JESUS SAID, "VERILY, VERILY,"
Scripture Texts: John 3:3; John 5:24,25; John 6:47; John 12:24
I believe that the Gospel of John is the most unique of the four Gospels because it brings before us, quite vividly and repeatedly, the divine relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and His Father, God. Yes, in every chapter of this Gospel of John, the evangelist expresses the many divine attributes and virtues of the Lord Jesus Christ. And one of the most unique characteristics of the Lord Jesus Christ is adequately expressed in John 7:46, where we read these words, "Never man spake like this Man." And how true that is!
Today, with the imperative help of the Holy Spirit of God, I want to direct your attention to several statements made by the Son of God, in this Gospel by John. Each of these statements is preceded by the words, "Verily, verily," which simply means "Truly, truly,"; and their use would seem to indicate the obviously great importance of that which follows. Having said that, I must further emphasize the fact that EVERYTHING the Lord Jesus Christ said, or did, was important, or it would never have been said, or done. So please, my friend, give heed to what He said in our "Scripture Readings" shown above.
In our first text, John 3:3, the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to the religious ruler of the Jews, the Pharisee named Nicodemus, and He says, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." Friend, this statement by the Lord Jesus Christ has proven to be confusing to many, many people, and the Devil has rejoiced to see fallen mankind stumble over the simplicity of this utterance by God's Son. Let me tell you as simply, scripturally, and as briefly as I know how, what it means to be "born again". Why and how does a person become "born again"?
Well friend, away back in the Garden of Eden, where our first parents sinned against God, something happened which was to be felt by all of their offspring on down to the present time. Yes, because of their rebellion to the word and will of God, by partaking of the forbidden fruit, all mankind has inherited their sinful nature, which is contrary to God, their Creator. In Romans 5:12 we read, "Wherefore, as by one man (meaning Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." In verse 19 of that same chapter we read, "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners." Friend, we are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners. And it is just as natural for us to sin as it is for a fish to swim, or a dog to bark. Yes, and there is not a conscious human being on the face of the earth who does not sin everyday in word, thought and/or deed.
Even David the Psalmist, the "man after God's own heart", says in Psalms 51:5, "I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." In Job 15:14-16 we read these solemn questions, "What is man, that he should be clean? And he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? ... yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?"
Friend, we were all born physically into our parent's family as sinners in God's sight. And in order for us to become children of God, we must be "born again" from above, this time, spiritually, by the Holy Spirit and word of God. A person is "born again" into God's family the moment that person believes what the word of God says about them being a sinner, and then what that same word of God says about the Lord Jesus Christ being their Saviour, or Sin-bearer. In other words, it is simply a matter of believing what God says. In I Peter 1:23, we read that a person is "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth forever." Again in James 1:18 we're told that we are born into God's family "with the word of truth."
Unfortunately, many people today believe that they can be "born again" by reformation, or by being baptized, confirmed, dedicated, joining a church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School, by trying to keep the "golden rule" or "10 Commandments", or even by preaching the Gospel. Listen my friend, there is not even one verse in the entire Bible which says that a person can reach Heaven by so-called "good works", or religious activities. No! Salvation is a gift from God, and is completely apart from the efforts of mankind, regardless of how sincere those efforts may be. In Ephesians 2:8,9 we read, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST." Friend, we cannot do anything to either merit or inherit the salvation which God is offering us today. IF WE COULD, THEN WHY DID JESUS CHRIST SUFFER, BLEED AND DIE ON CALVARY'S CROSS?
That leads us to the second and third texts for today, John 5:24 and 25. There the Lord Jesus Christ says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
Here we have two successive verses wherein the Lord Jesus Christ used these words, "Verily, verily," or "Truly, truly,". Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ promises everlasting life to all those who listen, receive, believe and obey what He has to say. Many people may hear the Gospel preached, but they do not always respond to the message of love and grace. And this fact further substantiates what we have already mentioned, about a person being "born again", or becoming a child of God, by giving heed to the word of God. In Hebrews 11:6 we're told that "without FAITH it is impossible to please Him." The Apostle Paul reiterates the importance of faith when he declares in Galatians 3:26, "For ye are all the children of God by FAITH in Christ Jesus." So where do we get the faith so that we can please God, and be His child? Well, in Romans 10:17 we read that "FAITH cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." And friend, that is the reason I continually bring before the readers of this web site, or listeners to my oral preaching and radio broadcasts, the word of God, giving "chapter and verse."
