LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Reflections On John 17:3 - pt.1 - Mark D.Pierson

"And this is eternal life,that they may know You,the only true God,and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent." John 17:3

The Bible says that the people of this world are under the power of darkness right now. They do not know their Creator. They are walking in ways contrary to God. What He calls evil,they call good;What He calls good, they call evil. They are under the power of Satan. He,"the god of this age" has blinded them. They are now walking according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. They walk in accordance to the lusts of their flesh and mind, and are by nature children of wrath. They are dead in trespasses and sins. It is written,"There is none who understands;There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside..." Romans 3:11-12. This has all come about as a result of the fall of Adam in the garden. How have they turned aside? In their minds and hearts. God said in Noah's time,"Although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth..." Gen.8:21. In Jeremiah 17:9 God said,"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked..." In Matthew 15:19-20 Jesus taught that"out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts,false witness, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man...". It is written in Isaiah 53:6" All we like sheep have gone astray;We have turned, everyone, to his own way...".

There is no end to their hostility. Even we in the West see it in the editorial sections of our news papers, in certain political parties, and in class rooms. The thought of Christ revulses many, bringing mockery and contempt. Jesus came and testified that the world's deeds were evil,and the people hated Him for it. If we testify on His behalf of it's evil, we will be hated too. The Bible teaches that the world is filled with haters of God, those who would seek to suppress the truth. Our history since the fall is filled with man's attempts wipe the knowledge of God out of existance.

Once, when the apostles spoke to the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead the religious authorities laid hands on them and took them in for questioning. The story is found in Acts 4:1-31. Those authorities went on to try to silence these men of faith. After threatening them they let them go. The apostles then went on to rejoin their company, where they lifted the situation in prayer. As they prayed they reflected on what we know today as the second Psalm,verses 1-2.
"Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand,And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ". This is a very complete commentary on the world's attitudes about Christ. It was true when they crucified Him, and,as we read verse 4:29, it is still valid for today. If Christ walked among us today it is a sure thing they would try to crucify Him again. Look at how missionaries are treated throughout the world. Look what happens even in our own families when we testify of Christ. The hatred can be astonishing.

Jesus said, " And this is the condemnation, That the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

"For by one man's (Adam's) disobedience many were made sinners..." Romans 5:19 Thanks to Adam,the human race is made up of individuals who are sinners by nature, they sin and love it...

-Mark Pierson.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Regeneration - Spurgeon...Taken from sermon # 130

And now we must say, that regeneration consists in this. God the Holy Spirit, in a supernatural manner—mark, by the word supernatural I mean just what it strictly means; supernatural, more than natural—works upon the hearts of men, and they by the operations of the divine Spirit become regenerate men; but without the Spirit they never can be regenerated. And unless God the Holy Spirit, who "worketh in us to will and to do," should operate upon the will and the conscience, regeneration is an absolute impossibility, and therefore so is salvation. "What!" says one, "do you mean to say that God absolutely interposes in the salvation of every man to make him regenerate?" I do indeed; in the salvation of every person there is an actual putting forth of the divine power, whereby the dead sinner is quickened, the unwilling sinner is made willing, the desperately hard sinner has his conscience made tender; and he who rejected God and despised Christ, is brought to cast himself down at the feet of Jesus. This is called fanatical doctrine, mayhap; that we can not help; it is scriptural doctrine, that is enough for us. "Except a man be born of the Spirit he can not see the kingdom of God; that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." If you like it not, quarrel with my Master, not with me; I do but simply declare his own revelation, that there must be in your heart something more than you can ever work there. There must be a divine operation; call it a miraculous operation, if you please; it is in some sense so. There must be a divine interposition, a divine working, a divine influence, or else, do what you may, without that you perish, and are undone; "for except a man be born again, be can not see the kingdom of God." The change is radical; it gives us new natures, makes us love what we hated and hate what we loved, sets us in a new road; makes our habits different, our thoughts different, makes us different in private, and different in public. So that being in Christ it is fulfilled: "If any man be in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new."


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

True Conversion - Spurgeon

On true conversion
by Charles Spurgeon

"When the Word of God converts a man, it takes away from him his despair, but it does not take from him his repentence

True conversion gives a man pardon, but does not make him presumptuous.

True conversion gives a man perfect rest, but it does not stop his progress

True conversion gives a man security, but it does not allow him to leave off being watchful

True conversion gives a man strength and holiness, but it never lets him boast

True conversion gives a harmony to all the duties of Christian life...it balances all duties, emotions, hopes and enjoyments.

True conversion, brings a man to live for God, He does everything for the Glory of God--whether he eats, or drinks or whatsoever he does.

True conversion, makes a man live before God. He desires to live as in God's sight at all times and he is glad to be there. And such a man now comes to live with God. He has blessed communion with him; he talks with him as a man talks with his friend."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Taking My Eye Off Christ - By Mark Pierson

The following is a quote from an older and wisened Spurgeon after he had begun to reflect on how things CAN go if we get too much into self examination...

" Self examination is a very great blessing, but I have known self examination carried on in a most unbelieving, legal, and self-righteous manner; in fact, I have carried it on myself. Time was when I used to think a vast deal more of marks, and signs, and evidences, for my own comfort, than I do now, for I find that I cannot be a match for the devil when I begin dealing in these things. I am obliged to go day by day with this cry-- "I, the chief of sinners am, But Jesus died for me."

While I can believe the promise of God,because it is His promise, and because He is my God, and while I can trust my Saviour because He is God, and therefore mighty to save, all goes well with me,but I do find,when I begin questioning myself about this and that perplexity,thus taking my eye off Christ,that all the virtue of my life seems oozing out at every pore. Any practice that detracts from faith is an evil practice,but especially that kind of self-examination which would take us away from the cross-foot, proceeds in a wrong direction."

In my early days of Christianity, I would constantly be comparing myself with other, more earnest christians than myself. They could go for longer periods of fasting and prayer; they could preach better; were bolder in their witness for Christ when we would go street preaching; were better able to hold the attention of the crowds when teaching Bible study and so on. They were fun to be around, while I,on the other hand, was and am very uncomfortable around people.

