The One Great Obstacle to the Gospel

…and they would not come. – Matthew 22:3

The king had thought in his mind, “I will make a great feast, I will invite a large number. They shall enjoy all my kingdom can afford, and I shall thus show how much I love my son, and moreover all the guests will have sweet memories in connection with his marriage.” When his messengers went out to intimate to those who had received previously an express invitation that the time was come, it is written, “They would not come;” not they “could not,” but they “would not” come. Some for one reason, some for another, but without exception they would not come. Here was a very serious hindrance to the grand business. Cannot the king drag his guests to the table? Yes, but then it would not accomplish his purpose. He wants not slaves to grace his throne. Persons compelled to sit at a marriage-feast would not adorn it. What credit could it be to a king to force his subjects to feast at his table? It was essential to the dignity of the festival that the guests should come with cheerfulness, but they would not come. Why? Why would they not come? The answer shall be such as to answer another question-Why do you not come and believe in Jesus? …Ah, ye who believe not in Jesus, at the bottom of it your unbelief is enmity to your Maker, sedition against the great Ruler of the universe, who deserves your homage. “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib,” but ye know not, neither do ye consider; ye are rebels against the Majesty of heaven. The Lord have mercy upon your folly! Here is one great obstacle to the gospel, the stolid indifference of the human mind concerning this grandest of all conceptions-God’s glorifying His dear Son by having mercy upon sinners… “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” The Lord send His Spirit to make the call effectual, for His dear Son’s sake. Amen. ~ 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

The Hereafter of the Lost

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8

We believe that those who die in their sins when they pass from this life into the next, shall find that second death to be no extinction of existence, but an eternity of sin and of misery, Ah! how can any of us bear to think of this if we feel that we are morally responsible for any one soul that is damned? Yet are we so, I speak but the bare truth, until we have delivered ourselves from that responsibility by faithful earnestness. Is there a Cain here who says, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” I shall not appeal to your most sympathetic soul but leave you to your Judge. But to the Christian I say, “No man liveth to himself.” When you think of a spirit in despair, cast out for ever from the presence of his God and from the glory of his power, may you, friends, be able to say, “Great God, though I understand not Thy ways, for Thy judgments are a great deep; yet I warned the sinner, I admonished him to lay hold on Christ, and if he perished it was not for want of preaching to or for praying over; my warnings and tears were never spared. I did what was in me to prevent his ruin.” Put in that light, we may look at least with some degree of serenity upon the doctrine of divine sovereignty. I must confess that the sovereignty of God is a great mountain whose top we cannot scale. I often marvel at the coldness with which some men talk of the sovereignty of God, as though it were of small concern whether men were lost or saved. They seem to take these things as easily as if they were only talking of blocks of wood, or fields filled with tares. I do not think that we can equitably plead the divine sovereignty as a counterpart to our futile efforts, till we can say, “I have done all that was possible to bring that soul to God, I have prayed over him and wept over him, and now if he perish I must believe that this man wilfully rejected Christ, that his iniquities are upon his own head, and that in him, as a vessel of wrath, God will get glory as well as in vessels of mercy. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

No Lack for the Seekers of the Lord

“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”- Psalm 34:10 (read also Psalm 23:1)

The young lions are very strong; they are as yet in the freshness of their youth, and yet their strength does not always suffice to keep them supplied. The young lions are very crafty; they understand how to waylay their game and leap upon them with a sudden spring at unawares, and yet, with all their craftiness, they howl for hunger in the wood. The young lions are very bold and furious, very unscrupulous; they are not stayed from any deed of depredation, and yet for all that, free-booters as they are, they sometimes lack, and suffer hunger. These are just the type of many men in the world; they are strong men, they are cunning men, they are thoroughly up to the times-smart, sharp men. If anybody could be well supplied, one would think they should be. But how many of them go to bankruptcy and ruin, and, with all their cunning, they are too cunning, and, with all their unscrupulousness, they manage at last full often, to come to an ill end. They do lack and suffer hunger. But here are the people of God-they are regarded as simpletons, such simpletons as to seek the Lord instead of adopting the maxims of universal worldly wisdom namely, “Seek yourself”; they have given up what is called the first law of human nature, namely, self-seeking, self-pleasing, self-serving, and have come to seek the Lord, to seek to magnify Him. And what comes of their simplicity? “They shall not want any good thing.” Notwithstanding their want of power, their want of cunning, and the check which conscience often puts upon them so that they cannot do what others can to enrich themselves, yet for all that, they have a fortune ensured to them: they “shall not want any good thing.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A Tried and Blessed People

