Another Gospel Invitation Sent

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden… all things are ready: come unto the marriage. Matthew 22:4

Observe that they had been bidden, and then called; after the Oriental custom, the call intimated that the festival was now approaching, so that they were not taken unawares, but knew what they did. The second invitation they rejected in cold blood, deliberately, and with intent. What did the monarch do? …He said in himself, “Peradventure they mistook my servants, peradventure they did not understand that the hour was come. Perhaps the message that was delivered to them was too brief, and they missed its meaning. Or, if perchance, they have fallen into some temporary enmity against me, on reconsideration, they will wish that they had not been so rude, and ungenerous to me. What have I done that they should refuse my dinner? What has my son done that they should not be willing to honor him by feasting at my table. Men love feasting, my son deserves their honor-why should they not come? I will pass over the past and begin again.” My hearers, there are many of you who have rejected Christ after many invitations, and my Lord forgets your former unkindnesses, and sends me again with the same message, again to bid you “come to the wedding.” It is no small patience which overlooks the past and perseveres in kindness, honestly desiring your good.

Brethren and sisters since Christ finds many loath to honor Him, my exhortation is to you who love Him, honor Him the more since the world will not…Intercede for those who will not come, that the Lord will enlighten their understandings, and change their wills, that they may be yet constrained to believe in Jesus. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Our Sacred Praise When a Sinner is Saved

And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. – Luke 5:26

The disciples who were around the Savior, glorified God. They rejoiced, and said one to another, “We have seen strange things to-day.” The whole Christian church is full of sacred praise when a sinner is saved; even heaven itself is glad.

But there was glory brought to God, even by the common people who stood around. They had not yet entered into that sympathy with Christ which the disciples felt, but they were struck by the sight of this great wonder, and they, too, could not help saying that God had wrought great marvels. I pray that onlookers, strangers from the commonwealth of Israel, when they see the desponding comforted, and lost ones brought in, may be compelled to bear their witness to the power of divine grace, and be led themselves to be partakers in it. There is “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will towards men,” when a paralysed soul is filled with gracious strength.

If you are indeed what you profess to be, to glorify God must be the fondest wish and the loftiest ambition of your souls. Unless ye be traitors to my Lord as well as inhumane to your fellowmen, you will seek out some fellow Christians, and say, “Come, let us pray together, for such an one,” and if you know a desperate case you will make up a sacred quaternion, to resolve upon his salvation. May the power of the Highest abide upon you, and who knoweth what glory the Lord may gain through you? ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Christ’s Power to Speak the Word of Absolution

And when He saw their faith, He said unto Him, Man, thy sins be forgiven thee. Luke 5:20

It was the business of the four bearers to bring the man to Christ; but there their power ended. It is our part to bring the guilty sinner to the Savior: there our power ends. Thank God, when we end, Christ begins, and works right gloriously. Observe that He began by saying: “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” He laid the axe at the root; He did not desire that the man’s sins might be forgiven, or express a good wish in that direction, but He pronounced an absolution by virtue of that authority with which He was clothed as the Savior. The poor man’s sins there and then ceased to be, and he was justified in the sight of God. Believest thou this, my hearer, that Christ did thus for the paralytic man? Then I charge you believe something more, that if on earth Christ had power to forgive sins before He had offered an atonement, much more hath He power to do this, now that He hath poured out His blood, and hath said, “It is finished,” and hath gone into His glory, and is at the right hand of the Father. He is exalted on high, to give repentance and remission of sin. Should He send His Spirit into thy soul to reveal Himself in thee, thou wouldst in an instant be entirely absolved. Does blasphemy blacken thee? Does a long life of infidelity pollute thee? Hast thou been licentious? Hast thou been abominably wicked? A word can absolve thee-a word from those dear lips which said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I charge thee ask for that absolving word. No earthly priest can give it thee; but the great High Priest, the Lord Jesus, can utter it at once. Ye twos and fours who are seeking the salvation of men, here is encouragement for you. Pray for them now, while the gospel is being preached in their hearing; pray for them day and night, and bring the glad tidings constantly before them, for Jesus is still able “to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by Him.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Help These Spiritual Paralytics

And when He saw their faith, He said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. – Luke 5:20