I would often dread the book of James and the last three chapters of 1 John. I used to take note of how short I came to measuring up. I would fall into very deep depressions when considering these things. I would be so morbid, so sad, I would feel so ugly spiritually. These periods would last for months.

Often, I would enter into a period of fasting and prayer, only to break the fast off before the planned time. Oh,the self-condemnation that followed, especially when the other brethren seemed to cruise along for that same period of fasting. I felt myself to be the biggest failure. Oh, the hunger for souls they had,and I didn't.

I would be so morbid and sad that unsaved people would come to me and tell me that they did not want to be like me if they were to become a christian. I could see their point.

Over time I began to realize that, although I still did not measure up to the book of James or 1John, it would drive me to the foot of the cross, where I could behold Him. Now those two books invite me, yea, they urge me, to behold Him. Now there is no more sadness or self-condemnation;no more comparing myself with other more successful christians. Now my delight is in beholding Him, knowing Him, being found in Him, not having my own righteousness for He is my righteousness!

I have this promise from His word: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" 2 Cor.3:18.

Let us take up our time beholding Him!


Sunday, April 23, 2006

What a Change! - Spurgeon


It is not everyone who can remember the very day and hour of his deliverance; but, as Richard Knill said, "At such a time of the day, clang went every harp in Heaven, for Richard Knill was born again," it was e’en so with me. The clock of mercy struck in Heaven the hour and moment of my emancipation, for the time had come. Between half-past ten o’clock, when I entered that chapel, and half-past twelve o’clock, when I was back again at home, what a change had taken place in me! I had passed from darkness into marvellous light, from death to life. Simply by looking to Jesus, I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, "Something wonderful has happened to you;" and I was eager to tell them all about it. Oh! there was joy in the household that day, when all heard that the eldest son had found the Saviour, and knew himself to be forgiven, — bliss compared with which all earth’s joys are less than nothing and vanity. Yes, I had looked to Jesus as I was, and found in Him my Saviour. Thus had the eternal purpose of Jehovah decreed it; and as, the moment before, there was none more wretched than I was, so, within that second, there was none more joyous. It took no longer time than does the lightning-flash; it was done, and never has it been undone. I looked, and lived, and leaped in joyful liberty as I beheld my sin punished upon the great Substitute, and put away forever. I looked unto Him, as He bled upon that tree; His eyes darted a glance of love unutterable into my spirit, and in a moment, I was saved.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

He Is Alive! - By Doug Rutter


Ephesians 1:20

Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

God triumphed over every form of opposition. Jesus rising from the dead and His glorification of ascension were a defeat for Satan and his hosts.
We have a picture of all the hosts of hell trying to foil God's purposes by keeping Jesus in the grave.

No one is sufficient to describe such great power. No one has ever done this in human history, others have been raised from the dead, but they died again.

This is why Paul points out that He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
The right hand of God signifies the place of privilege, power, distinction, holiness and dominion.

The next thing Paul points out is the location of the seat in heavenly places. That is where the Lord Jesus is today in a literal body of flesh and bone, a glorified body no longer capable of dying, but scarred with the nails of the cross. The world would like to think of Jesus as a ghost flying around . But Paul lets us know that He is not dead, but alive and sitting next to the Father. He is alive..... not mere words in a book , but living and reigning as King of all, over all.

King David prophesied that the Messiah would be seated at the right hand of God: "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool'" (Psalm 110:1).

Praise the Lord.... Your kindom come

Friday, April 21, 2006

Our Faith Is Not In Vain! - Doug Eaton

Our Faith is not in vain!

We are no longer in our sins!

Those who have died in Christ are with Him!

We are the least to be pitied because our Hope is not in vain!
(1 Cor. 15:13-20)

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, our regeneration is insured. He rose from the dead to bring us new life, for the same power that raised Christ from the dead is raising us also (Eph 1:18-20). For we have been buried with Him by baptism into death and raised through His resurrection so we can walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4,11).

Through Christ’s death and resurrection, our justification was insured. As His word says, He was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25). In the resurrection God the Father gave His Amen to Christ’s propitiating work.

Through Christ's death and resurrection we are promised that we too will be resurrected in bodies that are imperishable (1Cor. 15: 42-44). For He is the “first fruits” of many brethren (1 Cor. 15:20), as His word promises, “God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power (1 Cor 6:14).” Be not dismayed though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (1 Cor. 4:16). And yet even though the outward man perish now, we to can cry out with Job, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:25-26).


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Twelve Reasons We Must Look To Christ - By Jeremy Weaver

12 Reasons We Must Look To Christ

He is our God-yet our brother

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Phi 2:5-7)

He is the Father's choice to be our substitute

For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." (1Pe 2:6)

He paid our debt to God

...whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Rom 3:25)

He is God's delight and satisfaction

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isa 42:1)

He humbled Himself to the point of death on the Cross

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phi 2:8)

He will accept all who come to Him in faith

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (Joh 6:37)

He will heal the broken

"...a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope." (Mat 12:20-21)

He brings justification to the unjust

That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." But the words "it
was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It
will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our
Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
(Rom 4:22-25)

He is sure of His power

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Mat 28:18)
He is lifted up by the Father

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phi 2:9-11)
He has set up His kingdom

"As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill." I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psa 2:6-12)
And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mat 16:17-19)

He will come again as the Righteous Judge

It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him." (Jud 1:14-15)
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. (Rev 19:11)

Jesus, Name Above All Names - Doug Rutter


Ephesians 1:21
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

Paul stresses the fact that the name of Jesus is greater than any name that is named. There are many names on earth that confer power and authority. A policeman acts in the name of the law. The president of the United States acts in the name of the people. A salesman acts in the name of the company. Ominously, there are some in our world who actually act in the name of Satan! But there is one name that is above every other name--the name of Jesus.

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it,
fallBefore His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light,
Who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye martyrs of your God,
who from His altar call;
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.
Extol the Stem of Jesse’s Rod, and crown Him Lord of all.

Ye seed of Israel’s chosen race,
ye ransomed from the fall,
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.
Hail Him Who saves you by His grace, and crown Him Lord of all.