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: He is their strength in the time of trouble. – Psalm 37:39

I think I hear some saying, “Ah, I see these believers are a very tried people, who would wish to be one of them?” Hearken, friend, and I will tell thee something. Joseph was not the only person in prison, and the righteous are not the only people who are afflicted. The chief butler was in prison, and the chief baker, too…There is this difference between them and Joseph, that the Lord is not with them, but He is with Joseph, and that makes a vast difference. If God is in the prison with Joseph, Joseph is happy, but it is not so with you tried worldlings. I wonder, O butler and baker, whether you have had any dream; I wonder what has passed through your minds this morning. Wherefore look you so sadly to-day? I am no interpreter of dreams, but perhaps I can unriddle yours. Was a vine before you in your dream? That true and living vine? Did it bud and blossom, and bring forth fruit before your eyes, and did you take of its clusters, and present its pure blood to the King? If so, you will be set free, your dream means salvation: for there is a vine of the Lord’s own planting whose wine maketh glad the heart of man, and he who takes of its living fruit is accepted. Dost thou know how to take those clusters and to squeeze them out? If so, the King will rejoice in thee, for nothing is so dear to Him as the fruit of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. But hast thou dreamed of cakes which thou hast made by thine own skill? Not fruits from a vine, living and full, but mere cakes, sweetened with thine own self-righteousness, baked in the oven of thine own zeal and industry, and dost thou hope to set these before the King? The birds of the air already peck at them, thou beginnest now to feel that thy works are not altogether what thou thoughtest them to be. Oh, if this be thy dream I tremble for thee, for thou wilt come to an ill end. 

Salvation is of the Lord; whether for butler, or baker, or Joseph, redemption is by Jesus only. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength, and they that trust in Him shall never be ashamed or confounded, world without end. Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Sinner, Mercy Waits for Thee

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power… – Revelation 20:6

Pray, you dear people of God that are awake, that the sinner may be awakened, for there is this awful danger that he may sleep himself into hell. Spiritual sleep deepens and the slumberer becomes more heavy still, the stupor more dense, till the conscience grows seared, and the soul is unimpressionable; the flesh is turned into stone, the heart is harder than steel. It may be that some of those who hear these words of warning may never wake to think about their souls till in hell they lift up their eyes. What an awful lifting up of the eyes will that be! O you who are now peaceful and secure, what a change awaits you! Hurled from vainglorious security to blank despair in a moment! You took it all so easily: you said, “Let me alone; do not worry me; there’s time enough. The preacher ought not to frighten us with these bugbears; we all have a great deal else to do besides listening to horrible stories of hell and damnation;” and so you wrapped it up, and so you smoothed it over, but the end thereof who shall describe? Some persons on their dying beds just wake up in time to see their danger, but not to escape from it: they are carried right over the cataract of judgement and wrath. They are gone, for ever gone, where mercy is succeeded by justice, and hope forbidden to enter. Let much prayer go up from believing hearts that God would awaken sinners now… Ask for the arm of God to be revealed while the heavenly message is delivered; for His is our message: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Come, thou guilty one, awake! for mercy waits for thee. Come and receive the mercy which Jesus Christ is ready to bestow upon thee! God give thee waking grace and saving grace. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Necessary Result of Sin

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 22:13

Ah, sirs, what will ye do if ye have no true grace in your hearts when you are taken away from the Lord’s table, taken away from the baptism in which you gloried, taken away from the doctrines of the gospel which you understood so well by head, but which you did not know in your heart…

The misery of hell is not a misery which God arbitrarily creates, it is the necessary result of sin, it is sin itself come to ripeness. Here you see the picture of the man who was insolent enough to come into the church without being a Christian, and now for ever he gnashes with his teeth against that glorious Majesty of heaven which it will never be in his power to injure, but which it will always be in his heart to hate; and this will be his hell-that he hates God; this his darkness-that he cannot see beauty in God; this the outerness of the darkness-that he cannot enter into God’s will. “Depart ye cursed,” is only love repelling that which is not lovely; it is only justice given to a man what his fallen nature craved after. “Get away from Me, ye did not honour Me; when ye did come to Me it was with your lips only. Go where your hearts were; depart from Me, you cursed.”

Oh, may God grant that not one here may come under the lash of this terrible parable, but may we be found of the Lord in peace in the day of His appearing. ~ C.H. Spurgeon