THE SECOND BLESSING
February 27th, 1966 @ 8:15 AM
THE SECOND BLESSING
Dr. W. A. Criswell
Acts 8:4-8, 14-17
2-27-66 10:30 a.m.
All of you who are looking at television on Channel 11, and you who are listening on the radio, are sharing with us the First Baptist Church service in Dallas, and this is the pastor bringing the message entitled The Impartation of the Holy Spirit. It is an exposition of one of the most difficult passages in the Bible; it is very difficult. And when I am done expounding, you may still say it is still difficult. But with the best meaning that I can gain from the passage, I deliver it this morning.
This is a part of that series of sermons being prepared on the Holy Spirit. They will be written out, and they will be published in a book. And I do not know whether I would ever have attempted to preach on this passage, had it not been for the writing of that book. So let us begin.
It is in the eighth chapter of the Book of Acts, verses 4 through 8 [Acts 8:4-8], and verses 14 through 17 [Acts 8:4-17]. The Book of Acts 8:4:
Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many that were possessed . . . and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
And there was great joy in that city.
Now verse 14:
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit:
(For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
And the title of the subject, the title of the sermon, The Impartation of the Holy Spirit.
“And they prayed, and laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit” [Acts 8:17], after they had believed, after they had confessed their faith, and after they had been baptized into the fellowship of the church, both men and women [Acts 8:12]. The first part of that story is explicable, most so. Philip, a deacon, then evangelist, went down from Jerusalem to a city in Samaria, possibly Sychar, and preached the gospel [Acts 8:5]. He had a field ready and ripe. That’s where Jesus was, that’s where the Lord spoke to the woman at the well [John 4:5-7]. And in her testimony the whole city came out eager-faced, hungry-hearted, and listened to the words of the gospel of the Son of God [John 4:9-42]. And it was there that the Lord said, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; they are white unto the harvest” [John 4:35]. And I can understand the marvelous response that Philip had: it was prepared by the Lord Himself. And I could hope, and couldn’t you, that in the twelfth verse when it says, “They were baptized, both men and women” [Acts 8:12], I could hope that one of those women who was baptized was this dear woman who was saved to whom Jesus talked at the well [John 4:6-29].
I might parenthesize here a moment, and speak of dispensational truth. In the tenth chapter of the Book of Matthew, the Lord expressly interdicted Samaria from the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. He sent out those apostles and said, “You go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; but into the way of Samaria and to the Gentiles you are not to go” [Matthew 10:5-6]. Here that is all past [Acts 8:5-6]. And in the Great Commission [Matthew 28:19-20], the Lord said, in the eighth verse of the first chapter of the Book of Acts, “You are to be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea”—but not there alone—“and in Samaria”—and not there alone—“and unto the uttermost parts of this world” [Acts 1:8] So in interpreting a passage of Scripture, you must always place what God says, every mandate, every commandment, every word, you must place it in its dispensational context: what is the age, and the time, and the background, and the circumstance in which God said this word and gave this mandate. So in the case of Samaria, the interdiction is past [Matthew 10:5-6], and the gospel is now spreading out and abroad to the whole earth [Acts 1:8].
When Philip came there was a marvelous revival, a glorious one. “And there was great joy in that city” [Acts 8:5-8]. Well, when the apostles in Jerusalem heard about it, this deacon, this one of the seven [Acts 6:1-5] who is later called “the evangelist” [Acts 21:8], when they heard of the favor of God upon the preaching of Philip [Acts 8:5-12], they sent Peter and John to see this marvelous thing that had come to pass [Acts 8:14]. So when Peter and John came down—and by the way, it’s interesting that John is one of them; John is one of the sons of Boanerges, one of the Sons of Thunder [Mark 3:17], who, when a Samaritan village refused to receive the Lord [Luke 9:53], said, “Master, let us call fire down from heaven and burn them up [Luke 9:54], just as the fire destroyed those companies of fifty who came to take Elijah” [2 Kings 1:9-12]. And he remembered that, and said, “As Elijah called fire down on those companies, let us call fire down upon these despised, and recalcitrant, and incorrigible, and obstreperous Samaritans” [Luke 9:51-54]. Well, he’s one of them sent down here, John [Acts 8:14].
