By Carl W. Strachan
(Note: A closing speech made during a service of the Southwest Church and in which new preachers to the Miami area were introduced and spoke).
I want to give thanks to God for my being permitted to be here this evening and enabling me to know you all. In connection will all the wonderful speakers, I can’t remember them all by name but I know one thing that we are all Christians, we are all brethren in Christ Jesus. I may not know all of you here in this world but the Bible reveals that some day we will all know each other better by and by.
I only want to say that I want to confirm some of the things that I have learned and God knows that I am a Christian as are these brethren and in “the eternal purpose of God.” Now, that is a universal expression and covers a wide area. I believe we can speak of that until that time shall come because all the Bible is the eternal purpose of God-every word of it!
You know in the back of my mind I was thinking, while the brethren were emphasizing the Scripture, of the fifth chapter of John, where Jesus went up to Jerusalem to the feast and met the sick and impotent man by the pool of Bethesda. He was afflicted, crippled for thirty and eight years. He needed to be healed. Jesus Christ who has an all seeing eye and sees everywhere and knows everything, saw the needy man and the condition he was in and looked to him and said: “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” (John 5:8). “The man was made whole took up his bed and walked.”
I look at the story again and it is seen that the Bible mentions that there were important people there in the sheep market where Jesus lingered but they were critical of the miracle He performed. Jesus later talked to this man that had been crippled but now walked and was now very happy for his healing. Jesus reminded him in the temple, “Behold, thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (John 5:14). This man became a disciple of Jesus as he continued to tell others what the Lord had done for him.
I believe that many people of the world today are still waiting on Jesus Christ. One of the greatest subjects in this life, I often think of, is that of people waiting to be Christians while all the time Jesus is waiting for them, right now, to act in obedience to His Word. This same precious moment Jesus is waiting for you to come unto him. He is waiting not only here for you to “come unto him” but every where in the world. One thing I love about the Savior is that He not only loves Americans but people of every nation under the heavens. Jesus is waiting to save them, too!
Maybe there are some of you here that are not Christians. Please remember that everyone has to be a Christian in order to fulfill the eternal purpose that God has for us. In order for us to obtain the rewards that Jesus Christ has for us, we are going to have to do just what God says for us to do. We should not be burdened and we cannot be hasty. We are going to have to know what we are doing. The three preachers have spoken here today in many, many words about many things whereby you could understand what God has said in the Bible. There is no reason for you to be in this building or in this hall along with God’s people and you not be a good Christian too. We are all here to encourage each other to be in the church of Jesus Christ and the arms of God and amid spiritual surroundings that when Jesus comes he will give us the reward that he has for us.
Now, those of you that are not Christians need remember that Jesus is still waiting for you – waiting with outstretched arms. The invitation of the Bible is: “Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). God’s Word to sinners in 2 Chron. 7:14 is: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their soul.” God expects no less of those who would be his true people today.
It is my appeal to you, each of you, sinner friends, is that you earnestly consider the fact that neither God, Christ nor the Holy Spirit can save you until you open your ears to the truth of the New Testament of Christ and in hearing the truth, be ready to accept all of it. This means your believing in God, repenting of every sin, confessing your faith in Christ to be God’s Son and then be buried in baptism to arise and walk in newness of life. You will want to then worship and serve him faithfully unto death. (See Heb. 11:6; Luke 13:3; Matt. 10:32; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:36-38; Rom. 6:3,4; and Rev. 2:10). I plead with you to do so now. Jesus is now here at the door of your heart. Do not leave the building until you do something about it. You and I can never know just what may happen to prevent your obedience and again Jesus may come at any time for his saints. Let us all make ourselves ready!
Truth Magazine, XX:16, p. 6-7
April 16, 1976