The Gospel’s Reception

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. – 2 Corinthians 4:4-3

Two men go up to the temple to worship, they take their seats side by side in God’s house; the Word is preached to them both; they both hear it, perhaps with like attention; the one goes his way to forget, the other remembers. They come again: the one listens, and the minister is to him as one that playeth a goodly tune upon an instrument: the other listens and weeps; he feels that the word is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword. It comes home to his conscience; it pierces him, cuts him to the quick; every word seems to be as an arrow shot from the bow of God and finding a target in his conscience. And now they come again. The one feels the word at last to be his; he has been led to repentance and faith in Christ through it, and now comes up to sing God’s praises as His accepted child; while the other remains to sing as a mere formalist-to join in worship in which he feels but little interest-to lift up his voice in a prayer when his heart is far absent. If I had here this morning a heap of steel filings and of ashes mixed together, and I wanted to detect the difference between the two, I should have nothing to do but to thrust in a magnet; the filings would be attracted and the ashes would remain. So with this congregation. If I would know to-day who are those who are of God’s Israel, and who are still the baseborn Egyptians, there is nothing needed but to preach the gospel. The gospel finds out God’s people. it has an affinity to them. When it comes to them they receive it, God’s Holy Spirit opening their hearts; they lay hold of it and rejoice in it; while those who are not God’s, who have no part or interest in the redemption of Christ, hear it in vain and are even hardened by it and go their way to sin with a higher hand, after all the warnings they have received.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Every Providence is a Blessing

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

It is true, that to the naked eye one event happens to both (the renewed and the unrenewed man): the righteous suffer as well as the wicked, and they go to the grave which is appointed for all living; but if we could look more closely into God’s providence, we should see lines of light dividing the path of the godly from the lot of the transgressor. To the righteous man every providence is a blessing. A blessing is wrapped up in all our curses and in all our crosses. Our cups are sometimes bitter, but they are always healthful. Our woe is our weal. We are never losers by our losses, but we grow rich towards God when we become poor towards men. To the sinner, however, all things work together for evil. Is he prosperous? He is as the beast that is fattened for the slaughter. Is he healthy? He is as the blooming flower that is ripening for the mower’s scythe. Does he suffer? His sufferings are the first drops of the eternal hail-storm-of divine vengeance. Every thing to the sinner, if he could but open his eyes, hath a black aspect. The clouds are to him big with thunders, and the whole world is alive with terror. If earth could have its way it would shake off from its bosom the monsters that forget God. But to the righteous all things work together for good. Come foul, or come fair, all shall end well; every wave speeds him to his desired haven, and even the rough blast swells his sails, and drives him the more swiftly towards the port of peace. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

God’s Just Dealings with Two Different Men

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God – Romans 3:24-25

The Lord is never severe beyond what justice demands, nor gracious beyond what justice allows. Here comes the unrenewed, the ungodly man, he brings up his good works, his prayers, his tears; the Lord will judge him according to his works, and woe worth the day to him; it will be a day of sorrow indeed, for he will soon discover his best perfections are as filthy rags, and that all his good works only seemed to be good because he was in the dark, and could not see the spots that defiled them. Another man approaches, it is the renewed man. God deals with him justly, it is true, but not according to the scale of the law, He looks at that man as accepted in Christ Jesus, justified through Christ’s righteousness and washed in His blood, and now He deals with that man, not as a judge with a criminal, nor as a king with a subject, but as a father with a child. That man is taken to Jehovah’s bosom; his offense is put away, his soul constantly renewed by the influence of divine grace, and the dealings of God with him are as different from the dealings of God with another man, as the love of a husband differs from the sternness of an incensed monarch. On the one hand, it is simple justice; on the other hand, fervent love; on the one hand, the inflexible severity of a judge, and on the other hand, the unbounded affection of a parent’s heart. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Distinction

… that ye may know that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. – Exodus 11:17

Between the righteous and the wicked, there is an essential distinction of nature. There are some of you, who imagine that the only difference between the true Christian and another, is just this,-that the one is more attentive to his place of worship-that he is more regular in the practice of ceremonies-that he could not live without private prayer, and the like. Permit me to assure you, that if there is no greater difference than this between you and another man, you are not a child of God. The distinction between the unconverted and the converted, is far wider than this. It is one not of dress or of outward form but of essence and of nature…You must be born again; there must be a new nature put into you; a spark of divinity must fall into your bosom, and must burn there… God by His infinite power has quickened His people: He has brought them out of their old nature, they now love the things which they once hated, and they hate the things they once loved. Old things with them are “passed away; behold all things are become new.” The change is not that they speak more solemnly and religiously, or that they have left off going to the theater, or that they do not spend their lives in the frivolities of the world: that is not the change-it is a consequence of it, but the change is deeper and more vital than this; it is a change of the man’s very essence. He is no more the man that he once was. he is “renewed in the spirit of his mind,” born over again, regenerated, re-created: he is a stranger and a foreigner here below, he no more belongs to this world, but to the world to come. The Lord, then, in this respect, hath put a difference between Israel and Egypt.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Be Bold for Jesus

