Come and Believe as Little
In one of my pastorates I brought a message on the death
and resurrection to a close, and as I began to issue the invitation for all who
would believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior a seventy-year-old man came
running down the aisle. He had put his faith in Jesus Christ as the sermon was
being presented, and he wanted everyone to know it.
Little did either of us know at the time, but several
months later I would conduct his funeral.
As I spent time with he and his wife he shared with me his
childhood experience of living across the street from a beautiful large church.
On Sunday mornings he and his little brother would sit on the steps of their
house and watched the people enter the building. They wanted to go to church so
badly that they cried, but they had been told they did not have good enough
In disbelief I respectively listened and I turned to Mark 10:13-16 and read
these words to this lovely couple. “They were bringing children to Him so that
He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He
was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not
hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to
you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it
at all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands
on them” (Mark 10:13-16).
The essence of saving faith is to rest yourself for eternal salvation on the
atoning death and perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is to trust in what
Jesus Christ did for you in dying for your salvation. If you are to be saved you
must believe in Jesus Christ. Put your faith in no one else, and in nothing
else, but Christ. Only Jesus Christ will save you.
How do persons come to Christ? They come by simple humble faith in Christ
Jesus. Faith is the way to Christ. It is not faith plus baptism. It is not faith
plus good works. It is not faith plus obedience. It is not faith plus church
attendance. It is faith in the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus alone. If you
are baptized after you have come to Christ, well and good, but do not lift your
baptism to a saving ordinance or a sacrament for salvation.
Have you, like my friend, come to Jesus Christ by
laying hold of Him with the hand of faith?
The sincere disciples of Jesus rebuked those who
were bringing children to Jesus so He might bless them. When Jesus saw what was
going on “He was indignant and said to then, ‘Permit the children to come to Me;
do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’” (v. 14).
Jesus did not say the kingdom belonged to grown
ups, well educated, middle class, or whatever social or class label you put on
people. It belongs to the kids! I have used the AWANA children and youth program
in three churches where I have pastored. I have watched Wednesday night
attendance grow from six kids to 150 in four or five weeks and stay in high
attendance year after year. My wife and I love working with fourth, fifth and
sixth graders because they listen, comprehend the Gospel message and put their
faith in Christ. Jesus said, “Permit the children to come to Me.” They can
understand the good news in Christ and they do believe. They are humble enough
to know what sin is, to confess to God they are sinners and to believe that
Christ died for them on the cross.
Please do not ever hinder anyone from seeking
salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. To every individual who is
awakened to the reality of personal sin in their lives and to the saving truth
in Jesus Christ we need to plead for them to trust in Christ alone for
salvation. Come to Jesus Christ, put your trust in Him and be saved.
The absolutely amazing thing is that the very way
in which a child enters the kingdom, is the way in which every individual must
enter. Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of
God like a child shall not enter it at all” (v. 15). Jesus then took the
children into His arms and blessed them (v. 16).
The mind that is capable of understanding the
simple truths of the gospel are also capable of believing in Christ. Children
are capable of receiving the grace of God when the Holy Spirit imparts it.
How does a child enter into the kingdom of God? It is very simple faith. It
is not something sophisticated. It takes God at its word. It believes what it is
told. There are no prejudices and preconceived ideas. They simply take John 3:16
for what it plainly says. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal
life” (John 3:16). Place your name in that verse and claim its
promise for yourself. “For God so loved Wilfred Pounds that he gave His only
begotten Son that if I believe on Him I will not perish, but have eternal life.”
I believe that with all my heart. I am willing to die for that truth. I beg you
to believe on Him, too. There is salvation in no one else. There is no other
name that you can call upon and be saved. “None, but Jesus can do the helpless
God wants to save you today. He is willing to receive you today and lay His
hands on you and bless you. Jesus is displeased with anyone who would hold you
back from putting your faith in Christ alone and being saved today. If you will
come to Him He will in no way cast you out. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
and you shall be saved.” “Permit the children to come to Me,” and anyone else
who will come in childlike faith.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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