From confusion to peace – Bruce Hales
Gospel news for eternal salvation
Record of preaching in gospel hall by Bruce Hales
Luke 15: 17, 20, 22–24; Acts 22: 6–8, 10, 11
I thought of these two Scriptures, the first one is a parable, the Lord bringing out the grace of God that had appeared. It’s a wonderful matter to take in the grace of God that’s shone out in Jesus, shone down to you. You think of all the billions of men there are on the earth at the present time, all the billions that have died, and yet God is the supreme Ruler, everything is under His control, He is letting the earth run on. You might think men are in control of it, but if you look a little behind the scenes you’ll find that God is in control, and He is letting the time run on in view of the dispensation of grace being lengthened, so that more will come into the gain of the glad tidings.
I thought of this younger son, what con- fusion he was led into through his own will. One looks around, one can look within one’s own heart, and can see what confusion is brought about when I follow my own will. I might think I’m pleasing myself, I might think I’m so smart that I know what to do, get up against my parents, defy their authority, get up against law even, the law of the land, you know, come right up against it, think I can beat it. And what I’m finding myself is in a state of confusion, through my rebellion. And this young man found that, he went his own way. His father let him take half, that’s what he wanted. He says, give me the share of the property. And he divided to them what he was possessed of, the two sons. And, it says, after not many days, it wasn’t long before this young man found the results of the confusion that was brought in.
The Lord came in bringing peace. It was peace upon earth, and then it was peace, peace in heaven, in view of the work that was going to be accomplished. Think of God providing peace to everyone that took account of the work of Jesus. Have you done it? Have you done it? Are you holding out? Any young person here holding out, not understanding the grace of God, why He has left you here today, why He could have taken you away in your lawlessness, and dispensed with you, and disposed of you? He has done it many times, He is doing it today, He is doing it in this city, He is taking young men and young women away in their lawlessness and their wickedness, He is taking them away. And we are here today, subjects of the grace of God.
And this young man, he rises up. He comes to himself, I think he comes to see what confusion that his wilfulness, and his lawlessness, his self-will, has led him into. His own determination in his heart, seeking excitement and happiness and satisfaction, led him into confusion and emptiness and barrenness. And he remembers his father’s house, and he comes to himself, and rises up. And then you get the picture of him back in his father’s house. What a picture! That’s peace, that’s peace. When you see a soul that’s had to do with Jesus, and given up their own will, and been extricated from the confusion that’s brought in through the influence of Satan, as we had earlier, influence of Satan is what’s brought in the confusion to this whole scene, when some soul gets extricated from it, and returns to the father’s house, that’s peace, that’s reconciliation, that’s taking advantage of the work of Christ. Made peace, it says, by the blood of His cross. He did it Himself, He shed His own blood, He died for you, He went to Calvary’s cross for you, He suffered, suffered the ignominy and shame and scorn, the crown of thorns. He was the King, King of glory, and yet He bore the crown of thorns for you, bore it for you. What for? To accomplish God’s righteousness, so you can get peace; peace now, but peace eternally, but peace now. It’s the same thing, it’s the same thing.
You can’t get, you’re not going to get nearer to Christ eternally than you are now. But think about it, think about it. You go on in your lawlessness, are you near to Christ? You going on in rebellion, are you close to Christ? The only way you’ll get close to Christ is through submission, through coming under His authority. And you can do it now. You won’t be able to do it eternally, won’t be able to do it eternally, there will be no change morally, no growth spiritually eternally. It’s now, it’s today. Today is the day of salvation.
And that’s what Paul came into. Paul was affected by Christ coming into his life. Paul was against Jesus, he would have had nothing to do with Him, have nothing to do with Him, he hated His name, hated every expression of the testimony of Jesus. And yet the Lord came out from heaven, came down from heaven, and arrested him, and took him up. And Paul found peace. I think Paul found peace at this time, when He says, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And I answered, Who art Thou, Lord? He says, I am Jesus. And then he says, I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said, Rise up, and go to Damascus, and there it shall be told thee all things. And he was led by the hand. I think Paul found peace at this point, when his whole being and soul came into subjection to Christ. He found the One that he hated was his Lover, he found the One that he had set himself against was for him, was for him. He was his Lover, and He was his Advocate, He took up his case.
Think of Paul, Saul of Tarsus as he then was, speaking out against Christ, and what he was as a person, as a man, insolent, he says, overbearing. You couldn’t come near him as a man here in the flesh. And yet he gave it all up and surrendered to Christ. That’s open to us today. That’s peace, that’s peace, that’s peace, when you surrender your will to Christ. And he says, the glory of the light. He never had that light before. He knew all about Judaism, he knew everything according to the law, but he hadn’t seen Jesus. Jesus appeared to him, he said the One that appeared to him in the way, on the road to Damascus, when he was hell-bent against Christ. And the Lord appeared to him, and he submits, and he finds the Person, he finds the Man, the Man Christ Jesus, the Mediator between God and men one, the Man, the Man Christ Jesus. That means He has come close to you in the glad tidings, He has come close to you today, that’s the point. If you’re not going to get close to Him now you’ll never
be close to Him eternally. Don’t wait for eternity, make it now, get closer to Him every day, make Him your Friend. Little children, Jesus is your Friend, He is your Friend, He is your Saviour, He has shed His blood for you. You see, your hearts are tender, your hearts are soft, your hearts are open, your consciences are tender, haven’t been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. How quickly we get that way, how quickly we allow Satan to harden us through the deceitfulness of sin, like that young man, and yet he returned.
Oh, may we return today and find peace, find settlement, find satisfaction, find that we can get close to Christ now, now. Make it a current experience in your soul, let it grow every day, aim at it every day. Am I getting closer to Christ? Am I getting further away from the world? Am I getting further away from the ruler of this world, the man of sin? Heading up shortly, heading up. He will be the climax of all the confusion that’s existed since the fall, will come out in the man of sin, and Jesus Himself will come out and annul him with the breath of His mouth. What a Saviour, what a Deliverer! May we put our faith and trust in Him afresh today, and find a settlement in our souls. For His name’s sake.
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