Adrian Rogers - How to Have a Steadfast Hope in a Shaky World
Would you take God's Word and find Second Thessalonians, Second Thessalonians and we're going to look in a few moments in the first chapter. Second Thessalonians the first chapter. You know, the stage is set for the drama of the ages, only this drama is not going to be make-believe, it is real. But the problem is we have too many Christians today who are troubled, too many who are jittery, too many who are unsettled because they are living with sort of last-day hysteria.
Now obviously we don't know that these are the absolute last days, the last days in one sense of the word, began when Jesus ascended, because from that time to this time we've been living on the edge of eternity. Jesus Christ could come back at any moment, but that has been true for two thousand years. But God's people are not to be upset, they're not to be dismayed, they're not to be jittery, they are to have a settled faith. So many Christians remind me of a man who swallowed an egg and he was afraid to move, he was afraid it might break, and afraid to sit still, afraid it might hatch. And, I know Christians who are just about that nervous and about that jittery. Well, we're going to look today into the Word of God and find something that will give us a settled faith in a shaky world.
Somebody said, "If you can keep your head when all those round about you are losing theirs, it's just a sign you don't understand the situation". But it may be another sign; it may be a sign that you have a bulldog grip on the Word of God. Now, Second Thessalonians chapter 1 and look if you will in verse 7 through verse 10, "And you who are troubled," are you troubled? He's talking to you now. "And you who are troubled, rest with us," that is, settle down, release that tension, rest with us, "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven, with His mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. When He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe because our testimony among you was believed in that day".
Now, let's talk about a settled faith in a very shaky world. I want to lay three things upon your heart and I pray God the Holy Spirit will write them indelibly upon your heart and etch them today into your consciousness. Truth number one as we look at this Scripture, you need not be dismayed, you need not be dismayed. Look again, if you will, in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 7, "And you who are troubled, rest with us". You say, "But Pastor, these are dark days". Yes, they are, but they are gloriously dark, because the darkest hour of the night is just before the dawn. You see, our hope is not in politics. Everybody's talking politics these days. Our hope is not in sociology; our hope is not in science. Our hope is a sure hope, and that is the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now notice: the Who of His coming. It says here in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 7, look at it again, "The Lord Jesus". I love that, "The Lord Jesus". You know, today His lordship is veiled, ignored, and repudiated, but it's going to be revealed. This word revealed means it's going to be unveiled. People don't understand who He is. They talk about the peasant from Galilee; they talk about the lowly Nazarene. My friend, when He comes again, He is coming as the Lord Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He's coming to be glorified and He's coming to be admired. Notice again in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 10, "When He shall come to be glorified in all of His saints".
Now when He came the first time, He was spat upon. When He came the first time, He was lied on. When He came the first time, He was ignored. And then worse than being ignored, He was crucified. But when He comes again, and I can hardly wait, He's going to be crowned and He is going to be glorified. And at that moment there will be stark terror for those who do not know Him and who have not trusted Him. Notice in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 8, "He's coming in flaming fire, taking vengeance on those who know not God and obey not the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ". The Savior then becomes the judge and men have cursed Him behind His back; they won't curse Him to His face, I will promise you that.
Now God takes no delight in this, but God is a holy God and God will punish sin. So, who is coming? "The Lord Jesus". Think аbout: the when of His coming. The Bible says in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 7, look at it, "And you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus," do you see that word when? Just underscore it, it doesn't say: if; "when"! He is coming. Now we don't know that exact time because that day and that hour no one knows, but we do know there is a time that the Bible calls "when". Jesus came the first time on time. He was born on time, He died on time, He rose on time, and He is coming back the second time on time. Our Lord is never ahead of time, our Lord is never late.
As a matter of fact, the last book in the Bible speaks of the Second Coming of Jesus, the last book in the Old Testament, rather, speaks of the Second Coming of Jesus, it's the book of Malachi. And the book of Malachi tells us in chapter 4 and verse 2 that Jesus is coming as the Sun of Righteousness and it says this, "But unto you that fear My name, unto you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise". And the word for sun there is not S-O-N, but S-U-N, and it's an analogy. The writer of Malachi says that the Second Coming of Jesus is like the sunrise, it's like the sunrise.
