FOUND BY JESUS, AND FINDING JESUS Part 3
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
In my mind, I see Jesus looking for Philip.
He will look for any lost soul in the same way.
It’s a journey that is never too long for him, and he never wastes a day.
It says, "The day following Jesus would go forth, and findeth Philip."
I prayed that my Lord would delight to come forth, and find some of you!
Tonight you are in a place where He has found many others; I pray that he will find some of you.
Perhaps you do not know why you came here.
You did not mean to get out tonight; but here you are in this crowd, listening to what I have to say.
My Lord has found many precious jewels here.
You may feel like you are nothing but a poor pebble, but to Him, you are a diamond of the finest quality.
Dear Lord, find some more of your jewels tonight!
Lord Jesus, come and find Philip, and find Mary, and find Tom, and then let Philip and Mary and Tom declare that they have found you!
When our dear Lord goes forth to find a soul, He is very good at it.
He said to Philip, "Follow me."
I will gladly end my sermon right here if my Master will preach to some of you His two-worded sermon, "Follow me," "Follow me," "FOLLOW ME."
Jesus may say to you, "Come, poor soul, you do not know the way!’Follow me.' You want someone to go before you, to be your leader. 'Follow me.' You want someone to be your shelter, your companion, your all. 'Follow me.'"
That is what you have to do mother; father.
You may have been worrying about what you have heard from different preachers, but Christ says to you "Follow me."
That is what you have to do, young man.
You have been reading those self-help books till you are confused and don’t know what to do next.
Jesus says, "Follow me."
I know that some have become distracted with all sorts of silly talk; let that go to the dogs.
Jesus says, "Follow me."
The crucified Savior says, "Follow me."
Take him for your own.
The risen Savior says, "Follow me."
Take him for your life.
The Savior on the throne says, "Follow me."
Take him for your joy.
The Savior who will be coming in glory says, "Follow me."
Take him to be your hope.
"Follow me," "Follow me," that is the text for tonight, and that is the sermon, too.
Jesus said to Philip, "Follow me," and Philip followed Him at once; and he not only followed Christ himself, but he began immediately to try to get others to follow him.
Please notice also that Philip was found by Christ in a very different way from the other disciples.
Two of them had been found through the teaching of John the Baptist, but Philip had apparently had no teaching.
Another of the little band had been found through the private testimony of his brother; Philip may not have had any relative or friend to speak to him, but the Savior just said to him, "Follow me," and he followed him.
My friends, do not begin comparing your salvation experience with somebody else's.
If the Lord Jesus Christ calls you, and says to you, "Follow me," and you follow him, if there never was another soul saved in exactly the same way, it does not matter at all.
If you have come to him and trusted in him, you are saved.
The sum of all that I have to say is this.
Do not worry like some people do, about God's purpose for your life, and about the secret working of the Holy Spirit, and about how this can be consistent with your following Jesus when he calls for you.
They are perfectly consistent.
Some people have asked me to reconcile two things; and I have said to them, "Ok, but first tell me what your problem is, and I will reconcile them."
"Well,” they say, "you tell me to believe in Jesus, and yet you constantly preach that faith is the work of the Spirit of God.”
“That’s true, I do.”
And then they say, "And yet you say that men are to choose Jesus?"
"Well, how do you reconcile those two things?"
Show me that there is any difficulty about the two things, and then I will reconcile them.
You imagine there’s difficulty because in reality there is none.
I believe that God has predestinated whether I am going to the office to count the offering at the close of this service, but I will go there as well as my legs can carry me.
"Oh!" then you say, "You believe it’s a matter of your own free will?"
Yes, I do.
"And yet you believe it to be God's eternal purpose?"
Yes, I do.
"Well, then, reconcile the two things."
Again I say that there is no problem here; there is nothing to be reconciled because both statements are true.
You might as well ask me to reconcile the land and the water.
There is no quarrel between them, and I don’t want to waste any time on needless arguments.
You come to Christ; and if you do, it will be because the Holy Spirit draws you.
If you find the Savior, it will be because the Savior first found you.
Perhaps, in heaven, you may see some difficulties, and get them explained, but down here, you don’t need to see them, and you don’t need to ask to have them explained.
Salvation is all of God's grace, from first to last; however is it true that the grace of God leads men to do what Moses did, to make a choice and to choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.
God grant that you may make an equally wise choice!
I have just one more thing to say, and then I’ll be done.
Philip, and Peter, and Andrew were all from the city of Bethsaida.
The verse said, "Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter."
These three good men, these three apostles, were all from Bethsaida.
That ought to give some comfort to many of you because there are some of you here tonight, who are from Bethsaida.
There are people sitting here tonight who I believe are from Bethsaida.
But you say, "We never were there in all our lives."
Bethsaida was one of the places in which Jesus had done many of his mighty works; and maybe you remember that when the people refused to repent, Jesus made this sad statement, "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."
Now, there are some of you here who have heard the gospel for many years, and have seen the power of the grace of God in your families, but it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, and for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than it will be for you, inasmuch as you have rejected the Savior.
But, just like these three men, Philip, and Peter, and Andrew, who were from Bethsaida, why don’t you also come to Christ?
Why shouldn’t you become members of His Church, and, if it’s the Lord's will, witnesses of His saving grace?
Let’s pray to God that that’s the way it will be!
Oh, how I long in my soul for the salvation of every one of you!
I want to end with this statement from God’s Word: "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
Receive Jesus, and trust in him.
I hope you will do so, with God’s help, and for Jesus’ sake.