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← The Privileges of the Christian - Geoff Thomas

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Showing Revision 6 created 04/15/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. It's a great honor for me to be here.

  2. I've heard about this conference from Mark
  3. for so long and never thought I'd be able
  4. and privileged to speak to you.
  5. I'm so pleased to be here.
  6. I want to speak to you
  7. from the first letter of Peter chapter 1
  8. and verses 8 and 9.
  9. 1 Peter 1:8-9
  10. "Jesus Christ, whom having not seen,
  11. you love.
  12. Though now, though you see Him not,
  13. yet believing, you rejoice with joy
  14. inexpressible and full of glory,
  15. receiving the end of your faith,
  16. the salvation of your souls."
  17. I want to speak to you tonight

  18. on the privileges of being a Christian.
  19. I could speak to you
    about the responsibilities
  20. of being a Christian,
  21. and referring to this same passage.
  22. All privileges lead to responsibilities.
  23. Mom and dad, they know Jesus Christ
  24. as their Lord and Savior,
  25. and they speak warmly to you about Him,
  26. and they tell you you need Him
  27. and it would wonderful if you had Him
  28. as your own personal Lord and Savior.
  29. And that's a wonderful privilege.
  30. There are millions of boys
    and girls in the world -
  31. they've never heard of Jesus Christ.
  32. That privilege though
    brings responsibilities.
  33. What will you do with this Jesus
  34. who is called the Christ?
  35. Or, you may on Sunday's come to a church,
  36. and it's not just a very formal occasion,
  37. and people dress up,
  38. chant and behave in predictable ways,
  39. but the climax of the service,
  40. after we've sung and prayed to God
  41. is that God speaks to us through His Word.
  42. We feel something of conviction and joy
  43. in hearing about Jesus Christ.
  44. Now, that privilege - it's not
    given to lots of people.
  45. It's given to you, and privileges
    bring responsibilities.
  46. So, you must not just be
    a hearer of the Word,
  47. but you must do what
    the preacher tells you to do.
  48. And so here tonight, we're going to look
  49. at the privileges rather
    than the responsibilities,
  50. because I want to speak to you about grace
  51. and not about law.
  52. You know there are people who think

  53. it's really a very hard life -
    the Christian life.
  54. You got in your car.
  55. Your neighbor said, "where are you going?"
  56. "We're going to Denton in Texas."
  57. "Oh yes, are you having a vacation?
  58. Going to the rodeo?"
  59. "It's a conference.
  60. We're going to hear the Bible preached."
  61. And after you drove off,
  62. he turned to his wife and said,
  63. "Oh, what a life... what a life."
  64. "They're going to hear the Bible."
  65. They think it's a joyless life.
  66. And sometimes we do emphasize
  67. the places we don't go to,
  68. and the practices we don't approve of,
  69. and the language we don't use.
  70. People think they have to give up so much
  71. if they are to become Christians.
  72. We Christians never think like that.
  73. We've given up what we could never keep.
  74. And we've gained what we will never lose.
  75. And Peter here in these verses
    that I've read in your hearing,
  76. Peter tells us about some
    of the great privileges
  77. that a Christian has.
  78. And the first great privilege
    that a Christian has

  79. is he has someone to believe in.
  80. Verse 8, Though you don't
    see Jesus Christ now -
  81. now - not today, but one day -
  82. but now you don't see Him,
  83. but you believe in Him.
  84. How is that possible when
    I as a boy in school -
  85. I was converted in 1954
  86. in a little Baptist church up the valley.
  87. Just an ordinary conversion.
  88. And I witnessed to my friends,
  89. and some of them would say,
  90. "Well, seeing's believing."
  91. As though that just
    destroyed the whole case
  92. for Christianity.
  93. Some of you - you never
    saw your grandmother.

  94. She died when you were a baby,
  95. or perhaps before you were born.
  96. But your mother tells
    you stories about her,
  97. and the love she showed,
  98. and how she protected your mother
  99. when your mother was very vulnerable
  100. at one time in her life.
  101. And she talks about the
    fun they had together
  102. and what a lovely person she was.
  103. Do you believe in your grandmother?
  104. You never saw her.
  105. But, of course, you do believe in her.
  106. You believe in her through the testimony
  107. of someone who did see her
  108. and whose life was changed by her.
  109. And that's how it was
    with these Christians
  110. in what we call today Turkey,
  111. but then in Cappadocia, Asia, Bythenia.
  112. These places in the
    opening verses he tell us,
  113. he's addressing the Christians.
  114. Jesus Christ never went to Turkey.
  115. He went to Africa.
  116. He never came to Europe.
  117. When He was a baby,
  118. He went to North Africa, didn't He?
  119. To Egypt.
  120. He was there and protected from Herod.
  121. But that wonderful evangelism of His
  122. over three years and then He gathered
  123. 500 people - His flock.
  124. And they all went different places
  125. speaking of the transforming power
  126. of His life and His resurrection.
  127. They shared it with people everywhere.
  128. Some came to Turkey,
  129. and they said, ah, we've
    got good news for you.
  130. And we can't say that, can't we?
  131. Everybody in America,
  132. we have good news for you.
  133. We have a Savior for you.
  134. We have a Teacher for you.
  135. We have a Great Shepherd
  136. who'll look after you and protect you.
  137. I have good news for
    everybody here tonight.
  138. Good news about Jesus Christ.
  139. And so, they wanted to
    know more about Him.
  140. They came to believe in Him,
  141. and believe big truths,
  142. so that these two
    letters that Peter wrote,
  143. they were full of meaty doctrine
  144. and a great concept of God
  145. and of Jesus Christ.
  146. Because Peter, you see, was an eyewitness.
  147. He was there.
  148. He was there when Jesus called him
  149. when he was tending his nets
  150. with his brother.
  151. He was there on the
    Mount of Transfiguration.
  152. He was there in Gethsemane.
  153. He was there in the Upper Room.
  154. He went into the tomb and he saw it.
  155. It was empty, but the
    grave clothes were there.
  156. He was an eyewitness.
  157. And that is how we are Christians

