Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, The praise of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace.
This is L'Sere Bradley Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. Rejoice, the Lord is King, your fine King alone. Mortals, get thanks and sing, and triumph evermore.
Lift up the heart, lift up the voice. Rejoice, O Lord, rejoice, O Lord. Ye saints, rejoice. Rejoice, the Savior reigns, the God of truth and love. When he had first our strength, he took his seat above.
Lift up the heart, lift up the voice. Rejoice, O Lord, rejoice, O Lord. Ye saints, rejoice. His kingdom cannot fail. He rules our earth and heaven.
Our kings of death and hell. Our true, our Jesus, give. Lift up the heart, lift up the voice. Rejoice, O Lord, rejoice, O Lord. I want to thank each of you who have responded and come forward with support during these difficult summer months. And if there are others of you that can join in to help, we'll certainly be thankful for it.
You can make a donation at our website, BaptistBibleHour.org. My trials here on earth will cease. Someday, someday, some happy day, and I will have one ending peace. Someday, someday, some happy day. Someday, someday, some happy day. From sin our soul is free.
I live with Christ for rain. Someday, someday, some happy day. No more in darkness I will roam. Someday, someday, some happy day.
God rest eternally at home. Someday, someday, some happy day. Someday, someday, some happy day. From sin our soul is free.
I live with Christ for rain. Someday, someday, some happy day. Those gone before me I shall meet. Someday, someday, some happy day. When loved ones will my spirit greet. Someday, someday, some happy day. Someday, someday, some happy day. From sin our soul is free.
I live with Christ for rain. Someday, someday, some happy day. My loving Savior I shall see. Someday, someday, some happy day. With Him in glory I shall be. Someday, someday, some happy day. From sin my soul is free. I live with Christ for rain.
Someday, someday, some happy day. I was just going to read a little bit of this, but I was reading it over again a moment ago. I've got to get more of it. I just want you to see how marvelous this is. But rise and stand upon thy feet, for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen and of the things in which I will appear unto thee. Delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles, unto whom I now send thee to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." Now you can just sense the power of his preaching as he stands before this man to give testimony of what God has done in his life. Here was Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee of the Pharisees committed to the Jews' religion, meeting all the requirements, having a great educational background. Whoever would have imagined that this man would be preaching Jesus Christ? But God stopped him in his tracks, called his name, revealed Jesus to him. He says, I was not then disobedient to this heavenly vision, but showed first unto them of Damascus and at Jerusalem and throughout all the coast of Judea, and then to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance. Paul preached that message. And you notice as he relates that, he doesn't give any disclaimers.
He doesn't find it necessary to go into the depth of the doctrinal ramifications of that. Talking about all the background and cause, he just talks about preaching that men are to repent. That's the New Testament pattern. All that we might be faithful in following the example and pattern that's before us in the word of God.
Not trying to arrange things in a way that are going to make people feel comfortable, but preaching the truth as it is in Christ Jesus as revealed in his word. Verse 21, for these causes the Jews caught me in the temple and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day.
They were trying to kill me, but the reason I'm here is I obtained help of God. I'm a living testimony to the fact that God has protected me and sustained me, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those things which the prophets and Moses did say should come. I'm not preaching anything new and strange like they suggest. I'm just bringing you the message of what Moses, a long time ago, and the prophets all said were going to come. That Christ should suffer and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead and should show light unto the people and to the Gentiles. I'm just carrying out what the Old Testament record said would transpire.
Jesus Christ would come. He's the fulfillment of all of those types and shadows and prophecies, and I'm preaching Jesus Christ. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself, much learning to think me mad. That wasn't a very complimentary response, was it?
Certainly sometimes when the truth is preached, there are people that reject it right on the spot and are rather direct and abrupt in the way they express their objections. Paul, you're out of your mind. You know, I know you're an educated man, but you've studied yourself till you've just fallen off the deep end.
That's all there is to it. But he said, I'm not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. He's bold, but he's speaking the truth, words of soberness. For the King knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely. For I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him, for this thing was not done in a corner. This is all out in the open.
You have every reason to know about it. I mean, he didn't let up. You know, if you're talking to somebody and they say, you're out of your mind, you may feel like, end of conversation. I'm not going to talk to anybody that responds like that. Paul didn't let up.
He said, oh, oh, no. You have every reason to know that what I'm talking about is the truth. You may say here publicly that I'm out of my mind, but you have reason to know that it's the truth.
