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Rolfe Barnard


"For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living." (Romans 14:9)

Do you know by experience Jesus Christ, not only as a Saviour to keep you out of Hell and take you to Heaven, but knowing Him as Lord and King to guide you and lead you in this life to your desired haven?

Has the question of supreme, central, absolute authority in your life been finally settled? All over this world today, men name the Name of Jesus with their lips, but they never have bowed themselves to the authority and rule of this One Whom God Almighty has ordained and appointed and decreed to be Lord both of those who are saved and those who are not saved. The early Christians went everywhere saying, "God Almighty has appointed and ordained this One to be Lord--bow down to Him!" (See Acts 2:28-41; Romans 10:9-13; John 17:1-3). This world, the devil and the angels and everything has absolutely been turned over to the Lord Jesus Christ by the decree of Almighty God the Father. We are to look unto Him, and if we look to anyone else, we are looking in the wrong direction. Are you still one of the vast multitude of people whom the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has not succeeded in bringing to a saving relationship to Almighty God?

Romans 14:9, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living." Here in this verse we have the primary purpose of the coming of the Lord Jesus to this earth. And all that He was and all that He did stated that primary purpose, that He might be the Sovereign, the King, the Ruler, the Dictator, the Lord of all mankind. He came to seek and to save the lost; He is the Saviour of believers that He might be the Sovereign of the lives of the redeemed. And our text tells us about this fact that the Lord Jesus Christ's purpose in coming and dying, and being raised from the dead was that He might be Lord, not just Saviour. And who has the right to be Lord except the Lord Jesus Christ?

Notice three teachings of the Word of God about this great truth: The purpose of God in Christ was to establish His Lordship over all mankind.

1. Christ is Lord Over All by God's Decree;

In the first place, the Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is Lord of all by the eternal, divine decree of Almighty God. Psalm 2:6-8, "Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession." And the result of this is the right of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule over you, and over me, and over all mankind.

And this rightful Lordship is not based on our recognition of Him as Lord, but it is based on God's recognition of Him as the Mediator between God and man. He is your Lord whether you recognize Him or not; He's your Lord by divine decree. He is not your Lord by you electing Him to be; He isn't your Lord by you deciding to bow to Him; He is your Lord and that was settled before there was ever a star. He is not simply the Ruler of those who are saved; He is the Ruler of all mankind. Praise God!

He has but to ask and the heathen are His; He has but to ask, and the uttermost parts of the earth are His possession. Everything that breathes is under the Lordship and the Rulership of the Lord Jesus Christ. And that was settled in a way that neither the devil nor your own evil bent will can change. That was settled by an eternal God and by an eternal decree. He said it and that settled it. He is Lord over all mankind. That is one of the most solemn thoughts I have ever faced and one of the most solemn thoughts you need to face if you have not done it.

My friends, this matter of the Lordship of Christ will not be decided by you. It has already been decided. He is the Lord by Almighty God's divine decree. He has been given the authority over all flesh; He has been declared to be both Lord and God's anointed. By an eternal decree, my Lord Jesus Christ has had everything turned over to Him. God, in recognition of the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, has anointed Him and appointed Him, thank God! He did not run for the office. He did not seek out the office; He was appointed to this office by the Father. And it does comfort this old preacher's heart that this world is in the ruling, reigning hands of God's anointed. The devil can do nothing except under the providential will of a holy God. And all things are ruling toward the hour when the Lord Jesus Christ shall have put down all authority, and all rule, and all power, and when all things shall be brought into subjection to Him. And He shall bring a subjected world, some in judgment and some in salvation, and present a world won back to a recognition of the sovereignty of God. And turn back that recognizing world to the Father, that the Godhead may be all in all. Then I say by the eternal decree and by divine appointment, Jesus Christ is God's appointed Lord over you and me and everybody else.

2. Christ Deserves To Be Lord Over All;

Then in the second place, the Scriptures ring out clearly that Jesus Christ deserves to be Lord over all. Thank God, there is One Who deserves it and that great classic Scripture is in Philippians 2:5-11, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name: that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

He has been that all the time. Thank God, Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Here is the Son of God, and God the Son, God in Christ becoming a man; here He is. He made Himself of no reputation, and came down here in obedience to His divine appointment, and that obedience carried Him to the point of death, even the death of the cross. And because of that, God Almighty has already exalted Him and given Him a Name. He had that Name while He was here, the Name of His humiliation was Jesus. At that Name that now has been given Jesus, which is LORD, one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

It is not a question of whether you will bow to Christ, it is a question of when. It is not a question of whether you confess Him with your mouth, it is a question of when. Do it now under the leadership and enabling and convicting, regenerating power of the Holy Ghost, and you are brought into saving relationship to God. Put it off and just give you a little time, and at the Judgment you will acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and it will be too late for your salvation, but not too late for the glory of God the Father to shine in the face of His Son, Who is worthy to be Lord over Rolfe Barnard, you, and everybody else. And He is my Lord, whether I am obedient or disobedient. The Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Christ Desires To Be Recognized as Lord;

In the last place, not only has my Lord been appointed and anointed to be Lord over all mankind, not only by divine decree, not only does He deserve in virtue of His Person, and His blessed death and resurrection to be Lord over all, but the Scriptures teach that He desires to be the recognized Lord over all mankind.

In Hebrews 12:2, it says, "Who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." That Scripture is a little too deep for this poor preacher. I do not understand all of its meaning. The joy that He was speaking about is to have men and women here on this earth, not because He makes them, but because He enables them and wins them and overcomes their rebellion and draws them unto Himself, and they give Him their willing, loving service and they confess Him as their Lord, and they live for Him a Christ disciplined life.

You know, my friends, to refuse the Lordship of Christ (and men do it every day; they won't refuse it at the Judgment, but men certainly do it today), and to refuse Him as your Ruler and your Lord now means you will have to spend eternity in Hell. That old lawless, ungodly cry still goes back to heaven from the hearts and lips of millions every day. "We haven't changed our minds. We will not have this Man to reign over us!" That is not said in so many words, but by your actions you say it. In our actions we would take life from Him if we can, but we do not want His holy Law. We want His salvation so we can escape Hell; but we do not want to be under His rule. But the Scriptures tell us that salvation means to be married to Him, to be in love with Him, and to be under law to the Lord Jesus Christ.

But today as I speak in this religious atmosphere when men hail Him as their Saviour, but they ignore His sovereign rule and reign in their lives, and thus they prove the Scriptures that say, "And why call ye Me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). That surely will not work.

Matthew 7:21: "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." I know this to be true.

You will never know Jesus Christ as Saviour to keep you out of Hell and take you to Heaven, apart from absolute surrender and submission to Him as the absolute Lord of your life day by day! Praise God, that's the reason He died; that's the reason He was raised from the dead, that He might be Lord of the dead and the living! Do you know Him as your Lord to rule and reign over you? You can only know Him when He is pleased to reveal Himself to you. We are all eternity-bound men and women, and unless Almighty God is pleased to perform a miracle in you and reveal Christ in you, you are doomed for Hell!

"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent." (John 17:3)

Last Updated Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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