HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL AND 5 POINTS OF SERVING GOD-EVEN THE WORLD SENSES SOMETHING

 

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.

 

JUDGEMENT COMES WHEN WE ARE DISOBEDIENT UNTO GOD:  

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

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(CREDIT FOR VIDEOS PROVIDED: WORLDCHALLENGE.ORG http://www.worldchallenge.org/)

GOD BLESS

 

 

JESUS IS OUR STRENGTH

JESUS IS OUR STRENGTH

Matthew 4

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Jesus Begins to Preach

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Prayer:  Father, this world is cold and hard. My prayer is I humbly ask that you blanket us with your love, strength, your will and direction of your Holy Spirit!  I plead the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ over my brothers and sister the world over!  You know our needs and I am trusting in you and standing on your promises for your provisions. In Jesus name. Amen

ON BENT KNEES, BROKEN SPIRIT AND IN HUMILITY I COME FATHER

ALERT ALERT ALERT

ALERT ALERT ALERT

JESUS IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

(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!”

GEORGE WASHINGTON PRAYING FOR “THIS NATION”.

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.

Footnotes:

  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.’”

http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Ps.95

 

 

God Is The Master of Time

1 Corinthians 14:40
King James Version (KJV)
Let all things be done decently and in order.

 

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A Wilderness Cry

(No. 1427)

DELIVERED ON LORD’S-DAY MORNING, AUGUST 4, 1878,

BY C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You: my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water; to see Your power and Your Glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary.” Psalm 63:1,2.

CHRYSOSTOM tells us that among the primitive Christians it was decreed and ordained that no day should pass without the public singing of this Psalm and, certainly, if we do not follow the ancient custom and actually sing the words every day, it is not because they are unsuitable or because their spirit has died out among us. This Psalm may be said or sung all the year round. Have we joyous days? Let us sing of the loving kindness which is better than love! Do the clouds return after the rain? Let us sound forth His praise whose right hand upholds us! Is it summertime with our souls? Then we may express the full assurance of our faith by joyfully crying, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You!” Have we fallen upon the drought of autumn? Do the long hot days parch our spirits? Then may we chant the desire of our longing heart, “My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”

Is it winter with our spirit and does everything tend to chill us? Nevertheless let us not be silenced or rendered sluggish by the cold, but let us say, “I will bless You while I live, I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Has the spring returned with all its wealth of fresh flowers and opening sweets? Then shall our glad voices sing aloud, “My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.” Is the day ended and has the darkness of night settled down upon our mind? Then in the language of the Psalm we will remember God upon our bed and meditate upon Him in the night watches! And because He has been our help, therefore, in the shadow of His wings we will rejoice!

We may sing this Psalm in the days of battle, when those round about us seek our soul to destroy it, for, “they shall fall by the sword, they shall be a portion for foxes.” And we may chant it with equal appropriateness in the time of victory, when we return from the conflict with banners gleaming in the sunlight of triumph, for, “the king shall rejoice in God: everyone that swears by Him shall glory.” I know of no time and no season in which this Psalm would sound unsuitably from a believing tongue! Let us cultivate its earnestness! Let us endeavor to be baptized into its spirit! Let us live, while we live, after the fashion of holy men like David, the Psalmist, whose assurance of heart even sorrow could not shake—whose fertility of mind the desert could not wither—whose joy of spirit solitude could not destroy!

This Psalm, however, especially belongs to any who, by their circumstances or by their state of heart, feel themselves to dwell in a desert land. There is a stage of Christian experience in which we are in Egypt and we are brought up out of it with a high hand and an outstretched arm. This symbolizes conviction, regeneration and conversion. Then we know the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood—our enemies drowned in the sea and the new song put into our mouth. Happy are they who have come thus far on their life journey!

Then comes the stage of spiritual history which may be well described as wilderness experience wherein we have little rest, much temptation and consequent proving of heart and discovery of inward weakness. Many remain in this condition far longer than is necessary—what might be soon ended is drawn out into 40 years by unbelief! Then comes that blessed stage of experience in which faith begets peace and joy—then we have crossed the Jordan and entered into rest in Christ Jesus, “in whom, also, we have obtained an inheritance.” In the Man who is our peace we obtain an earnest of Heaven and begin to divide the land of promise, “for He has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places.”

