Ochii tăi vor vedea pe Împărat în strălucirea Lui

 

psalm 93v1a Jesus king

Cu cât mai mult cunoști despre Hristos, cu atât ești mai nemulțumit de vederea ta spirituală. Cu cât studiezi mai mult rolul Său în legământul veșnic, garanția pe care Asiguratorul veșnic a oferit-o pentru tine și plinătatea harului Său care strălucește în toate lucrările Sale, cu atât mai bine Îl vezi pe Împărat în toată strălucirea Lui.

Dăruiește-te unei asemenea meditații. Dorește-ți tot mai mult să-L vezi pe Isus. Meditația și contemplarea sunt ca niște ferestre de agat și niște porți de cărbune prin care Îl vedem pe Răscumpărătorul. Meditația privește prin telescop și ne ajută să-L vedem pe Isus mai bine decât dacă am fi trăit pe pământ odată cu El. O, dacă puterea noastră ar fi mai cerească și dacă am fi mai atrași de Persoana, lucrarea și frumusețea Domnului nostru întrupat!

Dacă am medita mai mult la Isus, frumusețea Regelui s-ar răsfrânge asupra noastră cu mai multă strălucire. Preaiubiților, când va veni ceasul morții, este foarte probabil că Îl vom vedea pe Rege așa cum nu L-am mai văzut înainte. Mulți sfinți pe patul de moarte au privit peste apele învolburate și L-au văzut pe Isus venind pe mare. Ei L-au auzit spunând: „Eu sunt; nu vă temeți” (Matei 14:27). O, da! Atunci când casa începe să se clatine și lutul se întoarce de unde a venit, Îl vedem pe Hristos prin deschizături; și, printre căpriori, soarele strălucește pe cer cu putere.

Totuși, dacă vrem să Îl vedem pe Împărat în toată strălucirea Lui, față în față, trebuie să mergem noi în ceruri sau să vină Împăratul aici. O, dacă ar veni pe „aripile vântului” (2 Samuel 22:11)! El este Mirele nostru și noi suntem văduviți de absența Lui. El este Fratele nostru scump și noi suntem singuri fără El. Perdele groase și nori atârnă între sufletele noastre și viața adevărată. Când va veni „răcoarea zilei și… lungirea umbrelor” (Cântarea Cântărilor 2:17)? O, mult așteptată zi, vino!

C.H. Spurgeon

SURSA – http://www.resursecrestine.ro

Mila, cea mai mare responsabilitate ~ Nicolae Geantă

Nicolae Geanta London iulie 2016

Mila, cea mai mare responsabilitate Nicolae Geantă • Sfânta Treime Londra • Iulie 2016

La un moment dat, Corrie Ten Boom a spus: „In momentul in care te uiti in jur, o sa vezi numai probleme. In momentul in care te uiti la tine, o sa devii deprimat. Dar, in momentul in care te uiti in sus la Hristos, numai atunci va fi eliberare”. Dumnezeu sa ne ajute sa privim inspre El.

Luca 10:25-37

25 Un învăţător* al Legii s-a sculat să ispitească pe Isus şi I-a zis: „Învăţătorule, ce să fac ca să moştenesc viaţa veşnică?”
26 Isus i-a zis: „Ce este scris în Lege? Cum citeşti în ea?”
27 El a răspuns: „Să* iubeşti pe Domnul, Dumnezeul tău, cu toată inima ta, cu tot sufletul tău, cu toată puterea ta şi cu tot cugetul tău şi** pe aproapele tău ca pe tine însuţi.”
28 „Bine ai răspuns”, i-a zis Isus; „fă aşa şi vei* avea viaţa veşnică.”
29 Dar el, care voia să* se îndreptăţească, a zis lui Isus: „Şi cine este aproapele meu?”
30 Isus a luat din nou cuvântul şi a zis: „Un om se cobora din Ierusalim la Ierihon. A căzut între nişte tâlhari, care l-au dezbrăcat, l-au jefuit de tot, l-au bătut zdravăn, au plecat şi l-au lăsat aproape mort.
31 Din întâmplare, se cobora pe acelaşi drum un preot şi, când a văzut pe omul acesta, a* trecut înainte pe alături.
32 Un levit trecea şi el prin locul acela şi, când l-a văzut, a trecut înainte pe alături.
33 Dar un samaritean*, care era în călătorie, a venit în locul unde era el şi, când l-a văzut, i s-a făcut milă de el.
34 S-a apropiat de i-a legat rănile şi a turnat peste ele untdelemn şi vin, apoi l-a pus pe dobitocul lui, l-a dus la un han şi a îngrijit de el.
35 A doua zi, când a pornit la drum, a scos doi lei, i-a dat hangiului şi i-a zis: ‘Ai grijă de el, şi orice vei mai cheltui, îţi voi da înapoi la întoarcere.’
36 Care dintre aceştia trei ţi se pare că a dat dovadă că este aproapele celui ce căzuse între tâlhari?”
37 „Cel ce şi-a făcut milă cu el”, a răspuns învăţătorul Legii. „Du-te de fă şi tu la fel”, i-a zis Isus.

Charles Spurgeon a venit la biserica intr-o seara si trebuia sa se intalneasca cu un grup de tineri care au vrut sa plece misionari. Baietii au vrut sa misioneze in Africa si trebuiau ca sa ii pregateasca. Era destul de tarziu si ningea pentru ca era in Ianuarie. Frig, umed, asa cum este Anglia pe care voi o cunoasteti bine. Si in fata bisericii, undeva intr-un sant, statea un betiv. A venit primul dintre tineri care vroia sa mearga misionar si cand a vazut betivul ala in sant ca mai si canta acolo sau dardaia, a trecut mai departe nepasator. Si a venit al doilea, a venit al treilea si au venit toti 20. Au intrat toti 20 in sala si s-au dus la soba sa se incalzeasca dupa care a venit Spurgeon. Si cand a venit, a spus, acuma, trebuie ca sa cantam ceva si sa-I multumim lui Dumnezeu. Si Spurgeon a zis: „S-a terminat lectia pentru voi in seara asta. As vrea ca sa iesiti cu totii afara si niciunul dintre voi nu va merge misionar.” A zis: „Misionar nu inseamna sa te duci numai sa predici. Omul acela care era in sant si care parea ca e betiv am fost eu. Si toti 20 ati trecut pe langa mine fara ca macar sa ma vedeti.”

Vedeti dvs. marea problema pe care o avem noi crestinii si pe care o avem noi biserica, nu este faptul ca nu venim la biserica. Nu este faptul ca nu predicam. Nu este faptul ca noi nu avem (nu stiu ce sa spun) scule, tehnica, logistica. Ci marea problema cu care ne confruntam  si una dintre marile probleme este mila. Pentru ca in seara asta as vrea sa invatam cateva lucruri despre mila.

Mila, in limba greaca eleoV, inseamna bunatatea spre cineva cu scopul de-a ajuta persoana respectiva. Romanii spun ca mila este un sentiment de compasiune fata de suferinta si de nenorocirea cuiva. Adica, inseamna compatimire. Inseamna indurerare. Inseamna milostire. Inseamna empatie, adica sa intri in pielea omului aceluia respectiv. Daca vrei sa le vorbesti romanilor despre mila, dar si englezilor, este destul de greu pentru ca lipsa milei a inceput sa devina un sport national. Dimineata pana seara oamenii trec pe langa altii fara ca sa le mai pese pentru ca sunt o multime de probleme care roiesc in jurul nostru ca un stup de albine si noi am ajuns ca sa mergem mai departe fara mila. Si Dumnezeu sa ne ajute sa invatam in seara asta despre mila. Stiti de ce? Pentru ca noi am invatat ca pilda bunului samaritean, dar nu scrie nicaieri in Biblie de bunul samaritean. Noi am crezut ca pilda aceasta este pilda bunului samaritean. Dar titlul acesta este un supra titlu. Dar, pilda aceasta este pilda milei. Si in seara asta vrem sa invatam cateva lucruri despre mila. Si Dumnezeu sa ne ajute ca avem nevoie de ea.

Contextul in care se desfasoara acest episod este unul in care vin fariseii la Domnul Isus sa-L ispiteasca si au venit cu gandul sa-L ispiteasca. Oamenii acestia veneau la Hristos si vroiau sa-L puna la incercare. Spuneau: „Ce fel de om este acesta in momentul in care predica ii incuie pe toti? Care in momentul in care isi pune mainile peste oameni, se vindeca? Care in momentul in care ridica painile la cer, se inmultesc? Doar nu a facut scoli cu noi. Doar n-a fost in biserica noastra. Asta nu-i penticostal al nostru. Asta nu-i Crestin Dupa Evanghelie al nostru. Asta nu-i ortodox de-al nostru. Nu l-am vazut in biserica, nu l-am vazut niciunde. De unde are toata intelepciunea asta?” Si au venit ca sa-L ispiteasca. Si a venit si o sa va mai spun si duminica despre o alta ispita, sa vedeti cum vin fariseii si altii sa ispiteasca.

Oamenii acestia au venit si ei se bazau pe lege. Au venit si i-au spus Domnului Isus, i-au pus o intrebare: „Dar cine este aproapele meu?” Pentru ca in momentul acela, intre evreii acre erau scoliti existau niste invataturi conform carora existau niste cercuri de dragoste. Si spuneau: primul cerc din dragoste sunt eu si ai mei. Adica, cei care sunt in casa mea. Al doilea cerc din dragoste este eu si rudele mele. Al treilea cerc de dragoste inseamna eu si sinagoga mea. Al patrulea cerc de dragoste inseamna eu si Israel. Si al cincilea cerc de dragoste inseamna neamurile sau poate nu erau pe nicaieri. Si ei pentru ca se invarteau in cercurile astea de dragoste, Domnul Isus cand le vorbea de aproapele, au zis: dar bine, cine e aproapele meu? Aproapele meu poate sa fie mama. Aproapele meu poate sa fie bunicul meu.Aproapele meu poate sa fie un frate din biserica.Aproapele meu poate sa fie un englez, poate sa fie un arab. Poate sa fie aproapele meu un terorist. Poate sa fie aproapele meu nu stiu cine, care este impotriva crestinismului. Sa zicem, un musulman. Si vin cu intrebarea asta la Domnul Isus oamenii acestia care erau plini de lege, plini de Tora. In limba franceza, cand vine si spune ca un invatator al legii s-a apropiat de Hristos, in limba franceza scrie ‘un doctor in teologie’ a venit si s-a apropiat de Isus Hristos. Pentru ca astia gasesc tot felul de intrebari si din cauza acestora cu teologia asta facuta fara genunchiologie (rugaciune) sau fara Duhul lui Dumnezeu, am ajuns sa ne imprastiem prin atatea biserici si sa avem atatea credinte.

A venit omul asta sa Il ispiteasca pe Domnul. Vine si zice: „Isuse, tu stii ce credem noi evreii. Tu stii ce e in scoala lui Hilel. Tu stii ce e in scoala lui Gamaliel. Tu stii ce se predica in sinagoga, cercurile de dragoste. Ca noi evreii suntem cei mai deosebiti inaintea lui Dumnezeu. Ca noi evreii suntem buricul pamantului, ca toate se invart in jurul nostru. Cine este aproapele nostru? Au vrut sa-L puna la incurcatura. Erau foarte curiosi ce o sa raspunda. Si noi stim cu totii ce ii raspunde Domnul Isus Hristos.Si noi vedem aici ca Domnul Isus le vorbeste despre un alt fel de cerc de dragoste. Nu cum le facusera ei.Si, Domnul, prin ceea ce le spune lor, prin pilda asta, stiti ce le spune evreilor? „Voi aveti o religie extraordinar de buna pentru ca voua Dumnezeu v-a dat religia, voua nu v-a dat religie Mahomed. Voua nu v-a dat-o Buda. Voua nu v-a dat-o Joseph Smith, cum au martorii lui Iehova. Voua, religia este data de Dumnezeu si e foarte buna religia. Si il intreaba: cum este scris in lege? „Sa fac… ” Zice: E ok, ai raspuns foarte bine. Problema voastra este ca voi aveti religie, dar voi n-aveti mila.”

Uitati-va astazi, sunt o multime de oameni care sunt religiosi si carora mila le lipseste. Daca ne uitam din China si pana in America de Sud, de la budisti, de la confucianisti, pana la Catolici, pana la Ortodocsi, chiar pana la Protestanti, MILA LIPSESTE. Si la ce ne-ar folosi noua o religie? La ce ne-ar folosi noua o biserica? La ce ne-ar folosi noua o credinta fara mila? Oai, n-au si musulmanii o religie? Dar au mila? Dumnezeu sa ne ajute sa intelegem ca noi trebuie sa manifestam mila pentru ca APROAPELE NOSTRU ESTE ORICINE ARE NEVOIE DE MILA NOASTRA. Un cersetor musulman, daca e, e aproapele meu. Pe Dumnezeu nu-L intereseaza culorile, nu-L intereseaza religia.

(Notite pana la minutul 10:25 – mai sunt aprox. 47 de minute din mesaj)

VIDEO by Biserica Sfânta Treime – Londra

Charles Spurgeon Sermon – Special Thanksgiving to the Father (audio video and transcript)

spurgeonCharles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 January 31, 1892) was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the „Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages. Spurgeon was the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. In 1857, he started a charity organization called Spurgeon’s which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him after his death.

Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer, a devotional, a magazine, and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Arguably, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in print than C.H. Spurgeon.

Special Thanksgiving to the Father

This message was preached on February 15, 1860. The sermon is prefaced by a letter, which Mr. Spurgeon wrote in June of that same year, as he was on the continent. This is the letter:

MY DEAR BRETHREN,
    I have journeyed happily to the borders of Switzerland, and already feel that the removing of the yoke from the shoulder is one of the readiest means of restoring the metal powers. Much of Popish superstition and idolatry has passed under my observation, and if nothing else could make me a Protestant, what I have seen would do so. One thing I have learned anew, which I would have all my brethren learn, the power of a personal Christ. We Protestants are too apt to make doctrine everything, and the person of Christ is not held in sufficient remembrance; with the Roman Catholic doctrine is nothing, but the person is ever kept in view. The evil is, that the image of Christ before the eye of the Papist is carnal and not spiritual; but could we always keep o’er Lord before our eyes, his spiritual sense, we should be better men than any set of doctrines can ever make us. The Lord give to us to abide in him and so to bring forth much fruit.

Baden-Baden, June 15th, 1860                     C. H. Spurgeon

You can read the sermon, from Spurgeon.org below this video, or you can listen to the sermon being read here, on this VIDEO by Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and Audio Books

There is also a video playlist of Spurgeon sermons available here –
Charles Spurgeon Sermons Playlist 2: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

A Sermon(No. 319)
Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 15th, 1860, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

„Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.”—Colossians 1:12, 13.

THIS PASSAGE IS A MINE of riches. I can anticipate the difficulty in preaching and the regret in concluding we shall experience this evening because we are not able to dig out all the gold which lies in this precious vein. We lack the power to grasp and the time to expatiate upon that volume of truths which is here condensed into a few short sentences.
    We are exhorted to „give thanks unto the Father.” This counsel is at once needful and salutary. I think, my brethren, we scarcely need to be told to give thanks unto the Son. The remembrance of that bleeding body hanging upon the cross is ever present to our faith. The nails and the spear, his griefs, the anguish of his soul, and his sweat of agony, make ouch tender touching appeals to our gratitude—these will prevent us always from ceasing our songs, and sometimes fire our hearts with rekindling rapture in praise of the man Christ Jesus. Yes we will bless thee, dearest Lord; our souls are all on fire. As we survey the, wondrous cross, we cannot but shout—

„O for this love let rocks and hills
Their lasting silence break,
And all harmonious human tongues
The Savior’s praises speak.”

It is in a degree very much the same with the Holy Spirit. I think we are compelled to feel every day our dependence upon his constant influence. He abides with us as a present and personal Comforter and Counsellor. We, therefore, do praise the Spirit of Grace, who hath made our heart his temple, and who works in us all that is gracious, virtuous, and well-pleasing in the sight of God. If there be any one Person in the Trinity whom we are more apt to forget than another in our praises, it is God the Father. In fact there are some who even get a wrong idea of Him, a slanderous idea of that God whose name is LOVE. They imagine that love dwelt in Christ, rather than in the Father, and that our salvation is rather due to the Son and the Holy Spirit, than to our Father God. Let us not be of the number of the ignorant, but let us receive this truth. We are as much indebted to the Father as to any other Person of the Sacred Three. He as much and as truly loves us as any of the adorable Three Persons. He is as truly worthy of our highest praise as either the Son or the Holy Spirit.
    A remarkable fact, which we should always bear in mind, is this:—in the Holy Scriptures most of the operations which are set down as being the works of the Spirit, are in other Scriptures ascribed to God the Father. Do we say it is God the Spirit that quickens the sinner who is dead in sin? it is true; but you will find in another passage it is said „The Father quickeneth whom he will.” Do we say that the Spirit is the sanctifier, and that the sanctification of the soul is wrought by the Holy Ghost? You will find a passage in the opening of the Epistle of St. Jude, in which it is said, „Sanctified by God the Father.” Now, how are we to account for this? I think it may be explained thus. God the Spirit cometh from God the Father, and therefore whatever acts are performed by the Spirit are truly done by the Father, because he sendeth forth the Spirit. And again, the Spirit is often the instrument—though I say not this in any way to derogate from his glory—he is often the instrument with which the Father works. It is the Father who says to the dry bones, live; it is the Spirit who, going forth with the divine word, makes them live. The quickening is due as much to the word as to the influence that went with the word; and as the word came with all the bounty of free grace and goodwill from the Father, the quickening is due to him. It is true that the seal on our hearts is the Holy Spirit, he is the seal, hut it is the Eternal Father’s hand that stamps the seal; the Father communicates the Spirit to seal our adoption. The works of the Spirit are, many of them, I repeat it again, attributed to the Father, because he worketh in, through, and by the Spirit.
    The works of the Son of God, I ought to observe are every one of them in intimate connection with the Father. If the Son comes into the world, it is because the Father sends him; if the Son calls his people, it is because his Father gave this people into his hands. If the Son redeems the chosen race, is not the Son himself the Father’s gift, and doth not God send his Son into the world that we may live through him? So that the Father, the great Ancient of Days, is ever to be extolled; and we must never omit the full homage of our hearts to him when we sing that sacred doxology,

„Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”