Well, they saw that they had heard the gospel and received the gospel and had been baptized, but they had not received the Holy Spirit: “For as yet He was fallen upon none of them.” So they prayed for them, and laid their hands on their heads, “and they received the Holy Spirit” [Acts 8:11-17].
I would suppose beyond doubt there were marvelous things, powers, and miracles, and tongues, and languages, and praises, there were new people, there were new personalities, there were new creations in the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was manifest and easily seen, the glorious presence of the power of God in the lives and in the changed personality of those Samaritans.
Well, how do you explain that? How do you? This is one of the most unusual passages in the Bible [Acts 8:15-17]. And how do you explain it? The explanations are as many as there are men who write about it; and not many of them write about it, they just pass it over, they let it go. But I have chosen to mention six for an obvious reason you’ll see in a moment; and my explanation will be the sixth.
[Number 1]: There are some who look at this passage and they say, “This illustrates,” and they make appeal to this passage, “this illustrates the gradation in orders in the church. It is manifest that those in Jerusalem, these leaders and apostles, are over those who are in Samaria.” So they quote this passage to illustrate that the bishop is above the pastor, and they grade the ministries in the church some above the others, and they appeal to this passage for it [Acts 18:15-17].
[Number 2]: I listened one time—here’s another explanation and interpretation—I listened one time to a bishop in a great cathedral, and his sermon on that Whitsunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter, his sermon was on the ordination, a valid ordination, which must be in apostolic succession. The apostles ordain, put their hands; and then they ordain, and they ordain. And of course, in his communion the only valid ordination was one who had been ordained by one who’d been ordained, who’d been ordained by somebody who had been ordained by finally ordained by the apostles. And to my amazement, the passage of Scripture that he used for that interpretation and sermon was the one I have just read to you [Acts 8:15-17]. I looked around to see what the other people thought about it. I could find no recognition of amazement in their eyes at all. I presumed the bishop was speaking ex cathedra, and this passage was for him: apostolic succession in the ordinance of ordination. But it amazed me, it really did!
[Number 3]: All right, another interpretation: the rite and the ritual of confirmation is found in this passage. Historically, this is the beginning. And in latter years, the ritual of confirmation refers to a youth who has been sprinkled when he was an unconscious infant and now he has reached a maturity where he can confirm the promises made when he was christened, and they appeal to this passage of Scripture as the basis for the rite and the ritual of confirmation [Acts 8:15-17].
[Number 4]: Then there has been in recent centuries, and now greatly accelerated in modern life, a movement, a Holiness movement, in which there is presented a second work of grace, sometimes referred to as a “second blessing.” We are converted, we are regenerated, we are saved: then we also can have another unique and separate experience; the experience of complete sanctification. We have a second work of grace from God, a second blessing: to be saved and to be sanctified. And they appeal to this passage of Scripture as the basis, one of the fundamental bases for the doctrine of sanctification, a second blessing, a second work of grace [Acts 8:15-17].
[Number 5]: Then, as I have been reading recently, there are many tracts and some books, and in defense of speaking in tongues, this passage is read [Acts 8:15-17]; though speaking in tongues is not mentioned here, nor is it referred to here, yet it is the kind of a thing that in three other instances there was speaking in tongues in the receiving of the Holy Spirit. So they assume that this is one of those instances in the Bible that supports speaking in tongues as a sign of the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
Now those are five interpretations of this passage; and in a moment I will present mine, which is the sixth—all of which reminds me of a poem, “The Six Blind Men of Indostan,” or, “The Blind Men and the Elephant.” It is written by a poet who lived in the last century in Vermont, who was a lawyer, taught school two years, edited a paper for a little while, and who listened to preachers as they argued theological questions. And this is what he wrote:
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“’Tis clear enough the Elephant is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
[“The Six Blind Men of Indostan,” John Godfrey Saxe]
Therefore, with deepest humility and with consciousness of human limitation, I proceed to expound what I think this passage means [Number 6].