Each man claims his lot in Covenant provisions and sits under his own vine and fig tree, nothing scaring him. Yet even after we have been raised up together with Jesus and have obtained citizenship in Zion, we may find ourselves in the wilderness. As David, though king in Israel, had to flee across the Jordan to escape from Absalom, so may the most

assured and the most sanctified of God’s people be driven, for a while, into the dry and thirsty land where there is no water—and there hide himself from the offspring of his own flesh. There are songs for the Lord’s banished ones to sing in a strange land, Psalms with which to arouse the silent land, sonnets to charm the howling wilderness into a fruitful garden and hymns to make the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose!

I purpose to address myself, this morning, to any of my Brothers and Sisters who feel themselves to be just now in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. It may be the Lord will give them deliverance by His Word this morning— or if not delivered out of temporal trouble, they shall at least be made glad by His Holy Spirit and be led to magnify His name while yet in the land of drought!

I. Our first head, this morning, shall be this—TRUE SAINTS ARE SOMETIMES IN A DRY AND THIRSTY LAND WHERE THERE IS NO WATER. Children of God are not always in the same happy state of mind. To hear some people talk, who know but little of religious experience, you would fancy that the Christian’s life is all feasting and dancing. Children think that all there is in hunting is wearing a red coat and blowing a horn—they know nothing of the rough riding. We do, it is true, linger delightfully in the sweet Valley of Humiliation where men have found pearls and met with angels. We know that spot of which the Pilgrim’s guide has said, “Behold, how green this valley is, also how beautiful with lilies.”

But we can never forget that in this quiet meadow Christian met Apollyon and was hard put to it in the fight and, but a little farther in his journey, he came to the Valley of the Shadow of Death where there are deep ditches and quagmires—and a narrow pathway which runs hard by the mouth of Hell! Sweet rest is to be had in the Palace Beautiful, but there is also a Hill Difficulty to be climbed. Let not the young be deceived by fluttering words, for they may be sure of this—there are bitters as well as sweets in the pilgrim life—and he who would be a Christian must not count upon unbroken joy. All things are changeable. We live in a world which hourly varies. What do our thermometers and barometers mean? Are they not measures of perpetual change?

The things which live change even more than inanimate objects and the more of life usually the more of sensitiveness—and the more of sensitiveness so much the more of change! Your man of marble may appear to sweat through the condensation of the vapor around him, but he cannot possibly know anything of that dew of toil which covers the laboring limb. The cast in plaster is ignorant of the joy and the sorrow which flash through the man of flesh and blood! Your painted picture, hanging on the wall, represents a smiling ancestor who smiles on although his estates may have been alienated and his family disgraced! But not so the living parent who anxiously regards each turn in the affairs of his children! For him there are tears as well as smiles.

A man of stone changes not, but a man of flesh feels the movement of the years—the plow of time gradually furrows his forehead and the crow’s feet of age appear in the corners of his eyes. Living men must mourn and suffer as well as laugh and rejoice, for minds and hearts must change. Wonder not, therefore, that the glad-hearted sons of Zion are not always in the temple, but sometimes are driven into exile and sigh in a desert land! But beyond the fact of liability to change there are other reasons why God’s people, at times, are wanderers in the wilderness. In some senses, to a Christian, this world must always be a dry and thirsty land.

The new life which Divine Grace has implanted in us finds nothing here below upon which it can feed. The things which are seen are too gross, material, carnal and defiled to sustain life which comes by the Holy Spirit from the great Father. We are not carrion crows, else we might float upon the carcasses which abound in the waters around our ark! We are doves and when we leave the hand of our Noah, we find nothing to rest upon and we must go back to Him if we are to find food and rest for our souls. I am not speaking, now, of the world under its sorrowful aspect, only, but of the world at its best! It is a dry land for saints even when its rains are falling.

When the world dresses itself in scarlet and puts on its silks and satins, it is still a poor world for us. She may paint her face and tier her head, but she is a Jezebel for all that! The world, should she come to us as she came to Solomon, would still be a deceiver! If she would indulge us with all her riches and give us all her power and all her fame, she would still be a mere mocker to the heart which is born from above! If you could stand on a high mountain and see all the kingdoms of the world before you—and the glory thereof and hear a voice saying, “All this will I give you”—yet might you turn round to Satan and say, “And all this is nothing to me, a sop for a dog, but not food for a child of God!”

