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It is a fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ will increase some men’s damnation at the last great day

ii. But another. It is a fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ will increase some men’s damnation at the last great day. Again, I startle at myself when I have said it; for it seems too horrible a thought for us to venture to utter-that the gospel of Christ will make hell hotter to some men than it otherwise would have been. Men would all have sunk to hell had it not been for the gospel. The grace of God reclaims “a multitude that no man can number;” it secures a countless army who shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation;” but, at the same time, it does to those who reject it, make their damnation even more dreadful. And let me tell you why.

First, because men sin against greater light; and the light we have is an excellent measure of our guilt. What a Hottentot might do without a crime, would be the greatest sin to me, because I am taught better; and what some even in London might do with impunity-set down, as it might be, as a sin by God, but not so exceeding sinful-would be to me the very height of transgression, because I have from my youth up been tutored to piety. The gospel comes upon men like the light from heaven. What a wanderer must he be who strays in the light! If he who is blind falls into the ditch we can pity him, but if a man, with the light on his eyeballs dashes himself from the precipice and loses his own soul, is not pity out of the question?

“How they deserve the deepest hell,

That slight the joys above!

What chains of vengeance must they feel,

Who laugh at sov’reign love!”

It will increase your condemnation, I tell you all, unless you find Jesus Christ to be your Savior, for to have had the light and not to walk by it, shall be the condemnation, the very essence of it. This shall be the virus of the guilt-that the “light came into the world, and the darkness comprehended it not;” for “men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.”

Again: it must increase your condemnation if you oppose the gospel. If God devises a scheme of mercy, and man rises up against it, how great must be his sin? Who shall tell the great guilt incurred by such men as Pilate, Herod, and the Jews? Oh! who shall picture out, or even faintly sketch, the doom of those who cried “Crucify him! Crucify him!” And who shall tell what place in hell shall be hot enough for the man who slanders God’s minister, who speaks against his people, who hates his truth, who would, if he could, utterly cut off the godly from the land? Ah! God help the infidel! God help the blasphemer! God save his soul: for of all men least would I choose to be that man. Think you, sirs, that God will not take account of what men have said? One man has cursed Christ; he has called him a charlatan Another has declared, (knowing that he spoke a lie) that the gospel was else. A third has proclaimed his licentious maxims, and then has pointed to God’s Word, and said, “There are worse things there!” A fourth has abused God’s ministers and held up their imperfections to ridicule. Think you God shall forget all this at the last day? When his enemies come before him, shall he take them by the hand and say, “The other day thou didst call my servant a dog, and spit on him, and for this I will give thee heaven!” Rather, if the sin has not been cancelled by the blood of Christ, will he not say, “Depart, cursed one, into the hell which thou didst scoff at; leave that heaven which thou didst despise; and learn that though thou saidst there was no God, this right arm shall teach thee eternally the lesson that there is one; for he who discovers it not by my works of benevolence shall learn it by my deeds of vengeance: therefore depart, again, I say!” It shall increase men’s hell that they have opposed God’s truth. Now, is not this a very solemn view of the gospel, that it is indeed to many “a savor of death unto death?”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Two Effects of the Gospel- A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 27, 1855

The Wednesday Word: Have you met Brother Earnest Effort?

Have you ever met Brother Earnest Effort? He’s a decent soul, but alas, he has not been established in the Gospel Truth. All he knows to do is ‘to do’! He makes his efforts and his heart condition the centre of his Christian life.

Without knowing it, he is brewing a lethal cocktail for himself! After continually taking stock of himself, he sees the ongoing rottenness of his very being. After all, he lives with himself. Everywhere he goes — there he is. He has tried rededicating himself to God so often that his re-dedicator has just about worn out.

He still sees his secret thoughts, and they are not good (Romans 7:18). He knows the cesspool of filth that bubbles up at the most inopportune moments (Romans 3:10). He gets deeply troubled by the continual plague of lusts and wicked thoughts that bombard him, but instead of looking to Christ for deliverance he looks for comfort and aid everywhere else.

He tries more discipline and gets up earlier to have his quiet time. He volunteers to help with the feeding program for the homeless. But still, everywhere he goes, there he is!

And Brother Earnest Effort is a member of a church. He sometimes hands out the bulletins and is on the greeting committee. His church is full of nice decent people who talk about the Christian life, but it’s a dangerous church….. in fact, it’s lethal…it does not have the Gospel on centre stage.