    In order to excite your gratitude to God the Father to-night, I propose to dilate a little upon this passage, as God the Holy Spirit shall enable me. If you will look at the text, you will see two blessings in it. The first has regard to the future; it is a meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. The second blessing, which must go with the first, for indeed it is the cause of the first, the effective cause, has relation to the past. Here we read of our deliverance from the power of darkness. Let us meditate a little upon each of these blessings, and then, in the third place, I will endeavor to show the relation which exists between the two.
    I. The first blessing introduced to our notice is this—”God the Father has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” It is a PRESENT BLESSING. Not a mercy laid up for us in the covenant, which we have not yet received, but it is a blessing which every true believer already has in his hand. Those mercies in the covenant of which we have the earnest now while we wait for the full possession, are just as rich, and just as certain as those which have been already with abundant lovingkindness bestowed on us, but still they are not so precious in our enjoyment. The mercy we have in store, and in hand is after all, the main source of our present comfort. And oh what a blessing this! „Made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.” The true believer is fit for heaven; he is meet to be a partaker of the inheritance—and that now, at this very moment. What does this mean? Does it mean that the believer is perfect; that he is free from sin? No, my brethren, where shall you ever find such perfection in this world? If no man can be a believer but the perfect man, then what has the perfect man to believe? Could he not walk by sight? When he is perfect, he may cease to be a believer. No, brethren, it is not such perfection that is meant although perfection is implied, and assuredly will be given as the result. Far less does this mean that we have a right to eternal life from any doings of our own. We have a fitness for eternal life, a meetness for it, but we have no desert of it. We deserve nothing of God even now, in ourselves. but his eternal wrath and his infinite displeasure. What, then, does It mean? Why, it means just this: we are so far meet that we are accepted in the Beloved, adopted into the family, and fitted by divine approbation to dwell with the saints in light There is a woman chosen to be a bride; she is fitted to be married, fitted to enter into the honorable state and condition of matrimony; but at present she has not on the bridal garment, she is not like the bride adorned for her husband. You do not see her yet robed in her elegant attire, with her ornaments upon her, but you know she is fitted to be a bride, she is received and welcomed as such in the family of her destination. So Christ has chosen his Church to be married to him; she has not yet put on her bridal garment, beautiful array in which she shall stand before the father’s throne, but notwithstanding, there is such a fitness in her to be the bride of Christ, when she shall have bathed herself for a little while, and lain for a little while in the bed of spices—there is such a fitness in her character, such a grace given adaptation in her to become the royal bride of her glorious Lord, and to become a partaker of the enjoyments of bliss—that it may be said of the church as a whole, and of every member of it, that they are „meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.”
    The Greek word, moreover, bears some such meaning as this though I cannot give the exact idiom, it is always difficult when a word is not used often. This word is only used twice that I am aware of, in the New Testament. The word may be employed for „suitable,” or, I think, „sufficient” „He hath made us meet”—sufficient—”to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” But I cannot give my idea without borrowing another figure. When a child is born, it is at once endowed with all the faculties of humanity. If those powers are awanting at first, they will not come afterwards. It has eyes, it has hands, it has feet, and all its physical organs. These of course are as it were in embryo. The senses though perfect at first, must be gradually developed, and the understanding gradually matured. It can see but little, it cannot discern distances. it can hear, but it cannot hear distinctly enough at first to know from what direction the sound comes; but you never find a new leg, a new arm, a new eye, or a new ear growing on that child. Each of these powers will expand and enlarge, but still there is the whole man there at first, and the child is sufficient for a man. Let but God in his infinite providence cause it to feed, and give it strength and increase, it has sufficient for manhood. It does not want either arm or leg, nose or ear. you cannot make it grow a new member; nor does it require a near member either; all are there. In like manner, the moment a man is regenerated, there is every faculty in his new creation that there shall be, even when he gets to heaven. It only needs to be developed and brought out: he will not have a new power, he will not have a new grace, he will have those which he had before, developed and brought out. Just as we are told by the careful observer, that in the acorn there is in embryo every root and every bough and every leaf of the future tree, which only requires to be developed and brought out in their fullness. So, in the true believer, there is a sufficiency or meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. All that he requires is, not that a new thing should be implanted, but that that which God has put there in the moment of regeneration, shall be cherished and nurtured, and made to grow and increase, till it comes unto perfection and he enters into „the inheritance of the saints in light.” This is, as near as I can give it to you, the exact meaning and literal interpretation of the text, as I understand it.
    But you may say to me, „In what sense is this meetness or fitness for eternal life the work of God the Father? Are we already made meet for heaven? How is this the rather’s work?” Look at the text a moment, and I will answer you in three ways.
    What is heaven? We read it is an inheritance. Who are fit for an inheritance? Sons. Who makes us sons? „Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” A son is fitted for an inheritance. The moment the son is born he is fitted to be an heir. All that is wanted is that he shall grow up and be capable of possession. But he is fit for an inheritance at first. If he were not a son he could not inherit as an heir. Now as soon as ever we become sons we are meet to inherit. There is in us an adaptation, a power and possibility for us to have an inheritance. This is the prerogative of the Father, to adopt us into his family, and to „beget us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” And do you not see, that as adoption is really the meetness for inheritance, it is the Father who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light?”
    Again, heaven is an inheritance; but whose inheritance is it? It is an inheritance of the saints. It is not an inheritance of sinners, but of saints—that is, of the holy ones—of those who have been made saints by being sanctified. Turn then, to the Epistle of Jude, and you will see at once who it is that sanctified. You will observe the moment you fix your eye upon the passage that it is God the Father. In the first verse you read, „Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father.” It is an inheritance for saints: and who are saints? The moment a man believes in Christ, he may know himself to have bean truly set apart in the covenant decree; and he finds consecration, if I may so speak, verified in his own experience, for he has now become „a new creature in Christ Jesus,” separated from the rest of the world, and then it is manifest and made known that God has taken him to be his son for ever. The meetness which I must have, in order to enjoy the inheritance of the saints in light, is my becoming a son. God hath made me and all believers sons, therefore we are meet for the inheritance; so then that meetness has come from the Father. How meetly therefore doth the Father claim our gratitude, our adoration and our love!
    You will however observe, it is not merely said that heaven is the inheritance of the saints, but that it is „the inheritance of the saints in light.” So the saints dwell in light—the light of knowledge, the light of purity, the light of joy, the light of love, pure ineffable love, the light of everything that is glorious and ennobling. There they dwell, and if I am to appear meet for that inheritance, what evidence must I have? I must have light shining into my own soul. But where can I get it? Do I not read that „every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and Cometh down”—yea verily, but from whom? From the Spirit? No—”from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” The preparation to enter into the inheritance in light is light. and light comes from the Father of lights; therefore, my meetness, if I have light in myself, is the work of the Father, and I must give him praise. Do you see then, that as there are three words used here—”the inheritance of the saints in light,” so we have a threefold meetness? We are adopted and made sons. God hath sanctified us and set us apart. And then, again, he hath put light into our hearts. All this, I say, is the work of the Father, and in this sense, we are „meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”
    A few general observations here. Brethren, I am persuaded that if an angel from heaven were to come to-night and single out any one believer from the crowd here assembled, there is not one believer that is unfit to be taken to heaven. You may not be ready to be taken to heaven now; that is to say, if I foresaw that you were going to live, I would tell you you were unfit to die, in a certain sense. But were you to die now in your pew, if you believe in Christ, you are fit for heaven. You have a meetness even now which would take you there at once, without being committed to purgatory for a season. You are even now fit to be „partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” You have but to gasp out your last breath and you shall be in heaven, and there shall not be one spirit in heaven more fit for heaven than you, nor one soul more adapted for the place than you are. You shall be just as fitted for its element as those who are nearest to the eternal throne.
    Ah! this makes the heirs of glory think much of God the Father. When we reflect, my brethren, upon our state by nature, and how fit we are to be fire-brands in the flames of hell—yet to think that we are this night, at this very moment if Jehovah willed it, fit to sweep the golden harps with joyful fingers, that this head is fit this very night to wear the everlasting crown, that these loins are fit to be girded with that fair white robe throughout eternity, I say, this makes us think gratefully of God the Father; this makes us clap our hands with joy, and say, „thanks be unto God the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Do ye not remember the penitent thief? It was but a few minutes before that he had been cursing Christ. I doubt not that he had joined with the other, for it is said, „They that were crucified with him reviled him.” Not one, but both; they did it. And then a gleam of supernatural glory lit up the face of Christ, and the thief saw and believed. And Jesus said unto him, „Verily I say unto thee, this day,” though the sun is setting, „this day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” No long preparation required, no sweltering in purifying fires. And so shall it be with us. We may have been in Christ Jesus to our own knowledge but three weeks, or we may have been in him for ten years, or threescore years and ten—the date of our conversion makes no difference in our meetness for heaven, in a certain sense. True indeed the older we grow the more grace we have tasted, the riper we are becoming, and the fitter to be housed in heaven; but that is in another sense of the word,—the Spirit’s meetness which he gives. But with regard to that meetness which the Father gives, I repeat, the blade of corn, the blade of gracious wheat that has just appeared above the surface of conviction, is as fit to be carried up to heaven as the full-grown corn in the ear. The sanctification wherewith we are sanctified by God the Father is not progressive, it Is complete at once, we are now adapted for heaven, now fitted for it, and we shall enter into the joy of our Lord.
    Into this subject I might have entered more fully; but I have not time. I am sure I have left some knots untied, and you must untie them if you can yourselves; and let me recommend you to untie them on your knees—the mysteries of the kingdom of God are studied much the best when you are in prayer.
    II. The second mercy is A MERCY THAT LOOKS BACK. We sometimes prefer the mercies that look forward, because they unfold such a bright prospect.

„Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood.”

But here is a mercy that looks backward; turns its back, as it were, on the heaven of our anticipation, and looks back on the gloomy past, and the dangers from which we have escaped. Let us read the account of it—”Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” This verse is an explanation of the preceding, as we shall have to show in a few minutes. But just now let us survey this mercy by itself. Ah! my brethren, what a description have we here of what matter of men we used to be. We were under „the power of darkness.” Since I have been musing on this text, I have turned these words over and over in my mind—”the power of darkness!” It seems to me one of the most awful expressions that man ever attempted to expound. I think I could deliver a discourse from it, if God the Spirit helped me, which might make every bone in your body shake. „The power of darkness!” We all know that there is a moral darkness which exercises its awful spell over the mind of the sinner. Where God is unacknowledged the mind is void of judgment. Where God is unworshipped the heart of man becomes a ruin. The chambers of that dilapidated heart are haunted by ghostly fears and degraded superstitions. The dark places of that reprobate mind are tenanted by vile lusts and noxious passions, like vermin and reptiles, from which in open daylight we turn with disgust. And even natural darkness is tremendous. In the solitary confinement which is practiced in some of our penitentiaries the very worst results would be produced if the treatment were prolonged. If one of you were to be taken to-night and led into some dark cavern, and left there, I can imagine that for a moment, not knowing your fate, you might feel a child-like kind of interest about it;—there might be, perhaps, a laugh as you found yourselves in the dark; there might for the moment, from the novelty of the position, be some kind of curiosity excited. There might, perhaps, be a flush of silly joy. In a little time you might endeavor to compose yourself to sleep; possibly you night sleep; but if you should awake, and still find yourself down deep in the bowels of earth, where never a ray of sun or candle light could reach you; do you know the next feeling that would come over you? It would be a kind of idiotic thoughtlessness. You would find it impossible to control your desperate imagination. You heart would say, „O God I am alone, alone, alone, in this dark place.” How would you cast your eyeballs all around, and never catching a gleam of light, your mind would begin to fail. Your next stage would be one of increasing terror. You would fancy that you saw something, and then you would cry, „Ah! I would I could see something, were it foe or fiend!” You would feel the dark sides of your dungeon. You would begin to „scribble on the walls,” like David before king Achish. Agitation would cease hold upon you, and it you were kept there much longer, delirium and death would be the consequence. We have heard of many who have been taken from the penitentiary to the lunatic asylum; and the lunacy is produced partly by the solitary confinement, and partly by the darkness in which they are placed. In a report lately written by the Chaplain of Newgate, there are some striking reflections upon the influence of darkness in a way of discipline. Its first effect is to shut the culprit up to his own reflections, and make him realize his true position in the iron grasp of the outraged law. Methinks the man that has defied his keepers, and come in there cursing and swearing, when he has found himself alone in darkness, where he cannot even hear the rattling of carriages along the streets, and can see no light whatever, is presently cowed; he gives in, he grows tame. „The power of darkness” literally is something awful. If I had time, I would enlarge upon this subject. We cannot properly describe what „the power of darkness” is, even in this world. The sinner is plunged into the darkness of his sins, and he sees nothing, he knows nothing. Let him remain there a little longer, and that joy of curiosity, that hectic joy which he now has in the path of sin, will die away, and there will come over him a spirit of slumber. Sin will make him drowsy, so that he will not hear the voice of the ministry, crying to him to escape for his life. Let him continue in it, and it will by-and-bye make him spiritually an idiot. He will become so in sin, that common reason will be lost on him. All the arguments that a sensible man will receive, will be only wasted on him. Let him go on, and he will proceed from bad to worse, till he acquires the raving mania of a desperado in sin; and let death step in, and the darkness will have produced its full effect; he will come into the delirious madness of hell. Ah! it needs but the power of sin to make a man more truly hideous than human thought can realize, or language paint. Oh „the power of darkness!”
    Now, my brethren, all of us were under this power once. It is but a few months—a few weeks with some of you—since you were under the power of darkness and of sin. Some of you had only got as far as the curiosity of it; others had got as far as the sleepiness of it; a good many of you had got as far as the apathy of it; and I do not know but some of you had got almost to the terror of it. You had so cursed and swore; so yelled ye out your blasphemies, that you seemed to be ripening for hell; but, praised and blessed be the name of the Father, he has „translated you from the power of darkness, into the kingdom of his dear Son.”
    Having thus explained this term, „the power of darkness,” to show you what you were, let us take the next word, „and hath translated us.” Whet a angular word this—”translated”—is. I dare say you think it means the process by which a word is interpreted, when the sense is retained, while the expression is rendered in another language. That is one meaning of the word „translation,” but it is not the meaning here. The word is used by Josephus in this sense—the taking away of a people who have been dwelling in a certain country, and planting them in another place. This is called a translation. We sometimes hear of a bishop being translated or removed from one see to another. Now, if you want to have the idea explained, give me your attention while I bring out an amazing instance of a great translation. The children of Israel were in Egypt under taskmasters that oppressed them very sorely, and brought them into iron bondage. What did God do for these people? There were two millions of them. He did not temper the tyranny of the tyrant; he did not influence his mind, to give them a little more liberty; but he translated his people; he took the whole two millions bodily, with a high hand and outstretched arm, and led them through the wilderness, and translated them into the kingdom of Canaan; and there they were settled. What an achievement was that, when, with their flocks and their herds, and their little ones, the whole host of Israel went out of Egypt, crossed the Jordan, and came into Canaan! My dear brethren, the whole of it was not equal to the achievement of God’s powerful grace, when he! brings one poor sinner out of the region of sin into the kingdom of holiness and peace. It was easier for God to bring Israel out of Egypt, to split the Red Sea, to make a highway through the pathless wilderness, to drop manna from heaven, to send the whirlwind to drive out the kings; it was easier for Omnipotence to do all this, than to translate a man from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son. This is the grandest achievement of Omnipotence. The sustenance of the whole universe, I do believe, is even less than this—the changing of a bad heart, the subduing of an iron will. But thanks be unto the Father, he has done all that for you and for me. He has brought us out of darkness, he has translated us, taken up the old tree that has struck its roots never so deep—taken it up, blessed be God, roots and all, and planted it in a goodly soil. He had to cut the top off, it is true—the high branches of our pride; but the tree has grown better in the near soil than it ever did before. Who ever heard of moving so huge a plant as a man who has grown fifty years old in sin? Oh! what wonders hath our Father done for us I He has taken the wild leopard of the wood, tamed it into a lamb, and purged away its spots. He has regenerated the poor Ethiopian—oh, how black are were by nature—our blackness was more than skin deep; it went to the center of our hearts; but, blessed be his name, he hath washed us white, and is still carrying on the divine operation, and he will yet completely deliver us from every taint of sin, and will finally bring us into the kingdom of his dear son. Here, then, in the second mercy, we discern from what we were delivered, and how we were delivered—God the Father hath „translated” us.
    But where are we now? Into what place is the believer brought, when he is brought out of the power of darkness? He is brought into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. Into what other kingdom would the Christian desire to be brought? Brethren. a republic may sound very well in theory, but in spiritual matters, the last thing we want is a republic. We want a kingdom. I love to have Christ an absolute monarch in the heart. I do not want to have a doubt about it. I want to give up all my liberty to him. for I feel that I never shall be free till my self-control is all gone; that I shall never have my will truly free till it is bound in the golden fetters of his sweet love. We are brought into a kingdom—he is Lord and Sovereign, and he has made us „kings and priests unto our God,” and we shall reign with him. The proof that we are in this kingdom must consist in our obedience to our King. Here, perhaps, we may raise many causes and questions, but surely we can say after all, though we have offended our King many times, yet our heart is loyal to him. „Oh, thou precious Jesus! we would obey thee, and yield submission to every one of thy laws, our sins are not wilful and beloved sins, but though we fall we can truly say, that we would be holy as thou art holy, our heart is true towards thy statutes; Lord, help us to run in the way of thy commandments.”
    So, you see, this mercy which God the Father hath given to us, this second of these present mercies, is, that he hath „translated us out of the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son.” This is the Father’s work. Shall we not love God the Father from this day forth? Will we not give him thanks, and sing our hymns to him, and exalt and triumph in his great name?
    III. Upon the third point, I shall be as brief as possible; it is to SHOW THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO VERSES.
    When I get a passage of Scripture to meditate upon, I like, if I can, to see its drift, then I like to examine its various parts, and see if I can understand each separate clause; and then I want to go back again, and see what one clause has to do with another. I looked and looked again at this text, and wondered what connection there could be between the two verses. „Giving thanks unto God the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Well, that is right enough; we can see how this is the work of God the Father, to make us meet to go to heaven. But has the next verse, the 13th, anything to do with our meetness?—”Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” Well, I looked it over and I said I will read it in this way. I see the 12th verse tells me that the inheritance of heaven is the inheritance of light. Is heaven light? Then I can see my meetness for it as described in the 13th verse.—He hath delivered me from the power of darkness. Is not that the same thing? If I am delivered from the power of darkness, is not that being made meet to dwell in light? If I am now brought out of darkness into light, and am walking in the light, is not that the very meetness which is spoken of in the verse before? Then I read again. It says they are saints. Well, the saints are a people that obey the Son. Here is my meetness then in the 13th verse, where it says „He hath translated me from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son.” So that I not only have the light, but the sonship too, for I am in „the kingdom of his dear Son.” But how about the inheritance? Is there anything about that in the 13th verse? It is an inheritance; shall I find anything about a meetness for it there? Yes, I find that I am in the kingdom of his dear Son. How came Christ to have a kingdom? Why, by inheritance. Then it seems I am in his inheritance; and if I am in his inheritance here, then I am meet to be in it above, for I am in it already. I am even now part of it and partner of it, since I am in the kingdom which he inherits from his Father, and therefore there is the meetness.
    I do not know whether I have put this plainly enough before you. If you will be kind enough to look at your Bible, I will just recapitulate. You see, heaven is a place of light; when we are brought out of darkness, that, of course, is the meetness for light. It is a place for sons; when we are brought into the kingdom of God’s dear Son, we are of course made sons, so that there is the meetness for it. It is an inheritance; and when we are brought into the inherited kingdom of God’s dear Son, we enjoy the inheritance now, and consequently are fitted to enjoy it for ever.
    Having thus shown the connection between these verses, I propose now to close with a few general observations. I like so to expound the Scripture, that we can draw some practical inferences from it. Of course the first inference is this: let us from this night forward never omit God the Father in our praises. I think I have said this already six times over in the sermon. Why I am repeating it so often, is that we may never forget it. Martin Luther said he preached upon justification by faith every day in the week and then the people would not understand. There are some truths, I believe, that need to be said over and over again, either because our silly hearse will not receive, or our treacherous memories will not hold them. Sing, I beseech you, habitually, the praises of the Father in heaven, as you do the praises of the Son hanging upon the cross. Love as truly God, the ever-living God, as you love Jesus the God-man, the Savior who once died for you. That is the great inference.
    Yet another inference arises. Brothers and sisters, are you conscious to-night that you are not now what you once were? Are you sure that the power of darkness does not now rest upon you, that you love divine knowledge, that you are panting after heavenly joys? Are you sure that you have been „translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son?” Then never be troubled about thoughts of death, because, come death whenever it may, you are meet to be a „partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.” Let no thought distress you about death’s coming to you at an unseasonable hour. Should it come to-morrow should it come now, if your faith is fixed on nothing less than Jesu’s blood and righteousness, you shall see the face of God with acceptance. I have that consciousness in my soul, by the witness of the Holy Spirit, of my adoption into the family of God, that I feel that though I should never preach again, but should lay down my body and my charge together, ere I should reach my home, and rest in my bed, „I know that my Redeemer liveth,” and more, that I should be a „partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.” It is not always that one feels that but I would have you never rest satisfied till you do, till you know your meetness, till you are conscious of it; until, moreover, you are panting to be gone, because you feel that you have powers which never can be satisfied short-of heaven—powers which heaven only can employ.
    One more reflection lingers behind. There are some of you here that cannot be thought by the utmost charity of judgment, to be „meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.” Ah! if a wicked man should go to heaven without being converted, heaven would be no heaven to him. Heaven is not adapted for sinners; it is not a place for them. If you were to take a Hottentot who has long dwelt at the equator up to where the Esquimaux are dwelling, and tell him that you would show him the aurora, and all the glories of the North Pole, the poor wretch could not appreciate them; he would say, „It is not the element for me; it is not the place where I could rest happy! And if you were to take, on the other hand, some dwarfish dweller in the north, down to the region where trees grow to a stupendous height, and where the spices give their balmy odours to the gale, and bid him live there under the torrid zone, he could enjoy nothing; he would say, „This is not the place for me, because it is not adapted to my nature.” Or if you were to take the vulture, that has never fed on anything but carrion, and put it into the noblest dwelling you could make for it, and feed it with the daintiest meals, it would not be happy because it is not food that is adapted for it. And you, sinner, you are nothing but a carrion vulture; nothing makes you happy but sin, you do not want too much psalm singing, do you? Sunday is a dull day to you; you like to get it over, you do not care about your Bible; you would as soon there should be no Bible at all, You find that going to a meeting-house or a church is very dull work indeed. Oh then you will not be troubled with that in eternity; do not agitate yourself. If you love not God, and die as you are, you shall go to your own company, you shall go to your jolly mates, you shall go to your good fellows; those who have been your mates on earth shall be your mates for ever; but you shall go to the Prince of those good fellows, unless you repent and be converted. Where God is you cannot come. It is not an element suited to you. As well place a bird at the bottom of the sea, or a fish in the air, as place an ungodly sinner in heaven. What is to be done then? You must have a new nature. I pray God to give it to you. Remember if now you feel your need of a Savior, that is the beginning of the new nature. „Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ;” cast yourselves simply on him, trust in nothing but his blood, and then the new nature shall be expanded, and you shall be made meet by the Holy Spirit’s operations to be a „partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light.” There is many a man who has come into this house of prayer, many a man is now present, who has come in here a rollicking fellow, fearing neither God nor devil. Many a man has come from the ale house up to this place. If he had died then, where would his soul have been? But the Lord that very night met him, There are trophies of that grace present here to-night. You can say, „Thanks be to the Father, who hath brought us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” And if God has done that for some, why cannot he do it for others? Why need you despair, O poor sinner? If thou art here to-night, the worst sinner out of hell, remember, the gate of mercy stands wide open, and Jesus bids thee come, Conscious of thy guilt, flee, flee to him. Look to his cross, and thou shalt find pardon in his veins, and life in his death.

THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES

dry bones ezekiel

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, June 21, 2009

“And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live” (Ezekiel 37:3-5).

Spurgeon printed three of the sermons that he preached from this passage of Scripture. One of them is very famous. It is called “The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews” (The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1991 printing, volume X, pp. 425-436). Although Spurgeon was not a dispensationalist and had little light on Bible prophecy, he was always true to the Scriptures. Verses 11 through 14 clearly say that this passage refers to the restoration of Israel to their own land, to what was then called “Palestine.” Since that is clearly stated, that is what Spurgeon preached, way back in 1864.

But Spurgeon preached another sermon on this passage of Scripture in 1882. In this second sermon, Spurgeon said that these verses are

…a striking picture of the salvation of Israel from national death [but] We may with equal accuracy see in it a vivid representation of the work of grace upon the hearts of all those who are quickened into spiritual life by the power of divine grace (C. H. Spurgeon, “Despair Denounced and Grace Glorified,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1973 edition, volume XXVIII, p. 469).

Read more here – http://www.rlhymersjr.com/Online_Sermons/2009/062109AM_DryBones.html

Randy Alcorn – Going Deep with God in Depression

Note: If you know someone going through a tough time, pass the video link to them and let them know they are not alone. Randy made two points that impressed upon me:

  1. Even great men of God go through periods of depression. It is not just a sign of being spiritually weak or far from God, it is something God allows sometimes.
  2. God is right there with you, even in the midst of depression. Don’t wait to come out of it and think that is where God will meet you. He is with you every step of the way, ready to comfort and to lift.

Randy Alcorn | Theology Refresh | Depression is often illusive. Some dark cloud gathers and hangs overhead. You feel constantly ill at ease. Whether triggered by negative events, or some undefined cause, you know despondency when you experience it, even if you find it hard to describe… Learn more athttp://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts… Photo credit blog.lifeway.com VIDEO by Desiring God

Transcript:

Randy Alcorn: I think depression is something that is elusive, but we sort of know what it is. It’s the state of having this cloud over you, this sense of being ill at ease, kind of a loss of happiness, a sense of „Where’s the joy in my life?” My own experience with depression has not been extensive, but I have had periods of time. One time, four months, where every day I would get up  and spend time with the Lord, but, I’d get up in the morning and I wasn’t just tired. I didn’t just need a cup of coffee. It’s just that there was this dark cloud. The embarrassing thing was, it was not at a time in my life where all kinds of things were going wrong. There had been many other times in my life where there’s been a lot of stress, a lot of  things going on, where I felt a great peace and contentment with the Lord. And then, this was in a period of time where not much was happening that was creating pressure. But, for undefinable reasons, I just didn’t know why; sometimes anxiety is like high stakes and low control. Depression is sometimes just the sense of ‘I don’t know  why’. I can’t just point my finger at the reason.

Causes- I think it’s very elusive and it’s different for different people. I think, sometimes when we talk about depression, anxiety, fear, whatever it might be, we kind of start saying: „Well, this is what it is.” But for some people it comes in a different shape and form. Certainly, depression can be triggered by very negative events happening in your life: Your child is dying, your spouse has  left you, you’ve lost your job- different circumstantial things in life. Other times, as I’ve said, in my case, you can’t point to a particular reason.  One of the things I’ve learned in my own depression, periodically when it comes upon me, is that God is there with me in the depression.

It used to be that I used to think, „Okay, this is wrong. I shouldn’t feel this way. I should have the joy of the Lord,” and indeed we should. But at the same time, what I do is try to get out of the depression. What can I do to get out of this? And I think, what’s been most helpful to me, and in that period of 4 month depression, I came to the point where no matter what I did, it wasn’t going away. So, then finally, I ended up saying, „Okay, Lord, walk with me in this. Help me to learn from this. So I looked at Romans 8 and you’ve got „If God be for us, who can be against us?” „Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. We’re more than conquerers through Him..” and certainly, „God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” So, in the middle of my depression, I’m meditating on those things and I’m sensing the presence of God, strangely sensing His presence in deeper ways then when everything was going just fine.

photo credit prayerineverycity.com

I think, certainly, going to God’s word, praying, getting support from other people, I was very honest with my wife, some of my friends. I blogged about it, I went to Charles Spurgeon, who experienced a lot of depression  throughout his life. He was plagued even many years later through that instance where 6 people who died in that crowd where somebody yelled „Fire” falsely. There wasn’t a fire, and that was when he was a very young pastor. But those memories would come back and haunt him at times. And it was actually very reassuring to me to see Charles Spurgeon, who I admire so much, and I don’t think anybody would say, „Well, the reason that Spurgeon experienced such depression is because He just wasn’t Christ centered and he didn’t know God’s word. No, no. The closeness to God that he experienced, the joy and the happiness that he repeatedly talks about , much of that comes out of his attempts to find that happiness and to find that joy in Christ, and successfully so. But, in a life that involved a great deal of physical pain and his wife being an invalid, and his own experience of depression.

I blogged about that and I got many people writing to me and saying, „This is so helpful that you’ve been honest enough to talk about this. So, there were a number of things that helped me through that time. But certainly, being honest, taking it to the Lord, saying, „God, I’m not living simply to have you cure/fix my problem any more than I would say, ‘Make no longer an insulin dependent diabetic’ which I am and have been.” If He wants me to heal me of that, heal me. But I’m not gonna wait until He does that. Don’t wait til you’re out of it to move on in life. Move on now, in the presence of God. There’s a real sweetness to that.

Counsel to pastors/leaders: One of the things I would say is, „Lord, help me to get through this day, with all the responsibilities that I have, with all the people I’m supposed to meet with, all the writing I’m supposed to do, meetings, whatever it is. But, help me to sense your presence  in the moment. Help me to not simply force myself to do this, putting one foot in front of the other on my own strength. But instead, to relax and say, „God, you help me. You lead me, you guide me. I need to lean on you to get through this day, so that at the end of the day I won’t say, „Okay, I did it again. I forced my way through the day, but know, „God you were with main this.”

Counsel to ministers and counselors who minister to depressed folks: I think, one thing is to not begin by thinking, „Okay, something is automatically terribly wrong here. Let people say what they’re feeling and express why they think they’re feeling it. Certainly, it’s always a good response to say, „Look to the Lord, depend on Him for strength.” But be careful not to lecture people who may already be going to the Lord and still experiencing depression. Again, think if you were meeting with Charles Spurgeon, would you be saying, „Now, Charles, if you would just spend time in the word, and if you would just depend on God, if you would just do that, then your depression would go away.” No. Understand that this person may be having time with God they may be pursuing all kinds of ways to get better. But so far, it hasn’t happened. And that’s why they have come to you for help. So, be sensitive to them. But, of course, don’t hesitate to bring to them the importance of focusing on the Lord. Set your mind on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3. Think from an eternal perspective.Look at Romans 8:28 in terms or retroactively as you will see it someday, retrospect, we’ll look back and we’ll say, „Now I see how God has caused all things to work for good. This is on of those things in your life, and God will use this depression you’ve experienced, for good. So, yes, I will try to help you out of that, but don’t think your life and your walk with God will not begin until you are out of it.

Păziţi-vă de câini

ngm.nationalgeographic.com

Tăbliţa pe care o citeşti pe unele porţi CÂINE RÃU o cunoşti prea bine şi ştii ce măsuri trebuie să iei când un câine legat se aruncă asupra ta, atât cât îi permite lanţul.

E bine de ştiut că în Biblie nu se spun lucruri frumoase despre câini; poate pentru că rasa lor orientală este rea, sau pentru că aleargă pe toate străzile flămânzi şi fără stăpâni. Câinii sunt ca oamenii: le merge rău când n-au alt stăpân decât pe sine. Pentru noi e mai bine când avem pe cineva, spre care ne putem ridica ochii. Iar cei care spun: „Nu mă interesez de nimeni şi nimeni nu se interesează de mine!”, sunt nişte câini de cel mai rău soi.

Dar eu vreau să ţin o predică cu introducere, cuprins şi încheiere, ca un adevărat pastor.

l. FEREŞTE-TE DE UN CÂINE MURDAR, sau, după cum scrie în cartea veche, „Fereşte-te de cel nelegiuit, care iubeşte murdăria şi se tăvăleşte în ea.” Câinii murdari îţi strică hainele şi te murdăresc, la fel cum sunt şi ei de murdari. Spune-mi cu cine te întovărăşeşti, şi-ţi voi spune cine eşti. Dacă te însoţeşti cu oameni josnici, vei fi vopsit cu aceeaşi pensulă şi vopsea, care îi vopseşte pe ei.

Oamenii nu prea fac deosebire. Dacă văd o pasăre zburând împreună cu ciorile, cu care mănâncă şi-şi face cuibul, o numesc şi pe ea cioară. Şi 99 % au dreptate. Dacă te simţi bine într-un coteţ de câini şi dacă alergi mult împreună cu câinii de vânătoare, nimeni nu te va socoti un mieluşel. Afară de asta: „Tovărăşia rea strică obiceiurile bune” sau, cum spune un alt proverb: „Cine se culcă împreună cu câinii, se scoală plin de purici.”

Þine-te la zece paşi depărtare de un bolnav de friguri şi de un nelegiuit. Dacă o femeie bine îmbrăcată zăreşte un câine ieşind dintr-o cloacă de bălegar şi se scutură, în timp ce aleargă spre dânsa, ea îi fereşte calea cât poate de mult. Ce învăţăm de aici? Când cineva e afumat şi împroaşcă în jurul său cuvinte murdare, atunci cu cât te fereşti mai mult de el, cu atât mai bine.

2. PÃZEŞTE-TE DE CÂINII CARE MÂRÂIE. Sunt o mulţime de acest soi. De obicei, sunt mici, dar fac cu atât mai mare zgomot. Umblă neîncetat, gâfâind, să apuce ceva. Bineînţeles, trebuie să lăsăm câinilor bucuria lor, căci Dumnezeu i-a creat astfel, încât să latre şi să muşte. Dar eu vorbesc acum de câinii cu două picioare, pentru care nu găsesc asemenea scuză. Dumnezeu nu i-a făcut aşa. Diavolul şi inima lor răutăcioasă i-a făcut ceea ce sunt. Pentru ei, nimic nu este bine. Dacă pot, urlă, şi dacă nu pot urla, atunci stau lungiţi cu botul pe labe şi mârâie. Păziţi-vă de aşa oameni.

Pe omul arţăgos, pornit spre mânie, să nu ţi-l faci prieten, căci tot atât de bine ai putea dormi pe un pat cu urzici sau ai putea purta un guler de viperă vie. Poate un asemenea om te doreşte ca prieten, tu însă păzeşte-te de el. Dacă latră azi pe alţii, pentru o nimica toată, mâine va mârâi împotriva ta fără nici un motiv. Nu-i da coteţ în curtea ta.

Dacă vezi că un om are un caracter grosolan şi nu găseşte pentru nimeni cuvinte bune, vezi-ţi liniştit de drum şi ţine-te cât mai departe de el. Puştile încărcate şi oamenii arţăgoşi sunt primejdioase. Ei n-au intenţii rele, dar se descarcă mai înainte de a-ţi da seama, şi-ţi produc pagube înainte de a te gândi. Este bine să te ţii cât mai afară din bătaia puştii. Ocoleşte gâlceava, chiar de ar trebui să faci un mare ocol. Mai bine să stai pe vârful a o duzină de cuie, decât să te legi de un vecin pornit la ceartă.

3. PÃZEŞTE-TE DE CÂINII LINGUŞITORI. Îţi sar în poală şi întipăresc laba lor murdară pe hainele tale. Ei îţi sărută mâna şi te linguşesc, atât timp cât pot căpăta de la tine un ciolan, ca bărbatul, care spuse nevestei sale, o bucătăreasă: „Eu să te părăsesc pe tine, comoara mea iubită? Niciodată, cât timp vei avea un leu la ciorap.”

Când vorba e prea dulce, trebuie să ne temem că inima e amară. Dacă cineva te laudă în faţă, fii cu băgare de seamă, căci tot el este acela care te bârfeşte pe la spate. Dacă unul se osteneşte a te linguşi, să ştii că pentru asta aşteaptă răsplată din partea ta. Aceia care sunt atât de proşti şi se lasă linguşiţi de el trebuie să plătească un asemenea serviciu. Dacă cineva se apleacă, o face ca să ridice ceva, şi cine se înjoseşte, pentru a te linguşi, o face pentru că vrea ceva de la tine. Politeţea multă este întotdeauna suspectă. Voi, tinerilor, păziţi-vă de linguşitorii şireţi!

4. PÃZEŞTE-TE DE UN CÂINE LACOM sau de un om care nu se mai satură. Cârtirea este molipsitoare; un singur nemulţumit ispiteşte pe alţii să se plângă. Nemulţumirea este un viciu. Lacomul este de multe ori şi necinstit. Dacă se prezintă ocazia, îşi vâră repede lingura în borşul altora; oare de ce nu şi într-al tău? El este în stare să scoată un rând de piele de pe o cremene; curând îi va veni pofta să tragă un rând de piele şi de pe tine, iar dacă nu eşti obişnuit la aşa ceva, ca un ţipar, atunci ţine-l pe jupuitorul de piei cât mai departe de trupul tău.

