LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED
Sunday Morning Sermon
October 31, 1999
Fair Avenue Baptist Churchぐ颵ᇏ芻ꨀ봀ISMULTILINE>
35th Anniversary Services
Text: Isaiah 45:22
I was reading the other day and read about the salvation of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the famous pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle in London who lived in the latter half of the 19th century.
There is something about the life of Charles Spurgeon that might be applicable to someone here this morning. His grandfather was a pastor and young Charles would spend much time with his grandfather.
He would read his grandfather’s books. Occasionally church members would meet in his grandfather’s home to discuss the Bible. He would allow the members to suggest a topic for discussion. Charles, at age seven, would often suggest a topic – a topic he had been reading about that day.
When discussing it, the people were amazed that he knew more about the topic than his grandfather. What is more amazing is that Spurgeon was pastoring at age 19 and preaching to thousands. Newspapers in London would print his sermons every week.
In the book, Life and Works of Spurgeon, published in 1890, Mr. Spurgeon gives the following account of his conversion. Spurgeon says:
“I will tell you how I myself was brought to the knowledge of the truth. It may happen the telling of that will bring someone else to Christ.
It pleased God in my childhood to convince me of sin. I lived a miserable creature, finding no hope, no comfort, thinking that surely God would never save me. At last the worst came to the worst – I was miserable; I could do scarcely anything. My heart was broken in pieces. Six months did I pray – prayed agonizingly with all my heart, and never had an answer. I resolved that, in the town where I lived, I would visit every place of worship in order to find out the way of salvation. I felt I was willing to do anything and be anything if God would only forgive me.
I set off, determined to go round to all the chapels; and I went to all the places of worship; and though I dearly venerate the men that occupy those pulpits now, and did so then, I am bound to say that I never heard them once fully preach the Gospel. I mean by that, they preached the truth, great truths, many good truths that were fitting to many of their congregation – spiritually minded people; but what I wanted to know was, How can I get my sins forgiven? And they never once told me that. I wanted to hear how a poor sinner, under a sense of sin, might find peace with God: and when I went I heard a sermon on “Be not deceived, God is not mocked,” which cut me up worse, but did not say how I might escape.
I went again another day, and the text was something about the glories of the righteous: nothing for poor me. I was something like a dog under the table, not allowed to eat of the children’s food. I went time after time; and I can honestly say, I don’t know that I ever went without prayer to God; and I am sure there was not a more attentive hearer in all the place than myself, for I panted and longed to understand how I might be saved.
At last, one snowy day – it snowed so much I could not go to the place I had determined to go to, and I was obliged to stop on the road, and it was a blessed stop to me – I found rather an obscure street, and turned down a court, and there was a little chapel. I wanted to go somewhere, but I did not know this place. It was the Primitive Methodists’ chapel. I had heard of these people from many, and how they sang so loudly that they made people’s heads ache; but that did not matter. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they made my head ache ever so much I did not care. So, sitting down, the service went on, but no minister came. At last, a very thin-looking man came into the pulpit and opened his Bible and read these words, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Just setting his eyes upon me, as if he knew me all by heart, he said, “Young man, you are in trouble.” Well, I was, sure enough. Says he, “You will never get out of it unless you look to Christ.”
And then, lifting up his hands, he cried out, as only, I think, a Primitive Methodist could do, “Look, look, look! It is only look!” I saw at once the way of salvation. Oh, how I did leap for joy at that moment! I know not what else he said; I did not take much notice of it – I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, they only looked and were healed. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard this word “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh, I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away! And in Heaven I will look on still in my joy unutterable.
I now think I am bound never to preach a sermon without preaching to sinners. I do think that a minister who can preach a sermon without addressing sinners does not know how to preach.”
When I read those words about Spurgeon’s conversion, I thought about my own experience as a young boy. I don’t remember the first time I went to church, but I do remember hearing the preacher talk about “being born again” and “getting saved.”
I began to realize that if I wasn’t born again or if I wasn’t saved, I couldn’t go to Heaven. I heard what he said, but I didn’t understand what he meant.
I remember hearing “Jesus Christ died for you.” And as a young boy I used to wonder how the death of Jesus on a cross could get me to Heaven. I did not understand the substitutionary death of Jesus, the vicarious sufferings of Jesus, that He was actually suffering in my place and in your place, and He was paying everything we owe as sinners and satisfying the just demands of a holy God.
Now, if I were to ask you individually about your experiences, I believe most in this congregation would say you had a similar experience as that of Mr. Spurgeon.
The majority of people who attend church for years never fully understand how to be saved, never get a good mental grasp of the Gospel, and many, many are never truly saved.
For that reason, I want to preach a clear salvation message this morning, using the text that Charles Haddon Spurgeon heard the day he was saved.
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
0 THE SOURCE OF SALVATION
The text verse says, “Look unto ME, and be ye saved.”
I emphasize the word “me,” meaning Jesus Christ.
Any other plan of salvation than includes anything other than Jesus Christ is absolutely futile.
Jesus will not share the privilege of saving someone with a church,
with an individual,
or with an organization.
He is not a partial Saviour,
He is a complete Saviour,
He is the only Saviour,
and no one else helps Him save.
If we add anything to it, it would take away from what He did at Calvary.
Jesus is the source of salvation according to John 1:13, “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Now, I’m a Baptist, but the Baptist church is not the source of salvation.
I joined a church, but being a church member is not the source of salvation.
Our verse did not say, “Look unto the church,”
or “Look unto your good life,”
or “Look unto your baptism,”
or “Look unto your reformation,”
or “Look unto the ordinances,”
or “Look unto the sacraments.”
Our verse says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the Man who divided history into BC or AD is either the world’s greatest con artist or He is the Saviour.
Jesus Christ is either the most fantastic liar that ever walked on this earth or He is what He claimed to be – the Son of God.
Now, you must decide that for yourself. I have decided He was not a con artist, that He is the Saviour.
I have decided that He wasn’t a liar, that He did tell the truth.
But you decide for yourself.
If He did tell the truth, then we must face what He said.
And He said plainly in John 14:6, “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
That needs no interpretation; it just needs to be read and accepted.
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.”
Over and over and over again the Bible makes it plain that Jesus is the Saviour.
John 3:16, the best known verse in the Bible – says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Jesus is the Saviour.
The Bible says in I John 5:12, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
That is as plain as it can be.
It doesn’t say, “He that hath the Baptist label hath life.”
It doesn’t say, “He that hath baptism hath life.”
It doesn’t say, “He that is honest hath life.”
It says, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
The word “hath” is an important word. Don’t forget it.
You are a Christian because of what you have, not because of what he does.
What must you have in order to be a millionaire. You say money, and you’re right. But to be a millionaire, you must have a specific amount of money – a million dollars. Pretty simple, isn’t it? Everybody understands that.
It is not what you do nor how you live that makes you a millionaire, it is not what you promise to do in the future that makes you a millionaire, IT IS WHAT YOU HAVE that makes you a millionaire.
The key word, the hinge is, “have, have, have” – not “do.”
Now, let me ask you a simple question, so simple that many well-meaning people stumble over it.
What must you have to be a Christian? CHRIST!
“He that hath the Son hath life.”
Jesus Christ is the source of salvation.