by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
And on the Day of Pentecost, when they were assembled with one accord, in one place, and when the whole church prayed, suddenly the place was shaken and they heard the sound as of a rushing, mighty wind that brought the presence of the Holy Spirit. Well, those churches today that try to do without prayer-meetings will experience a decline, the Spirit of God will depart from them, and the preaching of the gospel will not be heard very often. But yet, this is the way it goes today; churches are doing away with Sunday School, Sunday evening, Wednesday prayer meeting and even programs, and that means there is less time available to pray with our fellow Christians. But the Lord wants the prayers of His people to go along with the preaching of the gospel, if it’s to be the power of God unto salvation. That has not changed since Paul’s day: Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Remember, too, that Jesus has always worked through the spiritual power of His servants. Nothing comes out of us that God has not first placed in us. The great things that His servants are doing have their origin in the power that comes from God’s Spirit. You must receive power from on high, before you can manifest power in what you do. Brethren, we want our church members to be better men and women and to be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
All the good that is ever done in the world is done by the Holy Spirit. If you and I try as a church or as individuals, to do without the Holy Spirit, God will soon do without us. And unless we reverently worship God and believingly trust in Him, we will become like Sampson after his hair was cut.
I don’t want to keep you much longer, but give me a few moments to speak on a forth point!
JESUS CHRIST HAS ALWAYS HAD THE SAME RESOURCES, for he is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
I will repeat what I said; Jesus Christ has always had the same resources. Sometimes when we come together, the conversation gets very sad and we may say, “The world is getting pretty bad. There’s too much crime, too many four-letter words, too much emphasis on sex.” I don’t think that any of us can exaggerate how bad it’s getting; it is terrible. But still it is true, "The Lord liveth, and blessed be my rock."
Does the church need more faithful men? The Lord can send us as many as ever. He sent us D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, and Billy Graham. These were great men and they were very successful at preaching the Word of God. And there are thousands of good men, like our pastor, who are faithfully serving God. And so, today, He only has to give the word, and you will see many sincere preachers of the gospel step out, because He has the same resources as ever. He is "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
He also has the same resource of grace. The Holy Spirit is still quite able to convert men; and to quicken, enlighten, sanctify, and instruct. There is nothing that He has done in the past that He can’t do again. The treasures of God are as full and running over now as they were at the beginning of the Christian age. If we don’t see these great things of God, what’s the problem? It is our unbelief. "If thou believest, all things are possible to him that believeth."
Before this year is gone, God can bring a revival to Eastside. It can break out all over Laurens and South Carolina. And He can flood the whole world with the gospel, if we will just join together in asking Him for it, and if He wills to do it, because He is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever," in the resources of his grace.
So I want to close my sermon with this, JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME AS EVER TO ME: "yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
I will talk about myself only to help you think about yourselves. How long have you known the Lord Jesus Christ? Perhaps only a short time; possibly many years. Do you remember when you first came to know Him? Can you point out the very place on the floor where Jesus met you? Now what was He to you at first?
I will tell you what He was to me. I trusted Him, and I leaned very hard on Him, because I had a heavy load to carry. I laid myself and my load down at His feet; He was everything to me. I didn’t have a shred of hope outside of Him.
Now, brothers and sisters, have you got any further than that? I hope not. I know that I have not. I don’t have confidence in anything but Christ’s blood and righteousness. I leaned on Him very hard at first, but I can lean on Him even harder now. Sometimes, like when I prepared this sermon, I am almost overcome by my love for Him. He is my Savior!
I am speaking for myself, but I think I am speaking for many of you too, when I say that Jesus Christ to me is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
What was Christ to me at first? He was the object of my warmest love; wasn’t He the same for you? That is the way it was in those early days. But what is He today? He is more wonderful to us than He ever was. Can we say as the Hymn writer did, “He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul?” And can we also say, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
What was Jesus Christ to me at first? Well, He was my greatest joy. In my younger years, just the sound of His name thrilled my soul. Wasn’t it the same with many of you? Our bodies may have changed, but His name still has the same effect. Yes, he is our joy, our everything, "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."
Think with me about the future, when we shall meet with Him in glory, and He will be unchanged even there. He will be compassionate and loving to us when we get home to Him, and see Him in His splendor.
Let me ask a question. Do you know Him? Do you know Him? Do you know Him? If not, may He on this day reveal Himself to you, for His sweet mercy’s sake. And will you respond to His Spirit, as you feel His touch on your heart.
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