Growing up in a large family during the Great Depression, I suppose many parents did not have much time to encourage their kids and spend time with them and so on, because they had many needs themselves. In my case, I developed a spirit of insecurity, and as time went by, I figured out that alcohol was a way and means of getting rid of insecurity, and giving me boldness, and other needed qualities. Anyway, I soon found out that it becomes an addiction, and very difficult to get rid of. Self-helps, self-efforts did not work for me. But later in my early 30s I finally overcame it, through my strong will and self-effort. During that time though, your strength weakens and it became very difficult. There were programs that I tried, to find the meaning of God’s help in there. I did not identify with none of them.
And one day, through desperation, I called upon the Lord, which I did not know, and asked Him to help me. Watching television one evening during that time, Billy Graham was on. I had heard his name, but did not know much about what he was talking about. Then he comes on with the saying, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” First of all, in the realm I lived in, the word “Jesus Christ” was nothing but a swear word! We all used it. It was a big part of our vocabulary. And Jesus Christ was nothing but a good hippie, gone back 2000 years ago, we knew that. Billy was talking about faith as well, which I did not have. But apparently we all have a little bit of faith, enough to get us started. So I thought, well, he was talking about the Bible which was another thing that I did not believe at all!! Ancient writings by somebody we didn’t know, nor did we care about! Yet, I asked my wife to go buy me a Bible! She went and bought one at Eaton’s for me! As I started to read little bits of it, it began to make sense! And now I believe where it says “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God.” When I look at that, I see what happened there… Billy Graham was preaching the word of God and when I started reading the Bible, I was reading the Word of God! This is the Power of the Gospel. The little bit of faith I had, which was minor, and to put my own thoughts and ideas aside, and began to look at something else than my own efforts.
Well, this is history, almost 50 years ago, I call it the Simplicity and the Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because of that, I found new life came into me, excitement about it, and wanting to tell others about it, and enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit that came to reside in me at that time. I think when God calls us “His children”, there is a reason behind that. He never calls us “His adults”. So to me, that is the simplicity – as a child you are able to trust. That is what makes it work. That is what gives us power to have, in my case, no interest in alcohol or drugs for security, boldness, and all these other qualities that goes with it, to help me through life.
I just want to share a scripture in here. It simply states, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved, and your household also.” And another scripture says, “Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” These are heavy-duty promises, simple, but powerful. You can ask yourself, saved from what? You are saved from Fear, Guilt, Condemnation, Insecurity, and many other lacks.
In the Book of Acts, chapter 16, St. Paul as we all know and have heard of, was on his way to Philippi, and when he arrived there, it says, he went along the river where they used to have prayer meetings. When he was there, there was a woman who was a fortune teller or diviner, who kept bugging him. Finally he got fed up, and St. Paul realized she had a demon in her, and he commanded that demon to leave her alone. So immediately she got saved, and got water baptized right in that river. And the guy that was making his living off her business, realized he could not make a living off of her anymore, so he dragged St. Paul to town before the magistrate, where he was flogged and put in prison. He was locked into the prison in chains, with other prisoners there. And a retired army captain who the Romans put in charge of those prisons in those days was there. The story says that while St. Paul and his friend were singing praises to the Lord at midnight, an earthquake happened. The retired Roman army guard was asleep on his chair. He was awakened and he thought all the prisoners had escaped and it would be “off with his head” – so he took his sword and was going to commit suicide. But St. Paul shouted at him, don’t do that! He called him over and St. Paul said, “we are all here, nobody escaped!!!” So the fearful guard called for a light, and on his knees, came up to St. Paul and said “what must I do to be saved?” St. Paul simply told him, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved and your household also.” Not too many details here, but the guard took St. Paul to his house, cleaned him up, and he and his household were baptized, all believing in Jesus Christ! (by the way, You don’t need to be baptized to be saved, it’s got nothing to do with it. The Jews of that day, part of their religion was baptizing people. We see that with John the Baptist who was baptizing Jews.)
Now this is what we see as the Power & Simplicity of the Gospel!!
This is the beginning of a brand-new life, which is made up of the Mercy, the Grace, and the Abundant life there is in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour! It includes Eternal life to boot! Because the scripture says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.”
Simple, yes. Simplicity, yes. But Powerful!!! Behind that is all the Lord that created all the universe and everything in it! As He is knocking at the door of your heart, let Him in! Enjoy Him, talk to Him. Listen to Him, and thank Him. He has done it all folks!
God bless you, and He loves you very very much,