Spurgeon Thursday

 WHY SOME SEEKERS ARE NOT SAVED

NO. 2411

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.

Young SpurgeonI. 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

Jesus on the Wrong Side of History – A Blog Repost

A fictional conversation from the first century A.D.

Stefanus: I wish you would change your mind, Gratian. You are going to be made fun of and marginalized.

Gratian: Any suffering or ostracism I may face will not compare with the glory that awaits me.

Stefanus: Glory? I fear you are losing your mental grasp of things. Have you not seen the splendor and glory of the Empire? Don’t you see how Roman principles are extending throughout all the earth?

Gratian: The Empire looks powerful, yes. But God’s kingdom will outlast it.

Stefanus: Surely, you jest!

Gratian: Jesus said so.

Stefanus: You continue to speak about this backwoods Jew who taught all sorts of strange things. I fear for what may happen to you when you refuse to pinch incense at the altar and reveal your dedication to the Empire’s gods.

Gratian: I will refuse.

Stefanus: But why? You know that the Empire is a tolerant, broad-minded place for people of good will who believe in all sorts of gods…

Gratian: As long as worshipping Caesar trumps them all…

Stefanus: Of course, but you still have the freedom to worship privately as you please –

Gratian: – as long as publicly, I bow the knee to Caesar.

Stefanus: What is the harm in recognizing the absolute authority of Caesar?

Gratian: I would be telling a lie. The emperor is under King Jesus.

Stefanus: Keep your voice down. Do you realize what you are saying?

Gratian: I will answer to King Jesus. So will you. And so will Caesar.

Stefanus: You dare challenge the ultimate authority of the Empire? Can’t you see the progress of history? Are you so blind… to ignore that history is moving in Caesar’s direction? Recent surveys show that people are not putting up with you and your silly ideas… your simpleminded way of life.

Gratian: I don’t follow Jesus because He is popular, but because He saved me.

Stefanus: Think logically for a moment about this Jesus of yours and what he taught.

  • He said he was the Savior, but anyone can see that Caesar is the one in whom we have security.
  • He said we should never divorce, but anyone can see it is in the best interest of men to be able to put away their wives.
  • He said we should care for the least of these, but anyone can see that poor fathers and mothers should be free to abandon their newborns to the trash heap.
  • He said we should love our enemies, but anyone can see that we should favor our friends and punish our opponents.
  • He said we should never commit adultery or even lust after another, but anyone can see that sexual openness is more natural for human happiness.
  • He said there are things that don’t belong to Caesar, but anyone can see that Caesar is in charge of everything.

Gratian: What are you saying then?

Stefanus: That Jesus is obviously on the wrong side of history. The world is moving forward and you are stuck in the past following the bizarre teachings of a Jewish leader. Recant your strange beliefs! Or at least stay quiet about them.

Gratian: I cannot, and I will not. I do not see history the same way you do.

Stefanus: Why not?

Gratian: No matter how confident you are that history is moving in an upward progression and that the Roman Empire will expand across the earth and lead all to eternal peace and harmony, you are wrong. The kingdom I belong to will outlast the Empire, despite the appearances.

Stefanus: How do you know this?

Gratian: Because my King came back from the dead. And the One who defeats death is the One who defines history.

The original post can be found here.