God uses different people in different ways, just as seen throughout creation, Houston pastor Ralph West told the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship June 30.
“Have you noticed in a careful reading of Scripture that God doesn’t do any two things in natural creation the same?” asked West, pastor of Church Without Walls.
For example, he explained, on a recent vacation to the beach, he determined each day to watch the sunrise and the sunset, wondering if he might see the same dawning or setting of the sun from day to day. “And each evening the sunset was different from the other sunsets,” he reported. “No one sunrise mimics the other.”
God-given uniqueness also is found in snowflakes and human eyes, West said, addressing the assembly’s theme — “Come and See.”
Humans like to “lump us all together” as certain kinds of people, he continued. “We may be one in commonality in Christ but we are as different as the sunrise and the sunset. … We are wonderfully different.”
“We may be one in commonality in Christ but we are as different as the sunrise and the sunset. … We are wonderfully different.”
Similar differences in personalities are found in the New Testament, including in the sermon text drawn from John 1:35-51, he said. Speaking of the earliest followers of Jesus, he noted: “Some were looking for something good and discovered someone better.”
All “were asking life’s big questions” and “left what is good because they had found someone better.”
West sketched four types of personalities found in the one Gospel text alone, to illustrate the different ways people come to Jesus and respond to Jesus.
Some, like Andrew, are full of potential and possibility but not much reality. Others are like Simon Peter who didn’t think he ever could be what God called him to be. Still others are clueless like Philip and have trouble fully committing. And others are like Nathaniel, a sinner and cynic.
It was Nathaniel who asked of Jesus, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Likewise, cynics today may ask, “Can anything good come out of Georgia? Can anything good come out of North Carolina? Can anything good come out of South Carolina? Can anything good come out of Texas?”
To all these, the message of the gospel is that Jesus sees them and calls them. And in the same manner, the church must not fail to share the gospel with sinners, West declared. “We need some converted sinners. If you can turn that heart like God turned your heart, they will become loudmouthed people” to spread the faith.
And the message of salvation remains simple, he added: “All who come, … they all have one thing in common. It’s these words from John: ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!’”