Când cineva se laudă că nu are obiceiul să dăruiască, atunci spune-ţi: „Păzeşte-te de câini!” Un om darnic, un prieten binevoitor, te va ajuta să-ţi stăpâneşti egoismul, dar un om strângător, lacom, te va face să-ţi coşi un nasture în plus la buzunar. Câinii mâncăcioşi înghit tot ce capătă şi apoi se uită împrejur dacă mai pot înghiţi ceva; iar oamenii lacomi înghit casa şi curtea altuia şi apoi scotocesc pe unde mai este ceva de înghiţit. Felul acesta îmi este nesuferit, atât la oameni cât şi la câini.

Dacă unui om îi place să vorbească mai mult de felul cum se poate câştiga şi economisi mai mulţi bani – atunci, mai bine să treacă în şleahta câinilor de vânătoare, care se ceartă pentru un cal mort. Nu se poate spune câtă pagubă sufletească produce zgârcitul semenilor săi şi cât de mult sunt de dispreţuit. Să fii muşcat de un câine turbat nu este mai mare rău, căci lăcomia de avere este o boală fără leac. (sursa)

Spurgeon

Spurgeon – Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.

 

C. H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers&...

Kirk Cameron mentions this quote in his interview with Dr. Bryan Smith at First Baptist Church Roanoke. I have heard this quote before, and today, I tried researching it on the internet. Thankfully, I came across the fruit of this work from another fellow blogger named Daniel who blogs over at – http://doulogos.blogspot.com:

The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners, and love to his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away, that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the stout, brave fireman, who careth not for the scorch or for the heat, so that he may rescue the poor creature on whom true humanity hath set his heart. – Charles Spurgeon, One Antidote for Many Ills (Sermon #284, November 9, 1859, see: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0284.htm)

…if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” – Charles Spurgeon, The Wailing of Risca (sermon #349, December 9, 1860 see: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0349.htm)

The original quote however is taken from a sermon preached by Spurgeon in 1888 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle entitled, „She was not Hid” (see: http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols34-36/chs2019.pdf) and is pulled from the following paragraph:

„But the confession had to be made for the sake of others. Do any of you wish to live unto yourselves? If you do, you need saving from selfishness. I have seen it brought as a charge against evangelical religion that we teach men to look to their own salvation first and that this is a kind of spiritual selfishness. Ah, but if that salvation means salvation from selfishness, where is the selfishness of it? It is a very material point in salvation to be saved from hardness of heart and carelessness about others. Do you want to go to Heaven alone? I fear you will never go there. Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that. What is the most natural plan to use for the salvation of others but to bear your own personal testimony?”

From the SBC Convention – Daniel Akin, Al Mohler and Mark Dever

An interesting, edifying conversation on various topics (you may have to bear through the first 8 minutes where the discussion is about holding the SBC Convention every 2 years instead of yearly. Afterwards, it is a great and fruitful discussion. Dr. Daniel Akin is President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world and Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

Video by  on vimeo – Dr. Akin sits down with Mark Dever and Al Mohler on Tuesday night of the SBC Annual Meeting to talk about the motion for a bi-annual meeting, the debate over Calvinism, and the election of Fred Luter as the first African-American president of the SBC.

IX Marks at 9 – 2012 SBC Annual Meeting – Tuesday Night from Southeastern Seminary on Vimeo.

Secret Sins (Turn… or Burn) – preached by Spurgeon, read or listen to the audio-sermon

Published on Jun 25, 2012 by 

SPURGEON Sermon Page – for more articles, sermons and biographies, photos

Psalm 19:12 King James Version (KJV) Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

C H Spurgeon preached this message on Feb 8th, 1857 in the Music Hall of the Royal Surrey Gardens. It is entitled „Secret Sins” and the text is found in Psalm 19:12  (KJV) Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

Self righteousness arises partly from pride, but mainly from ignorance of God’s law. It is because men know little or nothing concerning the terrible character of the divine law that they imagine themselves to be righteous. They are not aware of the deep spirituality, and the stern severity of the law, or they would have other and wiser notions. Once let them know how strictly the law deals with the thoughts, how it brings itself to bear upon every emotion of the inner man, and there is not one creature beneath God’s heaven who would dare to think himself righteous in God’s sight in virtue of his own deeds and thoughts. Only let the law be revealed to a man; let him know how strict the law is, and how infinitely just, and his self-righteousness will shrivel into nothing—it will become a filthy rag in his sight, whereas before he thought it to be a goodly garment.

Now, David, having seen God’s law, and having praised it in this Psalm, which I have read in your hearing, he is brought, by reflecting on its excellency, to utter this thought, „Who can understand his errors?” and then to offer this prayer, „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

In the Lateran Council of the Church of Rome, a decree was passed that every true believer must confess his sins, all of them, once a year to the priest, and they affixed to it this declaration, that there is no hope of pardon but in complying with that decree. What can equal the absurdity of such a decree as that? Do they suppose that they can tell their sins as easily as they can count their fingers? Why, if we could receive pardon for all our sins by telling every sin we have committed in one hour, there is not one of us who would be able to enter heaven, since, besides the sins that are known to us and that we may be able to confess, there are a vast mass of sins, which are as truly sins as those which we do observe, but which are secret, and come not beneath our eye. Oh! if we had eyes like those of God, we should think very differently of ourselves. The sins that we see and confess are but like the farmer’s small samples which he brings to market, when he has left his granary full at home. We have but a very few sins which we can observe and detect, compared with those which are hidden to ourselves and unseen by our fellow creatures. I doubt not it is true of all of us who are here, that in every hour of our existence in which we are active, we commit tens of thousands of unholinesses for which conscience has never reproved us, because we have never seen them to be wrong, seeing we have not studied God’s laws as we ought to have done. Now, be it known to us all that sin is sin, whether we see it or not—that a sin secret to us is a sin as truly as if we knew it to be a sin, though not so great a sin in the sight of God as if it had been committed presumptuously, seeing that it lacks the aggravation of willfulness. Let all of us who know our sins, offer this prayer after all our confessions: „Lord, I have confessed as many as I know, but I must add an etcetera after them, and say, ‘Cleanse thou me from secret faults.'”

That, however, will not be the pith of my sermon this morning. I am going after a certain class of men who have sins not unknown to themselves, but secret to their fellow creatures. Every now and then we turn up a fair stone which lies upon the green sward of the professing church, surrounded with the verdure of apparent goodness, and to our astonishment we find beneath it all kinds of filthy insects and loathsome reptiles, and in our disgust as such hypocrisy, we are driven to exclaim, „All men are liars; there are none in whom we can put any trust at all.” It is not fair to say so of all; but really, the discoveries which are made of the insincerity of our fellow-creatures are enough to make us despise our kind, because they can go so far in appearances, and yet have so little soundness of heart. To you, sirs, who sin secretly, and yet make a profession; you break God’s covenants in the dark and wear a mask of goodness in the light—to you, sirs, who shut the doors and commit wickedness in secret—to you I shall speak this morning. O may God also be pleased to speak to you, and make you pray this prayer: „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

I shall endeavour to urge upon all pretenders present to give up, to renounce, to detest, to hate, to abhor all their secret sins. And, first, I shall endeavour to show the folly of secret sins; secondly, the misery of secret sins; thirdly, the guilt of secret sins; fourthly, the danger of secret sins; and then I shall try to apply some words by way of remedy, that we may all of us be enabled to avoid secret sins.

I. First, then, THE FOLLY OF SECRET SINS.

Pretender, thou art fair to look upon; thy conduct outwardly upright, amiable, liberal, generous and Christian; but thou dost indulge in some sin which the eye of man has not yet detected. Perhaps it is private drunkenness. Thou dost revile the drunkard when he staggers through the street; but thou canst thyself indulge in the same habit in private. It may be some other lust or vice; it is not for me just now to mention what it is. But, pretender, we say unto thee, thou art a fool to think of harbouring a secret sin; and thou art a fool for this one reason, that thy sin is not a secret sin; it is known, and shall one day be revealed; perhaps very soon. Thy sin is not a secret; the eye of God hath seen it; thou hast sinned before his face. Thou hast shut-to the door, and drawn the curtains, and kept out the eye of the sun, but God’s eye pierceth through the darkness; the brick walls which surrounded thee were as transparent as glass to the eye of the Almighty; the darkness which did gird thee was as bright as the summer’s noon to the eye of him who beholdeth all things. Knowest thou not, O man, that „all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do?” As the priest ran his knife into the entrails of his victim, discovered the heart and liver, and what else did lie within, so art thou, O man, seen by God, cut open by the Almighty; thou hast no secret chamber where thou canst hide thyself; thou hast no dark cellar where thou canst conceal thy soul. Dig deep, ay, deep as hell, but thou canst not find earth enough upon the globe to cover thy sin; if thou shouldst heap the mountains on its grave, those mountains would tell the tale of what was buried in their bowels. If thou couldst cast thy sin into the sea, a thousand babbling waves would tell the secret out. There is no hiding it from God. Thy sin is photographed in high heaven; the deed when it was done was photographed upon the sky, and there it shall remain, and thou shalt see thyself one day revealed to the gazing eyes of all men, a hypocrite, a pretender, who didst sin in fancied secret, observed in all thine acts by the all-seeing Jehovah. O what fools men are, to think they can do anything in secret. This world is like the glass hives wherein bees sometimes work: we look down upon them, and we see all the operations of the little creatures. So God looketh down and seeth all. Our eyes are weak; we cannot look through the darkness; but his eye, like an orb of fire, penetrateth the blackness; and readeth the thoughts of man, and seeth his acts when he thinks himself most concealed. Oh; it were a thought enough to curb us from all sin, if it were truly applied to us—”Thou, God, seest me!” Stop thief! Drop thou that which thou hast taken to thyself. God seeth thee! No eye of detection on earth hath discovered thee, but God’s eyes are now looking through the clouds upon thee. Swearer! scarce any for whom thou carest heard thy oath; but God heard it; it entered into the ears of the Lord God of Sabbaoth. Ah! thou who leadest a filthy life, and yet art a respectable merchant bearing among men a fair and goodly character; thy vices are all known; written in God’s book. He keepeth a diary of all thine acts; and what wilt thou think on that day when a crowd shall be assembled, compared with which this immense multitude is but a drop of a bucket, and God shall read out the story of thy secret life, and men and angels shall hear it. Certain I am there are none of us who would like to have all our secrets read, especially our secret thoughts. If I should select out of this congregation the most holy man, should bring him forward and say, „Now, sir, I know all your thoughts, and am about to tell them,” I am sure he would offer me the largest bribe that he could gather if I would be pleased to conceal at least some of them. „Tell,” He would say, „of my acts; of them I am not ashamed; but do not tell my thoughts and imaginations—of them I must ever stand ashamed before God.” What, then, sinner, will be thy shame when thy privy lusts, thy closet transgressions, thy secret crimes shall be gazetted from God’s throne, published by his own mouth, and with a voice louder than a thousand thunders preached in the ears of an assembled world? What will be thy terror and confusion then, when all the deeds thou hast done shall be published in the face of the sun, in the ears of all mankind. O renounce the foolish hope of secresy, for thy sin is this day recorded, and shall one day be advertised upon the walls of heaven.

II. In the next place, let us notice THE MISERY OF SECRET SINS.

Of all sinners the man who makes a profession of religion, and yet lives in iniquity, is the most miserable. A downright wicked man, who takes a glass in his hand, and says, „I am a drunkard, I am not ashamed of it,” he shall be unutterably miserable in worlds to come, but brief though it be, he has his hour of pleasure. A man who curses and swears, and says, „That is my habit, I am a profane man,” and makes a profession of it, he has, at least, some peace in his soul; but the man who walks with God’s minister, who is united with God’s Church, who comes out before God’s people, and unites with them, and then lives in sin, what a miserable existence he must have of it! Why, he has a worse existence than the mouse that is in the parlour, running out now and then to pick up the crumbs, and then back again to his hole. Such men must run out now and then to sin; and oh! how fearful they are to be discovered! One day, perhaps, their character turns up; with wonderful cunning they manage to conceal and gloss it over; but the next day something else comes, and they live in constant fear, telling lie after lie, to make the last lie appear truthful, adding deception to deception, in order that they may not be discovered.

„Oh! ‘tis a tangled web we weave,
When once we venture to deceive.”
If I must be a wicked man, give me the life of a roystering sinner, who sins before the face of day; but, if I must sin, let me not act as a hypocrite and a coward; let me not profess to be God’s, and spend my life for the devil. That way of cheating the devil is a thing which every honest sinner will be ashamed of. He will say, „Now, if I do serve my master I will serve him out and out, I will have no sham about it; if I make a profession, I will carry it out; but if I do not, if I live in sin, I am not going to gloss it over by cant and hypocrisy.” One thing which has hamstringed the church, and cut her very sinews in twain, has been this most damnable hypocrisy. Oh! in how many places have we men whom you might praise to the very skies, if you could believe their words, but whom you might cast into the nethermost pit if you could see their secret actions. God forgive any of you who are so acting! I had almost said, I can scarce forgive you. I can forgive the man who riots openly, and makes no profession of being better, but the man who fawns, and cants, and pretends, and prays, and then lives in sin, that man I hate, I cannot bear him, I abhor him from my very soul. If he will turn from his ways, I will love him, but in his hypocrisy he is to me the most loathsome of all creatures. ‘Tis said the toad doth wear a jewel in her head, but this man hath none, but beareth filthiness about him, while he pretends to be in love with righteousness. A mere profession, my hearers, is but painted pageantry to go to hell in; it is like the plumes upon the hearse and the trappings upon the black horses which drag men to their graves, the funeral array of dead souls. Take heed above everything of a waxen profession that will not stand the sun; take care of a life that needs to have two faces to carry it out; be one thing, or else the other. If you make up your mind to serve Satan, do not pretend to serve God; and if you serve God, serve him with all your heart. „No man can serve two masters;” do not try it, do not endeavour to do it, for no life will be more miserable than that. Above all, beware of committing acts which it will be necessary to conceal. There is a singular poem by Hood, called „The Dream of Eugene Aram”—a most remarkable piece it is indeed, illustrating the point on which I am now dwelling. Aram has murdered a man and cast his body into the river—”a sluggish water, black as ink, the depth was so extreme.” The next morning he visited the scene of his guilt:

„And sought the black accursed pool,
With a wild misgiving eye;
And he saw the dead in the river bed,
For the faithless stream was dry.”
Next he covered the corpse with heaps of leaves, but a mighty wind swept through the wood and left the secret bare before the sun:

„Then down I cast me on my face,
And first began to weep,
For I knew my secret then was one
The earth refused to keep;
On land or sea though it should be
Ten thousand fathoms deep.”
In plaintive notes he prophesies his own discovery. He buried his victim in a cave, and trod him down with stones, but when years had run their weary round the foul deed was discovered and the murderer put to death.
Guilt is a „grim chamberlain,” even when his fingers are not bloody red. Secret sins bring fevered eyes and sleepless nights, until men burn out their consciences, and become in very deed ripe for the pit. Hypocrisy is a hard game to play at, for it is one deceiver against many observers; and for certain it is a miserable trade, which will earn at last, as its certain climax, a tremendous bankruptcy. Ah! ye who have sinned without discovery, „Be sure your sin will find you out;” and bethink you, it may find you out ere long. Sin, like murder, will come out; men will even tell tales about themselves in their dreams. God has sometimes made men so pricked in their consciences that they have been obliged to stand forth and confess the story. Secret sinner! If thou wantest the foretaste of damnation upon earth, continue in thy secret sins; for no man is more miserable than he who sinneth secretly, and yet trieth to preserve a character. Yon stag, followed by the hungry hounds, with open mouths, is far more happy than the man who is followed by his sins. Yon bird, taken in the fowler’s net, and labouring to escape, is far more happy than he who hath weaved around himself a web of deception, and labours to escape from it day by day by making the toils more thick and the web more strong. Oh! the misery of secret sins! Truly, one may pray, „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

III. But now, next, the guilt THE SOLEMN GUILT OF SECRET SIN.

Now, John, you do not think there is any evil in a thing unless somebody sees it, do you? You feel that it is a very great sin if your master finds you out in robbing the till—but there is no sin if he should not discover it—none at all. And you, sir, you fancy it to be very great sin to play a trick in trade, in case you should be discovered and brought before the court; but to play a trick and never be discovered, that is all fair—do not say a word about it Mr. Spurgeon, it is all business; you must not touch business; tricks that are not discovered, of course you are not to find fault with them. The common measure of sin is the notoriety of it. But I do not believe in that. A sin is a sin, whether done in private or before the wide world. It is singular how men will measure guilt. A railway servant puts up a wrong signal, there is an accident; the man is tried, and severely reprimanded. The day before he put up the wrong signal, but there was no accident, and therefore no one accused him for his neglect. But it was just the same, accident or no accident, the accident did not make the guilt, it was the deed which made the guilt, not the notoriety nor yet the consequence of it. It was his business to have taken care; and he was as guilty the first time as he was the second, for he negligently exposed the lives of men. Do not measure sin by what other people say of it; but measure sin by what God says of it, and what your own conscience says of it.

Now, I hold that secret sin, if anything, is the worst of sin; because secret sin implies that the man who commits it has Atheism in his heart. You will ask how that can be. I reply, he may be a professing Christian, but I shall tell him to his face that he is a practical Atheist, if he labours to keep up a respectable profession before man, and then secretly transgresses. Why, is he not an Atheist, who will say there is a God, yet at the same time thinks more of man than he does of God? Is it not the very essence of Atheism—is it not a denial of the divinity of the Most High when men lightly esteem him and think more of the eye of a creature than of the observation of their Creator? There are some who would not for the life of them say a wicked word in the presence of their minister, but they can do it, knowing God is looking at them. They are Atheists. There are some who would not trick in trade for all the world if they thought they would be discovered, but they can do it while God is with them; that is, they think more of the eye of man than of the eye of God; and they think it worse to be condemned by man than to be condemned by God. Call it by what name you will, the proper name of that is practical Atheism. It is dishonoring God; it is dethroning him; putting him down below his own creatures; and what is that, but to take away his divinity? Brethren, do not, I beseech you, incur the fearful guilt of secret sins. No man can sin a little in secret, it will certainly engender more sin; no man can be a hypocrite and yet be moderate in guilt; he will go from bad to worse, and still proceed, until when his guilt shall be published, he shall be found to be the very worst and most hardened of men. Take heed of the guilt of secret sin. AH, now if could I preach as Rowland Hill did, I would make some people look to themselves at home, and tremble too! It is said that when he preached, there was not a man in the window, or standing in the crowd, or perched up anywhere, but said, „There, he is preaching at me; he is telling me about my secret sins.” And when he proclaimed God’s omniscience, it is said men would almost think they saw God bodily present in the midst of them looking at them. And when he had done his sermon, they would hear a voice in their ears, „Can any hide himself in secret places that I cannot see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” I would I could do that; that I could make every man look to himself, and find out his secret sin. Come my hearer, what is it? Bring it forth to the daylight; perhaps it will die in the light of the sun. These things love not to be discovered. Tell thine own conscience, now, what it is. Look it in the face; confess it before God, and may he give thee grace to remove that sin and every other, and turn to him with full purpose of heart! But this know—that thy guilt is guilt discovered or undiscovered, and that if there be any difference it is worse, because it has been secret. God save us from the guilt of secret sin! „Cleanse thou me from secret faults.”

IV. And note, next, THE DANGER OF SECRET SIN.

One danger is, that a man cannot commit a little sin in secret, without being by-and-by betrayed into a public sin. You cannot, sir, though you may think you can preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps; the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone upon the cairn to-day, the next day you will cast another, until the heap, reared stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid. See the coral insect at work, you cannot decree where it shall stay its work. It will not build its rock just as high as you please, it will not stay until it shall be covered with weeds, until the weeds shall decay; and there shall be soil upon it, and an island shall be created by tiny creatures. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle. „But I am going to have a little drink now and then, I am only going to be intoxicated once a week or so. Nobody will see it; I shall be in bed directly.” You will be drunk in the streets soon. „I am only just going to read one lascivious book; I will put it under the sofa-cover when any one comes in.” You will keep it in your library yet, sir. „I am only going into that company now and then.” You will go there every day, such is the bewitching character of it; you cannot help it. You may as well ask the lion to let you put your head into his mouth. You cannot regulate his jaws: neither can you regulate sin. Once go into it, you cannot tell when you will be destroyed. You may be such a fortunate individual, that like Van Amburgh you may put your head in and out a great many times; reset assured that one of these days it will be a costly venture. Again, you may labour to conceal your vicious habit, but it will come out, you cannot help it. You keep your little pet sin at home; but mark this, when the door is ajar the dog will be out in the street. Wrap him up in your bosom, put over him fold after fold of hypocrisy to keep him secret, the wretch will be singing some day when you are in company; you cannot keep the evil bird still. Your sin will gad abroad; and what is more, you will not mind it some of these days. A man who indulges in sin privately, by degrees gets his forehead as hard as brass. The first time he sinned, the drops of sweat stood on his brow at the recollection of what he had done; the second time, no hot sweat on his brow, only an agitation of the muscle; the third time there was the sly, sneaky look, but no agitation; the next time, he sinned a little further; and by degrees he became the bold blasphemer of his God, who exclaimed, „Who am I that I should fear Jehovah, and who is he that I should serve him?” Men go from bad to worse. Launch your boat in the current—it must go where the current takes it. Put yourself in the whirlwind—you are but a straw in the wind: you must go which way the wind carries you—you cannot control yourself. The balloon can mount, but it cannot direct its course; it must go whichever way the wind blows. If you once mount into sin there is no stopping. Take heed if you would not become the worst of characters, take heed of the little sins, they, mounting one upon another, may at last heave you from the summit and destroy your soul for ever. There is a great danger in secret sins.

But I have here some true Christians who indulge in secret sins. They say it is but a little one, and therefore do they spare it. Dear brethren, I speak to you, and I speak to myself, when I say this—let us destroy all our little secret sins. They are called little and if they be, let us remember that it is the foxes, even the little foxes, that spoil our vines; for our vines have tender shoots. Let us take heed of our little sins. A little sin, like a little pebble in the shoe, will make a traveller to heaven walk very wearily. Little sins, like little thieves, may open the door to greater ones outside. Christians, recollect that little sins will spoil your communion with Christ. Little sins, like little stains in silk, may damage the fine texture of fellowship; little sins, like little irregularities in the machinery, may spoil the whole fabric of your religion. The one dead fly spoileth the whole pot of ointment. That one thistle may seed a continent with noxious weeds. Let us, brethren, kill our sins as often as we can find them. One said—”The heart is full of unclean birds; it is a cage of them.” „Ah, but,” said another divine, „you must not make that an apology, for a Christian’s business is to wring their necks.” And so it is; if there be evil things, it is our business to kill them. Christians must not tolerate secret sins. We must not harbour traitors; it is high treason against the King of Heaven. Let us drag them out to light, and offer them upon the altar, giving up the dearest of our secret sins at the will and bidding of God. There is a great danger in a little secret sin; therefore avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it and shun it; and God give thee grace to overcome it!

V. And now I come, in finishing up, to plead with all my might with some of you whom God has pricked in your consciences. I have come to intreat you, if it be possible, even to tears, that you will give up your secret sins. I have one here for whom I bless God; I love him, though I know him not. He is almost persuaded to be a Christian; he halteth between two opinions; he intendeth to serve God, he striveth to give up sin, but he findeth it a hard struggle, and as yet he knoweth not what shall become of him. I speak to him with all love: my friend, will you have your sin and go to hell, or leave your sin and go to heaven? This is the solemn alternative: to all awakened sinners I put it; may God choose for you, otherwise I tremble as to which you may choose. The pleasures of this life are so intoxicating, the joys of it so ensnaring, that did I not believe that God worketh in us to will and to do, I should despair of you. But I have confidence that God will decide the matter. Let me lay the alternative before you:—on the one hand there is a hour’s merriment, a short life of bliss, and that a poor, poor bliss; on the other hand, there is everlasting life and eternal glory. On the one hand, there is a transient happiness, and afterwards overwhelming woe; in this case there is a solid peace and everlasting joy, and after it overflowing bliss. I shall not fear to be called an Arminian, when I say, as Elijah did, „Choose you this day whom you will serve. If God be God, serve him; if Baal be God serve him.” But, now, make your choice deliberately; and may God help you to do it! Do not say you will take up with religion, without first counting the cost of it; remember, there is your lust to be given up, your pleasure to be renounced; can you do it for Christ’s sake? Can you? I know you cannot, unless God’s grace shall assist you in making such a choice. But can you say, „Yes, by the help of God, earth’s gaudy toys, its pomps, pageantries, gewgaws, all these I renounce?—

„These can never satisfy,
Give me Christ or else I die.”
Sinner, thou wilt never regret that choice, if God help thee to make it; thou wilt find thyself a happy man here, and thrice happy throughout eternity.

„But,” says one, „Sir, I intend to be religious, but I do not hold with your strictness.” I do not ask you to do so; I hope, however, you will hold withGod’s strictness, and God’s strictness is ten thousand times greater than mine. You may say that I am puritanical in my preaching; God will be puritanical in judging in that great day. I may appear severe, but I can never be so severe as God will be. I may draw the harrow with sharp teeth across your conscience, but God shall drag harrows of eternal fire across you one day. I may speak thundering things! God will not speak them, but hurl them from his hands. Remember, men may laugh at hell, and say there is none; but they must reject their Bibles before they can believe the lie. Men’s consciences tell them that

„There is a dreadful hell,
And everlasting pains;
Where sinners must with devils dwell,
In darkness, fire and chains.”

photo source http://www.shimmerzineff.webs.com

Sirs, will ye keep your secret sins, and have eternal fire for them? Remember it is of no use, they must all be given up, or else you cannot be God’s child. You cannot by any means have both; it cannot be God and the world, it cannot be Christ and the devil; it must be one or the other. Oh! that God would give you grace to resign all; for what are they worth? They are your deceivers now, and will be your tormentors for ever. Oh! that your eyes were open to see the rottenness, the emptiness and trickery of iniquity. Oh! that God would turn you to himself. Oh! may God give you grace to cross the Rubicon of repentance at this very hour; to say, „Henceforth it is war to the knife with my sins; not one of them will I willingly keep, but down with them, down with them; Canaanite, Hittite, Jebusite, they shall all be driven out.”

„The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from its throne,
And worship only thee.”
„But oh! sir, I cannot do it; it would be like pulling my eyes out.” Ay, but hear what Christ says: „It were better for thee to enter into life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.” „But it would be like cutting my arms off.” Ay, and it would be better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, than to be cast into hell fire for ever. Oh! when the sinner comes before God at last, do you think he will speak as he does now? God will reveal his secret sins: the sinner will not then say, „Lord, I thought my secret sins so sweet, I could not give them up.” I think I see how changed it will be then. „Sir” you say now, „you are too strict;” will you say that when the eyes of the Almighty are glowering on you? You say now, „Sir, you are too precise;” will you say that to God Almighty’s face? „Sir, I mean to keep such-and-such a sin.” Can you say it at God’s bar at last? You will not dare to do it then. Ah! when Christ comes a second time, there will be a marvellous change in the way men talk. Methinks I see him; there he sits upon his throne. Now, Caiaphas, come and condemn him now! Judas! comes and kiss him now! What do you stick at, man? Are you afraid of him? Now, Barrabbas! go; see whether they will prefer you to Christ now. Swearer, now is your time; you have been a bold man; curse him to his face now. Now drunkard; stagger up to him now. Now infidel; tell him there is no Christ now—now that the world is lit with lightning and the earth is shaken with thunder till the solid pillars thereof do bow themselves—tell God there is no God now; now laugh at the Bible; now scoff at the minister. Why men, what is the matter with you? Why, can’t you do it? Ah! there you are; you have fled to the hills and to the rocks—”Rocks hide us! mountains fall on us; hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne.” Ah! where are now your boasts, your vauntings, and your glories? Alas! alas! for you, in that dread day of wonders.

Secret sinner, what will then become of thee? Go out of this place unmasked; go out to examine thyself, go out to bend thy knee, go out to weep, go out to pray. God give thee grace to believe! And oh, how sweet and pleasant the thought, that this day sinners have fled to Christ, and men have been born again to Jesus! Brethren, ere I finish, I repeat the words at which so many have cavilled—it is now, or never, it is turn or burn. Solemnly in God’s sight I say it; if it be not God’s truth I must answer for it in the great day of account. Your consciences tell you it is true. Take it home, and mock me if you will; this morning I am clear of your blood: if any seek not God, but live in sin, I shall be clear of your blood in that day when the watchman shall have your souls demanded of him; oh, may God grant that you may be cleared in a blessed manner! When I went down those pulpit stairs a Sabbath or two ago, a friend said to me words which have been in my mind ever since—”Sir, there are nine thousand people this day without excuse in the day of judgment.” It is true of you this morning. If you are damned, it will be not for want of preaching to you, and it shall not be for want of praying for you. God knoweth that if my heart could break of itself, it would, for your souls, for God is my witness, how earnestly I long for you in the bowels of Christ Jesus. Oh, that he might touch your hearts and bring you to him! For death is a solemn thing, damnation is a horrible thing, to be out of Christ is a dreadful thing, to be dead in sin is a terrific thing. May God lead you to view these things as they are, and save you, for his mercy’s sake! „He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved.”

„Lord, search my soul, try every thought;
Though my own heart accuse me not
Of walking in a false disguise,
I beg the trial of thine eyes.Doth secret mischief lurk within?
Do I indulge some unknown sin?
O turn my feet whene’er I stray,
And lead me in thy perfect way.”

Short Biography:


Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 January 31, 1892) was a British Reformed Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the „Prince of Preachers.” In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people, often up to 10 times a week at different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages. Spurgeon was the pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London for 38 years. In 1857, he started a charity organization called Spurgeon’s which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon’s College, which was named after him after his death.

Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer, a devotional, a magazine, and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Arguably, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in print than C.H. Spurgeon.

Spurgeon and the Love of God

The most serious difference of all between evangelical Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism arises on the subject of the Love of God. In the fourth and final point in Iain H Murray’s  book ‘Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism, Murray lays out Spurgeon’s case (P 88).

Spurgeon saw that behind the distortion of predestination, and the unwillingness to believe that gospel invitations are to be addressed freely to all men, lay a failure to understand what Scripture reveals about the character of God himself. If God has chosen an elect people, then Hyper-Calvinism argued, he can have no desire for the salvation of any others and to speak as though he had, is to deny the particularity of grace. Of course, Hyper-Calvinists accepted that the gospel be preached to all, but they denied that such preaching was intended to demonstrate any love on the part of God for all, or any invitation to all to receive mercy.

A sermon of 1858 which Spurgeon preached on „Sovereign Grace and Man’s Responsibility” identified this crucial difference with Hyper-Calvinism. He took for his text the words of God quoted by Paul in Romans 10:20-21, „I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, all day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.’ In such words Spurgeon saw proof that God can be said to desire the salvation even of those who persist in rejecting him:

‘Lost sinners who sit under the sound of the gospel are not lost for the want of the most affectionate invitation. God says he stretches out his hands…What did he wish them to come for? Why, to be saved. „No,” says one, „it was for temporal mercies”. Not so my friend, the verse before is concerning spiritual mercies, and so is this one, for they refer to the same thing. Now, was God sincere in his offer? God forgive the man dares say he was not. God is undoubtedly sincere in every act he did. He sent his prophets, he entreated the people of Israel to lay hold on spiritual things, but they would not, and though he stretched out his hands all the day long, yet they were „a disobedient and gainsaying people’, and would not have his love.

Spurgeon regarded the denial of God’s desire for the salvation of all men as no mere theoretical mistake. For it converged with one of the greatest obstacles to faith on the part of the unconverted, that is to say, a wrong view of the character of God. Men „imagine that God is a severe being, angry and fierce, very easily moved to wrath, but not so easily to be induced to love’. The truth of divine love is the last to enter men’s heads.

Spurgeon comments, „We think that ultra-calvinism, which goes vastly beyond the teaching of Christ…gets its support from a wrong view of God. To the ultra-calvinist his absolute sovereignty is delightfully conspicuous. He is awe-stricken with the great and glorious attributes of the Most High. His omnipotence appals him, and his sovereignty astonishes him, and he at once submits as by a stern necessity to the will of God. He, however, too much forgets that God is love…To see the holiness, the love, the justice, the faithfulness, the immutability, the omnipotence, and the sovereignty of God, all shining like a bright corona of eternal and ineffable light, this has never been given perfectly to any human being, and inasmuch as we have not seen all these, as we hope yet to see them, our faulty vision has been the ground of diver’s mistakes.’

If it were not that ‘God is love’ his presence could never have been desirable to sinners. The gospel presents love as the attraction. „God so loved”. It is love that draws, as the record of the four Gospels make abundantly plain. What was it that moved him as he saw the multitude but a compassion for all? (Matt. 9:36) What but love brought him to weep over lost Jerusalem? (Luke 19:41) and to say, „How often would I have gathered thy children…and ye would not!” (Matt.23:37)The preaching of Christ contained a promise of welcome for all and his whole life revealed him longing for the salvation of men and women. ‘None of us,’ says Spurgeon, ‘loves men as Christ loves them. We say,”Sinner, only trust in Christ.” Ah, ye do not know what a great „only” that is. It is a work so great that no man can do it unaided by God…But if anything can call faith into excercise,”he goes on, it is the knowledge ‘that Christ is willing to receive thee'”. Preaching Christ for Spurgeon, had to include the urging of this knowledge upon all:

„If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” He invites men to come, he pleads with them to come; and when they will not come he gently upbraids them wih such words as these, „Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life”… All our Lord’s sermons were so many loving calls to poor aching hearts to come and find what they need in him. „Beloved, there is nothing that so delights Jesus Christ as to save sinners…

But it is more than knowledge of the love of God as taught in SCripture which preachers need. They must themselves be possessed by the love of which they speak. Invitations to trust in Christ preached without love are no invitations at all.

It was Spurgeon’s own persuasion of the love of Christ for the souls of the men that lies at the heart of his weekly evangelistic preaching in London for thirty-seven years. He had no hesitation in concluding sermons with such words as, „Cast yourself upon the Saviour’s love and you shall go down to your house justified”. Sometimes Spurgeon made reference to his own experience, then entreating:

„Do you turn away and say you will not be commanded? Then again will I change my note…I exhort you to flee to Christ. Oh my brother, doest thou know what a loving Christ he is? Let me tell thee from my own soul what I know of him…I thought that Christ was cruel and unkind. Oh I can never forgive myself that I would have thought so ill of him. But what a loving reception did I have when I went to him. I thought he would smite me, but his hand was not clenched in anger but opened wide in mercy…his eyes were full of tears. He fell on my neck and kissed me…I entreat you to stop and consider. Do you know what it is you are rejecting this morning? You are rejecting Christ, your only Saviour…I should be worse than a fiend if I did not now, with all love and kindness and earnestness, beseech you to „lay hold on eternal life, to labour not for the meat that perishes, but for the meat that endureth unto everlasting life”.

Iain Murray here ends with a quote from another Calvinist preacher who similarly entreats sinners with, „The Gospel does not say: ‘There is a Savior, if you wish to be saved;’ but, „Sir, you have no right to go to hell. You can’t go there without trampling the Son of God.”

Spurgeon on Human Responsibility

„If he be lost, damnation is all of man, but, if he be saved, still salvation is all of God”

from a sermon entitled „Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace.

This is the third of four reasons Iain Murray in his book ‘Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism recounts Spurgeon’s debate with the Hyper-Calvinists of his time. While doing so, Spurgeon lays down the foundation for a doctrine that helps the reader grasp a better understanding of the most debated texts of Evangelical Christians (in the Arminian v. Calvinism debate).

P.80

The two convictions so far stated -that gospel invitations are to be addressed to al, and that the warrant to believe lies in the commands and promises of Scripture lead us to the heart of the dispute- It concerns the place of man’s responsibility, or his free agency. Free agency is not to be confused with „free-will”. Since the fall, men have not lost their responsibility but they have lost their ability, the will, to obey God. Hyper-Calvinism argues that sinners cannot be required to do what they are not able to do, namely to believe in Christ for their salvation. The ability to believe belongs only to the elect, and that at the time determined by the Spirit of God. So for a preacher to call all his hearers to immediate repentance and faith is do deny both human depravity and the sovereignty of grace.

Spurgeon did not reply to this argument, as many have done, by weakening the biblical teaching on human depravity and inability. His sermons prove the truth of his words,”We shall proclaim the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, without toning it down, and electing love without stuttering over it.” He asserted, as strongly as it has ever been asserted, that the will of God is omnipotent both in the provision and in the application of every part of salvation. But his response to the Hyper-Calvinist argument was to assert another equally biblical truth, namely that man is wholly responsible for his own sin. God is not its author. Those who hear the Gospel and reject the Saviour will not be able to plead that sovereignty prevented them from excercising the obedience of faith. None will be able to claim that God excluded them. No, it is on account of sin alone, including the sin of unbelief, that unrepentant sinners will finally be condemned and lost for ever.

