Faith in Christ

1 Corinthians

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,

2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.

16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

The great white throne

The great white throne


And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:11

Suggested Further Reading: Romans 2:1-11

The thoughts of many hearts were revealed by Christ on earth, and that same Christ shall make an open exhibition of men at the last great day. He shall judge them, he shall discern their spirits, he shall find out the joints and the marrow of their being; the thoughts and intents of the heart he shall lay bare. Even you, believer, will pass the test before him; let no man deceive you with the delusion that you will not be judged: the sheep appeared before the great dividing Shepherd as well as the goats; those who used their talents were called to account as well as he who buried his pound, and the disciples themselves were warned that their idle words would bring them into judgment. Nor need you fear a public trial. Innocence courts the light. You are not saved by being allowed to be smuggled into heaven untested and unproved, but you will in the righteousness of Jesus pass the solemn test with joy. It may not be at the same moment as the wicked that the righteous shall be judged (I shall not contend for particulars), but I am clear that they will be judged, and that the blood and righteousness of Jesus are provided for this very cause, that they may find mercy of the Lord in that day. O sinner, it is far otherwise with you, for your ruin is sure when the testing time comes. There will be no witnesses needed to convict you, for the Judge knows all. The Christ whom you despised will judge you; the Saviour whose mercy you trampled on, in the fountain of whose blood you would not wash, the despised and rejected of men it is he who shall judge righteous judgment to you.

For meditation: All will stand before the judgment seat of God and of Christ (Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10). What will be the verdict in your case? Will you be cleared for heaven as one who has been justified and acquitted from condemnation by faith in Christ (Romans 5:1; 8:1) or only fit, as an unbelieving sinner, for eternal judgment in hell (Romans 2:5,8-9)?

Sermon no. 710
14 August (Preached 12 August 1866)


God is our Security



Let him see

God’s strength is greater

The Aramean army was advancing. Enemy horses, troops, and chariots were everywhere, surrounding the city with the express purpose of seizing Elisha. No wonder his servant was petrified when he woke up to the sight of a massive army bearing down on them. When the servant cried out to his master, Elisha shared how he perceived in spirit the might of the Lord, which was far greater than the forces opposing them. And when Elisha prays for God to open his servant’s eyes so that he, too, can see what Elisha has seen, immediately he perceives the horses and chariots of fire protecting them.

The Lord is ready to open our eyes afresh for each new situation and to show us his vast resources. His strength and might are far greater than the enemy’s, but we, like the servant, see “through a glass darkly,” and we need for God to open our spiritual eyes.

LORD, grant me the light this day in the unseen realm to see how your strength is greater than any foe that threatens to assail me. Open my eyes, Lord! Remind me of your awesome power and unlimited resources, and then let me take courage because you are fighting for me!

Adapted from The One Year® Book of Praying through the Bible by Cheri Fuller, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), entry for June 24.

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Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House


  The Water Jesus Gives Is Life Giving!



Genesis 8:11 NIV

When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf ! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

Nehemiah 9:20 NIV

You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst.

Isaiah 41:17 NIV

“The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.

Mark 6:45 NIV

[Jesus Walks on the Water] [6:45-51pp — Mt 14:22-32; Jn 6:15-21 6:53-56pp — Mt 14:34-36] Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.

Mark 9:41 NIV

I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

John 7:38 NIV

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”

Acts 1:5 NIV

For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 8:36 NIV

As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”

Acts 11:16 NIV

Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

Revelation 7:17 NIV

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

1 John 5:8 NIV

the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
Dear Father:
Forgive us of any unconfessed sin our lives.  We ask for you forgiveness in the name of Jesus.  Father, we praise you and revere Your Holy Name.  We sing praises an Hallelujah to you alone.  We thank you for your precious Son, Jesus Christ, our anxiously awaited for Messiah! Amen.  Maranatha, Yes and Amen. Come Lord Jesus!  Amen




1 Cor 3:5-9 and we will learn that a fruitful harvest requires a faithful witness. Paul writes, “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

First, we are servants. We are nothing in and of ourselves. We are simply God’s mouthpieces through whom people come to believe.

Second, we all have different roles and responsibilities in God’s garden. Some plant, some water, some have up-front gifts, and some serve behind the scenes. However, all servants are equally significant.

Third, God is the One who causes the growth. Twice in 3:6-7, Paul states, “…but God was causing the growth.” We are the means by which people believe, but God is the cause. He alone determines if and when a person believes in Jesus Christ.

Fourth, we are all one in God’s program. We are not to compete against each other; instead, we are to complement each other. We all need one another to fulfill God’s work. To the degree that we are faithful garden tools, God will grant us eternal rewards (3:8).

Finally, we work for God. In 3:9a Paul calls us “God’s fellow workers.” We do not work for ourselves or even for one another; we work for God.



Video Sermons : David Wilkerson :  “When Judgment Becomes Evident” by David Wilkerson






Revelation 8



Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

8 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

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(Early this morning, December 13, 2012, the Lord has awoken me to this study and I am to share with you below!!!  I was given a vision long ago of what was coming upon this earth!  A more recent one concerns America.  I am not released to give the details; but to share this point: America will fall! She has TURNED her back on God.  HE is NOT going to “tolerate” it anymore.  WARNING:  If, America does not get on her knees, NOW, and Truly REPENT of ALL her sins; JUDGEMENT will fall when you least expect it.  Just as YEW-AH dealt with the House of Israel-so too, He shall deal with America.  The CHURCH as a whole “Does Not”, I repeat, “Does Not” replace Israel(do you understand? I am speaking to the CHURCH)!!!  God has a Sovereign Covenant with Israel and Jesus Christ has Sovereign Covenant with the Church.  YEW-AH has given us every chance; He’s done All Points Bulletins- and still the Church continues in false doctrine, teachings, misreadings,  false prophets and blasphemy!  CHURCH, do not think for a moment this is not for real or think highly of yourselves(Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.) Be a Bearean (Acts 17:10-11)- search the scriptures for YOURSELVES; do not take my word for it–seek God’s Word and His Holy Spirit!  (Mt. 7-For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.)  My spirit weighs heavy and America is about to be hit with the third mountain; our reprieve is up and I am saddened to no end! Yet, YEW-AH is in control and discipline and justice is righteous! Amen.  {John 16 All- 

1“All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

5“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilta in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

12“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

16“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy verses 17-33}  }Please reference all of John 16

Jesus’ Spirit is heavy as He prays to Father YEW-AH 

Matthew 26:36-46 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his f ace to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!

Luke 22:39-46 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”

Mark 14:32-42 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. 41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”


PS. 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.

We are mandated to Pray for the Peace of Israel!!!

(Romans 11)

Israel’s Rejection not Complete nor Final

11:1 So I ask, God has not rejected his people, has he? Absolutely not! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

11:2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew! Do you not know what the scripture says about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 11:3 “Lord, they have killed your prophetsthey have demolished your altars; I alone am left and they are seeking my life!

11:4 But what was the divine response to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand people who have not bent the knee to Baal.”

11:5 So in the same way at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 11:6 And if it is by grace, it is no longer by works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

11:7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was diligently seeking, but the elect obtained it. The rest were hardened, 11:8 as it is written,

God gave them a spirit of stuporeyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, to this very day.”

11:9 And David says,

Let their table become a snare and trapa stumbling block and a retribution for them;

11:10 let their eyes be darkened so that they may not see, and make their backs bend continually.”

11:11 I ask then, they did not stumble into an irrevocable fall, did they? Absolutely not! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make Israel jealous. 11:12 Now if their transgression means riches for the world and their defeat means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full restoration bring?

11:13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Seeing that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 11:14 if somehow I could provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them. 11:15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 11:16 If the first portion of the dough offered is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so too are the branches.

11:17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the olive root, 11:18 do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

11:19 Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 11:20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 11:21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you.

11:22 Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God—harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

11:23 And even they—if they do not continue in their unbelief—will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?

11:25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 11:26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

The Deliverer will come out of Zion; he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.

11:27 And this is my covenant with themwhen I take away their sins.”

