The following is an excerpt from this sermon:
I encourage everyone to listen to an old brother sparks share this truth, the burden of his heart can be heard in his voice. It was powerful for me.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?lid=183&commentView=postComment]Reality through the cross[/url]
So now I do not think that I shall get really into that which is on my heart for ministry this week just now, but I think I can move toward it in this way: by reminding you that there is one fear that ought to be characteristic of every true Christian. I know theres much that forbids fear and tells us to fear not. Theres very much about that and thats the kind of fear that we must not indulge in. But there is one fear that ought to characterize every true Christian and child of God and that is the fear of unreality: the fear of having divine truth without divine power, of having divine light without divine character, of having knowledge of things without the formation of Christ in our lives. That is, having a great deal of teaching without it becoming effective in our lives. That is what I mean by "unreality". Theres a vast amount of that - teaching, truth, mental knowledge - given to us in a spoken ministry and in book form and yet... no corresponding measure of Life, Power, and Christ-likeness. Reality. That is the ultimate test of everything that we have or think that we have. Thats the test.
The test will never be how much we know of what is in the Bible, how much truth we have received, the test will be ever and always: what does that amount to in our case, in a practical way? Now that is the burden with which I have come here. I dont know whether the devil has been trying to play upon my fear and my reservation, for in a very real sense I have not wanted to come to Wabanna this year. Not a second guess but in a very real sense Im afraid, afraid of more talking, more addresses, more unfolding of biblical content and truth. Ive been doing it, you see, for so many years; sixty years Ive been preaching and I at this time have to look out and say: what has it amounted to? What does it amount to? I know it is not all without blessing, help, usefulness to the Lord, but... seeing the mountains of teaching over these years, dare I add to that? Have I the assurance that if I go and do more, its going to lead somewhere? Thats my fear, my question. So I want, right at the beginning (I dont know what has been said to you already last night and today) but this is what I want to say is I come amongst you that we must have this fear this week, a right kind of fear, I believe a divine fear, that we do not fill our notebooks or our minds with more teaching, truth, substance, but that every time as far as there is something that can really affect us, result in something in us, so far as we are concerned we are going to apply our hearts to that. Then day by day and when the days are past, we are different people. Thats the only justification of our coming, friends, we are different people. We certainly are not the same in spiritual life at the end as when we came.
And it does not require a very large or deep knowledge of the Lord Jesus - His Life, His movement amongst people, His teaching - it does not require profound knowledge to recognize that this was a characteristic of Himself. The one thing that He hated... with all the beautiful things that He said, the kind things, the gracious things He said and did; He said some terrible things - words of wrath, anger, came out of His mouth like fiery swords. Some of his denunciations are really terrible! Really terrible. There was this element about Him... it was about his forerunner John the Baptist. John the Baptist said some pretty terrible things if you get the literal meaning and statement of what he said. He turned to these people who came out from Jerusalem to see him, hear him, he said: You generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? You get the picture? Theres a bush fire, its spreading and as it spreads the vipers leap out and make for the river to escape the flames. John says, Thats what some of you people are doing coming down here to the river where Im baptizing. Youre a generation of vipers just seeking to escape the wrath to come. Thats a pretty terrible thing to say to people isnt it? But the Lord Jesus said equally strong things, Ye hypocrites! Ye hypocrites! You whited sepulchers! and much more like that. His words... all because His soul was consumed with this passion for reality. One thing he could not tolerate was hypocrisy, falsehood, unreality, pretense, make-believe, play-acting. No!