He's holding his feet to the fire. King Agrippa, believeth thou the prophets? I know that thou believeth. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost and all together, such as I am, except for these bonds. I wish they were where I am in my faith, in my understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They're exactly where I am, except that I'm bound because I'm a prisoner.
I wouldn't want them to be a prisoner. And when they had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Berenice, and they that sat with them. And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds. Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty if he had not appealed unto Caesar. How fascinating to read the travels of the apostle, to see how this great servant of God, so marvelously blessed, so uniquely favored, writing the greater portion of the New Testament, establishing churches, writing back to those churches to guide them, writing to the young ministers, mentoring them, instructing them, guiding them of the way they should go, and yet constantly under threats, under fierce persecution, plots and schemes being laid to take his life, and then eventually as a prisoner being transported from one authority to another, shipwrecked when he was on his way to Rome to be at last tried. But in all of this, Paul was faithful in his commitment to his God. Even, as you know, in the Philippian letter when he talks about being a prisoner, he's calling upon people to rejoice, and he wasn't asking somebody to do something that he wasn't already doing. He was rejoicing in his situation because he could see that even when he was chained to a Roman soldier, God was still working. And that even through his testimony to these soldiers that the message of Christ had permeated the whole palace. God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.
How is it with you? Are you bold in your testimony? Could it be that there's a weakness because you have not delighted in the testimonies of God?
Because you have not walked in the pathway of his commandments? If you're walking in the right path, if you're rejoicing in his truth, you get excited about what God's Word says, and you look forward to the opportunity to tell somebody else. I certainly recognize that a heart must be prepared by divine grace if one's going to receive the message.
I love that passage in the 16th chapter of the book of Acts where it said that the Lord opened the heart of Lydia so that she attended under the things that were spoken of Paul. I've had occasion to speak to a lot of people when it was evident they didn't have an open heart. They were prejudiced against the things we tried to tell them.
Their minds were closed, their hearts were closed. But how great it is to be able to bring the gospel message to someone whose heart is open. They are made to respond to the message of the Word of God.
And we never know who that individual might be. Sometimes the person that we think is the most unlikely candidate may be the very one that will respond most faithfully. Paul, who set the example, also gave exhortation in this regard. 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 8, he says to this young minister, Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner, but be thou a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God.
Has there ever been a time that you've been ashamed of the testimony of our Lord? Now we can sit here in this congregation and think, I don't think I've got any problem with that. It's certainly easier when we talk to one another to talk about what we believe about the greatness of God, the power of God, the sovereignty of God, the mercy of God. Talk about the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Talk about the salvation that we have through him by his amazing grace. And maybe with some other friends and acquaintances that you have, there's not that much difficulty, but you get into certain circles. Some of you may be in a situation like that at work. If you really opened up and started talking to people about exactly what you believe, you'd find out what the offense of the cross is all about.
You might find that among some of your relatives, some of your neighbors, some of your friends. Now I recognize we have to pray for the Lord to open people's minds and hearts that they might be receptive when we have a witness to give. And we have to pray for his guidance and direction in it all. But the point we want to emphasize here is that it is needful for us not to give way to the weaknesses of the flesh and to fear men.
Being fearful of what they're going to think of us, what they're going to say about us or say to us. But follow this admonition given by Paul that we should not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. Now the words Jesus used about that situation are even much stronger than what we find here. Let's go to the book of Mark chapter 8.
Mark chapter 8 and the 38th verse, this is Jesus speaking. Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his Father with holy angels. If we're ashamed of Jesus Christ, he says he will be ashamed of us. That one thought ought to be adequate to stir us to say, I pray that God will enable me at all times to be faithful in the witness that I give, both by the example in my life, the way I live, the way I conduct myself, the godly path that I follow, the spirit and attitude that I have toward other people, and then when it comes to speaking the specifics of what we believe about God and the precious truths of the gospel that I may have the boldness and courage to speak the truth in love. Paul then said in the first chapter of the book of Romans, verse 15, So as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also, for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I'm ready to come to you.
I'm ready to preach it at Rome just as I've been ready elsewhere. I want you to know I'm not ashamed of it. Why should we be ashamed?
