin and the rest of Russia, England, France, Spain, Portugal and the remainder of Europe; all the lies of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and the islands of the sea.

Then add to the lies told around the world just this one day, the lies of all the days, years and millenniums past from the time that Satan first began speaking lies and fathering them in the hearts of all who would permit him. Then visualize the lies that will be told tomorrow and all the tomorrows until the end of time when Satan is hurled into the lake of fire forever, all sin is put down, and righteousness rules and reigns without interruption. If your mind could grasp the immensity of this you would have a picture of just the guilt, the curse, the condemnation, the stigma of this one sin of lying which He bore “in his own body on the tree!”

Then multiply by that the sins of murder, adultery, stealing, gossip, slander, unbelief, sorcery, envy, drunkenness, hatred, murmuring, homosexuality, and all of the thousand-and-one different sins of all people of all times of all ages – past, present and future! Then realize that the awful guilt and condemnation of them all was placed upon Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary. What an awful sight it must have been for the One whom Habakkuk 1:13 tells us “is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.”

When all the sin of all ages was placed upon the Lord Jesus, the Father – because of His personality, because of His nature, because of His hatred of sin – was compelled to turn His back. The Son cried out in anguish of that hour, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” The fact that He was taking our place, bearing our guilt, receiving our condemnation forced that forsaking by the Father of the Son.

I tell you, it was an awful thing when He died. Can you imagine, not just the physical agony of the crown of thorns, the spear, the nails in His hands and feet, the Roman cat-o-nine-tails upon His back, but the spiritual and the mental agony that the holy, sinless Son of God endured as the weight and woe and guilt of the sin of the world was placed upon Him?

Voltaire, the infidel historian, tells us that when King Charles IX of France died, his death was “of a most unusual order.” He died in such agony that the blood actually forced its way out through the pores of his skin. We know that this wicked king died in such anguish because of the terrible crime he committed in the heinous murder of the Huguenots, when he had them viciously and helplessly slaughtered. Before he died he said to his physician, “Doctor, for months I have been in a fever, physically, spiritually. If only I had spared the innocent, the weak-minded, the crippled, the women and children!” The awfulness of that sin as it weighed upon his mind literally drove King Charles IX of France insane! One sin! And remember, too, that one sin was committed at the desire, instigation and compulsion of another: wicked, vengeful Catherine de’ Medici. Yet that lone sin drove him mad.

Then, when you realize the Son of God had not just one sin upon Him, but all and every sin of every sinner of all ages, you can well imagine the awfulness of the mental anguish He suffered on the cross of Calvary.

They crowned Him with thorns,

He was beaten with stripes,

He was smitten and nailed to the tree;

But the pain in His heart

Was the hardest to bear,

The heart that was broken for me.

But let’s make it personal. It wasn’t just the sin of the whole world. It wasn’t just the sin of all ages. It was my sin, it was your sin that caused Him to suffer on the cross to such an extent – being forsaken by the Father!

In talking about Barabbas, one author let his imagination run wild in considering his reaction after the jailer came, opened his cell, and roughly dragged him out. He expected, of course, to be led to the place of crucifixion; after all, he was scheduled to die that very day. He was under condemnation with a just sentence of death by crucifixion. He was expecting to die a cruel, painful death on a cross. Then, imagine his joyous surprise when he was told that he was free; that as a result of the pleading of the people and the decision of the Roman governor, Pilate, he had been chosen as the one to be given freedom that Passover season!

This writer continued his flight of fancy as he portrayed Barabbas meeting his cronies, going from tavern to tavern, drinking the cheap wine of the day and gradually becoming intoxicated. Then, the writer visualized, about noon or a little before, Barabbas staggered out of one tavern, was hurled or jostled along with the crowd out toward that hill named Golgotha. There he saw the three rugged crosses planted on the brow of the hill, not an unusual sight for that particular day and time, perhaps. The writer then imagines that as Barabbas turned to one of his cronies to make a jesting remark about the agony of those on the crosses, suddenly his eyes met the eyes of the One in the middle and something more powerful than wine sobered his heart and mind. The grin was wiped from his face as he cried out in exclamation, “Jehovah God! That’s my cross He’s dying on!”

That is simply the imagination of one Christian author about what might have happened to Barabbas. What really did happen we have no way of knowing, but you listen to me about this! One thing is certain: this business of Heaven, this matter of soul salvation will never be obtained by any individual until he comes to the place of realization about the death of Jesus Christ: “Jehovah God! That’s my cross He is dying upon! That’s my place He’s taking! He is dying in my stead, in my room, on my behalf!”

As the prophet Isaiah tells us, “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). This is a personal matter, an individual matter. Jesus Christ died for my sin. Jesus Christ died in my place. Jesus Christ died in my behalf. Yes,

Down from, His glory and splendor He came,

Into a world of woe;

Took on Himself all MY sin and MY shame,

Why should He love me so!

But because He did,

How can I help but love Him,

When He loved me so;

How can I help but love Him,

When He loved me so.

Yes, “My God, my God, why …?” Because of His position – He was bearing our sin.

Next,

You have just read the first part of Dr. Sumner’s message.  Part Two will be here soon.

This message first published in The Biblical Evangelist.  Used by permission.

My God, My God, Why? (Part 2)
Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

II. BECAUSE OF HIS PERSON:

Becoming our Sacrifice!

