An Encouraging Word

“Good” Friday?

It’s Friday — and not just any Friday. It’s that Friday that we dub “Good Friday.” Indeed, for Christians, it commemorates what, for us, was a very, very good day because of what Jesus willingly endured and accomplished on that day … the blackest day in world history. What was done to the only sinless man in history on that Friday was so shameful, horrific and unjust that even God Himself turned the lights off for a while at midday, not allowing the world to fully see His Beloved Son suffer as He did. God the Father darkened that first Good Friday for the world.

For the disciples, it was a terribly dark day. They didn’t understand what was going on.  They were “in the dark” in more ways than one that day. All they understood was that their hope, their one big hope that they had invested their whole lives into, was on that day dying on a Roman cross in front of them. To them, when Jesus was laid in that borrowed tomb later that day, their dreams for life and for eternity seemed to be buried with Him.

So, the world must wonder … why celebrate such a dark day? Well, as the late Baptist preacher S.M. Lockridge said in a now-famous sermon, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’!” Jesus had told them repeatedly that He would die and rise again on the third day, but they didn’t have a clue what He meant. But on the following Sunday morning, a new day dawned, and the Son of God arose, keeping His promise and turning the disciples’ dreams into a Biblical “hope.” I define a Christian’s hope for eternal life with Christ as “a glorious future certainty.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ is also my hope, and if you have placed your faith in Jesus, it is also yours. I especially look forward to celebrating that day with you this Sunday.

If you want to hear more about what happened on Good Friday, I invite you to listen to this message of mine: “It is Finished.”

Meanwhile, I hope you’ll take just a few minutes and be inspired by S.M. Lockridge’s empassioned words: “That’s My King!”

An Encouraging Word

It’s so simple! Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God,” Romans 10:17

It’s so simple!

I remember when I first started sharing the Word as a youth pastor in southern California. Back in the early ’70s, I used to teach a Friday evening Bible study for teenagers who would come and sit on my living room floor as I just opened up the Word and shared. There was this one kid, Bill, who was first brought by a friend; he kept coming back week after week on his own.  He was so faithful to come, and so eager to study God’s Word, that one time I asked him, “Bill, how did you get saved? How did it happen for you?” I imagined he was saved before coming to my living room that first day.

Bill replied, “Well, the first time that friend of mine brought me, we just sat down there and you were teaching out of Ephesians. What you were sharing out of the Word of God was just nailing me in the heart. I listened to that …  and I believed it!” That was his conversion story!

It’s just like Paul said in Romans 10:17, that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. That kid went to a Bible study, sat down amongst other kids, heard the Word of God and his life was transformed and changed. He just heard the foolishness of the message preached and was saved. Isn’t that awesome?

Over the years, I’ve seen that same thing happen over and over again. I can recount example after example of people coming into our fellowship in Truckee who simply walked in, sat down,  heard the Word of God being shared … and were nailed by the Holy Spirit, resulting in a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

I can’t take credit for even one of those salvations!  Each time I have seen it happen, it has simply been God being true to His Word. He said in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will not come back void … so just share it, brethren! Share the Word! Bring your unsaved friends and family to church … and let the Holy Spirit do His work, trusting Jesus for the results in His time, and in His way.