Christian Conviction Concerning Christ
March 31st, 1968 @ 10:50 AM
CHRISTIAN CONVICTION CONCERNING CHRIST
Dr. W. A. Criswell
3-31-68 10:50 a.m.
On Channel 11 TV and on KIXL radio, you are sharing the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the message entitled Christian Conviction Concerning Christ. It is a message that reflects the spirit, the content, the revelation of the New Testament and is based on a text which is typical of a hundred others that I could read.
In Acts 4:12; in Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." There is no equivocation in that text, and there is no doubt of the plainness and lucidity of the words. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Christian conviction concerning Christ that there is no other way to God to be saved except through Jesus Christ. He is not a way, He is the way. He is not a life, He is the life. He is not a truth, He is the truth. "Hēhodos, hē zoe, hē alethea, the way, and the truth, and the life" [John 14:6]. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12].
Now, I shall speak first of the Christian message in the first Christian century. The Christian faith is first and foremost, and above all things else, it is missionary and converting. If it is not that, it is not Christian, for the Christian faith is first, and foremost, and primarily missionary and converting. That is seen in the Great Commissions that were given by our Lord.
In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 28, "Go ye therefore, and make disciples" – make Christians – "of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" [Matthew 28:19]. In the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Mark, "Go ye, and preach the gospel to every creature." [Mark 16:15] In the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, our Lord said, "And that remission of sins might be preached in His name to all peoples" [Luke 24:47]. In the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of John, "These things are written . . . that ye might have eternal life" [John 20:31]. In the first chapter of the Book of Acts, "And ye shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" [Acts 1:8].
Again, there is no equivocation in the plain outline of the work our Lord assigned to those who believe in Him. Our message, and our assignment, and our responsibility, and our commission is the conversion of the whole world to the faith in Jesus Christ. Nor is there any doubt about the work of the apostles in carrying out that commission. They preached that gospel in Jerusalem [Acts 3:1-5:16], they preached that message in Samaria [Acts 8:5-25], they preached that message in Caesarea [Acts 10:1-48], they preached that message in Antioch [Acts 11:19-30], and in the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Acts, in Antioch, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate me for the work whereunto I have called them, Barnabas and Saul" [Acts 13:2]. And the Spirit of God sent them out on the great missionary journeys that encompassed the civilized world [Acts 13:1-28:31].
First: the commission of Christ was that His disciples, and apostles, and preachers, and evangelists, and emissaries were to convert the whole world, preach the gospel to all creation [Matthew 28:19-20], and that message of redemption, and conversion, and missionary appeal was carried out faithfully by the apostles throughout the civilized world.
That converting and missionary appeal is found in the very content of the Gospel of Christ that is preached. When John the Baptist introduced the kingdom of Christ era, he came and preached saying, "Repent ye – everybody," he threw all Israel outside of the covenant – "Repent ye, everybody: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" [Matthew 3:2]. And when the Jews said, "But we have Abraham to our father. We do not need to repent, we do not need to accept, we do not need to believe," John the Baptist said, "God is able out of these stones to raise children unto Abraham" [Matthew 3:9]. Everybody everywhere is commanded to repent. "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" [Matthew 3:2].
And when Jesus came, He delivered that same message [Matthew 4:17]. By birth, or by inheritance, or by family, we are not able therein and thereby to enter into the kingdom of God. There must be something else, an other and above, a man must be born again, anothen – from above – before he can ever see the kingdom of God.
And the Lord addressed that appeal to Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, zealous in the law, who was a ruler of the Jews, who was a member of the Sanhedrin [John 3:1]. And the Lord said to him, "Except a man be born again, he cannot enter – he cannot see – the kingdom of God" [John 3:3]. And that is the message that Simon Peter preached to the Jewish people in Jerusalem. "Repent ye," he said, "every one of you, and be baptized because of the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" [Acts 2:38].
And that is the message that Simon Peter and the apostle John preached to the Sanhedrin. In my text, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12].
And that is the message that the angel bore to the Gentiles in Caesarea. The angel said to Cornelius, a Gentile, an officer in the Roman army, head of the Italian Band, one of the elite in the legionaries of the Roman Empire. He was a devout man; he was a proselyte of the Gate. He was a devout man; he had foresworn idolatry, he had embraced the great moral laws of Moses, and he prayed to God and gave alms [Acts 10:1-4]. He was liberal, sympathetic, altruistic. He was a worthy and noble man. But the angel said to Cornelius, "You send down to Joppa for one Simon Peter, who will come and tell thee words whereby thou and thy house may be saved" [Acts 10:5-6]. And Simon Peter came and preached to Cornelius, that worthy Gentile, the faith of Jesus Christ [Acts 10:34-48].