Hear me again. Not only because of His position, but because of His person the Father was forced to forsake Him; He was becoming our sacrifice. John 1:29 says, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the whole world.” First John 2:2 tells us, “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the world.” The Lord Jesus Christ was taking our place at the cross of Calvary. He was becoming our sacrifice. He was God’s sacrificial lamb being offered to take away our sin.

Read the Old Testament. Every sacrifice in the Old Testament that had to do with atoning for sin was consumed, or cut off, or completely destroyed in some way. For example, there was the whole burnt-offering which burned all night long on the altar of fire that never went out. And even then, the next morning, the ashes were taken without the camp and cast away.

It was the same with the sin offering. It was first slain and the blood sprinkled seven times before the veil of the sanctuary, then on the horns of the altar of sweet incense and poured out at the altar of burnt-offering. The fat was burned on the same altar and then what remained was burned without the camp.

It was the same with the trespass-offering. It, too, was slain and the blood sprinkled at the side and bottom of the altar, a memorial portion was burned, and the remainder was consumed by the priest.

The same was true on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest selected two kids of the goats for sacrifice. One of them was slain, the blood was caught in a basin, and the High Priest with incense burning before him to hide from his view the mercy seat in the holy of holies that he die not, entered the secret place to sprinkle the blood upon that mercy seat. He then came forth and took the other goat, the one called the scapegoat, placed his hands upon its head and confessed the sins of the children of Israel. Then that scapegoat was consumed; that is, it was taken outside the camp and driven into the wilderness never to return again. Yes, all the Old Testament sacrifices that had to do with judgment against sin were cast off; they were consumed; they were destroyed!

The Lord Jesus Christ was our sacrifice, our offering for sin. As Isaiah 53:10 tells us, “His soul shall be made an offering for sin.” Since He was our offering for sin it was necessary for Him to be consumed; He needed to be cast off. And it tells us in Hebrews 2:9, He “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

Notice that statement: “That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Death here, of course, as always in the Scripture when used in the spiritual sense, simply refers to that separation which takes place between the individual and God.

Death is separation! That is why the Bible tells us that the person who is not saved is dead in his trespasses and sins. That is, he is separated from God. He is cut off from God. He has no connection, no union with God. The Bible goes on to tell us that if the individual continues in that separation of death, when he dies physically and stands before God in judgment, he will be cast into the lake of fire. This, we are told in the Bible, is the second death; that is, it is the second separation, the eternal final separation of the sinner from Almighty God.

Therefore, when Hebrews 2:9 tells us that the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary was tasting death for every man, it simply means He was tasting that separation from God which our sins had earned and deserved. As another has said, “My Hell, your Hell, and all the fires of all the Hells of all guilty sinners were burning themselves out upon Him when He died at Calvary.” And so they were! He was tasting death and paying the price of spiritual separation from the Father in your behalf, in my behalf, and in the behalf of every single sinner of all ages.

Oh, what a wonderful story we have to tell of this Savior who came to take our place, the Lord of Glory who came to die in our stead! I could not pay for my own sins. I could not give a sacrifice of my own that would be sufficient to atone for my sins. So He came and took my place. He paid the price. He met all the requirements at the cross of Calvary.

The wrath of God that was my due

Upon the Lamb was laid;

And by the shedding of His blood,

My debt was fully paid.

Yes, so it was! My debt, and the debt of every sinner who will put his faith and trust in Him, was paid at Calvary. Someone may say, “But I don’t understand how the death of just one could take care of all the sins of all mankind. How could this suffering separation by one atone for the sins of all who put their faith and trust in Him?”

It all depends, of course, upon the sacrifice. It is conditioned upon the merit of the one who pays the price. And the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, because of who He was as God the Son, paid completely the price of sin for all sinners.

Here is an illustration of how this principle works. Back in the Old Testament, in II Samuel 18, David was talking to his people about going out to war to regain the kingdom his son had stolen. He said in verse 2, “I will surely go forth with you myself also.” He said, in effect, “I will personally lead you into battle.” The people responded, “Thou shalt not go forth; for if we flee away, they will not care for u; neither if half of us die, will they care for us; but now thou art worth ten thousand of us therefore now it is better that thou succor us out of the city.”

Notice that they said about David, “It would be better for ten thousand of us to die than for you to die.” In other words, “You alone – because of who you are as the king of the people – are worth ten thousand of us.” If David had been slain, it might have been the end of that young kingdom. It surely would have thrown all the people into confusion and turmoil with the result, no doubt, of a terrible slaughter among the Israelites. So they said, “No, no; you are worth ten thousand of us!” And in that sense he was.

So, because of who He was, the Son of God was worth, as far as the scales and balances of eternity were concerned, more than all of the world with all its individuals of all ages. His death could and did pay the penalty of all sin, of all sinners, past, present and future who would receive Him as their personal Lord and Savior. “My God, my God, why …?” – because of His person; He was becoming our sacrifice.

Finally,

III. BECAUSE OF HIS PURPOSE:

Buying Our Salvation!

Let me give you one other reason: not only was He forsaken because of His position in bearing our sins, not only because of His person in becoming our sacrifice, but because of His purpose: He was buying our salvation.

He said in Luke 19:10, “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Mark 10:45 declares, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” It says in I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

Jesus Christ came to earth for one reason and that was to save sinners, to give His life a ransom for many, to purchase the salvation of everyone who would accept it as a gift from Him. He said in Hebrews 10:7, “Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will O God.” He said, in effect, ‘The whole book tells about Me and bears witness to the fact that I have come to do the Father’s will.’ He came to fulfill the will of God in buying salvation for sinners who would trust Him.

