Ambassadors for Christ: Stand Firm
Live Under the Authority of God's Word
March 9, 2011 - During the Month of March, a ministry theme we're examining is what it means to be an ambassador for Christ. Let’s read Billy Graham’s own words as he describes what this looks like for us. This is part two of two from the Billy Graham Sermon Series, titled "Ambassadors."
Satan will do everything he can to divert us from the message of Scripture, but we must stand firm.—Billy Graham
by Billy Graham
Now, Satan will do everything he can to divert us from the message of Scripture, but we must stand firm. God has spoken, and we must be faithful to that message. When Jesus was upon the earth, He held His crowds spellbound. He talked to the leaders of His day, and He spoke as one having authority, and He absolutely shook them by the great authority with which He spoke, because it was the authority of God the Father.
The great prophets of the past also spoke with authority, and their secret is traceable to the fact that they believed their message, and they would say time after time, “Thus saith the Lord.” Or, “The Word of the Lord came unto me saying.”
Today, if you want to be used of God, if you want people to turn from false messiahs and listen to you, if you want to turn people from darkness unto light and from the power of Satan unto God, you and I must speak, we must work, and we must live with that authority that our Lord Himself had. The world longs for authority and certainty; it is weary of theological floundering and uncertainty; nothing is gained psychologically or spiritually by casting aspersions on the light.
Our generation, especially in the West, occupied itself with criticism of the Scriptures and all too soon found itself questioning divine revelation. Don’t make that mistake. Take the Bible as God’s holy Word.
If your life is under the authority of God’s Word and your message is under the authority of God’s Word, then you’ll have the authority of God’s Word, and God is going to use it. The Bible says of itself, ”For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV). I find that I have in my hands a knife or a sword. I find that the Bible becomes a flame in my hands—a flame that melts the hearts of people and moves them to decide for Christ.
I find that I do not have to rely upon cleverness or oratory or psychological manipulations of crowds or apt illustrations. I realize that it is the Scripture itself that God uses under the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, there’s danger here. I am not advocating bibliolatry, that we worship the Bible, any more than a programmer worships his computer, or a surgeon worships his instruments. I am, however, urging a Gospel presentation that without apology says, “Thus says the Lord.”
Jesus said that we are like farmers, sowing God’s seed. Some seed indeed may fall on beaten paths, and some among thorns, but it is our business to keep on sowing. We are not to stop sowing because some of the soil looks unpromising.
We Christians are holding the light, and we’re to let it shine. I may seem but a twinkling candle in the world of darkness, but it is our business to let it shine. We’re striking with a hammer, and the blows may seem only to jar our own hands as we strike, but we’ll keep on hammering at the hearts of people. We’re using a sword, and at first it may seem that we are getting nowhere, but God the Holy Spirit will use it.
We have won hearts and souls, and we must keep standing and crying out, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the water” (Isaiah 55:1). Amid the spiraling forces of revolution, materialism, and nihilism, the world needs to hear that clear, loud, authoritative Word of the living God. God says, ”If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8). This is an hour when we ought to declare the Word of God to a generation that some people feel may be the last generation.
You have the greatest challenge, the greatest opportunity, and the greatest responsibility of any generation in history. And as those early disciples brought the Gospel 2,000 years ago, so we in the 21st century are to carry the Gospel and the Word of God in this generation. I believe that Jesus Christ is coming soon. I do not know when. We’re told not to speculate on dates, but it seems to me that all the prophecies that the Lord left us are coming to a climax at this moment in history.
And one of the things that our Lord said was, ”And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world… and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
Never Give Up
I remember a word spoken by Sir Winston Churchill, whose courage, faith, and persistence carried his nation through the dark days of World War II. The headmaster of Harrow, the famous prep school that Churchill had attended as a boy and on whose desk he had carved his initials many years before, ask Mr. Churchill to address the students.
The headmaster told the young people to bring their pencils and their notebooks to record what Britain’s greatest man of the century, a peerless master of English prose, would say. The moment they waited for came. The old warrior rose to his feet and spoke these words” “Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never.”
I charge you as a servant of Jesus Christ to preach the Word, be loyal to the Word of the living God, and never give up confidence in this Book. Never give up the Gospel. Never, never, never.
*All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, unless otherwise noted.