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A Gospel Rejected

There are three things in the text. First, a gospel rejected — “Christ, crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness;” secondly, a gospel triumphant — “unto those which are called, both Jews and Greeks;” and thirdly, a gospel admired-it is to them who are called “the power of God; and the wisdom of God.”

I. First, we have here A GOSPEL REJECTED. One would have imagined that when God sent his gospel to men, all men would meekly listen, and humbly receive its truths. We should have thought that God’s ministers had but to proclaim that life is brought to light by the gospel, and that Christ is come to save sinners, and every ear would be attentive, every eye would be fixed, and every heart would be wide open to receive the truth. We should have said, judging favourably of our fellow-creatures, that there would not exist in the world a monster so vile, so depraved, so polluted, as to put so much as a stone in the way of the progress of truth; we could not have conceived such a thing; yet that conception is the truth. When the gospel was preached, instead of being accepted and admired, one universal hiss went up to heaven; men could not bear it; its first Preacher they dragged to the brow of the hill, and would have sent him down headlong: yea, they did more, they nailed him to the cross, and there they let him languish out his dying life in agony such as no man hath borne since. All his chosen ministers have been hated and abhorred by worldlings; instead of being listened to, they have been scoffed at; treated as if they were the offscouring of all things, and the very scum of mankind. Look at the holy men in the old times, how they were driven from city to city, persecuted, afflicted, tormented, stoned to death wherever the enemy had power to do so. Those friends of men, those real philanthropists, who came with hearts big with love, and hands full of mercy, and lips pregnant with celestial fire, and souls that burned with holy influence; those men were treated as if they were spies in the camp, as if they were deserters from the common cause of mankind; as if they were enemies, and not, as they truly were, the best of friends. Do not suppose, my friends, that men like the gospel any better now, than they did then. There is an idea that you are growing better. I do not believe it. You are growing worse. In many respects men may be better-outwardly better-but the heart within is still the same. The human heart of to-day dissected, would be just like the human heart a thousand years ago: the gall of bitterness within that breast of yours, is just as bitter as the gall of bitterness in that of Simon of old. We have in our hearts the same latent opposition to the truth of God; and hence we find men even as of old, who scorn the gospel.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Christ Crucified,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 11, 1855

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