The Bible tells us about those who have already accepted His salvation, “ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:20, emphasis added). Yes, we “are bought with a price,” purchased with the very blood of Jesus Christ poured out at Calvary. He said to the redeemed in I Peter 1:18, 19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” We are blood-bought! Our salvation was purchased at Calvary when the Son was forsaken by the Father. Gerhard Ter Steegen, the Swedish poet wrote about it:

“Still, O Soul! the sign and wonder

Of all ages see –

Christ, thy God, the King of glory,

On the cross for thee;

From the Father’s bosom come,

Wandering soul, to bring thee home.

“Wouldest thou know if Jesus loves thee?

If He loves thee well?

See Him suffer, broken-hearted,

All the pains of Hell –

Smitten, bearing in thy room

All thy guilt, and all thy doom.

“See Him of His God forsaken,

Hear His bitter cries

Rise unanswered through the darkness

Of the silent skies –

See the fountain of the blood

Shed to bring thee back to God.

“Mine the sin, O mighty Saviour,

Laid by God on Thee—

Mine eternal condemnation

In Thy cross I see –

In Thine agony divine

See the curse that else were mine.

“See the conquest and the triumph

Thou for me hast won;

Justice satisfied for ever,

All God’s pleasure done.

Thus, O Smitten Rock! from Thee,

Life eternal flows to me.

“Unto me, the base, the guilty,

Flows that living flood;

I, Thine enemy, am ransomed

By Thy precious blood.

Silent at Thy feet I lie,

Lost in love’s immensity.”

I wonder what that love means to you today? It was this great love that brought the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, down from the glories of Heaven to the tasting of the Hell of Calvary for sinners such as you and me.

The story is told that Kazainak, the robber chieftain of Greenland, came to a missionary’s hut one day as he was translating the Scripture into the native language. He stood and silently watched the minister a moment, then inquired as to what he was doing. The missionary said, “I’m taking these letters and with the letters I am making words. With these words this Book is able to talk to us.”

The robber chieftain said, “Would it talk to me?”

“Yes.”

“I’d like to hear it talk to me.”

The missionary turned to the story of the crucifixion and began to read of the sufferings and the humiliation of the Son of God. The robber chieftain listened very carefully and when the missionary paused in the reading he interrupted to question, “Why? What’s this man done? Has He killed someone? Has He stolen another man’s wife? Has He robbed? What has He done?”

The missionary said, “No, He hasn’t killed. He hasn’t robbed. He hasn’t stolen another man’s wife. He has done nothing of that nature. This man never once sinned.”

And the amazed robber chieftain asked, “Then tell me why they are doing that to Him? Why are they treating Him so?”

The missionary then explained to him some of the wonders of the atonement and told him the story of His taking Kazainak’s place on the cross of Calvary. As he told him about Christ’s dying in his stead, that robber chieftain, whose hands were stained with his own brother’s blood, stood and wept like a baby at the wonderfully sweet love story of the One who had paid that kind of a price to buy him an eternal salvation.

I wonder about you. Have you heard it too much? Has this story of the cross become so commonplace, so general run-of-the-mill variety that it no longer stirs your heart in loving appreciation for what He has done?

When I was a boy my father used to tell us fascinating stories. As a matter of fact, the folks could get us to go to bed at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon if Dad would tell a story. He had stories about Jimmy Chipmunk; stories about Robert the Rabbit; stories about Harold the Snake – every kind of story you could think of. Some were made-up animal stories and some were true-life human stories. I didn’t always know when he was telling true stories or when he was making them up to please us.

But I remember one story he told me time and again that broke my heart every time I heard it. After I came to years I learned it really was a true story and that he got it from one of Dr. Rueben Archer Torrey’s sermons. Dr. Torrey, the successor to Dwight Lyman Moody at the Chicago church, insisted that it had been verified by a professor at the University, where the incident took place. of North Carolina

My dad used to put me up on his knee and tell me about this husband and wife – a fine farm couple – and their only son. They solemnly vowed when the baby was born that he was going to have a chance in life and not be handicapped as they were by a lack of formal education.

They stayed true to their word. When he graduated from high school they gathered together what they had saved for his tuition and sent him off to college. He was going to become a medical doctor and they figured it would be at least seven long years before they saw him again, since he would need to work summers in the city to stay in school.

After about two years, the father said to the mother, “I just can’t stand it any longer. I will have to make the long journey to visit our boy.”

He went out and hitched the horse to the buggy and started off. It took him several days to get there but he didn’t mind the journey for the joy in his heart. They were in very poor circumstances; every penny they had been able to set aside had been used to help their boy through school. The daddy’s clothes weren’t so good; the buggy was pretty much out of date; and the bones on the old horse were sticking out. When he hit that college town, my, the laughter! Everyone who saw him said, “Look at that old man! Look at that old horse!” So they joked. But he didn’t mind; he was looking for his boy.

As he drove along across that campus looking and searching, way off down the street his old eyes recognized his son and another boy coming toward him. But what he didn’t know was that the boy walking with his son had looked up and said, “Hey, would you look at that! Look at this old fool coming down the road with that old horse and that old buggy!” And so they laughed together.

