WHY SOME SEEKERS ARE NOT SAVED
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S DAY, MAY 5, 1895.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON,
ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, MAY 8, 1887.
“Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
Isaiah. 59:1, 2.
THERE are some people who are not saved though we would have expected that they would have been converted long ago. Our text explains the reason, so, without any preface, let us come to it at once.
I. First, let us consider THE FACT CONFESSED! The people of whom I am especially thinking, just now, have been hearers of the Gospel, and diligent hearers, too. Their seat is seldom vacant and they are not among those who go to sleep during the sermon. They do not enjoy the Sunday after the fashion of the countryman, who said that he liked that day best because he could go to church, put up his feet, fall asleep and think of nothing at all. The people to whom I am referring really listen to what the preacher has to say. They are attentive and they seek to retain in their memories the Truths of God he preaches. They even talk when they are at home of the striking passages, if such there are, in what they have heard. You would suppose that such persons would get a blessing from the Gospel, yet they do not.
They have now been listening for years to an earnest minister—they would not like to hear one who was not earnest. They have grown to be somewhat discriminating in their taste—they know what is the Gospel and they would not care to be present at a service in which the Gospel was not clearly set forth. Yet, for all this, they are not saved! They stand out in the shower, yet they are not wet! They are like Gideon’s fleece, perfectly dry when all the ground was saturated with the dew. This is a strange circumstance, but, alas, by no means an uncommon one! We would not have thought that there could be such people, but we are compelled to believe that there are, for we frequently stumble across them—people who are often sitting under the sound of the Gospel, yet who never hear it with the ears of their heart! The light shines upon their eyes, yet they do not see it, for thick scales seem to be there to hide from them the beams of the sun.
You will be, perhaps, still more surprised when I add that there are some people who go beyond hearing and yet are not saved. They have become men of prayer, after a fashion—are they not described in the chapter I read to you? [Exposition of Isaiah 58 at end of sermon—ED.]“Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness and forsook not the ordinances of their God: they ask of Me the ordinances of justice, they take delight in approaching God.” These people are in such a state of mind that if they went to their business without the repetition of a form of prayer, they would be uneasy through the whole day! What is more, it is not merely a form of prayer—in some cases there is a measure of life, desire and earnestness in their devotions. Only this morning, one of them sighed when the sermon was over and he said, “Oh, that I could be a friend of God!”
And a few Sunday nights ago, the one of whom I am speaking, when he reached his home, fell on his knees in his own private room and asked God to bless the Word to his soul. This same thing happened to him ten or even 20 years ago— he has often been stirred up and driven to his knees in prayer—yet he has gone no further, but still remains, to his own consciousness, an undecided, hesitating person, on the borders of the Kingdom of God, yet not in the Kingdom—almost persuaded, yet not fully persuaded to be a Christian! You know, dear Hearers, and I hardly need tell you, that a man who is almost honest is a rogue, and the man who is almost a Christian is not a Christian! There was a man who was almost saved in a fire, but he was Continue reading