  158. in Denton tonight.
  159. We are here not that Jesus ever came
  160. to America,
  161. but because people who
    were His eyewitnesses -
  162. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John,
  163. Peter, Paul, James, Jude, and others -
  164. they saw Him.
  165. And they recorded this extraordinary life.
  166. The most wonderful years
  167. in the history of this planet
  168. when Jesus lived -
  169. the most wonderful week,
  170. the most wonderful days
  171. at the end of His life.
  172. No days can compare to them.
  173. And there's a record of them.
  174. And we believe because of this.
  175. I was saved, I said, in '54,

  176. and a few other boys in '55,
  177. and we started a Christian gathering
  178. in school.
  179. And one of the boys,
  180. he was called Neil Kinnock.
  181. And Neil Kinnock then became
  182. a prominent politician.
  183. He led the Labor Party
  184. in a couple of general elections
  185. against Mrs. Thatcher.
  186. And he was interviewed.
  187. People were interested;
    asked him questions
  188. about his religion, and he said,
  189. "Well, I just admire Christians,
  190. but I could never take
  191. a leap into the dark."
  192. That's what he said.
  193. And so I wrote to him.
  194. "Dear Neil, remember those days
  195. when we had Bible studies,
  196. and you came along
  197. and you were interested?"
  198. You know, becoming a Christian
  199. isn't a leap into the dark.
  200. It's coming to the Light of the world.
  201. It's coming to Jesus Christ.
  202. And we learn about Him
  203. and we want to know more about Him.
  204. We ask questions.
  205. We feed our minds and our understanding,
  206. and our affections are stirred,
  207. and our conscience is troubled too,
  208. but all about Him.
  209. And then we believe in Him.
  210. It's a special word here.
  211. Not believe about Him,
  212. but believing right into Him.
  213. You know, there's a great database -

  214. you teenagers, you know
    what a database is?
  215. You all know about IT much
    more than we oldsters.
  216. There's a database in which every piece
  217. of the Greek language has been recorded.
  218. People like Plato and Aristotle
  219. and the philosophers,
  220. and then Thucydides the historian,
  221. and then the great dramatists and poets.
  222. All of that - every bit of Greek
  223. that men have ever found.
  224. Classical Greek.
  225. It's all on this database.
  226. And then, common Greek as Greek changed
  227. over the years and it came
    to the New Testament,
  228. and the New Testament's on it too.
  229. And then it's added to all the time.
  230. They find pieces of parchment
  231. preserved under the Egyptian sun.
  232. Letters to a wife from a soldier.
  233. Bills and contracts.
  234. And then they are published,
  235. and immediately then the people who run
  236. this website, they add it to it.
  237. So, it's an enormous help
    if you are a scholar.
  238. And so, say you take this phrase now
  239. which Peter uses here,
  240. which is used in the New Testament
  241. about believing into someone.
  242. So you type it in,
  243. and then you push a button
  244. and then it searches very quickly
  245. through all this Greek.
  246. And then it prints out.
  247. And you have a piece of paper
  248. and you look at it,
  249. and to your surprise,
  250. the only place in all the world
  251. where this phrase to believe into someone
  252. is found is the New Testament.
  253. In other words, it was invented
  254. by the Holy Spirit.
  255. It was invented by the apostles -
  256. it's the same thing -
  257. to explain to us what is the nature
  258. of saving faith.
  259. It's not believing about Him,
  260. but it's believing right into Him.
  261. Being joined to Him.
  262. Jonathan Edwards called saving faith
  263. "a connecting grace."
  264. It plugs us in.
  265. It grafts us into Christ and His life,
  266. and we become joined
  267. unbreakably,
  268. eternally to God the Son.
  269. So that His life is yours,
  270. and your life is His.
  271. That's what a Christian is.
  272. You can only explain the heroism
  273. and courage and the wonderful patience
  274. of a wife looking after her husband
  275. when he gets forgetful
    at the end of his days,
  276. and she's so wonderfully
    patient and loving,
  277. because the strength
    and the patience
  278. and the joy and the peace
    of Jesus Christ is in her.
  279. What a privilege to be a Christian!
  280. Let's compare it to a
    proposal to marriage.

  281. You know, a young man and woman,
  282. or older man and woman,
  283. they get married too, you know?
  284. They meet in a conference like this.
  285. They talk to one another,
  286. and then, oh, they talk, and they talk.
  287. So the father comes home
  288. and he says, "Where's Cindy?"
  289. "She's on the phone again."
  290. Upstairs. There she is talking to
  291. this man in her life.
  292. And they sit together
  293. and they eat together and they walk.
  294. And she's watching him.
  295. She's looking at him.
  296. She's evaluating him.
  297. How is he with his parents?
  298. How is he with her parents?
  299. How is he with other women?
  300. What are his values?
  301. What are his ambitions?
  302. What does he want to do in life?
  303. What's his goal?
  304. Is he patient and humble and sweet?
  305. Because when you go into marriage,
  306. there's no backdoor you can get out of
  307. if it doesn't work.
  308. You don't think like that -
  309. a Christian - if he's getting married.
  310. And finally, on a moonlit night,
  311. he gets down on a knee
  312. and he brings her a little box
  313. and he proposes.
  314. "Will you marry me?" he says.
  315. And when she says, "I do,"
  316. it's not because of the moonlight
  317. or the ring.
  318. It's because she's grown in appreciation
  319. and knowledge and understanding
  320. and wisdom and love.
  321. And she wants to go where he wants to go.
  322. And then we say this phrase:
  323. "They were joined together in marriage."
  324. Now that's a picture

  325. of what it is to become a Christian.
  326. You come to church
  327. and you listen to the preacher.
  328. You have young people's meetings
  329. and conferences and there are camps.
  330. And there are books you read.
  331. And you hear about Him.
  332. And you grow in your understanding
  333. of who this extraordinary
  334. uninventable Person is.
  335. And your heart is drawn out to Him.
  336. When He says, "Come to Me,"
  337. then you know the One who you're going to.
  338. You've learned about Him
  339. and you know why you need Him.
  340. When you think that the future
  341. is just impossible without Him,
  342. and you are joined together with Him.
  343. You trust in Jesus Christ.
  344. Let's talk about trust.

