by David Legge | Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved | www.preachtheword.com
Now I want you to turn with me in your Bible, if you have a copy of the New Testament - if you don't, don't worry, just listen as we read together - to John's gospel chapter 1, please. I suppose if I was to put a title on the message this evening, it would be one word: 'Eureka!' - and that's not a comment about anybody in the meeting! I'll explain what that term means a little bit later on, but we have a wonderful story here in John's gospel chapter 1 about people who were called by the Lord Jesus.
We'll begin our reading at verse 43 - and there's one man in particular that I want to focus on tonight, his name is 'Nathanael'. Verse 43 of John 1: "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me?", or 'How do You know me?', "Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man".
Perhaps we could have a brief word of prayer together? Father, Abba, we come in the name of the Lord Jesus, the One who we have been reading about. We come and ask that, just as the Lord Jesus revealed Himself personally to Nathanael, that He, by the Holy Spirit, whom You have sent and He has sent, might reveal Himself to some person here tonight. Lord, we cry to You because of Calvary, because of His shed blood, that You will save people and restore those who have professed faith in Christ and have backslidden, or grown cold in their faith. Lord, we pray that - just as the Lord Jesus said to Nathanael, that he would see heaven open - oh God, that we would see heaven open tonight and such a blessing be out poured that there would be no room to receive it. Lord, hear our prayer, it's for Your glory, the glory of the Triune God we pray, and for the help of those who are truly in need, Lord You know them, You know every heart. May Your love and Your grace and Your peace be given to them by simple faith tonight, may they receive Christ as He as freely offered in the gospel. In the name of the Lord Jesus we ask these things, Amen.
Now I don't know whether you're familiar - I'm sure some of the Christians in the meeting will be familiar - with Christian car stickers, are you? You see them from time to time, the most common one is probably the 'fish' sign; but there is the odd one with a little motto, perhaps a Scripture text, other ones might have little quips and sayings on them. I don't particularly like them, but that's probably got more to do with my driving than anything else - it's a bad testimony, I think, to have a Christian sticker, and then...well...we'll say no more! But a few of them are very intriguing, there's one I heard of that says: 'The way I drive, I've got to have faith!'. Another said: 'Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly', and another one said 'Take a friend to heaven' - now, I hope that wasn't literal, and I certainly have been in the passenger seat of a few Christian friends who I thought that was what they were trying to do! But one that I'm sure you're familiar with is: 'Carpenter from Nazareth seeks joiners' - and that is very true.
If you know Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you're bound to know this much: that the Lord Jesus Christ was always seeking people. Perhaps one of the greatest portions that illustrates that is Luke's gospel chapter 15, where there are three stories that the Lord Jesus told of three lost things. There was a shepherd with a lost sheep, a woman with a lost coin, and a father with a lost son. He summed up all these stories by saying that He, the Lord Jesus, had come to seek and to save that which was lost. He was always seeking people.
In verse 43 of John 1 that we read together, this is no exception again: 'The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me'. Charles Dickens was asked what was the greatest short story in English literature, and he said it was the prodigal son, the wonderful story of a son who went wayward. He asked for the inheritance from his father, and then went into the far country, the Bible says, and wasted his living on riotous behaviour - wine, women, and song we would say. He had to come home with his tail between his legs, wrecked, wasted by a life of sin - but the wonderful thing is, the whole story tells us that the father was already looking out for him, and the father met him halfway and threw his arms around him! Before he could ever get words of confession out of his mouth, that he anticipated saying, his father had forgiven him and received him. Perhaps the greatest story in the English language, and what does it tell us? That Jesus, and God the Father, are seeking.
I don't know whether you have come here tonight of your own volition - you've maybe received one of these little invitations, and you just decided to come; or maybe a family member or a relative has brought you along, or a work colleague, or a friend or neighbour. I don't know, but do you know why they have brought you here tonight? It's simply because Jesus has found them, and they want you to find Jesus - they want the Lord Jesus to find you also. That's what we have here in chapter 1, if you were to look at verses 42 to 43, you would see that Andrew brought Peter to Jesus - one man bringing another man to Christ. Then we read tonight in verse 43 on about Philip bringing Nathanael to the Lord Jesus - and it could be that someone who has found Jesus has found you, and they have brought you to this meeting tonight. Maybe they're a friend who has brought you, maybe someone who you love has become a Christian - perhaps even recently - and they are all fired up and enthusiastic, or maybe they became a Christian 50 years ago but they're still all fired up and enthusiastic, and that's a tremendous testimony if that's the case.
