Look Upward!

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26

I address some man, so far ungodly that he has no hope of salvation, yet still is anxious to be saved. Perhaps he says, “How can I ever become a Christian? How can I have a new heart and a right spirit?” Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? Cannot He give you the tenderness you desire? Cannot He give you the desire that seems to be lacking? Cannot He give you faith in Christ, at this very moment? Cannot He breathe into you now that breath of spiritual life that shall make you a living soul, looking up to the cross, and finding life in the Crucified? I pray you, dear friend, if you are under a horrible sense of sin, if you think yourself the worst wretch that ever poisoned the air, if you feel unfit to live as well as unfit to die; yet believe that the Holy Ghost can renew you, and can turn the sinner into a saint, and make you to glorify God even now, this instant. If not, you limit the power of the Holy Ghost; and I come to you with this question, “Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened?” The case is desperate, if it were not for the divine hand; it is beyond all hope, if there were no God. There is no balm in Gilead; there is no physician there; if there had been, the health of the daughter of God’s people would long ago have been recovered. Where, then, is the balm? Look upward for it. Where is the physician? Look upward for Him. There is the Christ of God, “mighty to save,” and there is the living Father Himself, and there is the almighty Spirit. Oh, that you would no longer be filled with suspicions as to the power of God! for with God all things are possible. “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Is the Lord’s arm waxed short? Trust thou that He can do all things, and do all things for thee whether thou art a saint or a sinner.~ C.H. Spurgeon


You Must Have the Holy Spirit or Fail

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:11

When we get at the work our need remains; we long to see the people saved; but in order to do that, they must be born again, and this we cannot accomplish ourselves. Change a stone into flesh! Try that at home with a piece of stone on your table, before you attempt it with the hard hearts of men. Create a soul between the ribs of death! Try that in a charnel-house before you pretend to create within a sinner, dead in sin, the spiritual life. Of regeneration we may say, “This is the finger of God.” If our religion be not supernatural, it is a delusion. If the Holy Ghost be not with you, you are like Jannes and Jambres, attempting to work a miracle without Jehovah’s aid; and you will be baffled, and detected for an impostor. You will fail, like the seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, who tried to cast out devils: the devils do not know you; they would know Jesus; they would know the Holy Spirit; but at your idle efforts they mockingly laugh. Only those people who never do any spiritual work talk about what they can accomplish. When you get into the sacred service, you find how great your weakness is; you feel out of your depth when you come to deal with souls, and you must have the Holy Spirit or fail…We never personally go a step towards heaven, and we never lead another one inch on the way, apart from the Holy Ghost…

“Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,
With all Thy quickening powers.”

or else all our service for the Lord is in vain. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Take Christ to Thyself

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. – Acts 2:21

Here is a text for you: “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Is not that a wonderful “whosoever”? “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord” in believing prayer, asking mercy, trusting Christ for mercy, “shall be saved.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” Most of you know these texts by heart; grip them as with hooks of steel. If you say that you are hungry, and I put a loaf of bread in front of you, will you sit and look at it all night? If I meet you in a week’s time, will you still complain that you are hungry, while there is the bread in front of you still untouched? You deserve to be hungry if that is the case, you deserve to be famished to death if, the bread being there, you will not have it. Take it, and eat it. “May I have it?” asks one. Thou art commanded to have it; this is not a matter that is left to thy option. “The times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” Our Lord Himself said, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel.” It is, therefore, a gospel command that thou shouldest repent and believe, and truly thou mayest obey a command given by the Lord Himself. There is no question about thy permission to obey it; then, obey it at once, and take Christ to thyself… Ye guiltiest of the guilty, you most condemned of all the condemned, for whom the hottest hell would be your due place, yet come away, and look to Christ, and you shall live, for none are too vile for Him to cleanse, none are too guilty for Him to pardon. Oh, that you would believe in Jesus while yet the gospel bell rings out, “mercy, mercy, mercy!”! God help you to do so, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


