Wednesday, February 8, 2012
In the last two accounts of Jesus' life we read how Jesus Himself said "You Must Be BornAgain!" and how He explained why men go to the lake of fire and not heaven. Today wewill study the second time that Jesus and John the Baptist ministered together.
22 After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judaea; and there Hetarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon(a place of springs of water) near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison.
25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, "Rabbi, He (Jesus) that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him."
27 John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him.' 29 He that hath the bride (church) is the Bridegroom (the Christ, Jesus): but the friend of the Bridegroom, which standeth and heareth Him, rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony."
33 "He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. 36 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 3:22-36 ACP/KJV)
Jim Dobson has often told the story about how his dad, a country preacher with a congregation of about 100, oft times prayed for God to enlarge His ministry. God instead chose to have him train Dr. Dobson to be a man of God. God instead chose, not to enlarge Pastor Dobson's congregation, but to instead spend his time training up his son, so that his son would be prepared to lead the Focus on the Family ministry.
One cold and wintery day, a day with the winds howling and a wintery mix of rain, sleet, snow and ice, a young man in London was seeking shelter form the storm, a place to go into to dry out and warm his 16 year old bones. The year was 1850, the place a small Primitive Baptist church that never had more than a congregation of 20, with a pastor that spoke not the correct and uppity English of nobility and business, but instead a street pastor with street language and a hunger to preach every day.
Well on that day, this young man came in, went to sit in the front of the church, because that is where the coal stove was. With very little coal in it, one had to be very near it to get any heat. Once seated that young man heard that preacher preach salvation and then that preacher looked at the young man and loudly said, in his English of the common poor, "Mon, you mon, God wants you mon!" That young man's name was Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon. Within two years Charles Haddon Spurgeon was preaching before the Royalty of England and the leaders of the world. Some estimate that he may have preached to a billion people during his lifetime and that nearly double that number may have read his sermons which were translated into some 27 or more languages.
I oft times wonder if Pastor Dobson, when looking at his son and that primitive Baptist Pastor, when following the successes of Charles Spurgeon, heard these words ringing in their ears " A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. He must increase, but I must decrease. "
Who gets the greater crown, the greater glory in heaven, Dr. Spurgeon or that Primitive Baptist Pastor that led him to Christ? Who gets the greater glory in heaven, Dr. Jim Dobson or his father that sacrificed all to: Train up his child in the way he should go: so that when he is old, he would not depart from it.?
A number of years ago I wrote a book, a book that never got published, a book for those who really study God's word, a book looking deep into the Gospel of John. I made a lot of copies of that book, in manuscript form, and gave them to many evangelical pastors to read and comment on.
The vast majority came back saying "This is really too deep, it is way beyond any study that most will ever read and grasp", or some other comment that boiled down to the same thing. Most never got past chapter six. But one Pastor, Rev. Warren Feustel, read every word, made numerous comments and even a correction or two, not on the fact, but on the delivery. Over the past 14 years, I have had many pastors that I use as mentors and even teachers, but none has been as faithful, as influential, as guiding as Warren. He never ceases to love me and steer me, to guide me and be a sounding board for me. Yet, Warren has never had a congregation of over 150 members and I, with every post to the net, have a potential audience that can rival the audience of Dr. Spurgeon and Dr. Dobson. So, who has the greater reward in heaven, Rev. Feustel or me?
33 "He that hath received His (Jesus) testimony hath set to his (the person who believes) seal that God is true. 34 For He (Jesus) whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. 36 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."
God the Father has placed all things in the Hands of Jesus. He has given all authority to Jesus, and He has given all judgement to Jesus. And it all comes down to this: " 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."
Why does the wrath of God rest upon those who do not give their life to Christ? Because they have not believed on the only begotten son of God, Jesus.
Before you wait too much longer, let me refer you to Hebrews 9:27 and 28.
Don't fear those on earth that can simply kill you, fear Him who can not only kill you but can then condemn you to eternal life in the lake of fire. The choice is clear, be born again or go to hell.
Lord give us eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart attuned to Your word.
Men, let us strive to be men who follow Christ, and pray our wives will, as Peter's and Abraham's wives did, simply follow.
Nai erchomai kurios Iesous.
Special Note: Only Dr. Allen Gilpatrick PhD 116900 of KSR LaGrange, LaGrange, Kentucky, Dr. Kent Hovind PhD, and Dr. Alan Bean MD of Harrison, Maine are exempt from this and are allowed to use anything on ChristianPatriot.com without written permission. All others must have written permission.
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