Hail Him, ye heirs of David’s line,
Whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all,
The God incarnate, Man divine, and crown Him Lord of all.

Sinners, whose love can ne’er forget
the wormwood and the gall,
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.
Go spread your trophies at His feet, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let every tribe and every tongue
before Him prostrate fall
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.
And shout in universal song the crownèd Lord of all.

bio("John Rippon","r/i/rippon_j")
John Rippon added this verse in 1787]

O that, with yonder sacred throng,
we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!

Is He Lord over your Life, the Name over all?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Palm Sunday-The Triumphal Entry - By Doug Eaton

When we celebrate Palm Sunday we are celebrating a great event. As we see Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and allow the people to praise Him as king, there are many things we can learn. But there is one aspect that is fascinating as it deals with Passover. We know that Passover was only four days away which made the day of the Triumphal Entry the tenth day of the month. We can see the significance of this when we read Exodus 12:3, 5-6, which says,...

Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house.. . ..Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

As Jesus was riding in and the people were crying “Hosanna in the highest,” unbeknownst to them they were selecting the paschal lamb for sacrifice; the one and only sacrifice that can take away sin and cause death to pass over us.

Praise God for His willing Lamb,


Friday, April 14, 2006

Jehovah Tsidkenu: The Lord Our Righteousness - Spurgeon

The following is taken from a sermon (#395) by C.H.Spurgeon, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on Sunday, June 2,1861...

And now let us stop a moment and think over this whole title—“The Lord our righteousness.” Brethren, the Law-giver has himself obeyed the law. Do you not think that his obedience will be sufficient? Jehovah has himself become man that so he may do man’s work: think you that he has done it imperfectly? Jehovah—he who girds the angels that excel in strength—has taken upon him the form of a servant that he may become obedient: think you that his service will be incomplete? Let the fact that the Saviour is Jehovah strengthen your confidence. Be ye bold. Be ye very courageous. Face heaven, and earth, and hell with the challenge of the apostle. “Who shall say anything to the charge of God’s elect? “Look back upon your past sins, look upon your present infirmities, and all your future errors, and while you weep the tears of repentance, let no fear of damnation blanch your cheek. You stand before God to-day robed in your Saviour’s garments, “with his spotless vestments on, holy as the Holy One.” Not Adam when he walked in Eden’s bowers was more accepted than you are,—not more pleasing to the eye of the all-judging, the sin-hating God than you are if clothed in Jesus’ righteousness and sprinkled with his blood. You have a better righteousness than Adam had. He had a human righteousness; your garments are divine. He had a robe complete, it is true, but the earth had woven it. You have a garment as complete, but heaven has made it for you to wear. Go up and down in the strength of this great truth and boast exceedingly, and glory in your God; and let this be on the top and summit of your heart and soul: “Jehovah, the Lord our righteousness.”

From Grace Gems

He gave so much that He could give no more!

(Henry Law, "Gleanings from the Book of Life")

With what a price has Christ redeemed His people!

He paid not silver and gold for their ransom.

He gave not all the precious things of earth as
their equivalent. He heaped not worlds upon worlds
and placed them as payment in the balance of God's
justice. All such expenditure would have been as
unavailing as the chaff.

He gave . . .
His life,
His blood.

He gave so much that He could give no more!

And He gave this to bear the extremest curse of
God, to endure all the punishment, and all the
miseries, and all the anguish which His people
must have suffered if they had wailed through all
the endless ages amid the torments of the lost!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Even More On Assurance by Spurgeon

" Has Jesus saved me? I dare not speak with any hesitation here; I KNOW He has. His Word is true, therefore I AM saved. My evidence that I am saved does not lie in the fact that I preach, or that I do this or that. All my hope lies in this, that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. I am a sinner, I trust Him, then he came to save me, and I am saved; I live habitually in the enjoyment of this blessed fact, and it is long since I have doubted the truth of it, for I have His own Word to sustain my faith."

Taken from C.H.Spurgeon Autobiography: Volume 1 "The Early Years" pages 93-94

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Spurgeon on Assurance

"The Holy Spirit, who enabled me to believe, gave me peace through believing. I felt as sure that I was forgiven as before I felt sure of condemnation. I had been certain of my condemnation because the Word of God declared it, and my conscience bore witness to it, but when the Lord justified me, I was equally certain by the same witness. The Word of the Lord in scripture saith, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned," and my conscience bore witness that I believed, and that God in pardoning me was just. Thus I had the witness of the Holy Spirit and also my own conscience, and these two agreed in one."

Taken From C.H.Spurgeon Autobiography: Vol.1 "The Early Years" page 92

In this same paragraph Spurgeon goes on to put down the teachings of a certain Dr. Johnson who held to the idea that no man could have assurance of faith. Spurgeon said that such a man was no reliable judge of theology. He added that Dr. Johnson should have studied his Bible a little more, and have a little more enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, then he too would have come to know his own pardon.

I whole heartedly agree!

I am sick of these super-spiritual people, who claim to be Calvinist, running around Christendom claiming that no man can have assurance. What a lie!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Abba, Father - Mark D. Pierson

By Mark Pierson

"Abba, Father,...not what I will but what You will"

In those moments when anguish settles into the very core of your being...those times when there seems to be no hope, nothing but utter darkness and despair, when all you can do is fall to your knees before God in absolute surrender for there is nowhere else to turn - it is there that you encounter your Father Who adopted you.

Absolute surrender, when you can't see any other avenues, beyond your own resources, yea, beyond those of any mere human being; undone, naked, at the very end of your rope.

Let's face it, there are even times when trials literally come flying at us from every conceivable direction, all at one time, at a dizzying pace, so as to make us wonder "how could God be in control of any of this at all"? Doubt and frustration fill the mind. Angry outbursts can follow.

It would seem that, at times like these, the Lord has chosen to invade, attack, dismantle and enlarge our comfort zone. There is no maintaining or taking of control that we can do; it is entirely beyond our abilities. You find out the hard way that you are not "the captain of your own destiny". You have NO control AT ALL.