  345. I think faith is a rather
    strong Latin-based word.
  346. Rather hard and tough word: faith.
  347. But trust is a nice Anglo-Saxon word
  348. and it's a gentler word, isn't it?
  349. Trust is something you know -
  350. you've got it or you haven't got it.
  351. You can measure that, can't you,
  352. when you wake up in the night
  353. and you turn over
  354. and you look at the digital alarm clock
  355. and it says 3:30,
  356. you know how accurate those clocks are.
  357. You can trust it.
  358. They're reliable.
  359. A wife trusts her husband.
  360. He's not home tonight.
  361. It's late for him.
  362. He's usually home at this time.
  363. But you trust him.
  364. You know he's not fooling around.
  365. The children said they'd be
    home by half past nine,
  366. and now it's ten.
  367. Something's happened.
  368. You trust them,
  369. because that's the sort
    of children they are.
  370. That's the sort of husband you have.
  371. And so too, this is the
    distinctive characteristic

  372. of the Christian;
  373. the distinctive privilege
    that every Christian has.
  374. We trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  375. We do.
  376. Our lives are not falling apart
  377. because we know the One
  378. who's in charge of our lives.
  379. He's got all authority in
    heaven and earth, He says.
  380. He's in control of our lives.
  381. I believe in Him.
  382. I've never seen Him,
  383. but I know who my heart believed.
  384. I know this Savior -
  385. the Jesus of the Bible.
  386. The Jesus my mother and father knew,
  387. and the preacher knows,
  388. and my friends know.
  389. I'm safe in His presence.
  390. I trust Him.
  391. Take my life and let it be
    consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
  392. That's the voice of trust.
  393. That's a Christian.
  394. That's salvation.
  395. That is eternal life.
  396. We trust everything about Jesus.
  397. Everything that He's done -
  398. especially when He died on the cross
  399. and He cried, "It is finished!"
  400. We trust those words.
  401. We don't have to make a contribution
  402. because it will be us,
  403. and it will be spoiled by us.
  404. We can't make a sinless contribution
  405. because we drink iniquity like water.
  406. So we trust in Him; in what He has done.
  407. In His achievements, in His righteousness.
  408. His perfection.
  409. His loveliness. His beauty.
  410. And in His atoning death.
  411. We trust in these things.
  412. My friend, Reg Burrows, he's a pastor.

  413. He's retired now.
  414. He was shaking hands at the door
  415. with people as they
    left one Sunday morning.
  416. An old lady came up to him
    and she shook his hand.
  417. She said, "Oh, Mr. Burrows,
  418. I hope I manage to do enough
  419. for God to accept me."
  420. Now, it's very helpful to a minister
  421. when somebody says something like that,
  422. because then we can understand
  423. just where they are in this journey
  424. into a living, saving relationship
  425. with Jesus Christ.
  426. A remark like that tells us
  427. that they haven't understood Christianity.
  428. They haven't understood the gospel.
  429. They haven't understood grace.
  430. They are showing their lostness.
  431. They think God's made a contribution,
  432. and then we need to make a contribution.
  433. Then God will accept us.
  434. But, we are saved
  435. by the achievement of Someone else;
  436. by what that Person did.
  437. That's what saves us.
  438. We never manage to do enough.
  439. We never do.
  440. Because of ego and pride
  441. and self-pity,
  442. and all the things that spoil our lives
  443. in this world.
  444. I've never prayed a sinner's prayer.
  445. I've never done a zealous action.
  446. I need at the end of every day to say,
  447. "Sorry, Lord, about today."
  448. "Forgive another day, Lord."
  449. My best things - I have to say that.
  450. We are saved by the achievement
  451. of Somebody else
  452. who never had to say "sorry"
    at the end of every day.
  453. The lovely beauty...
  454. holy, harmless, undefiled,
  455. separate from sinners,
  456. higher than the heavens -
  457. this is the extraordinary life
  458. of the Man Christ Jesus.
  459. The Son of God.
  460. Saved by what He did.
  461. Christmas comes and then we have

  462. "The Sound of Music."
  463. All those lovely songs.
  464. Maria, in the end,
    the stern grieving widower -
  465. the Captain - he collapses before her
  466. and wants to marry her.
  467. And she can't get over it.
  468. She is just amazed.
  469. She's just a simple peasant girl.
  470. Got a good voice.
  471. There she is.
  472. And so she sings then.
  473. She's puzzling over why is it
  474. that God has allowed this fellow
  475. to fall in love with her.
  476. And she sings, and you
    remember what she sings?
  477. She sings, "somewhere
    in my youth or childhood,
  478. I must have done something good."
  479. That's what she says, doesn't she?
  480. I helped an old lady over the road.
  481. I was kind to my parents.
  482. I wasn't nasty to animals.
  483. I was patient with people.
  484. God saw all that and so He
    gave me this rich dude.
  485. I have three daughters,
  486. and my youngest - she was born
  487. with a silver spoon in her mouth.
  488. So it all works out for her.
  489. She passes, goes to university,
  490. meets Glenn - a lovely fellow -
  491. marries him,
  492. gets a job as a teacher,
  493. has three children.
  494. She tells me the next thing.
  495. I say, "How is it that everything seems
  496. to happen to you like this?"
  497. She says, "Somewhere in
    my youth or childhood,
  498. I must have done something good."
  499. She knows it's a heresy.
  500. And she likes to tease her
    old man about it, doesn't she?
  501. Now the Christian doesn't think like that.

