The New Heart Part 3 of 3
by John Lowe
Now, allow me to tell you about my struggle with the Holy Spirit. I must confess I would never have been saved, if I could have helped it. I rebelled and revolted, and struggled against God as long as I could. Then one day I heard some preaching, and a tear rolled down my cheek. I wiped it away and defied him, but the pull of the Spirit was too powerful and it began to melt my heart. Finally, I couldn’t resist any longer. I was only nine, and I was alone, but I moved from the pew and walked to the altar. It’s been 67 years, but I could still show you the very spot where I accepted Jesus for my Savior. I have never regretted that decision. Today, He is even more than my Savior, He is my Lord.
My friends, Jesus will save to the uttermost anyone who believes in Him, and when He does it He will give that man a new heart and a new nature. And furthermore, this change is instantaneous. The Lord can give a man a new heart in an instant, in one solitary second. He can put a new heart into a man faster than the lightning can flash, and then make him a new creature in Christ Jesus.
You may be sitting where you are today, and you’re an enemy of God, with a wicked heart that’s hard as a stone, and dead and cold. But if the Lord is calling you, He will drop a living spark into your soul, and in that moment you will begin to tremble; you will confess your sin, and rush to Christ for mercy. Other parts of salvation are done gradually but rebirth happens on the spot and it’s the work of God's sovereign, powerful, and alluring grace.
Now, if anyone here is without Christ, I WANT TO TELL YOU SOMETHING THAT SHOULD GIVE YOU HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
If you want to be saved, and you have been praying for days or weeks or longer for God to save you, that’s a sign that God is ready to claim you for His own. Your prayer has already been heard. You may even have a new heart right now. Perhaps you won’t realize it for months yet, therefore continue to pray until God opens your eyes, so that you may see that the prayer is answered. But rest assured it is answered already.
If you hate sin, that is not human nature. If you long to be a friend of God, that is not human nature. If you desire to be saved, it is not human nature. There is something good in you already; the Lord has begun a good work in your heart, and he will carry it out until it is complete.
You could never have attained these feelings on your own. God has helped you by His grace, and as sure as he has started to save you, he will carry it out, until he places His arms of love around you in heaven.
Now, I think there is someone here who has lost hope. The devil has told you that you cannot be saved, because you are too guilty and vile. Everyone else in the world might find mercy, but not you, because you do not deserve to be saved. Listen to me now, I have tried to make it as plain as the nose on your face that God never saves a man because there is anything good in him. The greatest sinner is just as eligible to receive God’s mercy as the very least of sinners. Any criminal is just as eligible for God's grace, as the man who is the very model of morality. I say that, because I know that God doesn’t want anything from you.
He can take a thief, a drunkard, a prostitute, or anyone else and he can put you on your knees, make you cry for mercy, and then make you lead a holy life, and keep you until the end. If anyone says, "I wish He would do that for me”, if that’s what you truly want, he will. If you want to be saved today, you will be saved today. If you want to be saved today, I will invite you to the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ has borne the sins of men, and carried their sorrows; look at Him hanging on the Cross, and trust Him. Then you are saved.
And now I want every one of you who are without Christ to think about this; this morning you are in the hands of God. We deserve hell: if God sends us there, there is not a single argument that can be made against His doing it. We cannot save ourselves; we are entirely in his hands; like a moth that lies under the finger, He can crush us now, if He pleases, or He can let us go and save us.
What are you thinking about if you believe that? Why, we ought to cast ourselves on our faces, and cry-out to God to save us, and as God is my witness, He will not refuse anyone their request. So, go and try him! See if He won’t forgive you. He is kinder than you think He is. I hope you will try Him. The Lord will even help you to try him, and when He saves you give God the glory, and He will give you happiness in heaven, forever and ever.