Now let me tell you two things about the sunrise. Number one, you can't hurry it up, is that not true? Can you make the sun come up early in the morning? No. You can't hurry it up. Point number two, you can't stop it. His coming is like the sunrise. You can't hurry it and you cannot stop it, but it shall come and one of these days the Lord Jesus is going to pull back the shades of night and pin them with a star, open the door of the morning and flood this world with His glory. And I can hardly wait. When He's coming, we don't know, but we know exactly that He is coming. Now think not only of: the who of His coming and the when of His coming, but the wonder of His coming.
Look in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 10, "When He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired". Underscore that word admired. If you have a King James version of Scripture, actually another translation gives it, the word has the idea of wonder. Phillips translates it this way, "It will be a breathtaking wonder to all that believe". Can you imagine what it would be like if we heard the trumpets sound right now, and I mean we're swept up? Can you imagine? Just think of it. Can you imagine admiring Him, looking upon Him whose name is Wonderful, no wonder we'll wonder.
Do you know what we'll wonder at? Friend, we'll wonder first of all at His redeeming love. Think of His transforming and redeeming love. He has taken stubborn people like we were and sometimes are. God haters, transformed by His love. Those who were living in ignorance and blindness, we had our eyes open. Those who'd been demonized by the power of lust and drugs and immorality, have been made pure. What transforming love this is. And look at them; when we're caught up to meet the Lord, we're going to be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and we'll look around and we will see the saints in their glorified bodies.
Is He perfect? Then we'll be perfect because, "We'll be like Him," the Bible says. Is He exalted? We will be exalted. Is He Prophet, Priest and King? We will be prophets, priests, and king. Does He reign? We will reign with Him and every vestige of sin will be removed. No wonder we'll wonder, when we see the blood-washed saints, that throng, caught up to meet the Lord in the air and we look around and see what He has done. Not only will we wonder at his transforming power, but friend, we will wonder at His saving grace. Look at Second Thessalonians 1 verse 10, look at it, "When He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in," now watch this, "all them that believe".
He doesn't say, "All those who did wonderful works". It doesn't say, "All of those who gave a lot of money". It doesn't say, "All of those who are handsome or educated". No! "We will wonder that we have been saved by His grace". We just put our faith where God put our sins, upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, when we see that blood-washed throng and we say, "From whence have they come". And how did they get here? They believed in Jesus, they trusted Jesus. Does that seem too simple to you? Friend, it is gloriously simple and it is simply glorious. Acts 16 verse 31, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you'll be saved".
I'm so glad I've been able to preach that Gospel. I'm so glad that I can hold up this book and say to anybody, anyplace, anytime, "If you will believe in Jesus, I promise you on the authority of the Word of God, He will save you". And if anybody, anywhere, anytime, ever comes to Jesus in repentance of faith and He doesn't save them, I'll close my Bible and never preach again, I can promise you that He will save you. There will be the wonder of His transforming love. There will be the wonder of His saving grace in all them that believe. And there will be the wonder of His keeping power.
Look again in Second Thessalonians 1 verse 10, "He's coming to be glorified in all them that believe". Not a one of them will be lost. The same God that saves you is the God that will keep you. You see, this is going to be a homecoming. Can you imagine a family that gathers for a homecoming and they're all there and there's a sumptuous meal on the table and there's a lot of laughter and a lot of happiness and a lot of joy and then somebody says, "Well, where's Susan? Has anybody seen Susan"? "Who is Susan"? "Susan is a little child. Where is Susan"? "Susan is not here". Friend, if one little child were missing, wouldn't that spoil homecoming? I'm telling you friend, when we're caught up, "He's going to be admired in all them that believe". Not a one will be lost.
"That soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose, I will never, no never desert to its foes, that soul though all Hell should endeavor to shake, I'll never, no never, no never forsake". No wonder we're going to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. And not only do we see the Who of His coming and the when of His coming and the wonder of His coming, but notice we see the witness of His coming. Look again if you will in Second Thessalonians verse 10 of this same chapter, "When He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe," now watch this, "because our testimony in You was believed in that day".
