It is Hard Work to Die Without Jesus

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us -Acts 17:27

Those of you who make no profession of religion, are living without God and without Christ, strangers to the commonwealth of Israel,-let me affectionately remind you that the day is coming when you will want religion. It is very well now to be sailing over the smooth waters of life, but the rough billows of Jordan will make you want a Saviour. It is hard work to die without a hope; to take that last leap in the dark is a frightful thing indeed. I have seen the old man die when he has declared he would not die. He has stood upon the brink of death, and he has said, “All dark, dark, dark! O God, I cannot die.” And his agony has been fearful when the strong hand of the destroyer has seemed to push him over the precipice. He lingered shivering on the brink, and feared to launch away.” And frightful was the moment when the foot slipped and the solid earth was left, and the soul was sinking into the depths of eternal wrath. You will want a Saviour then, when your pulse is faint and few; you will need an angel then to stand at your bedside: and when the spirit is departing, you will need a sacred convoy to pilot you through the dark clouds of death and guide you through the iron gate, and lead you to the blessed mansion in the land of the hereafter. Oh, “seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” O Lord, turn us and we shall be turned. Draw us and we will run after Thee; and Thine shall be the glory; for the crown of our race shall be cast at Thy feet, and Thou shalt have the glory forever and ever.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0198.cfm

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“Onward, onward, onward!”

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…Hebrews 12:2

He that would be saved, must hold on to the end: “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Stop and loiter in the race before you have come to the end thereof, and you have made one of the greatest mistakes that could possibly occur. On, on, on! while you live; still onward, onward, onward! for until you come to the grave, you have not come to your resting place until you arrive at the tomb, you have not come to the spot where you may cry “Halt!” Ever onward if ye would win. If you are content to lose, if you would lose your own soul, you may say, “Stop,” if you please; but if you would be saved evermore, be on, on, till you have gained the prize.

Christian, run onward, for remember who it is that stands at the winning post. You are to run onward, always looking unto Jesus, then Jesus must be at the end. We are always to be looking forward, and never backward; therefore Jesus must be there. Are you loitering? See Him with His open wounds. Are you about to leave the course? See Him with His bleeding hands; will not that constrain you to devote yourself to Him? Will not that impel you to speed your course, and never loiter until you have obtained the crown? Your dying Master cries to you today, and He says. “By My agony and bloody sweat; by My cross and passion, onward! By My life, which I gave for you; by the death which I endured for your sake, onward!” And see! He holds out His hand, laden with a crown sparkling with many a star, and He says, “By this crown, onward!” I beseech you, onward, my beloved; press forward, for “I know that there is laid up for me a crown of life which fadeth not away, and not for me only, but for all them that love His appearing.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0198.cfm

Getting a Right Start

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… – Hebrews 12:1

A bad start is a sad thing. If, in the ancient races of Greece or Rome, a man who was about to run the race had loitered, or if he had started before the time it would not matter how fast he ran, if he did not start in order. The flag must drop before the horse starts; otherwise, even if it reach the winning post first, it shall have no reward. There is something to be noted, then, in the starting of the race. I have known men run the race of religion with all their might, and yet they have lost it because they did not start right. You say, “Well, how is that?” Why, there are some people who on a sudden leap into religion. They get it quickly, and they keep it for a time. and at last they lose it because they did not get their religion the right way. They have heard that before a man can be saved, it is necessary that, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, he should feel the weight of sin, that he should make a confession of it, that he should renounce all hope in his own works, and should look to Jesus Christ alone. They look upon all these things as unpleasant preliminaries and therefore, before they have attended to repentance, before the Holy Spirit has wrought a good work in them, before they have been brought to give up everything and trust to Christ, they make a profession of religion.

How many there are who never think it necessary that there should be heart work within! Let us remember, however, that there never was a true new birth without much spiritual suffering;  that there never was a man who had a changed heart without his first having a miserable heart. We must pass through that black tunnel of conviction before we can come out upon the high embankment of holy joy; we must first go through the Slough of Despond before we can run along the walls of Salvation. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0198.cfm

