Yet the Lord Follows the Lost Sinner

…thine ears shall hear a word behind thee…-Isaiah 30:21

…for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. – Jeremiah 2:27

How does God find men when He declares that they shall hear a word behind them? First, He finds them with their backs turned to Him. This is clear enough, if you remember that the word is to be heard “behind” them. The sinner has gone away from God, and God calls after him from behind. He has turned his back upon his true Friend, his best Friend, his only capable Friend, but that Friend does not therefore change His temper and resent the insult; nay, He is provoked to a love more pleading and persuasive than ever, and calls to him to come into the right way. After having transgressed wilfully and wickedly, the rebel now distinctly turns his back on God and truth; according to the Lord’s complaint, “they have turned unto Me the back, and not the face.” He turns his back on the law, on the gospel, on mercy, on eternal life. He turns his back on the adoption of the great Father, on pardon bought with the blood of Jesus, on regeneration which can alone be wrought by the Holy Spirit: he turns his back upon holiness, happiness, and heaven. He turns away from sunlight, and wanders down into deeper and yet deeper night, striving to get away from God and holy influences. Yet the Lord follows him, and with a voice of touching love and tender compassion He calls to him, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” The word of warning, instruction, and entreaty follows the wanderer, and with ever-increasing pathos beseeches him to turn and live. Again and again the wise, earnest, personal voice assails his ear, as if love resolved that he should not perish if wooing could win him to life. The wanderer seeks not God, but his God seeks him. Man turns from the God of love, but the love of God turns not away from him.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1672.cfm

Receive Him Now, Poor Sinner

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: – John 1:12

Since what I have had I have received by God’s grace, might I not receive more?…If you have had faith, why should you not have more? If God gave you hope, joy, experience, why not more? You are not straitened in Him, you can be only straitened in yourself. Try to remove those hindrances, and ask the Lord to give you more grace.

If all that Christians have they have received, sinner, why should not you receive as well as they? If it were true that Christians got these good things out of themselves, then you, poor sinner, might despair, for you know you have no good thing in you; but if the best of saints, the best Christian in heaven, has not anything but what he received, why should not you receive? To receive, you know, is never a difficult thing. I warrant you that out of all the people in London there is not a man but what could receive. Try it on the present occasion. Let it be a thousand pounds, and see how many among us would be unable to receive. If there be a person about who would not receive, I tell you who it is-it is the man who thinks himself so rich that he does not care to have any more. Even so the proud, self-righteous Pharisee cannot receive; but you poor, good-for-nothing, empty sinners can receive; and here is the mercy-“to as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on His name.” Open that empty hand, open that empty heart: God grant they may be opened now by His own divine Spirit, and may you receive, and then I know you will join with us in saying, “Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1271.cfm

Of Special Grace

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God – Ephesians 2:8

Have I ever given to God His due place in the matter of my salvation?-a question that I may very well put, for I recollect when I was converted to God, and truly converted too, but I did not know that it was the work of the Spirit in my heart; I did not understand that it was the result of special grace. I had heard the gospel generally preached, but I had not learned the peculiar doctrines of grace; and I recollect very well sitting down and thinking to myself, “I am renewed in my mind, I am forgiven, I am saved: how came that about?” and I traced it to this, that I had heard the gospel, but as I knew that many never had an opportunity of hearing it, I saw special grace in my having had the opportunity to hear it. But then I said, “There are others who have heard it, but it was not blessed to them: how came it to be blessed to me?” and I cogitated for awhile whether it could be something good in me that made the gospel useful to me, for if so I deserved to have the credit of it. Somehow the grace which God had given me made me fling that theory to the winds, and I came to this conclusion, “It must be God that made the difference,” and having got that one thought into my mind, the doctrines of grace followed as a matter of course. Only by experimentally knowing that there has been a special work of grace in your own soul, will you be likely to place the Lord where He should be in your creed, for some provide a very inferior place for the Lord in the matter of their salvation. With them man is very great, and God is made little of; but true theology makes God the very sun of the system, the center, the head, the first, and chief. Have you done so? If not, correct your views, and get a clearer view of the gospel of grace. May the Holy Spirit help you therein. To know the doctrines of grace will be much to your comfort, will tend to your stability, and will also lead you to seek the glory of God.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/1271.cfm

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

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0305.cfm

Hold Fast the Gospel

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) – Hebrews 10:23

A true church in her holiness and testimony is very terrible to sinners. The ungodly care not a rush about a mock church, nor about sham Christians; but a really earnest Christian makes the ungodly abashed.

