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"Getting Past The Crowd To Christ"

by David Legge | Copyright © 2006 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com

'Preach The Word'I want us to turn in the Scriptures for our reading just now to Mark's gospel chapter 2. As I have been announcing, I'm going to speak tonight on the subject of 'Getting Past the Crowd to Christ'. This is a very well-known story, certainly to Christians, but I'm not sure that Christians really understand the full import to them of this story. We'll not just be touching unbelievers, but we will all be getting a touch, hopefully, from the Spirit of God from this account.

You may have been hindered by the crowd in coming to Jesus...so-called 'Christians' that hang around Jesus, hang around the place where Jesus is preached and His word is spoken, but they have a bad reputation

Mark chapter 2 and beginning at verse 1: "And again he", that is the Lord Jesus Christ, "entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne", or carried, "of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion" - and we end our reading at verse 12.

So let's look at how this man got past the crowd to Christ. Let's just bow in a word of prayer: Father, we thank Thee that the Lord Jesus Christ has come near to men. He could not have come nearer, for He came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He gave up the riches and splendour of glory, and came as a servant. Lord, we thank Thee that He went all the way to Calvary and died in our place that He might bring us to Himself. Lord, we ask tonight that by the Holy Spirit He may draw another soul, and other person paralysed by the disease of sin, may they be liberated tonight through the Gospel - the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the same yesterday, today and forever - glory to His name. Amen.

It's commonly held that Mark's Gospel is the gospel of the Servant of the Lord - that is the theme: the servanthood in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. In chapters 1 through to 3, you get another sub-theme: the Servant of the Lord and His power, as He served the Lord in His service, the power of God that He displayed in His ministry. In verses 21 to 28 of chapter 1, if you look down at it, you will see the power that the Servant of the Lord, Jesus Christ, had over a demon. Then in verses 40 through to 45, you see the power that He had over disease in general. Then in chapter 2 verses 1 to 12, our reading this evening, you see how He had power over a specific disease, one of the scourges of the present-day, leprosy. Then in chapter 3 verses 7 through to 12, you see that He also had power over demons - plural - principalities and powers, rulers of this wicked darkness that we cannot see.

I imagine the conversation of the day, particularly in Capernaum, was: 'Where can we see Him? Where can we go to witness one of these great supernatural works? Where can this Man be found?'

I'm sure that you can imagine that word spread rather quickly of this miracle Man, the self-proclaimed Servant of God, who seemed to prove His God-given choosing and ministry by the power that He demonstrated in these great miraculous works. I imagine the conversation of the day, particularly in Capernaum, was: 'Where can we see Him? Where can we go to witness one of these great supernatural works? Where can this Man be found?'. Eventually, as we find in chapter 2, the Capernaum communication network had located His whereabouts. They found the exact home where He was; where He was about, they thought, to perform another great miracle. So the word went around: 'He's in so-and-so's house!'. As we read in verse 1, it was noised abroad that the Lord was in this specific house. Before long we read in the chapter that immediately a great crowd gathered, and they were packed out to the door, coming to see the Lord Jesus, to hear His mighty words.

The house now is bursting at the seams with people who have a sense of expectation that something unusual, something supernatural is going to happen. I want you to try and feel what it was like in that room: the atmosphere is charged, it's electric, everybody is just waiting for what Jesus is going to do. On another occasion, in Luke's Gospel chapter 5, it says that the power of the Lord was present to heal those who were diseased in the place where Jesus was. That's exactly what it was like here! The atmosphere in this little room of this house, jam-packed with people in need, was charged!

I want to say to you all tonight that that is the same today. What I mean is: what was true in that house is true today, in the sense that wherever God moves, even in the 21st-century, people are attracted to that place. If they think the power of God is being displayed, they will come to that place, because people are intrigued with what they don't understand. They say to themselves: 'What kind of power is this?'. In verse 12 of our reading we found that this is exactly what they said: 'We never saw anything like this before!'.