  502. We don't think like that at all.
  503. The Christian says
  504. because of everything
    that Jesus Christ did,
  505. God has blessed me.
  506. Oh, what wonderful blessings!
  507. I've got Him. His mercies
    are new every morning!
  508. His faithfulness - it's immeasurable.
  509. You can't see the east or west of it.
  510. How kind, how good,
    how patient He is with me.
  511. He's forgiven all my sins.
  512. And so a Christian has
    someone to believe in.
  513. We want to believe in
    such a Savior, don't we?
  514. I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
  515. trusting only Thee.
  516. Trusting Thee for full salvation,
  517. great and free.
  518. That's the response to this amazing love,
  519. that Jesus had seen the file on us.
  520. He'd seen it. He knew.
  521. He knew about everything.
  522. The things done in darkness.
  523. The things that God has veiled
    from those who know us best,
  524. that we're so ashamed of.
  525. He still loved us.
  526. He still loved us.
  527. We're joined to Him by saving faith.
  528. Well now, who are you going to believe in

  529. if you say no to my Savior again tonight?
  530. Who are you going to trust in?
  531. It can't be Hollywood,
  532. after all the ugly disclosures.
  533. The foundations have gone there.
  534. That's hollow and ugly.
  535. Sportsmen?
  536. What figures are there?
  537. Philosophers?
  538. Writers?
  539. If you reject my Savior Jesus Christ,
  540. who have you got to look into
  541. when you get married?
  542. When you get children and they're sick?
  543. When you've got bills to pay?
  544. And you're getting older?
  545. And the grandchildren are
    quite demanding too?
  546. You're getting nearer death.
  547. Who have you got?
  548. Who do you have if you
    say no to Jesus Christ?
  549. Who have you got?
  550. Look, there's this wonderful privilege.
  551. A Christian has Someone
  552. to believe right into; to trust.
  553. He can rely on Him completely.
  554. And the second great privilege
    that a Christian has here:

  555. A Christian has Someone to love.
  556. Verse 8: "Whom having not seen, you love."
  557. And it's the same illustration I use again
  558. about your grandmother.
  559. Mom takes you upstairs
  560. and she puts you in bed.
  561. And you say, "Tell me a story, Mom."
  562. She says, "Oh, it's late tonight."
  563. "Tell me about Nana.
    Tell me about Nana."
  564. "Oh please... please, Mommy.
  565. Please tell me about Nana and the cows."
  566. "Oh, you've heard that story..."
  567. "Tell me, Mommy."
  568. So, she starts to tell you how
  569. she went blackberry picking with jars
  570. in a field and you were picking,
  571. and the cows got very curious
  572. and they all started to
    come nearer and nearer,
  573. and then they started
    getting a bit faster.
  574. And how your mother got
    a bit frightened as they came.
  575. And she picked her up then -
  576. her daughter, your mother -
  577. carried her over the stream
  578. and dropped her over the wall
  579. and clambered over the wall.
  580. The cows all came.
  581. And looked at her. Looked at your mother.
  582. You love the story.
  583. And when your mother tells it,
  584. you know, her eyes are filled with tears
  585. as she remembers that wonderful person
  586. who loved her.
  587. And you love her.
  588. You love her, though you never saw her,
  589. you love her because your mother
  590. whom you just adore -
  591. your mother loved her
  592. and owed her so much.
  593. When you read a great biography

  594. of Lloyd-Jones or Spurgeon,
  595. in the end, you love these people.
  596. You love them.
  597. You don't want it to end.
  598. You start to read a few pages less
  599. because you don't want it to end.
  600. You're so filled with admiration
  601. that the world has seen
  602. so terrific a person as some
    of these people are.
  603. Peter tells us what he'd seen.

  604. He told them.
  605. We went into the room together.
  606. It was just James and John and I.
  607. There were some others there -
  608. Jairus and his wife,
  609. and there was just
    the little girl and Jesus.
  610. There were seven of us in the room.
  611. They're all spellbound and they listen.
  612. They know the story,
  613. but oh, they love to hear it again.
  614. And He went over to the bed
  615. and He held her by the hand -
  616. her cold, dead hand.
  617. And He said to her,
  618. "Talitha cumi."
  619. I am sorry, that's our language -
  620. it's Aramaic.
  621. I just see it so vividly in my mind.
  622. My mother said it to me
  623. when I was a boy by Galilee.
  624. My mother would wake
    me up in the afternoon.
  625. She normally would just sleep
    throughout all the afternoon.
  626. I wouldn't sleep at night.
    Talitha cumi, she'd say.
  627. Get up, now, get up.
  628. And you build up this picture.
  629. And it's a wonderful picture.
  630. And you start to love -
  631. not only believe in Him -
  632. but to love this Man.
  633. He's pure gold.
  634. He's so approachable.
  635. Women absolutely trust Him.
  636. They bring their little children
  637. and they give them to Him
  638. for Him to hold,
  639. and He prays God's blessing on them.
  640. And that comes, not because
  641. they'd actually seen Jesus -
  642. because the Pharisees saw Him,
  643. and they saw Him raise Lazarus
  644. from the dead.
  645. That didn't make them
    Christians - seeing Jesus.
  646. If Jesus came back today,
  647. you might think,
  648. oh, I'd believe in Him then.
  649. No, you wouldn't.
  650. There's a real coldness in
    your heart towards Him
  651. about having Him as your Lord,
  652. to serve Him for the rest of your days.
  653. You always have an excuse.
  654. It's always so inconvenient
    just now, isn't it?
  655. Just never quite the convenient time
  656. to be trusting in Jesus Christ
  657. and repenting of your sin
  658. and starting to follow Him.
  659. You need a work in your heart.
  660. Jesus calls it the drawing.
  661. The drawing out
  662. of the poison of unbelief;
  663. the drawing of new affections
  664. for Jesus Christ.
  665. "No one can come to Me,
  666. except the Father who sent Me draw him."
  667. You need to be drawn.
  668. It's not just the physical sight,
  669. but the drawing of love.
  670. He wraps cords of love around you,
  671. in a meeting like this,
  672. and He starts to pull you to Himself
  673. out of your unbelief.
  674. He's just tugging you saying,
  675. "I'm saying this to you.
  676. That's why I sent the
    man from Wales there.
  677. That's why I brought you here
  678. that you might know
    this Jesus for yourself,
  679. and that you might love Him."
  680. And we do love Him.
  681. Now when I say that,