Brother E. Effort takes his seat each Sunday and week after week Pastor Practical Preacher gets up and teaches the folks how they can have a better life. He shares how they can be debt free; how to succeed in life; how to have a better marriage; why they should not gossip; five steps to victory, how to overcome a bad temper and the like. But Brother Earnest Effort, while he appreciates all the new information he gets each week, remains deeply anguished, troubled and untouched.

Brother Effort agrees with Pastor Preacher. He looks again at his heart and is overcomewith guilt. He says to himself, “Pastor Preacher is quite right, I shouldn’t gossip and judge; I shouldn’t get annoyed and angry with people the way I do, but after all this time I still keep falling into these things. There’s only one thing that must be the matter, I must not be saved!”

After several years of this, Brother Earnest Effort feels so condemned that he eventually drops out of Church life, separates himself from the church assembly and joins the ranks of the casualties and spiritual cripples! One of the ironies of the whole thing is, after wounding him with legalistic subjectivism, the church then condemns him because he dropped out. Pastor Preacher then says with pious voice, “He went out from us, but he was not of us; if he had been of us he would surely have remained with us.” Thus Brother E. Effort is discarded and left to wonder why it is that the Church is the only army on earth that buries their wounded!

What Brother Effort was not taught, however, was that actual guilt free victorious living can only be realized through continual exposure to the Gospel. That’s one of the reasons why the Gospel is the essential message for believers. But Brother Earnest Effort never really got to hear the Gospel because Pastor Practical Preacher pandered to the subjective cravings of his congregation.

Brother Effort, therefore, never grasped the good news that the big issue wasn’t him, but rather the Lamb!

Is the Lamb, a suitable sacrifice, —that’s the issue!

Was Jesus qualified to die?

Was He sinlessly perfect?

In the Old Testament, the High Priest examined the lamb. If the sacrificial lamb was found to be without blemish or impediment, it was reckoned as a fitting sacrifice, and the guilty party went free. The priest examined the Lamb, not the one who brought the lamb. If the lamb was accepted, then the one who brought the lamb was accepted and reckoned as innocent in virtue of the fact that the lamb would die as his substitute.

So it is with us today. Our Lamb, The Lord Jesus, has been slain and because of His shed blood, all charges against us have been dropped. The Father has examined His Son and is satisfied. His sacrifice has been accepted, and as proof of this, Christ has been raised from the dead. This is the basis of the guilt-free life! God sees your lamb, the Lord Jesus, without flaw, spot or imperfection and that, therefore, is the way He sees you. Your sins have been utterly purged by the perfect blood of your perfect High Priest and by that same perfect offering you have been perfected and sanctified.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckkee

www.milesmckee.com

Many men are hardened in their sins by hearing the gospel

i. And the first sense is this. Many men are hardened in their sins by hearing the gospel. Oh! ‘tis terribly and solemnly true, that of all sinners some sanctuary sinners are the worst. Those who can dive deepest into sin, and have the most quiet consciences and hardest hearts, are some who are to be found in God’s own house. I know that a faithful ministry will often prick them, and the stern denunciations of a Boanerges will frequently make them shake. I am aware that the Word of God will sometimes make their blood curdle within them; but I know (for I have seen the men) that there are many who turn the grace of God into licentiousness, make even God’s truth a stalking-horse for the devil, and abuse God’s grace to pallate their sin. Such men have I found amongst those who hear the doctrines of grace in their fullness. They will say, “I am elect, therefore I may swear; I am one of those who were chosen of God before the foundation of the world, and therefore I may live as I list.” I have seen the man who stood upon the table of a public house, and grasping the glass in his hand, said, “Mates! I can say more tha any of you; I am one of those who are redeemed with Jesus’ precious blood:” and then he drank his tumbler of ale and danced again before them, and sang vile and blasphemous songs. Now, that is a man to whom the gospel is “a savor of death unto death.” He hears the truth, but he perverts it; he takes what is intended by God for his good, and what does he do, he commits suicide therewith. That knife which was given him to open the secrets of the gospel he drives into his own heart. That which is the purest of all truth and the highest of all morality, he turns into the panderer of his vice, and makes it a scaffold to aid in building up his wickedness and sin. Are there any of you here like that man-who love to hear the gospel, as ye all it, and yet live impurely? who can sit down and say you are the children of God, and still behave like liege servants of the devil? Be it known unto you, that ye are liars and hypocrites, for the truth is not in you at all. “If any man is born of God, he cannot sin.” God’s elect will not be suffered to fall into continual sin; they will never “turn the grace of God into licentiousness;” but it will be their endeavor, as much as in them lies, to keep near to Jesus. Rest assured of this: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” “A good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit; neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” Such men, however, are continually turning the gospel into evil. They sin with a high hand, from the very fact that they have heard what they consider excuses their vice. There is nothing under heaven, I conceive, more liable to lead men astray than a perverted gospel. A truth perverted is generally worse than a doctrine which all know to be false. As fire, one of the most useful of the elements, can also cause the fiercest of conflagrations, so the gospel, the best thing we have, can be turned to the vilest account. This is one sense in which it is “a savor of death unto death.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Two Effects of the Gospel- A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 27, 1855