And that is the content of the message that the apostle Paul preached to the intellectual center of the world, to the Athenians when he stood on Areopagus and said, "The time of our past ignorance God has overlooked; but now He commands that all men everywhere to repent" [Acts 17:30]. This is the address of the message of God: "Hear, O earth, and give ear, ye isles of the sea" [Isaiah :1].
Now, in the preaching of that message in the Roman Empire, they confronted the powers of the whole governmental world. And it came to pass in a startling and amazing way. You cannot find a better definition of the genius of the Christian faith, than as you see it confront the Roman Empire, for the Christian faith is not only missionary, and it is not only converting, but it is above all things zealously and jealously narrow and constricted. Look at it.
The Roman Empire had a philosophy of government that was unusually salubrious and solicitous. For the Roman Empire, as they conquered province after province, after province, was liberal and broadminded in all of its governmental philosophies and practices. That was one reason that it endured so long, centuries and centuries. There never was an empire that ever had a finer philosophy of government than did the Romans. For, as they conquered the provinces and added them to the great corpus of that mighty kingdom, they gave to each one of the provinces self-rule. If Judea had a king, she continued with her king, even Herod. And if any province or any nation that Rome conquered had a religion, Rome allowed that kingdom, or that province, or that section to worship any way that they pleased, so much so that the Romans built in the city of Rome their most beautiful and effective building.
And it stands there today, the most beautiful and the most beautifully preserved of all the buildings of antiquity, the Roman Pantheon, a gift of Agrippa to the Romans and to Julius Caesar by Julius Caesar’s friend, Agrippa. A magnificent building, and it stood there and stands there as a monument to the great liberality and the great broadmindedness and inclusiveness of the Roman philosophy of government.
Now I want to show you how that is true by contrast to the Greeks. When the Greeks conquered a province or a nation by force and by the sword, they sought to make that province and those people worship Greek gods and accept Greek religion. First and Second Maccabees is nothing but the story of the presentation of that awful strife that arose when the Greek king, Antiochus Epiphanes, dedicated the temple at Jerusalem to Jupiter Olympus and forced the Jews to sacrifice thousand sows and pigs and hogs and swine on their sacred altar. That was the Greek program of conquest, to force a uniform religion in all of their Greek kingdoms.
But the Romans were entirely different. There was no force, there was no coercion, there was no bothering, there was no interference. Every land had its own gods, and religion, and priests, and self-government in so far as they were under the aegis of empirical Caesar at Rome.
And the Pantheon welcomed all the gods of the universe. That’s why it was built. When Rome conquered Egypt, they brought Isis and Osiris, the gods of Egypt, and put them in the Pantheon. When Rome conquered Phrygia, Rome took Cybele, the great god of the Phrygians, and put her in the Pantheon. And when Rome conquered Asia, the Roman province of Asia, they took Artemis of the Ephesians, Diana of the Ephesians, and put her in the Pantheon. That was Rome.
Can you imagine, therefore, so astonishing a development in history as when you find that the Roman government viciously and cruelly persecuted the Christian people? Burned them at the stake; crucified them up and down the streets of the Appian Way; threw them into boiling cauldrons of oil, waste them by the centuries for three hundred twelve years.
Well, I submit that anybody who had any intelligence at all, and who read at all, and who looked at history at all would stumble at a thing like that. There must be a cause. This great empire that of all the empires of the world was most liberal, and most broad-minded, and most altruistic, and sympathetic, and compassionate, and philanthropic, should so cruelly attack the Christian faith and waste it unto death.
Well, the reason is very plain, very plain. When the Christian came preaching Jesus and was invited by the Roman government to place this new God Jesus in the Pantheon, the Christian said, "Not so. Not so! There is no God but the one great God revealed in Christ Jesus. There is no true religion but the true religion of the Christian faith. And there is no other worship acceptable to the Almighty Creator except through Jesus Christ. And we refuse to compromise our faith, or our Lord, or our religion with any other faith or religion or god in the world."