But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God…That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. -1 Corinthians 1:24; 2:5

The gospel that we preach, although the worldly wise man despises it, is God’s gospel for all that. “Ah,” says he, “there is nothing in it: science has overthrown it.” “And,” says another, “this gospel is but so much platitude; we have heard it over and over again.” Ah, sir, and though it be platitude to you, and you decree it to be contemptible, you shall hear it or nothing else from us; “for it is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” In its simplicity lies its majesty and its power. We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. “God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We will proclaim it again with confidence; We will bring forth once more the selfsame truth as of old; and as the barley loaf smote the tent of Midian, so that it lay along, so shall the gospel overturn its adversaries. The broken pitcher, and the flaming torches, and the old war cry, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon” shall yet fill the foeman with dismay. Let us but be bold for Jesus, and we shall see what His arm can do. The gospel is the voice of the eternal God, and has in it the same power as that which brought the world out of nothing, and which shall raise the dead from their graves at the coming of the Son of Man. The gospel, the word of God, can no more return to Him void than can the snow go back to heaven, or the rain-drops climb again the path by which they descended from the clouds. Have faith in God’s word, faith in the presence of the Holy Ghost, faith in the reigning Savior, faith in the fulfillment of the everlasting purposes, and you will be full of confidence, and like an army with banners.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Proclaiming The Power and Wisdom of God

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. – ! Corinthians 1:18

We cannot place too much reliance in the gospel; our weakness is that we are so diffident and so apt to look somewhere else for strength. We do not believe in the gospel as to its power over the sons of men as we should believe in it. Too often we preach it with a coward’s voice. Have I not heard sermons commencing with abject apologies for the preacher’s daring to open his mouth; apologies for his youth, for his assertions, for his venturing to intrude upon men’s consciences, and I know not what else? Can God own ambassadors of this cowardly cringing breed, who mistake fear of men for humility! Will our Captain honor such carpet-knights, who apologize for bearing arms? I have heard that of old the ambassadors of Holland, and some other states, when introduced to his celestial majesty, the brother of the sun and cousin of the moon, the Emperor of China, were expected to come crawling on their hands and knees up to the throne; but when our ambassadors went to that flowery land, they declined to pay such humiliating homage to his impertinent majesty, and informed him that they would stand upright in his presence, as free men should do, or else they would decline all dealings with him, and in all probability his majesty would hear from a cannon’s mouth far less gentle notes than he would care for. Even thus, though we may well humble ourselves as men, yet as ambassadors of God we cannot crouch to the sons of men, to ask them what message would suit them best. It must not, shall not, be that we shall smooth our tongues and tone our doctrines to the taste of the age… “Ah,” says he, “there is nothing in it: science has overthrown it.” “And,” says another, “this gospel is but so much platitude; we have heard it over and over again.” Ah, sir, and though it be platitude to you, and you decree it to be contemptible, you shall hear it or nothing else from us; “for it is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” In its simplicity lies its majesty and its power. “We are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. “God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Friend of God

And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him. -Genesis 18:17-19

Abraham is called “the friend of God.” It was not merely that God was his Friend; that was blessedly true, and it was a great wonder of grace; but he was honoured to be called “the friend of God”’-one with whom God could hold sweet converse, a man after His own heart, in whom He trusted, to whom He revealed His secrets. I am afraid there are not many men of Abraham’s sort in the world even now; but, wherever there is such a man, with whom God is familiar, he will be sure to be one who orders his household aright. If the Lord is my Friend, and if I am indeed His friend, I shall wish Him to be respected by my children, and I shall endeavor to dedicate my children to His service. I fear that the decline of family godliness, which is so sadly remarkable in these days, is the source of a great many of the crying sins of the age; the Church of God at large would have been more separate from the world if the little church in each man’s house had been more carefully trained for God. If you want the Lord to confide in you, and to trust you with His secrets, you must see that He is able to say of you what He said of Abraham, “he will command his children and his household after him.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon