From The Gospel Awakening
THE GOSPEL INVITATION
I will read from Matthew 11:27 :
''All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest into your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'' Luke 15th : ''Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him; and the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.'' The Pharisees would tell the truth now and then; and they never told a more truthful thing than that. That is the glory of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He came into the world for sinners. He came to seek and to save that which was lost; so, when the Pharisees said this, they told the truth once, if they never did before. There is one more text that I want to refer to, in the 6th chapter of John, 37: ''Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.''
Now when princes and kings of this earth generally call people round them, they generally call the great and mighty and the noble; but when the Prince of Peace was here, he called publicans and sinners; many of them were outcasts, whom most of the people would not associate with. He was all the time calling
around him all classes. There is one passage of Scripture which is very precious to me, and that is, that Christ helped all men that had need of him. Now if there is a man here today who has need of Christ, he will help him. Any man or woman in this assembly that needs Christ, can have him. He will give you all the help you need; I don't care what your besetting sin is. It may be your appetite for strong drink. Bring that to him; he has got power to take that from you. Now, a good many think they would like to come to Christ, but they want to get ready first; they want to lop off this sin and that sin, and stop swearing and drinking, and then they will be ready. That would be like a sick man waiting until he was well, and then sending for a physician; or like a blind man waiting until he recovers his sight, and then sending for a doctor. You bring your sickness and your blindness to Christ, and then he will help you. It is the sick that need a physician, and not those who are well. And if there is a man here troubled with any besetting sin, I don't care what it is, let him come to Christ, and he will help him; for he has promised, ''Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.'' I like those I wills; they are all good. You cannot find a man that can honestly and truthfully say that he came to Christ and he didn't receive him, and he cast him out. No man living can say that; because he has received all that have come, and all that will come.
There was a man in our late war, and as he lay upon his cot (he was a skeptical man), there was one of those silent messengers hanging on the wall of the hospital; and this was the text, ''Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.'' One day he got a letter from his mother, and was so sick he could not read it, but the nurse read it to him; and this letter was an earnest appeal to her boy to accept Christ. He was down there in the hospital, and she didn't know but he would die without her seeing him again; and she quoted that text to him: ''Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.''
The dying man said: ''That is very singular; there it is on the wall, and my mother has written it.'' A day or two after he was much worse, and sinking rapidly; and he asked the nurse to read his mother's letter again. And when she got to the text, he said, ''Did mother put that in the letter, ''Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out?'' ''Yes.'' ''And if mother says it and the Bible says it, it must be true.'' And, dear friends, he believed and received Christ.
It is true. Take it just as you are: ''Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.'' May God help every man in this assembly, and every woman to come with all their sins; and the Lord will take you to his loving bosom, and will hold you, and keep you until that day.
DIVINITY OF JESUS
We come today to the 8th chapter of the gospel according to John. In this chapter Christ asserts his divinity; and I do not see how any one can read the 8th chapter of John and not believe in the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The next morning after he had been, as it were, driven out of Jerusalem, he came back into the Temple. It says in the last verse of the 7th chapter: ''And every man went into his own house. But Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives.'' But early the next morning, he came into the Temple; and they brought a woman in to see what he would say should be done with her. He had been teaching that he had come not to condemn, but to save. The law of Moses condemned this poor fallen woman to death; and now they tried to entangle him, and see what he would do with her. When he had put the test to these men, and they had all gone out, he said to her, ''Neither will I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.'' Moses nor Elijah, or any of the prophets, could not have said that; no man living could have said that: ''Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.'' In the 12th
verse he says, ''I am the light of the world.'' Moses could not say, I am the light of the world.
Abraham could not say it; no other man could say that. I said to my little boy, seven years old, this morning, as I was reading this chapter, ''Willie, who could say that?'' He answered; ''Jesus.'' ''Who else?'' ''God.'' ''No one else.'' ''I am the light of the world; if any man follow me, he will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'' Who can give the light but God? In the morning of creation, he said, ''Let there be light;'' and there was light. Now Christ comes, and proclaims himself the light of the world. It would be a great help to us in reading the Bible, just to get this into our minds, that Christ was God and man. Sometimes he spoke as man, and sometimes as God. That gives us a key to the Holy Bible; but take it away, and I do not see how you are going to understand it. Without it, it is a sealed book. Some people accuse us of teaching that God died; but Christ died as a man. God never died, and never can die; it was the man that died. Men die; the Divinity never dies. Then he says again, ''I am not alone;'' ''I go my way;'' ''I am from above.'' Who could say that but him? ''I am from above; I am not of this world.'' Who else could say that, if he hadn't come down from the world above? ''If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.'' ''I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.'' When did he hear them, if he hadn't come from the bosom of the Father? ''When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself: but as my father has taught me, I speak these things.''
