The Good News of Jesus Christ
The Good News of Jesus Christ
THE SLEEP OF DEATH
But to you who are not alive spiritually, who are dead in trespasses and sins and have no conflict, I say, affectionately, it is the slumber of death which is upon you. The life which you now live will be terminated, unless you are awakened, in eternal spiritual death. Therefore if you are not awakened, seek with all earnestness of purpose to be made to know your own state, and to seek to become alive through Jesus Christ.
The gospel is yet preached to you—the law of mercy is still open wide. The very fact that you are here today shows that the gospel door is open yet. Oh, press into the door—believe the gospel—obey the commandment to receive the gospel, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in Him alone, for the salvation of your souls! Then, if you do so, you will, in the riches of God’s grace, receive the forgiveness of your sins; you will be regenerated, and, although your were dead in trespasses and sins, you will instantaneously be made a child of God, an heir of God, joint-heir with Christ; be brought on the road to heaven, and have the bright and blessed prospect of ever-lasting life before you. Then, and only then, you will know something practically and experimentally of the conflict against the powers of darkness.
It is to those, then, who are believers, and who know what the conflict is, that I speak this evening. And to you beloved brethren and sisters in Christ, but especially the younger brethren and sisters, I say, never allow yourselves to be at ease with regard to the conflict.
FAITH MUST COME FIRST
There are two passages in the word of God of the deepest moment to Christians, and I would therefore speak on them. The first is in 2 Peter 1:5: “Besides this, add to your faith virtue,” etc. It is here supposed that we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, because we are commanded to add to our faith virtue, and these other graces. The apostle Peter is addressing believers, and here tonight I am supposing that I am speaking to believers. Yet, peradventure, there may be some who are not believers. To you, if there be any such, I would say, you are sinners. You may be young in this life, or you may be advanced in years; you may be very moral, or otherwise; but in the sight of God you are sinners. This you must, if you would be saved, realize and understand that you are sinners, and not only so, but sinners deserving punishment. You are lost, and have no power of your own to save yourselves. The world talks about turning over a new leaf, but that will not satisfy Divine justice.
The record of your past sins stands against you, and must be blotted out. What then? You are sinners, and sinners deserving of punishment, nothing but punishment. You must either suffer that eternal punishment yourselves, or obtain another to bear it. Well, the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to bear this punishment. He has borne it in our room and stead. He has suffered for us. And now the only one thing that God looks for from the sinner is, that we should put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in Him alone, for the salvation of our souls. We must look entirely to Himself; we must look only to the blessed Lamb of God, who was nailed to the Cross. Whosoever trusteth in Him shall be saved. Let his sins be never so many, yet he shall have forgiveness for all his transgressions. He is born again—is regenerated, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be made a child of God, an heir of God, and joint-heir with Christ. Thanks be to His name. “who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” [ Col. 1:13]
If we have believed in the Lord Jesus, we are, however, not to be satisfied with this, but to seek to add to our faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.
The Turning Point
George Müller's conversion in November 1825 was dramatic and his whole direction, purpose and way of life changed immediately.
He was introduced to the prayer meeting by his friend Beta and upon arrival was greeted with 'Come as often as you please; house and heart are open to you.' This welcome touched George Müller very much. The singing of hymns, study of the Bible and reading of a printed sermon made a deep impression and he felt this night he would find 'something' for which he had been searching all his life. The genuine love, great joy and deep humility in the hearts of the members of that group had a profound effect on George Müller but perhaps the turning point was when they all knelt to pray. He had never seen this before, let alone knelt to pray himself, and the whole meeting breathed such a spiritual atmosphere that he entered upon an entirely new experience! He was born again! No longer an idle and lazy character, but a disciple of the Living God.
Some time later George Müller said about that evening, 'I understood something of the reason why the Lord Jesus died on the cross and suffered agonies in the Garden of Gethsemane; even that thus, bearing the punishment due to us, we might not have to bear it ourselves. And therefore, apprehending in some measure the love of Jesus for my soul, I was constrained to love Him in return.'
George Müller continued his theological studies at Halle University and within two months of his conversion to the Christian faith decided to become a missionary. This decision angered his father so much that he withdrew his son's financial support which left George Müller dependent on God alone.
The Great Need of Being Saved By Faith in Christ Jesus
“Should this, however, be read by any who are not believers in the Lord Jesus, but who are going on in the carelessness or self-righteousness of their unrenewed hearts, then I would affectionately and solemnly beseech such, first of all to be reconciled to God by faith in the Lord Jesus. You are sinners. You deserve punishment. If you do not see this, ask God to show it unto you. Let this now be your first and especial prayer. Ask God also to enlighten you not merely concerning your state by nature, but especially to reveal the Lord Jesus to your heart. God sent Him, that He might bear the punishment, due to us guilty sinners. God accepts the obedience and sufferings of the Lord Jesus, in the room of those who depend upon Him for the salvation of their souls; and the moment a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus, he obtains the forgiveness of all his sins. When thus he is reconciled to God, by faith in the Lord Jesus, and has obtained the forgiveness of his sins, he has boldness to enter into the presence of God, to make known his requests unto Him; and the more he is enabled to realize that his sins are forgiven, and that God, for Christ’s sake, is well pleased with those who believe on Him, the more ready he will be to come with all his wants, both temporal and spiritual, to his Heavenly Father, that He may supply them. But as long as the consciousness of unpardoned guilt remains, so long shall we be kept at a distance from God, especially as it regards prayer. Therefore, dear reader, if you are an unforgiven sinner, let your first and especial prayer be, that God would be pleased to reveal to your heart the Lord Jesus, His beloved Son.” - George Muller
(Taken from George Muller’s Narratives)