By Marshall Grosboll
On July 22, 1991, Pastor Marshall Grosboll with his wife Lillian, their son Matthew and daughter Christine were killed in the private plane (pictured on the front) they were flying. Although not foreseeing the death of his entire family, Marshall was acutely aware that at any time his own life could instantly be cut short. Especially was he aware of this since he was traveling so much all around the world. He had been in Europe with his family earlier that same month and was scheduled to go to New Zealand a couple of days after the accident. Because he was so aware of the possibility, at any moment, of sudden death by accident, he preached a great deal about it. The last article which he himself, as director of Steps to Life, wrote in the ministry’s News Notes was about the shortness of human life. He preached about this subject to the churches he pastored and to non- Christians in evangelistic sermons. This booklet is adapted from two sermons he preached in late winter of 1986 to the Wichita South Seventh-day Adventist Church when he was pastor there.
A month before going to Europe he left a note with a few brief directions about what to do if something should happen to him. The morning of July 22, before leaving his parent’s home with his family for the last time, he indicated that he did not think he was going to live long. But life in this world was not uppermost in his mind. He knew the really important thing was to be ready to inherit eternal life, so he had spent a large part of the last night of his life praying. Friend, any of us could suddenly die in an accident– the important thing is that we are ready to die. Would you be among the saved in the end if you were to die today? Until you are ready to die, you are not really ready to live, even in this world, because this life is only to be a preparation for eternity. May this booklet help you to be ready for your last day on this earth, whenever that might be.
Part I The Challenger
This week we mourned with the rest of America. I have to admit that I have an interest in the space shuttle program. My favorite picture in my office is one of Christ, but I also have two pictures of the shuffle hanging on the other wall.
My wife’s aunt in Washington, DC., is a veteran worker for NASA and she keeps us supplied with pictures, data, books and shuffle decals. My son has models and toys of the shuffle. Upon investigation, we found that only one of them was of the Challenger.
I first heard about this week’s tragedy K while walking down the corridor of the San Diego Airport. I overheard someone say that the shuffle had blown up. I asked, “What did you say?” He said, “The shuttle just blew up.” I immediately checked into my motel room and turned on the television to catch the news. There I saw the replay over and over again. I wanted to say it wasn’t so, but it was. I hoped against hope at first that maybe, somehow, the spaceship had remained in tact and had glided into the Atlantic somewhere, and that soon someone would find them. But the blast, they said, was equal to a small atomic bomb.
One of my ministerial friends at the meeting in San Diego is an aerospace engineer and worked for NASA for seven years before entering the ministry. He was involved in the development of the shuffle and knew every detail of the plane. It was his opiKon that it had to be the external fuel tank. The boosters, he said, cannot explode; they just burn. The fuel tank contains half a million gallons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen, which, when ignited, creates a tremendous reaction, as we all witnessed.
I was interested in the crew. Most of us, I think, have become attached to the school teacher, Christa. And there was Michael Smith, who as a boy had one dream– to fly. One time, while quarterbacking his high school football team, they were trailing in the second half by seven points. He called a time out– his coach expecting him to come over and get a new play– but he did not come. Then his coach saw him staring up at ajet passing over the field. He had called a time out just to look at an airplane. Football, even quarterbacking his high school football team in an important game, did not hold the interest that airplanes did. “Come on, Mike,” his coach called, we’re in a football game!” But he had a dream. And then there was Judy Resnik, whom my family and I had the privilege of meeting once at a special reception for NASA personnel that my wife’s aunt invited us to. Her father called her “Little Judy” when she was growing up in Akron, Ohio, and she liked it. Whenever she called home, she said, “Hi, Daddy, this is Little.” She always called him Daddy, and she was still his “Little Judy.”
Like Michael, the pilot of the craft who once called a time- out while playing high school football to look at an airplane go overhead, she also had some priorities in life. She was the only astronaut on board who did not leave behind a spouse and at least two children. In fact, Judy had never married. She had given herself to getting a doctorate degree at the University of Maryland and to becoming an astronaut. She had succeeded, but she was still Daddy’s girl and Mother’s darling. As they watched their beloved daughter lift off on her second shuttle flight, they were full of joy and pride for her.