Let us be very earnest to maintain the faith once delivered to the saints. Let us not give up this doctrine or that, at the dictates of policy or fashion; but whatsoever Jesus saith unto us, let us receive it as the word of life. Great injury may be done to a church ere it knows it, if it shall tolerate error here and there; for false doctrine, like the little leaven, soon leavens the whole lump. If the church be taught of the Spirit to know the voice of the Good Shepherd, a stranger it will not follow; for it knows not the voice of strangers. This is part of the education which Christ gives to His people: “All thy people shall be taught of the Lord.” They shall know the truth, and the truth shall make them free. May we, as a church, hold fast the things which we have learned and have been taught of God; and may we be preserved from the philosophies and refinings of these last days. If we give up the things which are verily believed among us we shall lose our power, and the enemy alone will be pleased; but if we maintain them, the maintenance of the old faith, by the Spirit of God, shall make us strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Wrap the colors round you, ye standard bearers, in the day of danger, and die sooner than give them up. Life is little compared with God’s lovingkindness, and that is the sure heritage of the brave defender of the faith.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm

Fight for the Glory of His Name

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might…Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. -Ephesians 6:10,13

When an army folds up its colors the fight is over. Little is being done in military circles when the banners are put away; the troops are on furlough, or are resting in barracks. An army with banners is exercising, or marching, or fighting; probably it is in the middle of a campaign, it is marshaled for offense and defense, and there will be rough work before long. It is to be feared that some churches have hung up their flags to rot in state, or have encased them in dull propriety…The reason for a church being a church lies in its mutual edification and in the conversion of sinners; and if these two ends are not really answered by a church, it is a mere name, a hindrance, an evil, a nuisance; like the salt which has lost its savor, it is neither fit for the land nor yet for the dunghill. May we all in our church fellowship be active in the energy of the Spirit of God. May none of us be dead members of the living body, mere impediments to the royal host, baggage to be dragged rather than warriors pushing on in the war. May we, every one of us, be soldiers filled with vigor to the fullness of our manhood, by the eternal power of the Holy Spirit; and may we be resolved that any portion of the church which does not uplift its banner of service shall not long number us among its adherents. Be it ours to determine that whether others will or will not serve God and extend the kingdom of His dear Son, we will, in His name and strength, contend even to the death. Unsheath your swords, ye soldiers of the cross; arise from your slumbers, ye careless ones, gird on your swords and prepare for the war. The Lord has redeemed you by His blood, not that you might sleep, but that you might fight for the glory of His name.~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0984.cfm

Preserved Blameless

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

The apostle prophesied for these believers, that which he would have us seek after–that we may be preserved, blameless unto the day of our Lord Jesus Christ…God grant that in that last great day we may stand free from all charge, that none in the whole universe may dare to challenge our claim to be the redeemed of the Lord. We have sins and infirmities to mourn over, but these are not the kind of faults which would prove us to be out of Christ; we shall be clear of hypocrisy, deceit, hatred, and delight in sin; for these things would be fatal charges. Despite our failings, the Holy Spirit can work in us a character spotless before men; so that, like Daniel, we shall furnish no occasion for accusing tongues, except in the matter of our religion. Multitudes of godly men and women have exhibited lives so transparent, so consistent throughout, that none could gainsay them. The Lord will be able to say of many a believer, as He did of Job, when Satan stood before Him, “Hast thou considered My servant, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil?” This is what my reader must look for at the Lord’s hands. This is the triumph of the saints–to continue to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, maintaining our integrity as before the living God. May we never turn aside into crooked ways, and give cause to the adversary to blaspheme. Of the true believer it is written, “He keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” May it be so written concerning us!

Friend just beginning in the divine life, the Lord can give you an irreproachable character. Even though in your past life you may have gone far into sin, the Lord can altogether deliver you from the power of former habits, and make you an example of virtue. He can not only make you moral, but He can make you abhor every false way and follow after all that is saintly. Do not doubt it. The chief of sinners need not be a whit behind the purest of the saints. Believe for this, and according to your faith shall it be unto you. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/classics/allofgrace16.html