When Paul came to Thessalonica, the people to whom he was writing, they were pagans, they were lost, without hope, on their way to Hell, and he came and testified what Jesus Christ had done for him. You know the proof that you believe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is not that you have notes in your Bible, but that you are trying to bring souls to Christ. I want to tell you something, come up close, I want to tell you something: I don't care how much money you give this church, I don't care how faithful you attend, I don't care how beautifully you sing, how eloquently you may teach; if you're not trying to bring souls to Christ, you're not right with God, you're not right with God. You're not a spirit-filled Christian.
Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto Me". A Christian who doesn't witness is a contradiction in terms. Paul spoke of the coming of Jesus and he said, "These folks are ready because of our witness, because of our testimony". I was cleaning my garage, I don't get to do that often. It's almost a privilege just to be able to have enough time to do something like that and I set aside this day and the garage needed cleaning and it was a nice day and I had the garage door open and an old man came by and he walked up to me and he said, "Mister, you need some help? I need a job. Can I work for you, would you pay me some"?
He was so old, he couldn't help me, I knew that, and very frankly I didn't want to be bothered with him. I said, "No, I don't need any help, thank you". He said, "Well I need some money". And I said, "Well, let me give you some money". I reached in my billfold and gave him some money and you know, to get rid of him, go on, there's some money, go. And I got back to my work. The Holy Spirit said, "You didn't tell him about Jesus, you're just trying to get rid of him". I said, "Well, I'm busy". "What's more important: that man or this garage? You didn't tell him about Jesus". I said, "Well, I'm sorry, Lord, I should have, but he's gone". The Lord said, "You could catch him, you could catch him". And I knew I had to and I left and went on down the street, said, "Pardon me just a moment, I want to ask you a question".
Talked to him about Jesus. To cut to the chase, he bowed his head with me and prayed and gave his heart to Christ and I hugged him. And you know, when I hugged that old man, I didn't see an old man there that was down on his luck, I saw a man, a jewel in the Savior's crown. I saw a man made like the Lord Jesus Christ. I saw a man that's going to be caught up in the Rapture and transformed to the likeness of the very Son of God. Do you know one of the greatest privileges we have is to preach the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And so what is Paul saying in this first section? He is saying, "You need not be dismayed, you who are troubled, rest with us". God has everything under control. As a matter of fact, I have a motto in my study that says, "Adrian, trust Me, I have everything under control".
Now, number two. Not only should you not be dismayed, number two, you need not be deceived, you should not be deceived. Look if you will in, now in the Second Thessalonians the second chapter and notice how it begins in verses 1 through 5, "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him," that is the Rapture, "that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled," that is, don't be dismayed, "neither by spirit nor by word nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand, let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not that when I was yet with you, I told you these things".
I'm going to stop reading there for a moment. But Paul is saying, not only don't be dismayed, but don't be deceived. Look again, Second Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 3, "Let no man deceive you". Now put it down big, plain, and straight, the devil is a deceiver. He is a liar, he is the father of all lies, and he had inspired a devilish deception. What had happened, a forged letter had gone out, somebody had signed Paul's name to it to deceive the church and they had said that they were teaching that the church was already in The Great Tribulation. That's called the Day of the Lord. I spoke to you about it last week. And they were saying that, "You Christians have missed the Rapture and you're in The Great Tribulation," and it was a lie, it was a devilish lie. Paul is talking about our being gathered together unto Him in verse 1. The Rapture's going to come first, but here was the lie; that the day of the Lord is at hand, you're in the Tribulation. And so Paul is straightening them out about this.
Now every lie is a lie about the truth, if it's not a lie about the truth it can't be a lie. And so Paul takes the truth that the lie was about and tells them now the truth. And he explains some things to them about the antichrist that is going to come. You see, there's coming an antichrist, the man of sin. He's going to fling one final insult into the face of Heaven's King. Now notice what he says in Second Thessalonians 2 verse 3, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition". That is, the day of the Lord is not going to come until the antichrist is here.