When the father got almost to the young men, he dropped the reins, bounced over the side of that buggy, ran full speed down the sidewalk, threw his arms open to the boy and shouted, “Son! I’m so glad to see you!”

But the boy quickly sidestepped and said, “Sir, you must have made a mistake. You’re not my father. I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you before in my life, so far as I know.” The ungrateful son turned on his heels and walked off, leaving his brokenhearted daddy standing there in open-mouthed amazement.

When my father would tell me this story and remind me of the sacrifices those loving parents had made for their son in sending him to school, I would weep like a baby. I could never understand why the boy would treat his daddy so contemptuously, even though he didn’t have good clothes and the horse and buggy weren’t much. Even if everyone else were laughing and mocking, I couldn’t understand why the boy wouldn’t boldly step out, throw his arms around his daddy, claim him as his own, and return a portion of the sacrificial love his father had made for him!

My father said that the old man got back in the buggy, went back home, unhitched the horse, fed him, watered him, went into the house, sat down in his rocking chair, and died of a broken heart. I say, I’ve never been able to understand that story. I couldn’t when I was a boy; I cannot now.

But I tell you truly that the story of the ungrateful son is dead easy to understand – it is the height of simplicity to comprehend – in comparison with the story that God Himself left Heaven’s glory; took upon Himself the form of a servant; went all the way to the cross of Calvary; was spit upon; had His beard pulled out by the roots from His face; had His back beaten with the lashes of the dreaded cat-of-nine-tails had the Roman nails driven through His hands and feet; had the crown of thorns jammed upon His brow; was jeered at, laughed at; was blindfolded and smitten in the face; was mockingly invited to prophesy; was challenged to come down from the cross; was weighted with all the sins of the world upon Him; tasted all the physical, mental and spiritual agony that He did in order to buy salvation for sinners; then to have a sinner meet Him and say, “I won’t have You. I won’t let You come into my heart. I won’t receive You. I won’t let You save me. I won’t let you take me to Heaven. I want my own way. I prefer my own sin. I want my own life,” and turn away from Him. I tell you, it is far easier to understand the attitude of the boy who turned down his daddy than it is to understand the attitude of a sinner who turns down such a Savior as this!

Can you reject such matchless love?

Can you His claim disown?

Come give your all in gratitude,

Nor leave Him thus alone.

Why not right now, this moment, let this lovely, wonderful Savior come into your heart and save you forever? He will! He said in Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is God’s Word and all of Heaven stands behind it. The sinner who will trust Him and will call upon His name shall be, shall be, shall be saved, according to God’s own Word! Will you trust Him?

Decision for Christ

If you are willing to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior right now, simply ask Him, in the light of the above Scripture, to forgive your sin and become your Lord and Savior. Then, let us know of your decision. Either write us a letter in your own words, or use the following decision form to let us know and rejoice.

Dr. Robert L. Sumner

5717 Pine Drive

Raleigh, NC

27606








Dear Dr. Sumner: I have read your sermon about the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary and can no longer remain indifferent or ungrateful. Right now, this very moment, I am receiving Him as my Lord and Savior, trusting Him to forgive my sins and change my life. In humble, earnest gratitude, I want to love Him and serve Him the rest of my life.

Kindly send me some information about how to live for Him and honor Him as a Christian.

(Signed) _____________________

Address _____________________

City ________________________

State _______________ Zip _____

This two-part message first appeared in Dr. R0bert L. Sumner’s publication, The Biblical Evangelist.  Used by permission.






Dr. Robert L. Sumner
Dr. Robert L. Sumner


Dr. Robert L. Sumner
Dr. Robert L. Sumner


Dr. Robert L. Sumner
Dr. Robert L. Sumner

My Best Friend: The Son

Robert Morris
Robert Morris

Robert Morris is the pastor of the wonderful, soulwinning church of South Lake, Texas.  We present access to his website and messages for one big reason.  Robert Morris is a good preacher.  There is something big going on in his ministry and you ought to check it out.  Check out their website and when in the Dallas area visit that growing church.   The following video link is a message given by Pastor Morris recently.  I hope you will prayerfully watch.  You will be blessed.   When you click on the following link, be patient.  It takes just a tad to load.

My Best Friend: The Son

Munsey’s Marker

William Elbert Munsey, Famous Methodist Preacher Remembered

This historic marker stands at the intersection of U. S. Route 52 and Interstate 77 (Exit 62) in Bland County, Virginia. The text of the marker reads:

A NOTED PREACHER
“William Elbert Munsey was born a few miles east in the mountains of Giles (present-day Bland) County on 13 July 1833. Despite little formal schooling, Munsey possessed an insatiable appetite for knowledge. He entered the ministry of the Methodist Church in 1855, preached his first sermon near here, and extended his ministry to several states. Regarded by many who heard him as the greatest Methodist preacher of his day, Munsey was poetic by nature, and his unrivaled word pictures held lar ge audiences spellbound, his kindness extended to giving his own shoes and coat to a Confederate  soldier who had none.  Munsey died on 23 Oct. 1877.”

Though intellectual, his sermons were not dry as dust. He was a preacher of such power and such performance that the Knoxville Tribune tabbed him, “the most eloquent public orator of the South.” Those sermons must have been something to hear. Often an entire congregation would stand up under the spell of his preaching-sermons that were often two hours long.