Asked to explain such a mystery, Spurgeon constantly replied that it was not his business to do so. His duty was to deal with the whole range of Scriptural truth and to declare it in its true proportions. To limit the message to such truths as we can see to be consistent with each other is to excercise a liberty to which we have no right. The great error of Hyper-Calvinism is to neglect one side of the Word of God because it does not know how to explain both that the will of Godis effective and sovereign in all things and that man is free and responsible for all his actions. „Both are true; no two truths can be inconsistent with each other, and what you have to do is believe them both.” In an early sermon on ‘Sovereign Grace and Man’s Responsibility’ Spurgeon introduced his subject with these words:

„The system of truth is not one straight line, but two. No man will ever get a right view of the gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once…Now, if I waqs to declare that man was free to act, that there is no presidence of God over his actions, I should be driven very near to atheism; and if, on the other hand, I declare that God so overrules all things, as that man is not free to be responsible, I am driven at once to Antinomianism or fatalism. That God predestinates and that man is responsible, are two things that few of us can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is the fault of our weak judgement…it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other.

This truth will be found over and over again in Spurgeon’s sermons. Murray gives another example from another sermon where Spurgeon states:

But I do equally believe in the free agency of man, that man acts as he wills,especially in moral operations- choosing the evil with a will that is unbiased by anything that comes from God, biased only by his own depravity of heart and the peverseness of his habits; choosing the right too, with perfect freedom, though sacredly guided and led by the Holy Spirit…I believe that man is as accountable as if there were no destiny whatsoever…Where these two truths meet I do not know, nor do I want to know.

Spurgeon – The Warrant of Faith – What do I need to know before I trust in Christ?

From Iain H. Murray’s book Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism – The Battle for Gospel Preaching (p 71):

One of the reasons Spurgeon rejected Hyper-Calvinism was that it turned individuals away from their sure warrant for trusting in Christ, namely the objective commands and invitations of the Gospel. Hyper-Calvinism denies such a universal warrant, applicable to all, and claims instead, that Scripture only addresses invitations to specific people- to the penitent, the „heavy laden”, to the convicted, to the „sensible sinner”, and so on. Under such preaching, gospel hearers must first find some warrant within themselves for thinking  that Christ’s invitations are addressed to them personally. Subjective experience is thus made a kind of necessar preliminary and qualification before anyone can trust in scriptural promises.

Against this,  Spurgeon held that the scriptural warrant for the unconverted to trust in Christ rests on nothing in themselves; the warrant lies in the invitation of Christ. 

His entire presentation of the gospel turned on the truth that no sinner has any more warrant than any other for trusting in Christ. The warrant lies in Scripture alone. Before a man has any willingness to be saved, ‘it is his duty to believe in Christ, for it is not man’s willingness that gives him a right to believe.Men are to believe in obedience to God’s command. God commandeth all men everywhere to repent, and this is his great command, „Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. Christ’s ambassadors are authorised to call „on all people of every clime and kindred, to believe the gospel with a promise of personal salvation to each and everyone that believes”. The message is not ‘wait for feelings’, it is,’Believe and live’. I’I find Jesus Christ says nothing to sinners about waiting, but very much about coming’.

To this the Hyper-Calvinists replied that if all are called to trust in Christ then such trust must involve them believing a falsehood because Christ has not died for all…and they chraged Spurgeon with inconsistency because Spurgeon believed in particular redemption. But Spurgeon, along with Scripture, did not make, „Believe that Christ died for you’, part of faith to which the unbeliever is summoned. The call to the sinner is to commit himself to Christ, not because he has been saved but rather because he is lost and must come to Jesus in order to be saved.

This still does not answer the question, How can sinners be offered a salvation which Christ did not fulfill on their behalf? Spurgeon set that question aside as something which God has not chosen to explain. It was enough for him to know that Christ does offer himself to all, that the gospel is for „every creature”, that all who come to Him will be saved, and that all who reject Him will be without excuse.

You can read Spurgeon’s sermon „A warrant of faith” here at spurgeon.org. The sermon was delivered Sunday morning, September 20th, 1863.

Spurgeon – Gospel Invitations

Iain H. Murray, in his book Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism, underlines the contemporary relevance of Spurgeon’s sermons resulting from his „serious and prolonged doctrinal controversy with Hyper-Calvinism” (quote from publisher’s note). During this same time Spurgeon was also battling Arminian doctrine.  Spurgeon’s personal debates with his contemporaries and the sermons they produced were never more needed than in times such as ours (an era that produced the preaching of the prosperity gospel and the cliche’ -„Be saved with this little sinner’s prayer”, etc).  In his book Murray addresses 4 reasons why Spurgeon rejected Hyper-Calvinism. They had to do with differing views on 1)Universal Gospel Invitations 2)Warrant of Faith 3)Human Responsibility and 4)the Love of God.  In the process we will see Spurgeon’s response gleaned out of the Bible as to what the word of God says on these 4 points. This, as any of the other books authored from the pen of  Iain H. Murray, is an essential read and should be in every person’s library along with all of  Spurgeon’s works.

All emphasis (highlighting some sentences) below is mine.

Gospel Invitations are Universal

In this subchapter of Iain Murray’s book (p 69) Murray states:

Spurgeon believed that historical evangelicalism differed from Hyper-Calvinism over the persons to whom the promises of the gospel are to be preached. Hyper-Calvinism views gospel preaching solely as a means for the ingathering of God’s elect. It argues that such words as, „Trust in Christ and you will be saved”, should only be addressed to elect sinners….and that…for a preacher to convey to his hearers the impression that they are all called to receive Christ, and to believe in him for salvation, is to deny, in the opinion of Hyper-Calvinists, the sovereignty of divine grace.

Spurgeon rejected the placing of such a restriction upon the invitation of the Gospel. The gospel is „good news” which God would have proclaimed throughout the world and to „every creature”. It’s message is not simply a statement of facts. It also contains clear,unrestricted, general promises, such as,”He that believeth on him is not condemned” (John 3:18); „Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”(Romans 10:13); Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). So the preacher has not done his work when he has spoken of Christ and proclaimed the historic facts of salvation. From there he must go on to urge the reception of Christ by all men.

On a side note here, sometimes I still run across the phrase „preach the gospel, if necessary use words”, a phrase that boggles the mind in light of the fact that proclamation can not ensue from silence and the phrase comes „wrongly” from folks adhering to a belief of faith based on works. Spurgeon notes that even just telling someone the historical gospel is not enough. In order to proclaim the gospel we must also urge the reception of Christ by all people.

And if we experience reticence when proclaiming the gospel to an unsaved person (read here- someone committing abhorrent sins, Spurgeon continues to exhort:

In the name of God he (preacher,person proclaiming the gospel) must assure all of the certainty of their welcome and forgiveness on their repentance and faith.

For this he cites Paul preaching in Antioch – Acts 13:38-39, to paraphrase, „all that believe are justified” and Colossians 1:28, „and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”.

Iain Murray then describes the Hyper-Calvinist argument against gospel invitations because their belief is that grace is special and particular (intended for the elect) to which Spurgeon responded in one of his sermons entitled „Apostolic Exhortation” on the apostle Peter’s words to all his hearers from Acts 3:19,”Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out”. Spurgeon:

Peter preached the Christ of the Gospel – preached it personally and directly at the crowd who were gathered around him…Grown up among us is a school of men who say that they rightly preach the gospel to sinners when they merely deliver statements of what the gospel is, and the result of dying unsaved, but they grow furious and talk of unsoundness if any venture to say to the sinner, „Believe”, or „Repent”. To this school Peter did not belong.

In another sermon Spurgeon refers to the brethren who „do not think it to be their duty to go into the highways and the hedges and bid all, as many as they find, to come to the supper. Oh no! They are too orthodox to obey the Master’s will; they desire to understand first who are appointed to come to the supper, and then they will invite them; that is to say, they will do what there is no necessity to do (i.e. present the gospel to those who are already saved).

In contrast with this, the apostles „delivered the gospel, the same gospel to the dead as to the living”, the same gospel to the non-elect as to the elect. The point of distinction is not in the gospel, but in its being applied by the Holy Ghost, or left to be rejected by man.

Psalm 32 – You are my hiding place (commentary by Spurgeon)

Commentators believe Psalm 32 was written after Psalm 51 (which was written after the Prophet Nathan confronted David over his sin with Bathsheba). Remarkable, is David’s swift repentance and acknowledgment that  the guilt of sin had caused him – see verse 3 -„When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.’  Yet, Psalm 32 is an illustration of how the result of true repentance is the joy of forgiveness.

Mai mult

C.H.Spurgeon – Chemarea Eficace

(sursa)

„Isus când a ajuns la locul acela, Şi-a ridicat ochii în sus, şi i-a zis: Zachee, dă-te jos de grabă, căci astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” – Luca 19:5

Deşi credem că sunteţi în general bine instruiţi în doctrinele Evangheliei veşnice, noi ne aducem aminte continuu, în urma discuţiilor cu noii convertiţi, că este absolut necesar să repetăm lecţiile anterioare, să susţinem şi să argumentăm din nou şi din nou acele doctrine care stau la baza religiei noastre sfinte. De aceea, prietenii noştri care au învăţat cu ani în urmă marea doctrină a chemării eficace vor crede că predica mea simplă în această dimineaţă va fi pentru cei tineri în credinţă, ca ei să înţeleagă mai bine acest măreţ început al lucrării lui Dumnezeu în inimă – chemarea eficace a oamenilor prin Duhul Sfânt.
Mă voi folosi de întâmplarea cu Zacheu ca o măreaţă ilustraţie a doctrinei chemării eficace. Vă amintiţi întâmplarea. Zacheu a fost curios să vadă pe minunatul om, Isus Cristos, care întorcea lumea cu susul în jos şi provoca o frământare imensă în minţile oamenilor. Uneori noi considerăm curiozitatea a fi greşită şi spunem că este păcat să vii la casa Domnului din acest motiv. Nu sunt foarte sigur că ar trebui să ne hazardăm în astfel de afirmaţii. Motivul nu este păcătos, dar nici virtuos – deşi deseori curiozitatea s-a dovedit a fi unul din cei mai buni aliaţi ai harului. Zacheu, determinat de acest motiv, a dorit să-l vadă pe Cristos, dar erau două piedici în calea lui: prima a fost mulţimea mare de oameni care-l împiedica să ajungă în apropierea Mântuitorului; a doua, el era atât de scund încât nu avea nici o şansă să se ridice peste capetele mulţimii pentru a-L zări cât de puţin.
Ce a făcut el? A făcut ceea ce fac băieţandrii – pentru că băieţii din antichitate erau fără îndoială exact ca cei din ziua de azi – s-au căţărat în crengile copacilor ca să-l vadă pe Isus cum trece. Deşi era un om în vârstă, el a sărit sus şi s-a aşezat printre copii. Aceştia erau destul de speriaţi de bătrânul încruntat, colector de taxe de care le era frică părinţilor lor, pentru a nu-l împinge jos sau a-i face alte şotii. Uitaţi-vă la el. Cu ce nelinişte priveşte în jos, să vadă care este Cristos – pentru că Mântuitorul nu avea nici o înfăţişare pompoasă care să îl deosebească; nimeni nu mergea înaintea Sa cu un toiag de argint; nu ţinea în mână nici un toiag episcopal de aur; nu avea haine pontificale. De fapt, El era îmbrăcat la fel ca şi cei din jurul Lui. Avea o haină ca a unui ţăran obişnuit, făcută dintr-o singură bucată de sus până jos. Zacheu abia putea să Îl deosebească. Totuşi, înainte ca el să-L vadă, Cristos şi-a fixat privirea asupra lui şi, oprindu-se sub pom, S-a uitat în sus şi a zis: „Zachee dă-te jos de grabă, căci astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Zacheu coboară. Cristos merge la el acasă; Zacheu devine ucenicul lui Cristos şi intră în Împărăţia cerurilor.

1. În primul rând, chemarea eficace este o manifestare a harului lui Dumnezeu. Vă puteţi da seama de aceasta din faptul că Zacheu era tipul de om despre care am presupune că ar fi ultimul care să fie mântuit. El locuia într-un oraş păcătos – Ierihon – un oraş care a fost blestemat şi nimeni nu-şi imagina ca cineva care era din Ierihon să fie mântuit. În apropiere de Ierihon a căzut omul între tâlhari – credem că Zacheu nu a fost implicat în acel incident – dar unii, deşi erau colectori de taxe, erau de asemenea hoţi. Ne-am putea aştepta mai degrabă la convertiţi din St. Giles,1 sau din părţile rău famate ale Londrei, din cele mai rele şi depravate hrube ale infamiei, mai degrabă decât din Ierihonul acelor zile. Ah, fraţii mei, nu contează de unde veniţi – poţi veni de pe una din cele mai murdare străzi, dintr-una din cele mai rele spelunci ale Londrei – dacă harul eficient te cheamă, aceasta este o chemare eficace, care nu face deosebire între locuri.
De asemenea, Zacheu a avut o slujbă din cale afară de rea şi probabil că înşela oamenii pentru a se îmbogăţi. Într-adevăr, atunci când Cristos a intrat în casa sa, exista un murmur general că El a mers să fie oaspetele unui păcătos. Dar, fraţii mei, harul nu face deosebire; nu pune preţ pe rangul persoanelor, ci Dumnezeu cheamă pe cine voieşte şi El l-a chemat pe cel mai rău dintre colectorii de taxe, din cel mai rău oraş, din cea mai rea meserie. În plus, Zacheu a fost unul dintre aceia care vor fi cel mai puţin probabil mântuiţi, fiindcă era bogat. Este adevărat, atât bogaţii cât şi săracii sunt bineveniţi – nici unul nu are vreo scuză în a dispera datorită condiţiei sale – totuşi este adevărat că „nu mulţi oameni mari” în felul lumii, „nu mulţi puternici” sunt chemaţi, ci „Dumnezeu a ales săracii acestei lumi – bogaţi în credinţă.” Dar harul nu face nici o deosebire aici. Bogatul Zacheu este chemat din copac. Vine jos şi este mântuit.
Mă gândeam că unul din cele mai mari exemple ale bunăvoinţei lui Dumnezeu, este acela că El se poate uita în jos la om. Dar vă spun că a fost o mai mare bunătate decât aceasta atunci când Cristos s-a uitat în sus ca să-l vadă pe Zacheu. Dumnezeu privind în jos la creaturile sale – aceasta este milă – dar Cristos, umilindu-se pe Sine atât de mult încât El să privească în sus la una din propriile Sale creaturi – aceasta este milă, într-adevăr!
Vai, mulţi dintre voi v-aţi căţărat în copacul propriilor voastre fapte bune şi v-aţi cocoţat pe crengile faptelor voastre sfinte şi vă puneţi încrederea în voinţa liberă a sărmanei creaturi, sau vă bazaţi pe vreo maximă lumească; cu toate acestea, Cristos se uită în sus chiar şi la păcătoşii aroganţi şi-i cheamă să coboare. „Dă-te jos”, spune El, „astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Dacă Zacheu ar fi fost un om smerit, aşezându-se la marginea drumului sau la picioarele lui Cristos, noi am fi admirat atunci mila lui Cristos; dar aici el este înălţat, iar Cristos priveşte în sus spre el şi-l pofteşte să coboare.

2. Apoi, aceasta a fost o chemare personală. În pom erau băieţi la fel ca şi Zacheu, dar nu a fost nici o greşeală în ce priveşte persoana chemată. Chemarea a fost „Zachee dă-te jos de grabă.” Sunt şi alte chemări menţionate în Scriptură. Despre acestea se spune, „Mulţi sunt chemaţi, dar puţini sunt aleşi.” Acum, aceasta nu este chemarea eficace avută în vedere de apostol când spune, „pe aceia pe care i-a chemat, i-a şi socotit neprihăniţi.” Da, există o chemare generală, pe care cei mai mulţi, ba chiar toţi oamenii o resping, dacă nu este urmată de chemarea personală, individuală, care ne face creştini. Voi îmi sunteţi martori că o chemare personală v-a adus la Salvatorul vostru. Prin vreo predică v-aţi dat seama că sunteţi, fără îndoială, persoana vizată. Textul poate a fost „Tu eşti Dumnezeu care mă vede.” Şi poate că predicatorul accentua cuvântul „mă” aşa încât te gândeai că ochiul lui Dumnezeu este fixat asupra ta; şi, înainte să se sfârşească predica, în gând Îl şi vedeai pe Dumnezeu deschizând cărţile pentru a te condamna; iar inima îţi şoptea „Poate cineva să stea într-un loc ascuns fără să-l văd Eu? zice Domnul.” Puteai fi cocoţat pe fereastră sau înghesuit pe culoar – dar ai avut o convingere solemnă că acea predică a fost rostită pentru tine şi nu pentru altcineva. Dumnezeu nu îşi cheamă poporul Său cu grămada, ci unul câte unul.
„Isus i-a zis: ‚Marie!’ Ea s-a întors, şi i-a zis în evreieşte: ‚Rabuni!’ adică: ‚Învăţătorule!’” Isus i-a văzut pe Petru şi Ioan care pescuiau pe lac şi le-a zis: „Veniţi după Mine.” El l-a văzut pe Matei stând la masa sa de contabil şi i-a zis: „Ridică-te şi vino după Mine”; şi Matei a făcut aşa. Când Duhul Sfânt vine în casa unui om, săgeata lui Dumnezeu străpunge inima lui – nu îi zgârie doar coiful sau îi lasă vreo urmă pe armură, ci pătrunde printre încheieturile armurii, intrând în măduva sufletului. Aţi resimţit, dragi prieteni, acea chemare personală? Vă aduceţi aminte de vocea care vă spunea, „Ridică-te, El te cheamă.” Poţi tu privi înapoi spre clipa în care ai spus „Domnul meu, Dumnezeul meu” – când ştiai că Duhul se lupta cu tine şi când ai spus „Doamne, vin la Tine pentru că ştiu că Tu mă chemi”? Eu vă pot chema pe voi toţi o veşnicie, dar dacă Dumnezeu cheamă pe cineva, atunci acea chemare va fi mai eficientă decât chemarea mea generală adresată mulţimilor.