Rome said, "Is that so? Is that so?" And that’s why the Greek word martus – martyr, which means nothing but a witness – that’s why the Greek word martyr and witness became identical, because the Christian refused to compromise his faith, and he laid down his life for the cause. Why, did you know, all it would have taken for the Christian to live was to take a little pinch of incense and put it on the fire, the altar fire that burns in the presence of the image of the emperor? Just that little act of worship, take a pinch of incense, and they offered it to the Christian. There it is, a little piece of incense. Take a pinch of it and put it on the altar fire that burns in the presence before the image of the Caesar, and you will live. And the Christian said, "Not so." And they died by the thousands, and by the thousands, and the hundreds of thousands rather than take a pinch of incense and put it on the altar fire in the presence of the image of the Roman Caesar.
Brother, they were a different stripe of people. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12]. That is the Christian faith of the first century, and that is the Christian faith of the New Testament.
Now, we’re going to look at the Christian faith as it confronts this pusillanimous, wishy-washy, broad-minded liberalism of the century in which God has cast our life and lot. Nor was there ever a time as sorry, as torn, as no-account in which a man’s life could be cast in the faith than this time in which we live now. In the days when men laid down their lives for the faith, they believed something. Now for a man to believe anything is to be called a bigot, and narrow-minded, exclusive, unsympathetic, and intellectually fossilized.
Today we are not to believe anything is final. Everything is insolution, and the man who is exalted today is the fellow who is not quite sure about anything. He has an open mind, no convictions, therefore no responsibility to accept anything. We are to be broad-minded. So the spirit of the age in which we now live and in which God has cast our lives, the spirit is, there are many religions, just choose whichever one you like. Here’s a religion; you like that? Here’s a religion; you like that? Here’s one; do you like that? Or this here, here’s a dress, put it on. Or a suit; put it on. Or shoes; put it on. If you like it, fine. That’s modern day attitude toward religion.
Or, let’s be eclectic, and many of them are. Let’s take the good out of this one, and the good out of that one, and the good out of this one, and the good out of that one, and they said, let’s just put it all together and let us have an eclectic, broad-minded religion. Let’s take this shoe; I like that. Let’s take another shoe; I like this. Let’s take the hem here, and the collar there, and the sleeve there, and the bodice. Is that a good thing? A bodice here, and just stick it all together. Let’s eclectically dress ourselves up.
The inanity and the foolishness of this washed-out day in which God has seen fit to cast my life and my ministry. The cynical and sarcastic sentence that Edward Gibbon wrote in his great Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire about religion in the empire is sarcastically true of this sorry, intellectual atmosphere in which we live today. Edward Gibbon said, to the people all religions were equally true: to the philosophers, all religions were equally false; and to the politicians, all religions were equally useful. Talking to Mohammedans, be a Mohammedan. If you were with Buddhists, be a Buddhist. If you were with a Catholic, be a Catholic. If you were with Protestants, be a Protestant. Be all things to all of them that you might gain the votes of the whole eclectic. And don’t believe anything.
Now, the tragedy of that is, it is the most heart-breaking characteristic of the expression of modern Christianity as you read it today. I don’t have time to speak of all this, but in the news magazine that I read every week, a day or two ago I copied out this article. It is a time of mounting pressure against missionaries. Countries they help bring to nationhood are now expelling them. At home here in America, the missionary is under fire for the churchmen say his day is finished.
Now, I didn’t begin this message as just a time-wasting device. I said the very heart and the very genius of the Christian faith is of all things missionary and converting. That’s what it is, and if it isn’t that, it isn’t anything. All right, I now quote from one of the great modern theologians of this American generation. Listen to him. I quote:
The era of the foreign missionary movement is definitely over because the goals and objectives of that movement are no longer valid. There has ever been a wide-spread assumption that the church was destined to convert the entire human race to Christianity. This must be rejected as a valid goal because it has no biblical foundation.
It was never the intent – this theologian says – that the Christian faith was to be missionary or converting. I suggest that the church voluntarily dismantle the present missionary organization and structure and go out of the missionary business, and go out of the converting business, and go out of the evangelistic business.
Now, this is the kind of fuzzy, intellectual avowals that you read from the modern theologian from one side of Christian to the other. Why, in the Great Commissions of Jesus, without exception, He said we are to convert the world [Matthew 28:19-20], and those apostles went out to convert the civilized world. And the content of the message is, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12]. That’s it. Yet this theologian says that the assumption that Christianity was to convert the race is not valid because it has no biblical foundation. What are you going to do with a professor and a Christian theologian who says that? How can you reason with the man?