And then you might lift your eyes to the great Father above and say, “Whom have I in Heaven but You? There is none upon earth that I desire beside You!” You shall take prosperity at its flood. You shall have health and strength. You shall have all that heart can wish. But, after all, if there is a spark of Divine Life within you, your heart will compute the sum total of all earth’s joys and say, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” To a citizen of Heaven, this world is “a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water.”

If it is so at its best, what is it at its worst? If its pillows of down cannot rest us, what shall we say of its thorns and briars? If its flood tide cannot bear us up, what shall we say of its neap tide and its ebb, when mire and dirt succeed a glassy sea? Ah, truly, best or worst, it is well for us to look above the world and to fix our heart where our treasure is preserved, even in Heaven! But, dear Brethren, we could bear up with this present state and be well satisfied with it if that were our only difficulty—far more grievous is the fact that we carry an evil within us which would cause drought in Paradise, itself, if it could go there!

The Christian gets into a land of drought because his own nature is dry! He finds a barren soil without because he has a barren heart within. Verily there is no doctrine more true to experience than this—corruption remains even in the hearts of the regenerate—and that when we would do good, evil is present with us! Within us there is still a carnal mind which is not reconciled to God, neither, indeed, can be! And, as long as we have this about us, if it is permitted, for a moment, to get the upper hand (and who among us is so watchful that this will never happen?) it is no wonder that the joys of Divine Grace seem to disappear and we find ourselves in a spiritual wilderness! We carry about with us enough evil to make another Hell, if the infernal pit were filled and its fires extinguished!

“Oh, wretched man that I am,” said the Apostle Paul, “who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” He said this not because He was not a saint, but because he was so far advanced in the way of holiness! The more saintly a saint becomes, the more will he loathe and mourn over the remains of indwelling sin which he finds in his nature! This will set him longing and thirsting after more Grace. When our old unbelief begins to wither our faith; when our natural indifference commences to dry up our life; when our doubts parch the pastures of our hope and our sins drain the wells of our consolation, it is little wonder if we come into a dry and thirsty land where there is no water!

We may, dear Friends, have been so unwatchful as to have brought ourselves into this condition by actual faults of life and conduct. I would make it a matter of personal enquiry among you by asking thoughtful answers to a few questions. Have you restrained prayer? Do you wonder that the land grows dry? Has the Word of God been neglected? Have you left off its study through pressure of other concerns? Do you wonder if you have left the streams for which your soul thirsts? Have you been overly engaged in seeking temporal gain and has the hot desert wind of worldliness parched your heart? Has there been anything about your spiritual life that has grieved the Holy Spirit?

Have you been idle as a Christian? Have you been content to eat the fat and drink the sweet, but to do nothing to win souls? Or have you, while you have fed upon the Word of God, taken the sweet things of the Gospel as a matter of course and not blessed the Lord for them? Has there been a lack of humility or a deficiency of gratitude? If so, how can you wonder that you are in a dry and thirsty land? Have you been careless in your walk? In domestic life has sin been permitted in the family? Have you been winking at evil in your children? Have you permitted it in yourself? If so, remember, it is written, “He turns rivers into a wilderness and water springs into dry ground, a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.”

You may have fallen into a parched condition of spirit because you have forgotten Him of whom in happier days you sang, “All my fresh springs are in You.” Because you have walked contrary to God, God is walking contrary to you— and it is your duty to repent and return at once to your Lord—only by doing so will peace return to you! If these various things do not account for the Believer being in a dry and thirsty land, there are still some other reasons which I will briefly mention. Sometimes Christians become very hungry and thirsty when they are banished from the means of Grace. Poor as our ministry may be, yet there are many of God’s children who would miss it more than their daily food if it were taken from them!

God’s servants whom He calls to the work of the ministry are bound to think little of themselves and yet the loaves and fishes which they distribute to the multitude are by no means to be lightly esteemed—the people would faint by the way if they did not have them. It is a severe trial to some saints to be kept away from sanctuary privileges. I know that when you travel for pleasure or roam by the seaside for health—if you go to a place of worship on the Sabbath and find

no spiritual bread, you fall into a miserable state of mind and sigh to spend your Sabbaths where the children’s portion is dealt out liberally and all the servants have bread enough to spare! David loved the very doors of the Lord’s House! He thirsted and pined because he was shut out from sanctuary privileges—and it was especially for that reason that he speaks of himself as being in a “dry and thirsty land, where there is no water.”