Now, he's called here the man of sin. He is going to be the epitome of evil. He is Satan's superman. He will counterfeit the work of God, and like any criminal, he has many aliases. I want to give you some names that he's called in the Bible. Two of them are found right here. First of all, he's called: the man of sin; the man of sin; that speaks of his character. He is going to be the epitome of evil. He's going to be the personification of sin. You see, history began with the sin of man; it will end with the man of sin. All of the evil of this world will be distilled into one man. He's called the man of sin. Another translation calls this: the incarnation of wickedness. Another translation: the champion of wickedness. Another translation: wickedness in human form. All of these are the same way of saying he's the man of sin. But also he's called in verse 3, "The son of perdition".
Now what does that mean? Well the word perdition means judgment, it speaks there of the judgment that surely awaits him. The only other person in the Bible that's called the son of perdition is Judas. And Williams translates this son of perdition, "the one who is doomed to destruction" and that's the reason why I say Satan sails a sinking ship. And then in Revelation chapter 13 and before we get finished with these series I hope we'll get to Revelation chapter 13, he's called there: the beast in verse 1. All of these are aliases. Why is he called the beast? Because that speaks of his ferocity, his cruel and fierce and ferocious nature. This man may have the face of an angel, but he has the heart of a beast. And then the apostle John calls him: the antichrist. You can read about that in First John chapter 2 verse 18, he's called the antichrist.
And the prefix A-N-T-I, anti, means instead of and against. He's against Christ but he comes as a substitute for Christ. He's one who opposes Christ; he's one who will be a substitute for Christ. That is, he is the counterfeit Christ. Now I want you to get something straight. Jesus could say in John 14 verse 9, "He that hath seen Me hath seen My Father". The antichrist can say the same thing. He is of his father, the devil. Just as Jesus Christ was God in human flesh, the antichrist will be the devil in human flesh and he can say, "He that hath seen me hath seen my father," but his father is the devil. Now, you have to understand this; that Satan desires worship and he's getting bolder and bolder in these days and more and more he is inculcating to himself demonic, devilish worship. He wants to receive worship and he will receive that worship through the antichrist.
Look if you will in Second Thessalonians the second chapter and verse 4. It speaks of this man of sin, "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God". Now that is the anti, he's against God, "or that is worshipped". But now here's the anti in place of God, "So that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God". The devil has always wanted to be worshipped. Now, the Bible says that this antichrist is going to come and sit in the temple of God. Well where is that? Well, the temple of God will be rebuilt in Jerusalem. You say, "Adrian, do you believe the temple will be rebuilt"? Yes, I do. And I believe it will be rebuilt with the help of the antichrist, in a period of about three and one-half years. And in rabbinical circles right now, the ultra-orthodox are already discussing and considering whether the time has come to rebuild and erect the temple in Jerusalem.
Now let me give you an Israeli press release. Quote, "In the Ministry of Religion, a document concerning this was put forward, in which proposals from all over the world were collected. Religious activists are for the erection of the temple as soon as possible. There is some opposition, but everything is urging toward the building of the temple". And then here's what Israel wire reported, and I quote, "Temple mount activists are stepping up efforts to regain control of the temple mount and begin efforts toward the construction of the third temple". And then this article goes on to point out that, "The money collected would be traded for gold which must be set aside for the time when the construction would get underway".
I have visited, in the old city of Jerusalem, the Temple Mount Institute and gone in there to the museum and seen the artifacts that these are already beginning to make. Silver trumpets for the worship, wash basins for the worship, robes for the priests to wear. They even have a box for the casting of lots for the scapegoat and all of this, getting ready to reinstitute temple worship. And this antichrist will make a covenant with Israel and help the temple to be rebuilt there. And then, when the temple is rebuilt, Second Thessalonians 2 verse 4, "He himself will enter into that temple and he will show himself that he is God". Of course he's not God, but Jesus said in Matthew 24 verse 15, "When you see the abomination of desolation, sit in the holy place, then you know that the greatest tribulation ever is about to begin".
Now, notice the antichrist is going to be revealed. Look if you will in Second Thessalonians 2 verse 3, "Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed". Now what does that tell us? It tells us that he can be alive and well but veiled and covered right now. He may be alive today on planet Earth. I personally believe he's going to come out of a reunified Europe, we'll talk about that later, but he's going to be revealed. But until he is revealed, there is a spirit working in this world that the Bible calls the, "Mystery of iniquity".