  682. everybody here's who's a Christian feels:
  683. Oh, I wish I did love Him more.
  684. Oh, it's my chief complaint
  685. that my love is cold and weak and faint.
  686. I'm sorry that I don't love Jesus more.
  687. Every Christian - the most
    mature Christian here
  688. and the youngest Christian
    is saying that just now.
  689. When I say, we do love Him.
  690. We say, but I do love Him.
  691. I do love Him.
  692. I love the Lord.
  693. Oh, for grace to love Him more.
  694. That's what we feel.
  695. And every one of us is feeling that.
  696. Sometimes we feel if we
    had a better preacher
  697. we'd love Him more.
  698. Well, we always want to
    blame something out there,
  699. and the trouble is in here, isn't it?
  700. There was the great preacher Isaiah,

  701. and he was preaching -
  702. what poetry, what passion, what pathos!
  703. The greatest of all the writing prophets.
  704. And there he is and he
    was preaching to them
  705. and telling them of the
    Messiah who would come.
  706. "All we like sheep have gone astray.
  707. We've turned everyone to his own way,
  708. and the Lord has laid on Him
  709. the iniquity of us all," he told them.
  710. They didn't understand.
  711. It was to them as if
    he was getting excited
  712. about a branch of bleached wood
  713. blown by the wind in the desert.
  714. A root out of dry ground.
  715. There was no beauty that they desired him.
  716. And he says, who has believed our report?
  717. To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
  718. And he's talking about
    a touch from heaven.
  719. You've got to have a touch from heaven.
  720. It's no good my laying hands on you.
  721. You don't want a touch from a Welshman.
  722. But oh, you do need the touch of God.
  723. Oh, you must have that.
  724. And you must be in your praying say,
  725. "Lord, touch me."
  726. "Lord, don't let me go away untouched."
  727. A Christian, then, is someone
  728. who has Someone to believe in,
  729. and Someone he loves.
  730. My mother was converted

  731. through the influence of an uncle -
  732. my grandmother's brother - Uncle Oliver,
  733. who was converted
    in the 1904 revival.
  734. Well, he couldn't go anywhere -
  735. he'd see a crowd of people,
  736. he'd speak to them.
  737. And he'd carry a text around town.
  738. He had children's meetings.
  739. And he's see my mother then
  740. for years afterwards
    and he'd just say to her,
  741. "Do you love Him, Bess?"
  742. "Do you love Him?"
  743. Because in the simple way
  744. sometime during the first World War
  745. in 1917 or 1918,
  746. she'd given her heart to Jesus Christ.
  747. That had immense influence over me
  748. twenty years later.
  749. She sung hymns to do every chore.
  750. When she vacuumed and when she washed
  751. and she cooked and she dusted,
  752. she would be singing,
  753. "How sweet the name of Jesus sounds..."
  754. "O, for a thousand tongues..."
  755. My friend Brian - my best friend -
  756. he said to me when we were about 15,
  757. he said to me, "Your mother's
    remarkable, isn't she?"
  758. I said, "Yes?"
  759. He said, "The way she sings hymns..."
  760. I thought, oh, his mother
    doesn't sing hymns.
  761. I thought every mother sung hymns.
  762. Do you love Him?

  763. Do you love Him?
  764. That's the great challenge, isn't it?
  765. Why do we love Him?
  766. Why is it impossible for
    us to stop loving Him?
  767. Well, because of His teachings.
  768. When it was said His
    disciples came unto Him,
  769. and He opened His mouth and He taught them
  770. saying, "Blessed are the poor in spirit,
  771. theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  772. Blessed are they that mourn,
  773. for they shall be comforted.
  774. Blessed are are the pure
    in heart, they shall see God.
  775. Blessed are the meek,
    they shall inherit the earth.
  776. Blessed are they that hunger
    and thirst after righteousness,
  777. for they shall be filled."
  778. William Shakespeare never said
    anything as wonderful as that.
  779. Charles Dickens? Never.
  780. All the great American writers,
  781. European writers, Tolstoy -
  782. they didn't say anything
  783. as wonderful as Jesus.
  784. Sometimes, you know, we read the Bible
  785. and it's wonderful.
  786. The Word of God.
  787. The words of Jesus -
    wonderful words of life.
  788. We have them.
  789. We love His teaching.
  790. We love His tenderness.
  791. We love the way He saw the dirty feet,
  792. and He did something about it.
  793. He took the basin of water
  794. and the towel,
  795. and He washed 24 feet.
  796. He got the donkey dung off them,
  797. dried them.
  798. They sat around in embarrassment
  799. as He humbled Himself.
  800. What a Man!
  801. He had so much on His mind then,
  802. and He did that.
  803. He loved His neighbor as Himself.
  804. How wonderful...
  805. We love Him when they drove nails
  806. through His hands and feet.
  807. He didn't say, "You wait
    till My Father gets you!"
  808. He said, "Father, forgive them.
  809. They don't know what they're doing."
  810. We love Him, don't we?
  811. We love the Lord Jesus Christ.
  812. We love the way He died for us.
  813. You know what happened a week ago today

