NEVER GIVE UP
by Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“…Testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, Repentance toward God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. But None of these things Move me, neither count of I my life dear unto myself, so that I finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:20-27)
If any man was sorely tested, it was St. Paul. And if any person came through with flying colors, it was the ‘old warrior of the cross’. To the elders at Ephesus, Paul testified of serving God “with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews”. (Acts 20:19)
He said, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, for your spiritual growth – publicly and from house to house.” In other words, Paul didn’t pull any punches. He laid “the axe to the wood”! His message was distinct; with no uncertain sound and leaving no stone unturned, in his proclamation of the Gospel!
These are the two pillars of Christianity! Repentance means to forsake, turn away and change directions; and to have faith is to believe all that God has said, and act upon it! Repentance demands corresponding action, and so does faith!
Almighty God the Creator of the world and the Giver of life has been offended. Forsaking His laws is sinning against truth and righteousness! Disobedience places sinners in the ‘Enemy Camp’ of the wicked, evil Satan who is the author of sin, sickness, disease, and death!
REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD
God’s mercy reaches out to us all. His love is greater than all our sin. His compassion is beyond our comprehension. He wants us and is willing to freely forgive all our sins and take us back as His own children! His great love sent His only begotten Son to the Cross to purchase our salvation, by shedding His precious blood to pay for our eternal salvation!
“Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon,” (Is. 55: 6,7)
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be ass wool.” (Is, 1:18)
READY TO DIE FOR JESUS
While on his journey, several believers tried to stop St. Paul from going to Jerusalem. But he answered, “What mean ye to weep and break mine heart? For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus”. (Acts 21:13)
He knew that afflictions awaited him, yet he decided to obey the Holy Spirit and was determined to finish the course with joy! He stated, “But none of these things Move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself”. (v. 34)
NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME! Persecutions, threatening, prisons, and even death! St. Paul was no quitter. He hung in there right to the last and is credited today with the distinction of writing over one half of the New Testament and bringing the Good News of Christ and His salvation to the pagan Gentile world!
He could truthfully say, “...I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God”. (v. 26, 27). He also warns of grievous wolves coming in after his death not sparing the flock. To be forewarned is to be forearmed!
IF ANY MAN BE IN CHRIST JESUS
All the evil that Saul of Tarsus had done before his conversion to Christ was all washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. When he was overpowered by Jesus on the Damascus Road and born again by the blood of our Saviour and filled with the Holy Spirit, his past was cleansed. He became a new creature in Christ.
He wrote, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE, old things are passed away; behold all thing are become NEW. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
“That is that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. For He hath made Him to be SIN (sin offering) for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the Righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor.5:17-21)
THE HOLY SPIRIT NEVER LEFT JESUS
While hanging on the cross, being judged by God the Father for our sins, God the Holy Spirit was in Jesus, “reconciling the world to Himself”. When He had cried, ‘It is finished’, the Holy Spirit carried Jesus to ‘Abraham’s Bosom in Hades. The Holy Spirit protected Jesus’ body and His holy Blood. After three days, Jesus arose triumphant and carried His own BLOOD into the Holy of Holies in Heaven where it now resides!
MARTIN LUTHER wrote: “First, the Blood of Jesus Christ remains the Blood of the same Christ. For we believe and hold that the Blood of Christ is NOW at the right hand of God was shed for us once only.” - Church of Ministry Luther’s Works, Volume 40, page 215.
FAITH TOWARDS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
“Jesus said. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me. 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 than these 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.” (John 14: 11-15)
Let us press on with the work of the kingdom as St. Paul did, following in his footsteps. “I have showed you all things, how that go labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus... It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
What a great and wonderful God we serve! It is a privilege to serve Jesus Christ and to preach His Word and see His marvelous power to save, heal, and liberate people from the bondage of Satan’s evil kingdom!
WINSTON CHURCHILL’S SPEECH!
During World War 11, Prime Minister Sir Winston Church gave an historic speech that showed the strength and determination of Great Britain in the time of extreme danger and encouraged the Allies to keep on fighting to save us all from Adolf Hitler’s menacing War machine! He said in 1940.
WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER!
We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God's good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.
NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME
“Fear thou not; For I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” (Is. 41:10). “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord.” (Is. 54:17)
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will Deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.” (Ps. 91:1,2, 10)
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath DELIVERED us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: In whom we have Redemption through His BLOOD, even the forgiveness of sins.
“And having made PEACE through the Blood of His Cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Col. 1:13-20): “And you, being dead in sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you ALL trespasses;
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, Nailing it to His CROSS, And having SPOILED principalities and powers, HE made a show of them OPENLY Triumphing over them in it.” (Col.2: 13-15)
To God be the Glory, great things He hath done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son. To die on the Cross, A Ransom for Sin. And He opened the life gates that all may come in. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Let the earth hear His Voice. Praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice. To God be the Glory. Great Things He hath done. Amen.
Max Solbrekken World Mission Box 44220 Garside, Edmonton, AB T5V 1N6 Email: [email protected]; comehometojesus.ca; Donations can be made by e-Transfer. Make donations to [email protected]. YouTube, Facebook, blog MSWM. God bless you.