By Brian Pepper
There are so many people today who feel that they have gone so
far in sin that God can no longer forgive them. Why, not so long ago
a man said to me "I just can't feel that I am forgiven." Friends, it
isn't a matter of feeling at all. We have to exercise faith in the
Lord, believe what He has said, and accept the many promises that He
Man will let you down
Psalms 118:8 we read, "It is better to trust in the Lord
than to put confidence in man." The Lord is not like man! Why,
these days you just cannot take a man at his word, people let you
down so often. How many times do you hear this? "I am not going to
trust that person any more. Why, I did my best to help them and they
returned all that I did for them with some mean deed." No God is not
The Bible says that you can trust Him, He wont let you down.
There too many today, who are leaning on their own understanding,
instead of putting their trust where it should be. Man needs more
trusting faith in God. It is quite alright to believe but believing
is not enough.
Faith in Noah's Ark
You just think of it! While Noah was building his great ship, the
Ark, there must have been many people who went through and inspected
that great boat. I am sure they were impressed by the massive
timbers, the powerful ribbing, the strong braces, and thick
planking. Everything they saw told them that this boat was being
built to take a tremendous strain, besides it was fully waterproofed
with bituminous paint. I have no doubt that they had plenty of faith
in the ability of the Ark to float and withstand terrific pressure,
but that did not help them one little bit. Their faith was of no
value because they trusted in their own understanding.
You take St Peter for instance. He had been out fishing all night
and had not caught a single mullet or even a skippy. There just
wasn't a fish around. Plenty of fishermen have had that experience.
Jesus said, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for
a drought." Peter was rather discouraged, he started to argue
with the Master, but realising that after all Jesus had never failed
before, he did as he was told and what was the result? Listen to the
Scripture! Luke 5:6, "And when they had done this, they inclosed
a great multitude of fishes and their net broke.
Verse 7, And
they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship,
that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both
the ships so they began to sink."
St Peter could have said, "Lord I would like to see the fish
before I go out", but he believed without seeing and was duly
rewarded. But did you notice that St Peter not only had faith but he
followed it up by doing something.
James 2:20 says, "But wilt
thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead." Faith
has to be followed up by action. St Peter could have believed Christ
and said, "If you say there are fish out there, that is enough
for me, I will take your word." But with his believing, he went
into action and was well rewarded.
When we have that trusting faith in God, we can be certain that
He will honour our faith by showering upon us the rich promises
contained in His Book. Take one of these many promises, you will
find it in
Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Now I want you to notice that you can expect perfect peace if
you put your trust in Him.
Trusting in others
There are too many putting their trust in others. If you are
doing that, than all I can say is that you can expect trouble. Just
like the good brother who lent another church member $10 and the
money was never paid back. It so grieved the man who made the loan
that he gave up coming to church. If the Devil came to you today and
offered you $1,000,000, would you sell out? Why, of course not. Then
do not sell out because you placed your trust in some erring mortal
man. No, Isaiah says, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose
mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Money cannot buy peace
We are promised perfect peace if we put our trust in Christ.
Money cannot buy that peace. The poorest of the poor can have it,
free in abundance.
Isaiah 55:1 says, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come
ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye buy and eat;
yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
It is a free gift and yet so few avail themselves of it.
What keeps us from receiving the promise?
Today the hospitals are full of people who are mentally
distressed, some on the border of nervous breakdown, others
emotionally unbalanced. Psychiatrists' are now accepted as
professional practitioners, whereas a few years back they were
almost unheard of. If only people would get back to God. If only
they would put their trust in Christ. What a different world it
would be! Why, the promise is there, it is clear enough. Then why do
not people accept? It seems as if there are three things that keep
us from receiving the promise.
1. The first I would suggest is that we do not truly repent. We
have sinned, we are sorry we have sinned, but we do not do anything
definite about it. We make no real effort to put sin out of our
lives, but still hang on and on, little realising that while we are
in such a condition God can do nothing for us.
2. Another thing that holds us back is often we are unforgiving
one to another. Christ gave us a definite command to forgive others.