This is the day in which our life is cast. Now especially and particularly is that attitude evinced by the modern Christian theologian, New Testament Christianity in the twentieth century. Especially is that view so advocated in its attitude toward the Jewish race or the Jewish religion. Now I took out of our daily newspaper a day or two ago this interview with a great Christian theologian. He says:
Christians should recognize that Judaism, although not accepting Jesus as Savior, continues to be a divinely sanctioned instrument of salvation. Christian efforts to convert the Jews is a fatal distortion of the structure of the history of salvation. And all attempts to convert the Jew, however well-intentioned, contradict God’s purpose.
It was to the Jews that Simon Peter stood up and said, "Repent ye" [Acts 2:38]. It was to the Jews that Simon Peter addressed this word: "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12]. And it is to the whole world that that gospel is addressed.
You are not saved because you are a Buddhist. You’re not saved because you are a Confucianist. You’re not saved because you are a Mohammedan. You are not saved because you are a Jew. You are saved because you are converted and have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, and outside of Him there is no salvation [Acts 4:12]. This is the Christian faith.
Now we may not like to be Christians. We may want to be something else. I may want to be a left-wing philosopher, or I may want to be a rational critic, but if I’m going to be a Christian, this is it. This is the message of the Christian faith, that outside of Christ there is no salvation. "There is none other name given under heaven, whereby we must be saved." This is the Christian faith itself.
Now where does this modern, broad-minded liberalism come from? It comes from a heresy that has entered the Christian faith called universalism. That is, that all men everywhere will be saved. There’s no judgment, there’s no damnation, there’s no wrath to come, there’s no hell, there’s no meeting with God. All men everywhere will be saved. That’s the modern doctrine of salvation. And if that is true, of course there’s no need to preach the gospel, none at all. None at all. If men are going to be saved, why worry? Why burden your heart, why intercede, why try? Just let men be saved. And if Jesus does not save, He is no Savior, and if they are saved already, there is no need to preach the gospel.
The gospel message is premised on this, that men are lost without God, and we come to God and to salvation through Jesus Christ [Acts 4:12]. And then back of that, back of that, is this honeycombing of Christianity by the liberal rationalism of this modern generation in which our lives are cast.
My brother, the things that we see in the pronouncements of modern theological leaders are unthinkable and unheard of. It is not a communist, it is not an infidel, it is not even an agnostic who avows that God is dead, it’s the modern Christian theologian, the professor and the doctor of divinity.
You know what they want us to do, and it comes into our own faith and our own people. What they want to do is, the church has no other relevancy to this modern time except as a social agency. And that preacher has no other mission in our day and generation except as a social worker.
Well, my soul, if all the church is is an agency of the community, why fool with it? Why don’t we get in the Community Chest and the United Fund and really get at this thing? There’s a lot of money through tax purposes and governmental purposes and federal endowments. Why fool with the church if all the church is is just a social agency? And if a minister is nothing other than a social worker, why bother with being a minister? Why don’t you just go be a social worker?
This is modern theology. There’s no God that lives. There’s no reality in salvation. There’s no such a thing as a conversion experience. There’s no resurrection of the dead. There’s no immortality of the soul. There’s no heaven. There’s no hell. Christianity is honeycombed and ruined by this rationalistic attack on the Christian faith that is in the atmosphere and accepted everywhere. Now you think that’s just Christian, brother. It’s in everything.
We’re talking about the Jews. I want you to listen to this rabbi, Rabbi Richard Rubenstein of the University of Pittsburgh. I quote from him:
Much theology is projected fantasy. Religion, all religion, is nothing more than a heritage by which a community of believers shares the crises of life and celebrates nature’s time table of the seasons. Man is part of the world of nature and that’s all, there is nothing else. Written theology is a linear typographical thing, and all that is exploded. God collapsed at Auschwitz –
That’s like one of those Dachaus –
God collapsed over there under Hitlerite Germany. We live in the time of the death of God.
I’m telling you, that the conglomerate that is left by the rationalistic critic is a shapeless shambles, and it comes out the same way whether he’s talking to the Jew in his religion or the Christian in his religion. To the rationalist, there is no God, and there’s no religion except as we might, as this rabbi says, worship the timetable of the seasons, observe the changing of the solstices and the equinoxes.