It's all wonderful for them, but perhaps you're fed up with it all, and you feel it's a bit 'OTT' at times - well, you've got to forgive them, because people who have found the Lord Jesus and been found by the Lord Jesus have a reason to be excited! Maybe you're here tonight and you're annoyed because you've a husband or wife who has become a Christian, and you feel that there is something has come between you and them, or maybe you've lost a drinking partner because your friend has become a Christian, or a bingo partner, or whatever. But the fact remains that most people - and even the pastor was saying this before I came out - most people who come to a meeting like this have been brought by someone. We can leaflet-drop in our millions if we like, but generally speaking people come to Jesus because they are brought to Jesus by someone who has been found by Jesus.
Perhaps you're here tonight and, like Nathanael, you're sceptical about this whole matter - that's often the case. Very few come to a meeting like this cold, raw, maybe having never experienced anything like it, and just drink it all in and accept it without a measure of cynicism and scepticism. Well, that was the case for Nathanael - in verse 46 Nathanael said to Philip: 'Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?'. I wonder are you sceptical about Christianity? Nathanael had reason to be sceptical, he thought, of Jesus - first of all, because He was from Nazareth. You've got to understand that Nazareth was perceived as being the lowest of the low, geographically, culturally, socially and morally. People from Nazareth were despised.
It has to be said, I think, that this type of meeting we're in tonight - well, people perceive it in the same way as Jewish people perceived Nazareth in the day of the Lord Jesus. A lot of people, let's face it, think we're a bunch of weirdos. Now maybe there are some among us! But generally speaking, most people think that Bible-believing Christians are extremists. The rise of fundamentalism, and the fear of fundamentalism, has led many to believe that anybody who believes what they say they believe is to be feared. I'm sure you're aware how the media has portrayed Christians. So often in dramas, and even in films, the axe-wielding maniac is usually a Bible-quoting freak - isn't that the case? The idea is to portray Bible-believing Christianity as an eccentric fringe. They see us as being 'odd for God', brainwashed.
My friend, I don't know whether that's how you perceive us, or maybe you just think: 'Well, this evangelical stuff is a false hope, it's just a crutch, it is the opiate of the people. It just makes life a wee bit better to live, but really it blinds you to the realities of life's experiences'. Well, Nathanael despised the Lord Jesus because He came from Nazareth. But you know, there's something else that we need to know: Nathanael came from Cana, and Cana was a neighbourhood village to Nazareth. So when we're talking about Nathanael and Jesus, well, Jesus, as far as Nathanael was concerned, came from a neighbouring village that really would have been rivals to them.
A lot of people behave like this when we talk about the gospel. You need to be born again, you need to be converted, you need to be saved, you need to trust in the cross alone - and some people, maybe they come from a denomination where people don't talk that way, and they say to themselves: 'Well, I've got my way, I've got my church, and I've got my denomination. If that's the way you talk and the way you get on, that's OK, but I have my own persuasion', or maybe it's your own religion, your own idea of God and how to get to God, and how to earn salvation. So you decide: 'Well, that's a rival way, but it's not my way!'.
I think that's the way Nathanael thought, because Jesus came from Nazareth. But there's something else that we need to understand about Nathanael: because he lived in a neighbouring village, he would have been probably familiar with the Lord Jesus, certainly he would have heard about Him. The likelihood is that he would have grown up alongside the Lord Jesus, at least as far as their ages were concerned - they were peers of a generation, whilst they may never have known one another. So Nathanael knew about Nazareth, and he probably, from a very early age, had heard about this very strange and unusual child who grew up in Nazareth. So he was familiar and - you know the saying - familiarity breeds contempt.
So many people, particularly in this province of ours, know the Gospel and have known the Gospel since they were knee-high - but they have never really seen the wonder of Jesus. Now, is that you this evening? Familiarity with Christ and familiarity with Christian things has bred contempt. Now, what is the answer to all these problems? He despised Nazareth, he came from a rival neighbouring village, he was familiar perhaps with Christ, certainly with Nazareth - what was the answer? Well, Philip says to all his objections: 'Nathanael, come and see! OK, I've heard all your reasons', or excuses they'd be better termed, 'but come and see'.
Here was the basis for this invitation to come and see, we see it in verse 45: 'Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph', and verse 46, 'Come and see' - see for yourself! In verse 39 Jesus had said the same things to the disciples of John the Baptist: 'Come and see'. What Philip was saying, and what even the Lord Jesus was saying, is: 'Right, you've got all your doubts, you've got your reasons or perhaps excuses why you won't come to Christ, but come and see for yourself!'.
Have you ever done that? Have you seen for yourself who Jesus really is? Have you searched out this matter and studied it yourself? Have you faced it? Have you dealt with the issues and the facts? I find most people that say to me: 'Oh, the Bible is riddled with contradictions', have never read the Bible, perhaps never even read a chapter of the Bible. It's the same with people who encounter, at least on a surface basis, the Lord Jesus; and then say, 'Oh, that's a load of fairytales. There are so many religions in the world, and they're all the same, saying similar things', and so on and so forth. But, my friend, I'm putting you to the test tonight, as I believe Christ was to Nathanael and the disciples of John the Baptist: come and see!
C.S. Lewis said: 'In a civilisation like ours, I feel that everyone has to come to terms with the claims of Christ upon his life or else he is guilty of inattention or avoiding the question' - that's profound! Everybody has to encounter Christ and His claims before they can truly, in all honesty, reject Him. My friend, I would vouch to say, if you're here tonight, that some of you have never really put Christ to the test and analysed His claims, His character, His life and His work. That's what you need to do, you need to do what Philip invited Nathanael to do: come and see!
What Philip really was saying is: 'If you could know Him as I know Him, you would be convinced!'. Verse 45: 'We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph'. Now what did he mean? He was saying: 'We have found the One whom the great lawgiver, Moses, told us about. We have found that One whom the prophets predicted'. Do you know that there are over 300 prophecies in the Old Testament scriptures, written hundreds of years before Christ was ever born, about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? He is the One whom all the scriptures were pointing to.
His unique birth is testified. It says in Isaiah 7 He would be born of a virgin and, lo and behold, He was born of a virgin, Mary. It says in the book of Micah that He would be born in a place, a little insignificant village called Bethlehem-Ephratah. He would have a unique birth, this is the One whom the prophets spoke of. He would live a unique life. They said of Him: 'No man ever spoke like Him, we've never seen anything like this! What kind of Man is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!'. He healed the sick, He made blind eyes to see, He made lame legs walk, atrophied arms were made whole. He made the dumb to speak, the deaf to hear - this was a Man who multiplied among 5000 people five loaves and two fishes. He walked on water, He raised the dead, and thousands saw it!
He also died a unique death, for His death was prophesied before He was even born. In Psalm 22 we have an account of crucifixion before crucifixion was popularised by the Roman Empire. His hands would be pierced, the Psalmist said, and His feet would be pierced. He would cry: 'My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?'. He died, the Bible says in Isaiah hundreds of years before He died, that He would be wounded for our transgressions, He would be bruised for our iniquities, the punishment of our peace would be upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. That's the cross, that's how you're saved, that's how our sins are forgiven, that's how we have peace with God.
This Man is unique, how He died, for He wasn't just a martyr put to death, He wasn't the sacrifice of a political cause - but He willingly went to the cross and laid down His life for you and for me as the Saviour of our souls! He also had a unique resurrection, for He rose again from the tomb the third day and lives in the power of an endless life - that means He will never die again. As far as we know He raised at least three people back to life when He walked upon the earth, but all three of them had to die again - but He will never die again, and He gives to those who believe in Him eternal life! This is why Philip, at least in spirit, though many of these things had not transpired, he knew: 'This is the One whom Moses and the prophets spoke of, we have found Him, come and see!'.
Now let me challenge you: have you looked into any of these things? For if you haven't, you have no right to reject Jesus Christ! People say: 'Don't bother me with the facts, I've my mind made up' - that's not good enough! It's not good enough to stick your head in the sand and ignore Jesus Christ. As Lewis said, and he's right, you're guilty of inattention or avoiding the greatest question of all time. What you think about Jesus Christ is the most important thing about you. Do you see Him? Now please, listen: don't look to the church. Now the church ought to be better than it is, and I think we would all agree with that - but there could be someone here, and you've been let down by the church, and perhaps that's the reason you've backslidden and are not walking with God. Or maybe it's the reason you won't become a Christian, because there are folk in your work and they're big hypocrites! They carry the big Bible on a Sunday morning and evening, and have the three-piece suit on, but Monday to Friday you can't live with them - they're like the devil himself!