How can we expect the forgiveness of God if we refuse to do the same
as God does, that is to forgive us. I know a lady who has never
forgiven her husband because at one time in their married life he
began to pay attention to another woman, it was an old sweetheart
who for a while captivated his attention. However the situation was
restored to balance by the return of the husband to the wife. But
that wife has not forgiven her husband for his lapse. No, if we are
unforgiving, that will hold us back from realising the promise of
3. Then there is another thing that holds us back from realising
the promise of Jesus. And that is not believing what God has said
and promised. Like the traveller in the Eastern country who got
tired of carrying his pack on his back over the rough tracks, and he
bought a donkey to make his way lighter. But instead of placing his
pack on the donkey's back, he mounted the donkey with the heavy pack
still on his own back. God has said, "You came to Me and I will
lighten your load." But so many refuse to believe what God has
said. They are like the man with the donkey. Instead of using the
donkey to lighten the load, they still carry the heavy burden. God
wants to lighten that load. He wants to help you and He wants to
Doubting God's Word
There is one thing that men used to hate in days gone by.
There are so many liars today that this hardly hits home. In
the past when men have received black eyes and been knocked
down, because they questioned some man's word in an
outspoken manner. Have you ever thought how it must grieve
Christ when men question his word. There are so many who
say, "I just cannot believe, I just haven't that faith."
Now if a man came up to me, that is someone I know, and
asked me if he could borrow my car for a day and I said,
"alright you can have it." Then the man replied saying, "I
just cannot believe what you say, or I doubt what you say is
true." I would ask that man, "why is it you doubt my word?
Why cannot you trust me?" You would want to know wouldn't
you. Well God asks you, why do you not trust Him, has He
ever failed His word?
No, it is Satan that starts those doubts and he is a past
master at it. He started it with Eve. In
Genesis 3:1 we
read, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of
the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the
woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of
the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat
of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of
the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said,
Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye
Verse 4, And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall
not surely die."
In other words, the Devil said, "God does not really
mean what He says, He is only trying to frighten you, there
is no need to be alarmed at all". And he is doing the
same thing today with a lot of modern Adams and Eves. The
Devil says, "You really cannot take God at his Word,
after all He doesn't really mean what He says."
The tragedy is that so many swallow the old story and in
doing so go down to death and hell. It is no wonder that
Jesus said in
Luke 18:8, "I tell you that he will avenge
them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh,
shall He find faith on the earth."
Because Satan has sown his seeds of doubts so well,
Christ tells us that when He comes in all His Glory with all
of His Holy Angels, there will not be too many found on that
great day with a simple trusting faith in God, believing in
His rich promises. As a matter of fact, only the trusting
believing person, will enter into the celestial city, the
Revelation 21:8 says, "But the fearful,
and unbelieving, ... shall have their part in the lake which
burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Doubt of Zacharias
It is a serious thing to doubt God's Word. If we continue
to doubt, it will result in our being left out of the
kingdom. You will remember when the Angel of God appeared to
Zacharias and told him that a son was to be given him, he
doubted and said, "Whereby shall I know this?" Why,
the Angel said, is it not enough for you that God has said
it? Zacharias, you shall be deaf and dumb till the child
shall be born "because thou believest not my words."
He did what so many people do now; he would not take God's
Word for it.
Doubt of the Israelites
When Israel doubted God's Word, they sent out twelve men,
one for each tribe, to spy out the land. When these men came
back they brought a majority and a minority report. They all
believed that it was a good land, flowing with milk and
honey. We never saw such fruit, such wine, and milk, and
honey, and oil; but ... there is always a 'but' in unbelief,
we say giants, we say the children of Anak. The people are
strong, the cities are walled. Just so, unbelief saw the
difficulties, and great giants, the strong walls of Jericho.
Instead of remembering Him, who had brought them through the
Red Sea, who delivered them from Pharaoh, who gave them
manna from Heaven, and brought water from the flinty rock.