Now maybe you're intrigued by the power of God in some shape or form. Maybe you're here tonight and you're intrigued by the power of God in another person's life. What I'm talking about is, perhaps, what we call 'a conversion experience' - and you have witnessed a friend or a relative, or a loved one or work colleague, and they had been bound by many habits and iniquitous practices, and all of a sudden one day they came into work or rang you on the phone, or wrote a letter to tell you that they had met Jesus Christ, they had been saved, born-again - and you have witnessed, you don't understand what's going on, but you can see that they're changed! There's something different about them. You've never experienced it yourself, but you're curious about these things. Maybe that's even why you're here tonight, you've come with a friend who this has happened to, and you maybe don't want to swallow it all at once - but you're intrigued, you're curious.

What I want you to notice tonight is that Jesus didn't immediately give these people what their curiosity demanded. Everybody wants to see a miracle, don't they?

Now that's very good, but what I want you to notice tonight is that Jesus didn't immediately give these people what their curiosity demanded. Everybody wants to see a miracle, don't they? We all would love to see something supernatural happening before our eyes - it would help our faith to have a bit of sight. But the fact of the matter is: the Lord Jesus didn't give them what their intrigue and curiosity demanded, He gave them what their humanity needed. Now please see that distinction, because we read right away that once those people were gathered into the door, in verse 2 at the very end, 'He preached the word unto them'. The people that were in that house had many diseases, maybe some were demon-possessed, they had many perplexities, troubles, needs that they needed to be met by Jesus in their life - but here's a lesson for us all tonight, whether saint or sinner alike: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave them the word of God.

Now here's a lesson for the church today, may I say in passing, for the Lord Jesus Christ was the greatest miracle worker of all, that has ever lived - yet He felt that the primary responsibility, where He was in that house with a crowd of sinners around Him, was to preach God's word! That's why we preach the word tonight, and we don't make apology for it. But you might say: 'What words of God did He preach?'. Well, if you turn to chapter 1 and verse 14, you see that Mark tells us that the Servant of the Lord began His ministry, 'John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel'. Now, in its essential elements, that's no different than the message that you'll hear tonight: that you need to repent of your sins, and the Gospel tonight is the good news that Jesus died for your sins, paid the debt to wash your sins away, and all that is required of you because of the grace of God is that you put your faith and trust in that salvation that God has provided for you.

Now, that must be what we preach. I'm talking to Christians now, I'm talking to the Iron Hall: take the lesson from the Lord. There's a whole lot of things we can be doing, but if the time comes, as it has come in many churches and denominations, where we are not primarily preaching the word to reach the lost - we're in trouble! Sinner and saint, whoever you are tonight, do you know your greatest need is the word of God? You see, a miracle may heal your body, maybe you need a miracle tonight, but Hebrews tells us in chapter 4 that the word of God is quick, powerful, it is like a two-edged sword that can divide the very soul and the spirit, the bone and marrow, and it is God's word that will heal us spiritually - and that is what we need most of all! You see, God's word will spiritually diagnose your greatest illness, that is your sin-sickness. It is God's word, as a two-edged scalpel, that will surgically remove the cancer of sin from your soul. It is only God's word that will apply the Gospel medicine of the good news, the sacrifice that Jesus paid for you on Calvary in order to take your sins away. You'll only find that in God's word!

God's word will spiritually diagnose your greatest illness, that is your sin-sickness. It is God's word, as a two-edged scalpel, that will surgically remove the cancer of sin from your soul

I don't know who you are tonight, but it could be that you're running to meetings like this to be healed, physically healed. People do that, they run to crusades, charismatic leaders that claim all sorts of things - and they want to have a supernatural experience, where God touches their body and they're healed - and God can heal, we believe that tonight. Maybe you're running around listening to health and wealth preachers, who tell you that God wants you to be rich; and if you give tenfold, God will give you back a hundredfold - and that makes you and energises you to go to meetings like this. Maybe you're just tantalised by facts about the future - it's amazing, when you preach on the second coming how many unbelievers, who don't trust in Christ, will come along to hear what's going to happen in the future! But friend, you maybe are here with one of those motivations, but you've never had the healing of your soul through the word of God.

Maybe the obstacle to your conversion has been that you feel that God hasn't met your demands. You've been coming out to meetings like this for years, or maybe you've been praying to God and God just won't answer your prayer - whether it's for healing, whether it's for wealth, whether it's for a problem in your family or whatever. Could it be that the reason why God is not giving you your demand, is because you haven't put first things first? You have not obeyed the Gospel in the word of God, to repent and to believe the Gospel.

