CONSIDER YOUR WAYS
I would like to ask everyone here tonight, ‘Which way are you on?’ The prophet Haggai says, “Consider your ways” (Hag 1:5). We need to stop and consider the path we are on, and where it will lead. Do you know for sure where your path will lead? If you do not know for sure, I can tell you: you will end in a Christ-less eternity. If you are not a believer in the Lord Jesus, if you are not saved, then the fact is that you are lost. Not that you will be lost, but you are lost.
But tonight, in the glad tidings, we can tell you of a Saviour for the lost. The Lord Jesus said, “[I have] come to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10). He came to do whatever was necessary in order that the lost may be found. And it involved His death on Calvary’s cross. Tonight your path is going to take you to Calvary. How good God is, you know! The grace of God follows a person throughout their life. The grace of God has followed you through that door tonight, and given you an opportunity to hear about the Saviour.
And so I would like to bring you to the cross of Christ. Can you say that He went on the cross for you? Can you say that He bore your sins in His body on the tree? I assure you that you need Jesus. Everybody needs Jesus. You may remember a famous actress called Marilyn Monroe. She said to Billy Graham, the great preacher‚ ‘I don’t need your Jesus.’ Within three weeks she was dead. I do not know whether she came to trust in the Lord Jesus. She needed a Saviour, and so do you.
I do not know everybody in this room, but I know, on the authority of Scripture, that every one of us is a sinner. Paul says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). The only One who never came short was the Lord Jesus Christ. He came here into manhood in order that He might go into death. Your death will be the consequence of your life. His death was the purpose of His life. He came to die for you, and for me. That life was so different from any other life, because God found pleasure and delight in every step of it: “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I have found My delight” (Matt 3:17). That life, in all its perfection, had to be given up in death, because God required that a perfect sacrifice be made for sin, and only a sinless One could take it on. And so my Saviour offered Himself without spot to God, to bear the sins of all who will trust Him. Those sins were borne by Jesus in those hours of darkness on the cross.
What does it mean to you? The prophet Jeremiah says, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” (Lam 1:12). As we pass by the cross tonight, what does it mean? “Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, whom Jehovah hath afflicted in the day of His fierce anger.” The wrath of God fell upon Jesus because He took on my liability. He took on my sins and guilt. And He has set me free in the sight of a holy and righteous God. Do you have that peace in your heart, that your past has been settled, that the sins that you have committed have been borne by Jesus, and have been removed from the sight of God eternally? The cross is a wonderful place to come to. It is a place that your need brings you to. It is a place that love brought Jesus to. And so we have the meeting of the sinner and the Saviour. And the burden of your sins can be rolled away at the cross tonight! In Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, when Christian arrived at the cross the burden of his sins rolled away. That can happen for you tonight, if you will accept Christ as your Saviour.
God is entirely satisfied with the finished work of Jesus. And He “commends His love to us, in that, we being still sinners, Christ has died for us” (Rom 5:8). Are you affected, tonight, to think of the fact that God loves you? “God so loved the world, that He gave His only‑begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him may not perish, but have life eternal” (John 3:16). This is the gospel in one verse, and many have been saved by reading it. And so what does the cross mean to you? Can you say, ‘It was there that my Saviour suffered?’ You must claim Jesus for yourself. If I could do it for you, I would.
But the psalmist says, “The redemption of their soul is costly, and must be given up for ever” (Psalm 49:8). What was the cost? The cost was the blood of Jesus. The glad tidings come free tonight to you, but only because the price has been paid in full by Jesus. The blood of Jesus was the price. Think of the preciousness of that blood – the blood of the only sinless Person ever to walk on this earth! God said to the Israelites when in Egypt, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13). Shelter from the avenging angel in Egypt lay in the blood, the lamb’s blood, on the doorposts and on the lintel. There was no escape apart from the blood. And there is no escape tonight apart from the blood. And so God said, “When I see the blood.” He saw the blood at Calvary’s cross. The blood of Jesus was shed after He had given up His life. Soldiers came along and, in hatred, pierced the side of my Saviour, but God’s answer to the hatred of man was the blood of Christ. It was available for that soldier. It is available for you tonight. Will you come under the shelter of the blood of Jesus? Will you accept what Christ has done for you? Will you come onto the Christian way tonight?
“Consider your ways.” Where will they lead you? God said to Balaam, “For the way thou walkest in is for ruin before Me” (Numbers 22:32). Think of God saying that to a man! And later Balaam says, “I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not nigh” (Numbers 24:17). That was a man who was going to his doom. Balaam becomes a byword for evil. Therefore we need to be sobered as we consider the word coming to us tonight. Your response to the glad tidings tonight will be registered in heaven. You may never have another chance. Your response tonight may be taken as your final answer, and you may find yourself in a Christ‑less eternity. People do not like to hear about hell. There is a brother in Britain who has made a study, ‘What has happened to hell?’ He was looking through Christian literature and he failed to find any reference whatever to hell. That is the work of Satan! But remember this, my friend, that no-one speaks more about hell than the Lord Jesus Himself. Hell is a reality. It was prepared for the devil and his angels. But man, in refusing Christ, will find himself there. I am not here to preach judgement. It is the goodness of God that leads man to repentance (Rom 2:4). I would like to leave you with an impression that God loves you. He does not want to see you in such a place. He has made every provision for you. May you accept tonight what Christ has done!
May you come to trust this wonderful Saviour! I have never met anyone who regretted coming to the Lord Jesus. He is an ‘all the way home’ Saviour. If you are held in the hand of Christ, you are held there for ever. None, none shall seize them out of His hand (John 10:28). I commend my Saviour to you. Do not wait, do not put it off. We use the illustration of the thief on the cross, who was saved in the last moments of his life (Luke 23:39-43). But, you know, there were two thieves. We do not know whether the other one was saved. I would like to leave you with an impression of the grace of God that followed that thief throughout his life, condemned to die the same day as Jesus, placed next to the only Man that could save him in his dying moments. He heard Jesus say, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). The light of Who Jesus was flooded his soul. “We indeed justly” – repentance towards God – “But this Man has done nothing amiss” – faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those are the two conditions of blessing in the glad tidings: repentance towards God and faith in Christ (Acts 20:21). May you come, like the thief, to trust the Saviour tonight!
The Christian way is a wonderful way. The Spirit is given to the forgiven sinner, that he might grow in the appreciation of the Lord Jesus, that He might continually occupy him with the glory of Christ, and that he might have the understanding of the inheritance that is reserved for us. It is an inheritance for those that are sanctified by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18). What a Saviour Jesus is! May you come to trust Him tonight, for His name’s sake!
7 March 2010