Then in the 30th verse: ''As he speak these words many believed on him.'' How simple that was! As he stood there, speaking to them in the Temple, many were converted and believed on him. God received them right there, while he was speaking. How simple the conversions of the Bible are! Simply believing, simply receiving. Then in the 36th verse: ''If the Son, therefore,
shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.'' If he were not God, how was he going to make us free from sin? But, ''If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall free indeed.'' I think there are a good many of God's children who never have got to that verse. They don't know what freedom is. They are still asleep, and sunk in bondage. They are like Lazarus, who got out of the grave with his graves clothes on, bound hand and foot. The difficulty with those people is, that they are always looking in their own hearts to get freedom; but it is the truth which makes us free the Word of God. Miss Smiley was telling about going down South, a few years after the war. She went to a hotel, and the room she was shown to was not very clean. She said to the colored woman who was there: ''I would like to have you fix it up; I am from the North, and you know the Northern people set you free.'' She went away and came back in a little while; and it seemed as if half a day's work had been done. ''Now,'' said the colored woman, ''bees I free or beent I? My old master tells me I am not free.'' and I go out among the colored people, and they say I am free.'' There are a great many of God's people just that way; they do not know whether they are free or not. It is not a matter of feeling. The proclamation of Abraham Lincoln set that woman free; and so it is the proclamation of God's Word that makes us free; not that we feel this way or that way. If we want liberty in Christ, we can have it. When he told them that, they said: ''We are descendants of Moses and Abraham; we have not been in bondage to anybody.'' And all that time they were under the Roman yoke. So, hundreds of men in Boston today, who are bound hand and foot to something in this world, do not want to become Christians, because they think they will not have their liberty. The truth will make you free. That is the only freedom worth having: ''and if the truth makes you free, you are free indeed.'' Then again he said, ''I speak that which I have seen with my Father.'' He talked about the
mansions above, as freely as Queen Victoria's children would talk about the rooms in Windsor castle. He was familiar with those scenes. ''But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God.'' Then again he told them: ''I proceeded forth from God''; that was his own testimony. Then again, ''I tell you the truth.'' I tell it to you, it is the truth. ''I honor my Father''; ''I have come to honor him''; I have come to do thy will, O God''; ''I seek not my own glory; I seek to glorify my Father''; ''I say unto you, if any man keep my saying, he shall never see death.'' Of course, he is not speaking about the death of the body, but about the death of the soul. ''If any man keep my saying, he shall never see death.'' His words are the words of life: and if a man receives them, he will not die.
Let us read these few verses closing this chapter.
''Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my sayings he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my sayings, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our Father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead; whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing; it is my Father that honoreth me, or whom ye say that he is your God. Yet ye have not known him; but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar unto you; but I know him and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.''
This forever settles in my mind the question of the divinity of the Lord Jesus. ''Before Abraham was, I am.'' How any man can read the gospel of John and be in any doubt about Christ's divinity, I cannot see. Abraham was gone hundreds of years;
and yet, ''Before Abraham was, I am.'' ''Then they took up stones to cast at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.''
PRAYERS OF JESUS
I will just read a few verses of Scripture, and then the meeting will be thrown open. We want to hear from as many as possible, and we want a good deal of prayer. We felt that the meetings of the Tabernacle were too large; and we would rather have small meetings, where friends could pray. I do not believe there is any true revival that is not brought about by a good deal of prayer; and if we have a work of grace that is going to be deep and thorough in this city, we have got to have more prayer than we have had. I want to call your attention, today, to the prayers of Jesus Christ. Although he was God, yet he was man; as man he prayed, and as God he answered prayer. And he encouraged others to come to him with their burdens; and he was constantly praying, because he was an example to others. In the 3rd chapter of Luke, 21st verse, we find that when he was baptized he was praying. Now, when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.''