Well, the next characters that we encounter in Capernaum are a concerned quartet - four friends of this palsied man, concerned companions of this handicapped gentleman. Like the rest, they heard about the commotion that was caused by Jesus being in this house, by the power of God that had been displayed and the reputation of this Man. They immediately, when they heard of it, thought of their poor friend. Suddenly they thought: 'Here is someone, perhaps, that can help our friend!'. May I address the Christians just for a moment? Here was a man in need, a palsied man in need, and this man in need was hindered from getting help from Jesus by the crowd that was around Jesus. Are you getting the representative language that I'm using? I'm really asking the question: Are we as Christians ever a hindrance to needy people getting to the Lord Jesus Christ to get the help that they need from Him? Here's the question, the antithesis, the other side of the coin: do we help, as Christians, other people getting near to Jesus? Or do we expect unbelievers to do spiritual gymnastics to get near to us, let alone get near to the Lord Jesus Christ? Do we bring Christ near to people?

Well, praise God, there are still people who are concerned souls who will improvise and overcome the hindrances of the crowd, and their faith is ingenious enough to seek to bring people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Here are four concerned companions - now, Christian tonight, how concerned were you to bring someone to this meeting this evening? Did you even try? Did you make a phone call? Did you ask a neighbour? If you did, and they didn't come, that's good - keep on asking - but I fear that many of us are not even concerned!

Praise God, there are still people who are concerned souls who will improvise and overcome the hindrances of the crowd, and their faith is ingenious enough to seek to bring people to the Lord Jesus Christ

Well, these four had ingenious faith, and they climbed the outside stairs of that house up to the roof. They uncovered a portion of the roofing, and they lowered that man to the ground, bringing him near to the Son of God. How many, lately, have you brought near to the Son of God? How many have you brought into the vicinity where the word of the Son of God is preached? What would you or I think if our houses were vandalised by those who were trying to bring people to Christ?

Someone has nicknamed these concerned friends, all four of them - one: sympathy; two: cooperation; three: originality; four: persistence. I think that's good, because if we're going to bring people to Christ we need sympathy. We need to sympathise with those who are lost, but it could be tonight that we as Christians are cold to the plight of those who are not redeemed. We need to cooperate together like the four carrying together did. We need to have originality, it's not easy to get people to Christ in these days - and in a Biblical way, we must by all means save some. We must have persistence - if ever we needed persistence it's in these days, to keep on, in season and out of season, preaching the word till God blesses the word and saves some. They needed all of these qualities to overcome the hindrances, and so do you - so do we!

Let me talk to those who are not saved in our meeting tonight: you may have been hindered by the crowd in coming to Jesus. What am I talking about? Well, so-called 'Christians' that hang around Jesus, hang around the place where Jesus is preached and His word is spoken, but they have a bad reputation. You know exactly what I'm talking about, don't you? Christians that have put you off Christianity because their life does not measure up to what they say. Their walk and their talk don't meet. If you're here tonight, and that's the reason why you're not saved - you say: 'I'm as good as the next man, and I'm a good sight better than some of those people that call themselves born-again'; well, you wouldn't be the first to think that and say that.

Mark Twain, who you will know was a famous American author, turned away from Christianity because he heard Christians condoning slavery and using foul language and engaging in shady business deals. I've experienced all of those in so-called 'Christians'. I don't indulge in DIY too much, as you can probably suspect, but on one occasion in doing so I was working along with a man who swore like a trooper - and then, when I got round to telling him to stop taking the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in vain because I was a Christian, he proceeded to tell me how he was a Christian too. He belonged to the 'Church of Christ', that cult, and he told me that I wasn't saved because I wasn't baptised. It's amazing how we can delude people, but it's amazing how so-called 'Christians' can put people off by their lives. Some scholars believe that Mohammed, the prophet, agreed with the Jews and Christians - yes, that there was one God - but he was turned off their religion, Judaism and Christianity, because of the lives of Christians and Jews that he knew. Brian Goodwin comments: 'A little more love to Christ and to others might have changed the course of history for what is now the Muslim world'.