People thronged his churches, especially at Richmond and Alexandria , Virginia, where the church house would be filled two hours before meeting time. He was a genius in painting word pictures. His sermons on future and eternal punishment are not only classic, they are probably the finest of their kind. In these dark, desperate days we need preaching on: Death is sure, Hell is hot, eternity is forever, sin is the reason, Christ is the cure.

HERE IS A LIST OF A FEW

OF HIS POWERFUL SERMONS

The Resurrection of the Human Body

  1. Retribution
  2. O Eternity!
  3. The Just Necessity for Punishment
  4. The Awfulness of Eternal Punishment
  5. The Outer Darkness of the Eternally Lost
  6. Escape from Eternal Retribution

These seven sermons were reprinted in a book entitled, Eternal Retribution published by Sword of the Lord Publishers, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This title may be out of print. Used booksellers may still have copies you can purchase.

The editor of The Sword of the Lord, Dr. John R. Rice, was asked by his dear friend, Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. to publish this book. Dr. Rice was glad to do so and was much impressed with the works of William Elbert Munsey.

And so were his crowds who came to hear him preach.  Often they would gather two hours ahead of time just to secure a seat.

Lester Roloff, Famous Sermon

Lester Roloff  delivered a sermon that would become, perhaps, his most famous message.  He founded the Roloff Homes in Texas.  He preached all over the USA and inspired many thousands of believrs.  He was old fashioned before it became fashionable.  I wish you could have known him.  He was killed in an unfortunate small plane crash and his popular Honey Bee Singers died with him.  I believe he had just preached at his old friend’s church, Highland Park Baptist in Chattanooga (Dr. Lee Roberson, Pastor) and was on the way home when the crash happened.  He left his mark on all who ever heard him in person or on the radio.  Click on the link below.  This is a remarkable and colorful message you will not ever forget.  Don’t miss it!  Brother Roloff (he always preferred you call him Brother Roloff) introduces you to two famous doctors of the Scriptures.

After listening to Brother Roloff preach, I want you to hear him sing.  Here he is singing, Hold On Just a Little Longer.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBLdAyzxaNw&feature=related

What must I do to be saved?

Dr. John R Rice
Dr. John R Rice

What must I do to

be saved?

By Dr. John R. Rice, Evangelist

Here in the simplest, shortest form is put the question to which every man must learn the answer, or spend eternity lost, away from God, suffering the torments of the damned! Thank God, this question is asked and answered in the Word of God so simply that every soul can understand it. There are other questions in God’s Word which affect the soul’s welfare, and many places in the Bible is the plan of salvation made plain, but only one place is this question given word for word, and there, too, we find the answer.Philippi and at midnight they sang and prayed until God broke down all the doors and broke the stocks which held their feet, with a mighty earthquake. The poor jailer, frightened and convicted of his sins, came to these two preachers and asked this question. Read it in Acts 16:29-31:

WHAT MUST I DO?

Paul and Silas were in jail in the city of Philippi and at midnight they sang and prayed until God broke down all the doors and broke the stocks which held their feet, with a mighty earthquake. The poor jailer, frightened and convicted of his sins, came to these two preachers and asked this question. Read it in Acts 16:29-31:

“Then he called for a light and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

“What must I do to be saved?” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”! There is God’s plan of salvation, the only plan He has for every man, woman and child who was ever born into the whole world.

Sinner, there is something you must do if you would be saved. There was hope for this jailer because he saw himself a lost sinner and came trembling to inquire, “What must I do?” Reader, you are a sinner. The Word of God from beginning to end emphasizes that fact. In Isaiah 53:6 we learn:

CHRIST DIED TO SAVE SINNERS, NOT GOOD MEN

Oh, I beg you, see it today! You are a poor, lost sinner, a Hell-bound sinner! Your heart is black. You have hardened your heart, you have resisted the call of God, you have rejected Christ. However good you are in man’s sight, you are a terrible sinner, and unless you turn to Christ you must spend eternity in Hell. A SINNER! That is what you are. Admit it in your own heart, confess it to God. You are a sinner and you need saving worse than you need anything else in the world.

BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

Here is God’s simple way to be saved. You are a sinner, your heart is wrong, you cannot save yourself, you are already condemned. The thing you are to do then, to be saved, is to simply trust the Lord Jesus with that matter. When you do trust Him, then you have God’s promise, “Thou shalt be saved.”2:19). You can believe that a certain physician is a good doctor without calling him to be your doctor when you are sick. You can believe that a certain man is a good lawyer without taking him as your lawyer to defend your case. You are not just to believe the truth about Jesus; you are to believe on Him, that is, depend upon Him, risk Him, trust Him; and when you do, you are saved.

NOT SAVED BY GOOD WORKS

Of course, you do not deserve salvation. There is nothing you can do that will make you worthy of it. You cannot be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, for the Scripture clearly shows that you have not kept them. Romans
3:20 says:9:226:23.

WHAT ABOUT REPENTANCE?

Does not the Bible say that we must repent? Yes, the Bible plainly says that “God … commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30), and again, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). This was the preaching of John the Baptist, of Jesus, of Peter and of Paul, that men should repent. And certainly repentance is God’s plan of salvation. The trouble here, however, is that men misunderstand what repentance means, and there has grown up an idea that repentance means a period of weeping and mourning over sin, or sorrow for sins. This idea comes from the Douay Version of the Bible which instead of “repent” says “do penance.” So the place of inquiry, where people should be taught the plan of salvation from the Bible, in revival meetings, became “the mourner’s bench” and thousands of people have been taught that God would not hear their prayer nor forgive their sins until they went through a process of sorrow and mourning over their sins!7:10)–the right kind of sorrow leads to immediate repentance, but mourning is not itself repentance.

