And He Brought Him To Jesus
April 26th, 1964 @ 7:30 PM
AND HE BROUGHT HIM TO JESUS
Dr. W. A. Criswell
4-26-64 7:00 p.m.
On the radio you are sharing the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. And the title of the sermon tonight is, And He Brought Him To Jesus, or Come and See. Come and See. In our Bible we turn in the Fourth Gospel, in the Gospel of John to chapter 1, chapter 1. We begin reading at verse 35 and read to the end of the chapter, the Gospel of John, the Fourth Gospel, chapter 1, beginning at verse 35. And on the radio, listening with us, open your Bible and read it out loud with the great throng in this downtown auditorium. The Gospel of John, chapter 1 beginning at verse 35, reading to the end. All of us together,
Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and See.
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Nathanael saith unto Him, Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
What marvelous, marvelous introductions to the Lord Jesus. First, John the Baptist, and seeing Jesus as He walked by, he said, "Behold, behold the Lamb of God." Then Andrew, finding his brother Simon said, "We have found the Lord. We have found the Christ." And he brought him to Jesus. Then Phillip, finding Nathaniel said, "We have found the prophet of whom Moses did write." And he said to Nathaniel, "Come and see." Ah, what a blessedness, these Johns and these Andrews and these Phillips who are always introducing somebody to Jesus.
As I turn the pages of this Book of the Acts of the Apostles I read of another Philip, seated by the side of the treasurer of the government of Ethiopia, reading the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. The Eunuch said to Philip, "I pray thee this man upon whom God lays all of our iniquities, who is he?" And Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture and introduced him to Jesus.
I turn the pages of that Book the Acts of the Apostles:
And there came to Ephesus a learned Alexandrian by the name of Apollos,
knowing only the baptism of John.
And he began to speak in the synagogue: and when Aquila and Priscilla heard, they took him, and expounded unto him the way of the gospel more perfectly and introduced him unto Jesus.
What a blessedness.
When I was in Boston in the city of brother Mel Carter, I made my way down to Scully Square. And just off of Scully Square is the place where the shoe store was open in which Dwight L. Moody, as a young man, sold shoes. There was a Sunday School teacher by the name of John Kimball, who walking up and down in front of that store, asked for the boldness of God to speak to the young man about Jesus. He went inside, found him on the ladder, working by the shoes in the storeroom, and inviting him down, invited him to the Lord Jesus. And there is a bronzed plaque on the wall facing the street in honor of that Sunday School teacher who that day introduced D.L. Moody to Jesus.
Well I preached at the Bisano encampment. Walking around on the grounds I found the bronze plaque and the bronze plaque read like this, "Under a great oak tree in this place George W. Truett won to Christ the cattleman who gave these grounds for the encampment." These Andrews and these Phillips and these Johns who are always introducing somebody to the Lord Jesus, ah, the marvelous capability of a man to respond to the invitation of Christ, standing there looking at that plaque where George Truett, some time and somewhere in the years past, had led that cattleman to Jesus. I just thought of the infinite capability of men to respond to the Lord anywhere in the world. George Truett was used of God to make a veritable Baptist empire, a Christian empire out of that great west Texas country.
The rider on his horse, the cowboy and his herd, they both alike look at they both alike look at the same firmament. They gaze upon the same stars. They behold the same beautiful landscapes. They look upon the same majestic sunsets, but oh, how different the capability of the man.
Come and See. Come and See. Come and See, said Jesus to Andrew and to John. Come and see, said Phillip to Nathaniel. John never forgot it, the apostle, years and years later writing this gospel, he remembered the exact moment, the exact hour, ten o’clock in the morning. Years and years later Nathaniel never forgot it. The Lord said, "I saw thee under the fig tree." Evidently he was in some great civil war in his soul. "I saw thee under the fig tree," and Nathaniel believed on Jesus and Jesus said to him, "Because you have opened your heart to Me I will open heaven to you. Come and See." "O taste and see," said the Psalmist, "that the Lord is good." "Prove me now herewith," saith the Lord of hosts, "Handle me and see," said the Lord. Why do you not try? Why do you not look? Why not come? You never know until you try it.