Notice if you will in Second Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 6 and 7, "And ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time," talking of the antichrist, "for the mystery of iniquity doth already work, only He who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way". Now look at this very carefully. Look in verse 6, "And ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time". That is, if the antichrist is alive and well today, there's something that is holding him back. There's something that is restraining him. It's as if the devil is on a leash, "You know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time". The antichrist cannot come on the stage until the time that is set. Now notice in verse 7, "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work".
Friend, if you cannot see the spirit of antichrist in the world today, you're blind. "The mystery of iniquity doth already work, only He who now letteth," and that's King James for He who now restrains, "will restrain until He will be taken out of the way". Now notice if you will in verse 6, there's a what, "And ye know what withholdeth". Now notice in verse 7, "Only He who now restrains". There's a what and there's a He. What is the what? The what is the church. When the church is taken out, the church is a restraint to antichrist, and the church is going to be taken out. Who is the He? The He is the Holy Spirit who inhabits the church.
Now, when is the church inhabited by the Holy Spirit going to be taken out? At the Rapture. When the church is taken out at the Rapture, when the trumpet sounds, First Thessalonians 1 verses 16 and 17, "The dead in Christ rise first and we which remain alive will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air," and to be, and to admire Him and to be changed and be like Him. Then we're taken out and the restraint is gone. Did you know that the church is a restraint to the power of evil? Did you know that the Holy Spirit inhabiting His people has Satan on a leash and there are certain things that he would like to do that he cannot do. Study the book of Job. Satan said, "There are things I want to do, but you won't let me do them," speaking to God.
One of these days Satan is going to be released. One of these days the restraint will be gone. When is that? When we're taken out. You know, they don't like us, they wish we were gone. We are a pain to them. But the Bible calls us, "Salt and light". What does salt do? Well, salt preserves. But what else does salt do? Salt stings, salt irritates. One of these days this preserving, stinging, irritating salt will be taken out. Light, what does light do? We're the light of the world. Light reveals, as well as produces. One of these days God's divine photosynthesis will be taken out, one of these days God's revealing light will be taken out. One of these days the preaching, like I'm doing today, will be taken out, and then antichrist will have his way, that man of sin will be revealed, the son of perdition. He's going to come, and when that happens, when the church is taken out, friend, there will be such a flood tide of lawlessness and wickedness and the world won't be able to stop it.
You might as well try to dam up Niagara Falls with toothpicks as to stop the flood tide of lawlessness that will come in that day when the church at the Rapture is taken out. And the Holy Spirit in the church, now it doesn't mean that the Holy Spirit is no longer on Earth. Listen, friend, the Holy Spirit is everywhere, there's no place that God is not. But what he's talking about is the restraining power of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will stand aside and then the antichrist, the man of sin, will come on the scene. He will be all of the Hitlers, the Khomenis, the Sadam Husseins and the Napoleons in one. He will be the composite of evil. His intellectual genius will be great, his authority will be overpowering, his hatreds will be extraordinary, his techniques will be superb, men will be willing to die for him, women will swoon at his feet, little children will speak his name with reverence and the whole world will wonder after the beast.
Satan's master plan is tied to Satan's superman. And we could talk, if we had more time, about how he's going to control the world with commerce and ungodly miracles. Now, look if you will in Second Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 10 to 12, let's begin in verse 9, "Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders," he'll make you believe that up is down, black is white, he'll make you believe that good is evil, "all power and signs and lying wonders," now watch this, "and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. Because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved, and for this cause, God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness".
Now listen to me. Don't you ever plan on getting saved after the Rapture! There will be some people saved after the Rapture, but not people like you. Not people who have sat in churches like this and heard the Gospel preached, heard the plan of salvation presented, and you said, "No, I don't want Him. I don't want Jesus. I have pleasure in unrighteousness". Second Thessalonians 2 verse 12, "That they all might be damned who believe not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness". And the opposite here of truth is not error but it is unrighteousness. A man is presented with the truth and then he thinks of his sin and he says, "Well I don't want the truth, I'm going to take my sin". And God says, "And with your sin will be the baggage of unbelief when the church is taken out". And the Bible says that, "You will believe the lies of the antichrist".