We’re going to look at the whole Book, all of it, and seek to place this experience in Samaria [Acts 8:15-17], in the context of the whole revelation of the Word of God. First, it is God’s will that we have the greatest of all gifts: the ascension gift of Christ, the Holy Spirit. God hath purposed that for us from the beginning. In the third chapter of Matthew, the great Baptist, the herald and forerunner, preached, saying, “There cometh One after me mightier than I: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit” [Matthew 3:11]. In the eleventh chapter of the Book of Luke, the Lord urging His disciples and encouraging them, said, “Ask, seek, knock…if ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” [Luke 11:9, 13]. It is the purpose of God that we should have the Holy Spirit.
In the twentieth chapter of the Book of John, “And the Lord breathed on them, and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit” [John 20:22]. And in the twenty-fourth chapter, the last chapter of the Book of Luke, and in the first chapter of the Book of Acts, Luke who wrote both of them speaks of our Lord as He carried His disciples to the top of Mt. Olivet, and said to them, “You tarry in Jerusalem, stay there until you receive the Promise of My Father” [Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4]. Then He added, “John baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized by the Holy Spirit not many days hence” [Acts 1:5]. It is the will of God, it is the sovereign purpose of God that we have the ascension gift of Christ when He returned to heaven [Acts 1:9]: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions; and on all flesh will I pour out My Spirit” [Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17]. That is the will of God for our lives, for all of us.
But when the Lord does a thing He does it according to a plan. The Lord does not do things adventitiously, accidentally. All things are ordered in His sovereign grace and in His elective purpose, all things. When He made the world [Hebrews 11:3], He made it by a plan. When He recreated the world [Isaiah 45:18], He created it by a plan. If He grows a tree, He will grow it by a plan. If His animals propagate, their periods of gestation and propagation will be according to a plan. The whole universe of God flows according to a plan.
There is a plan of redemption. Jesus said to this Samaritan woman by the well, “For salvation is of the Jews” [John 4:22]. And it will not come through the Hottentots, it will not come through the Chinese, it will not come through the Malayans; “For salvation is of the Jews.” It will be through Judah that this great redemptive program is worked out [Genesis 49:8-10].
Now I am not doing anything different or unique or unusual when I say: and in the elective purpose of God the opening of the door of the kingdom of heaven was according to a very definitely outlined plan. God didn’t pour out the Holy Spirit on the heathen Hottentot, or over the aborigine Australian. God did this, the ascension gift from heaven came upon men, and the doors of the kingdom of heaven were opened according to a plan.
Now in the elective purpose of God, the Lord promised to Simon Peter and to the apostles that the opening of the door of the kingdom would be through their hands: not through Philip, not through one of the seven, not through Barnabas, not even through the apostle Paul. But the keys of the kingdom that open the doors into glory were to be given to Simon Peter. And the Lord is very plain in that promise: “Thou art Peter…and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven,” the Greek is, “and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” [Matthew 16:18-19]. Simon Peter, in the elective sovereign purpose of God, in divine wisdom, acting under the direction of heaven, “What you do in earth is what shall have been purposed in heaven.” The keys of the opening of the door into the kingdom of heaven were placed in the hands of Simon Peter [Matthew 16:18-19]. Now does the Lord forget His promise?
