CAN GOD BE TRUSTED?
A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!
By Pastor Max Solbrekkken, D.D.
“Shall not the Judge of the whole earth do right?” (Gen. 18: 25). Can God be trusted? The answer is: ‘Yes, God can be trusted’!
You may ask: “What assurances do we have of His credibility, reliability and benevolence? Is there any possibility that He may waver in His commitment to the human family? Or renege on His promises to us? ”
The answer is a definite resounding, ‘No! He cannot ever waver or change. He said: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5); “...And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt.28:20)
What are His promises and commitments to His human creatures? Is He responsible to any or all of us? And does He have the wherewithal and resolve to carry through with His commitment?
The answer is, ‘Yes’! God stands behind His Word and is duty bound to keep His plan and purpose for us. And He has the resources and the resolve to keep His Word to us!
Are we asked to trust Him on a ‘leap in the dark’ basis? Is faith only ‘blind chance’ or do we have something substantial to stand on? Is He consistent or does He change with the ever changing times?
It is impossible for Him to lie, change or fail, because He is the altogether pure, holy, loving and eternal God! He declared: “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (change): hath He said, and shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”
“I am the Lord, and there I none else. There is No God beside Me. I girded thee, though thou hast known Me. That they may know from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord and there is none else.” (Is. 45: 5,6). “For I am the Lord, I change Not...” (Mal. 3: 6)
WHAT IS HIS PLAN FOR US?
What is His attitude toward the human race, and believers in Christ in particular? Is His love and mercy a tangible reality or only the sanctimonious platitudes of men? Does He really involve Himself in the day to day lives of His people?
Are His claims true? Can we receive His blessings today? Does the Gospel really work? Or is it all so much window dressing and rhetoric? Does He answer prayer and is He really there when we need Him?
Can we trust Him fully to keep His Word? Does He really care for us, sinful as we all are? And Why should He be interested in a lost, sinful, evil world? And how can we fit into His agenda?
1. GOD LOVES US ALL!
After more than 50 years of declaring the Gospel across the world, reading reams of materials on theology, philosophy, history and sociology, and praying for tens of thousands of people, I have come to the following conclusion.
Without doubt, God can be trusted to keep His Word. He can be trusted to do that which is right, in all instances! He can be trusted to hear our prayers and answer according to His own will and in His own way.
He will not nor can He ever fail us, because He is infallible, invincible, immutable, all-wise, all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present and eternal! PERIOD!
H His great compassionate heart embraces all who call upon His name. His mercy is available to all sinners, including His enemies! Jesus Christ prayed for those who ridiculed and blasphemed Him and nailed Him to a rugged cross! In His great suffering, He prayed “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23: 34)
Right up to the very last, our loving Saviour never missed an opportunity to minister to people’s needs – For example, healing the severed ear of the High Priest’s servant in Gethsemane (Luke 22: 50) and forgiving the repentant thief hanging beside Him on Golgotha’s Hill! (Luke 23: 34)
The BIBLE very implicitly points out that Almighty God is a benevolent Heavenly Father, Who allows the sun which He created to shine on the “just and the unjust” and that He is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10: 34-35; Rom.2: 11), and with Him is “no variableness or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
The Bible says: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved Him but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (expiation, mercy seat) for our sins.” (1 John 4: 7-10)
The word propitiation means that Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for us satisfied God’s demands of Divine Justice for the sins of the world!
The Bible’s Golden Text tells the story better than anyone can: “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. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
“He that hath received His testimony hath set to his SEAL that God is TRUE, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” ( John 3: 16, 17, 33,36)
2. THE WORLD STANDS GUILTY BEFORE GOD!
The Bible says: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3: 23); “As it is written, There is none that is righteous, no, not one.” (Rom.3: 10); “The Scripture hath concluded all under sin.” (Gal.3: 22).
“All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to His own way and the Lord hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all.” (Is.53: 6)
The very fact that God sent His Son - Jesus the Christ- into this wicked world in search of rebellious sinners, to suffer humiliation and death on a cruel cross proves the MIND-SET of our loving Heavenly Father, Who was intent upon reconciling lost humanity with Himself.
His desire to improve the lot of fallen mankind was so great that He gave His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for our redemption, which provides hope, peace, joy, harmony, health and eternal life, to all who call upon His name in sincerity and truth!
These Bible passages tell us the truth about Almighty God, Who is compassionate, merciful, gracious, kind and totally benevolent. St. John stated unequivocally: “God is love.” (1 John 4: 8).
How wonderful to know that our lives are in the hands of the ONE who made us, loves us, sustains us, heals us and watches over us!
SIN IS AN OBSTACLE TO FELLOWSHIP!
The main obstacle to fellowship with our Heavenly Father, is a disease called SIN, which is transgression, disobedience, rebellion and unbelief.
After our first parent’s disastrous fall from grace, God put into place an elaborate sacrificial system, with innocent animals substituting for sinful mankind.
The penalty for sinning and the price of reconciliation was the shedding of blood, because “the wages of sin is death.” (Rom.3: 23). Every sacrifice pointed to God’s own Son Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross for the sins of the world as “the Lamb of God”. (John 1: 29).