They knew about the dangers. They knew that the lift-off was the most dangerous part of the flight, and the higher the shuffle went the safer it was. As they watched the craft lift and roll, and reach a speed of 2,000 mph and an altitude of over 10 miles within 75 seconds, they knew that the most dangerous phase was just about over. Then they saw the fireball. The sound would take another full minute to reach the earth, but they could see it. Judy’s parents were standing next to Michael Smith’s children, who began to cry. One of them said, “Daddy! I want you, Daddy! You always promised nothing would happen.” Then the lights went out as the wife of Onizuka, who was leaning against the wall where the light switches were located, fainted and pulled down the switches as she sank to the floor.
Fifty-five times we have sent men and women into space. We have sent them clear to the moon and back– not once but many times– and never an accident from lift- off until return. Not a single mishap. Our record was near perfect. Surely, we had perfected our arts. But as of this week, times have changed.
Life is not Certain on this Earth but God is
There is nothing in this life that is foolproof, at least nothing mechanical. Nothing in the weather. Nothing in your body. There are no supermen and no super agents. It takes but one projectile through the heart, or the bursting of one vessel in the brain, or one drunk driver swerving into our lane at the wrong time, and all is wiped out. Nothing in this life is foolproof.
Our pioneers recognized that fact. That is why George Washington prayed before going into baffle or leading out in Congress. He did not pray because it was expected of him— he prayed because he knew he needed God’s help. Yes, he must have Him. He was totally dependent upon Him, thus, he declared a national day of fasting and prayer.
Our forefather’s recognized that there are too many things that can and will go wrong, and that without God’s special intervention, all our plans and accomplishments will one day perish. That is why in the constitution they stated that we are one nation under God. Not under the President or Congress, but under God. They knew that we would only remain a nation as long as God was in control, and that when He ceased to bless, the nation would begin to suffer reverses until it would cease to exist.
We were a nation with religious freedom— our citizens were allowed to worship unmolested according to their conscience. We were not a non-religious country. We were not atheistic. We were established through faith in God. Our courts were based upon the justice as found in the Bible, and upon that Book every witness had to swear. They realized that there is nothing sure without the surety of God.
That is why the minters of our first coins inscribed the words: “In God we trust.” They knew that the value of those coins would only remain stable as long as God maintained the health of the economy— as long as He gave us the will to sacrifice, the integrity to work hard, and the honesty to preserve what was not ours– and then to bless the output and to multiply. Thus we became the “bread basket” of the world. But today we no longer pray when about to embark on a mission, even a dangerous mission. No longer do we give God the credit when things succeed. No longer do we fast and pray when things do not.
I was amazed when a hurricane of 160 mph winds was headed for the costs of North Carolina and Virginia, and it mysteriously tumed up shore. I praised God for sparing our land another day, but how disappointed I was a few hours later to hear a news commentator say: “We were lucky that time.” Lucky! How can God continue to protect us over and over again when we totally deny Him.
As I was riding in a 727 from Kansas City to Washington National Airport last November, a young female executive came and sat next to me in the seat she had been assigned to. She was raised a Jew but had become an atheist. Her question to me was, “If there really is a God, why does He allow such calamities as AIDS, for example.” My response to her was, “Why should God protect you from disaster. You do not even believe in Him, nor are you following what He says.”
“But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.” Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven” Luke 21: 9- 11.
Before Jesus comes there will yet be more wars, earthquakes, famines (and don’t think it can’t happen in America), pestilences, disasters by land, sea, air, and space.
“The restraining power of God is even now being withdrawn from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire and flood, disasters by sea and land (and could we say by air and space), follow each other in quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the true cause. Men cannot discern the sentinel angels restraining the four winds that they shall not blow until the servants of God are sealed; but when God shall bid His angels loose the winds, there will be such a scene of strife as no pen can picture” Testimonies, vol. 6 408.
I ask you candidly and plainly, as you review the news over the past couple of years, has there been a continuing increase in disasters? From the Korean air crash, the Indian air crash and the carnage of the 101st Airborne, to the shuffle explosion; from starvation in Ethiopia and volcanoes in South America, to leaking toxic gases in India; from skyjacking, to cruise jacking, to the assassination of Indira Gandhi; from bankrupt banks to foreclosed farms.. .when will we learn that we need God to survive?