You know, it is remarkable how God is true to His word. Man may change; God does not change [Malachi 3:6]. Man may forget; God doesn’t forget. I can illustrate that in a sermon that I preached some time ago, why Moses was not allowed to enter into the Promised Land. The Book said, because God said, “Moses, [speak to] the rock once; [speak to] the rock, and out of it shall flow a river of water.” But Moses in his anger struck the rock once, and struck it twice, and possible more [Numbers 20:7-11]. And God said, “Not so, Moses, not so” [Numbers 20:12]. For you see, these are types and ensamples [1 Corinthians 10:11], as Paul says. “For us that Rock is Christ” [1 Corinthians 10:4], said Paul. And Christ dies once [Hebrews 9:28], Christ is crucified once, Christ is stricken once! [Romans 6:9]. And God said to Moses, “Strike the rock once” [Exodus 17:6]. And Moses broke God’s type when he struck it again and again [Numbers 20:8-11]. You see how careful God is about His word? Even His types.
And the Lord is careful here: God said to Simon Peter, “The keys that open the kingdom of heaven are in your hands” [Matthew 16:19]. True to that word, at Pentecost Simon Peter stands up, and he addresses, “Ye men of Jerusalem, and ye dwellers in Judea,” and he opens wide the door to the kingdom of heaven, to salvation in Christ, to the Jew [Acts 2:14-42]. Simon Peter stands up with the apostles, and as the spokesman, true to the promise of Christ with the keys in his hand [Matthew 16:19], he opens the door to the Jew [Acts 2:14-42].
Then in the tenth chapter of the Book of Acts, the Lord appears to Cornelius, a Gentile, in a dream, and says to him through His angel, “You send down for one Simon Peter in Joppa, who will come and tell thee words whereby thou and thy house may be saved” [Acts 10:1-6, 11:13-14]. And Simon Peter had been prepared for that visit by the vision of the sheet let down from heaven, with all kinds of unclean animals, “Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. But I have never eaten unclean things. What God has made clean, call not thou unclean” [Acts 10:11-15]. So when Simon Peter comes in the house of Cornelius the Gentile, he says, “You know it is not lawful for a man who is a Jew to enter the house of a Gentile; but God hath showed me no man is common or unclean. Now why have you sent for me?” [Acts 10:28-29]. And Cornelius replied, and told him the vision [Acts 10:30-33]. And while Simon Peter was preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, as at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came, and they were wondrously added to the body of Christ—Gentiles! [Acts 10:34-48]. According to the promise of Christ, the keys are in the hands of Simon Peter [Matthew 16:19].
Simon Peter points that out in the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, at the Jerusalem conference, about these Gentiles and what he had done:
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said, Men and brethren, ye know how that God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.
And God, who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did unto us.
So the keys that open the door are in hands of Simon Peter, according to the promise of the Lord [Matthew 16:19]. And he opens the door, and he opens the door.
And in the eighth chapter of the Book of Acts, I don’t read that God changed His mind and said, “Simon Peter, I said to you that in your hands are the keys that open the kingdom to all of these people [Matthew 16:19]; I have changed My mind, Simon. I am now going to put the key in the hands of Philip, one of the twelve.” God doesn’t do that. God said, “Simon, in thy hands” [Matthew 16:19]. And in the Great Commission, the Lord said, “And you will preach this message of hope and salvation to the Jew, in Jerusalem and Judea” [Acts 1:8]; and Simon Peter opened the door to the Jew in Jerusalem and Judea [Acts 2:14-42]. Then the Commission said, “And in Samaria” [Acts 1:8]; and Simon Peter opened that door in Samaria [Acts 8:14-17, 25] according to the word and promise of God [Matthew 16:19], just as it says here in the Book. And Peter, and Peter, opened the door to the Gentiles, according to that Great Commission, in Jerusalem, and Judea, in Samaria [Acts 8:14-17], and to the Gentiles [Acts 10:34-48], unto the uttermost parts of the earth [Acts 1:8]. And true to the outline of God exactly, and true to the promise of Christ exactly, it is not Paul, it not Barnabas, it is not Philip: it is Simon Peter who, using the keys of the kingdom [Matthew 16:19], opened the door to the Jew, and any Jew can come in [Acts 2:36]; opened the door to the Samaritan, and any Samaritan can come in [Acts 8:14-17]; and he opened the door to the Gentiles, and any of us can come in [Acts 10:28-48]. And that’s why Peter was sent down by the mandate of heaven to Samaria, and prayed, and laid his hands on their heads [Acts 8:14-17], that they also might be made members of the body of Christ: baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ [Acts 8:14-17],
“Well, preacher, you’re just as belabored as all the rest of them.” But, my fellow Christians, if this is not the truth, I do not know it, and I cannot find it. And I thought of this, this sermon has been in preparation for months and months and months and months and months; and I have turned it over in the daytime and in the nighttime; I have turned it over in my mind as I’d ride along in an airplane; I’ve turned it over in my mind down on my knees. And to me, this is the truth of God.
