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The Call Of the Cross!
Our ears and our hearts are constantly besieged by calls.
We live in a world of calls.
There are bird calls, fire alarm calls, telephone calls, calls to arms, police calls,
and calls of distress.
I would ask you to consider the call of the cross of Jesus.
I would call you to think about the preparation of the cross.
So, think about the preparation of the cross.
- The cross was conceived in the councils of eternity.
- The cross was made ready while Jesus had glory with God before the world was.
- The cross was conceived in the mind of God in eternity.
- The cross was a reality in heaven before there was ever an earth.
- The cross was prepared in heaven before creation.
"Thoughts of wonder! O how mighty!
- Think about the majesty of the cross.
- Think about the mystery of it.
- Think about the might of the cross.
- Think about the eternity of it.
- Think about the infinite intelligence of it.
- Think about the love that prepared it.
- Think about the tragedy of sin that necessitated it.
How stupendous! How profound!..."
The cross of Christ becomes more important and impressive to those who will gaze at it
and will pause long enough to perceive what it means.
It is a call to thankfulness.
The answer is no!
- Can one who is starving fail to be thankful for a needed meal.
- Can one who lives in darkness fail to be thankful for light and eyesight.
- Can one who has had a confused and troubled mind refuse to give thanks
for a healthy, functioning mind.
- Can one, knowing the handicap of a maimed body, fail to be faithful for eyes
that can see, for ears that can hear, for feet that can walk, a tongue that can talk,
and for a healthy body.
- Can one, knowing the danger of sailing in unknown waters, when fierce storms rage,
fail to be thankful for the lighthouse that warns and directs one to safety.
- Can one, knowing the devastation of disease, fail to be thankful for physicians and medications
which enable one to have restored health.
We cannot fail to be thankful!
Then let me ask how anyone who would survey the cross of Christ and see its cruelty
and shame and consider Jesus who died on that cross, fail to be thankful?
If we look at the cross and see only two pieces of wood on which a good Jewish man died,
then we do not have the key that unlocks the door to the truth.
From the time when man sinned, he has known that there was something wrong
- From God's side the cross was a divine necessity.
- From God's side the cross is a divine necessity.
- From man's side the cross was a divine necessity.
- From man's side the cross is a divine necessity.
between him and God.
And man has tried in many ways to right that wrong himself.
He has tried to use his own resources to bridge the chasm between him and God.
But -- "Not all the blood of beasts,
- Athens, who was drunk with the wine of intellectual skepticism, had so many altars
and idols adorning her streets that she was laughed at by a satirist who said she had more gods
on her streets than people.
- In Persia, many mothers tried to get right with God by laying their babies in the arms
of a red-hot idol named Moloch.
- In India the mothers heard the cries of their babies when eaten by the greedy gulping of crocodiles.
They were looking for approval from God.
- And the Jews slew a million lambs all the rock of the Mosque of Omar.
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace
Or wash away the stain."
Nothing man could do, or can do, will make things right between him and God.
Because all man could or can do sprang and springs from the nature of a bankrupt,
diseased, and sinful humanity.
The answer to these questions is no, and we cannot do anything of ourselves
- Can a bankrupt man pay his debts?
- Can a sick man cure himself?
- Can a crippled man on crutches outrun an athlete in excellent condition?
- Can an eagle with both wings broken, soar to the clouds?
to make us right with God.
The old hymn answers those questions.
"Could my tears forever flow,
Could my zeal no languor know,
These for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone."
So we see the necessity of the cross of the death of Christ.
God hates sin!
Therefore, the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6: 23)
Although God hates sin, He loves the sinner.
The sinner cannot pay his sin debt.
Only One could pay that debt, and that was and is Jesus.
That is what took place at the cross when Jesus died.
"The just for the unjust that he might bring us to God."
"When I survey the wondrous cross,
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Other refuge have I none
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.
In my hand no price I bring
Simply to Thy cross I cling."
The only place the first born was safe when the death angel passed through Egypt
was in the house where the blood was on the doorposts.
It was placed there in obedience to God's command.
No other place was protected without the blood on the doorposts.
The only place where Rahab found refuge for her and her loved ones, when Joshua's army
captured Jericho, was in her house with a red rope tied in the window on the wall.
It was placed there in obedience to the instruction that God gave through the spies of Joshua.
The only place where the unwitting slayer found refuge from the pursuing avenger was in the City of Refuge,
which was prepared by Joshua in obedience to the protective commands of God.
So, only in the cross of Christ can we find safety.
There is power in the cross of Christ.
The cross of Christ lifts people that are buried in sin and death to new life and life forever.
And there is a warning call to all who would bypass the cross.
Some may blame the Jews for crucifying Christ, and there is no denying the fact
- Without the cross there is no hope to take the place of despair.
- Without the cross there is no heaven to take the place of hell.
- Without the cross there is no justification to take the place of condemnation.
- Without the cross there is no salvation to take the place of sinfulness.
that he died at the hands of the Jews.
But it was your sins and my sins that placed him on the cross.
And you and I were there when they crucified him.
They -- your sins, my sins -- crucified Jesus!
The cross calls all to come and receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son,
that whosoever would believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
One of the two thieves who died with Him answered that call of salvation.
A Roman centurion standing at the cross declared, "Truly, this was the Son of God."
The three thousand converted on the Day of Pentecost answered that call.
And many here in this service have answered that call.
Your mothers and fathers and grandparents and other loved ones, and many of your friends
have answered that call.
Is that call sound like a whisper or like a strong, loud voice in your ears?
- Have you answered that call?
- Do you hear that call today?
- What does that call mean to you?
Is that call like a soft-spoken voice or like a trumpet call?
How will you answer?
Will you answer by repenting and turning from your sin, and praying that Jesus will come
into your heart today?
Or is your answer, "At some more convenient season?"
Are you just almost persuaded to receive Jesus?
Almost is not enough!
Almost is but to fail!
Some years ago I read of a plane that left Asia and was bound for Chicago.
That plane crossed the wide Pacific Ocean and flew high above the mountain ranges,
and flew over hundreds of islands.
But then crashed and was completely destroyed -- all lives were lost!
"They were almost home."
Many years ago a cruise ship had journeyed all around the world
and was back in the home harbor in England.
The ship arrived at night at all the passengers were still onboard when it was tragically rammed
by another great oceangoing vessel.
Many lives were lost including the captain.
The pastor of the captain had the sad task of informing the captain's wife and children
as they prepared for his homecoming.
He had to tell them that the ship had sunk and that the captain was dead.
One sentence was uttered in anguish from the lips of that wife and mother:
"Lost, and so near home!"
This week our astronauts were returning from space in the Columbia when it suddenly exploded
over Texas just 12 minutes from landing.
Just 12 minutes from home.
Almost home, but lost!
Repent! Repent! Repent!
Those words ring out like a fire alarm bell throughout the Bible!
Today, this Bible urges all who are here without Christ to repent!
Today is the day of salvation!
No one will walk through the gate of heaven because of his charitable generosity
or his earthly achievements, or his medals or his awards, or his educational achievements,
or his record as a soldier, etc..
All will go in because of Jesus and His death on the cross.
The Christ of the cross calls, and I relay that call to you.
You must answer now!
Tomorrow may be too late!
How horrible it would be if you died without Jesus tonight, and woke up in hell
-- almost home, but lost -- forever!
Don't take that chance!
There is nothing in this world that's worth such an eternal price.
Don't gamble with your eternal soul!
You've heard the call of the cross of Christ -- please, come now!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.com