Death is a River

“Ah! thou wise man, full of worldly wisdom; thy wisdom will stand thee here, but what wilt thou do in the swellings of Jordan? Philosophy may do well for thee to lean upon whilst thou walkest through this world; but the river is deep, and thou wilt want something more than that. If thou hast not the arm of the Most High to hold thee up in the flood and cheer thee with promises, thou wilt sink, man; with all thy philosophy, thou wilt sink; with all thy learning, thou shalt sink, and be washed into that awful ocean of eternal torment, where thou shalt be forever.” – Charles Spurgeon, in his sermon Christ Crucified.

 

“Now I further saw that betwixt them and the Gate [of Heaven] was a River, but there was no bridge to go over; the River was very deep; at the sight therefore of this River, the pilgrims were much astounded…The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the Gate…The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in his mind, and looked this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they might escape the River…They then addressed themselves to the water; and entering, Christian began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, ‘I sink in deep waters, the billows go over my head, all his waves go over me’…Then said the other, ‘Be of good cheer, my brother, I feel the bottom, and it is good…Be of good cheer, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole.’ And with that, Christian brake out with a loud voice, ‘Oh I see him again! And he tells me, When though passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.’ Then they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as still as a stone, until they were gone over. Christian therefore presently found ground to stand upon; and so it followed that the rest of the River was but shallow. Thus they got over.” – John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress

 

It is Jesus who gets us across this river – this river we will all face – not worldly wisdom, philosophy, or learning, lest we be washed into that awful ocean.

{emphasis mine}

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Charles Spurgeon: On Isaiah 45:22

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22

“First, to whom does God tell us to look for salvation? O, does it not lower the pride of man, when we hear the Lord say, ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth?’ It is not, ‘Look to your priest, and be ye saved:’ if you did, there would be another god, and beside him there would be some one else. It is not, ‘Look to yourself;’ if so, then there would be a being who might arrogate some of the praise of salvation. But it is ‘Look unto me.’ How frequently you who are coming to Christ look to yourselves. ‘O!’ you say, ‘I do not repent enough.’ That is looking to yourself. ‘I do not believe enough.’ That is looking to yourself. ‘I am too unworthy.’ That is looking to yourself. ‘ I cannot discover,’ says another, ‘that I have any righteousness.’ It is quite right to say that you have not any righteousness; but it is quite wrong to look for any. It is, ‘Look unto me.’ God will have you turn your eye off yourself and look unto him. The hardest thing in the world is to turn a man’s eye off himself; as long as he lives, he always has a predilection to turn his eyes inside, and look at himself; whereas God says, ‘Look unto me.'”

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon, Sovereignty and Salvation.


“There is nothing in this Bible which is unimportant.”

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon, The Bible.


“We, who are the advocates of the truth, are often very poor pleaders; we spoil our cause by the words we use; but it is a mercy that the brief is in the hand of a special pleader, who will advocate successfully, and overcome the sinner’s opposition.”

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon, The Comforter.

Isn’t it amazing how the Holy Spirit uses the fumbled words of our awkward attempts to explain the glorious gospel to penetrate the hearts of men.


“Think not, O poor downcast child of God, because the scars of thine old sins have marred thy beauty, that he loves thee less because of that blemish.”

Charles Spurgeon in his sermon, The Comforter.


Spurgeon on Hell

Yesterday’s message (here) really messed me up. Matt spoke on Heaven and Hell…everyone’s favorite topic. I’m thankful that he is bold enough and faithful enough to preach on the reality of man’s eternal destination.

Heaven and Hell are real places. Please hear that. They are real places. And talking about them is not for fear-mongering or to paint pretty pictures in your mind of a place that everyone goes to be happy some day.

The part that messed me up the most was when Matt quoted a section from one of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons (click here for the full sermon from Spurgeon). He tells the story of a mother who is at judgement with her children. Jesus directs the mother one way and the children to another. The mother loved Jesus with all her heart and she tried to teach her children to do the same. But the children grew to love the things of the world, rather than Jesus. After weeping and seeing that her children were going to spend eternity in Hell, an angel dries her eyes, which reminds her of the treasure she has in Jesus and His perfect justice He executes in punishing sinners, and her response to her children is this:

“My children, I taught you well, I trained you up, and you forsook the ways of God; and now all I have to say is, Amen to your condemnation.”

Please, read and re-read this quote. For those of you in Christ, this is the hard reality of what we will one day face. Imagine those you love here on earth. Some of them don’t know or don’t believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As painful as it will be to know that they will not be with us in heaven, our joy in Christ and His justice will cause us to say “Amen” to their condemnation.

It is not “Amen, I’m such a good person and they’re not.” It’s “Amen, God showed me grace and His perfect name will not be defamed by those who rebel. To Him be glory and honor forever. Amen.”

Please have the spiritual sensitivity to let this bother you. May it cause you to cherish the grace that Christ has shown you, if you are a believer, and may it cause us to open our mouths and proclaim the Gospel.