Well, I turn just one other sentence. Rabbi Eugene Borowitz of the Hebrew Union College in New York City says, "Jewish theologians hope they will some day lead men closer to the mystery of what it means to be a Jew. Success only can be the Messiah." There’s no other messianic hope, according to this liberal Jew, except that we might come to understand the mystery of what it is to be a Jew. That is the messiah, and if that’s ever done, the messiah has come.
The whole thing, the whole book, the whole revelation, becomes nothing other than some kind of a glorified pantheism or some kind of an altruistic social ministry. Where is God? And where is the truth of God? And where is the revelation of God? If God ever revealed Himself, where is it? Where is it?
This generation says for a man to be dogmatic about God, for a man to come to a final conviction about God, for a man to give himself to the things revealed by God is to be of all things a bigot, an intellectually narrow and intolerable and unacceptable. The man who’s not quite sure about anything is the man who is exalted today; doesn’t believe anything.
Now I have to conclude, and I hate to. I wish we had about an hour or two. Some of you want to stay after the benediction, we’ll just go on.
There are three areas in which a man can be broad or narrow. There are three of them. You can be broad or narrow in these three areas. In two of these areas, we ought to be broad and liberal. And in the third one, we ought to be as narrow and jealously exclusive as God said He was when He said, "Thou shall have no other gods before Me . . . for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" [Exodus 20:3-5].
All right, first: we ought to be broad in our sympathies. Broad as the world is broad, wide as the world is wide. Wherever men suffer or cry or are brokenhearted, or are downcast, or are lost, or hungry, or poor, or needy, or confused, or bewildered, our sympathies ought to be as broad as the world is broad.
Second: we ought to be broad in our horizons. We ought to see all truth in its proper perspective. Perspicuity is one of the finest, most meaningful words in our language, to see things in their relationship. That is, we are not to make our conclusions on the basis of ignorance, or of prejudice, or of darkness, or of superstition. But we are to be broad in our spectrum. Wherever things can contribute to a fine conclusion, we’re to see it all and encompass it all, in so far as our minds can be stretched to understand.
But in the third area: we are to be jealously exclusive and narrow, and that is in the revealed truth, and especially the truth of God. In that there is to be no alternative. This is it and forever. Now, there’s no difference in the truth that I speak of revealed from God and in any other truth, for all truth is of God, all of it. The same Lord God that made the world out there [Genesis 1:1-31], is the same Lord God that made the Book. The hand that wrote the Book of Creation is the hand that wrote this Book.
And all of it is truth. And all truth is alike. It is narrow and jealously exclusive. Mathematical truth is very narrow. Well, bigoted; he’s a narrow-minded, bigoted mathematician. He believes two plus two is four, no more no less. Hmm, what a critter. Look at him, walking down the street there. Well, go to the bank. Go to the bank. And you tell that banker, "You know, you have a narrow-minded, bigoted set of mathematics here at this bank. I put $40 in the bank, and then I put $10 in the bank, and you say all I’ve got is $50 in this bank. Well, I operate on a broad-minded mathematical formula. I say I’ve got $500 in this bank." And about that time, he winks, he puts his finger to the officer and says, "Officer, lead him out, lead him out, lead him out."
Scientific truth is very narrow, very narrow. You see, under ordinary conditions, at sea level water will freeze at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit, at zero degrees Centigrade. But I’m no narrow-minded, scientific bigot. I say that water can freeze at thirty-two degrees; I say it can also freeze at forty degrees, or at fifty degrees. So on a nice, beautiful morning, I look at the temperature; forty degrees, yeah. And according to my broad-minded scientific formula, water freezes at forty degrees. And the nut, the idiot steps off the bridge into the water. Blub, blub, blub, blub, blub, blub, down he goes. He ought to drown; he ought to drown. Scientific truth is very narrow, very narrow.
Historical truth is very narrow. I’m not one of those narrow-minded historical bigots who believe that Julius Caesar lived in a certain day, at a certain time, in a certain century. I say, being broad-minded, he lived in any century, and I tell you what. Let’s go up to Washington and visit with Julius Caesar now. Let’s try it. Somebody else would be crooking his finger at you and lead you off to the funny farm. That’s what they’re going to do with you.
