Isaiah 45:21-23 (KJV) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Audio of Sermon:
Since Jerry made this “Fanny Crosby Sunday” I thought I’d talk about her for a moment. Few Christians today know about Fanny. Frances Jane van Alstyne or Fanny was a great worker for God. In her earthly life she wrote more than 8000 hymns and Gospel songs. She was so prolific in writing that many of the publishers she worked with were hesitant to post so many hymns by one person, so Fanny used close to 200 different pseudonyms during her career. Her songs all focused – LOOKED – toward God our Savior. A few of her most known were …
Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior
Jesus Is Tenderly Calling You Home
Praise Him, Praise Him!
Rescue The Perishing
To God Be The Glory
all hymns we know and love. Fanny was a long time member of Sixth Avenue Bible Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York.
What makes her life so interesting is that for all her accomplishments, Fanny was blinded – according to Christianity.com – when she was but six weeks old. Though accounts vary most state that she had an eye infection that a doctor tried treating with a hot mustard poultice. Whether the poultice or the infection blinded her no one truly knows, but she was blind her entire known existence. If anyone had a right to be bitter against the world and God it would have been Fanny. But she was not bitter.
Though blinded physically, spiritually she looked unto Jesus.
She kept her spiritual eyes on God her Savior.
Fanny was quoted as saying:
“It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank Him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”
She also said “when I get to Heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior”.
Though she had no physical sight, Fanny used what she had for the glory of God. By the time Fanny was 10 years old she was memorizing 5 chapters of the Bible each week. At 15 years old she memorized the Gospels, the Books of Moses, Proverbs, Solomon, and many of the Psalms. Fanny not only wrote hymns, but published four books of poetry. She played the piano, organ, harp, and guitar, and had a beautiful Soprano singing voice.
How could a blind person see so much better than
many of us who were born with eyesight?
She looked unto God.
She heard His Call, the command to …
Isaiah 45:22 (KJV) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
Fanny was blessed by doing what God said. Let’s take this command, break it down, and apply it to our lives.
The SOURCE Of Salvation
The great sin of man is IDOLATRY. This has been our sin from the beginning. God made man and placed us in a perfect Garden. “You may eat of anything growing, but do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” God said. “The day you eat of it, you shall die!” The command was heard, and God was seen. But when God left man and woman to choose, they chose to follow not the God Who made them, but their own hearts.
The snake looked to Satan.
Eve looked to the snake.
Adam looked to himself.
Because their spiritual eyes were not godward, they lost Paradise.
Because our spiritual eyes are not Christward we lose Paradise.
In the recent School shootings our nation is understandably in turmoil. Our politicians are choosing sides on how to make this a Democrat or a Republican problem. Lawmakers are discussing creating new laws to control or restrict guns.
The question that ought to be asked is how a
disturbed 19 year old boy got hold of
The other question is “Why did so many know he was disturbed
and do nothing about it?”
I doubt he got it through any legal channels. The other “elephant in the room” is that many interviewed knew that the boy was disturbed, but ignored the problem. Then when he shot 17 people the talking heads of television wonder and examine and talk not to solve the problem, but to inflame it so that other disturbed young people will want their 15 minutes of fame. What is the problem?
It is a spiritual problem.
The boy was not looking unto God.
The school was not looking unto God.
We all – ALL – need the Lord.
God says “Look unto Me … I am God and there is none else”. In America we have created idols to look to. The Lord spoke of idols in the previous chapter of Isaiah. He said:
The Lord has said:
Isaiah 44:8-9 (KJV) … Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.  They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
Rather than come to the God of the Scripture people create idols, “graven images” that they worship instead of God. These things are “vanity” – literally “emptiness”. An idol cannot help you. An idol like money is fleeting. Beauty passed. Young girls worship Beyonce or the Kardashians. These idols cannot save you. This young man who murdered many was worshiping himself. How many people worship themselves? This is but emptiness. “Their delectable things shall not profit, but they deceive themselves” …
They see not, nor know, that they may be ashamed!
In our day we have renamed and excused sin and wonder why sin is so prolific. If you rename sin and make it NOT sin then you remove the shame. This is what we have done in America. If it is popular and accepted on television and movies it is NOT sin. If it goes against popularity and the wants of the crowd then it IS sin. We define sin not by God but by what WE think. This is idolatry.
Illustrate We have all gone the way of Israel who, when Moses went up in the mountain:
Exodus 32:1-4 (NKJV) … the people gathered together to Aaron, and said … “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
Many pastors like Aaron succumbed to the pressure and allowed that which God forbade as sin. They took the blessings that God gave, melted it down into a false god, and the people now dance around it. Yet the idol brings no satisfaction. We can dance around idols and let congress be our god, or our political party be our god, or our own desires be our gods, and nothing will be changed.
Idols are not gods.
Isaiah 44:17-18, 20 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.  They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. …  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?
If we will be saved as people, if we will be saved individually and as a nation we must look unto GOD. He alone is the Source of Salvation. False gods deceive us, making us think everything is fine when it is not. We must look unto God. He alone is the Source of Salvation. Jesus has said:
John 14:6 (NKJV) “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The SCOPE Of Salvation
LOOK UNTO GOD. God says
“LOOK unto ME, and be saved, all the ends of the earth”.
God doesn’t call just a select few to salvation, but everyone. God loves everyone. If you are broken as I am and will acknowledge your brokenness, God calls you to salvation. When Jesus walked this earth who pursued Him? The disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus one day and asked the question:
“Are You the Messiah, God’s Son, or should we look for another?”
