Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
Come and Believe as Little Children
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 him 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 clothes.
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 grownups, 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 sinner good.”
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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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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