He Has the Power to Save You

And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. – John 1:32

My brethren, if I were to preach to you merely to arouse your attention, to awaken your consciences to a sense of sin, or simply to show you the nature of true religion, yet you would not be prepared for Christ unless also you knew something about Him, something about His suitableness and His power to save you. So, John preached Jesus Christ as a mighty and glorious Saviour on whom the Spirit rested. He says that, when he baptized our Lord, as Jesus came up out of the water, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” John boldly preached, and told the people that the Spirit of God rested upon Jesus Christ, yea, abode upon Him. Now, this would lead them to Him, and this should lead you to Him. Whatever there is, poor souls, that you need to make you holy and perfect, Christ has it, for the Spirit of God rests on Him, and abides in Him without measure. It you want the grace of penitence, Christ has it to give you. If you want the grace of supplication, He has it to give you. If you want the grace of faith, He has it. If you want the grace of holiness, He has it. “It pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell,” “and of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” John taught this to his hearers, and I teach it to you. There is nothing wanted between hell-gate and heaven-gate but what is in Christ, nothing wanted for the biggest sinner out of hell to make him the biggest saint in heaven but what Christ has, nothing wanted in any hour of temptation, in any time of depression, nothing wanted in any moment of sickness, or in the article of death itself, but what it is in Christ, and there for you if you trust Him… He hath said, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Before The Great Trier of Human Hearts

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. – Luke 3:9

Unless our religion makes us holy, it has not done anything for us that is really worth doing. Unless we hate sin, and love righteousness, our religion is a sham and a lie. John stated that truth very plainly; and that is the way to drive men to Christ. He told them also that the trial of a life would be by its weight as well as by its fruit. “Look,” said he, “at the heap that lies on the threshing-floor. He that hath the fan in His hand begins to winnow it; that which is light and chaffy is blown away, that which has wheat in it remains on the floor. So,” said he, “there must be weight about your religion-stability, reality, sincerity. There must be heart-work in it, it must be no pretence; it must be true from beginning to end, or else it shall no more avail you than a heap of chaff would avail the husbandman when it is blown into the fire.”

Then John taught his hearers that Christ Himself would be the great Trier of human hearts; not ministers or fellow-professors, but, Christ Himself. When men feel this to be true, then they begin to say to themselves, “There is more required than we at present possess. There is more demanded than we can ever manufacture of ourselves. Let us go to Him that hath it, and ask Him for it. Let us go to Christ, who hath grace to bestow upon the poor and needy.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Insufficient Privileges

…begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as our father… – Like 3:8

As soon as ever John began to preach, the men of Jewish race, proud of their pedigree, pressed near; and John, with all the courage that a servant of the Lord could have, said, “Begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” You see the drift of his preaching, do you not? He says, practically, “Men and women, there is no virtue in your boasted privileges, there is no merit in your religious descent. As for supposing yourselves to be the peculiar people of God, you are not to be saved that way. Say not, We have Abraham as our father.” Oh, how many hug that idea, “My father was a Christian.” Others say, “Well, I live in a Christian country.” They suppose that there is something in the very race from which they have sprung. Away with all such notions, for whatever external privileges you may have had, they are not sufficient to secure salvation for you.

So John spoke right straight out; and this, I believe, is a great way of preparing men for coming to Christ, when you tell them, “It is not your early training, it is not your going to church or chapel, it is not your infant sprinkling and your confirmation, it is not even your adult baptism, nor your saying prayers and reading the Bible, that will save you; but ‘ye must be born again.’ There must be an inward spiritual change, wrought by the Holy Spirit. You must believe in Jesus Christ, whom God has sent, and you must so believe in Him as to be made new creatures in Him, or else you cannot be saved.” Now, when men realize that all this is true, it startles them out of their false refuges, and makes them ready to flee to the only true refuge… ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Convinced of Sin and Led to Repentance

Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand… and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.- Matthew 3:2, 12

“Repent! Repent ! Repent!” was John’s continual cry. This awakened the consciences of his hearers concerning their sin. Preaching repentance meant, “You have sinned; change your mind in reference to that sin. You have sinned; quit the sin, mourn over it, ask forgiveness for it. Repent ye!” Whenever a man brings to the minds of others their sins, when he so does it that they begin to feel that they have sinned, then they are being prepared for the Lord, for no man will come to the Saviour unless he knows that he needs a Saviour; and no man will feel that he needs a Saviour until he feels that he is a sinner. Hence it is a real preparation of men for Christ to convince them of sin.

The preacher who would “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” must come out with his axe, and lay it to the root of the trees; he must be definite and distinct in indicating this sin and that sin, and crying to all men, “Repent of these sins. Give them up. Get clear from them. Be washed from them; or else, as God lives, when the Christ Himself comes, it will not be to save you, but to blow you away with His winnowing fan as the chaff is blown into the fire.”

This is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” by their being convinced of sin and led to repentance. Hence it is a real preparation of men for Christ to convince them of sin. ~ C.H. Spurgeon