32530 I should do.
I am not worshipping a sleeping Christ in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, but a living, ruling reigning Christ, at the right hand of God, the Christ who is coming to judge the quick and the dead.
"What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?" You ought to have to do because of the sacrifice He made for you.
If Shakespeare should enter this tabernacle, we would all stand up and bow. If Jesus Christ should sweep down that aisle, we would all kneel and bow our heads in humility as He swept by in all His regal splendour.
"What shall I do?" In the battle of the Ardenne in WW2, a sniper was wounded on an eminence. He was supposed dead, when he was seen to wave his bloodstained handkerchief as the Krag-Jorgensen and the Mauser bullets were singing their death song back and forth. One of his friends, a former cowboy from Arizona, turned to his colonel and said: "Colonel, I will go and save him. "
"Oh, Jack," the colonel said, "you couldn't live out in that zone. You would be cut to pieces. I guess he is gone."
But presently they saw the wounded American soldier wave his bloodstained handkerchief again. The cowboy said: "Look, he isn't dead! I will go and save him."
He threw down his rifle, and throwing his arms to his face as if to protect himself from the bullets, he dashed out into the zone. But what protection would flesh and bones have against steel bullets that could go three miles and pierce through thirty-two inches of solid wood?
He ran out, grabbed his comrade and dragged him over the brow of the hill; then a bullet from a German sharpshooter struck him just above the heart. It went through him as if he were made of paper-machee. He dropped his comrade and a crimson tide spurted from his nose, eyes and lips. He said, "Tom, sorry, I'm hit hard. It's all up with me. I wish you well," and he reeled and fell dead.
The man crept back into the ranks to tell the story.
Oh, if Jesus could come down here, I wouldn't let Him get all the way here. I would jump from the platform and go to meet Him. He saved me and my wife and children, and I'll go where He commands me to go, I'll go where He wants me to go. We ought to do that for Him because of the sacrifice He made for us.
Savonarola stood speaking in the square at Florence. The people surged around God's lionhearted preacher who told that gang of ecclesiastical crooks and thugs where to head in. He hurled the anathemas of God at them until they incinerated him to ashes because he dared rebuke their crookedness and their infamy. Savonarola stood preaching. He knew that these were the questions uppermost in the minds of the Italians: What sort of government will emerge from all this? Will it be a Republican form or will it continue the monarchy with the king? The second question was.
What will be our religion? Will it be the star and the crescent of the Mohammedan, or will it be the cross of Jesus Christ?
Those were the questions, and as they all surged to hear him, he climbed on top of his pulpit where the great crowd could see him and cried out, "Jesu Christo al nostero sino salvatoro" --Jesus Christ, our King and Saviour.
Down the streets of Florence they surged. Through every building and every alley they met the oncoming crowd, and they caught the spirit. Out into the country they went until it seemed to leap as by magic from mountain peak to mountain peak, until all Italy rang with the cry: "Jesus Christ is our King and Saviour." Tonight the cross of Jesus Christ waves over Italy instead of the star and crescent of the Mohammedan.
Oh, Jesus Christ waits to be your King. What is your answer? Are you ready to crown Him? Are you ready to say, "Christ is ours"? Or will you dip the cross of Jesus into the forces of evil? What is your answer?
Get up and let me look at you. Come on, whoever you are. I don't give a rap where you came from or who you are in the world, come on! Come on!
Don't sit down; come on. You wouldn't sit down if we played the "Star Spangled Banner." Come on! The cross of Jesus Christ is waving over the crowd. Come on, and give me your hand and stand with me.
What does converted mean? It means completely changed. Converted is not synonymous with reformed. Reforms are from without - conversion from within. Conversion is a complete surrender to Jesus. It's a willingness to do what he wants you to do. Unless you have made a complete surrender and are doing his will it will avail you nothing if you've reformed a thousand times and have your name on fifty church records.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, in your heart and confess him with your mouth and you will be saved. God is good. The plan of salvation is presented to you in two parts. Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth. Many of you here probably do believe. Why don't you confess? Now own up. The truth is that you have a yellow streak, own up, business men, and business women, and all of you others. Isn't it so? Haven't you got a little saffron? Brave old Elijah ran like a scared deer when he heard old Jezebel had said she would have his head, and he beat it. And he ran to Beersheba and lay down under a juniper tree and cried to the Lord to let him die. The Lord answered his prayer, but not in the way he expected. If he had let him die he would have died with nothing but the wind moaning through the trees as his funeral dirge. But the Lord had something better for Elijah. He had a chariot of fire and it swooped down and carried him into glory without his ever seeing death. [?? - 2 Chron. 21:12].
So he says he has something better for you - salvation if he can get you to see it. You've kept your church membership locked up. You've smiled at a smutty story. When God and the Church were scoffed at you never peeped, and when asked to stand up here you've sneaked out the back way and beat it. You're afraid and God despises a coward - a mutt. You cannot be converted by thinking so and sitting still.
Maybe you're a drunkard, an adulterer, a prostitute, a liar; won't admit you are lost; are proud. Maybe you're even proud you're not proud, and Jesus has a time of it.
Jesus said: "Come to me," not to the Church; to me, not to a creed; to me, not to a preacher; to me, not to an evangelist; to me, not to a priest; to me, not to a pope; "Come to me and I will give you rest." Faith in Jesus Christ saves you, not faith in the Church.
You can join church, pay your share of the preacher's salary, attend the services, teach Sunday school, return thanks and do everything that would apparently stamp you as a Christian - even pray - but you won't ever be a Christian - until you do what God tells you to do.
That's the road, and that's the only one mapped out for you and for me. God treats all alike. He doesn't furnish one plan for the banker and another for the janitor who sweeps out the bank. He has the same plan for one that he has for another. It's the law - you may not approve of it, but that doesn't make any difference.
Salvation a Personal Matter
The first thing to remember about being saved is that salvation is a personal matter. "Seek ye the Lord" - that means every one must seek for himself. It won't do for the parent to seek for the children; it won't do for the children to seek for the parent. If you were sick all the medicine I might take wouldn't do you any good. Salvation is a personal matter that no one else can do for you; you must attend to it yourself.
Some persons have lived manly or womanly lives, and they lack but one thing - open confession of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some men think, that they must come to him in a certain way - that they must be stirred by emotion or something like that.
Some people have a deeper conviction of sin before they are converted than after they are converted. With some it is the other way. Some know when they are converted and others don't.
Some people are emotional. Some are demonstrative. Some will cry easily. Some are cold and can't be moved to emotion. A man jumped up in a meeting and asked whether he could be saved when he hadn't shed a tear in forty years. Even as he spoke he began to shed tears. It's all a matter of how you're constituted. I am vehement, and I serve God with the same vehemence that I served the devil when I went down the line.
Some of you say that in order to accept Jesus you must have different surroundings. You think you could do it better in some other place. You can be saved where you are as well as any place on earth. I say, "My watch doesn't run. It needs new surroundings. I'll put it in this other pocket, or I'll put it here or here on these flowers." It doesn't need new surroundings. It needs a new mainspring; and that's what the sinner needs. You need a new heart, not a new suit.
What can I do to keep out of hell? "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shaft be saved."
The jailer was converted. He had put the disciples into the stocks when they came to the prison, but after his conversion he stooped down and washed the blood from their stripes.
Now, leave God out of the proposition for a minute. Never mind about the new birth - that's his business. Jesus Christ became a man, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh. He died on the cross for us, so that we might escape the penalty pronounced on us. Now, never mind about anything but our part in salvation. Here it is: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved."