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Sunday, April 15, 2018

INFLUENCE OR CONTROL...

Don’t Sacrifice Your Influence In Order to Have Control

There is a trend I have noticed taking place in the independent Baptist world that concerns me. I am seeing it in many pastors of independent Baptist churches. Let me preface this by saying that these are good men and sincere in their objectives. They love their people and only want what they think is best for them. 

However, in their desire to help their people in some cases they try to control their people. They are not tyrants nor are they dictators. However, they have taken their desire for what is best for their people a bit too far.


I have four children. When my children were very young they needed Mrs. Gray and I to exercise control over them. However, as time went by we began to release our control a little bit at a time. Today I have no control over my children. What I hope that I have is influence.


Dr. Hyles taught a very important principle. He said, “Do not allow your desire to control your people to cause you to lose your influence over them.” Dr. Hyles believed the power of influence was the greatest power a pastor could have. Unfortunately many pastors with a sincere desire to influence their people feel that it is their duty to control them. 

When someone in the church does not follow their advice, a sermon follows. Maybe no one else knows to whom that sermon is being addressed, but they know. They feel that passion/anger that is being directed towards them. Often their confidence is shaken in their pastor. When we demand people to do what we think they should do we often damage our ability to influence them in the future.


When the prodigal son demanded that his father give him the portion that was his, the father could have easily refused. When the son left to go to the far country there is no indication that the father preached a sermon to him. He let him go. Perhaps the greatest reason the son returned to his father is because the father did not sacrifice his influence by trying to take control.


Allow me to share some principles I learned from listening too and watching Dr. Jack Hyles.


1. You can't control people. Pastor, parent, teacher, hear me, you cannot control people. As much as I told our newborn babies not to cry and make messes in their diapers I learned very quickly I had no control. What you can do is control the environment. 

You see a good leader understands that a controlled environment is more important than trying to control people. Dr. Hyles understood that fact. He knew that no matter how many rules they had in the schools it would never be enough to control the students.


Let me share something that burdened Dr. Hyles. Although he trusted the leaders of his schools, I heard him say on more than one occasion that it concerned him how many who worked in the schools tried to control the students by making up new rules. He had no part in some of the things for which he has been blamed. They were instituted by people who were really not leaders, but merely held a position. The only way they could handle many situations was by trying to use control. 

That was not Dr. Hyles method. Study the way he handled his church staff and his Sunday school teachers and you will see the difference. He knew he could not control those people so he attempted to create an environment to inspire people


2. Creating the right environment is harder than trying to control people. Controlling people is forcing them to do what you could have done had you created the right environment to lead them. There are three elements necessary to create the right kind of environment that prevents you from needing to control people.


Instruction. Instructing people as to how to make the right decision will prevent the need of having to control them. Instruction is an important element for a good leader. When Dr. Hyles recruited a Sunday school teacher he instructed them as to what their responsibilities and expectations were. One reason he did not have to control those who worked on his church staff is because he gave good instructions to them and then gave them freedom to carry out those instructions.


Inspiration. Dr. Hyles once said, “We often force what we cannot inspire.” Do not miss that truth. Leaders who must force people to do what they should do are often too lazy to inspire them to do what they should do. How did Dr. Hyles lead hundreds of Sunday school teachers to follow the instructions given to them? He inspired them. 

The root word is for inspiration is spirit. I am not talking about rah-rah spirit. I am not even speaking about an emotional rousing of people to follow your instructions. I am talking about something that every pastor, parent and Christian leader should understand. The Holy Spirit lives within you. 

When you ask God to give you wisdom for your teaching, preaching and counselling, your Spirit speaks to their Spirit and inspires them from within. Emotion is a response to the working of the Spirit, not the cause for inspiration. 

Being Spirit filled as a leader removes the need to be in control of people. Why do we ignore the power of the Holy Spirit in our leadership? Why do we think we have to control our people rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to control them. Perhaps it is because it is easier to force people to do what they should do than to pray for God to give us wisdom to inspire them to do what they should do.


Influence. A healthy environment will build in people a trust to allow their leader to influence them. Why did hundreds of people line up each week at Dr. Hyles’ office door to ask him a question? It is because he had earned the right to influence them. How do you earn that right? It is certainly not by using your title or position. And it is not by calling yourself “the man of God” and whipping your people with that title. It comes from seeking wisdom from God that leads people to make good decisions causing them to want to return for advice with future decisions. Trust causes influence. Trust cannot be forced. It must be earned.


3. Trust your people to make decisions and accept the fact that sometimes they will make a decision contrary to what you wish they would have made. This is so important. Do you know how you learn in life? You learn by making mistakes. Part of leadership is allowing people to make mistakes, then as a leader guiding them through the mistake. However if you try to control a person, it is more than likely they will not come back and allow you help them. You have crushed their pride. Many pastors have lost their influence with people because they were not willing to let people make decisions that are not best. Give your people room to make wrong decisions.


4. Warn your people principally, but not personally. Preacher, please hear me because I am sure we have all made this mistake. Dr. Hyles said many times, “I never have anyone in mind when I am scolding my people.” He may have had someone in mind when he was trying to comfort, but not when he was scolding. The moment you have one person in mind when you scold you are risking your influence with that person. 

People need preaching that is principled. The Holy Spirit makes it personal. However when we direct a sermon at an individual, it has gone from being principled to being personal, and that often quenches the work of the Spirit.


5. You are not the Holy Spirit. Now I understand that we like to call ourselves the man of God, and well we should be. However, there is a vast difference between a man of God and the Spirit of God. Be careful that you do not become the conscience of your people. Do not try to be the Holy Spirit to them. Allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives, and it is more likely they will make even better decisions than you would have made for them.


6. Look ahead to the future. This is a lesson that Dr. Hyles emphasized strongly. If we send someone away feeling our disfavor over a decision they made, it is likely they will not return to us. Dr. Hyles taught to not sacrifice the possibility of helping someone in the future by beating them up over the mistakes they make today. 

I am certain that is why the prodigal returned to his father. When he left he felt the acceptance and the love of his father in spite of the fact that he was making the wrong choice. Preventative teaching and preaching is far better than curative teaching and preaching.


7. Find something with which to agree when someone makes a decision you do not like. This could be revolutionary if you will apply to it. Dr. Hyles was counseling a young man about what college he should attend. He chose to attend a college that was not even on the radar of Dr. Hyles. In fact, it was a liberal college. Immediately Dr. Hyles changed directions by helping the young man find a good church in the city where he had chosen to go to college. Rather than berating the young man for choosing the wrong college, he found something with which he could agree that would help the young man. 

That young man did go to that college. He attended the church that they found together. To this day, that man is still in church, serving God, and fondly remembers and loves his pastor, Brother Hyles.


Sometimes people would come to Dr. Hyles and tell them they were going to buy a house. In his heart he did not think it was the right time. However, instead of telling them they should not buy a house he set out to help them find the right house. That leads me to the next point.


8. Do not give advice unless you are asked. Teach good principles in the pulpit but do not meddle in your people’s lives. Dr. Hyles pastored thousands of people. Tens of thousands of decisions were made by those he pastored. There was no way he could have monitored all those decisions, nor did he want to. 

He was there to teach his people and hope that they would make the right decisions. They did not have to have his permission. They did not have to seek his counsel. When asked he gave counsel, but it was not given as law. Of course he hoped people would make the right decisions but he did not meddle in their business.


9. Learn to accept good even when it is not the best. I think I should repeat that statement. Learn to accept good even when it is not best. If someone does not make the decision you think they should make, don't get upset if the decision they make is still good. Maybe they should wait until they graduate to get married, but if they are marrying a good Christian learn to rejoice in the good rather than being disturbed by the fact they didn't do what you thought was best. 

Aren’t you glad God isn't like us? Aren't you happy that he does not turn on you because you do not always do what is best? Many times by rejoicing over a good decision I have salvaged my relationship with someone in spite of the fact that they did not make what I thought was the best decision.
10. Learn to give general warnings when you see a trend. This is what good pastors do. If they see a trend of bad decisions in certain areas they Scripturally deal with it from the pulpit. If one person made a bad decision Dr. Hyles did not preach at everyone. He watched for trends. 

Just because a person makes a bad decision does not mean that everyone is about to make that same decision. However, when several people make poor decisions it may be time to deal with it from a Scriptural and principled point of view. Be careful pastor that you are not picking on individuals rather than instructing your flock.


11. Trust God. Pastor, you are going to lose people because of wrong choices. Let me give you two warnings. First, do not chase them away because you disagree with something that they have decided to do. Secondly do not forfeit your right to help them in the future by making them feel they disappointed you. If you learn those two things it you can help more people in the long run.

People often called Dr. Hyles a control freak. If what they mean is that he carefully controlled his environment than they are right. However, most people are not discerning enough to understand that. He was not a man who tried to control people. Make no mistake about it, there were those who did try to control people. That is true in any institution, whether it be Christian or secular. 

There are always going to be weak leaders who feel that controlling people is the only way to get them to do what they think they should do. However, do not mistake what others did as being what he believed. Study how he led at the church and you will understand that he did not ever seek to be in control of people because he was more concerned with preserving his influence.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

ELECTION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HELL


SCRIPTURES A CALVINIST WILL NEVER TEACH

II Peter 1:10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail.”

 All of mankind was in a predicament because all of mankind had sinned, those sins were recorded in Heaven, and God placed a price of death in Hell on those sins. As a result three things had to happen in order for man to go to Heaven at death. One, his sins had to be removed from those records in Heaven. Two, no future sins could be recorded on those records. Three, Jesus’ righteousness had to be placed on those records in Heaven.


 ELECTION is the doctrine that means something that God Himself chooses by His Sovereignty! There are some who teach that salvation has to do with ELECTION. They say that God by His Sovereignty chooses who will be saved. That is simply not true! Man chooses whether he is saved or not. He either accepts or rejects God’s payment of His only begotten Son for sin.

 Some teach God knew who would be saved and so He then elected them to be saved. That is not the doctrine of ELECTION. The doctrine of ELECTION has nothing to do with salvation, but it has to do strictly with our working for God.

 A man is saved by trusting Jesus Christ as payment for his sins, God wipes away all of his sins, refuses to record future sins, and places Jesus’ righteousness on the saved person’s record in Heaven. He is declared innocent, as if he had never sinned at all. God appeases Himself! God sets the saved person apart for a future life in Heaven. God gives him a new birth and a new creature to escort him to Heaven.

God gives the saved person the person of the Holy Spirit to convert him to usefulness for God. God prepares a glorified body for the saved person to give him when he arrives in Heaven. God made RECONCILIATION possible so that man could fellowship with God Himself. God preserves the saved person for Heaven. This is amazing because all of that took place the moment the saved person placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation!

 Now comes the doctrine of ELECTION! God elected me to be in the ministry! God elected my sons to be pastors! When you were saved God commanded you to be baptized, join a local church, tithe and give offerings, and go soul winning; second His ELECTION is to put you into and area of ministry to others. In essence ELECTION has to do with you working for God. No one is elected for Heaven or elected for Hell. That is as much heresy as a bloodless religion is or a non-inspired Bible is!

 When God saved me at age eleven at 132 E. Michigan Ave., Galesburg, Michigan, in February of 1957 He cleared my record in Heaven, declared me justified or innocent, appeased Himself, court adjourned, He gave me a new creature, He gave me the Holy Spirit, He prepared a glorified body for me in Heaven, gave me an opportunity to fellowship with Him, preserved me for Heaven, and elected me to be in the ministry.


ISRAEL WAS CALLED AN ELECT NATION


 Romans chapters 9, 10, and 11 you find that Israel was not chosen for salvation but was chosen by God to do a unique work in the world. She was chosen by God to give us the Scriptures, give us the Messiah, and give us the local New Testament church. In Matthew chapter 10 all of the members of the first Baptist church of Jerusalem were all Jews. Israel was chosen by God to present the Gospel to the world.

 When God elected Israel to do all of that He was saying I need a nation to give the Scriptures too, the Messiah too, the local New Testament church too, and the Gospel too! God is not saying I have chosen Israel to go to Heaven and all the other nations to go to Hell. No, God elected Israel to do a particular work for Him on earth.


A LOCAL NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH IS CALLED “THE ELECT LADY”


 II John 1:1, “The elder unto the elect lady…” The local New Testament church is called “…the elect lady…” Does that mean that everybody who’s a member of a local church is elected to go to Heaven? Oh, no! ELECTION is not about going to Heaven or Hell in the Scriptures! The local church has been elected to be the instrument of the propagation of the Gospel in your area of the nation.

 Israel was elected for a particular work for God on earth.  Every local New Testament church is elected to spread the Gospel on earth. ELECTION is when my sons were saved God said, “I’m going to elect Bob Gray II and Scott Gray Sr. to be the pastors of local New Testament churches. At salvation God elected you to do what you are doing for God.

 Here is the question! Your calling is to be a soul winner! Are you doing it? Your election is to do a specific work for God on earth at this very moment! Are you doing it?

 Israel was an ELECT nation. Elected to Heaven or Hell? No! Elected to give the world the Saviour, Scriptures, Gospel, and New Testament. The local New Testament church is the “elect lady.” Elected to Heaven or Hell? No! Elected to give the Gospel to every human being on earth for God! This was not given to “Youth For Christ,” “Child Evangelism,” “Gideons,” “Campus Crusade,” “Bill Bright Ministries,” “The 700 Club,” or any Para-church organization. God has elected the local New Testament church not to Heaven or Hell, but to spread the Gospel to “every creature.”


THE APOSTLES ARE CALLED HIS ELECT


 Does this mean that the Apostles are the only ones going to Heaven? No, thousands were saved and baptized during their day! ELECTION cannot be referring to going to Heaven or Hell. The Apostles were the first ones chosen for a specific job on earth for God. They were chosen in a unique way to lead in spreading the Gospel to the world. ELECTION is being chosen for leadership to spread the Gospel around the globe to every nation.


PAUL THE APOSTLE


Titus 1:1, “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” Paul calls himself a servant and an apostle with both being according to the faith of God’s elect.” He is saying God has elected him or chosen him to be a servant and an apostle. Paul was elected for Heaven? No! Paul elected to get saved and then God elected Paul to be a servant and an apostle.

 II Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Our God does not want any one to go to Hell! Our God does not elect people to Heaven or Hell. He elects people to do a work on earth for God


ELECT ANGELS


 I Timothy 5:21, “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels…” Are angels born again? No! Thus, this cannot be dealing with Heaven or Hell. Angels cannot be saved! What are angels? Messengers! What are they elected too? To be messengers!

 Paul was elected to be an apostle to the Gentiles. He took the Gospel to the Western World. The Jewish nation was an elect nation to give us the Messiah, the Scriptures, the Gospel, and the local New Testament church. The local New Testament church is the elect body to spread the Gospel to the world. The angels have been elected as special messengers to help us spread the Gospel for God. 

 ELECTION is a Sovereign act of God to do a specific work to spread the Gospel to the world for God. If God makes an act based based on what you do then that is not a Sovereign decision by God. God cannot elect you to do something or be something you have already chosen. I did not choose to be a preacher and neither did any one else who is in the ministry.

 All are commanded and called to be soul winners, but only a few are chosen to be the pastor, youth pastor, or bus director, etc. Just before Matthew 20:16 is the parable of Jesus sending forth labourers in to the vineyard. In dealing with those labourers He said, “few are chosen.” Thus, this doctrine of has nothing to do with who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell but who works or who labors in a particular field.

 John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” God does not want you to be barren spiritually but fruitful spiritually. Jesus is saying the being “chosen” relates to the work in the vineyard.

Every context of the word “elect” in the Scriptures has to do with work! God has elected you not to be a lazy hound dog! All of us are called to be a soul winner, but some are elected to be the principal, youth pastor, mission’s director, college president, or pastor, etc.
 At salvation God took away our sins, decided not to record any future sins, put Jesus’ righteousness on our record, declared us justified, appeased Himself by Himself, declared the case closed with the court adjourned, set me aside for Heaven in the future, regenerated us, gave us a new creature, sent the Holy Spirit into us to convert us, reserved a new body in Heaven for him, made it possible for us to fellowship with God, preserved us by sealing us with the Holy Spirit, and then ELECTION is God giving us a specific work to do for Him!


Monday, April 2, 2018

THERE IS ONLY ONE MEDIATOR FOR MAN

ONE MEDIATOR


I Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”



There is one God and there is one mediator the man Christ Jesus or the “God Man.” How many God’s are there? One! How many mediators between God and man? One! Who is that mediator? The man Christ Jesus according to the Scriptures and if any clergyman claims he is one then there is one too many!

There is one God and there is one mediator not two, nor three and that mediator is Jesus Christ. If man places Mary the mother of Jesus as a virgin into the picture and claim that she is a mediator between God and man then we must believe the Scripture, which clearly states that Jesus is the one mediator!

The term, “…the man Christ Jesus;” is very important. The word “mediator” is a critical word. To us a mediator is one who listens to two sides of an issue presented by two adversaries. The mediator listens to one side’s case and then the other person’s case before declaring a decision.

However, that is not the word “mediator” that is used in these Scriptures. This particular word is more akin to one who is doing the mediating and is identified with both the parties at odds with each other. This mediator has to be man and He has to be God. Thus this mediator is God up in Heaven and also a man on earth.


THIS MEDIATOR HAS TO BE MAN AND HE HAS TO BE GOD

With God being in Heaven and man being on earth there is a natural separation or alienation between the two. Sin has separated man from God! The Scriptures say, “The soul that sinneth it shall die” and “The wages of sin is death” and “Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.”

When man sinned it brought forth death and man was detached from God. Man now finds himself at an impasse! We have God up in Heaven and we have man down here on earth and somebody has to cause God and man to come back together but that person cannot be just a referee or an umpire.

The person who is to be the ONE mediator must be man and He must be God. Thus, the priest, preacher, Rabbi, Pope, etc., doe not qualify for none of them are God. By the way it would be very difficult for the Virgin Mary to be the mediator for she is not a man! Thus whoever causes man to return to God must be man and He must be God!


THIS MEDIATOR HAS TO BE THE ONLY ONE THAT GOD WILL LISTEN TOO

There is no one else that can influence God except the man Christ Jesus. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. The place of power! The place of influence! The place of authority! He is interceding for the saved! Not Mary, or a priest, or a pastor, or a Pope, or a Rabbi, or a relative, or any Christian can qualify to influence God like Jesus Christ!

The liberal says that Jesus came to show man how to live. He may have come to show us how to live but unless we have a new nature we cannot begin to live like He lived. There are those who tell us that Jesus came to show us what God is like and certainly He did show us but that is not the main reason He came.

Luke 19:10, “For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”

In order to seek the lost, or unsaved, He had to be God so He could satisfy the demands of a Holy God. He had to be man so He could be blameless, proven to be above sin, to know man, and to bear the sins of man.

Our concept of Jesus’ part in our relationship with God is very limited. Our thought is, “If you will not accept my Son then I won’t accept you!” That is correct and nothing wrong with that statement but it is sort of a limited opinion of what Jesus’ coming was really all about. There is far more to it than that!

God cannot completely comprehend man because Jehovah God was never man. He never was here on earth. He never felt the pain of man, the hurt, and the struggles and likewise man is not God and God was not man. Thus, there had to be someone as ONE mediator who could come as a God Man. If Jesus is not deity He is not the ONE mediator.
  

THIS MEDIATOR MUST BE THE PAYMENT FOR THE SINS OF MANKIND

Man can live a virtuous life and a good moral life and God will not accept that as payment for sin. I can join a church, go to a confessional booth, turn over a new leaf, quit smoking, quit cursing, and quit all manner of what we call sin and God will not accept that as payment for sin. God will not accept what we have done. Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

A man can repent of what he is doing wrong or what man calls sin but until he repents of what he is trusting in to pay for his sins he will not find salvation. God will only accept what Jesus has done. He is the ONE mediator! When man comes to God and bypasses Jesus in order to present what he has done with good works, baptism, sacraments, or church membership God will not accept those as payment for sin. 

The Scripture is quite plan “For the wages of sin is death” not baptism, not communion, good works, or church membership. God will accept what the ONE mediator the man Christ Jesus has done in His death, burial, and resurrection to balance the scales.

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
  
Thus, I must not approach God alone with my works, church membership, baptism, or communion. I must be hid in Christ.

Colossians 3:3, “They have taken crafty counsel against the people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.”

II Corinthians 5:17, “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature.”

Romans 16:7, “Who also were in Christ before me.”

II Corinthians 12:2, “I knew a man in Christ…”

Galatians 1:22, “…which were in Christ…”

Acts 17:28, “For in him we live, and move and have our being.”

The most outstanding attribute about God is not His mercy, it is not His love but it is His justice, His righteousness, and His holiness. If God let one sinner go to Heaven without paying the penalty for his sin God would not be God! His justice must be satisfied!

If man comes to God with his baptism God will not accept that as payment for sins. The same is true with church membership, a good life, or any work done by man. None of them can pay for sin. Man has two choices! He either dies and spends an eternity in a devil’s Hell or he can accept what Jesus did on Calvary to pay for his sins. 

This is tough in light of “religious correctness” but it is still Scripture! If man goes to this “lake of fire” mentioned in Scripture he could never leave because there is no point where he can pay for sin. Only Jesus Christ was the acceptable payment for man’s sin. Thus He could be resurrected from the dead.