11:28 In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 11:29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 11:30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, 11:31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 11:32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all.

11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!

11:34 For who has known the mind of the Lordor who has been his counselor?

11:35 Or who has first given to Godthat God needs to repay him?

11:36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.


  1. Romans 11:3 1 Kings 19:10,14
  2. Romans 11:4 1 Kings 19:18
  3. Romans 11:8 Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10
  4. Romans 11:10 Psalm 69:22,23
  5. Romans 11:26 Or and so
  6. Romans 11:27 Or will be
  7. Romans 11:27 Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9 (see Septuagint); Jer. 31:33,34
  8. Romans 11:31 Some manuscripts do not have now.
  9. Romans 11:33 Or riches and the wisdom and the
  10. Romans 11:34 Isaiah 40:13
  11. Romans 11:35 Job 41:11

Psalm 95

New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.

For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,[a]
as you did that day at Massah[b] in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”




(Midi file:
Hebrews 11:15-16
King James Version (KJV)
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
A Sermon
(No. 1030)
Delivered by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

The Pilgrim’s Longings

“And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”—Hebrews 11:15-16.

BRAHAM left his country at God’s command, and he never went back again. The proof of faith lies in perseverance. There is a sort of faith which does run well, but it is soon hindered, and it doth not obey the truth. That is not the faith to which the promise is given. The faith of God’s elect continues and abides. Being connected with the living and incorruptible seed, it lives and abides for ever. Abraham returned not; Isaac returned not; Jacob returned not. The promise was to them as “strangers and sojourners,” and so they continued. The apostle tells us, however, that they were not forced so to continue; they did not remain because they could not return. Had they been mindful of the place from whence they came out, they might have found opportunities to go back. Frequent opportunities came in their way; there was communication kept up between them and the old family house at Padan-Aram: they had news sometimes from the old quarters. More than that, there were messages exchanged, servants were sometimes sent, and you know there was a new relation entered into—did not Rebekah come from thence? And Jacob, one of the patriarchs, was driven to go down into the land, but he could not stay there; he was always unrestful, till at last he stole a march upon Laban and came back into the proper life—the life which he had chosen, the life which God had commanded him, the life of a pilgrim and a stranger in the land of promise. You see, then, they had many opportunities to have returned, to have settled comfortably, and tilled the ground as their fathers did before them; but they continued to follow the uncomfortable shifting life of wanderers of the weary foot, who dwelt in tents, who own no foot of land—they were aliens in the country which God had given them by promise.
    Now, our position is very similar to theirs. As many of us as have believed in Christ have been called out. The very meaning of a church is, “called out by Christ.” We have been separated. I trust we know what it is to have gone without the camp, bearing Christ’s reproach. Henceforth, in this world we have no home, no true home for our spirits; our home is beyond the flood; we are looking for it amongst the unseen things; we are strangers and sojourners as all our fathers were, dwellers in this wilderness, passing through it to reach the Canaan which is to be the land of our perpetual inheritance.
    I. I propose, then, first of all this evening, to speak to you upon the opportunities which we have had, and still have, to return to the old house, if we were mindful of it. Indeed, it seems to me as if the word “opportunity” as it occurs in the text, were hardly strong enough to express the influence and incentive, the provocations and solicitations, by which, in our case, we have been urged. It is a wonder of wonders that we have not gone back to the world, with its sinful pleasures and its idolatrous customs. When I think of the strength of divine grace, I do not marvel that saints should persevere; but, when I remember the weakness of their nature, it seems a miracle of miracles that there should be one Christian in the world who could maintain his steadfastness for a single hour. It is nothing short of Godhead’s utmost stretch of might that keeps the feet of the saints, and preserves them from going back to their old unregenerate condition. We have had opportunities to have returned. My brethren, we have such opportunities in our daily calling. Some of you are engaged in the midst of ungodly men, and those engagements supply you with constant opportunities to sin as they do, to fall into their excesses, to lapse into their forgetfulness of God, or even to take part in their blasphemies. Oh, have you not often strong inducements, if it were not for the grace of God, to become as they are? Or, if your occupation keeps you alone, yet, my brethren, there is one who is pretty sure to intrude upon our privacy, to corrupt our thoughts, to kindle strange desires in our breasts, to tantalise us with morbid fancies, and to seek our mischief. The Tempter he is, the Destroyer he would be, if we were not delivered from his snares. Ah, how frequently will solitude have temptations as severe as publicity could possibly bring. There are perils in company, but there are perils likewise in our loneliness. We have many opportunities to return. In the parlour, pleasantly conversing, or in the kitchen, perhaps, occupied with the day’s work—toiling in the field, or trading on the mart, busy on the land or tossed about on the sea, there are critical seasons on which destiny itself might appear to hang contingent. Where can we fly to escape from these opportunities that haunt us everywhere and peril us in every thing? If we should mount upon the wings of the wind, could we find “a lodge in some vast wilderness,” think ye, then, we might be quite clear from all the opportunities to go back to the old sins in which we once indulged? No. Each man’s calling may seem to him to be more full of temptation than his fellow’s. It is not so. Our temptations are pretty equally distributed, I dare say, after all, and all of us might say, that we find in our avocations, from hour to hour, many opportunities to return.
    But, dear brethren, it is not merely in our business and in our calling; the mischief lies in our bone and in our flesh. Opportunities to return! Ah! Who that knows himself does not find strong, incentives to return. Ah! how often will our imagination paint sin in very glowing colors, and, though we loathe sin and loathe ourselves for thinking of it, yet how many a man might say, “had it not been for divine grace, where should I have been?—for my feet had almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped.” How strong is the evil in the most upright man! How stern is the conflict to keep under the body, lest corruption should prevail. You may be diligent in secret prayer, and, perhaps, the devil may have seemed asleep till you began to pray, and when you were most fervent, then will he also become most rampant. When you get nearer to God, Satan will sometimes seem to get nearer to you. Opportunities to return, as long as you are in this body, will be with you. To the very edge of Jordan you will meet with temptations. When you sit expectant on the banks of the last river, waiting, for the summons to cross, it may be that your fiercest temptation will come even then. Oh, this flesh, the body of this death—wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from it? But while it continues with me, I shall find opportunities to return.
    So too, dear brethren and sisters, these opportunities to return are adapted to our circumstances and adjusted to any condition of life, and any change through which we may pass. For instance how often have professors, when they have prospered, found opportunities to return! I sigh to think of many that appeared to be very earnest Christians when they were struggling for bread, who have become very dull and cold now that they have grown rich and increased in goods. How often does it happen in this land of ours, that a poor earnest Christian has associated with the people of God at all meetings, and felt proud to be there, but he has risen in the world and stood an inch or two above others in common esteem, and he could not go with God’s people any longer: he must seek out the world’s church and join in to get a share of the respectability and prestige that will always congregate in the domain of fashion. Henceforth, the man has turned aside from the faith, if not altogether in his heart, at least in his life. Beware of the high places: they are very slippery. There is not all the enjoyment you may think to be gathered in retirement and in ease. On the contrary, luxury often pulleth up, and abundance makes the heart to swell with vanity. If any of you are prospering in this world, oh watch, for you are in imminent danger of being mindful to return to the place whence you came out.
    But, the peril is as instant every whit in adversity. Alas, I have had to mourn over Christian men—at least I thought they were such—who have waxed very poor, and when they have grown poor, they hardly felt they could associate with those they knew in better circumstances. I think they were mistaken in the notion that they would be despised. I should lie ashamed of the Christian who would despise his fellow, because God was dealing with him somewhat severely in Providence. Yet there is a feeling in the human heart, and, though there may be no unkind treatment, yet, oftentimes, the sensitive spirit is apt to imagine it, and I have observed some absent themselves by degrees from the assembly of God with a sense of shame. It is smoothing the way to return to your old place; and, indeed, I have not wondered when I have seen some professors grow cold, when I have thought where they were compelled to live, and how they have been constrained to pass their time. Perhaps they were living at home before, but now they have to take a room where they can have no quiet, but where sounds of blasphemy greet them, or, in some cases, where they have to go to the workhouse, and be far away from all Christian intercourse or anything that could comfort them. It is only God’s grace that can keep your graces alive under such circumstances. You see, whether you grow rich or whether you grow poor, you will have these opportunities to return. If you want to go back to sin, to carnality, to a love of the world, to your old condition, you never need to be prevented from doing so by want of opportunities: it will be something else that will prevent you, for these opportunities are plentiful and countless.
    Opportunities to return! Let me say just one thing more about them. They are often furnished by the example of others.