Now, my friend, be careful - you've got to look to Christ, not to church. Though Christians should be a reflection of Christ, you've got to look to Christ. You'll always be disappointed, at least at some juncture, when you look to Christians and when you look to the church - but you will never be disappointed if you look to the Lord Jesus, you will never be let down. That's why Philip said, not 'Come on and see my church', or 'Come on and see this Christian friend of mine', he said: 'Come and see Christ!'.
Now, what will happen if you see Jesus Christ? Well, just like Nathanael you will discover Jesus' love for you. This happened in verse 47 and 48: 'Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!', or deceit, 'And Nathanael said, How do You know me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee' - I saw thee.
Now houses in the Lord Jesus' day often had fig trees outside them, and the reason why they had these big 15 foot high trees with branches that often spread 25 feet wide, was because many of these little houses only had one room to use. So, if you've a clatter of wee-uns, as we would say, running around your feet and you want a bit of peace - this was like the ancient conservatory. They would walk out under the fig tree, under the shade, and get a bit of respite. Now this is what Nathanael was doing, every now and again he would go out of his house to get away from all the hustle and bustle, and he would sit under the fig tree - and Jesus said, 'Before this moment I'm meeting you, I saw you those times you were out and you were meditating. I saw you, Nathanael, I saw you when you were thinking about the deep things of eternity, about your soul, about God, about your sin. I saw you when you were considering the secrets of your heart. I saw you when you were seeking after truth'.
My friend, if you accept my invitation tonight - come and see - you will begin to realise that the Lord Jesus, He sees you. The Psalmist said God knows our downsitting and our uprising, He's acquainted with all our ways, He even knows our thoughts afar off. There is nowhere in this universe that we can fly in heaven, or even hell, where we can escape His all-seeing eye. Does that not amaze you? Now, we know very little about Nathanael except what we read in this passage, but Jesus knew everything about him. In the great scheme of things he might seem a pretty insignificant fellow, and maybe that's the way you are tonight - you're the average 5'8", housewife, worker, maybe you're a person who is very lonely or despairing or filled with fear, or the misery of sin has taken its toll upon you and you're wracked with guilt. You think that no one really knows what you're going through, maybe you think tonight - perish the thought - that you're getting on with sin in a secret capacity, and you think you're getting away with it and no one knows. My friend, Jesus knows, God knows - but the mighty thing about it is this: He cares about you, He loves you, and He is concerned! He sees you when you think about the deep things, when you ponder your pain, when you cry over your crisis, and you sorrow for the weight of sin and brokenness in your life. The hymn writer asked the question:
'Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Saviour cares'.
Now, if you come and see Him tonight, you will know that He cares! The disciples - and maybe you're a Christian here, or a backslider - even they asked on one occasion when they were in the midst of a storm, and Jesus was asleep, and sometimes in the Christian life we think God has forgotten us and He's unconscious to our needs. They woke Him and said: 'Do You not care that we perish?'. Have you been doing that, Christian? Mary and Martha lost a loved one, their brother Lazarus, and they sent for Jesus. Jesus was late, as far as they were concerned, in coming - and they said: 'If You had been here...'. That was tantamount to saying: 'You mustn't have cared'. But you know, when Jesus stood beside the tomb where Lazarus was buried, He wept - He wept. Wherever you are tonight, if you think for one moment that the Lord Jesus does not care, whatever you're going through, whatever sin is wrecking your life, whatever bondage you're entrapped to - I want you to come and see. This is where I want you to come: Calvary! Come and see! Come and see!
There He is hanging on a cross for you! 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son', and there He is, arms spread wide to embrace you by the sacrifice for your sins. The Bible says He took your sin, and your sorrows, and your pain, and your heartache - He took the curse that sin has brought upon this world. Why? Look, a little child could tell you why: 'Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so'.
