Call to Obedience
CALL TO OBEDIENCE is a monthly letter to challenge you to live a godly life. Subscribe today to receive your free monthly copy, and don't forget to click to our archives to read past issues of the Call to Obedience. Below is our current issue for this month.CALL TO OBEDIENCE #429
"Do You Know How Special You Are?"
By Reimar Schultze
(This sermon was adapted from Reverend Robert L. Morgan)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it (Rev. 2:17).
Whenever I want to settle a doctrinal or theological issue, I go to the Revelation. The Revelation is God’s last word to man. But it is not only a revelation of Jesus Christ Himself, but also His final revelation of what it takes for us to live with Him forever. For example, there are some disagreements among scholars on what it takes for men to get saved. Some say that all it takes for men to be saved is to believe in Jesus Christ (John 3). But you can easily take this out of context. Or some say the requirement for salvation comes from the story of the good Samaritan when a lawyer asked the question: ...Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (Luke 10:25) and the story ends with Jesus’ answer: “Be like the good Samaritan.” You can also take that out of context.
Be that as it is, here in the Revelation the issue is not about starting, but it is about finishing. As the Apostle Paul said: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?... (1 Cor. 9:24). Jesus tells all people in the seven churches that no matter how they started, that unless they overcome, THEY WILL NOT GET TO HEAVEN. Let us line up the seven “overcometh” verses from this great book of Revelation:
· ...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life... (Rev. 2:7)
· ...He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death (Rev. 2:11)
· ...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written... (Rev. 2:17)
· ...He that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations (Rev. 2:26)
· ...He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life... (Rev. 3:5)
· Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God... (Rev. 3:12)
· To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne... (Rev. 3:21)
Hence, no matter what you believe about how to start, you have to overcome the self-life which is the cause of all evil, sin and misery, and prevents you from crossing the Jordan River to your heavenly destiny.
And now, today, I shall single out one of these “overcometh” Bible verses. It is the one that talks about you getting a white stone and Jesus will write your new name on it and only you and He will know about it. Now, the scholars have not been able to explain clearly what this white stone is. But most believe that the white stone represents that our sins are forgiven. That is true of all of those who get to heaven.
But the portion of this verse which says: …and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it, tells each of us there is something between God and us that no one else in the world knows but the two of us. It tells us that God is a personal God to each of us like He is to nobody else in the world. Each one of us can have a relationship with God that no one else can know anything about. Only God and you know it. George D. Watson, in his book, Our Own God, tells us that each of us has a personal God all our own. Each of us can know God in a special way like no one else in the world. We have the privilege to know Him like no one else can know Him. Isn’t that wonderful?
If we could only grasp this truth, we would never be upset with God’s servants. Because of this personal relationship with God, all of God’s servants are different. If you watch ministers, you will see that none of them are alike. What does this tell us about God? No one person can show the world what God is like. Each one of us can show a little touch of God that no one else can. But we are in trouble if we try to be like someone else. Again, everyone is uniquely and purposefully created. Everyone is special not only by virtue of creation but by virtue of their relationship with God. It takes the combination of all of us to show what God is likeyour little bit and my little bit.
One of the famous artists was trying to paint the face of Jesus. He threw his brush down in exasperation and exclaimed that no one could paint the face of Jesus! This is true, because there is so much diversity in His face no one can capture it on canvas. God is like the combination of us all and Jesus is the only person who can portray all of what He is like.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says: Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. It is diversity that makes up the whole Body of Christ. Again, not one person is the Body of Christ. All of us contribute to this diversity. All of us! Abraham, Isaac and Jacob each showed a different aspect of God, but none of them showed all of God. As I said before, no one person shows all of what God is like except Jesus. Also, God gives different people different work to do. For example, some are especially called to the poor, some are called to personal evangelism, and others are concerned about divine healing. God does not give any one person the vision for all He wants done.
1 Peter 2:9 says: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people... Instead of saying we are a peculiar people, the scholars want to say we are God’s possession. I have an idea what the King James Bible says is rightall of us are a little peculiar. This is a characteristic of God’s saints. They are hard to figure out and easy to judge. Be careful about judging the uniqueness of each servant of God. For example, what had Gideon and Joseph in common? Oh, what a difference between these two characters. What did John the Baptist have in common with John the apostle? Also notice the difference between these two men. But here is what they had in common: they all loved God with all their hearts.
Yet, while each of us may be different, God is the same! Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. This means what He did once, He can do again. He never changes. It means what He did for one, He can do for all. I can claim everything He did for Abraham because He is not a respecter of persons. After Abraham came back from battle, God spoke to him in Genesis 15:1 ...Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. God was Abraham’s protector and He will be yours too. God was his exceeding great reward which meant He would take care of every need Abraham had and He will do that for you also. Do you want what Abraham had? He had no earthly ambition whatsoever. That is true of everyone no matter how they may differ otherwise. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10).
Yes, we are all different, but God is always the same. Each of us are a part, but God is the ALL. And He always does what is His nature to do. It is His nature to love everybody. We never have to earn His love. He never acts contrary to His nature. He loves the worst rascal who exists. Reverend Arthur Mouw was a missionary to Borneo. One day he saw a wild man who had been caged. Reverend Mouw passed him by and paid no attention to him. God spoke to him and said, “Why don’t you go back and pray for him. You do not love him but I do.” He went back and prayed for him. When he returned a few days later, the man was out of the cage and well. What He has done for one, He can do for all.
Young people, can you comprehend and master these truths? You may not make it on a popularity list, but by desiring God, He will provide for your needs for time and eternity. Abraham did not desire to be the mayor of Sodom as Lot did. His ambitions were all for God. He did more for Sodom by living on a hillside in a tent than Lot ever did by moving into the city of Sodom. God has a calling for you. If you will fulfill it, you will do something for God that no one else can do. Remember, you are special and there is a relationship between you and Him that no one else knows. God wants you to be different. As God gave Abram the name, Abraham, as He gave Jacob the name, Israel, as He gave Simon the name, Peter, He will give you a new name, but in this case no one will know it except you and Him. I trust you will seek God and Him alone. If you will, whatever your needs might be, they will be supplied.