Take that man whose son has a debilitating disease, whose medical bills are pilling up, and he has just lost his job. Or the couple whose daughter is born with a rare cancer and tumorous growths cover her body. What about the young couple whose six-year-old son contracts a rare disease and shortly thereafter dies. Or, yet again, what about that missionary, faithful to the call of Christ in his life, who now lay in bed with Lou Gherig's disease.

Powerless, helpless, out of control; you fall to your knees and cry out to your Maker; the One who saved your soul from everlasting destruction; the One Who Alone has the Power over such things.

We can cling to Him Whose promises are true. He Alone is our Refuge and Shield. He never changes. He will always remain true to His Word; we can bank our lives on that.

Somehow, in the acknowledging of His power and control over the matters and events in our lives, both joyous and grievous, the peace begins to flow into our hearts.

The Lord never once promised us a "Rose Garden" nor to feather our beds. The problems will come. Spouses will abandon; loved ones will contract terminal illness; jobs will be lost; dear ones will die.

In considering our adoptive relationship we do well to remember back at what it took for our Holy Maker to enter into that special relationship with us - that of being our Father.

Believe it or not we were once the children of wrath even as others. We too walked in disobedience and according to the course of this world. If not for God's intervention into our lives we would have gone on to experience the full brunt of His fury on our sins. We would have been outside of His care and favor in this life, and subjected to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire after it was over. No one, no one has attracted God's love and care. If not for His mercy and grace, His sovereign grace in choosing us in His Son before the world was created, we would be the objects of His Holy wrath just like everybody else. Eternal punishment is what we deserve when held up to the Holy Standard, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Unsaved, dead in trespasses and sins, slaves to sin, children of the devil, objects of the coming wrath; that's who we were before the love of God in Christ appeared to us; before the Holy Spirit quickened our hearts to the truth.

Jesus took the punishment we deserved. And, oh how He suffered! God the Father unleashed all of His fury on His Holy Son as He bore our sins in His sinless body. The Holy suffering for the unholy. All to bring to an end the enmity that existed between a Holy God who is just in His Righteous anger against sin, and sinful creatures as we, who deserve to be recipients of that righteous anger. So now there is peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace, no more being at odds, peace now to experience the love of God in all it's breadth, depth, and height. Peace, His care leading and guiding us through life, in all its ups and downs. Peace because now HE has control over us, no longer is it the "spirit that now works in the children of disobedience". Peace, because His promises to us are now "yea and amen" in Christ. Where once existed hostility - God's wrath towards sinful creatures as we, versus our willful disobedience to His decrees and will - now there is harmony to those in Christ.

What did it take to bring about this peace? What did it take to bring together two polar opposites - a Holy Righteous God, with whom is no darkness at all and unholy, sinful rebellious creatures as we? How could He become our Father and we His children? There was a price to be paid!

Oh, what a price it was. God gave His Son. He gave His Son that we, His elect, might be saved from the wrath to come - that we might be adopted into His family as He puts us into His Son. He has made us accepted in His Beloved Son. "In Him we have redemption through His blood". Ephesians 1:7 says.

Now, let us consider what price the Son paid. Both Testaments paint a graphic picture.

In Isaiah we read: "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting". Isaiah 50:6. ...His visage was so marred more than the sons of men...Isaiah 52:14.

By the time the soldiers had gotten done with their mistreatment of Him, He was beaten beyond recognition, even beyond having the form of a man! "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" Is 53:5. Isaiah goes on: "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Verse 6. There's more---"He was oppressed, and He was afflicted---He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter---for the transgression of my people was He stricken. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief:---Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin---by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall bare their iniquities---He has poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors - Is. 53:7-12.

In the New Testament Jesus Himself at the Last Supper, while taking bread and wine, which stood symbolically for His body and blood, said of the wine "...this is My blood which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

His blood shed that our sins may be forgiven. The blood poured from the crown of thorns pressed deeply upon His head. The blood poured from His back from the scourging with the whips laced with glass and bone chips. The blood poured from His face after the pounding He received from the soldiers' fists and from their pulling out of His beard. The blood poured from the nails in His forearms and ankles as He dangled from them on the cross. And, finally, the blood poured when, after His death, the soldier pierced His side with a sword.

Ah, there it is, that "fountain---opened---for sin and uncleanness." There is the means whereby sin can be forgiven and washed away. There is the means whereby we can come before the Throne of the Holy Creator and call Him "Father." From a position of rebellious, disobedient, hostile, morally filthy, unthankful objects of the coming wrath, to the positions of pardoned, forgiven, cleansed, reconciled, adopted sons and daughters of the Most High God! "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool" says Isaiah. Jesus came to die in our place, IN OUR PLACE!

While hanging on that rugged old cross something happened; Something that never, in all eternity past, nor shall it ever happen again. Something horrible, indeed the most horrible event in all history took place: at the height of His sin-bearing mission the Father turned His Face from the Son. "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" was the Son's cry. Who could possibly imagine what it was like for the Father to turn His Head from the Eternal Object of His love? Who could imagine what it was like for the Beloved Son to experience the Father looking away from Him - a once in eternity experience. For the first time ever, never to happen again, the Son experienced the loss of Fellowship and joy of being in His Father's presence.

That is the price that God paid for lost sinners! And, oh how we are often tempted to trifle with this knowledge! How, at the slightest turn in our fortunes, are we tempted to question His love and care for us! Even after our regeneration we still have no concept of the price God paid for our adoption into His family. There is no real concept of what it was like for the Holy Father to have to vent all of His Righteous fury on top of His Beloved Son - His Holy, Pure, and Righteous Son. There is no concept of what it was like for the Son to experience the Father turning His head from Him as He bore our sins - "the just suffering for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."

Now, the price has been paid. Now, we can call Him "Father." After His resurrection Jesus said, "I ascend unto My Father, and your Father." He taught us to pray, "Our Father, who are in Heaven, Hallowed be Your Name---." In the Gospel of Matthew alone Jesus referred to His Father as our Father no less than 22 times!

"But ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15. "And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will---." Eph. 1:5.

Now we can come to Him as His adopted children - He adopted us, it was His will! We can call Him "Father.:"

We can call Him "Father" of Whom it is written,"---for I am God, there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me." Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure---" Is. 46:9-10.