Hagar was a single parent, rejected by her husband, thrown into the desert, starving and thirsty - but she was able to say: 'Now God sees me'. Dear one, if that's where you are just now, God sees you. God knows you. I love this one: the Lord Jesus took what in those days was a detour, though it was a direct route it was a route the Jews never went, He went through Samaria. They always bypassed it because they didn't like them, but He made a beeline for Sychar's well - you read it in John chapter 4 - because there was a woman there and He had an appointment with that woman at noon. She was married five times, and the guy she was living with was not her husband, but the Lord Jesus saw her. Do you know what He saw? He saw that she was hankering after meaning in relationships, yet her soul was empty - and He said to her: 'Forget about this well, I'll give you water and you'll never thirst again'. Do you know what she did? She mightn't have got into some of our churches, that's worth thinking about, but she got to Jesus. I'll tell you better than that, she went to the boys who had made her life a misery, most likely, and what did she say? 'Come, see a Man who told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?'. Do you know what that, put in plain language, I think means? 'Come and see a Man who knows all about me, and yet He still loves me!' - that's wonderful!
Sometimes people say to gospel preachers like me after a meeting like this: 'Did a wee bird whisper in your ear about me? You know, you touched on a couple of things there tonight and - boy - they came very near to home'. Now listen carefully: nobody whispered anything in my ear about you, and if I have touched on a sore point tonight it is God's Spirit doing it, and it is God's Spirit saying, 'Come and see'. I never forget hearing Mary Peckham talk about when there was a great move of God up in the Hebrides, how she had been called home because one of her parents were sick. She wasn't sure how sick they were, I think the family wanted to get her back into the atmosphere were God was saving people. She said she was very opposed to the gospel, she had grown up in it, and she had gone away - nursing, I think - to Glasgow. She wanted to leave all that behind her. But she said at night, unbeknown to any, she in her room would, by the light of the torch, be reading the Bible - and she would have it in the leaves of the People's Friend. When anybody would come into her room, she would close it, and they would think she was reading the People's Friend. Duncan Campbell, who was mightily used of God in those revivals, he got up one night and he said this: 'You have the People's Friend in one hand, and the Bible in the other' - and right away her heart was convicted! That was God's Spirit.
Jesus said to Nathanael - Nathanael said first, 'How do You know me? How do You know me? I've never met You in my life' - Jesus said: 'When you were under the fig tree I saw you'. My friend tonight, wherever you are, Jesus sees you. You say: 'Nobody knows what I'm going through, nobody understands what I'm experiencing right now!' - my friend, the Christ of Calvary, who bore your sin, who bore your shame, who bore what you have done and what has been done to you in His soul as an offering for sin, He knows! Don't say, 'No one knows'.
Jesus commended Nathanael, He said: 'An Israelite in whom is no deceit' - and that simply means he was straight, honest, and to the point. He was no fool. He was a seeker, sincere and prayerful. There were no half measures with Nathanael, and praise God for that - for, right away, when God uncovered his heart, he said in verse 49: 'Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel'. Now, if you have come and seen tonight, or many a night, and I know I'm probably talking to some people and you've been in meetings like this since you were a youngster and you're well up in years, and you've come and seen many times the wonder of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done for you at the cross - here's the great question: there must be deceit in you if you haven't settled the matter yet, what is it? For if you're honest with Christ, you'll settle this matter.
Oh, it's OK having doubts, if they're genuine doubts - and we have genuine doubts before faith, and sometimes after faith. But I'll tell you this: if you look at the evidence and you look at the facts, your doubts will be settled - but you must come and see, and Jesus can solve them. If you come and see Him tonight, this could be the beginning of great things for you - and that's what the Lord Jesus said to Nathanael in verse 49: 'You believe because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree? Oh Nathanael! You're going to see greater things than that!'. He said: 'You'll see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man'. Do you know what that simply means? You'll see heaven, Nathanael - that was an allusion to an Old Testament story, Jacob's ladder. Jacob saw these angels going up and down, and really it's the way to God, the way to heaven - Jesus was the way to heaven, and Nathanael, by believing in Him, would go to heaven. My friend, are you going there? Are your eyes opened? Do you want the answers to these great questions in life: where am I from? What am I doing here? Where am I going? Well, you need to take God's answer: the way, the truth, and the life - Jesus Christ.