INSTANT SALVATION!

The jailer did not go through a period of mourning. He was told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; he did just that and was saved, and his whole family was saved the same way, immediately, the same hour of the night. Everywhere you look through the New Testament you find that people were saved all at once without any process, without any period of mourning.
In the Bible there are many cases of sinners who prayed like the thief on the cross or the publican in the temple. In fact, Romans 10:13 says:10:13, 14.

HOW TO GET THE CHANGE OF HEART

This simple way of being saved by faith seems so easy, and it is. Some sinner may say, “But I thought one must have a change of heart.” So you must, dear sinner, but that is God’s part. Jesus was talking to Nicodemus when He said, “Ye must be born again,” and in the same chapter He tells Nicodemus how to get the new birth.

HOW SHOULD I FEEL?

“ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned EVERY ONE to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us ALL.”

We have all gone astray! The Lord is not content for sinners to be left believing themselves good. In Romans the third chapter, how positive, how certain is the Word of God that every man, woman and child is a sinner!

“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are ALL under sin; As it is written, There is NONE righteous, NO, NOT ONE: There is NONE that understandeth, there is NONE that seeketh after God. They are ALL gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is NONE that doeth good, NO, NOT ONE”!–Rom. 3:9-12.

In verses 22 and 23 it is stated again that “there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That is the reason Jesus said to Nicodemus in the third chapter of John, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” And a little later in the same chapter, verse 18, He said that the man who has not believed in Jesus is already condemned.

Certainly these Scriptures must make it clear to every man who believes the Word of God that he is a sinner, and until he has believed in Christ and has been saved, he is a lost sinner and needs saving. The heart is wrong, and only God can make that right. Then if you want to be saved, you must admit in your own heart, “I am a sinner. I am lost and need to be saved.” No one ever was saved without coming for salvation as a sinner.

If you have settled in your heart that matter, then you are ready to learn God’s answer to your question, “What must I do to be saved?”

I do not mean that you are simply to believe that there is a God or that there is a Saviour. Devils believe that and tremble (James

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his own sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

The same thing is told in Galatians 3:11 which says:

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

Many, many Scriptures repeat again and again that there is no salvation through human goodness.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”–Titus 3:5.

“FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.”–Eph. 2:8, 9.

We had as well admit, then, that no man deserves saving and no man can save himself. Salvation must be free or the sinner could never get it. In fact, it takes blood to pay for sin, for the Scripture says:

“Without Shedding of Blood Is No Remission”–Hebrews

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”–Rom. 5:6.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”–Isa. 53:6.

Peter tells us that all of us are bought by the blood of Christ:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”–1 Peter 1:18, 19.

Every lamb, bullock, heifer, goat, turtle dove and pigeon offered in the Old Testament times on the altar pictured this: that man, a guilty sinner, must have some innocent one to shed his blood to pay for one man’s sins. Jesus died for our sins, and, thank God, salvation is bought for every man in the world, if he will have it, as the free gift of God.

“For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”–Rom.

Dear sinner, remember that church membership will not save you. If you have been baptized that cannot save you. Baptism does not save, does not keep anybody saved. It is only an act of duty for those who have already found Christ as their Saviour. A moral life or lodge membership or good citizenship–these must all fail to bring salvation, for it is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). Don’t depend, then, on what you do, but on what Jesus did and promises to do for you.

Do not misunderstand me. God is anxious for you to have a penitent, broken heart over your sins. You have gone away from God. You have trampled under foot the blood of Jesus Christ, wasted years of your life which you can never live over again. You have served your father, the Devil. There is plenty for you to weep over, and I am not surprised if you feel deep shame and sorrow in your heart that you have so mistreated the God who made you and the Saviour who died for you. I am not surprised if you cannot keep back the tears! But what I want you to know is that tears or no tears, however much sorrow you may have in your heart, or not have, those things do not save you.

You ought to be sorry for your sins and ashamed of them. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance” (2 Corinthians

“Could my tears forever flow, Could my zeal no respite know, These for sin cold not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.”

To repent literally means to have a change of mind or spirit toward God and toward sin. It means to turn from your sins, earnestly, with all your heart, and trust in Jesus Christ to save you. You can see, then, how the man who believes in Christ repents and the man who repents believes in Christ. The jailer repented when he turned form sin to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Zacchaeus, up a tree, trusted Jesus and made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully (Luke 19:6-9). Jesus said,

“This day is salvation come to this house.” When Peter told Cornelius and his assembled household that they could be saved

by believing, immediately “while Peter yet spake these words,” the Scripture says, the Holy Spirit came on them and they were happily saved (Acts 10:44-48). The thief on the cross, wicked sinner that he was, who a few minutes before had been railing at Jesus, was saved immediately when he inquired of Jesus (Luke 23:42, 43). In the first chapter of John, verses 35 to 49, we see where Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael were all converted, one by one, immediately by faith in Christ. There is no record of any person in Bible times who was ever told to wait, or mourn, or weep over his sins before trusting Jesus and being saved! One who believes in Christ has repented. Repentance and faith are the same thing put in different words, and neither requires a long period of time, nor a process of mourning and sorrow.