God is not accepting man He is accepting Jesus Christ who accepted man and takes man with Him and in Him to the Father. The Father provided Jesus! God’s great and exceptional heart of love provided Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice for sin. It is not what you do, we do, the church does, or the Pope does! It is what the mediator did!

God will not accept my faith! God will only accept Jesus Christ’s faith! Whose faith? The faith of Jesus Christ!

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The very faith that I put into Christ God gave me through Christ. Romans 12:3, “…according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”

Every man that ends of in Hell will go to Hell with the same measure of faith that everyone who ends up in Heaven has!

I was saved because the mediator accepts my faith and the Father accepted the mediator’s faith. God the Father cannot accept anything that is imperfect and my faith is imperfect. However, if I give my imperfect faith to Christ the mediator, then God will accept the mediator’s perfect faith and in so doing He accepts my faith because I am hid in Christ’s faith. WOW! SOMEBODY SAY AMEN!

THIS MEDIATOR IS PERFECT

Jesus knows no sin! Jesus’ faith is perfect faith! So, to place my faith in God the Father will not do! God cannot accept my faith, but He can accept Jesus the mediator’s faith. There has to be someone who is like me and someone who is like God the Father. There has to be someone who is man as if He were not God and God as if He were not man. Jesus Christ is the person! Jesus is the mediator between God and man!

That is why you do not trust the Father as your Saviour. You trust the Son as your Saviour. The Scriptures do not say believe on the Father and you will be saved. Why, because Jesus can accept the faith of man when God the Father cannot because God the Father can only accept the faith of Jesus!

I place my imperfect faith into Jesus Christ. He turns my imperfect faith into perfect faith because I am hid in Him. He then presents His faith to the Father. Someone says, “I believe in God so I must be going to Heaven!” If that is all a person believes in he cannot go to Heaven! Preacher, “I’ve come to God!” Wait a minute if that is all you have done you will end up in Hell because the sin penalty has not been paid!

There is no way to get to God the Father except through God the Son Who is the ONLY mediator. Only He could be virgin born and God incarnate. God is accepting Jesus the mediator in man’s place only when man accepts Jesus the mediator!

I accept Jesus, He accepts me, God accepts Jesus, and thus God accepts me because I am hid in Jesus Christ. I was in a mysterious way crucified in Christ on Calvary. I was hid in Him when He was buried in the tomb, dipped His soul into Hell, and when He was raised from the dead after three days and three nights.

“Father will you accept Bob Gray Sr.?” He replies, “No!” Jesus asks the Father, “Will you accept me?” He replies, “Yes, of course!” Jesus asks me, “Will you accept me as payment for your sins?” I reply at age eleven, “Yes!” Jesus says to me, “Ok come on into Me and become hid in Me and we will go to the Father together!” I may not have faith that God will do something for me but I do have faith that God will do it for His Son Jesus Christ.

God the Father is up in Heaven! He is perfect, Holy, and the Almighty God! I a sinner am down here on planet earth. I have two choices in that I can come to God alone or I can come to Jesus and let Him go to the Father with being hid in Him. God will not accept me because I have nothing that will please Him. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”

The Holy Spirit placed the seed of the Word of God in the womb of Mary and a little baby boy was born. Physically He was a man while spiritually He was God. He was God clothed in that human body. Consequently as a man I cannot approach the Father but I can approach the ONE mediator who is both God and man.

THE SAVED ARE HIDDEN IN THE MEDIATOR

If any man be IN Christ that man is one with Christ if he accepts and trusts Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as payment for his sins. Man then is hidden in Christ. Do not go to the Father by yourself! That is why we close our prayers with “We ask this in Jesus’ name!” 

The Scriptures say, “We are accepted IN the Beloved!” It does not say, “We are accepted OUTSIDE of the Beloved!” Accepted OUTSIDE of the Beloved? No! We are accepted IN the Beloved!

I may not have the faith to believe God will do it for me, but I do have faith that God the Father will do it for His Son Jesus Christ. So, I bring it to Jesus and Jesus takes it to the Father and that is why we pray, “For Jesus’ sake amen!” The Scriptures say that no man can see God and live, but you can in Christ go to God the Father and live-forever. If you come to God alone He will turn you back!

God the Father cannot forgive me! As man I take my sins to Jesus and as man He understands because He came as a baby and lived on planet earth for 33 homesick years. Jesus forgives me and God accepts Jesus and in so doing receives me. Jesus and me go to the Father because I am HID IN Jesus Christ the Son of God. WOW!