“What if I come to Christ, and He refuses me?” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Suppose you stand in the Slough of Despond forever; what will be the good of that? Surely it would be better to die struggling along the King’s highway towards the Celestial City, than sinking deeper and deeper in the mire and filth of dark distrustful thoughts! You have nothing to lose, for you have lost everything already; therefore make a dash for it, and dare to believe in the mercy of God to you, even to you.

But one moans, ‘What if I come to Christ, and He refuses me?’ My answer is, ‘Try Him.’ Cast yourself on the Lord Jesus, and see if He refuses you. You will be the first against whom He has shut the door of hope. Friend, don’t cross that bridge till you come to it! When Jesus casts you out, it will be time enough to despair; but that time will never come. ‘This man receiveth sinners’: He has not so much as begun to cast them out.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Around the Wicket Gate

Advertisements

“Out with your hand, man, and take Him at once!” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I have heard of a Sunday-school teacher who performed an experiment which I do not think I shall ever try with children, for it might turn out to be a very expensive one. Indeed, I feel sure that the result in my case would be very different from what I now describe. This teacher had been trying to illustrate what faith was, and, as he could not get it into the minds of his boys, he took his watch, and he said, ‘Now, I will give you this watch, John. Will you have it?’ John fell thinking what the teacher could mean, and did not seize the treasure, but made no answer. The teacher said to the next boy, ‘Henry, here is the watch. Will you have it?’ The boy, with a very proper modesty, replied, ‘No, thank you, sir’. The teacher tried several of the boys with the same result; till at last a youngster, who was not so wise or so thoughtful as the others, but rather more believing, said in the most natural way, ‘Thank you, sir,’ and put the watch into his pocket ‘Then the other boys woke up to a startling fact: their companion had received a watch which they had refused. One of the boys quickly asked of the teacher, ‘Is he to keep it?’. ‘Of course he is,’ said the teacher, ‘I offered it to him, and he accepted it. I would not give a thing and take a thing: that would be very foolish. I put the watch before you, and said that I gave it to you, but none of you would have it.’ ‘Oh!’ said the boy, ‘if I had known you meant it, I would have had it.’ Of course he would. He thought it was a piece of acting, and nothing more. All the other boys were in a dreadful state of mind to think that they had lost the watch. Each one cried, ‘Teacher, I did not know you meant it, but I thought—’. No one took the gift; but every one thought. Each one had his theory, except the simple-minded boy who believed what he was told, and got the watch. Now I wish that I could always be such a simple child as literally to believe what the Lord says, and take what He puts before me, resting quite content that He is not playing with me, and that I cannot be wrong in accepting what He sets before me in the gospel. Happy should we be if we would trust, and raise no questions of any sort. But, alas! we will get thinking and doubting. When the Lord uplifts His dear Son before a sinner, that sinner should take Him without hesitation. If you take Him, you have Him; and none can take Him from you. Out with your hand, man, and take Him at once!”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Around the Wicket Gate  

“It is entering into Jesus, hiding in His wounds.” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“The dove is hunted by the hawk, and finds no security from its restless enemy. It has learned that there is shelter for it in the cleft of the rock, and it hastens there with gladsome wing. Once wholly sheltered within its refuge, it fears no bird of prey. But if it did not hide itself in the rock, it would be seized upon by its adversary. The rock would be of no use to the dove, if the dove did not enter its cleft. The whole body must be hidden in the rock. What if ten thousand other birds found a fortress there, yet that fact would not save the one dove which is now pursued by the hawk! It must put its whole self into the shelter, and bury itself within its refuge, or its life will be forfeited to the destroyer.

What a picture of faith is this! It is entering into Jesus, hiding in His wounds. “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.” The dove is out of sight: the rock alone is seen. So does the guilty soul dart into the riven side of Jesus by faith, and is buried in Him out of sight of avenging justice. But there must be this personal application to Jesus for shelter; and this it is that so many put off from day to day, till it is to be feared that they will “die in their sins”. What an awful word is that! It is what our Lord said to the unbelieving Jews; and He says the same to us at this hour: “If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” It makes one’s heart quiver to think that even one who shall read  these lines may yet be of the miserable company who will thus perish. The Lord prevent it of His great grace!”  