“When any turn from Zion’s way,
Alas, what numbers do!
Methinks I hear my Savior say,
Wilt thou forsake me too?”
The departures from the faith of those whom we highly esteem are, at least while we are young, very severe trials to us. We keenly suspect whether that religion can be true which was feigned so cunningly and betrayed so wantonly, by one who seemed to be a model, but proved to be a hypocrite. It staggers us: we cannot make it out. Opportunities to return you have now; but ah! may grace be given you so that, if others play the Judas, instead of leading you to do the same, it may only bind you more fast to your Lord, and make you walk more carefully, lest you also prove a son of perdition.
    And ah, my brethren and sisters, if some of us were to return, we should have this opportunity—a cordial welcome from our former comrades. None of our old friends would refuse to receive us. There is many a Christian who, if he were to go back to the gaiety of the world, would find the world await him with open arms. He was the favourite of the ball-room once; he was the wit “that set the table in a roar;” he was the man who above all was courted when he moved in the circles of the vain and frivolous: glad enough would they be to see him come back. What a shout of triumph would they raise, and how would they fraternize with him! Oh, may the day never come to you, you young people especially, who have lately put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and professed his name, when you shall be welcomed by the world, but may you for ever forget your kindred and your father’s house, so shall the king greatly desire your beauty, for he is the Lord, and worship you him. Separation from the world will endear you to the Savior, and bring you into conscious enjoyment of his presence; but, of opportunities to return there is no lack.
    Perhaps, you will say, “Why does the Lord make them so plentiful? Could he not have kept us from temptation?” There is no doubt he could, but it was never the Master’s intention that we should all be hothouse plants. He taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” but, at the same time, he does lead us there, and intends to do it, and this for the proving of our faith, to see whether it be true faith or not. Depend upon it, faith that is never tried is not true faith. It must be sooner or later exercised. God does not create useless things: he intends that the faith he gives should have its test, should glorify his name. These opportunities to return are meant to try your faith, and they are sent to you to prove that you are a volunteer soldier. Why, if grace was a sort of chain that manacled you, so that you could not leave your Lord; if it had become a physical impossibility to forsake the Savior, there would be no credit in it. He that does not run away because his legs are too weak, does not prove himself a hero; but he that could run, but will not run; he that could desert his Lord, but will not desert him, has within him a principle of grace stronger than any fetter could be—the highest, firmest, noblest bond that unites a man to the Savior. By this shall you know whether you are Christ’s or not. When you have opportunity to return, if you do not return, that shall prove you are his. Two men are going along a road, and there is a dog behind them. I do not know to which of them that dog belongs, but I shall be able to tell you directly. They are coming to a crossroad: one goes to the right, the other goes to the left. Now which man does the dog follow? That is his master. So when Christ and the world go together, you cannot tell which you are following; but, when there is a separation, and Christ goes one way, and your interest and your pleasure seem to go the other way, if you can part with the world and keep with Christ, then you are one of his. After this manner these opportunities to return may serve us a good purpose: they prove our faith, while they try our character; thus helping us to see whether we are indeed the Lord’s or not.
    But, we must pass on (for we have a very wealthy text) to notice the second point.
    II. We cannot take any opportunity to go back, because we desire something better than we could get by returning to that country from whence we came out. An insatiable desire has been implanted in us by divine grace which urges us to—

“Forget the steps already trod,
And onward press our way.”
Notice how the text puts it:—”But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly.” Brethren, you desire something better than this world, do you not? Has the world ever satisfied you? Perhaps it did when you were dead in sin. A dead world may satisfy a dead heart; but ever since you have known something of better things, and brighter realities, have you been ever contented with earthly things and emptier vanities? Perhaps you have tried to fill your soul with the daintiest provisions the world can offer; to wit—God has prospered you, and you have said, “Oh, this is well.” Your children have been about you, you have had many household joys, and you have said, “I could stay here for ever.” Did not you find very soon that there was a thorn in the flesh? Did you ever gather a rose in this world that was altogether without a thorn? Hare you not been obliged to say, after you have had all that the world could give you, “Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity?” I am sure it has been so with me, with you, with all my kinsfolk in Christ, and with all my yokefellows in his service. All God’s saints would confess that were the Lord to say to them, “You shall have all the world, and that shall be your portion,” they would be broken-hearted men. “Nay, my Lord,” they would reply, “do not put me off with these biding presents; feed me not upon these husks. Though thou shouldst give me Joseph’s lot, the ancient mountains, and the precious things of the lasting hills,” “Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey;” yea, though thou shouldst confer on me the precious things of the earth, and the fullness thereof, I would prefer before them all the goodwill of him that dwelt in the bush. Give me thyself, and take these all away, if so it please thee, but do not, my Lord, do not think I can be content with Egypt since I have set forth for Canaan, or that I can settle down in the wilderness now that I am journeying to the land of promise. We desire something better.
    There is this about a Christian that, even when he does not enjoy something better, he desires it; of that, verily, I am quite sure. How much of character is revealed in our desires. I felt greatly encouraged when I read this, “Now they desire a better”—The word “country” has been inserted by our translators. It weakens the sense; vague but vast is the craving expressed in the sentence, “They desire a better”—I know I long for something far better, something infinitely preferable to that which my eyes can see or that my tongue can express. I do not always enjoy that something better. Dark is my path; I cannot see my Lord; I cannot enjoy his presence; sometimes I am like one that is banished from him; but I desire his blessing, I desire his presence; and, though to desire may be but a little thing, let me say a good desire is more than nature ever grew: grace has given it. It is a great thing to be desirous. “They desire a better country.” And, because we desire this better thing, we cannot go back and be content with things which gratified us once.
    More than that, if ever the child of God gets entangled for awhile, he is uneasy by reason of it. Abraham’s slips, for he had one or two, were made when he had left the land, and gone down among the Philistines; but he was not easy there: he must come back again. And Jacob—he had found a wife—nay, two—in Laban’s land, but he was not content there. No, no child of God can be, whatever he may find in this world. We shall never find a heaven here. We may hunt the world through, and say, “This looks like a little paradise,” but there is not any paradise this side of the skies, for a child of God at any rate. There is enough out there in the farm yard for the hogs, but there is not that which is suitable for the children. There is enough in the world for sinners, but not for saints. They have stronger, sharper, and more vehement desires, for they have a nobler life within them, and they desire a better country, and even if they get entangled for awhile in this country, and in a certain measure identified with citizens of it, they are ill at ease—their citizenship is in heaven, and they cannot rest anywhere but there. After all, we confess to-night, and rejoice in the confession, that our best hopes are for things that are out of sight: our expectations are our largest possessions. The things that we have a title to, that we value, are ours to-day by faith: we do not enjoy them yet. But when our heirship shall be fully manifested, and we shall come to the full ripe age—oh, then shall we come into our inheritance, to our wealth, to the mansions, and to the glory, and to the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord.
    Thus you see the reason why the Christian cannot go back. Though he has many opportunities he does not embrace any, he shrinks with repugnance from them all, for, through divine grace, he has had produced in his heart desires for something better.
    Even when he does not realize as yet, or actually enjoy, that infinite good, which is something better than creature comfort or worldly ambition, the desires themselves become mighty bonds that keep him from returning to his former state. Dear brethren, let us cultivate these desires more and more. If they have such a separating, salutary, sanctifying influence upon our heart, and effect upon our character, in keeping us from the world, let us cultivate them much. Do you think that we meditate enough upon heaven? Look at the miser. When does he forget his gold? He dreams of it. He has locked it up tonight and he goes to bed, but he is afraid he heard a footstep down the stairs, and he goes to see. He looks to the iron safe: he would be quite sure that it is well secured. He cannot forget his dear gold. Let us think of heaven, of Christ, and of the blessings of the covenant, and let us thus keep our desires wide awake, and stimulate them to active exercise. The more they draw us to heaven, the more they withdraw us from the world.
    III. It would be unreasonable if we did not vehemently resist every opportunity and every solicitation to go back.
    The men of faith to whom the apostle referred in our text were not only strangers and pilgrims, but it is specially observed that they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. They were a grand company. From an unit they had multiplied into a countless host. Sprang there not even of one, and him as good as dead, as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the seashore innumerable? Now, brethren, you see we have here a very strong reason for not returning. It is because you are the descendants, the spiritual descendants, of the patriarchs. Let me try to show you how urgent a motive for steadfastness this is. Practically, it comprises two or three considerations of the highest moment. One thing it implies very obviously is that you thoroughly admire their example and fervently emulate their spirit. As you have glanced over the scroll of history, or narrowly scanned the records of men’s lives, the pomp of Pharaoh has not dazzled you, but the purity of Joseph has charmed you; the choice of Moses was to your taste, though it did involve leaving a court where he was flattered, for fellowship with enslaved kinsmen by whom he was suspected; and, you would rather have been with Daniel in the lions’ den than with Darius on the throne of empire. You have transferred their strong will to your own deliberate choice. And, when the jeer has been raised against canting methodists, you have said, “I am one of them.” You have confessed as occasion served before the world, you have professed as duty called before the church, you have accepted the consequences as honesty demanded before angels and men. Therefore, in your heart of hearts you feel that you cannot go back. The vows of God are upon you. It is well they are. Review them often: refresh your memory with them frequently; recur to them and renew them in every time of trial and temptation. Howbeit, repent of them never, or woe betide you. There is a secret virtue in the confession, if it be steadfastly adhered to and zealously maintained. It is a talisman, believe me, against the contagion of an evil atmosphere that might otherwise instil poison into your constitution.
    Again, there is another thing; you have joined yourself to an ancient fraternity that has something more than rules to guide or legends to captivate; for it has a combination of both, seeing it is rich in poetic lore. Why, it is on this that patriotism feeds as its daintiest morsel. “Thy statutes,” said David, “have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.” Brother! there hath no sorrow befallen thee but what thy noble ancestors have celebrated in cheery tones, and set to music in cheerful strains. Oh, beloved! if you could forget the statutes, can you ever fail to remember the songs? There has never been a revival in the church that has not witnessed to the value of our psalmody. God be praised for our psalms and spiritual songs. Oh, how often they have made melody in our hearts to the Lord! While our voices blend, do not our very souls become more and more richly cemented? They are, in truth, the pilgrim’s solace.
    Another thing strikes me. I should not like you to overlook it. There is, in this chapter, a special commendation for faith in a pleasing variety of operations. But the speciality of the strangers and pilgrims is that they all died in faith. So, then, you cannot go back, because you cannot accomplish the end for which you went forward till you die. You have joined the company that makes the goal of life the object for which you live. Your aim is to make a noble exit. “Prepare to meet thy God” was the motto you started with. To go back can hardly cross your thoughts, when to look back seems to you charged with peril. Our lease of mortal life is fast running out. The time of our sojourn on earth is getting more and more brief. Therefore, because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed, it is but meet that our desire to reach the better country, and to enter the heavenly city should become more and more vehement, as “we nightly pitch our roving tent a day’s march nearer home.” It comes to this, brethren. You feel that you have little to show for your faith. It never built an ark like Noah; it never offered a sacrifice like Abraham; it never subdued kingdoms like Joshua; it never quenched the violence of fire as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Well, be it so; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved; and all those that die in faith are gathered with the great cloud of witnesses. Is not this enough to cheer the rank and file of the church?
    IV. But, I must close with the sweetest part of the text, wherein it is shown that we have a great and blessed assurance vouchsafed to us as an acknowledgment, on the part of God, of those opportunities, and those yearnings persisted in. “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.” Because they are strangers, add because they will not go back to their old abode, “therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.” He might well be ashamed of that. What poor people God’s people are—poor, many of them, in circumstances, but how many of them I might very well call poor as to spiritual things. I do not think if any of us had such a family as God has, we should ever have patience with them. We cannot, when we judge ourselves rightly, have patience with ourselves; but, how is it that God bears with the ill manners of such a froward, weak, foolish, forgetful generation as his people are. He might well be ashamed to be called their God, if he looked upon them as they are, and estimated them upon their merits. Own them! How can he own them? Does he not himself sometimes say of them, “How can I put them among the children?” Yet he devises means, and brings about the purposes of his grace. Viewed as they are, they may be compared to a rabble in so many respects, that it is marvellous he is not ashamed of them. Still, he never does discountenance them, and he proves that he is not ashamed of them, for he calls himself their God. “I will be your God,” saith he, and he oftentimes seems to speak of it as a very joyful thing to his own heart. “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” While he calls himself their God, he never forbids them to call him their God. In the presence of the great ones of the earth they may call him their God—anywhere—and he is not ashamed to be so called. Matchless condescension this! Have you not sometimes heard of a man who has become rich and has risen in the world, who has had some poor brother or some distant relative. When he has seen him in the street, he has been obliged to speak to him and own him. But oh, how reluctantly it was done. I dare say he wished him a long way off, especially if he had some haughty acquaintance with him at the time, who would perhaps turn round, and say, “Why, who is that wretched, seedy-looking fellow you spoke to?” He does not like to say, “That’s my brother;” or, “That’s a relative of mine.” Not so our Lord Jesus Christ. However low his people may sink, he is not ashamed to call them brethren. They may look up to him in all the depths of their degradation. They may call him a brother. He is in very fact a brother, born for their adversity, able and ready to redress their grievances, he is not ashamed to call them brethren. One reason for this seems to me to be, because he does not judge of them according to their present circumstances, but much rather according to their pleasant prospects. He takes account of what he has prepared for them. Notice the text, “Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” They are poor now, but God, to whom things to come are things present, sees them in their fair white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. All you can see in that poor child of God is a hard-working laboring man, mocked and despised of his fellows. But what does God see in him? He sees in him a dignity and a glory assimilated to his own. He hath put all things under the feet of such a man as that, and crowned him with glory and honor in the person of Christ, and the angels themselves are ministering servants to such. You see his outward attire, not his inner self—you see the earthly tabernacle, but the spirit newborn, immortal and divine—you see not that. Howbeit, God does. Or, if you have spiritual discernment to perceive the spiritual creature, you only see it as it is veiled by reason of the flesh, and beclouded by the atmosphere of this world; but he sees it as it will appear, when it shall be radiant like unto Christ, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. God sees the poorest, the least proficient disciple as a man in Christ; a perfect man come unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; such indeed as he will be in that day when he shall see Christ, for then he shall be like him as he is. It seems too, in the text, that God looks to what he had prepared for these poor people. He hath prepared for them a city. Methinks, that by what he has prepared for them, we may judge how he esteems and loves them—estimating them by what he means them to be, rather than by what they appear to be at present. Look at this preparation just a minute. “he hath prepared for them”—“them.” Though I delight to preach a free gospel, and to preach it to every creature under heaven, we must never forget to remind you of the speciality. “He hath prepared for them a city”—that is, for such as are strangers and foreigners—for such as have faith, and, therefore, have left the world, and gone out to follow Christ. “He hath prepared forthem”—not “for all of you”—only for such of you as answer the description on which we have been meditating has he prepared “a city.”
    Note what it is he has made ready for them. It is a city. This indicates a permanent abode. They dwelt in tents—Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob—but he has prepared for them a city. Here we are tent dwellers, and the tent is soon to be taken down. “We know that this earthly house of our” tent “shall be dissolved, but we have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” “He hath prepared a city.” A city is a place of genial associations. In a lonely hamlet one has little company. In a city, especially where all the inhabitants shall be united in one glorious brotherhood, the true communism of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity may be realised in the purest sense and highest possible degree. In a city such as this there are plentiful occasions for intercourse, where mutual interests shall enhance mutual joy. “He hath prepared a city.” It is a city too possessing immunities, and conferring dignity upon its residents. To be a burgess of the City of London is thought to be a great honor, and upon princes is it sometimes conferred; but, we shall have the highest honor that can be given, when we shall be citizens of the city which God has prepared.
    I must not dwell on this theme, delightful as it is; I want a few words with you, my friends, direct and personal, before I close. Do not wonder, those of you who are the children of God, do not wonder if you have discomforts here. If you are what you profess to be, you are strangers: you do not expect men of this world to treat you as members of their community. If they do, be afraid. Dogs don’t bark as a man goes by that they know: they bark at strangers. When people persecute you and slander you,no marvel. If you are a stranger, they naturally bark at you. Do not expect to find the comforts in this world that you crave after, that your flesh would long for. This is our inn, not our home. We tarry for a night: we are away in the morning. We may bear the annoyances of the eventide and the night, for the morning will break so soon. Remember that your greatest joy, while you are a pilgrim, is your God. So the text says, “Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.” Do you want a richer source of consolation than you have? Here is one that can never be diminished, much less exhausted. When the created streams are dry, go to this eternal fountain, and find it ever springing up. Your joy is your God: make your God your joy.
    Now, what shall be said to those who are not strangers and foreigners? Ah, you dwell in a land where you find some sort of repose; but I have heavy tidings for you. This land in which you dwell, and all the works thereof, must be burned up. The city of which you, who have never been converted to Christ, are citizens, is a City of Destruction, and, as is its name, such will be its end. The King will send his armies against that guilty city and destroy it, and if you are citizens of it, you will lose all you have—you will lose your souls—lose yourselves. “Whither away?” saith one—”Where can I find comfort then and security?” You must do as Lot did, when the angels presses him and said, “Haste to the Mount lest thou be consumed.” To what mountain, say you, shall I go? The mountain of safety is Calvary. Where Jesus died, there you shall live. There is death everywhere else but there. But there is life arising from his death. Oh, fly to him. “But how?” saith one. Trust him. God gave his Son, equal with himself, to bear the burden of human sin; and he died, a substitute for sinners,—a real substitute, an efficient substitute, for all who trust in him. If thou wilt trust thy soul with Jesus, thou art saved. Thy sin was laid on him: it is forgiven thee. It was blotted out when he nailed the handwriting of ordinances that were against thee to his cross. Trust him now and you are saved; you shall become, henceforth, a stranger and a pilgrim. In the better land you shall find the rest which you never can find here, and need not wish to find, for the land is polluted; let us away from it. The curse has fallen: let us get away to the country that never was cursed, to the city that is for ever blessed, Where Jesus dwells there may we find a home and abide for aye. God add his blessing to this discourse, and give a blessing to your souls, for Jesus Christ’ sake. Amen.