What did Jesus reply? Was it “I sit in a comfortable palace with a crown on My head, on a cushioned throne, and gathered around Me are my disciples resting in ease”? Was it “I have pleased the religious and the secular crowd, and popular opinion has been my rise to fame?” No. No. Jesus said:
Matthew 11:5-6 (NKJV) The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Jesus came to save the whosoever will. He came for the broken. His harshest words were not to the prostitute, the drunkard, the impoverished, the hurting. Christ’s harshest words were to the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. Why? Because these people were self righteous as many are today. The Apostle spoke of these who:
Romans 10:3 (ESV) … being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.
The unholy trinity of self righteous people feel that THEY are fine but EVERYONE ELSE is messed up. These are a “smoke in God’s nostrils” because their attitude is “Do not come near me … I am holier than thou!” (Isaiah 65:5). They cannot be saved for they will not acknowledge their need. They cannot be blessed because they judge they know better than God Himself.
God loves all, regardless as to sin.
God loves the heterosexual, and the homosexual.
God loves the liar and the thief.
God loves the vandal, the thief, and the murderer.
God released Barabbas from the Cross,
But sent His Son to it to die for us all.
And God will save whosoever will come to Him repenting.
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Revelation 22:17 (NKJV) … the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. WHOEVER DESIRES, let him take the water of life freely.
John 10:9 (NKJV) I am the door. If ANYONE enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
Hebrews 2:9 (NKJV) But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might TASTE DEATH FOR EVERYONE.
Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world. He died for you, and He died for me. God says “Look unto Me and be saved, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH”. You are not left out of that promise. Whoever you are if you come, God will save you.
The SIMPLICITY Of Salvation
“LOOK unto ME, and be saved, all the ends of the earth”.
Salvation is not found in doing penance, nor doing religious things. Fanny Crosby – a woman blinded from 6 weeks old – was able to LOOK unto the Lord. Salvation is found in LOOKING unto God. To turn our eyes from the ways of the world and our own wandering ways, and to turn our hearts to Him Who loves us so. The Bible says …
Isaiah 44:2 (KJV) Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee …
God says “I made you. I designed you. I know what makes you tick.” It is this God Who made you, Who designed you, that is able to show you blessing. God loved you at birth, and loves you now. When we look to Him, to the Christ Who gave Himself for us, He promises to bless our lives. He says …
Isaiah 44:3-4 (KJV) For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:  And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
God promises to POUR WATER upon the THIRSTY. Are you thirsty? Are you unsatisfied with life? Does it seem as if you are just spinning your wheels, just existing rather than living? The solution is to come to Him. God sent His Son to this earth to call whosoever will to His side. We read in:
John 7:37-39 (NKJV) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive …
The reason we are unsatisfied is because we try to LOOK to the wrong things. God says “Look unto ME”. God is the only God. Christ is the only Way. Look to Him. Follow Him. Jesus came preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom saying:
Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!
When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, God’s only Son, and believe that He gave Himself for us, then God blots out our sins and write our names in the Book of Life. God says …
Isaiah 44:22-24 (KJV) I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.  Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;
The God Who made us is the God Who will save us. If a person is to be saved, he must turn to God and God alone. We are in a helpless and hopeless state without our Creator. Nothing can save you but the Love of God found in Christ Jesus.
As you look to God you see how much He loves you. There is His Son Jesus. This is the Child in whom God has said “I am well pleased”. This is the Son that the Father said “Is My Beloved”. Oh how the Father loves the Son! And yet …
Galatians 4:4-6 (NKJV) But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
God sent His Son to redeem us. How? By paying for our sin. Jesus stood in my place, bearing my sin, so that I might be saved. We are told:
1 John 4:8-11 (NKJV) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Jesus died for me, and died for you. His Blood became the propitiation – the covering for our sins. When we look unto God we look unto Jesus, God’s Messiah.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 LOOKING unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Oh Beloved, look to Christ for life both now and into eternity. He will save you from yourselves. He will save you from sin. Look unto Him. Go where He goes. Do what He says. Trust Him. Receive Him as Lord and Savior.
The SECURITY Of Salvation
Look Unto Me and be ye saved …
God in Christ saves us three ways from sin.
When you receive Christ as Savior you are saved from the PENALTY of sin
You can enter Heaven without money.
You can enter Heaven without power.
You enter Heaven without health.
You can enter Heaven without fame.
You can enter Heaven fat or thin,
beautiful or ugly,
white collar or blue collar,
rich or poor.
BUT you CANNOT enter Heaven without Christ.
Heaven belongs to Christ. The Bible says:
John 3:17-18 (NKJV) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If you have received Christ as Lord and Savior you are no longer condemned. The penalty for sin was paid by our Jesus on Calvary, and we stand before God as His Children.
When you receive Christ as Savior you are saved from the POWER of sin God translates you from darkness to light. He brings you into His Kingdom.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Ephesians 5:8 (NKJV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
When a child of God is saved he or she is baptized – not to be saved but because we are saved. It is a ceremonial and symbolic washing that emphasizes we have moved from darkness to light. The Scripture declares:
Romans 6:14 (NKJV) For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
Praise Him, for God defeats sin in His children. Let us not cloak sin but admit it, and trust Him to replace it with His righteousness.
Through Christ as Savior you are promised to forever be in the PRESENCE of God Heaven is not promised to all, but only to those who have received Christ as Savior. Have you received Him? Have you looked to Him for salvation? If not, today would be a blessed day to do so.
Jesus will not pass you by. Will you cry out to Him? He is here today. Call on the Name of Jesus and you shall be saved.
Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.