There are some people saying, "Well I'm just going to wait until the Rapture and if the Rapture happens and everybody else is gone, then I'll just turn and get saved". No you won't. You will believe the lies of the antichrist and you will go into The Great Tribulation and then ultimately you will die and go to Hell. Now, what have we said, and I must come to conclusion. Paul is saying to these folks: don't be dismayed. He's saying secondly to these people: don't be deceived. And he's saying thirdly and finally: you will not be disappointed. This verse, Second Thessalonians chapter 2 and verse 8, "Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth". This is talking about the battle of Armageddon, when the wicked one, antichrist comes, "The Lord will consume him with the spirit of His mouth".
What is that? The breath of His mouth, the same Jesus that spoke them into existence is going to speak them into oblivion. This speaks of the battle of Armageddon. Remember that The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is in two stages. First of all He comes secretly for His church, and then secondly He comes sovereignly with His church. There's a period of seven years in between the Great Tribulation and when our Lord comes, not only in the mystery of the Rapture, but the majesty of the revelation.
Its then that anti-Christ is going to be destroyed. It is then that 777 will take care of 666. It is then that the Lord Jesus, who suffered in shame, will come in glory. It is then that Jesus, who wore a crown of thorns, will wear a diadem. It is then that the one who died in the sinner's place will come to execute judgment upon those who refuse such love. He came the first time to seek and to save; He's coming the second time in judgment. He came the first time in mercy; He's coming the second time in flaming fire, to take vengeance. He came the first time in humility; He's coming the second time in incredible power.
Now my time has gone. What does this mean to you? I'm just going to give you five things it means to you in statements. Number one, there's the intercession factor. You'd better begin to pray. Number two, there's the soul-winning factor. If you have men, women, boys and girls, friends, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters without Jesus, share Jesus. Number three, there's the family preparation factor. You had better get your children and get them into the Word of God and get them to understand things that are happening today because the spirit of antichrist is in the world and, "The mystery of iniquity doth already work". Number four there is the comfort factor. Friend, don't be dismayed, don't go around with headline hysteria. And last of all, there is the hope factor. We have a hope that is steadfast and sure. We're the only ones who really understand what is happening in this day and in this age.
Some people visited a real old church. The church was beautiful, the building, I mean. They wanted to see it. There was a janitor there, they said, "Can we go inside and look at the building"? The janitor said, "Sure, you may go in the key is in the lock". And so the people went over there and they tried to turn the key, they tried to turn the key, they tried to unlock the door. They tried and tried and tried. They even took the key out of the lock, took a handkerchief, wiped it off, blew it off, put it back in, but they couldn't turn the key.
And after a while the old janitor came over and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry to tell you. The reason you couldn't turn the key is the door's already unlocked. Just lift the latch and go on in. I'm sorry I didn't tell you that". Well, friend, I want to tell you this; if you want to be saved, the door is already unlocked. Quit trying and start trusting. Just come as you are and say, "Oh, Lord Jesus, I need You, I'm a sinner, but You're a Savior. I cannot save myself, but I want to be saved, and right now with all of my heart, like a child, I trust You to save me". And friend, when He comes, He's coming to be admired in all of them that believe and you'll be one of those. It may be today.
Let's bow our heads in prayer. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. Begin to pray for those around you who may not know the Lord Jesus. And if you don't know Jesus, I want to lead you in a prayer. Would you pray this prayer out of your heart?
Dear God, I am a sinner, my sin deserves judgment, but I need and want mercy. Jesus, You died to save me and You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You, Jesus; I do, right now this moment with my heart. Come into my heart, forgive my sin. I'm sorry for my sin. I repent of my sin; I turn from it to You. Forgive me, cleanse me, save me, Lord Jesus.
Ask Him. Did you ask Him? Did you? Then by faith pray this way:
Thank You for saving me, Lord Jesus. I receive it right now as the gift of Your love. I trust You; You're now my Lord, my Savior, my God, and my Friend. Begin now to make me the person You want me to be. And Lord Jesus, I will live for You, not in order to be saved, that's a gift, but I will live for You because I am saved, and Lord Jesus, help me not to be ashamed of You. Give me the courage to make it public. In Your name I pray, Amen.