Salvation is instantaneous. All that keeps you today from being saved is the wickedness of your heart that holds on to sin and will not run to Jesus to trust in Him for salvation. I beg you, turn in shame and sorrow from your sins this minute, and trust in Christ and be saved!

CAN ONE BE SAVED WITHOUT PRAYER?

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Many people believe that a sinner cannot be saved without a period of prayer, without consciously calling on God. However, the Bible does not say that a sinner must pray in order to be saved. In fact, immediately following the verse in Romans 10:13 is an explanation which shows that calling on God is an evidence of faith in the heart and that it is really faith which settles the matter. Read it again.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?”–Rom.

The Lord encourages the sinner to pray, and the Lord hears and answers the sinner’s prayer, if that sinner trusts in Jesus Christ for salvation when he prays. He heard the prayer of the thief on the cross, of the publican in the temple, of blind Bartimaeus. But the Scripture says, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?” Certainly every one who is to be saved must believe. Prayer is evidence of faith. No matter how long one prays, if he does not trust in Christ, he can never be saved. If he trusts in Christ without conscious prayer, then he is saved already. There is just one plan of salvation and just one step a sinner must take to secure it. That step is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!

Same way we preachers have left the impression on this poor world of sinners that God is hardhearted and that it takes many tears and loud cries and long periods of sorrow before He will hear and save the sinner. We have left the impression that God does not care whether sinners are saved or not, and that sinners must some way touch the heart of God and get Him ready to forgive. What a slander on a good and holy God who “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Man’s sins are already paid for, God’s wrath is already turned away from any sinner who wants to be saved. Both the Father and the Son are a million times more anxious to save every sinner than the sinner can be to get saved! Thank God, I do not have to beg God to forgive my sins. He will do it the minute I am willing to trust it with Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”–John 3:16.

The change in your heart, sinner, is God’s part and you may be sure He will attend to that. Your part is to simply believe in Him. Whatever else is necessary in your eternal salvation, the Lord attends to when you trust in Him, or believe in Him.

Some do not want to claim Christ as Saviour until they have the mysterious feeling that they want. Do not let the Devil deceive you here. I believe in heartfelt religion, and thank God for the joy which He gives to me day by day.
Some people have an idea that the change of heart is a matter of feeling. But the Bible nowhere tells how one must feel before he is saved, nor does it anywhere say how you feel after you are saved. In fact, people do not feel the same. Feeling varies with the person saved.

WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC CONFESSION?

Every person who is saved ought to publicly confess Christ. Matthew 10:32 and Romans 10:9 plainly teach that God will claim as His child any of us who will claim Christ as our Saviour, but we simply confess with the mouth what we have already trusted in our hearts. Concerning that very matter Romans 10:10 says:1:12 to as many as receive Jesus. But you could not come to Christ without trusting Him, and John 1:12 shows that receiving Jesus is the same as believing on His name.10:43.13:39.16:30, 31.5:31). He is the Great Physician and will heal your soul instantly if you will trust Him. As you would trust a doctor, submit to his treatment, depend on him for results, so trust Jesus today about your soul. To be sure, human doctors fail many times. Their results at best are gradual, and so no doctor is a perfect picture of Jesus. The doctor can work no miracles, but Jesus can, and the change that is needed in that poor, wicked heart, He will make immediately, instantly, without any further effort on your part, when you trust Him!

JESUS IS OUR LAWYER

If you had committed a crime and were thrown in jail, probably the first thing you would do would be to send for some lawyer in whom you had confidence and trust him with the entire matter of your defense. In God’s sight you are a criminal, condemned already and with the wrath of God upon you day by day. But God has provided somebody to take the part of us poor sinners, criminals before the bar of God’s justice, and Jesus is that lawyer, for the Scripture says:

A young man and young woman stand together, side by side, before the preacher. The preacher says, “You will join right hands.” Then to the young man he says, “Do you take this young woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to love her and cherish her until death do you part?” He answers, “I do.” To the young woman the preacher says: “Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband until death do you part?” She answers, “I do.” Then the preacher says: “I pronounce you man and wife,” and they are married in the sight of God and man.

MAKE IT SURE–CLAIM HIM TODAY!

The way is plain and you can be saved this moment if you will.10:10).

Some cry when they are saved, some laugh, and a few shout aloud the praises of God. One is no more saved than the other.

What you want, dear sinner, is salvation, and you should be satisfied to feel any way that will please the Lord, just so He forgives your sins.

Be sure you notice another fact, too, and that is that you cannot feel right until you get right. Rejoicing does not come before you trust the Lord. One does not feel the result of medicine before he takes it. The Children of Israel in the wilderness, bitten by fiery serpents and at the point of death, were not healed and did not feel healed until they looked to the brass serpent on the pole (Num. 21:6-9). People are not saved by feeling; they are saved by trusting in Christ. The prodigal son, away from home in the hog pen, decided to arise and go to his father, but he did not feel good. He was without shoes, clothed in rags, without the ring of sonship, without any evidence of his father’s forgiveness, perishing with hunger! Yet he arose and came to his father, not by feeling, but by faith in his father. Thank God, his father received him, like God receives every sinner who will come. And when the prodigal boy sat down at his father’s table, with shoes of the gospel of peace, clothed in the garments of righteousness of Christ, with the ring of sonship on his finger, eating the fatted calf at the right hand of the father, happy in his love, then he has plenty of feeling. Feeling comes after salvation. Leave the feeling with the Lord and come to the Saviour by faith today.