The Bible states: “He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.” (Prov. 28: 13)
“Surely, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53: 4-5)
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases;
“Who redeemeth thy life from destructiom; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.” (Psalms 103: 1–4)
3. JESUS’ BLOOD ATONED FOR OUR SINS AND SICKNESSES!
“When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils; and He cast out the spirits with His Word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses.” (Matt.8: 16, 17).
“Who His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: By Whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2: 24); “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: For this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:
“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.” (1 John 5:9-12)
“He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also FREELY give us all things?” (Rom.8: 32): “Is any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church. And let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven them.” (James 5: 14, 15)
“God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come unto repentance.” (1 Tim.2: 3-6); “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, saith the Lord.” (Ezek.33: 11)
“If we deny Him, He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim.2: 12): “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” (1 John 1: 9)
When Jesus died upon Golgotha’s Hill, He suffered the most inhumane humiliation, suffering, torment and death that was possible to be exacted on a human being!
A crown of Jerusalem thorns - the Arabian Nebulae - was placed upon His head and beaten down with a rod until the more than 100 speculates dug into His scalp. Instead of losing His mind as often happened during such a cruel ordeal, He purchased our peace of mind!
4. HE REMOVED OUR FEAR, SHAME & DISGRACE!
The Romans always crucified murderers, thieves, slaves and traitors NAKED. It is assumed that a man condemned to be crucified was further humiliated by being hung on the cross totally naked. It is evidenced that our Saviour died in the greatest of physical degradation and humiliation in this manner also.
All of us have said or done things that we are ashamed of. I believe the reason Jesus died naked on the cross was to bear our shame so need not to be ashamed. He bore our SHAME on that tree!
The Bible says: “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the mother of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He sayeth unto His mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then sayeth He to His disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto His own home.” (John 19: 25-27).
The other Gospel writers specifically state that with the exception of Mary, Jesus’ mother and possibly His aunt Mary, the mother Cleopas, the other women, “were there beholding a far off.” (Matt.27: 55, 56); “were looking on a far off” (Mark 15: 40); “stood a far off, beholding these things.” (Luke 23: 49)
When Jesus saw His mother, He beckoned her to come near with John so that He as the eldest son could make arrangement for her welfare!
He bore our shame so that we do not need to bear it! He does not make a habit of humiliating anyone or making sport of anyone! God is gentle and kind, long suffering and full of compassion!
David assumed that same posture when he heard about the tragic death of King Saul and Jonathon. He said: “Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumsized triumph…” (2 Samuel 1: 20)
The Bible says: “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4: 18)
5. CHRIST HAS CONQUORED DEATH!
'Down in the grave He lay, Jesus my Saviour; Waiting for the Coming Day, Jesus my Lord; Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph oer His foes. He arose the victor of that dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose. He arose. Hallelujah, Christ arose!
The HOLY BIBLE says: “And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and His raiment white as snow: And for fear of them the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see Him: l, will have told you.
“And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him.” (Matt. 28: 2-9)
St. Paul wrote: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
“After that He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as one born out of due time.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-8)
G. B. Hardy said: "When I looked at religion I said, I have two questions. One, has anybody ever conquered death, and two, if they have, did they make a way for me to conquer death? I checked the tomb of Buddha, and it was occupied, and I checked the tomb of Confucius and it was occupied, and I checked the tomb of Mohammed and it was occupied, and I came to the tomb of Jesus and it was empty. And I said, There is one who conquered death. And I asked the second question. Did He make a way for me to do it? And I opened the Bible and discovered that He said, 'Because I live ye shall live also." (John 14:19) – Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877-1947) was an English mathematician.
"All the power of Rome and of the religious establishment in Jerusalem was geared to stop the Christian faith. All they had to do was to dig up the grave and to present the corpse. They didn't." - Henry Schaefer III
6. HE SENT THE HOLY SPIRIT!
Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. And that REPENTANCE and REMISSION of sins should be preached in His Name, among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things and behold I send the PROMISE of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on High.” (Luke 24: 45-49)
“And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel... And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophecy.” (Acts 2: 1-4, 16-18)
7. THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW!
“And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay their hands on the sick and they shall recover.
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.” (Mark 16: 15-18).
Jesus said: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost shall come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
“Ask, it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth: and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him.” (Matt.7: 7.8,11)
“Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that ye shall ask, it shall be done for thm of My Father which is in Heaven.
“For where two or three are gathered togther in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. 18: 18-20); “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23); “And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10: 27)
THE WORKS THAT I DO!
Jesus said: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.
“If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:11-18)
Why do we have such confidence in God and His Word and in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour? I have given you many definite proofs from the Holy Scriptures that prove His Diety, all knowledge, power and truthfulness?
Jesus Christ met Saul of Tarsus in a blinding light on the Damascus Road and he was changed forever. He declared: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8). St. Paul believed on Him, so gladly do I. Amen.
God is duty bound to keep His Word (promises to us). Satan is duty bound to obey God's servants (us) when we command him to leave in Jesus' name! And we are duty bound to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind and serve Him faithfully until He comes or the hour of our death! Amen.
JESUS promised: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15: 7). Amen.