“At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? ‘While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!” ‘ Daniel 4: 29- 31.
There is nothing sure or stable in this life without God’s direct protection and care– not your marriage, your money, your children, your health, your church, your nation, and certainly not yourself. Nothing! We need to humble ourselves before God and invite Him into our lives. We need to realize our total dependence upon Him. Everything may be going right in your life.
Everything may have gone right for a long time, but it only takes a moment to turn everything around, and if God is not in control of your life, that moment is coming. It will come at a most unexpected time! It will come suddenly!
On television we saw seven people perish unexpectedly last Thursday in a heart- rending space disaster. We cried for them and their families, but did you know that since you awoke this morning 90,000 people on planet earth have died? Oh, they have not been publicized and we do not know them, but every one of them was special. Most of them had families– mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, spouses, who are even now mourning them. Ninety thousand people so far this morning, and every 60 seconds 250 more tragically die? This earth is a disaster. It is time to get right with God. It is time to do the work He has given us to do. It is time for Jesus to come.
“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices” Luke 13: 1
They had their disasters in Jesus’ day. The Bible records them. Once the Galileans were peaceably worshipping in Jerusalem, offering their sacrifices, and Pilot sent his soldiers in to cut them up and throw them on top of their sacrifices so that all their blood mixed together. What a catastrophe, and right within the church! Would public worship ever seem the same again? Why were they slaughtered? Had they committed some aggravated sin so that God was punishing them? No! Jesus said. They had not sinned any more than the rest of the people. “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” ‘ Luke 13: 2- 3. These Galileans had not sinned any more than any of the other people– maybe less– but God was beginning to withdraw His protection from Jerusalem and disasters were beginning to happen. “Why did you hear,” Jesus said, “about what happened to some people from Jerusalem? It is not just Galileans who are suffering disasters, but Jerusalemites also.”
“Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” Luke 13: 4- 5.
What did Jesus mean when He said unless you repent you will all likewise perish? Jesus could see down the stream of time when God’s protection would be completely withdrawn from Jerusalem and when all within, except those who had accepted Christ and had fled from the city when Jesus told them to, would be barbarously murdered, as those Galileans were, by the Romans soldiers. God’s protecting hand was being withdrawn from the city. They had rejected the only true God and followed a God of their own choosing.
“Repent,” Jesus said. “Repent.” That is a word that isn’t too often heard anymore. Oh, a few people make cartoons about people holding up signs that say to repent, but today we are living in a day and age when it is more popular to praise people. Calls to repentance are seldom heard, but that is what is needed today. At least that is what the Bible says is needed today– not just in the world but in the church. Why? Because as a people we have apostatized. We have carried on a form of religion without the power thereof. We may have, some of us anyway, kept the Sabbath and paid our tithe, but we have not all found Jesus. These outward things, Jesus said, we should have done, but not to have left the other undone.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” ‘ Revelation 3: 14- 15. Dear friend, it is time to be on fire for the Lord. That is not something that is nice to be, that is what God requires. We must, we must, we must, dear friend, spend that time with Jesus every day. And we must, we must, we must overcome the sins that Jesus points out in our lives. To remain lukewarm is fatal; it is absolutely fatal! The Bible says that God is going to destroy every professing Christian that remains lukewarm. The lukewarm Christian is not going to barely get into heaven; he or she is not going to get in at all.
It is time that Jesus becomes our all in all. It is time that He is our absorbing theme– not football, not television programs, not secular music, not making money.
Those seven who were on the ill- fated shuttle flight this Thursday all had one thing in common. They were a few who were chosen out of thousands– they were a remnant. And what made them that remnant? They made being on that shuttle their first and only interest. Even in a high school football game, Michael Smith wasn’t interested in the game any more when an airplane flew overhead. Dear friend, when we love the Lord that much, we will be saved! When we would rather read the Bible than watch the Super Bowl, that is conversion. When we would rather starve to death than work on the Sabbath or use the Lord’s tithe for our own use, that is conversion.
I have some simple questions to ask you: Do you spend more time reading the Bible, or watching television? Do you spend more time tuned in to the radio, or in prayer? What is molding your life? Where do your thoughts run in your leisure moments?
