READING LUKE 9:51-10:2
[a] We sometimes come across very determined people, and come what may, they will continue with what they want to do.
[b] It is often such people, who get their names in the Guinness Book of Records for some great feat that they have accomplished against all the odds, and perhaps against all the advice given them!
[c] One of the words made specially for such an occasion is ‘STICKABILITY’!
[d] In our Bible reading, Jesus showed a resolute determination, in that come what may, He “SET HIS FACE TO GO TO JERUSALEM!” Nothing would deter His from His task!
[a] I believe that in a sense, every one of us has a Jerusalem to go to! Whether we are willing to go or not is quite another thing!!
[b] Jesus knew everything that Jerusalem was to hold for Him - but still He did not flinch!
[c] If we are to be a disciple of our Lord, and follow truly in His footsteps - then we have no option, but to go to our Jerusalem!
[d] For us too, sometimes it can mean PERSECUTION, and FALSE ACCUSATION! It can mean DISTRESS, PAIN, and even for some, DEATH, in being true to their Saviour, and going to their Jerusalem.
Many Christians, even in the modern day have been martyred for their faith! I was just hearing yesterday morning at a prayer breakfast, of one instance that backfired on the perpetrators!
A young man would not deny his faith, and refused to stop witnessing for the Lord. So evil men took him and drowned him in a barrel of urine!
But his fellow Christians continued to pray! Even as they gathered around his glass topped coffin 3 days later - still they prayed, and suddenly they heard a tapping on the glass, and found that God had answered their prayers in a truly miraculous fashion!
EITHER WE HAVE A GOD WHO CAN DO EVERYTHING, OR WE HAVE A GOD WHO CAN DO NOTHING!
I KNOW WHICH GOD I HAVE!! HOW ABOUT YOU??
[e] But whatever our Jerusalem may hold, there can be no turning back! Not if we are to remain true to our Lord!
[a] In Luke 13, Jesus laments over Jerusalem, for their rejection of the Word of God, and for their persecution of those who preached it!
[b] Little has changed - if the message is not what people want to hear, they reject both the preacher and his or her message from God.
[*] They want to stay in their rut! It’s as if they stand there in that rut, arm in arm, singing, at the top of their voices -
“WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!”
[c] So often, the message of God, is treated with contempt by people with closed ears, and even more tightly closed hearts!
I DO NOT ONLY MEAN UNSAVED PEOPLE!
[d] I wonder can you hear the Lord cry,
“O (name of town or city), YOU WHO REJECT THE MESSAGE OF GOD, SO OFTEN I WOULD HAVE GATHERED YOU, AS A HEN WOULD GATHER HER BROOD UNDER HER WINGS, BUT YOU WOULD NOT!!”
[e] Perhaps you can apply it personally, and put your own name there, because, the Lord has spoken to your soul so often, and encouraged you to give your life completely to Him!
[f] But perhaps YOU have treated His Word with contempt!
There is no better way to phrase it, when you refuse to take notice and respond??
[a] People can be so fickle and changeable! You think you can trust them! You think you can rely on them - THEN SUDDENLY BANG! THEY’VE DONE A REVERSE TURN!
[b] The people who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with such fervour, waving palm leaves and shouting Hosanna, were the same who were shortly afterwards, spewing out hatred, shouting “CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!”
[c] HAS THE LORD BEEN ABLE TO RELY ON YOU??
OR HAVE YOU WELCOMED HIM ONE MOMENT, AND REJECTED HIM AND HIS WAY THE NEXT??
[d] It is easy for us to condemn the crowd, and yet how many gathered in churches today, have turned against the Lord, or rejected His message and His messenger!!
[e] It’s like what Jesus said of Jerusalem, if they didn’t like the prophet’s message, they killed the prophet!!
It must be his fault - it couldn’t be theirs!!
[f] In the thirty years that my wife and I have been officers, we have seen history repeat itself so often in this very thing!!
[a] I remember preaching, that many Christians were so busy rejoicing in the fact that they were saved, and having a party on the shore, they forgot that souls were perishing in the ocean of sin beside them!
[b] But the longer I live, the more I am convinced, that an even bigger problem exists within the whole Christian Church, and that is, that many Christians are so busy scoring points over one another, so busy squabbling over trivialities, that they’ve forgotten that the Lord saved them to be “FISHERS OF MEN!”
AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING IS MAKING THAT IMPOSSIBLE THROUGH THEIR PETTINESS!!
[c] Being a Christian is a huge responsibility! WHAT WE DO - WHAT WE SAY - HOW WE ACT - EFFECTS THE SOULS OF OTHERS - EVEN WHERE THEY SPEND ETERNITY!
[d] WE WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE!
EZEKIEL 3:18 says, “When I say to the wicked, ‘THOU SHALT SURELY DIE’ and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND!”
[e] THE LORD’S BUSINESS IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS!!
THE ETERNAL WELFARE OF THE UNSAVED, DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU AND I DO OR DO NOT DO!!
[f] OUR JERUSALEM MAY COST US DEARLY, BUT LIKE JESUS, SACRIFICE IS THE ONLY WAY IN WHICH GOD CAN USE US FOR THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD!!
[a] Some years ago, on a Saturday morning, at nine-o-clock, I went to the Methodist Church, and was humbled at the sacrifice I witnessed!
[b] I joined young people from a number of the churches of that area, who had been praying all through the night - at that stage, for 13 hours, and from 9-9.20, they wanted to pray for the Salvation Army in that area. (Peterhead)
[c] Some of those young people were as young as 10 years old, and if you’d heard the sincerity of their prayers! They were praying for the meetings in the Salvation Army the next day, praying that people would be saved, and God's people blessed and challenged.
[d] TO JESUS, GOD’S WILL, AND THE SOULS OF MANKIND MEANT EVERYTHING!! MORE THAN THE PAIN OF REJECTION! MORE THAN THE HURT OF DESERTION! MORE THAN THE AGONY OF CALVARY!
[f] The business of soul saving, can be a very lonely one!!
CAN YOU DOUBT IT, AS YOU SEE THE SAVIOUR HANG ALONE ON CALVARY’S TREE?
[g] Has God been saying things to YOU in this meeting??
You can accept the voice of His Spirit and act accordingly, or you can reject His voice, and live with the consequences!! It’s up to you!
[h] If you would like to respond, then the opportunity is yours just now.
483 (644), 179 (742), 725 (21),
Prayer Chorus 49