We can call Him Father of Whom it is written, "My times are in Your hand---." My times, every event sweet or sour, pleasant or unpleasant, joyous or sad are in [His] hand." He knows the number of hairs on our head. He, in His Providence, controls all the comings and goings of our lives. Not one trial or experience comes at us without His approval and permission. He, not we, is in control. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Nothing gets by Him. Regardless of our deceptive feelings, everything is in His control - He has the reigns of every trial and tribulation. We can console ourselves with this truth. But there is more...

We can call Him "Father" of Whom it is written, "You are my Rock and my Fortress---my Strength" Psalm 31:3-4. The mighty King David knew our "Father" as his place to run and hide. He knew our "Father" as his source of strength and comfort. David, a model of manliness and power, shamelessly clung to our Father for protection and strength. The mightiest of warriors taking refuge in his God, our Father! David's hope and trust were not in his own abilities, but in his God, our Father. David entrusted his entire make-up, his emotional well being; his physical safety; his future state into the hand of his God, our Father. David acknowledged God's Hand in his past and in the present. David knew that as surely as God was in control of all that ever came his way, He would also direct all of his future as well. David's heart took refuge in these truths. The storms; inward turmoil's - depressions, fears, anxieties and terrors - external oppositions of people and events, in all these things he found our Father faithful. David prayed "Into your hand I commit my spirit." God, our Father was his Rock, his fortress, and his strength. There was no better place to commit his spirit. Oh, the utter surrender and careless abandon with which he threw himself into God's care - and found Him utterly faithful! No reservation, complete dependence on our Father's abilities to uphold, sustain, protect, lead and guide him in his life.

Beloved, there is so much more that we could examine in scripture concerning our Father, but let us for now turn lastly to 1 Peter. While giving instructions to Christian slaves on how to live God fearing lives before their masters, Peter invited his readers to consider Our Lord and how He conducted Himself in the last hours before the crucifixion. Here Peter writes "---Who, when He was reviled did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously." Our Lord handed over Himself to His Father, our Father, to keep. To borrow the words of John MacArthur in his commentary here Jesus had "perfect confidence in the sovereignty and righteousness of His Father."

Knowing full well the sufferings and all of the experiences that lay ahead Jesus "committed Himself" into His Father's care. He did not shrink back or faint at what lay ahead. He did not plot or plan an alternate route. He did not try to take charge of the situation. He did not lower his shoulder and charge into the situation like a fullback into the line of scrimmage. There He stood, full of peace, calm, collected, in the full assurance that His Father was in complete control of the situation. He was there in complete compliance to His Father's will. His Father was in charge. Nothing should befall Him but that which His Father had ordered. Surrender sweet surrender, total submission, absolute abandon, no reserve, unshaken, utter reliance

Just hours earlier He had prayed "Abba, Father---not what I will but what You will." And there is the lesson. The One Who in scripture said, "I must be abut My Father's business" or "for I always do those things that please Him"; The One of Whom it is written that He said; "a body you have prepared for Me. ---then I said "Behold, I have come---to do your will , O God."

Our Lord's whole strength and energy was in the doing of His Father's, our Father's will. The absolute focus and gaze of His life was His Father's Face and being in perfect and total surrender to Him. Oh, what trust. In the midst of false accusations and venomous hatred by the mobs outside His trail, there He stood - in perfect peace. Was His heart-skipping beats do to anxiety? Was His stomach upset about the sufferings that lay ahead? No! That was behind Him now - back at the garden. This is now after the prayer "Not My will ---but Thy Will be done." This now, is the time of reliance on His Father's being in charge. His Father's Face must have been all that Jesus was content to behold in these terrible moments. A scripture that describes Jesus' relationship to His Father is Psalm 16:11b "...In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures for evermore."

"Not My will ---but Thy Will be done." Oh, to behold the lesson taught here! Unselfish devotion to His Father's Will. In John 4 Jesus said, "My meat is to do the Will of Him that sent me." His sustenance, the thing that filled His appetite was the doing of His Father's will.

A very central lesson in Christianity comes to us here, for you see, we too are to live our lives in total submission to our Father's will. His will is to conform us into the image of His dear Son. In the middle of the trails and tribulations that come our way. He is at work molding, melting, breaking, and chiseling our lives like a Master Craftsman. He breaks and hammers away at our lives. He melts us in the heat and fire only to skim away the dross. He shakes us up in order that we don't settle on our lees. How very painful it can be. Yet, it is our loving Heavenly Father, the One Who adopted us at a Great Price, Who is in complete control. Thus, as our Saviour "committed Himself into His Father's care" we too should pray "Abba, Father not my will but Thy Will be done".

Living for Him, selfless, submissive, and surrendered. Thankful for His promises, thankful that He "the only Wise God" is in control. Thankful that He "who calls the beginning from the ending" the One whose thoughts and ways are higher than ours "as high as the heavens are above the earth" is in control of everything that comes our way. Thankful that we don't have to rely on our own faulty, frail and very mortal wisdom to guide us through life. Thankful that the very most beautiful destiny in all of creation is ours - that of being conformed into the Image of God's Beloved Son, and becoming like Him when we see Him face to face as He comes to take us home to be with Him for all eternity.

In the middle of your darkest hour, in the middle of your manifold temptations cry out to Him in surrender. Give yourself totally into His care. Weep in His presence "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

Let us close now with a prayer of king David and echoed by our Saviour as His last prayer while hanging on the cross "Father, Into Your Hands I commit My Spirit."