(Credit: Works/Sermons of Charles Spurgeon)



“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives” 2 Peter 3:10-11 NIV

Sermon #163 The New Park Street Pulpit 1

Volume 3  1



“Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6.

WHAT sad things sin has done?  This fair world of ours was once a glorious temple, every pillar of which reflected the goodness of God and every part of which was a symbol of good, but sin has spoiled and marred all the metaphors and figures that might be drawn from earth. It has so deranged the Divine economy of Nature that those things which were matchless pictures of virtue, goodness and Divine plenitude of blessing have now become the figures and representatives of sin. ‘Tis strange to say but it is strangely true that the very best gifts of God have, by the sin of men, become the worst pictures of man’s guilt! Behold the flood, breaking forth from its fountains—it rushes across the fields, bearing plenty on its bosom. It covers them awhile and then it subsides and leaves upon the plain a fertile deposit into which the farmer shall cast his seed and reap an abundant harvest. One would have called the breaking forth of water a fine picture of the plenitude of Providence, the magnificence of God’s goodness to the human race—but we find that sin has appropriated that figure to itself—the beginning of sin is like the breaking forth of waters! See the fire—how kindly God has bestowed upon us that element to cheer us in the midst of winter’s frosts. Fresh from the snow and from the cold we rush to our household fire and there by our hearth we warm our hands and we are glad! Fire is a rich picture of the Divine influences of the Spirit, a holy emblem of the zeal of the Christian. But alas, sin has touched this and the tongue is called “a fire.” “It is set on fire of Hell,” we are told and it is evidently so when it utters blasphemy and slanders! Jude lifts up his hand and exclaims, when he looks upon the evils caused by sin, “Behold how great a matter a little fire kindles.”

And then there is sleep, one of the sweetest of God’s gifts, fair sleep— “Tired Nature’s sweet restorer, balmy sleep.” God has selected sleep as the very figure for the repose of the blessed. “They that sleep in Jesus,” says the Scripture. David puts it among the peculiar gifts of Divine Grace—“So He gives His Beloved sleep.” But alas, sin could not let even this alone! Sin did override even this celestial metaphor and though God Himself had employed sleep to express the excellence of the state of the Blessed, yet sin must have even this profaned, before itself can be expressed! Sleep is employed in our text as a picture of a sinful condition—“Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but let us watch and be sober.”

With that introduction I shall proceed at once to the text. The “sleep” of the text is an evil to be avoided. In the second place, the word, “therefore,” is employed to show us that there are certain reasons for the avoiding of this sleep.

And since the Apostle speaks of this sleep with sorrow, it is to teach us that there are some, whom he calls, “others,” over whom it is our business to lament because they sleep and do not watch and are not sober!

I. We commence, then, in the first place, by endeavoring to point out the EVIL WHICH THE APOSTLE INTENDS TO DESCRIBE UNDER THE TERM, SLEEP. The Apostle speaks of “others” who are asleep. If you turn to the original you will find that the word translated, “others,” has a more emphatic meaning. It might be rendered (and Horne so renders it), “the refuse”—“Let us not sleep as do the refuse”—the common herd, the ignoble spirits—those who have no mind above the troubles of earth. “Let us not sleep as do the others”—the base ignoble multitude who are not alive to the high and celestial calling of a Christian! “Let us not sleep as do the refuse of mankind.” And you will find that the word, “sleep,” in the original, also has a more emphatic sense. It signifies a deep sleep, a profound slumber. And the Apostle intimates that the refuse of mankind are now in a profound slumber. We will now try to explain what he meant by it.

First the Apostle meant that the refuse of mankind are in a state of deplorable ignorance. They who sleep know nothing. There may be merriment in the house, but the sluggard shares not in its gladness. There may be death in the family, but no tears wet the cheeks of the sleeper. Great events may have transpired in the world’s history but he knows not of them. An earthquake may have tumbled a city from its greatness, or war may have devastated a nation, or the banner of triumph may be waving in the gale and the clarions of his country may be saluting us with victory—but he knows nothing—

“Their labor and their love are lost Alike unknowing and unknown.”

The sleeper knows not anything. Behold how the refuse of mankind are alike in this! Of some things they know much, but of spiritual things they know nothing! Of the Divine Person of the adorable Redeemer they have no idea. Of the sweet enjoyments of a life of piety they cannot even make a guess. Towards the high enthusiasms and the inward raptures of the Christian they cannot mount! Talk to them of Divine Doctrines and they are to them a riddle! Tell them of sublime experiences and they seem to them to be enthusiastic fancies. They know nothing of the joys that are to come!

And alas, they are oblivious of the evils which shall happen to them if they go on in their iniquity! The masses of mankind are ignorant. They know not—they have not—the knowledge of God. They have no fear of Jehovah before their eyes.

Blindfolded by the ignorance of this world, they march on through the paths of lust to that sure and dreadful end—the everlasting ruin of their souls. Brothers and Sisters, if we are saints, let us not be ignorant as are others. Let us search the Scriptures, for in them we have eternal life, for they do testify of Jesus. Let us be diligent. Let not the Word depart out of our hearts. Let us meditate therein both day and night that we may be as the tree planted by the rivers of water. “Let us not sleep as do others.”