The same may happen when we are denied the sweets of Christian communion. David had poor company when he was in the wilderness in the days of Saul. His friends were not much better than freeloaders and runaways whom he would never have selected as friends had not the necessities of his own condition and of the political situation rendered it necessary that he should become a captain over them. They were a strange band of men! They were made up chiefly of those who were in debt and discontented—the rebellious against Saul’s wretched administration—men of broken fortunes and suspected loyalty.

Few of them were fit friends for the man after God’s own heart. I do not wonder that he looked, even, at the sons of Zeruiah who loved him best and were his own kinsmen—and felt that as for holy communion his soul was in a dry and thirsty land where there was no water! Believers are to keep out of worldly company and yet it sometimes happens that Providence throws the child of God among the ungodly, like Obadiah in the family of Ahab; Nehemiah in the palace of Artaxerxes and Daniel in the court of Darius. Your lot is hard if you are called to dwell among worldlings, for they have power to injure your piety but they cannot help you. You look around upon a score of hard faces all eager after the almighty dollar and none of them caring for the almighty God—and I do not wonder that you feel yourself to be in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water!

We owe much more to Christian friends than we think—and especially the younger folk among us do well to value Christian associations and to be much in the company of them that fear the Lord and that think upon His name. If they are denied this refreshment, they will find life to be a dry land where there is no water. Yes, but the same may happen from other causes as well. Sometimes a believing man may be treated with gross injustice and endure much hardship as the result. David was blameless and yet Saul hunted him as a traitor! He was upright, yet his people revolted from him. It tends to make a good man sour in spirit to be misrepresented and treated as guilty when he knows that he is innocent— and this bitterness is very apt to put away from us many sources of comfort and leave us uncomfortable. Then many a spring becomes dry and the heart shrivels as under a burning sun.

Sometimes, too, domestic conditions may be so changed that we cannot feel as we would wish. I do not know how you feel, but I think many must acknowledge that when they get away from their own room and from their regular habits, they are not always able to commune with God as usual. One likes to read from the very same Bible and to kneel at the very same chair. When the time comes for meeting with God, you are, perhaps, roaming up and down amid the choicest scenery and though you are reverent and adoring, yet you find it hard to reach the sweetness of fellowship with God which you have been accustomed to enjoy at home. Everything may be very lovely around you while you are tourists—everything may be attractive and delightful and yet, I should not wonder but what you will find it to be a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.

I can well conceive that your hearts long for an hour of your accustomed quietude and familiarity with God. You would give anything to be back in the little room, looking out upon the hills, or to have an hour in that secluded little garden where you have been accustomed to take your pocket Testament and sit down and hear the Voice of Jesus speaking to your soul and to speak to Him in return. Even hours and places have much to do with our heart’s condition. I know not how it is, but such strange creatures are we that in one place we cannot worship as we would like to do in another and, therefore, the soul finds its condition to be that of a wanderer in a dry and thirsty land!

Then, too, much depends upon health and physical conditions. In some forms of sickness the soul is apt to be grievously depressed and cast out of its proper condition. Some of you may remember the venerable Watts Wilkinson, the Golden Lecturer. I was reading his life the other day and he tells us that after many years of health he suffered a season of sickness. And he learned by experience that sickness is not the best time, as he had formerly thought it was, for drawing near to God. The effects of sickness are often very beneficial under the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, but they are seldom so at the time.

It is “afterwards” that these things work the fruits of righteousness—but at the time it is often with us as it was with Wilkinson who says that he never in his life felt so dull in prayer and so heavy in reading the Scriptures as during his

illness. I believe that often the condition of the body operates upon the condition of the mind and that our being in a dry and thirsty laud where there is no water may be occasioned by a feverishness or a feebleness of the flesh. Lack of faith may sometimes be little other than a need of natural cheerfulness and we may mistake infirmity for iniquity. We have our times of natural sadness. We have, too, our times of depression when we cannot do otherwise than hang our heads.

Seasons of lethargy will also befall us from changes in our natural frame, or from weariness, or the rebound of over excitement. The trees are not always green—the sap sleeps in them in the winter—and we have winters, too. Life cannot always be at flood tide—the fullness of the blessing is not upon the most gracious at all times. We may always burn, but we cannot always flame! We may always grow, but we cannot always flower. And if we always bear fruit, yet the fruit is not always ripe, nor does the ripeness always wear the same delicate bloom. Till we are perfected we shall not be always at our highest point, otherwise earth would be turned to Heaven and time would have forgotten itself and merged its variableness in the immutability of eternity!