Instead of looking to Him they looked at the giants and the
walls, and they were afraid. Ten out of the twelve spies
came back terribly afraid of the strong walls and the
giants. Just so the Devil is always ready to provide plenty
of giants, and unbelief is terrified and says, "don't
But faith sees further than that. Faith says, "what if
there are giants? What need we care for walls or giants,
when our God is with us?" Faithful Caleb and Joshua
said, "Do not fear the people of the land, for their defense
is departed from them; fear them not." That is faith for
you! These two men believed God's Word "I will give you the
land" and that was enough for them. If God says, "I will
give it to you", that should be enough for us. "If God be
for us, who can be against us?" (Romans
8:31) But no sooner does God promise us something
then Satan suggests doubts. And very soon we are seeing all
the difficulties, the unsurmountable problems, the mountains
of trouble. So long as St Peter had his eye on the LORD, he
could walk on the water very well, but no sooner did he get
his eye off the LORD, and begin to look at the waves, then
he began to sink. When our eye is on the LORD Jesus Christ,
then we are strong, but when we look around and forget Him,
then we are weak, and down we go.
If we are willing to obey and go right ahead and do what
He tells us, He will carry us through. The waves will not
trouble us when our eye is fixed on Him. That is faith. I
assure you that you will never be saved till you accept
God's Word by faith, for salvation is linked with faith, and
faith is linked with salvation.
Is Sincerity enough?
One of the most dangerous doctrines that is being
preached today is that it does not matter what a man
believes, as long as he is sincere, that it does not matter
what you believe. That means a good Mohammedan, a follower
of Confucius, a superstitious Buddhist, they are all right,
that is if they are sincere. The Bible does not tell us
that. It is very clear that Salvation and everlasting life
come only through Christ.
John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am
the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the
Father, but by me." Again in
Acts 4:12, "Neither is
there salvation in any other: for there is none other name
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Doctrines and Creeds
I tell you that it does make a great difference what a
man believes. It is the difference between eternal life and
damnation. There are a great many people whose creed is, all
right, they pin their faith to a doctrine. Now doctrines and
creeds are all right in their way, but if creeds and
doctrines do not bring a person to Christ they are not worth
the paper they are written on. You must do more than just
believe that Christ can save, that Jesus died to save. You
must have Him in your heart. You must lay hold of Him by
faith and then you will be safe.
There are some people who say, "It does not matter
what a person believes" and they go down to destruction.
There are others who say, "My belief is all right: it is
sound and orthodox", yet they do not lay hold on Christ
and they go down to destruction just like the others. It is
only faith that grasps the Son of God that will ever save a
Isaiah 12:2, "Behold God is my salvation I will
trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD Jehovah is my
strength and my song'; He also is become my salvation."
Yes, God is our salvation. If we put our trust in Him, then
there is no need to worry.
Insecurity in the Spiritual Life
It is really surprising the number of people who feel
insecure in their spiritual life. You say to them, "It
will really be wonderful when we walk through those gates of
pearl, and down the streets of gold." They say, "We
wish we could believe that, but I am not too sure that I
will be there." Plenty of good Christian folk tell me
that they seem to be very uncertain about their salvation.
Poor Christians! Not ready to believe God, not ready to take
Him at His Word. Why it is no wonder that God said that the
unbelieving will not go in through the pearly gates.
Faith is Simple
Is faith a difficult thing? Whey these little children
would teach us all about faith. The little child lives a
life of faith. That little boy over there does not worry
about his next pair of boots, he knows that his father will
provide those. He does not care at all about his next coat
or hat, if he needs one then that will be supplied. You
never hear him worry about his breakfast tomorrow morning.
He knows that it will be there. You see, he just lives on
faith and it is so simple.
But wouldn't it be ridiculous if a child started to worry
about where the next meal is coming from (unless the parents
were poor). If the average child started to worry and doubt
if the parents could supply that pair of shoes, that new
coat, tomorrow's breakfast, then something would be
radically wrong. And yet that is just what we do with God.
We say, "I wonder if God can give me salvation full and
free, I wonder if I really can expect to go to the glory
land?" It is no wonder that Jesus said, "You had
better become like little children, unless you do, you may
The older we get, the further along the way we find
ourselves, the harder it seems to exercise that simple trust
of the little child. If we are going to make the last stage
of the journey, then we must have complete and trusting
faith. This is a very important thing, for it can stand
right in the way of our personal salvation. Yes, if there is
one thing that is blighting souls, sending others into a
misery of unbelief, it is that one thing, not taking God at
If it is in your life, if it is in my life, the we must
root it out and say "I will trust, and not be afraid." When
we do this then we will know that "God is our Salvation, the
LORD Jehovah your strength and song.