Again, sleep pictures a state of insensibility. There may be much knowledge in the sleeper. But it is hidden, stored away in his mind. It might be well developed if he but could be awakened, but he has no sensibility—he knows nothing.

The burglar has broken into the house—the gold and silver are both in the robber’s hands. The child is being murdered by the cruelty of him that has broken in, but the father slumbers! Though all the gold and silver that he has and his most precious child are in the hands of the destroyer, he is unconscious—how can he feel when sleep has utterly sealed his senses? Lo, in the street there is mourning. A fire has just now burned down the habitation of the poor, and houseless beggars are in the street. They are crying at his window and asking him for help. But he sleeps and what does he care though the night is cold and though the poor are shivering in the blast? He has no consciousness. He feels not for them. There, take the title deed of his estate and burn the document! There, set light to his farmyard! Burn up all that he has in the field—kill his horses and destroy his cattle—let now the fire of God descend and burn up his sheep! Let the enemy fall upon all that he has and devour it—he sleeps as soundly as if he were guarded by the Angel of the Lord!

Such are the refuse of mankind. But alas, that we should have to include in that word, “refuse,” the great bulk thereof! How few there are that feel spiritually! They feel acutely enough any injury to their body, or to their estate, but alas, for their spiritual concerns they have no sensation whatever! They are standing on the brink of Hell, but they tremble not! The anger of God is burning against them but they fear not. The sword of Jehovah is unsheathed, but terror does not seize upon them! They proceed with the merry dance, they drink the bowl of intoxicating pleasure. They revel and they riot—still do they sing the lascivious song—yes, they do more than this! In their vain dreams they do defy the Most High, whereas if they were once awakened to the consciousness of their state, the marrow of their bones would melt and their heart would dissolve like wax! They are asleep, indifferent and unconscious. Do what you may to them. Let everything be swept away that is hopeful—that might give them cheer when they come to die—they feel it not! For how can a sleeper feel anything? “Therefore let us not sleep, as do others, but let us watch and be sober.”

Again—the sleeper cannot defend himself. Behold yonder prince. He is a strong man, yes, and an armed strong man.

He has entered into the tent. He is wearied. He has drunk the woman’s milk. He has eaten her “butter in a lordly dish.”

He casts himself down upon the floor and he slumbers. And now she draws near. She has with her, her hammer and her nail. Warrior! You could break her into atoms with one blow of your mighty arm, but you cannot now defend yourself!

The nail is at his ear, the woman’s hand is on the hammer and the nail has pierced his skull, for when he slept he was defenseless! The banner of Sisera had waved victoriously over mighty foes, but now it is stained by a woman! Tell it, tell it, tell it! The man—who when he was awake made nations tremble—dies by the hand of a feeble woman when he sleeps!

Such are the refuse of mankind. They are asleep. They have no power to resist temptation. Their moral strength is departed, for God is departed from them. There is the temptation to lust. They are men of sound principle in business matters and nothing could make them swerve from honesty—but lasciviousness destroys them! They are taken like a bird in a snare, they are caught in a trap, they are utterly subdued. Or maybe it is another way that they are conquered. They are men who would not do an unchaste act, or even think a lascivious thought—they scorn it! But they have another weak point—they are entrapped by the glass. They are taken and they are destroyed by drunkenness. Or, if they can resist these things and are inclined neither to looseness of fire nor to excess in living, yet maybe covetousness enters into them by the name of prudence. It slides into their hearts and they are led to grasp after treasure and to heap up gold.

Even though that gold is wrung out of the veins of the poor and though they do suck the blood of the orphan, they seem to be unable to resist their passion. How many times have I been told by men, “I cannot help it, Sir! Do what I may, I resolve, I re-resolve but I do the same! I am defenseless. I cannot resist the temptation!” Oh, of course you cannot while you are asleep! O Spirit of the living God, wake up the sleeper! Let sinful sloth and presumption both be startled, lest haply Moses should come their way and finding them asleep, should hang them on the gallows of infamy forever!

Now, I come to give another meaning of the word, “sleep.” I hope there have been some of my congregation who have been tolerably easy while I have described the first three things because they have thought that they were exempt in those matters. But sleep also signifies inactivity. The farmer cannot plow his field in his sleep, neither can he cast the grain into the furrows, nor watch the clouds, nor reap his harvest! The sailor cannot reef his sail, or direct his ship across the ocean while he slumbers. It is not possible that on the Exchange, or in the market, or in the house of business, men should transact their affairs with their eyes fast closed in slumber! It would be a singular thing to see a nation of sleepers,for that would be a nation of idle men—they would all starve! They would produce no wealth from the soil; they would have nothing for their backs; nothing for clothing and nothing for food. But how many we have in the world who are inactive through sleep! Yes, I say inactive. I mean by that, that they are active enough in one direction, but they are inactive in the right. Oh, how many men there are who are totally inactive in anything that is for God’s Glory, or for the welfare of their fellow creatures? For themselves, they can “rise up early and sit up late and eat the bread of carefulness.”

For their children,  which is an alias for themselves, they can toil until their fingers ache—they can weary themselves until their eyes are red in their sockets—till the brain whirls and they can do no more! But for God they can do nothing.

Some say they have no time, others frankly confess that they have no will—for God’s Church they would not spend an hour—while for this world’s pleasure they could lay out a month! For the poor they cannot spend their time and their attention. They may haply have time to spare for themselves and for their own amusement, but for holy works, for deeds of charity and for pious acts they declare they have no leisure! The truth is, they have no will!

Behold how many professing Christians there are who are asleep in this sense! They are inactive. Sinners are dying in the street by hundreds. Men are sinking into the flames of eternal wrath, but they fold their arms! They pity the poor perishing sinner, but they do nothing to show that their pity is real. They go to their places of worship; they occupy their well-cushioned easy pew.

They wish the minister to feed them every Sunday, but there is never a child taught in the Sunday school by them. There is never a tract distributed at the poor man’s house. There is never a deed done which might be the means of saving souls. We call them good men, some of them we even elect to the office of deacons and no doubt good men they are. They are as good as Anthony meant to say that Brutus was honorable when he said, “So are we all, all honorable men.” So are we all, all good, if they are good! But these are good and in some sense—good for nothing!

They just sit and eat the bread but they do not plow the field! They drink the wine but they will not raise the vine that produces it. They think that they are to live unto themselves, forgetting that “no man lives unto himself and no man dies unto himself.” Oh, what a vast amount of sleeping we have in all our churches and chapels! Truly if our churches were once awake—as far as material things are concerned—there are enough converted men and women and there is enough talent with them and enough money with them and enough time with them, God granting the abundance of His Holy Spirit, which He would be sure to do if they were all zealous—there is enough to preach the Gospel in every corner of the earth!

The church does not need to stop for want of instruments, or for want of agencies—we have everything now except the will! We have all that we may expect God to give for the conversion of the world, except a heart for the work and the Spirit of God poured out into our midst! Oh, Brothers and Sisters, “let us not sleep as do others.” You will find the “others” in the Church and in the world—“the refuse” of both are sound asleep! Before, however, I can dismiss this first point of explanation, it is necessary for me to say that the Apostle himself furnishes us with part of an exposition. The second sentence, “let us watch and be sober,” implies that the reverse of these things is the sleep which he means. “Let us watch.” There are many who never watch. They never watch against sin. They never watch against the temptations of the enemy. They do not watch against themselves, nor against “the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life.” They do not watch for opportunities to do good; they do not watch for opportunities to instruct the ignorant, to confirm the weak, to comfort the afflicted, to succor them who are in need.


They do not watch for opportunities of glorifying Jesus, or for times of communion. They do not watch for the promises.

They do not watch for answers to their prayers. They do not watch for the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus. These are the refuse of the world—they watch not because they are asleep. But let us watch—so shall we prove that we are not slumberers!

Again—let us “be sober.” Albert Barnes says this most of all refers to abstinence, or temperance in eating and drinking. Calvin says not so—this refers more especially to the spirit of moderation in the things of the world. Both are right.