I'll be honest with you, it is this hypocritical, plastic, TV evangelist image that puts me off as well - people, in a pharisaical way, who appear so pious and so squeaky-clean

Bad testimonies! It's reported that Gandhi once said: 'If it weren't for the Christians, I would have become one'. Well, I sympathise with you tonight if you have experienced a bad testimony in the life of a so-called believer and it has put you off. I'll be honest with you, it is this hypocritical, plastic, TV evangelist image that puts me off as well - people, in a pharisaical way, who appear so pious and so squeaky-clean, yet often when what is behind the scenes is exposed, all you find is a life of lies, immorality, fraud, extortion, covetousness, cheating - all sorts of sins! Christians: we are meant to be Bibles, epistles written unto men, but so often we are libels to the name of Christ and to the testimony of the Gospel! It's not hard to find examples of what I'm talking about in our world today, that the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel are misrepresented by those who are not worthy of it.

William MacDonald once saw a pickup truck with two bumper stickers on the back. One said: 'I love Jesus', and then when his eye glanced to the other one it was written in an Italian font, and it said 'You toucha my car, I breaka your face'. 'I love Jesus'...'You toucha my car, I breaka your face' - that's sometimes the strange contradiction that we find in the lives of some believers. They talk one way, they behave another. On one occasion a soldier ran into the court of Alexander the Great. He was sent there for disobeying orders, and Alexander said: 'What is your name?'. The young man replied: 'Alexander'. 'Alexander?', Alexander the Great said to him, 'Then either change your name or change your ways!'. Maybe you're here tonight and you're a so-called 'backslider', and you think it's alright in evangelical Ulster to make a profession and live like a reprobate - change your name or change your ways! Do not call yourself a follower of Christ if you're not prepared to follow Christ.

But I beg those who, perhaps in the meeting tonight, have been put off by the bad testimony of a so-called 'believer'. What I want to do for you tonight is to take the place of one of these four concerned companions, and try to get you past the crowd of followers around Christ, to see Christ Himself. I want to do what they did: carry you to the heavenly heights, and break you through the roof, and bring you to the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, the lowly Saviour of men. Do you see Christ tonight? Don't tell me what Tom, Dick, or Harry has done, who belong to this meeting, that meeting or the other meeting. Will you consider Christ? Will you look at Him, His lovely person, His principles, His perfect life, the word that He preached? Will you come with me just for a moment, and see first of all that He sees you and He knows you?

I know that you've maybe got problems tonight, and I sympathise with you, but what I want to ask you is: do you realise the greatest problem of all that you have is your need of forgiveness?

Verse 5 tells us that: 'When Jesus saw [the faith of these four], he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee'. Now that tells us that Jesus knows about us, and He sees us. He knew everything that there was to know about this paralysed man. Now whatever this man felt was his primary need, which was probably physical, it didn't matter to Jesus: Jesus knew his greatest need was forgiveness! I know that you've maybe got problems tonight, and I sympathise with you, but what I want to ask you is: do you realise the greatest problem of all that you have is your need of forgiveness? Because, as Jesus looks down on you tonight, and I assure you He's doing exactly that, He sees all your sin - all the wrong that you've ever committed in your life! He knows everything about you, He sees everything that you have done, thought, said, felt - and yet the miracle of the good news of Jesus Christ is this: even though He knows everything about you, He still loves you!

He is willing, just like this man, to forgive you. You can be certain tonight that He sees your sin, no matter how much to heaven it may mount, no matter how many sins you've committed in the last hour, the last 24, the last 7 days, the last 4 weeks, the last 12 months, the last decade of your life. It doesn't matter, Jesus sees them all - but I want to tell you something else: He looks for faith in every heart. Every heart is sinful, every heart has fallen short of God's glory and sinned against God, but what Christ is looking for in this age of grace when the Gospel is preached is that sinners will have faith in who He is and what He has done. Do you have faith tonight in who He is? This man had, his four friends had, they knew that this was this man's only hope to be healed - and they brought him to Jesus.

Do you know who Jesus is? That He is the Son of God, that He is God the Son, that He left heaven - He didn't begin in Bethlehem's manger, He was the Creator of the world, the Son of God who came into the world to be the Saviour. He died on the cross to take your sins upon Him, to bear the punishment and the shame that you deserve to be punished for; and He rose again the third day after dying in order to be able to save you tonight. Have you reached an end in yourself like this man, to realise that He is the only way? Mohammed isn't the way, Buddha isn't the way, Joseph Smith isn't the way, Mary is not the way, no church or denomination or creed is the way - Jesus is the only way. As He looks down on you tonight, yes He sees your sin, but I'm asking you: does He see faith in your heart to believe in who He is, to believe in what He has done, to believe He is the only way for you to have your sins forgiven? Because if He cannot see faith in your heart, do you know what He sees? He sees unbelief there!