From The Spurgeon Archive: "Compel Them To Come In" (12)

Now I turn for one moment to some here. There are some of you here members of Christian churches, who make a profession of religion, but unless I be mistaken in you—and I shall be happy if I am—your profession is a lie. You do not live up to it, you dishonour it; you can live in the perpetual practice of absenting yourselves from God's house, if not in sins worse than that. Now I ask such of you who do not adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour, do you imagine that you can call me your pastor, and yet that my soul cannot tremble over you and in secret weep for you? Again, I say it may be but little concern to you how you defile the garments of your Christianity, but it is a great concern to God's hidden ones, who sigh and cry, and groan for the iniquities of the professors of Zion.
Now does anything else remain to the minister besides weeping and prayer? Yes, there is one thing else. God has given to his servants not the power of regeneration, but he has given them something akin to it. It is impossible for any man to regenerate his neighbour; and yet how are men born to God? Does not the apostle say of such an one that he was begotten by him in his bonds. Now the minister has a power given him of God, to be considered both the father and the mother of those born to God, for the apostle said he travailed in birth for souls till Christ was formed in them. What can we do then? We can now appeal to the Spirit. I know I have preached the gospel, that I have preached it earnestly; I challenge my Master to honour his own promise. He has said it shall not return unto me void, and it shall not. It is in his hands, not mine. I cannot compel you, but thou O Spirit of God who hast the key of the heart, thou canst compel. Did you ever notice in that chapter of the Revelation, where it says, "Behold I stand at the door and knock," a few verses before, the same person is described, as he who hath the key of David. So that if knocking will not avail, he has the key and can and will come in. Now if the knocking of an earnest minister prevail not with you this morning, there remains still that secret opening of the heart by the Spirit, so that you shall be compelled.
I thought it my duty to labour with you as though I must do it; now I throw it into my Master's hands. It cannot be his will that we should travail in birth, and yet not bring forth spiritual children. It is with him; he is master of the heart, and the day shall declare it, that some of you constrained by sovereign grace have become the willing captives of the all-conquering Jesus, and have bowed your hearts to him through the sermon of this morning.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

From The Spurgeon Archive: "Compel Them To Come In" (11)

I cannot let you go on such idle excuses as that; if you have lived so many years slighting Christ, there are so many reasons why now you should not slight him. But did I hear you whisper that this was not a convenient time? Then what must I say to you? When will that convenient time come? Shall it come when you are in hell? Will that time be convenient? Shall it come when you are on your dying bed, and the death throttle is in your throat—shall it come then? Or when the burning sweat is scalding your brow; and then again, when the cold clammy sweat is there, shall those be convenient times? When pains are racking you, and you are on the borders of the tomb? No, sir, this morning is the convenient time. May God make it so. Remember, I have no authority to ask you to come to Christ to-morrow. The Master has given you no invitation to come to him next Tuesday. The invitation is, "To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation," for the Spirit saith "to-day." "Come now and let us reason together;" why should you put it off? It may be the last warning you shall ever have. Put it off, and you may never weep again in chapel. You may never have so earnest a discourse addressed to you. You may not be pleaded with as I would plead with you now. You may go away, and God may say, "He is given unto idols, let him alone." He shall throw the reins upon your neck; and then, mark—your course is sure, but it is sure damnation and swift destruction.
And now again, is it all in vain? Will you not now come to Christ? Then what more can I do? I have but one more resort, and that shall be tried. I can be permitted to weep for you; I can be allowed to pray for you. You shall scorn the address if you like; you shall laugh at the preacher; you shall call him fanatic if you will; he will not chide you, he will bring no accusation against you to the great Judge. Your offence, so far as he is concerned, is forgiven before it is committed; but you will remember that the message that you are rejecting this morning is a message from one who loves you, and it is given to you also by the lips of one who loves you. You will recollect that you may play your soul away with the devil, that you may listlessly think it a matter of no importance; but there lives at least one who is in earnest about your soul, and one who before he came here wrestled with his God for strength to preach to you, and who when he has gone from this place will not forget his hearers of this morning. I say again, when words fail us we can give tears—for words and tears are the arms with which gospel ministers compel men to come in. You do not know, and I suppose could not believe, how anxious a man whom God has called to the ministry feels about his congregation, and especially about some of them. I heard but the other day of a young man who attended here a long time, and his father's hope was that he would be brought to Christ. He became acquainted, however, with an infidel; and now he neglects his business, and lives in a daily course of sin. I saw his father's poor wan face; I did not ask him to tell me the story himself, for I felt it was raking up a trouble and opening a sore; I fear, sometimes, that good man's grey hairs may be brought with sorrow to the grave. Young men, you do not pray for yourselves, but your mothers wrestle for you. You will not think of your own souls, but your fathers anxiety is exercised for you. I have been at prayer meetings, when I have heard children of God pray there, and they could not have prayed with more earnestness and more intensity of anguish if they had been each of them seeking their own soul's salvation. And is it not strange that we should be ready to move heaven and earth for your salvation, and that still you should have no thought for yourselves, no regard to eternal things?

From The Spurgeon Archive: "Compel Them To Come In" (10)

Some hyper-calvinist would tell me I am wrong in so doing. I cannot help it. I must do it. As I must stand before my Judge at last, I feel that I shall not make full proof of my ministry unless I entreat with many tears that ye would be saved, that ye would look unto Jesus Christ and receive his glorious salvation. But does not this avail? are all our entreaties lost upon you; do you turn a deaf ear? Then again I change my note. Sinner, I have pleaded with you as a man pleadeth with his friend, and were it for my own life I could not speak more earnestly this morning than I do speak concerning yours. I did feel earnest about my own soul, but not a whit more than I do about the souls of my congregation this morning; and therefore, if ye put away these entreaties I have something else:—I must threaten you. You shall not always have such warnings as these. A day is coming, when hushed shall be the voice of every gospel minister, at least for you; for your ear shall be cold in death. It shall not be any more threatening; it shall be the fulfillment of the threatening. There shall be no promise, no proclamations of pardon and of mercy; no peace-speaking blood, but you shall be in the land where the Sabbath is all swallowed up in everlasting nights of misery, and where the preachings of the gospel are forbidden because they would be unavailing. I charge you then, listen to this voice that now addresses your conscience; for if not, God shall speak to you in his wrath, and say unto you in his hot displeasure, "I called and ye refused; I stretched out my hand and no man regarded; therefore will I mock at your calamity; I will laugh when your fear cometh." Sinner, I threaten you again. Remember, it is but a short time you may have to hear these warnings. You imagine that your life will be long, but do you know how short it is? Have you ever tried to think how frail you are? Did you ever see a body when it has been cut in pieces by the anatomist? Did you ever see such a marvelous thing as the human frame?

"Strange, a harp of a thousand strings,
Should keep in tune so long."