It refers to both. There are many who are not sober. They sleep because they are not so, for insobriety leads to sleep. They are not sober—they are drunks, they are gluttons. They are not sober—they cannot be content to do a little business—they want to do a great deal. They are not sober—they cannot carry on a trade that is sure—they must speculate. They are not sober—if they lose their property, their spirit is cast down within them and they are like men who are drunk with wormwood. If on the other hand, they get rich, they are not sober—they so set their affections upon things on earth that they become intoxicated with pride because of their riches! They become purse-proud and need to have the heavens lifted up higher lest their heads should dash against the stars! How many people there are who are not sober! Oh, I might especially urge this precept upon you at this time, my dear Friends. We have hard times coming and the times are hard enough now. Let us be sober! The fearful panic in America has mainly arisen from disobedience to this command—“Be sober,” and if the professors of America had obeyed this commandment and had been sober, the panic might at any rate have been mitigated, if not totally avoided! Now, in a little time you who have any money laid by will be rushing to the bank to have it drawn out because you fear that the bank is tottering. You will not be sober enough to have a little trust in your fellow men and help them through their difficultly and so be a blessing to the commonwealth. And you who think there is anything to be had by lending your money at usury, will not be content with lending what you have, but you will be extorting and squeezing your poor debtors that you may get the more to lend! Men are seldom content to get rich slowly but he who hastens to be rich shall not be innocent!

Take care, my Brothers and Sisters—if any hard times should come to London, if commercial houses should smash and banks be broken—take care to be sober! There is nothing will get us over a panic so well as everyone of us trying to keep our spirits up—just rising in the morning and saying, “Times are very hard and today I may lose my all, but fretting will not help it, so just let me set a bold heart against hard sorrow and go to my business. The wheels of trade may stop. I bless God my treasure is in Heaven. I cannot be bankrupt—I have set my affections on the things of God. I cannot lose those things. There is my jewel. There is my heart!” Why, if all men could do that, it would tend to create public confidence. But the cause of the great ruin of many men is the covetousness of all men and the fear of some. If we could all go through the world with confidence and with boldness and with courage, there is nothing in the world that could avert the shock as well! I suppose the shock must come. And there are many men now present who are very respectable, who may expect to be beggars before long. Your business is so to put your trust in Jehovah, that you may be able to say, “Though the earth is removed and though the mountains are carried into the midst of the sea, God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore will I not fear.” And doing that you will be creating more probabilities for the avoidance of your own destruction than by any other means which the wisdom of man can dictate to you! Let us not be intemperate in business, as are others, but let us be awake! “Let us not sleep”—not be carried away by the sleepwalking of the world, for what is it better than that—activity and greed in sleep? “But let us watch and be sober.” Oh, Holy Spirit help us to watch and be sober!

II. Thus I have occupied a great deal of time in explaining the first point—What was the sleep which the Apostle meant? And now you will notice that the word, “therefore,” implies that there are CERTAIN REASONS FOR THIS. I shall give you these reasons. And if I should cast them somewhat into a dramatic form, you must not wonder—they will the better, perhaps, be remembered. “Therefore,” says the Apostle, “let us not sleep.”  We shall first look at the Chapter itself for our reasons. The first reason precedes the text. The Apostle tells us that “we are all the children of the light and of the day; therefore let us not sleep as do others.” I marvel not when, as I walk through the streets after nightfall, I see every shop closed and every blind drawn. And I see the light in the upper room significant of retirement to rest. I wonder not that a half an hour later my footsteps startle me and I find none in the streets. Should I ascend the staircase and look into the sleepers’ placid countenances, I should not wonder, for it is night, the proper time for sleep. But if some morning at eleven or twelve o’clock, I should walk down the streets and find myself alone and notice every shop closed and every house shut up and hear no noise, I should say,


“‘Tis strange, ‘tis passing  strange, ‘tis amazing! Where are the people? ‘Tis daytime and yet they are all asleep.” I would be inclined to seize the first rapper I could find and give a double knock and rush to the next door and ring the bell and do so all the way down the street! Or go to the police station and wake up what men I found there and bid them make a noise in the street! Or go for the fire engine and bid the firemen rattle down the road and try to wake the people up, for I would say to myself, “There is some pestilence here! The Angel of Death must have flown through these streets during the night and killed all these people, or else they would have been sure to have been awake.” Sleep in the daytime is utterly incongruous! “Well, now,” says the Apostle Paul, “you people of God, it is daytime with you. The Sun of Righteousness has risen upon you with healing in His wings. The light of God’s Spirit is in your conscience. You have been brought out of darkness into marvelous light! For you to be asleep, for a Church to slumber is like a city in bed in the daytime; like a whole town slumbering when the sun is shining—it is untimely and unseemly.”

And now, if you look at the text again, you will find there is another argument. “Let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love.” So, then, it seems it is wartime and, therefore, again it is unseemly to slumber! There is a fortress yonder, far away in India. A troop of those abominable Sepoys have surrounded it. Bloodthirsty Hell-hounds, if they once gain admission, they will tear the mother and her children and cut the strong man in pieces!

They are at the gates—their cannons are loaded—their bayonets thirst for blood and their swords are hungry to slay.

Go through the fortress and the people are all asleep. There is the warden on the tower, nodding on his bayonet. There is the captain in his tent, with his pen in his hand and his dispatches before him, asleep at the table! There are soldiers lying down in their tents ready for the war but all slumbering. There is not a man to be seen keeping watch. There is not a sentry there!

All are asleep! Why, my Friends, you would say, “Whatever is the matter here? What can it be? Has some great wizard been waving his wand and put a spell upon them all? Or are they all mad? Have their minds fled? Surely, to be asleep in wartime is indeed outrageous! Here, take down that trumpet—go close up to the captain’s ear and blow a blast and see if it does not awake him in a moment! Take away that bayonet from the soldier who is asleep on the walls and give him a sharp prick with it and see if he does not awake!” But surely, surely nobody can have patience with people asleep when the enemy surround the walls and are thundering at the gates!

Now, Christians, this is your case. Your life is a life of warfare—the world, the flesh and the devil are a hellish trinity and your poor nature is wretched mud work behind which to be entrenched! Are you asleep? Asleep? When Satan has fireballs of lust to hurl into the windows of your eyes? When he has arrows of temptation to shoot into your heart? When he has snares into which to trap your feet? Asleep? When he has undermined your very existence and when he is about to apply the match with which to destroy you unless Sovereign Grace prevents it? Oh, sleep not, soldier of the Cross! To sleep in wartime is utterly inconsistent! Great Spirit of God forbid that we should slumber!

But now, leaving the Chapter, itself, I will give you one or two other reasons that will, I trust, move Christian people to awake out of their sleep. “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!” Then comes the ringing of a bell. What is this? Here is a door marked with a great white cross! Lord, have mercy upon us! All the houses down that street seem to be marked with that white death cross. What is this? Here is the grass growing in the streets.

Here are Cornhill and Cheapside deserted! No one is found treading a solitary pavement. There is not a sound to be heard but those horse hoofs, like the hoofs of death’s pale horse upon the stones, the ringing of that bell that sounds the death knell to many and the rumbling of the wheels of that cart and the dreadful cry, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!” Do you see that house? A physician lives there. He is a man who has great skill and God has lent him wisdom. A little while ago, while in his study, God was pleased to guide his mind and he discovered the secret of the plague. He was plague-smitten himself and ready to die but he lifted the blessed vial to his lips and he drank a draught and cured himself. Do you believe what I am about to tell you? Can you imagine it? That man has the prescription that will heal all these people! He has it in his pocket! He has the medicine which, if once distributed in those streets, would make the sick rejoice and put that dead man’s bell away! But he is asleep! He is asleep! He is asleep! O you Heavens! Why do you not fall and crush the wretch? O earth! How could you bear this demon upon your bosom? Why not swallow him up? He has the medicine! He is too lazy to go and proclaim the remedy! He has the cure and is too idle to go out and administer it to the sick and the dying! No, my Friends, such an inhuman wretch could not exist! But I can see him here today. There you are! You know the world is sick with the plague of sin and you, yourself, have been cured by the remedy which has been provided. You are asleep, inactive, loitering. You do not go forth to—“Tell to others round, What a dear Savior you have found.”