Yes, God may bless my word, but He must bless His word, because He promises in Isaiah 55:11 that if His word goes forth, it shall not return unto Him void. So friend, please give heed to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ today, because if you don't, you will hear those same words again, and they shall haunt you throughout the endless ages of all eternity. Listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ promises in John 12:48, "He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." Solemn thought, is it not?
Again we're reminded in Revelation chapter 20, that at the Great White Throne of Judgment, where every Christ-rejecter must stand before God and His Son, the "books" are going to be opened as viable evidence against the unsaved. Friend, I believe that one of the "books" will be the Bible, the word of God. So Friend, it is very important that you not only hear the word of God, but also believe it, because it is impossible to reach Heaven, apart from the Holy Spirit using the word of God to bring both conviction and conversion to your heart and soul.
In John 5:25, some think that the Lord Jesus Christ is referring to His coming again, but the context is rather in reference to those who are living in the day of grace, and who are spiritually dead in trespasses and in sin. And when a spiritually dead sinner, hears the voice of the Son of God, and gives heed to His words, then that sinner is the recipient of everlasting life. Yes, John 5:25 is in complete harmony and accord with John 5:24. Friend, we should be so thankful that this is still the day of God's grace, when poor, lost, spiritually dead sinners, who hear and believe the word of divine truth, can pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, alone.
Now in our fourth text, John 6:47, we have further confirmation of divine love, and the subsequent divine promise to those who trust in Him. Here we're told again, by the Lord Jesus Christ, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." Well friend, if you're honest, you'll have to admit that the Lord Jesus Christ has made salvation as plain and simple as possible. He tells the lost and rebel sinner that if they will only believe on Him as their personal Saviour and Lord, then that sinner will have everlasting life. Oh, how I hope and pray that if there is a lost sinner reading this message today, and if you are so burdened by your sins, that you are thirsting for the salvation which only the Lord Jesus Christ can provide, you will give heed to what He said in John 7:37, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." He promises again in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst." Friend, how thirsty are you?
If there is an unsaved man, woman, boy, or girl reading this message today, who would like to be "saved" or "born again", and thus be assured of everlasting life, I want you to know that the Lord Jesus Christ is more willing to save your soul, than you are to have your soul saved. Yes, He has satisfied the claims of God against your sins, by dying for those sins at Calvary's cross. Friend, do you appreciate what He has done for you?
You will notice that in this fourth text, John 6:47, only those who believe on Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, have the present promise of everlasting life. The Lord said "HATH", which is present tense. So many people think that you have to die before you receive eternal, or everlasting life. Friend, such a belief is completely foreign to the word of God. I received everlasting life back on June 2, 1952, when I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my own and personal Saviour. And I can not get any more assurance of eternal life than that which I already have. Yes, and I'm as sure of being in Heaven when I die, or following the Lord's return, as though I was already walking the street of gold. My friend, how about you, do you have such assurance? If not, why not?
I love the words of the Apostle John, as we find them in I John 2:25, "And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life." In I John 5:10-13, we also read these solemn, yet wonderful words of truth and promise, "he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you who believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." Friend, if you don't believe God, He says that you are calling Him a liar. Would you dare call the One Who holds your every breath in His hands ... a liar? Oh, I hope not! No, please don't be that foolish!
In our fifth text, John 12:24, we read of still another "Verily, verily," used by the Lord Jesus Christ. He declares, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Here, of course, He is referring to the fact, that just as a seed must die in order to bring forth fruit, so likewise must He die in order to bring forth the fruit of salvation to all those who trust in Him. Yes, He must suffer, bleed and die if sinners are to be saved and have everlasting life.
In John 12:32, Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." Friend, if you're not a "born again" Christian, or a child of God today, I want you to know that the Lord Jesus Christ loved you so much that He was ready, willing, and able to go all the way to Calvary's cross, and there He shed His precious blood so that you might never know the torments of Hell. Yes, He was completely without sin, yet He became sin for you and I, so that we, through faith alone, might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In I Peter 2:24 we read that He "bare our sins in His own body on the tree." Again in I Peter 3:18 we read, "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."