Then we read again in Luke, 9:28, how he took Peter, James and John and went up into the Mountain of Transfiguration; and while he was praying, his countenance was transfigured, and there came a voice saying: ''This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'' In John, 12:27, we find him praying again; it was when they were about to kill him: ''Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have
both glorified it, and will glorify it again.'' In Luke 22:42, 43, we find him praying, and He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, and as he prayed an angel appeared to Him and strengthened Him. And we find that these four times which are recorded, when He was praying he heard from heaven; it was really his prayers that opened heaven. As it was with Stephen, when he was dying he prayed, and the heavens opened before him. Now if we are going to have the windows of heaven opened, and the Spirit of God descending in mighty power upon this city, it is going to be in answer to prayer and earnest supplications. Then, in the 6th chapter of Luke and the 12th verse, before he chose his disciples, it was a matter of prayer to him: ''And it came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God'' continued all night. ''And when it was day, He called unto him his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.'' So the night before he chose those twelve that were to shake the world, and be a blessing to the world and establish the Church of God on earth, He spent that night in prayer. And so, my friends, if we are going to do a great work for God, we must spend much time in prayer; we have got to be closeted with God. We find him again at the grave of Lazarus; and He prayed before He called him forth. It was in answer to prayer that Lazarus was raised.
And then, if you will turn into the 17th chapter of John, in that wonderful prayer of Christ, you will find seven requests there. We talk about the disciple's prayer as the Lord's prayer; really the Lord's prayer is this 17th chapter of John. That was his last prayer that has been recorded, except the one on the cross; and in this 17th chapter of John, there are seven requests. There is only one for himself; four for the disciples that were around him; and two for you and I, and for all that should believe on him afterwards. And then we find him saying to Peter, ''I have prayed for thee that thy strength fail thee not.''
When Satan was to sift him, Christ had prayed for him; and how that must have cheered and encouraged Peter after his fall, to think that Christ had told him he was going to pray for him; and his prayers did prevail, and Peter was brought back. And then the last breath on the cross, just before he cried, ''It is finished,'' and gave up the ghost! It was a prayer. ''Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'' He was a man of prayer; and let the business men of Boston imitate their Master. We that are Christians, let us imitate God, and let us lay hold on God in prayer today, that He may give us a great and mighty blessing. Let us all pray.
LIFE, LOVE, PEACE, POWER, BOLDNESS
I will read a few verses from the 1st Epistle of John, 4th chapter, beginning at the 7th verse:
''Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believe the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God, love his brother also.''
In these few words I have read to you, there are a few thoughts I want to call your attention to; I might say five things, that are necessary for every Christian to have. The first is life. We get that in the 9th verse: ''God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.'' Now, there is no life, no spiritual life, till we know Christ; or, in other words, Christ is that life himself. There are a good many people now that are troubled about the new birth; they want to know what it means. To be born again is to have Christ in the soul, that is the new birth; and with that life we serve God. And we cannot serve God till Christ is formed in us the hope of glory. That is the life that all want. Our prayers are not prayers till Christ is there; with that life we serve him. Then the next thing we get is in the 10th verse, that sin is put away. That is peace. What every Christian wants is, peace to the soul. He gets that by knowing that sin has been atoned for, propitiation made. Christ has forever settled the question of sin; it has been put away; we are at rest as we look back to Calvary, knowing the cross has put away sin. We are ready to serve God, because sin is out of the way. The next thing is in the 11th verse: ''Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.'' We have got to have love. You cannot do a man any good unless you love him. Let us see if we have life, peace and love. The next thing is power. We get that in the 13th verse: ''Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.'' That is power. There is really no power without the Holy Ghost; it is Holy Ghost power that we want.
We want the Holy Ghost resting on us for service. Many of you have passed through experiences of how easy it is to talk for God when the Holy Ghost is resting in you for service; and how hard it has been when you had no power. Perhaps sin has come between you and God, and, of course, then the power is gone. Therefore let us see that we have that qualification. Then the next thing is boldness. That is one of the traits that a great many lack, at the present time. There is so much scoffing and ridicule that many, if you will allow me the use of the expression, haven't backbone enough to stand up and confess Christ boldly, wherever their lot may be cast. We find that, in the 17th verse: ''Herein is our love made perfect that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.'' We want it now while Christ is being misinterpreted and laughed about; and if we have it here, we will have it in the day of judgment; for Christ is with us. We are on the Lord's side, and we are always in the majority when we are with God. The idea that there are only a few that serve God is a false one. Let us be full of boldness and courage. If a man is once forgiven he can look up and say, Heaven is my home; God is my Father; Christ is my Saviour; and he has nothing to fear. Let us speak out boldly for Christ.
Chapter Seventeen || Table of Contents for The Best of D.L. Moody