One time there came in the years and the years ago, there came to America the greatest violinist of this age, Ole Bohn of Norway. In Philadelphia the great violinist from Norway had a childhood friend with whom he had grown up, who had become in later years a world famous scientist and inventor. His name was John Erickson. So, when time came for Ole Bohn’s concert in the city of Philadelphia he made his way to see his old friend from Norway, John Erickson, and offered him a ticket to come to the violinist’s concert.
John Erickson said, "Oh, no, no I never attend these things. I have no ear for them. I have no appreciation of them."
And his friend from Norway said, "But for my sake, come and listen to me play".
No," said John Erickson, "no I never attend. I never attend." So he refused invitation.
And the next day Ole Bohn took his violin down to the plant where John Erickson had his inventory and his inventions and his manufacturing and all of the outlay. And ostensibly to see what could be done to improve the musical instruments by the laws of physics, why, he sat down with his old childhood friend from Norway, John Erickson, and began to ask him about the physical principals that lay back of tone and overtone and resonance and sound and immediately John Erickson found himself engrossed in the musical instrument itself.
And then as they continued to speak, why, Ole Bohn drew the bow across one of the strings and then as they continued to speak about the music and the sound and the physics of it he began to play. And as he began to play and the place filled with the rich melody pouring forth from that beautiful instrument, one by one the men who were working in the place laid down their tools and laid down their draftsmanship and laid down their pencils and their drawings and all of the things in which we are occupied and stood in awe before the marvelous music pouring forth from that violin.
And John Erickson himself listening, enthralled, elevated, inspired, cried aloud, "Oh, Ole Bohn, Ole Bohn, I never dreamed, I never dreamed it was like this."
You do not know, you do not know till you taste and see that the Lord is good. You do not know till you come and find for yourself, try, seek, open your heart, your eyes, your ears. Come, come and see. It is no invitation, no invitation to believe in a first cause or an unknown principle. Nor is it an appeal to receive a creed or a system of theology or a confession of faith. But it is an invitation to come to somebody, the Lord Jesus, taste and see, come, try for yourself. It is an invitation to find the Lord in the infinitely precious and holy Word of God. Turn through these pages. Turn through these pages. You will find the vision and the image and the presence of the Lord Jesus beyond a fullness, beyond anything you could ever have imagined or known in your life.
One of these Japanese students was assigned the task of translating the Gospel of John into the Japanese language. And when he had finished it he came to his teacher and said, "This man Jesus, this man Jesus I have never met such an one; I have never read of such an one; I have never heard of such an one. Who is this man, Jesus?" Try it and see, you will be amazed, you will be amazed at how from the page of the Holy Scriptures the presence of the Lord will speak personally unto you.
I hold in my hand one of the most precious little volumes of all of the many books that I possess. I have carried that book around the world. I have carried it almost every place I have ever gone. When I was graduated from Baylor in 1931, it was sent to me as a present from my roommate who had been graduated before me down at Baylor. He is now at the head of our Baptist Seminary in Ogbomoso Nigeria, West Africa. Presented in my name, "In loving remembrance of his graduation from Baylor, may this most treasured of volumes ever prove a beacon and inspiration of greater things, ta anō phroneite, mē ta epi tēs gēs, "Set your heart on things above and not upon the things of earth." [Colossians 3:2]
And then I wrote on the next flyleaf, I wrote the preface, a paragraph from the preface that Erasmus published to the Greek New Testament, the first one that was ever printed in 1516, and the paragraph from that Textus Receptus of Erasmus is this,
These holy pages will summon up the living image of His mind. They will give you Christ Himself talking, healing, dying, rising, the whole Christ in a Word. They will give Him to you in an intimacy so close that He would be less visible to you if He stood before your eyes.