All right, let’s apply it. “Well then, preacher, what about this thing of sanctification? What about this second blessing? What about this being saved, and then in our praying and in our agonizing and in our pleading, finally, we can have another, a second and other experience of grace?” My dear people, there is nothing of that in this, nothing. Some of these converts were just a few hours old [Acts 8:14-17]. They had not progressed in the knowledge of the Word of God; they had not reached a place where little by little by little and finally they had a great experience of complete sanctification; there is nothing of that in that passage. The Book of Acts is a transitional book; and this experience is a transitional experience. The Book of Acts is the revelation, the unfolding, the story of the great message of Christ as it goes from Judaism to Christianity, from the Jew to the Gentile, from law to grace, and from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth! [Acts 1:8], And this is a part of that transitional experience.
And when we come before God in repentance and in faith [Acts 20:21], the gift of God is for us, in that act, in that commitment of our lives, in our salvation, in our conversion, in repentance and in faith, the gift of God is the ascension outpouring: the gift of the Holy Spirit [Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5]. I’m not just saying things; listen to the Word of the Lord. At Pentecost, in the second chapter of the Book of Acts, “Peter stood up and said,” when they asked him, “What shall we do?” Peter said unto them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ because of, eis, because of the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” [Acts 2:37-38]. The Holy Spirit is given to us in repentance and in faith when we are saved [Acts 19:1-5]; when we are converted He comes into our lives [1 Corinthians 6:11]. And we have Him, He is here, when we become Christians [1 Corinthians 3:19].
Oh, but some of these tracts that I read—and I’m going to take one of them—in the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, “And Paul, finding certain disciples at Ephesus, said, Have you received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?” [Acts 19:1-2]. And this tract that I’m thinking of right now, and that’s the beginning of it: “Have you received the Holy Spirit since ye believed? Have you?” And that was in big black letters, “Have you? Have you received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?”—since underscored—“Have you?” Now the only trouble with it is God didn’t write the Bible in the English of the King James Version. What Paul asked was, “Have ye received, did you receive the Holy Spirit pisteusantes,” an aorist participle of pisteuō, “believe.” “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed back there?” [Acts 19:2]. That’s exactly what the Greek is. Not “since you believed, having been saved, since that time have you received the second blessing, have you experienced a second work of grace, have you been sanctified, have you prayed and worked and begged of God until finally you’ve had that glorious experience of sanctification?” There’s not anything of that, nothing of that! Paul asked, “Have you received the Holy Spirit, did you receive the Holy Spirit back yonder when you were saved, pisteusantes,” aorist, “when you were saved, did you receive the Holy Spirit?” [Acts 19:1-2] And they hadn’t, and they hadn’t been saved; they’d never heard the gospel of salvation. The gift of God to us when we are converted, when we are saved, is the Holy Spirit [Acts 2:37-38].