The Greatest Fault to Which Man is Addicted

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. – Galatians 6:7

You never find a man saying to you, “I don’t profess to be a chaste living man.” You don’t hear another say, “I don’t profess to be anything but a covetous wretch.” No; people are not so fast about telling their faults: and yet you hear people confess the greatest fault to which man can be addicted: they say, “I make no profession”-which means just this-that they do not give God His due. God has made them, and yet they won’t serve Him; Christ hath come into the world to save sinners, and yet they will not regard Him; the gospel is preached; and yet they will not hear it; they have the Bible in their houses, and yet they will not attend to its admonitions; they make no profession of doing so. It will be short work with them at the last great day. There will be no need for the books to be opened, no need for a long deliberation in the verdict. They do not profess to be pardoned; their guilt is written upon their own foreheads, their brazen shamelessness shall be seen by the whole world, as a sentence of destruction written upon their very brows. You cannot expect to win heaven unless your names are entered for the race. If there be no attempts whatever made, even at so much as a profession of religion, then of course you may just sit down and say, “Heaven is not for me; I have no part nor lot in the inheritance of Israel, I cannot say that my Redeemer liveth; and I may rest quite assured that Tophet is prepared of old for me. I must feel its pains and know its miseries; for there are but two places to dwell in hereafter, and if I am not found on the right hand of the Judge, there is but one alternative-namely, to be cast away for ever into the blackness of darkness.”~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0198.cfm

What is Worth Running the Race For?

Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

What, then, is it, for which we ought to run in this race? Why heaven, eternal life, justification by faith, the pardon of sin, acceptance in the Beloved, and glory everlasting. If you run for anything else than salvation, should you will, what you have won is not worth the running for. Oh! I beseech every one of you, make sure work for eternity, never be contented with anything less than a living faith in a living Saviour; rest not until you are certain that the Holy Spirit is at work in your souls. Do not think that the outside of religion can be of use to you; it is just the inward part of religion that God loveth. Seek to have a repentance that needeth not to be repented of-a faith which looks alone to Christ, and which will stand by you when you come into the swellings of Jordan, Seek to have a love which is not like a transient flame, burning for a moment and then extinguished; but a flame which shall increase and increase, and still increase, till your heart shall be swallowed up therein, and Jesus Christ’s one name shall be the sole object of your affection. We must, in running the heavenly race, set nothing less before us than that which Christ did set before Him. He set the joy of salvation before Himself, and then He did run, despising the cross and enduring the shame. So let us do; and may God give us good success, that by His good Spirit we may attain unto eternal life, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0198.cfm

Run to Obtain the Crown

So run, that ye may obtain. – 1Corinthians 9:24

We are continually insisting upon it from day to day, that salvation is not of works, but of grace. We lay this down as one of the very first doctrines of the gospel. “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” But we find that it is equally necessary to preach the absolute necessity of a religious life for the attainment of heaven at last. Although we are sure that men are not saved for the sake of their works, yet are we equally sure that no man will be saved without them; and that he who leads an unholy life, who neglects the great salvation, can never inherit that crown of life which fadeth not away. In one sense, true religion is wholly the work of God; yet there are high and important senses in which we must ourselves “strive to enter in at the strait gate.” We must run a race; we must wrestle even to agony; we must fight a battle, before we can inherit the crown of life. We have in our text the course of religion set down as a race; and inasmuch as there be many who enter upon a profession of religion with very false motives, the apostle warns us that although all run in a race, yet all do not obtain the prize: they run all, but only one is rewarded: and he gives us, therefore, the practical exhortation to run that we may obtain; for unless we are the winners we had better not have been runners at all; for he that is not a winner is a loser; he who makes a profession of religion, and does not at last obtain the crown of life, is a loser by his profession; for his profession was hypocrisy or else formality, and he had better not have made a profession, than fall therein.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0198.cfm

Secure in Thy Eternal Hand

My times are in Thy hand…Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men! – Psalm 31:15, 19

Sit thou still, O child, at thy great Father’s feet, and let Him do as seemeth Him good! When thou canst not comprehend Him, know that a babe cannot understand the wisdom of its sire. Thy Father comprehends all things, though thou dost not: let His wisdom be enough for thee. Everything in the hand of God is where it may be left without anxiety; and it is where it will be carried through to a prosperous issue. Things prosper which are in His hand. “My times are in Thy hand,” is an assurance that none can disturb, or pervert, or poison them. In that hand we rest as securely as rests a babe upon its mother’s breast. Where could our interests be so well secured as in the eternal hand? What a blessing it is to see by the eye of faith all things that concern you grasped in the hand of God! What peace as to every matter which could cause anxiety flows into the soul when we see all our hopes built upon so stable a foundation, and preserved by such supreme power! “My times are in Thy hand!”

“Our times are in Thy hand,
Whatever they may be,
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to Thee.”

 The Lord Jesus loved me, and gave Himself for me, and my times are in those hands which were nailed to the cross for my redemption. What will be the effect of such a faith, if it be clear, personal, and enduring? ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/2205.cfm