There is the precious Gospel—you do not go and put it to the lips of a sinner! There is the all-precious blood of Christ—you never go to tell the dying what they must do to be saved! The world is perishing with worse than plague—and you are idle! And you are a minister of the Gospel. And you have taken that holy office upon yourself. And you are content to preach twice on a Sunday and once on a weekday and there is no remonstrance within you. You never desire to attract the multitudes to hear you preach. You had rather keep your empty benches and study propriety, than you would once, at the risk of appearing over-zealous, draw the multitude and preach the Word to them! You are a writer—you

have great power in writing. You devote your talents alone to light literature,  or to the production of other things which may furnish amusement but which cannot benefit the soul. You know the Truth of God but you do not tell it out.

Yonder mother is a converted woman—you have children and you forget to instruct them in the way to Heaven. You yonder are a young man, having nothing to do on the Sabbath and there is the Sunday school. You do not go to tell those children the Sovereign remedy that God has provided for the care of sick souls. The death-bell is ringing even now!

Hell is crying out, howling with hunger for the souls of men. “Bring out the sinner! Bring out the sinner! Bring out the sinner! Let him die and be damned!” And there are you professing to be a Christian and doing nothing which might make you the instrument of saving souls—never putting out your hands to be the means in the hand of the Lord of plucking sinners as brands from the burning! Oh, may the lessing of God rest on you, to turn you from such an evil way that you may not sleep as do others, but may watch and be sober! The world’s imminent danger demands that we should be active and not be slumbering!

Hark how the mast creaks! See the sails there, torn to ribbons. Breakers ahead! She will be on the rocks directly.

Where is the captain? Where is the boatswain? Where are the sailors? Ahoy there! Where are you? Here’s a storm come on! Where are you? You are down in the cabin? And there is the captain in a soft sweet slumber! There is the man at the wheel, as sound asleep as ever he can be. And there are all the sailors in their hammocks. What? And the breakers ahead?

What? The lives of two hundred passengers in danger and here are these brutes asleep? Kick them out! What is the good of letting such men as these be sailors, especially in such a time as this? Why, out with you! If you had gone to sleep in fine weather we might have forgiven you. Up with you, Captain! What have you been doing? Are you mad? But hark! The ship has struck—she will be down in a moment! Now you will work, will you? Now you will work when it is of no use and when the shrieks of drowning women shall toll you into Hell for your most accursed negligence in not having taken care of them! Well that is very much like a great many of us, in these times, too!

This proud ship of our commonwealth is reeling in a storm of sin. The very mast of this great nation is creaking under the hurricane of vice that sweeps across the noble vessel. Every timber is strained and God help the good ship, or alas,

none can save her! And who are her captain and her sailors, but ministers of God, the professors of religion? These are they to whom God gives Divine Grace to steer the ship. “You are the salt of the earth.” You preserve and keep it alive, O children of God. Are you asleep in the storm? Are you now slumbering? If there were no dens of vice; if there were no harlots; if there were no houses of profanity; if there were no murders and no crimes, oh, you who are the salt of the earth—you might sleep. But today the sin of London cries in the ears of God. This behemoth city is covered with crime and God is vexed with her. And are we asleep, doing nothing? Then God forgive us! But surely, of all the sins He ever does forgive, this is the greatest, the sin of slumbering when a world is damning—the sin of being idle when Satan is busy, devouring the souls of men. “Brethren let us not sleep” in such times as these, for if we do, a curse must fall upon us, horrible to bear!

There is a poor prisoner in a cell. His hair is all matted over his eyes. A few weeks ago the judge put on the black cap and commanded that he should be taken to the place from where he came and hung by the neck until dead. The poor wretch has his heart broken within him while he thinks of the pinion, of the gallows and of the drop and of after-death.

Oh, who can tell how his heart is rent and racked while he thinks of leaving all and going he knows not where? There is a man there, sound asleep upon a bed. He has been asleep there these two days and under his pillow he has that prisoner’s free pardon! I would horsewhip that scoundrel, horsewhip him soundly, for making that poor man have two days of extra misery. Why, if I had had that man’s pardon, I would have been there! If I rode on the wings of lightning to get to him, I would have thought the fastest train that ever run but slow, if I had so sweet a message to carry and such a poor heavy heart to carry it to! But that man, that brute, is sound asleep with a free pardon under his pillow, while that poor wretch’s heart is breaking with dismay! Ah, do not be too hard with him—he is here today! Side by side with you this morning there is sitting a poor penitent sinner. God has pardoned him and intends that you should tell him that good news. He sat by your side last Sunday and he wept all the sermon through, for he felt his guilt. If you had spoken to him, then, who can tell? He might have had comfort but there he is now—you did not tell him the good news.


Do you leave that to me to do? Ah, Sirs, but you cannot serve God by proxy! What the minister does is nothing to you. You have your own personal duty to do and God has given you a precious promise. It is now on your heart. Will you not turn round to your neighbor and tell him that promise? Oh, there is many an aching heart that aches because of our idleness in telling the good news of this salvation! “Yes,” says one of my members, who always comes to this place on Sunday and looks out for young men and young women whom he has seen in tears the Sunday before and who brings many into the Church, “yes, I could tell you a story.”

He looks a young man in the face and says, “Haven’t I seen you here a great many times?” “Yes.” “I think you take a deep interest in the service, do you not?” “Yes, I do—what makes you ask me that question?” “Because I looked at your face last Sunday and I thought there was something at work with you.” “Oh, Sir,” he says, “nobody has spoken to me ever since I have been here till now, and I need to say a word to you. When I was at home with my mother, I used to think I had some idea of religion, but I came away and was bound apprentice with an ungodly lot of youths and have done everything I ought not to have done. And now, Sir, I begin to weep, I begin to repent. I wish to God that I knew how I might be saved! I hear the Word preached, Sir, but I need something spoken personally to me by somebody.” And he turns round, he takes him by the hand and says, “My dear young Brother, I am so glad I spoke to you. It makes my poor old heart rejoice to think that the Lord is still doing something here. Now, do not be cast down, for you know, ‘This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’” The young man puts his handkerchief to his eyes and after a minute, he says, “I wish you would let me call and see you, Sir.” “Oh, you may,” he says. He talks with him. He leads him onward and at last, by God’s Grace, the happy youth comes forward and declares what God has done for his soul and owes his salvation as much to the humble instrumentality of the man that helped him as he could do to the preaching of the minister!

Beloved Brothers and Sisters, the Bridegroom comes! Awake! Awake! The earth must soon be dissolved and the Heavens must melt! Awake! Awake! O Holy Spirit awaken us all and keep us awake!

III. And now I have no time for the last point and, therefore, I shall not detain you, suffice me to say in warning; there is AN EVIL HERE LAMENTED. There are some who are asleep and the Apostle mourns it.

My fellow Sinner, you that are this day unconverted, let me say six or seven sentences to you and you shall depart. Unconverted man! Unconverted woman! You are asleep today, as they who sleep on the top of the mast in time of a storm. You are asleep as he who sleeps when the floods are out and when his house is undermined and being carried down the stream far out to sea! You are asleep as he who in the upper chamber, when his house is burning and his own locks are singeing in the fire—he knows not the devastation around him! You are asleep—asleep as he who lies upon the edge of a precipice with death and destruction beneath him. One single start in his sleep would send him over but he knows it not.

You are asleep this day. And the place where you sleep has so frail a support that when once it breaks, you shall fall into Hell—and if you wake not till then—what an awakening it will be! “In Hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment.”

And he cried for a drop of water but it was denied him. “He that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and is baptized, shall be saved. He that believes not shall be damned.” This is the Gospel! Believe in Jesus and you shall “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Adapted from The C. H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software.



By the Grace of God, for all 63 volumes of C. H. Spurgeon sermons in modern English, and  more than 400 Spanish translations.