“All is Vanity…Give Me Thyself!”

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly… -Hebrews 11:16

An insatiable desire has been implanted in us by divine grace, which urges us to

“Forget the steps already trod,
And onward press our way.”

Notice how the text puts it, “But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly.” Brethren, we desire something better than this world. Do you not? Has the world ever satisfied you? Perhaps it did when you were dead in sin. A dead world may satisfy a dead heart, but ever since you have known something of better things have you ever been contented with the world? Perhaps you have tried to fill your soul with worldly things. God has prospered you, and you have said, “Oh! this is well!” Your children have been about you; you have had many household joys, and you have said, “I could stay here for ever.” Did not you find very soon that there was a thorn in the flesh? Did you ever get a rose in this world that was altogether without a thorn? Have you not been obliged to say, after you have had all that the world could give you, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”? I am sure it has been so with you. All God’s saints will confess that if the Lord were to say to them, “You shall have all the world, and that shall be your portion,” they would be broken-hearted men. “Nay, my Lord,” they would say, “don’t put me off so, don’t give me these husks, though Thou give mountains of them. Thou art more glorious than all the mountains of praise. Give me Thyself, and take these all away if it so please Thee, but don’t my Lord, don’t think I can fill myself with these things.” We desire something better. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/3478.cfm

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The Highest, Strongest, Noblest Bond

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. Hebrews 10:38

There is many a Christian who, if he were to go back to the gaiety of the world, would find the world receive him with open arms. He was the favourite of the ballroom once; he was the wit that set the table on a roar; he was the man who, above all, was courted when he moved in the circle of the vain and frivolous; glad enough would they be to see him come back. What shouts of triumph would they raise, and how would they welcome him! Oh! may the day never come to you, you young people especially, who have lately put on the Lord Jesus Christ and professed His name, when you shall be welcomed by the world; but may you forever forget also your own kindred and your father’s house, so shall the King greatly desire your beauty, for He is your Lord, and worship you Him. Separation from the world shall endear you to the Saviour, and bring you conscious enjoyment of His presence…

These opportunities to return (to the world of sin) are meant to try your faith, and they are sent to you to prove that you are a volunteer soldier. Why, if grace was a sort of chain that manacled you so that you could not leave your Lord, if it had become a physical impossibility for you to forsake your Saviour, there would be no credit in your abiding faithful to Him. He that does not run away because his legs are weak, does not prove himself a hero, but he that could run, but won’t run, that could desert his Lord, but won’t desert Him, has within him a principle of grace stronger than any fetter could be-the highest, strongest, noblest bond that unites a man to the Saviour. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/3478.cfm

“Wilt Thou Forsake Me, Too?”

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. -Romans 7:24-25

Ah! how often will our imagination paint sin in very glowing colours, and though we loathe the sin and loathe ourselves for thinking of it, yet how many a man might say, “Had it not been for divine grace, my feet had almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped.” How strong is the evil in the best man, how stern is the conflict to keep under the body, lest corruption should prevail! You may be diligent in secret prayer, and perhaps the devil may have been asleep till you begin to pray, and when you are most fervent then will he also become most rampant. When you get nearest to God, Satan will sometimes seem to get nearer to you…Oh! this flesh, this body of this death-wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from it?

If you want to go back to sin, to carnality, to a love of the world, to your old condition, you never need to be prevented from doing so by want of opportunities. It will be something else that will prevent you, for these opportunities are plentiful indeed.
Opportunities to return are often furnished by the examples of others.

“When any turn from Zion’s way,
Alas! what numbers do!
Methinks I hear my Saviour say,
Wilt thou forsake me too?” 

~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/3478.cfm

Opportunities to Return to the World of Sin

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. -Hebrews 11:15

It is a wonder of wonders that we have not gone back to the world, and to our own sin. When I think of the strength of divine grace, I do not marvel that saints should persevere, but when I remember the weakness of their nature, it seems a miracle of miracles that there should be one Christian in the world a single hour. It is nothing short of God’s utmost stretch of might that preserves a Christian from going back to his old unregenerate condition. We have had opportunities to have returned. My brethren, we have such opportunities in our daily calling. Some of you are engaged in the midst of ungodly men. You have opportunities to sin as they do, to fall into their excess, into their forgetfulness of God, or even into their blasphemies. Oh! have you not often strong inducements, if it were not for the grace of God, to become as they are. Or if your occupation keeps you alone, yet, my brethren, there is one who is pretty sure to keep us company and to seek our mischief-the destroyer, the tempter. And how frequently will even solitude have temptations as severe as publicity could possibly bring! There are snares in company, but there are snares in our loneliness. We have many opportunities to return. In the parlour-in conversation, perhaps, in the kitchen about the day’s work-or in the field, or on the mart, on land, and on sea. Where can we go to escape from these opportunities to return?…Opportunities to return you have now, but ah! may grace be given you so that if others play the Judas, instead of leading you to do the same, it may only bind you more fast to your Lord, and make you walk more carefully, lest you also prove a son of perdition. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/3478.cfm

In This World We Have No Home

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city. -Hebrews 11:16

Abraham left his country at God’s command and he never went back again. The proof of faith lies in perseverance…The Apostle tells us, however, that the people of God were not forced to continue because they could not return…Frequent opportunities came in their way. There was communication kept up between them and the old family house at Padan-Aram. They had news concerning the family house. More than that, there were messages exchanged; servants were sometimes sent. There was also a natural relationship kept up. Did not Rebekah come from thence? And Jacob, one of the patriarchs, was driven to go down into the land; but he could not stay there; he was always unrestful, until at last he stole a march upon Laban and came back to the proper life, the life that he had chosen-the life that God had commanded him to live-of a pilgrim and stranger in the land of promise. .

Now our position is a very similar one. As many of us as have believed in Christ Jesus have been called out… I trust we know what it is to have gone without the camp bearing Christ’s reproach. Henceforth in this world we have no home…Our home is beyond the flood. We are looking for it among the unseen things. We are strangers and sojourners, as all our fathers were; dwellers in this wilderness, passing through it to reach the Canaan which is to be the land of our perpetual inheritance. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/3478.cfm

The Lord’s Battlements

For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. – 2 Corinthians 1:20 

The Christian man can go away with the reflection that his battlements can never be taken away, because they are the Lord’s. We rely upon the electing love of Jehovah-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; we trust in the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ, the Everlasting Son; we depend wholly upon the merits, blood, and righteousness of Jehovah-Tsidkenu-the Lord our righteousness; we are confiding in the Holy Spirit. We confess that we are nothing of ourselves-that it is not of him that willeth, or of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. We do not acknowledge one scrap of the creature in our salvation nor one atom of self; we rely entirely upon covenant love, upon covenant mercy, covenant oaths, covenant faithfulness, covenant immutability, and resting on these, we know our battlements cannot be taken away. Oh, Christian! with these walls surrounded thou mayest laugh at all thy foes. Can the devil touch thee now? He shall only look upon thee and despair. Can doubts and fears take away our battlements? No: they stand fast and firm, and our poor fears are but as straws dashed against the wall by the wind; for, “though we believe not, yet He abideth faithful,” and not all the temptations of a sinful world, or our own carnal hearts, can separate us from the Saviour’s love. We have a city, the walls of which are mighty, the foundations of which are eternal; we have a God who says, “I the Lord do keep her, and do water her every moment, lest any hurt her, I will keep her day and night.” Trust Christian, here, salvation shall God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Surrounded with these, thou mayest smile at all thy foes. But take heed you add nothing to them, for if ye do, the message will be, Take away the battlements, they are not the Lord’s.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0038.cfm