“There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” ‘ Luke 13: 1- 5.
Someday, while people are eating and drinking, marrying and giving~ in marriage, and while life is progressing, another explosion is going to take place. The sky is suddenly going to rip apart and whole islands are going be moved out of their place. The streams are going to cease to flow and the homes we have lived in are going to be ripped asunder. like lightening from the East our Lord will come with 10,000 of His holy angels. life on planet earth is going to suddenly come to a halt. Our academies are all going to be closed and our churches are going to be destroyed.
“These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firsifruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God” Revelation 14: 4- 5.
Jesus says to repent, or we are all going to be destroyed. I am so glad that the destruction that overtook the seven astronauts this week was not a final destruction. Everyone of them will be raised again. I hope that some or all of them are saved. It is a shame that of all the personal belongings taken on board, from pennants to pet frogs, there is not a mention of any of them taking a Bible on board— though maybe the Gideons had one on board already. I hope they were living up to the light they knew. I hope that Mr. Resnik gets to hear his daughter say to him again, “Hello, Daddy, this is Little.” I hope someone witnessed to them about Jesus in time– not just the One who lived 2,000 years ago, but about the One living in their heart. I hope so.
But I know this, that soon there is going to be another blast that is going to rip the whole earth apart. In that day, who is going to be able to stand? As Psalms 24: 4 says, it will be “he who has clean hands and a pure heart.”
Today the football game of life is in progress, but overhead are flying the three angels of Revelation 14 with the everlasting gospel to give to the world. Isn’t it time to call a time out, to look and to listen and to follow. Another shuffle is about to leave this stricken world, and this one will succeed. Upon that shuffle only a remnant will be found– a small number from so many who would like to go, but who did not put their whole heart and mind and soul into being there. I want to be on board when Jesus comes, don’t you? I do not want my children crying because I am not there, do you? Rather, I want to hear them saying: “Hello, Daddy, it’s me.” It’s time for the Lord to come, I hear the people say; the stars of heaven are growing dim, it must be the breaking of the day. The signs foretold in the sun and moon, in earth and sea and space, aloud proclaim to all mankind, the coming of the Master draweth on.
Let us repent and be ready. “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” ‘ Revelation 3: 14- 16.
Part II From Death to Life
The tragedy of life is that it ends. When you go on a vacation, the vacation soon comes to an end, but you feel refreshed, and you have the pictures; at least you have the pictures in your mind. You have the memories. Memories are one of the most important things in life.
But suppose you went on a vacation, and after it was through you had total amnesia. Even the subconscious memory of the vacation was wiped out. You had no pictures. No memory of it. You had no recollection of having been on a vacation at all. How many would like to go on a vacation like that?
Suppose with me that someone should offer you a two week vacation anywhere in the world via private jet, or private cruise— you choose— with the best accommodations, the finest food, the nicest friends, a private servant, chef and butler. The price tag on this two week vacation was $2,000. How many would go? Maybe a little out of our reach, but a bargain at twice the cost. However, just for today, this vacation offer is on sale for just $195. $195! Anywhere in the world— Austria, the Congo, Brazil, Spain, Shanghai, Paris, Alaska, Rome, the South Seas or any combination. $195! How many would go?
But, as is often the case, there is one little catch with the bargain price. First, no one could know that you had gone. And second, after you got back you would be put through some kind of machine that would totally wipe out that memory so that not even you would have any idea you had ever been on a vacation at all. Who knows, maybe you have already been on a vacation like that; you just can’t remember. Anyway, now that you know the fine print at the bottom of the vacation offer, how many would still be interested in going at the bargain price?
Think of all the fun you would have during those two weeks? Maybe if I had enough time and just concentrated on the positive, I could sell quite a few tickets. But the thinking person would say— for what? However good the vacation might be, it would soon be over, and then for what? It would be as though it had never happened.
Lease on Life
Yet, an awful lot of supposedly thinking people are taking vacations just like that. They are going through the vacation of life, existing for the pleasures that they can receive while here. But for what? When it is over, and the memory is wiped out, and as time goes on and no one even remembers that they ever existed, what is the purpose of life? What is the purpose of riches that perish? What is the purpose of knowledge that vanishes? What is the purpose of hard work for things that suddenly cease to exist? What is the purpose of improving yourself just to vanish into thin air as though you never existed? That is the question Jesus asked.
