“Some people, when I preach a stirring sermon, feel afraid to come again to hear me. Do searching sermons seem to go through you like a blast of the north wind, chilling you to the marrow and curdling your blood? Friend, if you are afraid of the pastor’s voice, how will you bear His voice who will speak in tones of thunder? Oh, what must it be to stand before that dreadful tribunal? Are you doubting now? What will you be then? Can you not bear a little self-examination now? If not, how will you bear that God-examination? If earthly scales tell you that you are wanting, what message will the scales of heaven give you?
I am writing to you as I would address my own heart, and I entreat you, professing Christians, ‘Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobate?‘ (2 Corinthians 13:5)…
Oh, my I reach some heart right now! I have a notion that there is someone reading this who will not have another warning. Who among my readers will it be who will die this week, beyond hope? Ponder the question well! Will you be the one to dwell in devouring flames if you do not repent right now? Will you abide in everlasting fire? If I knew you, I would willingly cover you with tears. If I knew you who are to die this week, I would find you, kneel down at your side, and urge you to think of eternal things. But I do not know you, and therefore, by the living God, I implore you all to fly to Jesus by faith.
These are no trifling matters, are they? If they are, I am but a sorry trifler, and you may laugh at me. But, if they are true and real, it suits me to be in earnest, and how much more it will suit you to be so. Prepare to meet your God. He is coming, so prepare now for that Day! ‘Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation‘ (2 Corinthians 6:2). The gates of mercy are not closed. Your sin is not unpardonable. you may yet find mercy. Christ invites you. His blood-drops cry to you:
‘Come and welcome,
Come and welcome, sinner, come.’
May the Holy Spirit put life into these simple words of mine, and may the Lord help you to come to Him now. The way to come is just to trust in Christ. It is all done when you trust in Christ. Throw yourselves on Him and His mercy, putting your trust in nothing else… Risk everything with Christ; trust nothing else but Him. If you can get a grip on the Cross and stand there beneath the crimson canopy of the atoning blood, God Himself cannot smite you, and the Judgment Day will dawn upon you with splendor and delight, instead of gloom and terror.”-Charles Spurgeon, When Christ Returns, p. 63, 70-71
It is unpopular (and even down right offensive) in the climate of today’s culture to speak of the “Great White Throne” judgment or the “devouring flames” of hell, but they are a reality. This preacher understood, perhaps better than most others, just how terrifyingly real these things were for those who did not trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Therefore, he felt compelled to plead with the unbelieving soul to spare them this eternal fate.
Why do we not see more of this kind of compassion from the pulpits today? Why do more men not weep for the souls of their lost congregation members? Why do we not hear more of this kind of message? Why is the church today not warned more often of this great and awesome Judgment Day? Where is this caliber of preacher today? Granted, there are definately a few faithful men like this across our vast country, but they seem to be few and far between.
We, the church, should be seeking-out these faithful men and supporting their ministry. We ought not shy away from the self-examination that comes from their faithful proclamation of the Word (Heb. 4:12), but put ourselves under such preaching. Furthermore, let us turn away from watered-down or distorted messages (which do little more than “tickle our ears”) that are so popular in today’s church and turn toward the whole counsel of the Word of God, as proclaimed by such men.
May the Lord be pleased to raise up more faithful men like this for His honor & glory! Amen.