Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation: 33. The Decisive Trait of Faith

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation: 33. The Decisive Trait of Faith

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 33. The Decisive Trait of Faith

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The Decisive Trait of Faith

The plain inference here is that he who doesn't overcome shows that he really doesn't believe in his heart. And the natural result is that he does not receive these things promised. That is, he is not saved because he won't accept the Lord Jesus as his Saviour when it comes to the fire test.

There are without doubt thousands in the Church who will be left behind on the earth when our Lord Jesus catches up His own. This does not mean necessarily that they will be lost. There will be another opportunity of being saved for those living on the earth at that time. The Kingdom will be a wonderful time of salvation. There will be a continuous revival of the realest sort going on everywhere all the time.

But these would not have the blessed privilege of fellowship with the King in the Kingdom, nor the blessedness of fuller resurrection life at this time. That is reserved for those who by grace have believed on the Lord Jesus, during His absence and continued rejection, in spite of the fire of opposition.

It is notable that the Thyatiran message speaks of great tribulation coming to that Church if it continue unchanged. And that the Philadelphia Church is to be kept through "the hour of trial, that which is to come upon the whole earth." Throughout the Scriptures mention is made of a time of persecution coming at the end. The common term for it is tribulation. It is called the great tribulation. There will be more to be said about this again.

It is possible that it will be found that this Patmos message will have special significance during that trying time at the end. But it should be noted that it fits into the spirit of opposition that is always found where there is true, faithful witnessing.

The tribulation itself will be the time of intensest opposition carried to the extreme of violent persecution. It will be the climax of conditions always present, wherever there is faithful witnessing. Faithfulness to Christ always arouses opposition.

The test of whether we really accept Christ and believe Him is not in anything we say. It is not even in what we are in our lives when all goes smoothly. It is in what we are in our lives when opposed, when it costs criticism, ostracism, petty persecution, or more outright persecution. This is our Lord's test of acceptance of Himself.

We have had many definitions of what it means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And these have been helpful in clearing the air and helping us to a simple acceptance of Him. These definitions have touched chiefly the inner part of faith, the part we are conscious of.

Here is another definition. Here is the last word on the subject, the authoritative word, from our Lord Jesus Himself. It tells what faith is in its outward working, the part the crowd sees. The faith that accepts Jesus as Saviour accepts Him also as Lord.

That faith naturally rings true to Him under all circumstances. It rings truest and clearest whenever opposition to Him is aroused, whether the opposition of indifference, of criticism and sneer, or of persecution.

There are certain commonly accepted things that are in themselves only good, but which are not conclusive evidence that we really have saving faith in the Saviour. The act of coming into Church membership whether by confirmation, by an assent to questions regarding one's personal faith, or by being baptized, the fact of membership in the Church, the partaking of the Lord's supper, serving as an official of the Church in pulpit or pew, faithful attendance, liberal support,—these things are only good.

But they do not furnish conclusive evidence of one's acceptance of Christ. It is quite possible to be carried along on the common current in such things. There is clear evidence that many are. The decisive thing, the test thing is this: how we stand opposition, the polite, sneering sort, the more aggressive sort, or—if it come to that—the violent sort. The fire reveals every man's faith if there be any there.

There are two fire tests. One is of our faith in Christ, as revealed in the frictional fires of opposition. Whoever stands that test is caught up into His presence when He comes, or goes at once into His presence if our going precede His coming.

The second is of the love-spirit, how far it has been the very breath of our life as revealed by the fire of His presence. For the love-spirit means personal loyalty to Jesus, purity of heart, holiness of life, steadiness of purpose, and the exquisite gentleness of patience in our conduct toward all others.

These words of our Lord Jesus are very searching. This Patmos message must have been a painful one for Him to give John, and painful for John to repeat. It is painful for any one to repeat when its meaning is understood. It should send one off into some quiet corner alone on his knees with that great "search me" prayer of the Psalmist. [Note: Psa_139:1-24.]

Recently I was told a simple incident of one of the truly great Christian men of our generation. He was at the head of one of the largest concerns of our country employing thousands of men, but never knowing any labor troubles. I remember the impression made on me a few years ago at the time of his death, by the remark made to me by two different men of this man's city, men that I think did not know each other, or maybe very slightly. As I spoke of him each man said in a subdued voice, "Oh, everybody in——loved Mr.——!"

This incident was told by his son. The two were on a train together. The father rose and went forward to another part of the train. As he went out a man sitting opposite came over and spoke to the son. His flashy manner of dress and the fact that he seemed to have been drinking suggested the sort of man he was. He said to the son:

"Wasn't that Mr. So-and-so?"

"Yes," the son replied.

"Well," the man said, as though talking half to himself, "if there were more men like him, there'd be fewer like me."

And he turned to his seat and sat as though absorbed in his thought. The son, in speaking of it after his father's death, said it was one of the tenderest memories he had of his father.

The common crowd on the street and our Lord Jesus are united in one thing: they want more men like Him, Jesus our Saviour. Then there'd be fewer of the other sort.