They were sitting there with unbelief, do you know why? Because they couldn't see their own sin, and they couldn't see who the Son of God was. They would not believe, they simply failed to acknowledge that Jesus was anything other than a mere man!

The real paralytics in this story were men who were called Scribes and Pharisees. If you look at verse 6 you will see that: 'there was certain of the scribes sitting there' - isn't that interesting? Sitting there in their long robes with their long beards and all their religious pious splendour, 'and reasoning in their hearts'. Everybody else was sitting on the edge of their seats, knowing the reputation of this Man Jesus, waiting for Him to do something wonderful that they had heard about - but these men sceptically sitting there, stroking their beards, theologising over these things. Yet these men had unbelief in their hearts - religious leaders who should have been leading the traffic to Jesus - they were sitting there with unbelief, do you know why? Because they couldn't see their own sin, and they couldn't see who the Son of God was. They would not believe, they simply failed to acknowledge that Jesus was anything other than a mere man!

If you don't believe in Christ tonight, if you're not born-again and converted, you're as guilty as they are of unbelief! You might say: 'I believe He's the Son of God' - but if you've never believed on Him, if you've never been converted, you're as good as saying 'I don't believe He's anything special, other than a mere man'. My friend, the second thing I want you to see about Him is not only that He sees you and knows you, but He is much more than a mere man. In verses 6 to 8 the Pharisees couldn't see this, that He was more than a mere man. When Jesus pronounced to this man sick of the palsy, 'Thy sins be forgiven thee', this led the Scribes and Pharisees into a trap because it made them confront the implications of the healing miracle that Jesus was about to perform. He turned to them, knowing what was in their hearts - I ask you the question: how could He know what was in their hearts if He did not have the all-knowledge of God in Himself? Of course He did.

He perceived what was in their hearts, because they said: 'Who can forgive sins but God? This is blasphemy!' - and they were right in the first fact! Only God can forgive sins, but it was not blasphemy because this was God in human flesh! They couldn't see it. To prove it to them, the Lord Jesus asked them a question - I love the questions of Jesus, for often He answers a question with a question. 'Who can forgive sins but God?', they say, and then He answers like this: 'Which is easier, to say to this man sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say to him, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?'. What would your answer to that question be? Which is easier to say? 'Your sins are forgiven you', or 'Arise and walk'? Well, the easier one to say, believe it or not, is 'Your sins are forgiven you'. You say, 'Surely not, if only God can forgive sins!'. It's the easiest thing to say - priests this morning gave absolution at mass, even Protestant ministers can tell people that their sins are forgiven them. It's one thing to say something, it's another thing to prove it.

Oh, I wish I could bring you to the scene to show you that the Lord Jesus proved why His words of forgiveness were not empty, because He is God. He proved that He has the power to forgive sins, and this man got up and walked

You see, you can't see into the heart of a person to know if their sins are forgiven. What Jesus was saying is: 'I have said that his sins are forgiven, but I'm going to prove to you that I have forgiven his sins, because the harder thing to do is say 'Arise and walk'' - and it happened! 'I'm going to show you this, and by raising this man from off his bed I'm going to show you that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins'. Oh, I wish I could bring you to the scene to show you that the Lord Jesus proved why His words of forgiveness were not empty, because He is God. He proved that He has the power to forgive sins, and this man got up and walked. He lifted his bed! He went out of the house! He went home rejoicing!

Now you might say, and I think you're forgiven in saying it: 'How could anyone doubt after this then? If He did such a wonderful miracle, how could anyone doubt? I mean, if I saw something like that, I would believe in Christ'. Can I tell you, my friend this evening, this crowd in this house never saw what you have seen. 'What do you mean? I've never seen a miracle. I've never seen Jesus'. Friend, these people experienced this before Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was taken and was nailed to a cross, and bled and died. They had not seen this yet, but you know about it! You have heard about Jesus dying for you, His precious blood being shed for you because He loved you, and the mercy, the grace and the forgiveness of God expressed to you - you have heard that He died for your sins, and was judged for your sins, and was buried for your sins, and rose again the third day to give you new life. You know all that! You have the Bible, whether you read it or not!