Jesus intended to heal the paralysed man, but He did so by first of all saying, “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” There are some in this house of prayer this morning who are spiritually paralysed; they have eyes and they see the gospel; they have ears and they have heard it, and heard it attentively too; but they are so paralysed that they will honestly tell you that they cannot lay hold upon the promise of God; they cannot believe in Jesus to the saving of their souls. If you urge them to pray, they say: “We try to pray, but it is not acceptable prayer.” If you bid them have confidence, they will tell you, though not in so many words perhaps, that they are given up to despair. The bottom of this paralysis is sin upon the conscience, working death in them. They are sensible of their guilt, but powerless to believe that the crimson fountain can remove it: they are alive only to sorrow, despondency, and agony. Sin paralyses them with despair. I grant you that into this despair there enters largely the element of unbelief, which is sinful; but I hope there is also in it a measure of sincere repentance, which bears in it the hope of something better. Our poor, awakened paralytics sometimes hope that they may be forgiven, but they cannot believe it; they cannot rejoice; they cannot cast themselves on Jesus; they are utterly without strength…Lend us your help, ye earnest brethren; form your parties of four; grasp the couches of these who wish to be saved, but who feel they cannot believe. The Lord, the Holy Spirit, make you the means of leading them into forgiveness and eternal salvation. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Our Hearts Full of Zeal for God and Love for Sinners

And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. Luke 5:19

In the case before us there was no need to plead “Jesus, thou son of David, look up, for a man is coming down who needs thee.” There was no need to urge that the patient had been so many years sick. We do not know that the man himself uttered a word. Helpless and paralysed, he had not the vigor to become a suppliant. They placed his almost lifeless form before the Savior’s eye, and that was appeal enough; his sad condition was more eloquent than words. O hearts that love sinners, lay their lost estate before Jesus; bring their cases as they are before the Savior; if your tongues stammer, your hearts will prevail; if you cannot speak even to Christ Himself, as you would desire, because you have not the gift of prayer, yet if your strong desires spring from the spirit of prayer you cannot fail. God help us to make use of such means as are within our power, and not to sit down idly to regret the powers we do not possess. Perhaps it would be dangerous for us to possess the abilities we covet; it is always safe to consecrate those we have.

It was a very singular action which the bearers performed. Who would have thought of breaking up a roof? Nobody but those who loved much, and much desired to benefit the sick. O that God would make us attempt singular things to save souls. May a holy ingenuity be excited in the church; a sacred inventiveness set at work for winning men’s hearts. Let us but feel our hearts full of zeal for God, and love for souls, and we shall soon be led to adopt means which others may criticise, but which Jesus Christ will accept. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A Holy Company for the One Lost Soul

And behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before Him. – Luke 5:18

The great mass of persons who are brought into the kingdom of Christ are converted through the general prayers of the church by the means of her ministry. Probably three out of four of the members of any church will owe their conversion to the church’s regular teaching in some form or other; her school, her pulpit, her press has been the nets in which they were taken. Private personal prayer has, of course, in many instances been mingled with all this; but still the most of cases could not be so distinctly traced out as to be attributable mainly to individual prayers or exertions…There are some, again, who are led to Jesus by the individual efforts of one person; just as Andrew found his own brother Simon, so one believer by his private communication of the truth with another person becomes instrumental, by the power of God’s Spirit, in his conversion. One convert will bring another, and that other a third. But this narrative seems to show that there are cases which will neither be brought by the general preaching of the word, nor yet by the instrumentality of one; they require that there should be two, or three, or four in holy combination, who, with one consent, feeling one common agony of soul, shall resolve to band themselves together as a company for this one object, and never to cease from their holy confederation until this object is gained and their friend is saved. This man could not be brought to Christ by one, he must have four to lend their strength for his carrying, or he cannot reach the place of healing…Let brotherly quaternions look after these by God’s help.  ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Sinner, Pray to Escape the Wrath to Come!

Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” – Matthew 25:41

In reference to the world to come, the terrible doom of the ungodly is a most solemn warning to us. My heart fails me to speak concerning the destiny of the ungodly in another world. Dying without hope, without a Savior, they go before the throne uncleansed, unforgiven, to hear that awful sentence, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Pursue them for a moment in your thoughts, down to the deeps of wrath, whither God’s judgment shall pursue them. My Lord, I pray Thee of Thy grace, save me from the sin which brings such a result at the end of it. If the wages of sin be such a death as this, Lord save me from so accursed a service. Will not the sight of their destruction drive us to watchfulness, and cause us to make our calling and election sure? Will it not make us anxious lest we also come into this place of torment? O the wrath to come!

Dear friends, if you are not in Christ, much of what I have said bears upon you. Bethink yourself and pray to escape from the wrath to come. I would not have you be made a mere washpot to be used and broken as a potter’s vessel. Neither should you wish to be a vessel without honor, a thing of no esteem; but may you have faith in Jesus; life in Him, and then you shall be a royal diadem, a crown of glory in the hand of our God. May you have a heritage among those who fear the Lord and are reconciled to Him by faith in the total sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ C.H. Spurgeon