So you see there are many reasons why the best of saints are sometimes in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.

II. The second head is a very short but very comforting one, that GOD IS STILL OUR GOD—”O God, You are my God.” Yes, He is just as much our God in the dry land as if we sat by Siloa’s softly flowing brook which glides by the oracle of God. O God, You are my God when I see the fountain leaping from the rock in a cascade of cool refreshment and You are just as much my God if every river bed is turned to a heap of stones and the burning sand on all sides mock my searching eyes! The Lord belongs to us by an eternal charter which will never lose its force, for the Scripture says, “This God is our God forever and ever.” This is a very sweet and precious Truth of God and should be remembered always!

Of course, when a man falls into a dull dry state of soul, he may very well question his condition before God and he ought not to rest till the question is satisfactorily answered. But where there is living faith the fact is certain and all question may be dismissed. God is your God still, my dear Brothers and Sisters, whatever condition you are in, if you can now come and grasp Him by faith and call Him yours with the voice of love. Can you join me in words like these? Lord, I have lost my comforts; I have lost my assurances; I have lost my delights, but I still trust in You. I have no God but You, neither will I worship any other, nor repose my confidence elsewhere. Though You slay me, yet will I trust in You. The wounds of Jesus for my sin are still my soul’s one hope—the precious blood of Your dear Son is my sole confidence!

If such is your language, you have not lost your God! All the other things you speak of may have gone for a while, but as long as you can still say, “O God, You are my God, early will I seek You,” you are still among the living in Zion and your time to rejoice shall soon come! Just think a minute—it is not possible that God’s love to His people should change with their condition—such a theology would represent God as very variable in His love! Yes, it would do worse than that, for it would make the Gospel into a Law and turn all evangelical Truth into legality!

Does God love me because I love Him? Does God love me because I am bright and happy? Does God love me because my faith is strong and because I can leap like a hart in His ways? Why, then, He must have loved me because of something good in me—and that is not according to the Gospel! The Gospel represents the Lord as loving the unworthy and justifying the ungodly and, therefore, I must cast out of my mind the idea that Divine Love depends on human conditions! Can it be true that God only loves His children when they are in good spiritual health? Is it so with me? Do I love my child when he is strong and hate him when he is sick? When I see the spots of disease upon him do I put him away and say that he is no son of mine?

If his poor eyes should fail him and he should become blind, should I cast him off? If his feet should fail him and he became a helpless cripple, should I disown him? If he lost his hearing and could not listen to my voice, would I discard him? Fathers, mothers, I speak to you! Come what may to your offspring, are they not still yours? And would you not still love them? Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? The Lord has said, “They may forget, yet will He not forget His people.” Be cheered, then, for into whatever state of unhappiness we may have wandered, the love of God does not depend upon our condition! It knows no ups nor downs, nor winters nor summers, nor ebbs nor flows, but abides forever sure!

Even though the Lord should hide His face from us, He is still our God, for the Lord has taught us to cry, “My God, my God,” even when we have to add, “why have You forsaken me?” When the Lord first loved us we were in a worse

state than we are in now, for though we feel dry and sapless we are not utterly dead as we were then. Remember “His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins.” We were enemies and yet He reconciled us! And we are not enemies now, though we fear we are poor, cold-hearted friends. We are sadly sick, perhaps, but we are not actually under condemnation as we were when first of all His Sovereign Grace came forth to do the deed of redemption and deliver us from the wrath to come. And if the Lord loved us then, why should He not love us now? We have not fallen into any state which takes the Lord by surprise, for He knew well enough what we should be.

However we may blame ourselves and I hope we do blame ourselves severely for every evil within our hearts, yet He foreknew what we should be and is by no means disappointed in us. There has nothing happened which our God did not foreknow and if He chose us knowing all this, can it be possible that when it comes to pass He should turn from His purpose and change His mind? No, never! Brethren, we have had great experiences, some of us, of God’s love in the past and this makes us feel that He can help us and will help us in the present! In the sanctuary we have seen His power and His Glory. Oh the delight, the heavenly joys which we have known at times in His service!

At Prayer Meetings I know we have had our hearts warmed within us and felt that we could scarcely be happier in Heaven! Sometimes, under a sermon, we have been fired as with new life and we have felt that we could begin again with double strength! If this has happened to us in former times, when we were heavy and depressed, why can it not happen again? Does not the Lord delight to revive the spirits of the faint and weary? Angels’ visits may be few and far between, but not the visitations of the Spirit of God, for He dwells with us and in us forever! Before we are aware, He can make us like the chariots of Amminadib, for He has done it and what He has done He is certainly able to do again! Why not comfort yourselves with these thoughts?

Besides, if we are in the wilderness, is not God the God of the wilderness? Were not His greatest marvels worked when He led His people about through the howling wilderness and fed them with manna and revealed Himself in a fiery, cloudy pillar? Where did Hagar look to Him who saw her but in the wilderness? Where did Moses see the Lord in the bush but at the backside of the desert? Where did Elijah hear a voice speaking to Him but away there in the wilderness? And where did David, the Psalmist, meet with his God but in the lone, solitary land where there is no water? O my Soul, if you are in the desert now, expect your God to meet with you! Open your eyes and expect to see Him display His Grace now that you are as the dry ground! He will pour floods upon you now that you are empty! He will fill you with His Divine fullness! Your poverty prepares you to apprehend His riches! Your inward death prepares you to receive His everlasting life! Therefore, have hope and rise from your depression and fear!

III. Thus much upon the second subject, by which we are led briefly to the third, namely, WHEN WE ARE IN A

DRY AND THIRSTY LAND OUR WISEST COURSE IS TO CRY TO HIM AT ONCE. Now, Brothers and Sisters, I

want to speak very practically to you, as I do to myself, for many of us are deeply and personally concerned in this matter. Very likely the warmth of the atmosphere on this warm summer morning may make you feel all the duller in devotion. You may not be enjoying the things of God because the air is heavy and makes you sleepy. Let us, then, bestir ourselves and break asunder the bonds of sleep!

We can only do this by crying at once to God Himself. Let us go straight away to Jesus, our Friend and Physician, and let us cry, “O God, You are my God, early will I seek You. My soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You.” Observe that David does not first pray for deliverance from the dry and thirsty land and then say, “There, I will now go and seek God!” But no, in the desert, itself, he cries, “My soul thirsts for You.” Learn from this and do not say, “I will get into communion with God when I feel better,” but long for communion now! It is one of the temptations of the devil to tell you not to pray when you do not feel like praying. Pray twice as much, then! When you feel least like praying, then pray the more, for you need it the more!

And when you feel very little like coming near to God, then cry, “My God, I must be in a terrible state, or else I should have a greater longing after You. Therefore will I not rest till I find You and come to You.” Do not, any of you, practice the sinner’s folly—he declares that he will tarry till he is better—and then he never comes at all. No, children of God must not say, “We will seek the Lord when we are better,” but you must seek Him at once! Practice the Gospel principle of, “Just as I am,” and come to Jesus just as you are! Lethargic, half asleep, almost dead in spirit, yet nevertheless come to Jesus! Make a plunge for it. Say, “I must have a sense of His love and I must have it now! I must not

lose this blessed Sabbath morning! I must enter into fellowship with God.” Make a dash for it and you shall have it! Do not wait till you are delivered, but in the dry and thirsty land sigh after God!

Neither, dear Friends, pray so much for ordinances as for the Lord, Himself. David does not say, “O God, You are my God, I will seek the sanctuary. My soul thirsts for a Prayer Meeting, my flesh longs for a sermon.” No, he sighs for God! He thirsts only for God! I believe that our Lord sometimes strikes all ordinances dry to make us feel that they are nothing without Himself. The means of Grace are blessed breasts at which the soul may suck when God is in them, but they are emptiness, itself, when He is not there. The preacher who has best fed you will only disappoint you if his Lord is not with him, or if you are not prepared to look beyond the man to the Master! The Lord loves to famish His people of all earthly bread and water—to bring them to wait upon only Himself.

I charge you, Beloved, this morning, that whatever your state may be, make a direct appeal to the Lord that He would immediately give you Himself by Christ Jesus! Nothing less than this can meet your needs and this will meet your case, though all outward ordinances should be denied. What if no point of the sermon should impress or quicken you? Yet the silent power of the Spirit of God can glide into your heart and become life to your soul! Seek it, then, and seek it believing that it may be had and had at once! The child of God may rise at once from slumber into earnestness and may leap from lethargy into zeal!

It is wonderful how speedily the Spirit of God works! He needs not hours and days and weeks in which to make us young again! He works with amazing mastery over the lapse of time and perfects in an instant His good work. It was all darkness, primeval darkness, thick and black as ebony itself and Jehovah said, “Light be!” Then flashed the day and all was brightness! So may it be black as Hell with you at this moment and an infernal night may brood over every faculty of your being—yet if the enlightening Spirit comes forth—day shall dawn, a day that shall surprise you, a day above the brightness of that which comes of the sun! Do not be afraid, dear children of God, you that have fallen into a mournful state! Do not be afraid to cry out to God, this morning, in the language of the Psalmist!

I know we sometimes feel as if we must not and dare not pray. We have become so dull, so lifeless, so unworthy that we do not expect to be heard and feel as if it would be presumption to cry. But our heavenly Father loves to hear His children cry all day long! Rutherford says, “The child in Christ’s house that is most troublesome is the most welcome! He that makes the most noise for his meat is the best child that Christ has.” You may not quite agree with that as to your own children, but it is certainly so with our Lord! Rutherford says, “It is a good child that is always whining each hour of the day for a piece and a drink.” He speaks of a hungry soul hanging around Christ’s pantry door and commends him for so doing. Assuredly the Lord wishes His children to have strong desires after Himself! Desire, then, and let those desires be vehement!

If you can cry out to Jesus, He will joyfully hear you! If you will give Him no rest, He will give you all the rest you need! The Lord finds music in His children’s cries. “Oh,” you say, “I would cry, but mine is such a discordant and foolish cry.” You are the very man to cry, for your sorrow will put an emphasis into your voice! Of all the cries your children utter, the one that comes closest home to you arises out of their pain and deep distress! A dying moan from a little one will pierce a mother’s heart! Look, she presses the baby to her bosom! She cries, “My dear dying child,” and weeps over it! You, too, shall be pressed to the bosom of Everlasting Love if you can only groan, or sob, or sigh! Only be careful that you are not happy in a dry and thirsty land! Be careful that you are not content away from God—for if you will not rest till you get at Him, you shall soon have Him! If you will groan after Him you shall find Him! A sigh will fetch Him!

May there be much longing, panting and pleading among us at this hour! Do not let anyone here be satisfied to remain in a dull state. Do not say, “Well, but he says a child of God may experience dullness.” Yes, I know I did, but I did not bid you fall into it! Above all, I did not tell you to live in it! One of your children may fall and cut his knees, but I should not recommend all his brothers to try a tumble, nor should I exhort him to lie on the ground. The dry and thirsty land is really a dry and thirsty land to the Believer, but if you can be satisfied to dwell there, it is not a dry and thirsty land to you!

Now, child of God, if you have fallen into a dull state, I beseech you to labor to rise out of it. And I do this, first, because you are not a fit person to be in such a state. Yours is the land that flows with milk and honey! You are like David, driven out of Canaan for a time, but you must never be satisfied till you get back to Jerusalem! Oh, cry unto the Lord to bring you back that you may see the King’s face and sit at the King’s table and delight yourself with the marrow

and the fatness which you ought to feed upon every day! You are a king and a priest unto God—will you go about in sordid beggar’s rags and forget your dignity and sit on a dunghill with the paupers of this miserable world? No! Come away! Come away—the dry and thirsty land is not for you—yours is the land of plenty and of joy!

Think of your obligations to your Savior. You have been bought with His precious blood! Your sins are forgiven you! You are a joint-heir with Him! Are you going to be cold and careless towards the Well-Beloved of your soul? I was about to say three-fourths of all the Christian people in this world live in such a way as rather to disgrace the Redeemer than to honor Him. I have not said that, but if I had chanced to make the statement I would not retract it, for I am afraid it is true. I am afraid that many of us are no credit to Christ. If worldlings look at us, they say, “Is that a Christian?” If my Lord were to send some of His sheep to a show, they would be far enough from winning a prize. If the prize were for joyous piety some would utterly fail! If the prize were for consistent courage and strength of heart, how few of us would be “highly commended.”