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry. ‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? ‘ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” Luke 12: 16- 21.
Then whose shall they be after you cease to exist? You can have all the insurance policies in the world, you can write up your will any way you want to, you can have all the alarm systems and security devices on your home that money can buy or genius invent. Nevertheless, when you die, you lose it all. None of us own a thing in this life– we only lease. You might think you have a deed to your house, but it is only a lease, and that lease runs out when you die!
Jesus said, “Fool! . . . Then whose will those things be which you have provided?” That is the question of the age. Think about it. Daydream about it. There is no such thing as being permanently rich in this life. It is only loaned, and the loan runs out when you die. “Then whose will those things be which you have provided?”
That is why Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourself treasures on earth, where tornadoes and lawsuits destroy and where death breaks in and steals; but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where you can enjoy them forever.” Good advice isn’t it? Dear friend, if you are lost, your life has been a total waste. It does not matter what accomplishments you may have made or how rich or well thought of you were. You may have been the President of the United States, the dictator of Russia or even the much sought after president of the Philippines. You may have owned the oil wells of the world, but if you are eventually lost; for what? When your life ceases to exist, whatever the excuse for being lost, you might as well have never lived.
You know, it is amazing the excuses that people can give for being lost. “My parents were too strict.” “The school was not fair.” “The preacher was boring.” “I would have lost my job for keeping the Sabbath.” “The Bible was boring.” I have wondered if when standing before the bar of justice, if those who have “good” excuses, whatever that means, are going to feel better about being lost than those who have poor excuses. Have you ever wondered that?
The Real Purpose of Life
There is but one real purpose in life, dear friend, and that is to be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. Let all other considerations vanish in comparison to that.
But how is this accomplished? Jesus plainly said in Matthew 7 that there were going to be but very few people saved, even though a whole lot of people where going to think they were saved. How can we make sure?
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” John 5: 24.
Most assuredly, Jesus said. This is what it takes. If anyone gives you any other way to eternal life than this, believe it not. According to Jesus, this is most assuredly the way. Unless we are hearing the voice of Jesus leading us day by day, we are lost. We need to realize the seriousness of television. Too many voices are trying to grab our attention. We may even be watching “good” programs— and we wouldn’t watch any other, wouldwe?– but if it is drowning out the voice of Jesus, it is accomplishing its purpose. Our time is sacred. We must take time to hear the voice of Jesus if we want to be saved. We must spend time with Jesus every day, morning by mom ing, and retain Him in our thoughts throughout the day.
Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” Matthew 16: 24. For, as Peter said, “There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be save,” Acts 4: 12, than the name Christ Jesus.
We must hear the voice of Jesus. If we are not taking the time to hear the voice of Jesus through Bible study and prayer, we are going to be lost. We are lost. But I would like you to notice that there are two things Jesus said we must do in order to have eternal life. Now Jesus paid the price. He died to atone for our sins. But Jesus said that we also have something to do in order to receive that gift. Jesus said it, not me. And these are the two things we must do.
- We must hear the words of Jesus.
- We must believe in God.
We must not only hear. We must believe. That is the secret, Jesus said, to eternal life and the reason most people will not be saved.
Ninety- five percent are too busy to hear the voice of Jesus. But even of the small percent who do hear, ninety- five percent of those do not believe what they read or hear. They do not believe God. Oh, they may believe that He exists– even the devils believe that, James said. But they do not believe Him– they do not believe His truthfulness or His authority. They do not believe what He says. They do not accept His words, His authority, His wisdom or His messengers.
Thus it was with the Jews. They did read the Bible, but they did not believe. “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” John 5: 37- 40.
Oh, they read the Bible, but they were too wise to believe it, or to believe in Him whom the Bible said should come. He was too humble. He did not fulfill their pride or their ambitions.
What two things are necessary for salvation?
There are two things necessary for salvation. You must:
- hear, and
But the Jews could not. It did not agree with their pride nor their human logic. The leaders taught men to reverence them, but Jesus claimed no human titles. They thought they were pretty good, but Jesus called for repentance. God had sent His Son into the world, but God’s Son did not meet with their approval. Oh, they had read and memorized the Scriptures. They could quote whole sections of it, but they twisted it to their own destruction, and they would not believe in Him to Whom Scripture pointed.