Now what happens to us in our experience is this; when the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and into our lives, we have a Person coming into our souls [John 14:17]. The Holy Spirit is a Person. And one of the mysteries of the Trinity, wherever you are, there God is, all of Him [Psalm 139:7-12]. God, all of God is right here, the whole personality of God is right here. The whole personality of God is with that preacher in India. That’s one of the mysteries of the Trinity: the omnipresence of God [Jeremiah 23:23-24]. The Holy Spirit is a Person. And when He comes into our lives, we have all of Him, all of Him. Just as when you come into a room, you don’t pitch in a foot, or pitch in an ear, or pitch in an eye, or pitch in a hand or a finger, that is, I have never, scared me to death if you ever came to see me and you came like that; a piece, a dribble. When you come, there you are. The Holy Spirit is not dribbled, He is not parceled, He is not in pieces. And John 3:34 expressly says that: “For God giveth not the Holy Spirit by measure.” God doesn’t dribble Him out, doesn’t dissect Him, and quarter Him, and piece Him, and give Him little piece at a time. There’s no such thing as that. That’s a fantasy! When the Holy Spirit comes, He is a Person, Somebody; and all of Him comes when He comes.
The problem is, He doesn’t have all of me: He is all there, but He doesn’t have all of me. There are areas in my life that I keep away from Him. “Now You can have this and You can have that, but this area I don’t surrender. I don’t give it up. I’m keeping this. That, Holy Spirit of God pleading, wooing, You can take this vision and this dream, but there are some other visions and dreams I have in my life that I’m keeping for myself. Lord, You can have this room, and this compartment; but this room over here I want.” So the Holy Spirit, all of Him, comes into my heart; but He doesn’t have all of me.
And that is the experience of a Christian as he wrestles in the presence of God, as he faces trial and temptation, and the fierce assailments of the flesh and of the world: “O Holy Spirit of God, I don’t want to give this up. I don’t want to give this up. And I don’t want to give this up. O God!” And then we have the experience of a victor, and finally we yield, and God takes this part of us and we have a great blessing, a second blessing. And finally we yield, and God takes this part of us, and we have a third blessing. And finally we yield, and God takes another part of us, and we have a fourth blessing. And the Christian experience—God grant it—maybe all of self and none of Thee; finally maybe some of self and some of Thee; finally, possibly less of self and more of Thee—then, in His grace, maybe none of self, none: all of Thee.
Don’t have any ambition personally anymore; just whatever God shall will. Don’t have any choice anymore; what God shall choose. I don’t have any visions and dreams anymore; just whatever God shall place in the providence of the tomorrow. That is the sanctification and the fifth and the sixth and the eighth and the hundredth blessings, and the second work of grace in this Holy Book. We have God when we are saved [1 John 5:12]: it is just for God to have us, having been saved.
Oh! May the Lord grant it as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of His will and purpose for our lives [2 Peter 3:18].
We’re not quite off the air yet. If you have listened on television, if you have shared in this radio service, and you’ve never opened your heart to the Lord Jesus, do so now [Romans 10:8-13]. “Lord, I open my soul to Thee. Forgive me my sins [Luke 11:4; 1 John 1:9], blot out my transgressions [Psalm 51:9], write my name in the Book of Life [Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:15, 21:27]. May the Holy Spirit in power come into my soul [Acts 19:1-5]. Lord, baptize me into the body of the Lord [1 Corinthians 12:13]. Make me a member of the household of faith [Galatians 6:10]. I give myself to Thee” [Ephesians 2:8]. Do it. Do it now.
And in the great throng of this congregation this morning, in the balcony round, and on this lower floor, while we sing this hymn of appeal, giving your heart to Jesus [Romans 10:8-13], putting your life in the fellowship of the saints of God [Hebrew 10:24-25], committing your life and days in a new way to Him [Ephesians 2:8], whatever the Spirit of the Lord shall press upon your heart, come this morning; make it now. “Here I am, pastor, and here I come.” As the Spirit of God shall lead, shall say, shall make appeal, answer with your life. On the first note of the first stanza, come. Do it. When you stand up in a moment, stand up coming, “Here I am, pastor, I make it now.” Do it, do it, while we stand and while we sing.