Let but one of those cords be twisted, let but a mouthful of food go in the wrong direction, and you may die. The slightest chance, as we have it, may send you swift to death, when God wills it. Strong men have been killed by the smallest and slightest accident, and so may you. In the chapel, in the house of God, men have dropped down dead. How often do we hear of men falling in our streets—rolling out of time into eternity, by some sudden stroke. And are you sure that heart of your's is quite sound? Is the blood circulating with all accuracy? Are you quite sure of that? And if it be so, how long shall it be? O, perhaps there are some of you here that shall never see Christmas-day; it may be the mandate has gone forth already, "Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live." Out of this vast congregation, I might with accuracy tell how many will be dead in a year; but certain it is that the whole of us shall never meet together again in any one assembly. Some out of this vast crowd, perhaps some two or three, shall depart ere the new year shall be ushered in. I remind you, then, my brother, that either the gate of salvation may be shut, or else you may be out of the place where the gate of mercy stands. Come, then, let the threatening have power with you. I do not threaten because I would alarm without cause, but in hopes that a brother's threatening may drive you to the place where God hath prepared the feast of the gospel. And now, must I turn hopelessly away? Have I exhausted all that I can say? No, I will come to you again. Tell me what it is, my brother, that keeps you from Christ. I hear one say, "Oh, sir, it is because I feel myself too guilty." That cannot be, my friend, that cannot be. "But, sir, I am the chief of sinners." Friend, you are not. The chief of sinners died and went to heaven many years ago; his name was Saul of Tarsus, afterwards called Paul the apostle. He was the chief of sinners, I know he spoke the truth. "No," but you say still, "I am too vile." You cannot be viler than the chief of sinners. You must, at least, be second worst. Even supposing you are the worst now alive, you are second worst, for he was chief. But suppose you are the worst, is not that the very reason why you should come to Christ. The worse a man is, the more reason he should go to the hospital or physician. The more poor you are, the more reason you should accept the charity of another. Now, Christ does not want any merits of your's. He gives freely. The worse you are, the more welcome you are. But let me ask you a question: Do you think you will ever get better by stopping away from Christ? If so, you know very little as yet of the way of salvation at all. No, sir, the longer you stay, the worse you will grow; your hope will grow weaker, your despair will become stronger; the nail with which Satan has fastened you down will be more firmly clenched, and you will be less hopeful than ever. Come, I beseech you, recollect there is nothing to be gained by delay, but by delay everything may be lost. "But," cries another, "I feel I cannot believe." No, my friend, and you never will believe if you look first at your believing. Remember, I am not come to invite you to faith, but am come to invite you to Christ. But you say, "What is the difference?" Why, just this, if you first of all say, "I want to believe a thing," you never do it. But your first inquiry must be, "What is this thing that I am to believe?" Then will faith come as the consequence of that search. Our first business has not to do with faith, but with Christ. Come, I beseech you, on Calvary's mount, and see the cross. Behold the Son of God, he who made the heavens and the earth, dying for your sins. Look to him, is there not power in him to save? Look at his face so full of pity. Is there not love in his heart to prove him willing to save? Sure sinner, the sight of Christ will help thee to believe. Do not believe first, and then go to Christ, or else thy faith will be a worthless thing; go to Christ without any faith, and cast thyself upon him, sink or swim. But I hear another cry, "Oh sir, you do not know how often I have been invited, how long I have rejected the Lord." I do not know, and I do not want to know; all I know is that my Master has sent me, to compel you to come in; so come along with you now. You may have rejected a thousand invitations; don't make this the thousandth-and-one. You have been up to the house of God, and you have only been gospel hardened. But do I not see a tear in your eye; come, my brother, don't be hardened by this morning's sermon. O, Spirit of the living God, come and melt this heart for it has never been melted, and compel him to come in!

Friday, April 07, 2006

From The Spurgeon Archive:"Compel Them To Come In" (9)

I entreat you let this message enter your heart for another reason. I picture myself standing at the bar of God. As the Lord liveth, the day of judgment is coming. You believe that? You are not an infidel; your conscience would not permit you to doubt the Scripture. Perhaps you may have pretended to do so, but you cannot. You feel there must be a day when God shall judge the world in righteousness. I see you standing in the midst of that throng, and the eye of God is fixed on you. It seems to you that he is not looking anywhere else, but only upon you, and he summons you before him; and he reads your sins, and he cries, "Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire in hell!" My hearer, I cannot bear to think of you in that position; it seems as if every hair on my head must stand on end to think of any hearer of mine being damned. Will you picture yourselves in that position? The word has gone forth, "Depart, ye cursed." Do you see the pit as it opens to swallow you up? Do you listen to the shrieks and the yells of those who have preceded you to that eternal lake of torment? Instead of picturing the scene, I turn to you with the words of the inspired prophet, and I say, "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" Oh! my brother, I cannot let you put away religion thus; no, I think of what is to come after death. I should be destitute of all humanity if I should see a person about to poison himself, and did not dash away the cup; or if I saw another about to plunge from London Bridge, if I did not assist in preventing him from doing so; and I should be worse than a fiend if I did not now, with all love, and kindness, and earnestness, beseech you to "lay hold on eternal life," "to labour not for the meat that perisheth, but for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life."
Some hyper-calvinist would tell me I am wrong in so doing. I cannot help it. I must do it. As I must stand before my Judge at last, I feel that I shall not make full proof of my ministry unless I entreat with many tears that ye would be saved, that ye would look unto Jesus Christ and receive his glorious salvation.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Saved Soul

" the saved soul is as near and dear to God the first moment he believes as he ever will be; a true heir of all things in Christ, and as truely so as even when he shall mount to heaven to be glorified and to be like his Lord." - C. H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

From The Spurgeon Archive: "Compel Them To Come In" (8)