They hadn't the privilege you have. God hadn't yet demonstrated to them His love in that while they were yet sinners, Christ died for them. Before your very eyes you have pictured, have you not, Christ on His cross evidently set forth, crucified? Yet that hasn't made a difference for you, has it? But my friend, if you would believe just like these men believed, your experience would be their experience. Can you see him tonight? Can you see him after Jesus tells him to take up his bed and walk? He puts perhaps, I imagine, his right foot out first and tentatively steps to the glory of God. Then his left foot follows suit to the glory of God, then his torso manoeuvres, and his whole body sways with the movement that it has never known. He starts to walk a little faster, and then he starts to bounce - and I can see him, do you think he was dancing? Probably! Dancing around that room, taking his bed on his head and dancing out of the house! Did the crowd follow him as he waltzed down the road home in the joy of the Lord, to the glory of God? I think they probably did. He skipped out the door a different man.

Friend this evening, what I want you to see is that there was more than a bed he carried out of the house that day. It was more than a new body he carried with him. That man was born again. The old life of sin, his greatest problem, was taken away. Yes, he was healed in his body, but the most important thing was that he was healed in his soul - because ultimately, one day, his body was going to decay again. In a day, perhaps soon for him, he would find himself lying perhaps on the same bed readying his spirit to leave from a decayed, decrepit body. But what that man took out in that dance that day was a well of living water, springing up unto eternal life in his heart! The promise of God that his sins were forgiven, that when he died - yes, his body would rot, but his soul would be with Jesus.

You don't have to wait to the judgment day till your good and bad is weighed up, it's now - He can forgive your sins now...

My friend, you can go out of this house tonight with the same. Do you know why? Because the same Jesus is in this house, the same power is in this house, for Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever - and that same joy is available that this man had, the same peace, the same life; and it is purchased by the same way: faith.

Let's all bow our heads. I wonder is there someone here tonight who hasn't been able to get to Jesus because you've been hindered by the crowd? Maybe it has been a Christian, or maybe it has been someone with a bad testimony, or maybe it's just the crowd that are trying to keep you from Christ, pulling you into sin further. I don't know what it is, but surely, surely tonight have you not seen the Lord Jesus? Have you not seen that He sees you, your sin, He sees if there's faith in your heart, He sees if there's unbelief in your heart? He is more than a mere man, He is God's Son, and He has proven that He has power on earth to forgive sins tonight. You don't have to wait to the judgment day till your good and bad is weighed up, it's now - He can forgive your sins now.

If you've seen that, you have a duty to respond. 'What must I do?', you say. Let me make it as simple as I can: you need to turn from your sin, that means repent, be willing to leave it. You say, 'I don't have power to do that' - God will give you power if you're willing, He will make you able. So if you say to the Lord: 'Lord, I confess that I am a sinner, and I'm willing to turn from my sin', He will give you His Holy Spirit to do that. The second thing you need to be willing to do is believe that Jesus alone can save you, the Lord Jesus who died for your sin, that His sacrifice was enough to take away, that He rose again the third day to give you new life. Say: 'Lord Jesus, I turn from my sin and I accept Your sacrifice, the gift of salvation purchased for me on the cross. Save me, cleanse me from my sin in Your precious blood'. The third thing is you need to confess Him as Lord and give your whole life to Him. Be willing for Him to take full control, and say: 'Lord, save me and make me Your child. Help me to follow You all the days of my life, whatever it costs'.

If you have prayed a prayer like that, would you speak to me on the way out? I have some literature I'd love to give to you to help you. Please don't leave without sorting this matter out, of your salvation. Tonight, for the first, get beyond the crowd to the Christ.

Father, we must unite in saying 'Glory to the name of Jesus; Jesus, the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease - 'Tis music in the sinners ears, 'tis life and health and peace'. Lord, may it be such to some lost soul under the sound of the preached word tonight. Draw people to Thyself, Lord, draw us all to the Saviour's side. In His lovely name we pray, and for His glory, the never-changing Jesus in whose name we pray, Amen.

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Transcribed by:
Andrew Watkins,
Preach The Word.
March 2006
www.preachtheword.com

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording, titled "Getting Past The Crowd To Christ" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.

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