3. Chemarea eficace este o chemare urgentă. „Zachee, dă-te jos de grabă.” Păcătosul, când este chemat de un slujitor obişnuit, răspunde „mâine”. El ascultă o predică şi spune „Mă voi întoarce la Dumnezeu şi eu cândva.” Lacrimile îi curg pe obraz, dar ele sunt şterse îndată. Poate apare şi ceva bunătate, dar ca norul de dimineaţă, aceasta este împrăştiată de soarele ispitei. El spune „Din acest moment făgăduiesc să mă schimb. Încă o dată numai mă voi complace în păcatul meu favorit şi după aceea voi renunţa la poftele mele şi mă voi hotărî pentru Dumnezeu.” Of, dar aceasta este doar chemarea unui slujitor şi nu este bună de nimic. Iadul, se spune, este pavat cu intenţii bune. Aceste intenţii bune iau naştere prin chemarea generală.
Drumul spre pierzanie este presărat peste tot cu ramurile copacilor în care s-au urcat oamenii, pentru că ei aruncă ramurile, dar ei înşişi nu coboară. Paiele aşezate la uşa unui bolnav fac ca roţile să nu scârţăie aşa de tare. Deci, sunt unii care îşi aştern calea cu promisiuni de pocăinţă şi aşa se duc mult mai uşor şi mai silenţios în jos spre pieire. Dar chemarea lui Dumnezeu nu este pentru mâine. „Astăzi, dacă auziţi glasul Lui, nu vă împietriţi inimile, ca în ziua răzvrătirii, ca în ziua ispitirii în pustie, unde părinţii voştri M-au ispitit şi M-au pus la încercare…” Harul lui Dumnezeu întotdeauna vine cu repeziciune – şi dacă tu eşti tras de Dumnezeu, tu vei alerga după Dumnezeu şi nu vei discuta de amânări. Mâine nu se află înscris în almanahul timpului. Mâine se găseşte doar în calendarul lui Satan şi nicăieri altundeva. Mâine este o stâncă albită de oasele marinarilor care s-au izbit de ea. Mâine este lumina jefuitorului, strălucind la ţărm, ademenind sărmanele corăbii spre pierzare. Mâine este graalul prostului care se află la capătul curcubeului, dar pe care nimeni nu l-a găsit. Mâine este insula plutitoare Loch Lomond, care niciodată nu a fost văzută. Mâine este un vis. Mâine este o înşelăciune. Mâine, da, mâine se poate să deschizi ochii în iad, fiind în chin. Ceasul de acolo spune „azi”; totul strigă „astăzi”. Şi Duhul Sfânt care încuviinţează aceste lucruri spune: „Astăzi dacă auziţi glasul Lui, nu vă împietriţi inimile…” Păcătoşilor, sunteţi voi dispuşi să-l căutaţi pe Mântuitorul? Rostiţi voi acum o rugăciune? Spuneţi voi: „Acum sau niciodată! Trebuie să fiu mântuit acum?” Dacă da, atunci eu nădăjduiesc că aceasta este o chemare eficace, fiindcă Cristos, când cheamă eficace, spune: „Zachee, dă-te jos de grabă.”

4. Chemarea eficace este o chemare umilitoare. „Zachee, dă-te jos.” De multe ori câte un predicator îi chema pe oameni la pocăinţă cu o chemare care îi făcea mândri, înălţându-i în proprii lor ochi, făcându-i să zică: „Mă pot întoarce la Dumnezeu oricând vreau eu. Pot să fac asta şi fără influenţa Duhului Sfânt.” Ei au fost chemaţi spre înălţare şi nu spre coborâre. Dumnezeu întodeauna smereşte pe păcătos. Să nu îmi amintesc eu când mi-a spus Dumnezeu să cobor? Unul din primii paşi pe care a trebuit să-i fac a fost să mă dau jos din faptele mele bune. Şi, ah, ce cădere a fost asta! „Te-am smuls din faptele tale bune, acum te voi smulge din propria-ţi suficienţă de sine.” Am mai căzut încă o dată, şi eram sigur că am ajuns jos de tot, dar Cristos mi-a zis: „Coboară!” Şi El a făcut să cobor până într-un punct în care încă mă simţeam vrednic de a fi mântuit. „Coboară, domnule! Mai coboară, încă.” Şi am tot coborât până ce a trebuit, disperat, să dau drumul fiecărei crengi a copacului speranţelor mele. Atunci am spus: „Nu mai pot să fac nimic. Sunt ruinat.” Apele îmi treceau peste cap şi am fost lăsat fară lumina zilei astfel că mă vedeam pe mine ca străin de adunarea lui Israel. „Coboară şi mai jos, încă mai jos, domnule! Tu încă eşti prea mândru pentru a fi mântuit.” Atunci am fost coborât până la pământ ca să-mi văd depravarea, răutatea, ticăloşia. „Coboară”, îţi spune Dumnezeu atunci când vrea să te salveze. Acum, păcătoşi mândri, nu vă este de nici un folos să fiţi mândri, să faceţi pe grozavii în copaci; Cristos vrea să coborâţi. Oh, tu care locuieşti cu vulturii pe stânca abruptă, tu vei coborî din înălţimea ta; tu vei coborî prin har, sau vei fi coborât cu mânie într-o zi. El „coboară pe cei mari din locul lor şi înalţă pe cei smeriţi şi umili.”

5. Chemarea eficace este o chemare iubitoare. „Astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Vă puteţi uşor imagina cum s-au schimbat la faţă cei din mulţime! Ei gândeau că Cristos este cel mai bun şi mai sfânt om şi erau gata să-L facă rege. Dar El a zis: „Astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Era acolo un evreu sărac care a fost în casa lui Zacheu; el „a stat pe covor”, după cum se spune la sat când eşti adus înaintea justiţiei, şi îşi amintea ce fel de casă era aceasta. El îşi amintea cum a fost dus acolo şi concepţia sa despre acel loc se asemăna cu cea a unei muşte despre plasa păianjenului după ce scapă de acolo. Era acolo altul care a fost deposedat de aproape toate proprietăţile sale – ideea pe care o avea despre a merge în casa lui Zacheu era similară cu intrarea în bârlogul leilor. „Cum”, au spus ei, „poate să meargă un astfel de om sfânt într-un asemenea bârlog, unde săracii şi nenorociţii de noi am fost trataţi aspru şi jefuiţi? A fost destul de rău pentru Isus să vorbească cu el la copac, dar însăşi ideea de a merge în casa lui…! Toţi murmurau la faptul că El urma „să fie oaspetele unui om păcătos.” Ei bine, eu ştiu cam ce au gândit unii ucenici, ei credeau că este foarte imprudent – Îi poate leza caracterul şi poate ofensa poporul. Ei gândeau că trebuia să-l întâlnească pe acest om noaptea, la fel ca pe Nicodim şi să-i ofere o audienţă atunci când nimeni nu Îl vede; dar a recunoaşte public un astfel de om era cel mai imprudent act pe care El l-ar fi putut comite.
De ce a acţionat Cristos într-un asemenea mod? Deoarece voia să îl cheme pe Zacheu cu o chemare iubitoare. „Eu nu vin să stau la tine în prag, sau să privesc prin fereastra ta, ci vin înlăuntrul casei tale – aceeaşi casă unde plânsul văduvelor ţi-a ajuns la ureche fără să îl iei în seamă. Eu vin în salonul tău, unde plânsul orfanilor nu ţi-a mişcat niciodată inima. Eu vin acolo, unde tu, ca un leu flămând, ţi-ai devorat prada. Eu vin acolo, unde tu ţi-ai înnegrit casa, făcând-o infamă. Eu vin în locul de unde strigătul s-a înălţat până la cer, stors de pe buzele acelora pe care tu i-ai asuprit. Eu vin în casa ta şi-ţi dau o binecuvântare.” Ah, câtă dragoste a arătat! Sărmane păcătos, Stăpânul meu este un Stăpân plin de afecţiune. El va veni în casa ta. Cel fel de casă ai tu? O casă pe care ai făcut-o mizerabilă prin beţia ta – o casă pe care ai pângărit-o cu necurăţia ta – o casă pe care ai spurcat-o cu blestemele şi înjurăturile tale – o casă în care practici o meserie rea, de care ai fi bucuros să scapi? Cristos spune: „Voi veni în casa ta.” Şi ştiu câteva case care erau înainte bârloguri ale păcatului şi în care acum Cristos vine în fiecare dimineaţă; soţul şi soţia care odată erau învrăjbiţi şi se încăierau, acum îţi pleacă genunchii împreună în rugăciune. Cristos vine acolo la prânz, când muncitorul se întoarce acasă pentru a mânca. Unii din ascultătorii mei pot rareori să meargă acasă o oră pentru a servi prânzul, dar întotdeauna îşi fac timp pentru rugăciune şi citirea Scripturilor. Cristos vine la ei. Acolo unde pereţii erau umpluţi cu cântece senzuale şi imagini triviale, acum este un almanah creştin într-un loc, o Biblie pe scrin; şi deşi locuiesc într-o singură cameră, dacă un înger ar veni acolo şi Dumnezeu ar zice „Ce ai văzut în acea casă?” el ar putea spune: „Am văzut mobilă bună, pentru că acolo este o Biblie, ici-acolo câte o carte religioasă, imaginile murdare sunt date jos şi arse; acum nu mai sunt cărţi de joc în şifonierul omului; Cristos a venit în casa sa. Oh, ce binecuvântare că noi putem avea un Dumnezeu al casei noastre, la fel ca romanii! Dumnezeul nostru este un Dumnezeu al casei. El vine să locuiască cu poporul Său! El iubeşte corturile lui Iacov.
Acum, sărmane păcătos zdrenţăros, care locuieşti în cele mai murdare spelunci ale Londrei, dacă eşti cumva aici, Isus îţi spune: „Zachee, dă-te jos degrabă căci astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.”

6. Chemarea eficace nu este doar una iubitoare, ci este o chemare care rămâne. „Astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” O chemare generală sună cam aşa: „Astăzi voi intra la tine în casă pe o uşă şi voi ieşi pe alta.” Chemarea adresată tuturor oamenilor prin Evanghelie este o chemare care acţionează asupra lor doar pentru un timp şi după aceea se stinge; dar chemarea mântuitoare este o chemare care rămâne. Când Cristos vorbeşte El nu zice doar: „Grăbeşte-te, Zacheu şi coboară, pentru că Eu doar vreau să arunc o privire în casa ta.” Nu. El zice: „Trebuie să rămân în casa ta. Eu vin să stau să mănânc şi să beau cu tine. Eu vin să cinez cu tine. Astăzi, trebuie să rămân în casa ta.”
„Ah”, spune cineva, „nu aveţi idee, domnule, de câte ori am fost cercetat. Adeseori am fost convins în mod solemn şi am crezut că sunt mântuit cu adevărat, dar toate acestea s-au dus; asemeni unui vis, când se trezeşte cineva, tot ce a visat dispare, la fel a fost şi cu mine.” Oh, sărmane suflet, nu dispera. Simţi lupta harului Atotputernic în inima ta îndemnându-te să te pocăieşti astăzi? Dacă da, aceasta va fi o chemare care rămâne. Dacă Isus este Acela care lucrează în sufletul tău, El va veni, va zăbovi în inima ta şi te va consacra pentru Sine pentru veşnicie. El spune: „Voi veni şi voi locui cu tine pentru veşnicie. Eu voi veni şi voi spune:

,Aici eu mă voi aşeza să mă odihnesc
Şi nu voi mai pleca
Nu voi mai fi străin sau oaspe
Ci stăpânul acestei case.’”

„Ah”, vei spune, „aceasta doresc. Eu vreau o chemare care rămâne, ceva care să dăinuie. Eu nu vreau o religie care să se decoloreze, ci una a cărei culoare rămâne.” Ei bine, cu o astfel de chemare cheamă Cristos. Slujitorii Lui nu o pot da; dar când Cristos vorbeşte, El vorbeşte cu putere şi spune: „Zachee, dă-te jos de grabă căci astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.”

7. Există un lucru pe care nu îl pot uita, şi anume că aceasta a fost o chemare necesară. Doar recitiţi textul. „Zachee dă-te jos de grabă, căci astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Nu era ceva ce El ar fi putut să facă sau să nu facă – a fost o chemare necesară. Mântuirea unui păcătos este la fel de necesară pentru Dumnezeu precum împlinirea legământului potrivit căruia ploaia niciodată nu va mai îneca pământul. Mântuirea fiecărui copil al lui Dumnezeu răscumpărat prin sânge este un lucru necesar din trei motive: este necesar pentru că este scopul lui Dumnezeu; este necesar deoarece este achiziţia lui Cristos; este necesar fiindcă este promisă de Dumnezeu. Este necesar pentru copilul lui Dumnezeu să fie mântuit. Unii teologi gândesc că este foarte greşit să accentuezi cuvântul „trebuie”, în special în pasajul unde se spune: „El trebuia să treacă prin Samaria.” „Păi”, spun ei, „El trebuia să treacă prin Samaria deoarece nu era un alt drum pe care ar fi putut merge, de aceea el a fost obligat să meargă pe acel drum.” Da, domnilor, fără îndoială, răspundem noi. Dar poate că acolo a mai existat şi un alt drum. Providenţa a făcut în aşa fel încât El a trebuit să treacă prin Samaria şi Samaria trebuia să se afle pe ruta pe care El ales-o. Aşa că tot v-am prins. „El trebuia să treacă prin Samaria.” Providenţa l-a direcţionat pe om să construiască Samaria chiar pe acea rută şi harul l-a constrâns pe Mântuitorul să meargă în acea direcţie. Nu a spus, „Zachee, dă-te jos, căci aş putea rămâne în casa ta”, ci „trebuie”. Mântuitorul a simţit o constrângere puternică. La fel cum este necesar ca omul să moară, ca soarele să ne lumineze ziua iar luna noaptea, la fel de necesar este ca fiecare copil al lui Dumnezeu răscumpărat prin sânge să fie mântuit.

„Astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Şi, ah, când Domnul ajunge aici, la faptul că El trebuie să vină şi are să vină, ce mare este acest lucru pentru sărmanul păcătos. Uneori ne întrebăm, „Să Îl las să intre? Este un străin la uşă. El bate chiar acum – El a mai încercat şi înainte – Îl voi lăsa să intre?” Dar de data aceasta sună astfel: „Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Nu a existat nici o bătaie în uşă, ci o izbitură a prefăcut uşa în atomi! Şi El a intrat înăuntru – Eu trebuie să rămân, Eu voi rămâne, Eu vreau să rămân – Nu-mi pasă că protestezi, considerându-te ticălos şi necredincios. Eu trebuie, Eu vreau – Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta.”
„Oh”, poate spune cineva, „Eu nu cred că Dumnezeu mă va face vreodată să cred aşa cum crezi tu, sau să devin vreodată creştin.” Ah, dar dacă El va spune doar „Astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta” atunci nu va fi nici un pic de împotrivire din partea ta. Sunt unii dintre dumneavoastră care batjocoresc tocmai ideea de a fi un Metodist ipocrit – „Ce, domnule? Presupuneţi că voi deveni unul din oamenii dumneavoastră religioşi?” Nu, prietene, eu nu presupun aceasta – eu ştiu sigur. Dacă Dumnezeu zice, „Eu trebuie” atunci nu este nimic care să-I stea împotrivă. Să spună numai „trebuie” şi aşa va fi.
Vă voi spune o istorioară care dovedeşte aceasta. „Un tată voia să-şi trimită fiul la colegiu, dar ştiind despre influenţa la care acesta va fi expus, era profund îngrijorat şi neliniştit din cauza bunăstării eterne şi spirituale a fiului său favorit. Temându-se ca nu cumva învăţăturile credinţei creştine, pe care el s-a străduit să i le întipărească în minte, să fie brutal asaltate, dar încrezându-se în eficacitatea acelui Cuvânt care este viu şi lucrător, el a achiziţionat, fără ştirea fiului său, o elegantă copie a Bibliei şi a aşezat-o pe fundul cufărului său.
Tânărul a intrat la colegiu. Curând, restricţiile educaţiei sale pioase au dispărut, iar el înainta din speculaţie în îndoială şi din îndoială în negarea realităţii religiei. După ce a devenit, conform propriilor sale estimări, mai înţelept decât tatăl său, el a descoperit într-o zi, în vreme ce cotrobăia prin cufăr, cu o mare surpriză şi indignare, comoara sacră. El a scos-o, şi gândindu-se ce să facă cu ea, a hotărât că aceasta poate fi folosită ca hârtie de şters briciul atunci când se bărbierea. De fiecare dată când se bărbierea, rupea câte o foaie sau două din Cartea Sfântă, până când jumătate din carte a fost distrusă.

Dar pe când comitea acest sacrilegiu asupra Cărţii Sfinte, ochii lui întâlneau când şi când un pasaj care mergea ca o săgeată în inima lui. După un timp, el a auzit o predică ce i-a dezvăluit propriul său caracter şi expunerea sa la mânia lui Dumnezeu. Aceasta i-a ţintuit în minte imaginea ultimei file rupte din binecuvântata, deşi insultata carte. De ar fi avut toate lumile la dispoziţie, ar fi renunţat bucuros la toate de l-ar fi ajutat să des-facă ceea ce a făcut. După o vreme el a găsit iertarea la Cruce. Foile rupte ale cărţii au adus vindecare sufletului său – pentru că l-au condus să se încreadă în mila lui Dumnezeu, care este suficientă pentru cel mai mare păcătos.”
Vă spun că nu există nici un ticălos care să umble străzile şi să spurce aerul cu blasfemiile sale, nu există nici o fiinţă abandonată în aşa fel încât să fie aproape la fel de rea ca Satan însuşi, care, dacă este fiu al vieţii, să nu se afle în graniţele milei. Şi dacă Dumnezeu spune: „Astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta”, El fără îndoială va face aşa.

Simţi, dragul meu ascultător, chiar acum, ceva în mintea ta care pare să-ţi spună că te-ai împotrivit Evangheliei de multă vreme, dar că astăzi nu mai poţi rezista? Simţi că o mână puternică te-a prins şi auzi tu o voce zicând: „Păcătosule, Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta. Tu adeseori M-ai batjocorit, adesea M-ai luat în râs, adesea ai scuipat în faţă îndurarea Mea, adesea M-ai hulit, dar păcătosule, Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta. Tu ieri ai trântit uşa în faţa misionarului; ai ars broşura, l-ai batjocorit pe predicator, ai înjurat casa lui Dumnezeu, ai încălcat ziua duminicii – dar păcătosule, Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta şi voi rămâne!”
„Ce, Doamne”, zici tu, „să rămâi la mine în casă? Dar este plină de nelegiuire! Să rămâi în casa mea! Dar nu este un scaun sau o masă din ea care să nu strige împotriva mea! Să rămâi în casa mea! Dar grinzile şi bârnele şi pardoseala toate se vor ridica şi-Þi vor spune că eu nu sunt vrednic să-Þi sărut marginea hainei. Ce, Doamne, să rămâi la mine acasă?” „Da” spune El, „Trebuie să rămân. Este absolut necesar, dragostea Mea mă constrânge ori că vrei să mă laşi ori nu, Eu sunt hotărât să te fac să vrei şi tu Mă vei lăsa înăuntru.\”
Nu te surprinde oare faptul că Cristos nu doar te cheamă să vii la El, dar se invită pe Sine la masa ta, şi mai mult, când vrei să îl îndepărtezi, El spune cu bunătate, „Eu trebuie, Eu voi intra la tine.” Gândeşte-te numai la Cristos căutând un păcătos, strigând după un păcătos, implorând un păcătos să-L lase să fie salvat de El – şi aceasta este tocmai ceea ce face Isus pentru aleşii Săi.