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Around the Wicket Gate

“Every man is born outside the garden; every man is born an active rebel…” by Graeme Goldsworthy

“The judgement involves firstly the disruption of the relationship between man and God. This is most clearly seen in the ejection of man from the Garden. Secondly there is the disruption of the relationship between man and woman, as the perfect harmony of male and female gives way to rivalry and accusation (Genesis 3: 12, 16). Thirdly there is a disruption of the relationship of man to his environment as the physical creation is no longer seen to be under the dominion of man (Genesis 3: 17-19). The word ‘disruption’ is not intended to detract from the seriousness of the sentence of death. Man outside the Kingdom is not merely under the sentence of death, but he is dead. The real meaning of death lies in the separation of man from the willing relationship of the Kingdom. Autonomous man is God-denying and therefore life-denying as well. Fallen man is dead spiritually. Outside of Eden there is no return. Man has made his choice to be a rebel and he is bound by his decision. Nor is there any free choice for the posterity of Adam. Adam’s fall from the Garden Kingdom is a fall of the whole human race. Every man is born outside the garden; every man is born an active rebel asserting autonomy and independence of the God of life. Human history and Scripture will show that man’s death state means that he infallibly chooses to hate God, for that is his ‘outside Eden’ nature. It is no longer a question of freedom to choose right or wrong, for man is free now only to be what he is- a sinner who hates God (cf. Romans 3: 9-18, 8: 6-8). Man has become a slave to sin- a slavery that is death.”

-Graeme Goldsworthy Gospel and Kingdom

The Cure for Disillusionment in Evangelism by J.I. Packer

“We had come to take it for granted that good organization and efficient technique, backed by a routine of prayers, was itself sufficient to guarantee results. We felt that there was an almost magical potency in the special meeting, the special choir and soloist, and the special preacher. We felt convinced that the thing that would always bring life into a dead church, or a dead town, was an intensive evangelistic mission. With the top of our minds, many of us still think that, or profess to think it. We tell each other that it is so, and make our plans on this basis. But with the bottom of our minds, in our heart of hearts, we have grown discouraged, and disillusioned, and apprehensive. Once we thought that well-planned evangelism was sure to succeed, but now we find ourselves afraid each time that it is going to fail, as it has failed so often before. Yet we are afraid to admit our fears to ourselves, for we do not know what to make of a situation in which our planned evangelism fails. So we repress our fears, and our disillusionment becomes a paralysing neurosis, and our evangelistic practice becomes a jaded and half-hearted routine. Basically, the trouble is our unconfessed doubts as to the worth whileness of what we are doing.

Why have we these doubts? Because we have been disillusioned. How have we been disillusioned? By the repeated failure of the evangelistic techniques in which we once reposed such confidence. What is the cure of our disillusionment? First, we must admit that we were silly ever to think that any evangelistic technique, however skillful, could of itself guarantee conversions; second, we must recognize that, because man’s heart is impervious to the word of God, it is no cause for surprise if at any time our evangelism fails to result in conversions; third, we must remember that the terms of our calling are that we should be faithful, not that we should be successful; fourth, we must learn to rest all our hopes of fruit in evangelism upon the omnipotent grace of God. For God does what man cannot do. God works by His Spirit through His Word in the hearts of sinful men to bring them to repentance and faith. Faith is a gift of God.”

-J.I. Packer Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

“The Sovereignty of God in Grace Gives Us Our Only Hope of Success in Evangelism” by J.I. Packer

“Some fear that belief in the sovereign grace of God leads to the conclusion that evangelism is pointless, since God will save His elect anyway, whether they hear the gospel or not. This, as we have seen, is a false conclusion based on a false assumption. But now we must go further, and point out that the truth is just the opposite. So far from making evangelism pointless, the sovereignty of God in grace is the one thing that prevents evangelism from being pointless. For it creates the possibility – indeed, the certainty – that evangelism will be fruitful. Apart from it, there is not even a possibility of evangelism being fruitful. Were it not for the sovereign grace of God, evangelism would be the most futile and useless enterprise that the world has ever seen, and there would be no more complete waste of time under the sun than to preach the Christian gospel.”

-J.I. Packer Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

“We, Who Would Speak for Christ” by J.I. Packer

“What is needed is this: that we, who would speak for Christ, should pray constantly that God will put and keep in our hearts a sense of His greatness and glory, and of the joy of fellowship with Him, and of the dreadfulness of spending time and eternity without Him; and then that God will enable us to speak honestly, straightforwardly, and just as we feel about these matters. Then we shall be really natural in presenting the gospel – and really serious too.”

-J.I. Packer Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God

Evangelism as a Natural Thing by J.I. Packer

“It is a tragic and ugly thing when Christians lack desire, and are actually reluctant, to share the precious knowledge that they have with others whose need of it is just as great as their own. It was natural for Andrew, when he found the Messiah, to go off and tell his brother Simon, and for Phillip to hurry to break the good news to his friend Nathanael. They did not need to be told to do this; they did it naturally and spontaneously, just as one would naturally and spontaneously share with one’s family and friends any other piece of news that vitally affected them. There is something very wrong with us if we do not ourselves find it natural to act in this way : let us be quite clear about that.”

-J.I. Packer Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God