Sermon #1345 Miscellaneous Notes
Title: “GOOD NEWS FROM A FAR COUNTRY”
Text: Proverbs 25:25
Reading: Psalm 92 and 93
Subject: Comfort in a World of Woe
Date: Sunday Morning - May 23, 1999
Tape # V-28a
I have come hear this morning with “good news from a far country.” Our text says, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” But the analogy used is a little difficult for us to grasp.
What do any of us really know about what cold waters are to a thirsty soul? I doubt that any of us have ever really been thirsty.
Illustrations: Walter Groover
Hagar and Ishmael
In these days of cellular telephones, fax machines, and electronic pagers, we cannot really grasp the idea of receiving good news from a far country, either. Just try to imagine what it was like 150 yeas ago for a person to receive a letter from a wife, husband or child they had not seen or heard from in six months, a year, or, perhaps, two or three years.
Illustration: The Pony Express – Rescue, CA
When we are separated from our families for a long time, nothing is more refreshing than good news from them. When Jacobs sons came back from Egypt, they brought their father gold, silver, and corn in great abundance; but nothing could compare with the good news by which the old man’s heart was revived – Joseph is yet alive” (Gen. 45:26).
Proposition: Good news, like water to a thirsty soul, is refreshing, comforting, and invigorating.
Divisions: Whoever you are, whatever your circumstances are, whatever condition you are in, I have good news for you today.
1. Good News for Helpless Sinners from the God of All Grace
2. Good News for Weary Pilgrims from the Homeland
3. Good News for the Church Above from the Church Here Below
I. I am the messenger of good news today. – I have GOOD NEWS FOR POOR, HELPLESS, NEEDY SINNERS FROM THE GOD OF ALL GRACE.
Some of you are yet without God, without Christ, and without hope. You are afar off from God, so far off from God that you cannot get back to him, except he come to you and fetch you back to himself by his almighty, irresistible grace. Your sin has you in bondage. Like the prodigal son, of whom our Lord spoke, you are in a far country. You have wasted your life and all your substance in the riotous living, walking after the lusts of your own flesh. Like that woman with the issue of blood, you have spent all your living on physicians of no value; and you are yet unclean, defiled, and corrupt in your soul.
Have I described you? If there is sitting in this assembly a lost, helpless, cursed, condemned, doomed, damned sinner, sinking into hell, will you give me your attention? I have good news for you. Oh, may God now cause you to hear it!
A. The great and glorious Lord God against whom you have sinned is as gracious as he is great.
It is true, God is infinitely holy, absolutely perfect, strictly just, and immutably true. He will not, indeed, he cannot tolerate sin. He will not allow iniquity to go unpunished. “The righteous Lord loveth righteousness.” The holy, just, good, and true God must punish sin. Still, there is hope for sinners like you and me, because God is as gracious as he is good, as merciful as he is just, as good as he is true, as kind as he is holy! “HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY!”
1. It is the glory of God to forgive iniquity, transgression and sin.
2. This great gracious God is omnipotent.
That simply means he has the power and ability to do anything he desires. His grace is omnipotent, irresistible grace. That means that my God can even save you. For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk. 1:37).
B. This great, gracious God has made a way for sinners to return to him in perfect reconciliation.
1. God, in his infinite wisdom, found a way to save sinners without compromising his holy character.
Illustration: The One Room School – “Deliver him from going
down to the pit; for I have found a ransom!”
2. The Lord Jesus Christ has obtained eternal redemption for every sinner who comes to God by him (Heb; 9:12).
C. The Lord God has sent me here to you, as his messenger, with his message of justice and grace, to call you to Christ.
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.” O Spirit of God, help me now, to persuade sinners to flee away to Christ. This is my message, the message God has sent me to proclaim. – “All things are ready!”
1. The work of redemption is accomplished.
2. I call you now to be reconciled to God.
a. Christ is ready to save.
b. God the Father is ready to receive.
c. The Holy Spirit is ready to comfort.
Illustration: The Prodigal -- The Ring—The Robe—The
Shoes—The Fatted Calf
To thirsty souls, this is good news from the God of all grace. It will be the fountain of living water to refresh your soul forever. If you are not thirsty, it will seem to you to be a whole lot of bother about nothing.
II. Second, I have Good News for Weary Pilgrims from Our Homeland.
You and I who are believers are strangers and pilgrims in this world. The longer we travel in this strange land, the stranger it seems to us. Our homeland is heaven above, The City Foursquare, The Heavenly Jerusalem. We are citizens of the New Jerusalem. I have been reading about our motherland this week; and all the news from the homeland is good news.
A. All of you who trust Christ have the same source of information that I have.
The good news I am relating comes to us from heaven by God the Holy Ghost, by the Spirit’s gracious illumination, through the pages of Holy Scripture. Here, in the Book of God, we see our Savior. Here, we hear the whispers of our Savior’s love. Here, we learn of him.
1. Children of God, see to it that you stay in regular contact with the homeland.
Keep up refreshing communication with heaven. It really is possible for men and women to walk with God, to walk with God himself, in intimate fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, in the communion of the Holy Spirit. – Enoch did!
a. Trust Christ! --For all things and in all things!
b. In everything give thanks.
c. Pray without ceasing.
d. Read the Word of God with great care.
2. Sometimes, our sweet communication with the homeland breaks down.
When that happens, when sweet communion with Christ in heaven is interrupted, it is always our fault. But it will be doubly refreshing when it is renewed.
B. Let me tell you what good news I have gotten directly from heaven for you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, this morning
1. The Lord our God is still on his throne (Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Rom. 8:28; 11:36).
2. The Lord Jesus Christ, our great God and Savior, is still in heaven.
· Preparing a Place for Us!
· Representing Us!
· Interceding for Us!
3. God the Holy Spirit, our divine Comforter, is still with us. –“If God be for us, who can be against us?”
4. All the interests of our souls, both in heaven and upon the earth, for time and eternity, are perfectly safe.
· The providence of God is sure.
· The promises of God are secure.
· The people of God are safe.
5. There are many just like you and me with Christ in the Father’s house already…
· A fallen David is there.
· A doubting Thomas is there.
· An angry Moses is there.
· A feeble Philip is there.
· An impetuous Peter is there.
· A righteous Lot is there!
· ALL ARE THERE BY THE BLOOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS F CHRIST ALONE!
6. You and I are wanted there.
Imagine that, you and I are wanted in heaven!
a. God the Father wants us there, that he might show forth the glory of his grace in us.
b. God the Son wants us there, that he might see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
c. God the Spirit wants us there, that he might glorify the Son who redeemed us.
d. The angels of God want us there, that they may hear from our lips the story of redeeming love, saving grace, and covenant faithfulness.
e. The saints of God, our brethren in heaven want us there, because without us they cannot be made perfect (Heb. 11:40).
The family of God in heaven cannot be complete without us. The body of Christ cannot be full without us. The saints who have gone before us cannot be glorified without us.
7. Son, our Lord Jesus Christ will come again to bring us home.
· At Death
· At The Second Advent
I told you I had good news for you. Hear he good news. Receive it with joy. Carry it in your heart. Let the attractions of heaven lift you above this distractions of this world.
III. Third, I have Good News For The Church In Heaven Above From The Church Here Below.
Our friends, our brothers and sisters, who have already been gathered up into heaven, are far more interested in what is going on with us down here than we ever imagine. We do not pray to the saints. We do not, in any way idolize them, or make them objects of worship; but we must not ignore them.
There is joy in heaven, in the presence of the angels, every time a sinner repents, joy in the triune God and joy among the saints, because of the blessings of God upon his church in this world (k. 15:7, 10).
Yes, I even have good news for our brothers and sisters in heaven, seated yonder around God’s throne.
A. Chosen, redeemed sinners are still being called out of the four corners of the earth.
B. God’s saints are still running their race with patience.
C. Churches are still being built, and the gospel is still running well.
D. God’s saints are growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
· Some are growing old, but growing gracious.
· Some are growing weak in the flesh, but growing strong in grace.
E. God’s saints, some of us, will soon be coming home.
Illustration: -- The Robin’s Eggs
 San Jose, CA – 7-5-99