Why should we be reluctant to tell somebody? Oh, I know people of this postmodern age are ready to say that you're bigoted, you're narrow-minded. How can you possibly claim that what you have is the truth, implying that what somebody else embraces is not true? Well, that's the very essence of the message of Jesus Christ, when he says, I am the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus didn't say that there are many ways and we're all just working toward the same place, just on different roads.
No, they're just one way. Jesus says, I'm it. Certainly, you start talking that way in many circles today and you'll be looked upon as very narrow-minded.
As a matter of fact, some may be very quick to tell you that you're just ignorant, that educated people don't think that way, that you're behind the times. But isn't that rather mild compared to what the apostles were enduring when they were threatened and sometimes beaten and sometimes put in prison? Oh, may we pray for that holy boldness. In the book of 2 Timothy chapter 6, verse 12, fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life whereunto thou art called and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. In that you have made this profession before many witnesses, you have declared, I believe in Jesus Christ. I confess I'm a sinner. God is a holy God. It'd be perfectly justified to cast me into hell because I have transgressed his law.
I deserve nothing. But I see that Jesus Christ as the friend of sinners is the only hope that I can possibly have, only because of his perfect sacrifice, only because of his death at the cross. And I trust him. Oh, when I look at myself, I see that so much is wrong. If I was going to depend upon my repentance, I'm not sure that it's what it should be. My faith sometimes seemed to be so weak, but I'm not trusting my repentance. I'm not trusting my faith. I'm trusting Christ. He's my salvation.
You've made that profession. You've acknowledged him. You've displayed it by going into the watery grave of baptism, coming forth to walk in newness of life, saying, I believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I'm being identified with him by participating in this gospel ordinance, having made this profession before many witnesses. And he's saying, do not be ashamed of me nor of the testimony of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And so the psalmist is talking about liberty. Now, to someone that may not sound like liberty, say, well, Paul was a prisoner. Oh yes, he was bound to a Roman soldier, but his spirit was free. He found a freedom in the Lord. No matter what his circumstances, he could still rejoice because he believed God was at work.
God's purposes were not going to fail. What God planned for this man's life, what God determined to do with respect to using the apostle was not for him because of this imprisonment. And so he could have total confidence that God was at work and therefore wherever opportunity was given, if it was in the courtroom or if it was in the prison house, he was ready to speak concerning Jesus Christ and him crucified. As we look at this, may we be inspired, re-inspired to say, by God's grace, I want to be a better and more effective witness and I will walk at liberty for I seek thy precepts.
Because I'm seeking the precepts of God, because I'm applying them in my life, because I'm walking in this godly path, I'm able to walk at liberty. And I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings and will not be ashamed. Now none of us may ever come before a king as did the apostle, but we do have the promise that even if outward persecution should again prevail, that in that given instance when his servants are brought before kings and magistrates, he said you don't have to think in advance about what to say because I'll give it to you in that day.
I'll be with you when that time comes. There might be a second meaning here when he says I will speak of thy testimonies before kings and not be ashamed. As one's life expands because of the liberty that there is in Christ, often the Lord gives them opportunities that they never imagined would be theirs. God may bring you before individuals that you never thought you would have the opportunity to speak to about Christ. You may find yourself in very unique situations.
Who would ever have thought you would say that I would be here on this occasion at this place talking to these people or to this person. God brings you before people of a prominent position or people of unusual circumstances or differing backgrounds from what you have normally associated with. God brings you to those special places to be able to speak of the testimony of our God, of our Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, if we are walking according to his precepts, rather than restricting us, rather than depriving us of all the joys of life, it expands our thinking, it expands our life, it gives us a delight and a joy that can be found no other way. And as God's children walk in such a way, then their example as well as their verbal testimony becomes effective. Oh, how needed such a testimony is in our time.
When so many people are caught up entirely in the entertainments and recreations of the day. Fewer people having an interest to come to the house of God to hear his word preached. Many of those who go to some kind of a religious service are looking only to find the place where they can be made to feel good about themselves rather than to hear the truth about a God of power and greatness and glory who is on the throne of the universe working his will. To hear that salvation is alone through Jesus Christ the Savior because man cannot save or help to save himself. Let us pray that God will help us as we read his word, meditate upon it, apply it in our lives that we can experience this holy bonus to be effective witnesses to the glory of Christ. Well, I'm glad you've been with us for the broadcast today. I pray the message has been a blessing to you.
We hope that you will write us at Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. Praising my Savior. All the day long.
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