Friend, in this Gospel message, I present to you, on the authority of God's word, the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the ONLY Saviour for your soul. Yes, He was the One Who was co-equal with God, yet He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of Calvary's cross. Furthermore, if you receive Him, by faith today, as your own and personal Saviour, you'll be able to rejoice in the knowledge of sins forgiven and life eternal. But please don't be complacent about this matter, my friend, but rather, place your trust in the finished work of God's Son at Calvary's cross, before it is eternally too late. Yes, time is running out!
As I seek to present the Gospel by means of this web site, I often wonder about the people whom the Holy Spirit of God has caused to log-on to read the messages. I wonder if you're an elderly person who is deeply religious, yet, as you face the fast-approaching eternity, you realize that something is lacking. You just don't have the assurance that when you die, you'll be in Heaven. Perhaps, someone reading this message today has heard the Gospel years ago when you were a youngster in Sunday School. You rejected God's salvation then, and you're still unsaved. Yes, and sad to say, you're still under the condemnational wrath of a sin-hating God.
I believe that it is also quite likely that someone reading this message has lived a life of gross sin, and in complete rebellion towards the word and will of God. You've been angry with the world all your life, and now, after a life of debauchery and dissipation, you are facing the future with discouragement and despair. Maybe you realize now that you're not prepared to meet God, but you think that you are too terrible a sinner to get saved. Listen my friend, the Lord said in Luke 5:32, "I came not to call the righteous, but SINNERS to repentance." And the Apostle Paul reminds us in I Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of ALL acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS; OF WHOM I AM CHIEF."
Perchance, there is a young man or young woman reading this message, and God is speaking to your heart and soul. He wants you to live a life which would bring glory and honor to Him, and His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God wants you, during this day of His grace, love, and mercy, to be "saved" or "born again" through faith in His Son. Yes, God wants you to LIVE for the One Who DIED for you, and your sins, at the place called Calvary.
Well friend, regardless of who you are, or where you are, God has caused you to read this Gospel message today. And the reason is simply because He loves you, and He wants you to become a child of His through faith in His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:8,9 we read that "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Furthermore, we also have the best known verse in the Bible, John 3:16, where the Lord Jesus Christ declares, "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."
Friend, there is absolutely no salvation for your soul, apart from faith in the sacrificial and substitutionary death of God's Son at Calvary. The Lord Jesus Christ tells us in John 10:9, "I am THE door: by ME if any man enter in, HE SHALL BE SAVED." Again in John 14:6, He asserts, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME." The Apostle Peter tells us concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, in 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." Yes, and by that statement alone, insofar as salvation is concerned, we can eliminate every other so-called "religion", or "religion founder", regardless of the many billions of fanatical and faithful followers they may have had for thousands of years.
Well friend, there's not much more I can possibly say. You've read what the Lord Jesus Christ said in our scripture texts prefaced by the words, "Verily, verily", or "Truly, truly,". Now, are you going to believe what God's Son says, or are you going to let the Devil, the enemy of your soul, and called the "father of lies", continue his control over you, and eventually you'll end up in the place that the Lord Jesus Christ called "HELL"? Don't listen to the Devil, my friend; but listen to God, because God wants you to acknowledge your sinful condition in His sight, then repent of your sins, and trust His Son as your own and personal Saviour.
My friend, the decision is now entirely up to you. No one else can make it for you. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God says, "I call Heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live." Furthermore, please don't postpone making the right decision. No, don't procrastinate! If the Holy Spirit of God is speaking to you today, He may never strive for your soul again. In Genesis 6:3 God says, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." Again God warns in Proverbs 29:1, "He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
So friend, right now, while you still have a chance, close in with God's offer of mercy, love, and grace which were expressed in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, just take God at His word, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your own and personal Saviour. And if you do, according to God, Who cannot lie, you'll be saved for time, and thank God, you'll be saved for all eternity. And remember, my friend, this is for eternity! YES, THIS IS FOR ETERNITY!
Evangelist: Minor C. Hawk