“How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” John 5: 44.
Dear friend, what we are needing today is to spend more time with the Scriptures and with the testimony of Jesus Christ, which the Bible says is the spirit of prophecy. We are needing to spend more time with the Scriptures, but more than that, we are needing to spend more time with it on our knees– in sincere repentance, clinging to the foot of the cross.
“Oh Lord, as we read Your Word, may we be converted, put away our pride and put away our preconceived opinions. May we accept Your simple, humble truths.”
If Jesus should come to earth today, would He be accepted? He had no degrees, you know. Where would He go? Could He be a minister in our churches, or a teacher in our schools or a physician in our institutions? Would we accept His words of truth? Would He find a place in our church or in our hearts, or would He be left outside knocking to get in as is pictured in the Laodicean message? I tell you this, as soon as we decree that an individual must have a certain degree or come from a particular institution to be a minister or worker in any line, we have barred Christ from the ministry of our church, because His qualifications were other than what mankind can give. He was anointed from above. Oh that we had that same prerequisite, and that prerequisite alone, today. We need training, but more important, we need the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
If Jesus should come to earth today, would you receive Him? Would you? Of course you would. But so thought the Jews! How do we know? You can know, because He is still here today.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen” Matthew 28: 19- 20.
He is still here. You may not see Him, but then, the Jews in Jerusalem 1,900 years ago never thought they had met the Messiah either. But He was there. And He is here, but He is still unrecognized and unaccepted.
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” John 14: 19- 21.
Who is it who will see Jesus? He who hears the words of Jesus and believes. “He who has My commandments.” How do you have the commandments of Jesus? By reading them. By putting them in your mind. “He who has My commandments.” But He who has and does what? “And keeps them.” He who believes what Jesus said. In him, Jesus said, I will come and abide.
Again, what does it require to be saved? Two things.
- We must hear the words of Jesus.
- We must believe.
If you were living in Jerusalem and God should choose to send His Son in the form of a humble Galilean peasant, and you were expecting Judean royalty, would you believe? If you were living in the last days and God should choose a humble New England woman to be His messenger, and you were expecting a German theologian, would you believe?
If God should say that the seventh-day of the week is holy, whereas you had been taught by parents and theologians that the first day of the week was sacred, would you believe God or the theologians? Who would you believe? Would you believe God?
If God should choose to close Platte Valley Academy but your job was at stake or your alma matter in jeopardy, would you believe?
If God should choose you to be a messenger of His as He did Isaiah to preach the word or to witness to your neighbor, would you believe, or would you find excuses.
Dear friend, it is time we have more confidence in the power of prayer and more willing acceptance of God’s answers. It is time we are willing to be lead by His Spirit. It is time we have more simple, apostolic faith in His Word. It is time we quit reasoning away what we are told about how to treat the sick, how to eucate the young, how to raise our children and how to choose our spouses. It is time we study, rightly dividing the word of truth so that we are not putting our own interpretation on it, but having honestly ascertained what God has said, it is time we simply believed and obeyed. Is that right or wrong? And why shouldn’t we believe? Why shouldn’t we follow more fully? “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” John 15: 11.
It is He who brings happiness in life. God loves you, dear friend. He only wants the best for you, but His way may not be your way, so you are going to have to have faith in Him. Sickness may devour a loved one. Are you still going to believe? God may call you out of some comfortable circumstance into the path of hardship. Are you still going to believe? God may strike your pride to the ground. Are you still going to believe? God may even say something that you don’t agree with at all. Are you still going to believe?
“If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father” John 5: 24.
Jesus is calling you today, dear friend, to cease your business in life– to put down the telephone and turn off the television, to close the newspaper and come home from the party, and to go into your closet and hear His voice speaking to you. Have you heard His voice? But having heard, you must believe. Oh, dear friend, if you will but take the time to hear, and then if you will believe, you have eternal life. Praise the Lord! You will find rest unto your soul. You will find a peace within that not all the troubles of the world can disturb.
“For God so loved the world. That He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, might not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3: 16. You can have that gift, today. You can have a peace and a joy that will never end, but will last throughout eternity.