William A. Dillard
Parson to Person
Some questions are so important that one must know the answers. One question to which I refer is resounded in Holy Writ, but it is also penned quite pointedly in the lyrics of a classic hymn. “What will you do with Jesus, neutral you cannot be. One day your heart will be asking, ‘what will He do with me.’” Could there be a more relevant and pressing question on a greater number of people than this? Jesus plainly declared that those who deny Him, He will deny before the Father. Matt. 10:33.
Jesus needs to be in the forefront of life. Think about this incident. “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: “The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.” John 12:20-21. It occurs to this writer that the wholesale rejection of organized religion by the majority of our nation’s population is partly due to the obscurity of Jesus. Please consider:
* Great edifices with stained glass windows and air conditioned environment are pointed to with pride, but where is Jesus?
* Social programs designed to busy one abound, but where is Jesus?
* The determination to present a non-offensive religion a lost society may keep the pews warm and the coffers full, but where is Jesus?
* Pulpits may be ablaze with educated homilies, but where is Jesus?
Strong witnessing and preaching about Jesus is needed! Men must know they are lost without Him, and that His sweet grace is freely offered to them for the trusting.
Consider the contrast of long ago with today’s society. Zacchaeus was so excited about the possibility of seeing Jesus that he climbed a tree to do it. Believers were so excited over the prospect of bringing a palsied man to Jesus that they cut a large hole in the roof of the house where He was. Multitudes followed Jesus to hear Him, and to witness His works without regard for food or lodging.
Today, people are so complacent about Jesus they are more likely to go fishing or to visit relatives than to meet with Him for worship. They will avoid any discussion of the need of salvation among their fellows for fear of being considered a radical. Often church meetings are esteemed so unimportant that members will look for excuses to be absent. Is the power of God diminished, or have we faked people into the church who are incapable of spiritual appreciation and excitement?
These things may be easily dismissed by nominal, worldly-minded “Christians,” but judgment flies toward earth on swift wings. Dear friends, “What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be! One day your heart will be asking: ‘What will He do with me?’” Will you be happy with reciprocation?
THE EVENT THAT CHANGED THE UNIVERSE OF MANKIND
William Andrew Dillard
THE EVENT THAT CHANGED THE UNIVERSE OF MANKIND
This is a story of extreme opposites: of love and hate; of joy and despicable shame; a consummation of the crowning act of victory in experience marked “finished” from the foundation of the world. It is a story of the ultimate encouragement and motivation of God’s people in every generation until the age is closed. It is a story that will be the song of the saints while eternal eons roll ever onward in the endless bliss it provides.
Here then is the story so powerfully condensed in the words of Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
It is a story of love and hate. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting live.” How deeply did and does God love the creative work of His own hands, especially the crowning act of it all, mankind. Yet He patiently endured such great contradiction of sinners against Himself. It is also a story of joy and despicable shame: “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the same.” What enormous joy is that of the post resurrected Jesus. While His crucifixion and resurrection was predetermined and foreordained, the experiential side of it all is the grandest story of the universe. Shame? Indeed much shame! How may one fairly estimate the shame of one sinless voluntarily taking upon Himself the sins of the world, and bearing the consequences of it? Though minor compared to this, how much shame was endured on the cross as a beaten body near death was lifted up as a scoffing point to the world? How much shame was endured as He was stripped of His clothing for rogue soldiers to gamble over, while He must die in sight of all in nakedness, bearing the full force of sin for others?
Yet, it is a story of encouragement and motivation for His people in every generation of the age. It is He who is both author and finisher of our faith. We are to look to Him in this crucial event, and we are to rejoice in His victory, lest we become weary and faint in our mind, which too many have done.
Here then is the story that will be the song of the saints in the never-ending, day of the final heaven age. It is recorded in Rev. 5:9, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and has redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people , and nation.” Then again, Rev. 5:12-13, “. . . Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. . . “ AMEN! AND AMEN! WHAT A STORY!!
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