'I am the One', Jesus was saying to Nathanael, 'Who will take you to heaven'. Och, we could take a poll here tonight: who would like to go to heaven? It may well be a 100% poll in the affirmative, 'I want to go'. Sure what fool - 'If there is a heaven', that's what you might say, 'If there is a heaven, what fool wouldn't want to go there?'. Yes, but the only way of getting there is by Jesus. That's the problem, for some reason people seem to not want Jesus, they bury their head in the sand about Jesus. You can say all you like about the Lord Jesus - and you might have heard in the media what they're saying about Him over in Scotland, and what they're portraying about Him. You can say all you like about the lovely Lord Jesus, but if you mention Mohammed in a negative tone you could lose more than your reputation, let me tell you that - but the lovely Lord Jesus takes it, because He is the one who hung on the cross, He is the one filled with love, He is the one filled with grace. He doesn't want to force people into submission by the sword, He wants them to come and see that He is the one of whom Moses and the prophets spoke. He's the only one God has sent. He's the only one who could save your soul - but here's the issue: why have you not taken Him as your Saviour?
'Eureka' is one of the very famous expressions that was attributed to an ancient Greek scholar called Archimedes. I don't know whether you know the story, I remember learning it at school. He reportedly exclaimed, 'Eureka!', when he stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose. I'm sure it rises for you, just like it rises for me a quite considerable amount - and he suddenly understood at that moment that the volume of the water that was displaced must be equal to the volume of the part of his body that he had submerged under the water. That meant for him, as a physicist and a scientist, that the volume of irregular objects that you couldn't measure with a stick, could now be targeted with precision - a previously intractable problem - by putting it into water and measuring the volume of the water displaced. He was so excited about it, and wanted to share this realisation with people, that he leapt out of the bathtub naked and ran through the streets of his own city shouting: 'Eureka! Eureka!'.
Do you know what 'Eureka' means? 'I have found it', I have found it. Andrew, John, Peter, Philip and others, when they met Jesus of Nazareth, made the greatest discovery of all history: that He is the Saviour of the world, the Christ, their Saviour. Philip said to Nathanael, in the Greek language it is written here, 'Eureka!' - we have found Him whom Moses and the prophets spoke of. Have you found Him? Perhaps you've come and seen Him, and understood something about Him, but you've never received Him? This same chapter says: 'As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believe in his name'.
Let us pray. Now we don't want to rush this part of the meeting. You're here, and God's speaking to you, what are you going to do? God has touched, perhaps, that raw nerve that I've been hinting at. I didn't engineer it, please do not think that. God has been speaking, what are you going to do? Maybe you've seen something of Christ you've never seen or understood before? Or maybe, at least, you've been attracted in order to look into these matters in more depth? Well, do it. I have some literature with me, a Gospel of John and a little study booklet about Jesus and a study booklet about John, and you can look through it and search it out yourself. We want you to search and see that this is the truth. If you're a true seeker after truth, I believe that you will find Christ, for He is the truth. But once you confront Him as the truth, boy, what a responsibility there is upon you. If you do not receive Him, you've no excuse. Will you say tonight: 'I've found Him'?
You say, 'David, how do I respond?'. Well, just where you are, in the quietness, from your own heart, you could say - admitting your sin: 'Lord, I'm a sinner', or, 'I'm a backslider. Lord, I'm admitting my sin, save me', or, 'restore me, because of what Jesus did for me, because of who He is and because of what He's done. Lord, I come to You in Jesus' name'. Do you know what the Bible says? He can't cast you, if you truly come by faith and repentance - that means changing your mind about your sin and selfishness - and by faith alone, that means just taking God at His word, who has said 'Come, and I'll never cast you out', He will and He must receive you. Just say: 'Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner, save me now'; backslider, 'Lord Jesus, I've messed up, receive me back home again'.
Now, if you've prayed anything remotely like that, and from faith in your heart - why not tell us, we have some literature for young Christians that might help you. If you want to talk to anyone, if you want to talk to me or the pastor, or someone you know better in the meeting tonight - wait behind, we're here, we want to help you. If you have trusted the Lord, tell us because we want to pray for you and rejoice that you have found Him. Please don't go away tonight when He is here and you're here, and you have come here and seen Him. Don't go away without Him.
Father, we thank You for Your presence here tonight. We pray, Lord, that You will seal it with salvation blessing, and the restoration of true children of God who have wandered afar. For Christ's sake we pray, asking Your blessing upon us on our homeward way. Amen.
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This sermon was delivered at Lurgan Baptist Church in Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the recording, titled "Eureka!" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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