Many of His sheep are no credit to their Feeder and reflect no honor upon their Shepherd. Out of your dumps, my Brothers and Sisters! Why should you be sitting in darkness any longer with such Grace to be had and such a Savior to give it? Just think—you are losing a world of joy! You are sitting like an owl in a haunted ruin, blinking your eyes, when you might be flying like an eagle straight up to the Sun of Righteousness, in full communion with the great Lord! Why are you down there, down in the dens and caves of the earth, howling away among the dragons—when you might be up there among the cherubim and seraphim magnifying the Lord, for, “He has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”? I said you were children of God and, therefore, I am not condemning you, but I would brush you up if I could and bestir you to walk somewhat more worthily of the obligations imposed upon you by the Grace of God!

Think, my dear Brothers and Sisters, if you and I all get into a dull, sleepy state—what is to become of this poor world? You have to go to your class this afternoon—are you going there half awake and half asleep? Are you going to dream among your children all the afternoon? “Oh,” you say, “we do not do that.” Don’t you? Why, many a preacher is not above half awake when he delivers his sermon—he rather snores it than preaches it! Few of us ever were awake all through. We are awake half way! Oh that we were thoroughly awake, thoroughly alive, thoroughly in earnest! No wonder sinners are given to slumber when saints sleep as they do! No wonder that the unconverted think Hell a fiction when we live as if it were so! No wonder that they imagine Heaven to be a romance when we act as if it were so little a reality!

Oh Lord, awaken us, even if it be by thunder claps! Oh God, for Jesus Christ’s sake, bring us out of the dry and thirsty land! Have You not said that if we drink of the river of the Water of Life, out of our belly shall flow rivers of living water so that we shall neither complain of thirst, ourselves, nor shall there remain a desert around us? Help us, then, to drink abundantly!

I have thus spoken to as many as believe in Jesus Christ, but to you that are unbelievers, much of this may equally well apply, for you, too, are in a land still more dry and thirsty. Do not go about to sacraments and sermons, much less to priests, but go straight to God in Christ Jesus! Cry to HIM! O Sinner, cry to Him, “O God, though You are not my God, yet still early will I seek You! My heart longs for You! Come to me and save me!” Jesus will come to you and save you, even you, to the praise of the glory of His Grace. Amen.

THE DAY OF THE LORD

“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 http://www.spurgeongems.org  1

AWAKE! AWAKE!

NO. 163  A SERMON DELIVERED ON SABBATH MORNING, NOVEMBER 15, 1857, BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE MUSIC HALL, ROYAL SURREY GARDENS.

“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.

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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,

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“‘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.”

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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.

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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.

PRAY THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL USE THIS SERMON

TO BRING MANY TO A SAVING KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST.

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

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(Credit: Author-Charles Spurgeon)

Morning

“Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people … Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.”
Leviticus 19:16-17

http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Lev.19.16-Lev.19.17

Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah’s wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond–Speak evil of no man.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God’s blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he bore with Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.

Evening

“Spices for anointing oil.”
Exodus 35:8

http://www.biblegateway.com/audio/mclean/niv/Exod.35.8

Much use was made of this anointing oil under the law, and that which it represents is of primary importance under the gospel. The Holy Spirit, who anoints us for all holy service, is indispensable to us if we would serve the Lord acceptably. Without his aid our religious services are but a vain oblation, and our inward experience is a dead thing. Whenever our ministry is without unction, what miserable stuff it becomes! nor are the prayers, praises, meditations, and efforts of private Christians one jot superior. A holy anointing is the soul and life of piety, its absence the most grievous of all calamities. To go before the Lord without anointing is as though some common Levite had thrust himself into the priest’s office–his ministrations would rather have been sins than services. May we never venture upon hallowed exercises without sacred anointings. They drop upon us from our glorious Head; from his anointing we who are as the skirts of his garments partake of a plenteous unction. Choice spices were compounded with rarest art of the apothecary to form the anointing oil, to show forth to us how rich are all the influences of the Holy Spirit. All good things are found in the divine Comforter. Matchless consolation, infallible instruction, immortal quickening, spiritual energy, and divine sanctification all lie compounded with other excellencies in that sacred eye-salve, the heavenly anointing oil of the Holy Spirit. It imparts a delightful fragrance to the character and person of the man upon whom it is poured. Nothing like it can be found in all the treasuries of the rich, or the secrets of the wise. It is not to be imitated. It comes alone from God, and it is freely given, through Jesus Christ, to every waiting soul. Let us seek it, for we may have it, may have it this very evening. O Lord, anoint thy servants.