In the pages of the Holy Word of God you will find the person and the image and the presence of the Lord Christ more fully and richly and distinctly than if you were to meet Him face to face. Come and See. Open the Bible and read God’s holy message to you, your heart and your soul. Come and See. Try it. Bow down before Him in prayer. You will find someone who answers. You will be conscious of another presence. Bow before Him. Come and See.
At the end of the service this morning one of the young men in this church came to me and he said, "Dear pastor, I want to thank you for going by yesterday to see my wife." They have three little children and she faces a terrible and heavy illness. I have been told of the tragedy that had overwhelmed her life and that had come into the circle of that sweet and precious little home.
I went out to the hospital and she asked the nurse if we might have a room where she could speak to me alone. I knew what she would say. And it was exactly as I had thought. She is a great, great Christian, the mother of those three precious little children.
And she said, "Dear pastor, I need help. I need help. I am not afraid for myself, but my burden is for the three children. What shall become of my children? Pastor, I need help. I need help."
My reply was as your pastor would reply. "Our help cometh from God. Our help cometh from the Lord." And after words of encouragement I said, "Let us make appeal to Christ. Let us ask Christ to give us length of days and added chapters to your life. Let us ask Christ to give wisdom to your dear husband and to take care of the three precious children." And we bowed in faith and in believing prayer.
And when I had prayed she said, "You know, I cannot understand what people do who do not know God." Oh she said to me, "I am so encouraged. I am so helped. I am so blessed."
And I replied to her, "The most sorrowful and tragic of all of the situations that ever develop in life is when the dark hour comes and there is no heavenly appeal. There is no God to pray to. There is no Christ in whom we have trusted. There is no answer from heaven."
Try it and see. Taste and see. Come and See. The Lord has an answer for every man who will ask. Bow, look up into His face. You will find Him in the place of humility and prayer.
A third and a last, Come and See. You will find Him in the circle and in the fellowship and in the communion of His church. You will find Him here. You will find Him here. I could not tell you the numbers of times, the numbers of times I have so felt the presence of God in this holy place that I could not keep the tears from overflowing. My heart full, I just felt God in this place. This is the will of God for our lives. He made the church; it was taken out of His own body. He made the church that we might find in it an encouragement and a fellowship.
Our trials are sometimes heavy. Our ways are sometimes devious. Our assignments are sometimes hard and our doubts are all times fierce. How is it God can be good and lead into such dark valleys? How is it that the Lord can look down upon such evil? How is it that the Lord commits such tears in our heart?
Oh the doubts and the questionings that assail. By ourselves I verily believe we would lose, we would lose our very faith in God. But together we are encouraged in the Lord. This is His church, taken out of His side, as Paul says, "As Eve was taken out of the side of Adam, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. So the church is taken out of the side of our Lord, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh, the body of Christ."
And we are baptized into the body of our Lord in the sweet blessedness and the precious communion of the fellowship of His church. If there is an organization known to man that has in it the sweetness and the blessedness and the hope and the encouragement of Christ’s church, I have never heard of it nor have I ever seen it, nor have I ever read about it.
I had rather be in the Kingdom of God for my soul and in His church for my life than to have all of the other affiliations in this whole world. Come and See. Try for yourself. These words are the words of God. This invitation is the invitation of the Lord. It is written on the holy page by the inspiration of the Spirit of Jesus, and it is true as God in heaven is true. You can find it out for yourself. Come, come, Come and See.
While we sing this hymn of appeal, somebody you, give his heart tonight to the Lord Jesus, make it now, a family you, to come into the fellowship of the church. Make it now, one somebody you, in this balcony round, the press of people on this lower floor into the aisle and down here to the front.
We shall bow together. We shall pray together. We shall ask God’s Spirit to come in saving grace and consecrating power in our hearts and lives and see if God does not answer by fire; speak to your soul. Open your heart to God that He might not, as He said to Nathaniel, open heaven to you. Come, come, come, while we stand and while we sing.