  814. in Carcassonne, in France?
  815. And we know about it because
  816. one of my former students, Elizabeth -
  817. she's living there now.
  818. She came to faith in the church
  819. my son-in-law pastors in London.
  820. She was baptized by him,
  821. and she came and studied
    art in Aberystwyth
  822. and got first.
  823. And she met Hisham,
  824. and Hisham is an Arab.
  825. His father in Tunisia is an Imam.
  826. And through the testimony of his brother,
  827. he came to faith.
  828. And oh, he made such progress
  829. and such growth.
  830. And they live in Carcassonne.
  831. He's the pastor of a church there,
  832. and she's expecting their sixth child.
  833. And last Friday, a week ago today,
  834. an Islamic terrorist went
    into the supermarket
  835. and started killing people.
  836. And then he took the
    check-out girl Julie hostage.
  837. The police arrived.
  838. There was a very brave,
    wonderful policeman,
  839. Arnaud Beltrame.
  840. And he went up unarmed and he said,
  841. "Let her go and I'll come instead of her."
  842. Oh, the terrorist was very
    pleased to get a policeman.
  843. And she came out and he went in.
  844. And he cut his throat and shot him dead.
  845. And the marines went in
    and there was a gunfight.
  846. And the terrorist was killed.
  847. A week today.
  848. And Julie, this check-out girl,
  849. they talked to her
    afterwards and she said,
  850. "He gave his life for me.
  851. He had himself killed
    so that I could live."
  852. Now, what does a
    Christian congregation do?
  853. Well, they are active.
  854. They go around the
    supermarket the next day
  855. in the area where this terrorist grew up,
  856. and they gave out a special
    leaflet that he's written -
  857. a little booklet called "Are We in War?"
  858. And last night then,
    they hired the local cinema,
  859. and the cinema people dropped the movie
  860. and they showed then the film,
  861. "The Case for Christ,"
  862. the story of Lee Strobel's journey
  863. from atheism to living faith.
  864. And they had a book table out,
  865. and it was full of French Bibles
  866. and tracts and leaflets.
  867. Everyone went.
  868. 170 people tried to get into a room
  869. with 150 chairs last night.
  870. They wrote to me this morning about it.
  871. We love Him because He gave His life.

  872. He gave His life - a hard life.
  873. Not a trashy life.
  874. This beautiful, perfect life.
  875. And He gave it as the Lamb of God
  876. without spot and without blemish.
  877. He gave it in sacrifice,
  878. because that is how God is.
  879. That is the nature of God
  880. that without the shedding of blood,
  881. there's no remission;
  882. there's no forgiveness.
  883. God demands a lamb.
  884. God provides a Lamb.
  885. God becomes the Lamb.
  886. He finds the Lamb in His own heart;
  887. in His own bosom,
  888. and He gives Him - His own dear Son.
  889. He died for me.
  890. He gave His life that I might live.
  891. We love Him.
  892. Well, now, if you say
    no to my Savior again,

  893. who have you got to love?
  894. Who do you have?
  895. Who is there?
  896. A couple of years ago,
  897. we finished our lunch.
  898. The children went next door
  899. where the TV set is
  900. and where they do this sort of thing.
  901. We had coffee and shortbread cookies.
  902. There was a bit of a silence.
  903. Glenn then said,
  904. "If there was some great figure,
  905. some great leader in the world today
  906. you'd like to meet,
  907. who would it be?"
  908. Well, now, that is a conversation stopper.
  909. And we waited and we thought.
  910. Britain and our politicians and Europe
  911. and Asia, India, China,
  912. Africa, the America's.
  913. Now we can thank God that there are
  914. some governors and congressman,
  915. vice-presidents -
  916. we'd like to meet them.
  917. We were silent and then my wife said,
  918. "Nelson Mandela.
  919. I'd like to meet Nelson Mandela."
  920. Yeah, that would be typical of some men.
  921. But, my friends, if you're
    going to reject Jesus Christ,
  922. whose picture are you going to put up?
  923. Whose books, whose speeches,
  924. who will travel to listen to?
  925. I've got someone now.
  926. I'm going to follow him.
  927. Here is Someone.
  928. And you can believe in Him.
  929. You can trust in Him.
  930. Here is Someone you can love.
  931. And thirdly, here is Someone