After you are saved, you will get peace and joy out of following the Lord in baptism, reading His Word, winning souls and otherwise pleasing Him. You need to go to the Lord again and again day by day for the joy of a Christian life. But thank God that salvation is settled once and for all when you simply depend upon Christ as your Saviour.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

To claim Christ as your Saviour simply proves that you trust Him in the heart. Likewise with all other promises in the Bible about how to be saved. “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” says John 6:37; and salvation is promised in John

Dear sinner, do not make this a difficult matter. There is one simple step between you and Jesus. When you trust Him, everything else is settled, and you have repented, you have come to Christ, you have received Him, you have done everything necessary to be saved. Take the answer in Acts 16:31 at face value: “BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED”! In dozens of Scriptures all through the Bible salvation is promised to those that believe. Read carefully the following Scriptures and see that again and again, many, many times, God has promised all any poor sinner would ever need when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that BELIEVE on his name.”–John 1:12.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”–John 3:14-16.

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH not is condemned already, because he hath not BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”–John 3:18.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that BELIEVETH not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”–John 3:36.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and BELIEVETH on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”–John 5:24.

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and BELIEVETH on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”–John 6:40.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that BELIEVETH on me hath everlasting life.”–John 6:47.

“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever BELIEVETH in him shall receive remission of sins.”–Acts

“And by him all that BELIEVE are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”–Acts

Read again the Scripture we started with:

“What must I do to be saved?”

“BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”–Acts

Trust Jesus, the Great Physician

If you were sick and about to die, and there was some good doctor whom you could trust, would you not risk him to take your case, give you the necessary treatment, and with God’s help get you well? Then just like that, trust in Christ, depend on Him for your salvation, and turn it over to Him today. With the same kind of faith that will call in a doctor and risk him for your body, you can call in the Lord Jesus Christ and risk Him to forgive your sins and save your poor lost soul! He said, “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Luke

“If any man sin, we have an advocate [or lawyer] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”–1 John 2:1, 2.

Jesus will not only be your lawyer to defend your case; He has already paid the penalty and you may safely trust Him to have you immediately pardoned and justified! Why not simply risk Jesus as you would risk a good lawyer? Jesus is better than any lawyer, of course, and you do not have to pay Him a fee, and He never fails.

A WEDDING

What a simple picture of salvation! Jesus is the bridegroom and we who trust Him are to be His bride. Already Jesus has loved you and has long urged you to accept His love. Jesus invites you to accept His love. Jesus invites you to believe in Him right now and be saved and so become a part of His bride. Will you not right now with the same simple faith of that young woman who takes a husband, accept Jesus as your Saviour and say to Him, “I do.”?

Surely it has become plain, dear lost sinner, that it is your own fault if you are lost! Do you hate Jesus Christ? Will you hold on to your sin and go to Hell for your stubbornness? Nothing in the world could show your wickedness like postponing this matter. You can be saved right now, this minute. I beg you, do it now. Turn your whole heart from sin to trust in Christ. Choose for Heaven against Hell, choose for Christ against Satan. Do not let Satan deceive you any longer. If you delay, it may result in a hardened heart, a wasted life and a tortured soul in Hell! And if you are not saved, when God has made the way so plain and paid the price for your sins, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Will you trust Jesus Christ today and be saved?

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”–Proverb 27:1.

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”–2 Corinthians 6:2.

“Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts.”–Heb. 3:7, 8.

God has given you this heartbeat, this breath, this moment in order to trust Christ, but there is no promise of another. I beg you do it right now, and then claim Him as your Saviour.

One who trusts Jesus Christ as personal Saviour should publicly claim Him before men. “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans

After trusting Jesus Christ you should join a church and be baptized. I hope you will find a good Bible-believing church and attend faithfully.

This message by Dr. John R. Rice has circled the globe in multi-millions of copies and in many languages. I had the honor of working with Dr. Rice the last eight years of his life. When he asked me to join him in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he suggested, among the duties I would undertake, that I write promotional articles for his tract, “What Must I Do to be Saved?” When I asked if there were testimonies available that I might read from those who had been saved through this powerful message, his faithful assistant, Miss Viola Walden, showed me several file cabinets stacked side-by-side filled with thousands of such testimonies. More arrived each day that I was there—some ten years. –Ron English

Jimmy Stewart’s,“Beau”

images-jimmy-stewart-stamp1Sometimes you think of posting something that has nothing to do with the theme of your blog. This may be one of those times. I am a long-time fan of Jimmy Stewart, the actor. I thought of him as a decent, human being that loved his country and understood his fellowman. He was a delightful actor. This posting has nothing to do with Mr. Stewart’s religious leanings. Frankly, I don’t know about them. I never met the man, yet I always felt I had. Perhaps you enjoyed his work, too. If so, you will appreciate this entry. I did and I do. Each time I hit the play button I have to listen to the entire reading. It’s compelling and at the end, i’m not sure, but it just might be a good post for this blog after all. See what you think.

I am grateful to the March 8, 2009, issue of SE Edition of American Profile for reminding me of the poem written by James Stewart, the movie actor. Mr. Stewart read this poem on the Johnny Carson TV show. I learned that the clip of that reading was widely distributed on the Internet. I found one and here it is:

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