Some of you lawyers here, that’s all that law is about. You go down there to that law court and you get on one side, and that no-count, good for nothing opponent of yours is on the other side, sorriest lawyer in town, and there you are, and what are you trying to do before those twelve men and women in the jury? You’re trying to establish that such and such a thing happened at such and such a time in such and such a way, that’s all you’re doing. And they pay you handsomely for that; isn’t that amazing? Yeah, yeah. All historical truth is very narrow. It happened at a certain time in a certain way in a certain place on a certain date. That’s it, that’s it. And that’s what the law court is about.
Geographical truth is very narrow. Put me on edge? Shoot, shoot, man alive, look at me. I’m the professor you want to teach in your school; I’m a broad-minded liberal professor. When it comes to geography, I’m not narrow and bigoted. Why, some of these fellows say the Gulf Stream flows through the Atlantic ocean and laves the shores of England. I’m no bigot that says it’s just there. I say it, being broad-minded, is over there in the Pacific Ocean, and it laves the shores of Japan also. Why, he’s a nut, he’s a screwball. All truth is narrow, all of it. All of it.
And ecclesiastical truth is no different. It reflects what God is. And you will find that exclusive, ecclesiastical narrowness in everything in the Bible. The ark had one door, one door, one door [Genesis 4:16], and if you were saved, you went in that one door, and if you didn’t go in that one door, you were lost [Genesis 7:1, 7, 23].
Have you been listening to that song I hear on the radio as I visit around town that these Irishmen sing? It’s about the unicorn. Why, it’s the beatinest song you’ve ever heard. Man, I like that song. I like that song. Noah said, "All of you animals come in here. Get in this ark. Get in this ark and be saved." Well, bless your soul. Look at them. There comes the alligator, and the long-necked geese, the humpty-backed camel, and the chimpanzees. There’s the cats and the dogs. But as sure as you’re born, when Noah tried to get the unicorn to come in, they were out there playing on the rocks, and the rain came falling down, and God shut the door, and as sure as you’re born, you will never see a unicorn. He didn’t get it the ark. That’s what that song says. That’s what that song says. That’s the gospel, that’s the gospel. Very narrow, very narrow. You go in that one door, or you’re going to be lost; that’s it [Genesis 6:16].
Or, the Passover blood; sprinkle on the lintel, on the doorpost on either side. If you’re under the blood, that death angel passes over you [Exodus 12:7, 13, 23]. There won’t be death in that home. But if you’re not under blood, there’s going to be death in that home; that’s God. Isaiah 45:22, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." And that’s the exclusiveness you see here in the Bible and in the preaching of the gospel.
Do you know John 3:36; do you? "He that hath the Son hath life. He that hath not the Son hath not life." It is that plain, it is that simple. "He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son hath not life." Or the words of my text, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" [Acts 4:12]. There is not other way, period. This is the truth of God, and it allows of no other definition. It allows no abrogation. It allows no liberal changing or philosophical speculation. It is fact from beginning to end, first and last, now and forever. If I’m saved, I must come to Jesus. No matter who I am, I must come to Jesus. And if I ever see God’s face when I die, I must see God through the blood, the forgiveness of sins, the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. There is no other way. It is that, it is not something else. It is this and this alone.
O Lord, help us. In our day, Lord, could there be anybody that believes something and would stand up for it? Here I stand, so help me, God, holding that Book in his hand and preaching that blessed message. Why, man, no wonder this world gropes in a fog and a mist. They don’t know where to go, they don’t know what to turn. Every eternal value has been dissolved away.
When the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? [Psalm 11:3]. That goes for a government that has lost its moorings. It goes for a state that has lost its foundation. It goes for a life that has lost its anchor. This is life, and salvation, and truth, and everlasting assurance to our souls. Come, come and be saved. Come and get in the ark. Come and get under the blood. Come and pilgrimage to God’s glory in heaven. Do it, do it, do it.
Now we’re going to sing our hymn of appeal, and while we sing it, a family you to come; a couple you to come; one somebody you to come; while we sing this appeal, make it now, make it now. Decide now. And on the first note of the first stanza, come. If you are in the balcony round, there’s time and to spare, a stairway at the front and the back, come. If you have your children, bring them with you, come. "Pastor, this is my wife, these are our children. All of us are coming today." Do it. Decide now. "I am resolved, and here I come." And God attend you in the way. Do it now. When we stand up in a moment, stand up coming. God will see you through. Do it, while we stand and while we sing.