  932. who makes us full of joy
  933. inexpressible and glorious joy, he says.
  934. Verse 6.
  935. Now there are times when we weep
  936. because we are Christians.
  937. We can break our hearts.
  938. We can have a grief we don't shrug.
  939. Things really hurt us.
  940. And we experience pain.
  941. I couldn't be a faithful
    servant of Jesus Christ
  942. and tell you it's going
    to be joy all the while.
  943. There's a joy that seeks us in our pain.
  944. There's a strength from heaven
  945. that helps us in our losses and crosses.
  946. But there's a joy
    about the Christian life.
  947. The apostle was caught up
    to the third heaven.
  948. We're told that the converted eunuch
  949. went on his way rejoicing.
  950. We're told when Philip preached in Samaria
  951. the place was full of joy.
  952. He could have said, "full of repentance."
  953. He could have said the Ethiopian
  954. went on his way repenting.
  955. And that's true - or believing.
    That's of course, true.
  956. But he says, oh, he was a joyful man
  957. after he met Christ;
  958. after he confessed Him.
  959. There was something in his heart
  960. that had never been there before.
  961. There were joy bells ringing
  962. in his heart.
  963. His chains had fallen off.
  964. His heart was free.
  965. The prison doors were opened.
  966. He had a liberty that
    he'd never known before
  967. in his life that God gives us.
  968. Such joy.
  969. It's "joy unspeakable" is
    the old King James phrase.
  970. Indescribable.
  971. How do you describe emotions?
  972. How do you describe flavors or scents?
  973. How difficult it is to use words
  974. to go into another medium?
  975. And so, he says, oh, I wish
  976. I could describe this joy to you.
  977. It's so real!
  978. It means that my back is bleeding
  979. and my feet are in stocks.
  980. No bed - midnight.
  981. And yet, my friend and I
  982. can sing together to the Lord.
  983. And the whole prison can know
  984. what joy has come into the prison
  985. because two servants of
    Jesus Christ are there.
  986. And it's in pictures like that
  987. that we begin to see that joy.
  988. The disciples were full of
    joy in the Holy Spirit it says.
  989. That's not saying they were regenerate.
  990. It's saying much more than
    that they were regenerate.
  991. It's saying, ah, Jesus Christ was so real
  992. and joy-giving to them.
  993. What a privilege it was
  994. to be a servant of Jesus Christ.
  995. What joy!
  996. It's indescribable.
  997. And it's full of glory.
  998. In other words, it's not manufactured.
  999. It's not change the lights;
  1000. turn the lights down,
  1001. and let's sing and repeat,
  1002. and repeat again, and say,
  1003. "now, won't you come?"
  1004. And a long, long appeal
  1005. just to get people out of their seats.
  1006. I mean, if Jesus was here,
  1007. I'd be telling you all
    to come to the front,
  1008. but the Word is nigh you.
  1009. You've heard the Word. It's nigh you.
  1010. It's in your heart. It's in your mind.
  1011. The word of faith that
    I've preached to you,
  1012. it's as close as that.
  1013. That's how close Jesus is.
  1014. You don't need to come to the front.
  1015. He's there.
  1016. He's been speaking to you tonight.
  1017. My Savior.
  1018. Where two or three gather, He's there.
  1019. He's here.
  1020. What a blessed Guest has joined us
  1021. in this conference tonight!
  1022. Joy inexpressible.
  1023. And it's full of glory.
  1024. In other words, it's not human tricksters
  1025. and human psychologists
  1026. and man-manipulators.
  1027. It's God present.
  1028. The glory of God.
  1029. The joy of heaven to earth come down.
  1030. It's that.
  1031. It's God's reality.
  1032. My friends, we live in an age

  1033. where people are crying out
  1034. for happiness, aren't they?
  1035. On Monday morning, there will be
  1036. thousands of people all over America
  1037. going to a doctor and saying,
  1038. "Can you give me a little pill?
  1039. I'm feeling depressed."
  1040. And there will be young people
  1041. with all their life before them.
  1042. It's alcohol and it's drugs.
  1043. Isn't it?
  1044. That's the reality.
  1045. And relationships -
  1046. if you say no to my Savior,
  1047. I'm saying, do you know
  1048. what your future's going to be?
  1049. The ruin of your friends
  1050. and brothers and sisters;
  1051. members of your family.
  1052. The mess they've made of their lives
  1053. because they've kept Jesus at bay;
  1054. arm's length away, not in them.
  1055. Not believing in Him.
  1056. This joy is full of glory.
  1057. It's so pure. It's so heavenly.
  1058. And it doesn't cloy.
  1059. We don't get fed up with it.
  1060. Who are you going to turn to for this joy
  1061. if you reject, again, Jesus Christ?
  1062. Here is Someone - you can trust Him.
  1063. You can love Him.
  1064. He gives you joy.
  1065. And last of all here,

  1066. He helps you achieve your goal in life.
  1067. There's a goal, there's a purpose in life.
  1068. There is.
  1069. You're on this planet.
  1070. You've been given life for a purpose.
  1071. You're receiving the goal;
  1072. the end of your faith -
  1073. the salvation of your souls.
  1074. You've got something
  1075. that will never be taken from you.
  1076. You've got a purpose in life.
  1077. This is a frustrated generation.
  1078. Your friends in school, you know,
  1079. they don't know what life is all about.
  1080. That's why they're trying drugs, isn't it?
  1081. They have a goal, they say,
  1082. I'd like to earn $100,000 a year.
  1083. And then, they get $100,000
  1084. and they grumble about taxes,
  1085. and you can't do much
    with $100,000 these days.
  1086. It wasn't as sufficient;
  1087. it wasn't a strong enough goal to live for
  1088. for a greenback dollar.
  1089. And then, they never attain the goals
  1090. they set for themselves.
  1091. They're unrealistic.
  1092. And many have no goals at all.
  1093. But Peter says we receive;
  1094. we get...
  1095. We get what we were made for;
  1096. why God made us;
  1097. why He redeemed us;
  1098. what our purpose in life is.
  1099. Man's chief end is to glorify God
  1100. and enjoy Him forever.
  1101. We never do it perfectly.
  1102. We would do it perfectly,
  1103. but we achieve more and more satisfaction
  1104. for the Lord.
  1105. I do it for the Lord.
  1106. Not for me.
  1107. The goal.
  1108. We receive the goal of our life -
  1109. the salvation of our souls.
  1110. That's how it ends, isn't it?
  1111. You're not just a body.
  1112. You are a soul, aren't you?
  1113. You are.
  1114. An animal is just a body.
  1115. I put a jug of water down
  1116. and he'll drink it;
  1117. give him some food and he'll eat it.
  1118. I'll bring a mate and he'll copulate
  1119. because he's just an animal.
  1120. People who aren't aware
    that they are souls
  1121. resort to the animal
    dimension of their lives,
  1122. don't they?
  1123. Eating, drinking, copulating.
  1124. I drive up to Aberystwyth -
    my town of 50 years