I know not what arguments to use with you. I appeal to your own self-interests. Oh my poor friend, would it not be better for you to be reconciled to the God of heaven, than to be his enemy? What are you getting by opposing God? Are you the happier for being his enemy? Answer, pleasure-seeker; hast thou found delights in that cup? Answer me, self-righteous man: hast thou found rest for the sole of thy foot in all thy works? Oh thou that goest about to establish thine own righteousness, I charge thee let conscience speak. Hast thou found it to be a happy path? Ah, my friend, "Wherefore dost thou spend thy money for that which is not bread, and thy labour for that which satisfieth not; hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." I exhort you by everything that is sacred and solemn, everything that is important and eternal, flee for your lives, look not behind you, stay not in all the plain, stay not until you have proved, and found an interest in the blood of Jesus Christ, that blood which cleanseth us from all sin. Are you still cold and indifferent? Will not the blind man permit me to lead him to the feast? Will not my maimed brother put his hand upon my shoulder and permit me to assist him to the banquet? Will not the poor man allow me to walk side-by-side with him? Must I use some stronger words. Must I use some other compulsion to compel you to come in? Sinners, this one thing I am resolved upon this morning, if you be not saved ye shall be without excuse. Ye, from the grey-headed down to the tender age of childhood, if ye this day lay not hold on Christ, your blood shall be on your own head. If there be power in man to bring his fellow, (as there is when man is helped by the Holy Spirit) that power shall be exercised this morning, God helping me. Come, I am not to be put off by your rebuffs; if my exhortation fails, I must come to something else. My brother, I entreat you, I entreat you stop and consider. Do you know what it is you are rejecting this morning? You are rejecting Christ, your only Saviour. "Other foundation can no man lay;" "there is none other name given among men whereby we must be saved." My brother, I cannot bear that ye should do this, for I remember what you are forgetting: the day is coming when you will want a Saviour. It is not long ere weary months shall have ended, and your strength begin to decline; your pulse shall fail you, your strength shall depart, and you and the grim monster—death, must face each other. What will you do in the swellings of Jordan without a Saviour? Death-beds are stony things without the Lord Jesus Christ. It is an awful thing to die anyhow; he that hath the best hope, and the most triumphant faith, finds that death is not a thing to laugh at. It is a terrible thing to pass from the seen to the unseen, from the mortal to the immortal, from time to eternity, and you will find it hard to go through the iron gates of death without the sweet wings of angels to conduct you to the portals of the skies. It will be a hard thing to die without Christ. I cannot help thinking of you. I see you acting the suicide this morning, and I picture myself standing at your bedside and hearing your cries, and knowing that you are dying without hope. I cannot bear that. I think I am standing by your coffin now, and looking into your clay-cold face, and saying. "This man despised Christ and neglected the great salvation." I think what bitter tears I shall weep then, if I think that I have been unfaithful to you, and how those eyes fast closed in death, shall seem to chide me and say, "Minister, I attended the music hall, but you were not in earnest with me; you amused me, you preached to me, but you did not plead with me. You did not know what Paul meant when he said, 'As though God did beseech you by us we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.'

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

From The Spurgeon Archive:"Compel Them To Come In"(7)

But do you turn away and say you will not be commanded? Then again will I change my note. If that avails not, all other means shall be tried. My brother, I come to you simple of speech, and I exhort you to flee to Christ. O my brother, dost thou know what a loving Christ he is? Let me tell thee from my own soul what I know of him. I, too, once despised him. He knocked at the door of my heart and I refused to open it. He came to me, times without number, morning by morning, and night by night; he checked me in my conscience and spoke to me by his Spirit, and when, at last, the thunders of the law prevailed in my conscience, I thought that Christ was cruel and unkind. O I can never forgive myself that I should have thought so ill of him. But what a loving reception did I have when I went to him. I thought he would smite me, but his hand was not clenched in anger but opened wide in mercy. I thought full sure that his eyes would dart lightning-flashes of wrath upon me; but, instead thereof, they were full of tears. He fell upon my neck and kissed me; he took off my rags and did clothe me with his righteousness, and caused my soul to sing aloud for joy; while in the house of my heart and in the house of his church there was music and dancing, because his son that he had lost was found, and he that was dead was made alive. I exhort you, then, to look to Jesus Christ and to be lightened. Sinner, you will never regret,—I will be bondsman for my Master that you will never regret it,—you will have no sigh to go back to your state of condemnation; you shall go out of Egypt and shall go into the promised land and shall find it flowing with milk and honey. The trials of Christian life you shall find heavy, but you will find grace will make them light. And as for the joys and delights of being a child of God, if I lie this day you shall charge me with it in days to come. If you will taste and see that the Lord is good, I am not afraid but that you shall find that he is not only good, but better than human lips ever can describe.

Monday, April 03, 2006

From The Spurgeon Archive: " Compel Them To Come In" (6)

Well brother, I have told you the message, what sayest thou unto it? Do you turn away? You tell me it is nothing to you; you cannot listen to it; that you will hear me by-and-by; but you will go your way this day and attend to your farm and merchandize. Stop brother, I was not told merely to tell you and then go about my business. No; I am told to compel you to come in; and permit me to observe to you before I further go, that there is one thing I can say—and to which God is my witness this morning, that I am in earnest with you in my desire that you should comply with this command of God. You may despise your own salvation, but I do not despise it; you may go away and forget what you shall hear, but you will please to remember that the things I now say cost me many a groan ere I came here to utter them. My inmost soul is speaking out to you, my poor brother, when I beseech you by him that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, consider my master's message which he bids me now address to you.
But do you spurn it? Do you still refuse it? Then I must change my tone a minute. I will not merely tell you the message, and invite you as I do with all earnestness, and sincere affection—I will go further. Sinner, in God's name I command you to repent and believe. Do you ask me whence my authority? I am an ambassador of heaven. My credentials, some of them secret, and in my own heart; and others of them open before you this day in the seals of my ministry, sitting and standing in this hall, where God has given me many souls for my hire. As God the everlasting one hath given me a commission to preach his gospel, I command you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; not on my own authority, but on the authority of him who said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature;" and then annexed this solemn sanction, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." Reject my message, and remember "He that despised Moses's law, died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God." An ambassador is not to stand below the man with whom he deals, for we stand higher. If the minister chooses to take his proper rank, girded with the omnipotence of God, and anointed with his holy unction, he is to command men, and speak with all authority compelling them to come in: "command, exhort, rebuke with all long-suffering."