THE SECURITY OF BELIEVERS—OR, SHEEP WHO SHALL NEVER PERISH NO. 2120
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, DECEMBER 29, 1889,
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 5, 1889.
“My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me is greater than all. And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”
OUR Savior did not hesitate to preach the deeper doctrines of the Gospel to the most miscellaneous assembly. When He began to preach where He was brought up, they all gathered with admiration about Him, until He preached the doctrine of election. And then, straightway, they were so angry that they would have destroyed Him. They could not bear to hear of the widows of Israel passed by and the woman of Sarepta chosen—nor of a heathen leper healed, while the many lepers of their own race were left to die.
Election seems to heat the blood and fire the wrath of many. Not that they care to be chosen of God themselves. But, like the dog in the manger, they would keep other people out of the privilege. Not even to prevent these displays of bad temper did our Lord keep back the discriminating Truths of the Word. Here, when addressing the Jews, he did not hesitate to speak, even to a rude rabble, concerning that glorious doctrine.
He says, “You believe not, because you are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.” He does not lower the standard of the doctrine. But He holds His ground and carries the war into the enemy’s camp. The notion that certain truths are not fit to be preached to a general assembly but are to be kept for the special gathering of the saints, is, I believe, horribly mischievous. Christ has not commanded us to keep a part of our teaching reserved from the common folk and set aside for the priests alone.
He is for openly proclaiming all the Truths of God. “What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach you upon the housetops.” There is no Truth of God that we need be ashamed of and there is no Truth of God that will do any harm. We grant you that every truth can be twisted—but even this would be a less evil than the concealment of it. Whatever the doctrine may be, ungodly men can pervert it according to their own lusts— and if we have to stop preaching a doctrine because of the possibility of perverting it, we shall never preach anything at all, for every truth may be perverted and made to be the mother of infinite mischief.
Our Savior did not teach His disciples to keep certain things for the instructed few who were able to receive them. But He bade us publish all the great Truths of God, since they are necessary for conviction, for conversion, for edification, for sanctification, and for the perfecting of the people of God. Even to His brutish opponents He exhibited but little reserve. He flashed in the faces of His adversaries this grand but humbling Truth, “You believe not, because you are not of My sheep.” Your unbelief is just an evidence that you were not chosen, that you have not been called by the Spirit of God and that you are still in your sins.
The Jews had said to him, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” They professed that they wanted to know more certainly concerning Him. This was a vain pretense, for He had told them all they needed to know and they had not believed Him. Therefore He answered them to a large degree by making them know more about themselves. Sometimes the point in which a man is deficient is not as to the Gospel, but as to his own need of it. He may know all of Christ that is needful for his salvation but he may not know enough about himself and his own lost condition.
And therefore he is not in the way in which Christ becomes precious to him, because he is ignorant of his deep and terrible need. So the Savior began to talk to them, not so much about Himself as about His people and what they were to be. “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.”
I pray God, the Holy Spirit, to bless the Word to many, that they may learn more about the work of Christ in their hearts and more about their need of it—and thus may be led to seek Jesus and find Him tonight as their Savior and their Shepherd.
There are two things in my text which will suffice for our meditation. First, here is a description given of the Lord’s people. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me.” And then, secondly, there is a privilege secured to them, namely, their everlasting, unquestionable safety. “I give unto them eternal life. And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all. And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are One.”
I. First, and all that I can say will be but little, considering the largeness of the subject, let us notice THE DESCRIPTION HERE GIVEN OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
They are first described by a specialty of possession—“My sheep.” All men are not sheep, for some are foxes, Continue reading →