  1125. along the cliff tops
  1126. in a road from (unintelligible)
  1127. and there's a view
  1128. that's just particularly moving to me.
  1129. The green grass of a large field
  1130. goes down to the cliffs,
  1131. and then there's the Irish Sea
  1132. and the sun is setting,
  1133. and there are some cows in the field.
  1134. It's a beautiful sight.
  1135. Do I hear one cow saying to the other,
  1136. "Lovely sunset tonight, Blodwyn."
  1137. No, I don't. And the other cow saying,
  1138. "Yes, it is a great sight,
    isn't it, Gladys?"
  1139. I'd be a vegetarian if cows could
  1140. speak to one another.
  1141. But they can't.
  1142. They just look at the grass;
  1143. at their instincts. That's all.
  1144. They don't see the glory of God.
  1145. They don't see it.
  1146. Your soul is ruined by sin,

  1147. and you're not seeing the power
  1148. and glory of God in this world.
  1149. My Father made it.
  1150. Through Jesus Christ, He made it.
  1151. Without Him was not anything
    made that was made.
  1152. This is my Father's world.
  1153. This is my Savior's world.
  1154. And that's what your goal is -
  1155. to please Him and honor Him,
  1156. and look forward to being with Him,
  1157. and to a new heavens and a new earth,
  1158. when He will descend
  1159. this groaning universe,
  1160. and there won't be one rogue molecule
  1161. in all the world that doesn't show
  1162. the righteousness of Christ.
  1163. A new heavens and a new earth
  1164. where righteousness dwells.
  1165. I want to be there.
  1166. I want to see that.
  1167. Come with us.
  1168. It will do you good.
  1169. Come with us.
  1170. Don't be in unbelief any longer.
  1171. Don't go on now finding
    another excuse tonight
  1172. why you're not going
    to trust in Jesus Christ.
  1173. But you're going to come to Him.
  1174. Now coming to Jesus Christ

  1175. is a movement of your inmost being,
  1176. your heart, your life,
  1177. as the Holy Spirit takes the Word
  1178. that's been preached to you about His Son,
  1179. and He makes you ready
  1180. to saying,
  1181. "I'm not going on any
    longer in my unbelief."
  1182. "I'm going to turn from it."
  1183. "I'm sorry that it's been so long."
  1184. "I'm sorry that I've had one
    vain excuse after another."
  1185. "And from now on,
  1186. I'm going to trust in Jesus Christ."
  1187. Now, you've got to say it.
  1188. There's no formula at all.
  1189. But you've got to start speaking
  1190. to Jesus Christ about you and Him.
  1191. Just somewhere quiet.
  1192. Now, of course, we pray. Now.
  1193. But you keep praying
  1194. until you know He's answered you.
  1195. You keep praying until you have
  1196. the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.
  1197. And you'll know.
  1198. You'll know by a peace, a trust,
  1199. a joy, a rest.
  1200. Because He promises that.
  1201. "Come unto Me all ye that labor
  1202. and are heavy laden,
  1203. and I will give you rest."
  1204. Oh, I can cope with a
    crowd this size, Jesus says.
  1205. If all of Denton comes;
  1206. if all Dallas, if all Texas,
  1207. all get into their cars and buses,
  1208. because Jesus is here.
  1209. I can cope.
  1210. All men with their antagonisms,
  1211. or women with their phobias,
  1212. or children with their anxieties.
  1213. You come. You come.
  1214. You give your heart. You give your life.
  1215. It's just a movement now -
  1216. private movement.
  1217. You begin to talk to Him
  1218. about your future.
  1219. And you say it's unbearable without Him.
  1220. Why you've been away
    so long - you're sorry.
  1221. And from now on, you're
    going to follow Him.
  1222. We want you.
  1223. That's why Jesus Christ has
    brought you here tonight.
  1224. Do you know that?
  1225. That's really the reason.
  1226. That you could have
    these wonderful privileges -
  1227. Someone to believe in
  1228. and love and give you joy,
  1229. and you have your souls saved.
  1230. And you see the purpose in life.
  1231. I can't understand how anyone
  1232. can hear this offer
  1233. of what the Lord will do for you tonight
  1234. and go away saying "no!"
  1235. How can you do that?
  1236. When He's brought you here
  1237. and He's telling you
    of His wonderful benefits;
  1238. these wonderful blessings and privileges.
  1239. You come to Him.
  1240. You come to Him just as you are
  1241. to just what He is now:
  1242. this welcoming, loving Savior.
  1243. "He that comes to Me,
  1244. in no way will I cast them out."
  1245. However bad it's been;
  1246. however hypocritical.
  1247. You may be thinking,
  1248. oh, if the people sitting next to me
  1249. knew what sort of man,
  1250. what sort of woman I was,
  1251. they'd move away in shock.
  1252. You come. You particularly come
  1253. to this Savior just as you are.
  1254. Let's pray.

  1255. Lord, You have brought us here
  1256. to meet with Jesus Christ.
  1257. How privileged we are!
  1258. There are people meeting
    the prison warden tonight.
  1259. There are people seeing a doctor
  1260. and a surgeon tonight.
  1261. There are people meeting crooks.
  1262. There are people who are
    going to hurt them tonight.
  1263. There are men who are
    going to abuse them.
  1264. But we've met with the lovely,
  1265. loving, sweet and holy Jesus Christ.
  1266. Oh, thank You for being here, dear Savior.
  1267. Thank You for Your kindness
  1268. and patience with us for so long.
  1269. Now, we come just as we are,
  1270. without one plea.
  1271. Without any excuse.
  1272. Please take us.
  1273. Please receive us.
  1274. Please, from now on,
  1275. help us to live with Thee and for Thee.
  1276. We ask it for Your greater glory
  1277. and our eternal good.
  1278. Amen.
  1279. Now we'll sing our last hymn.