Two great battles have been recorded as turning points in history: the battle of Waterloo (1805), sealing Napoleon’s doom and destiny; and the battle of Trafalgar (1815), which was masterfully won by the British Navy and established its global naval supremacy for more than a century.
The year 1809, about midway between those battles, is not known for a great historical event. But, quietly, a sovereign God was doing something on earth that would have far greater impact than either of the aforementioned battles: the statesman William Gladstone was born in Liverpool, England; the physician and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Boston; the musician Felix Mendelsohn was born in Hamburg, Germany; and Abraham Lincoln made his entrance into the world in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Just four births—but the effect they would have upon the world far eclipsed the impact of those great battles!
The most important day in your life, and the day that will make the eternal impact upon your destiny, is not your natural birthday but the day you were born into the kingdom of God—the day you became a child of God.
Maybe you have never experienced that birthday yet. It would be the saddest thing in the world to have been born naturally, lived on the earth, died, and gone into eternity never having been born again! “Better never to have been born, than to never have been born again!”
Who would not want to be a child of God?
To those who had put their faith in Christ, the Apostle John wrote, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.” (I John 3:2)
None of us is worthy, but God’s infinite grace, His matchless love, and His inexhaustible mercy have provided for us sonship! “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” How does one become a son of God? Very simple. Two things:
First, BELIEVE on His name. It is something you do by faith. Suppose you were to receive in today’s mail a check drawn upon, say, Chase Bank of New York City, signed by Bill Gates. You would doubtless take it to your bank and deposit it into your checking or savings account, not questioning whether Mr. Gates could and would make good on the draft. If God draws on the Bank of Heaven a promise made out to you and signed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, why then would you not “cash in” on it by faith.
The only reason one would not do that, by faith, is unbelief, which is the only thing that can keep a person out of heaven. Jesus plainly said to the Pharisees of His day: “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life…How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? For had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:40-47)
Jesus, stirred in his soul by the unbelief that kept men in His day upon the earth from become “sons” of God, agonized: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How often would I have gathered thy children together even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” (Matt. 23:37)
Believe ON HIS NAME. He is the Word, the Light, the Lamb, the Door, the Way, the Truth and the Life; He is Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, Alpha and Omega. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
One evening, Charles Lamb and friends were talking about people they would have liked to have met—Chaucer, Sir Thomas Brown, and William Shakespeare, to mention a few. At length, the sacred name of Jesus was mentioned, the name which is above every name. There was a pause, then Lamb said, “If Shakespeare were to come into this room, we should all stand up: but if He (Jesus) came into the room, we should all kneel.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
Second, RECEIVE HIM! As the Bible says, “As many as (i.e., whosoever will!) received Him, to them gave He the power.” (John 1:12) It is personal, simple, powerful.
Sir James Simpson, the famous Scottish surgeon who developed the modern use of anesthetics, was once asked what was his greatest discovery. The eminent scientist and surgeon simply said, “My greatest discovery is that I am a great sinner; and that Jesus is a great Savior.” Paul, God’s chosen apostle to the Gentiles, said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” (I Tim. 1:12)
Won’t you believe and receive Jesus today and become one of His sons? Josephus, a historian who lived at the time that Jesus was walking the shores of Galilee, healing the sick and saving the penitent, said this of our Lord and Savior:
“Now there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call Him a man, for He was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to Him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first did not forsake Him, for He appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from Him, are not extinct at this day.”
Sounds like Josephus might have believed and received. But the question today is, Have you? Will you?
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:12)