Păcătosul fuge de El, dar harul îl urmăreşte şi-i spune: „Păcătosule, vino la Cristos.” Şi dacă inimile noastre sunt închise, Cristos îşi pune mâna în acea uşă şi dacă noi nu ne ridicăm, ci îl respingem cu răceală, El spune, „Eu trebuie, Eu voi veni înăuntru.” El plânge pentru noi până când lacrimile Sale ne vor birui. El ne strigă, până când strigătul Său va învinge, iar în ceasul Său bine hotărât, El intră în inima noastră şi va locui acolo. „Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta”, a spus Isus.

8. Şi acum, în ultimul rând, această chemare a fost una eficientă, deoarece vedem rezultatele ei. Uşa lui Zacheu a fost deschisă, masa a fost aşternută, inima i-a devenit generoasă, mâinile i-au fost spălate, conştiinţa i-a fost uşurată, sufletul i-a săltat de bucurie. „Iată, Doamne”, a zis el „jumătate din ce am dau săracilor; îndrăznesc să spun că jumătate din avuţia mea a fost luată de la ei, iar acum le-o dau înapoi” „şi dacă am năpăstuit pe cineva cu ceva, îi dau înapoi împătrit.” O altă parte din avuţia lui s-a dus. Oh, Zacheu, diseară te vei culca mult mai sărac decât te-ai trezit azi-dimineaţă – dar de asemenea infinit mai bogat; sărac, foarte sărac în bunurile acestei lumi, în comparaţie cu ceea ce aveai când te-ai căţărat în sicomor – dar bogat, infinit mai bogat în comori cereşti. Păcătosule, vom şti dacă Dumnezeu te cheamă după aceasta – dacă El te cheamă, aceasta este o chemare eficace, nu o chemare pe care o poţi auzi şi apoi uita, ci una care produce fapte bune. Dacă Dumnezeu te-a chemat în această dimineaţă, vei arunca la o parte paharul de băutură, şi rugăciunile tale se vor înălţa în sus. Dacă Dumnezeu te-a chemat în această dimineaţă, la magazinul tău nu va fi doar un oblon tras, ci toate, şi vei pune un anunţ: „Magazinul este închis în ziua de duminică şi nu va mai fi deschis în această zi.”
Mâine poate fi o anumită distracţie lumească, dar dacă Dumnezeu te-a chemat, tu nu vei merge. Şi dacă ai jefuit pe cineva (şi cine ştie, aici poate fi şi vreun hoţ), dacă Dumnezeu te cheamă, atunci va fi o restituire a ceea ce ai furat, tu vei renunţa la tot ce ai, astfel încât să-l urmezi pe Dumnezeu cu toată inima. Noi nu credem că un om este convertit decât atunci când el renunţă la căile sale greşite, când practic, el este adus în punctul în care ajunge să cunoască pe Cristos Însuşi ca stăpân al conştiinţei sale şi să găsească plăcere în Legea Lui.
„Zachee dă-te jos de grabă, căci astăzi trebuie să rămân în casa ta.” Şi el s-a grăbit şi a coborât şi L-a primit pe Isus cu bucurie. „Dar Zacheu a stătut înaintea Domnului, şi I-a zis: Iată, Doamne, jumătate din avuţia mea o dau săracilor; şi, dacă am năpăstuit pe cineva cu ceva, îi dau înapoi împătrit. Isus i-a zis: Astăzi a intrat mântuirea în casa aceasta, căci şi el este fiul lui Avraam. Pentru că Fiul omului a venit să caute şi să mântuiască ce era pierdut.”

Acum, avem una sau două lecţii. O lecţie pentru cei mândri. Coborâţi-vă, inimi mândre, coborâţi-vă! Îndurarea curge în văi, nu pe coama munţilor. Coboară, coboară, spirit semeţ! Oraşul semeţ El îl coboară până la pământ şi apoi îl reconstruieşte. Apoi, o lecţie pentru tine, sărmane suflet disperat, mă bucur să te văd în casa lui Dumnezeu în această dimineaţă, acesta este un semn bun. Nu îmi pasă pentru ce ai venit. Poate ai auzit de un ciudat care predică aici. Nu contează asta. Sunteţi la fel de ciudaţi ca el. Este necesar să existe un om ciudat pentru a aduna pe alţi ciudaţi.
Acum, am o mulţime de oameni aici. Şi dacă ar fi să folosesc o metaforă, v-aş putea compara cu o mare grămadă de cenuşă amestecată cu puţină pilitură de fier. Acum, dacă predica mea este însoţită de har Divin, va fi un fel de magnet; nu va atrage nici o cenuşă – ei vor rămâne tot acolo – dar va atrage pilitura. Ar trebui să am un Zacheu acolo. Este o Mary chiar acolo sus. Un John chiar aici jos, o Sarah, sau un William, sau un Thomas acolo – aleşii lui Dumnezeu – ei sunt pilitura de fier în congregaţia de cenuşă şi Evanghelia mea, Evanghelia Binecuvântatului Dumnezeu, ca un mare magnet, îi va atrage afară din grămadă.
Ei vin, ei vin. De ce? Pentru că a fost o putere magnetică între Evanghelie şi inimile lor. Ah, sărmane păcătos, vino la Isus, crede în iubirea Lui, încrede-te în mila Sa. Dacă tu ai dorinţa de a veni, dacă îţi faci loc cu forţa prin cenuşă pentru a ajunge la Cristos, aceasta se datorează faptului că Cristos te cheamă. Oh, toţi acei care vă cunoaşteţi pe voi înşivă a fi păcătoşi – orice bărbat, femeie şi copil dintre voi – da, copilaşilor (pentru că Dumnezeu mi-a dat pe câţiva dintre voi ca răsplată), vă simţiţi voi înşivă păcătoşi? Atunci credeţi în Isus şi fiţi mântuiţi.
Mulţi dintre voi aţi venit aici din curiozitate. Oh, de v-ar întâlni Isus să vă mântuiască! Eu sufăr pentru voi, ca nu cumva să vă scufundaţi în focul iadului. Oh, ascultaţi-L pe Cristos când vă vorbeşte. Cristos spune în această dimineaţă „Coboară.” Mergeţi acasă şi smeriţi-vă înaintea lui Dumnezeu. Duceţi-vă şi mărturisiţi-vă păcatele care le-aţi făptuit împotriva Lui; mergeţi acasă şi spuneţi-I că sunteţi nenorociţi, ruinaţi fără harul Său suveran; şi apoi priviţi la El, pentru că puteţi fi siguri că El a fost primul care s-a uitat la voi. Tu spui, „Domnule, oh, sunt gata pentru a fi mântuit, dar mă tem că El nu vrea.”

„Stai! Opreşte-te! Să nu mai aud asta! Îţi dai seama că aceasta este aproape blasfemie? Nu întru totul. Dacă nu ai fi neştiutor, ţi-aş spune că aceasta este în parte blasfemie. Tu nu-l poţi privi pe Cristos, înainte ca El să te fi privit pe tine. Dacă tu doreşti să fi mântuit, El ţi-a dat voinţa. Crede în Domnul Isus Cristos şi fi botezat şi vei fi mântuit. Eu cred că Duhul Sfânt te cheamă.

Tinere care stai acolo sus, tinere care stai în fereastră, grăbeşte-te! Coboară! Bătrâne care stai pe aceste bănci, coboară! Negustorule de pe acel culoar, grăbeşte. Doamnă şi domnişoară care nu-L cunoşti pe Cristos, oh, fie ca El să te privească! Bunicuţo, ascultă chemarea harului. Şi tu, tinere, Cristos poate te priveşte – eu aşa cred – şi îţi spune, „Grăbeşte-te şi vino jos, pentru că astăzi Eu trebuie să rămân în casa ta.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Biography (Online Book)

Photo courtesy of Life Magazine

If you would like to read more about Charles Haddon Spurgeon here are some useful links. First, you can add C.H.Spurgeon’s 4 Volume Autobiography through Google reader here (for free):

and at Spurgeon.org you can read C.H.Spurgeon – A Biography by Y.W.Fullerton:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon: A Biography


C.H. Spurgeon

 

    C. H. Spurgeon was to nineteenth-century England what D. L Moody was to America. Although Spurgeon never attended theological school, by the age of twenty-one he was the most popular preacher in London.
    He preached to crowds of ten thousand at Exeter Hall and the Surrey Music Hall. Then when the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built, thousands gathered every Sunday for over forty years to hear his lively sermons.
    In addition to his regular pastoral duties, he founded Sunday schools, churches, an orphanage, and the Pastor’s College. He edited a monthly church magazine and promoted literature distribution.
    Sincerely and straightforwardly he denounced error both in the Church of England and among his own Baptists. An ardent evangelical, he deplored the trend of the day toward biblical criticism.
    This warm, fascinating story enduringly records Spurgeon’s character and focuses light on different aspects of the man. The result is a lifelike picture of Spurgeon as he lived and labored for the Lord he loved.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

By W. Y. Fullerton

PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION

HE CONTEMPORARY SKETCHES of the life of Spurgeon are an interesting conglomerate of significant facts, but they scarcely give an adequate picture of the man as he lived and laboured with such prodigious energy. It seemed desirable, therefore, that before those who knew him and shared in his ministry had passed away, someone who had the privilege of his friendship should say the things about him that still needed to be said, and place the familiar things in truer perspective than was possible at the time.
  That pleasant burden has been placed upon me, and in fulfilment of the charge I have allowed to drop out of sight a multitude of particulars which were only interesting at the moment, not chronicling events as in an epoch but presenting the personality as in an epic, although I can only summon common prose in the doing of it.
    Sir Sidney Lee, in his Leslie Stephen lecture on the „Principles of Biography,” says excellently that „the aim of biography is, in general terms, to hand down to a future age the history of individual men and women, to transmit enduringly their character and exploits. Character and exploits are for biographical purposes inseparable. Character which does not translate itself into exploit is for the biographer a mere phantasm. But character and exploit jointly contribute biographic personality. Biography aims at satisfying the commemorative instinct by exercise of its power to transmit personality.”
    This biography is only historic in its earlier chapters; beyond these it seeks to focus the light on different aspects of the man, rather than to diffuse it in a narrative of the years and their happenings. This plan has its drawbacks, but I hope that the advantages may be appreciated, and if any seek the details of the time they will find them available elsewhere.
    Very heartily I express my indebtedness to Mr. William Higgs for placing at my disposal his remarkable collection of contemporary records, and to the Rev. Charles Spurgeon and Mrs. Thomas Spurgeon for their generous co-operation.
    To introduce Spurgeon to a generation that never knew him, and to keep alive his memory in a century he never knew, is honour enough for any man: a supreme privilege to a man who knew and honoured and loved him, and owes to him more than he can ever express or repay.

    W. Y. FULLERTON


Charles Haddon Spurgeon: A Biography


CONTENTS

     

  1. The Spurgeon Country: 1465-1769
  2. The Search for God
  3. The Apprentice Preacher
  4. The Voice in the City
  5. The Prophet of the People
  6. The Romantic Years
  7. The Great Tabernacle
  8. An Intimate Interlude
  9. A Word Portrait
  10. Spurgeon’s Sermons
  11. Spurgeon’s College
  12. Spurgeon’s Orphanage
  13. A Chapter Of Incidents
  14. A Bundle of Opinions
  15. Book Talk
  16. Some Minor Discussions
  17. Two Great Controversies
  18. Two Importunate Questions
  19. The Triumphant End
  20. Spurgeon In History
  21.  


This book was transcribed for by Dan Carlson.

C.H.Spurgeon – featured in the Vanity Fair Magazine – December 10, 1870 issue

Vanity Fair on Charles Spurgeon

This article and the caricature of Spurgeon appeared as a two-page spread in the 10 December 1870 issue of Vanity Fair.
Spurgeon caricature from Vanity Fair
Men of the Day. No. 16.
THE REV. CHARLES SPURGEON. INCE the old Methodist times there has been no preacher so capable of influencing masses of people as the Rev. Charles Spurgeon. Born in 1834, at Kelvedon, in Essex, he was only a cub of sixteen when he left the paternal den, and began to stalk the religious desert. He belonged to a family of Independents, some of whom were preachers, and has always been very independent himself; but, like a shaggy young Newfoundland, he took to the water at the first sight of drowning souls, and became a Baptist from conviction. His full-toned voice soon woke the echoes of the wilderness, and as early as 1852 people gathered, sub jove crudo, or elsewhere as it happened, to hear his warning voice. In 1853 the fame of his fine natural oratory had won for him the position of Minister in New Park Street Chapel, which soon overflowed with his audiences, so that the narrow streets were blocked, and the public-houses were crowded with those who could not find room in the chapel, or who, on leaving it with an awakened sense of sin, felt it like a relief to quench the spirit in a mug of beer. To widen the fold for the sake of these stray lambs, theatres and concert-rooms were converted into meeting-houses, the pulpit was exchanged for the platform, and a row of reporters below the footlights gave the utterances of this original and powerful preacher to the press. In his religious use of the grotesque, he resembles the old Puritans; and as chemists have made rum and sugar out of rags, he extracts edification out of slang. „I do not ask how are „your poor feet,” he began on one occasion, „but how are your poor souls?” No other preacher has succeeded like him in sketching the comic side of repentance and regeneration. Like the Primitive Methodist in Mr. Browning’s „Christmas Eve,” he would prove the Trinity from the three baskets on the head of Pharaoh’s baker. Lately, however, either because he is developing new faculties, or his huge congregation at the Metropolitan Tabernacle has been worked down to the more orthodox level of steady-going Churchmen, the world has heard less of these eccentricities, and such dissertations on justification as „Hooks and Eyes for Believers’ Breeches,” and the like, do not flow so freely from his pen. But he is still, and long may he live to be, a smiter of the Philistines; honest, resolute, and sincere; lively, entertaining, and, when he pleases, jocose; a straight hitter at such „twopenny-ha’penny divines” as Dr. Cumming; and a sworn foe of such Jesuits as Mr. Whalley and the Pope. Sound in his theology, according to the orthodox standard, he has the advantage of a powerful voice, a clear intellect, and a vivacity of diction but too rarely met with among popular preachers. His utterances are a singular mixture of realism and religious fantasy; but he is also a hard worker in his vocation; and whether he wields the Sword or the Trowel he always works in earnest. The Church of England owes him a deep debt of gratitude; and, if he would stoop to the office, would profit still more largely by making him Bishop of Southwark and St. Giles’s. It would be a curious experiment, in the mingling of such ingredients as salts and senna, to try the Rev. Charles Spurgeon in St. Martin’s Church, and the Rev. W. H. Humphrey in Mr. Spurgeon’s Tabernacle, by way of exchange. Will the Archbishop of Canterbury please make a note of it? 


C.H.Spurgeon – Scrisoare la un Pastor si Notite de Predica (Letter and Picture of his library)

Westwood
Beulah Hill
Upper Norwood
1887 June 11

Dear Friend,
On Wednesday next will you meet me at Liverpool Street at 10:09 a.m. to go to Loughton? I am delighted with the prospect of seeing you, and having you all to myself all day. I am glad to see that your place is one from which Liverpool Street can be readily reached, but still it is a journey at an early hour for you.
May we enjoy our Master’s presence.

Yours very heartily,C. H. Spurgeon 

(via)

Charles H. Spurgeon’s Sermon Notes

This one page of handwritten notes is all Spurgeon took with him into the pulpit when he preached Sermon 2890. A full transcription of the notes is at the bottom of the page. The sermon itself, titled „Unbelievers Upbraided,” is also part of the on-line collection of .
You will see by comparing these notes with the actual sermon that in the course of his preaching, Spurgeon recast or paraphrased all the wording he had jotted in his notes, and he never even reached the third main point of his outline. He seemed to know by the time he had completed his introduction that he would not preach all three points, because he announced only two of them. Comparing the notes with the actual sermon will give you some sense of how skilled Spurgeon was in speaking extemporaneously. He had an amazing facility with words, a phenomenal memory, and an uncanny ability to think on his feet.
When we remember that Spurgeon usually waited until Saturday night to prepare his outline for the Sunday morning sermon, we cannot help but be amazed at the richness and depth of his preaching. The key to this was Spurgeon’s voracious reading habit. He filled his mind with the truth of God’s Word from the beginning to the end of the week, every week of his life. He therefore could preach from the overflow of his heart, and his unique mind and abilities enabled him to give a sermon extemporaneously that most of us would be hard-pressed to write in a whole weeks’ time. Preachers who don’t have a memory like Spurgeon’s or verbal abilities like his would be well advised not to try to follow Spurgeon’s method, but to prepare an outline or manuscript with more meat on the bones.

Mark 16:14

This shows us the way in which we must deal with unbelief in ourselves, and in others. It is a sin and should be treated as such. Jesus would not have upbraided had not this been the case.
In the case before us they had repeated testimonies from their own brethren, and backed by his own word—but we have even more guilt, for we know him to be risen and yet doubt.

     

  1. Let us consider its evil in itself.
    Suppose someone doubted us.
    Think of who he is and what he has done.
    Consider his near and dear relation to us.
    The many times in which we have doubted
    And upon the same matter.
    Where his promises forbade unbelief
    Despite our own declarations.
    What have we believers in preference?
  2. Let us observe the evils which it causes.
    It grieves the Spirit of God.
    It causes disbeliefs in our own hearts.
    It weakens us for action or suffering.
    It depresses others.
    It leaves an ill impression [on] sinners.
    It cannot but gender to bondage.
  3. Let us reflect upon its sinfulness where it reigns.
    It gives God the lie.
    It argues hatred in the heart.
    It is the sign of utter moral death.
    It is the essence of hell.
  4.  

Charles H. Spurgeon’s Personal Library

Spurgeon's Library
Spurgeon’s study at Westwood, his family home, contained more than 12,000 volumes. The majority of these were acquired by a donor who gave them to Curry Library at William Jewell College (near Kansas City). Books, furniture, and all were moved there, where they resided in a room that was a replica of Spurgeon’spersonal study until 2006.

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