The Wednesday Word: The Unlikely Gospel!

I am so thankful for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Gospel. He gives us faith (Ephesians 2:8) and then persuades us of impossible things, the most unlikely of these being the Gospel itself!

Have you ever considered the unlikeliness of the whole Gospel story? Here we are on a tiny, insignificant speck of a planet, un-noticeable in the vast array of galaxies and yet God, the Creator of all things, has a particular interest in us.

And the skeptic says, “What a far-fetched idea!”

Well, it may be far-fetched to some, but the truth is He came here and became one of us!

And the doubter says, “Wait a minute, I don’t believe in fairy stories!”

But this is no fairy story; not only did He become one of us, but He also died the cruelest of deaths for us as He took responsibility for our sins and failures. And not only did He die for us, but He also became a curse for us and at the cross became the greatest reject in the universe.

And the cynic says, “That’s impossible.”

Impossible to believe? Yes indeed, the whole thing is impossible to believe unless the Holy Spirit possesses us and, in grace, opens our spiritual eyes. It’s all impossible to grasp unless He gives us faith to believe. He lets us see that the baby born in the stable was the Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6). He births faith that we might see that our redemption and security are in the Lamb of God alone (John 1:29). He convinces us that our righteousness is in Christ alone (Jeremiah 23:6). He shows us that, because of the blood, our conscience can be at peace (Hebrews 9:14). He guarantees us that we are fully accepted in heaven, right now and forever, because of Jesus (Ephesians 1:6). He assures us that our adversary, Satan, has been judged and defeated at the cross (Colossians 2:15). He persuades us that there is a fierce judgment to come and yet witnesses to us that as His blood washed people, we have nothing to fear (Romans 3:25).

The Holy Spirit continually takes us to the Lord Jesus whom we have never seen and does the impossible by making Him exceedingly precious to our hearts. He magnifies the Lord Jesus and causes our desires to go after Him. We could see nothing in Christ Jesus to desire were it not for the ministry of the Spirit. The great English preacher, William Romaine said it this way;

“This is the way in which the Holy Ghost glorifies Jesus: He gives the believer such views of the infinite fullness and everlasting sufficiency of Emmanuel, that he is quite satisfied with Him. William Romaine: Letter 11 (Dec. 29th, 1764).

Without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the whole Gospel record and its ensuing mercies are impossible to grasp. It is far-fetched. It is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18). Someone says, “I see what you mean, when I think about it I find it’s almost impossible to believe that one simple act of faith on my part can wipe out the entire record of sin and the accumulated filth of a lifetime of wickedness.”

Well no, that’s not what I mean. You talk about the impossibility of faith wiping out your sin—– well I agree with you. No amount of believing on your part can erase the horror and depth of your sin—that is indeed impossible! But, here’s the reality; Jesus Christ has already purged our sin. He has already redeemed (paid for) us. Because of Him, we are out of spiritual debt; we are free and clear. Our believing does not purge our sins; our believing does not redeem us. Our believing doesn’t pay our debt to God. And it doesn’t have to because Christ has already finished and accomplished our redemption at Calvary. The Holy Spirit gives faith to believe this—He gives faith to rest on this. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Rest on Him and the impossible will become a reality—you will be saved!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The gospel is to some men “a savor of death unto death”

1. The gospel is to some men “a savor of death unto death.” Now, this depends very much upon what the gospel is; because there are some things called gospel that are “a savor of death unto death” to everybody that hears them. John Berridge says he preached morality till there was not a moral man left in the village; and there is no way of injuring morality like legal preaching. The preaching of good works, and the exhorting men to holiness, as the means of salvation, is very much admired in theory; but when brought into practice, it is found not only ineffectual, but more than that-it becomes even “a savor of death unto death.” So it has been found; and I think even the great Chalmers himself confessed, that for years and years before he knew the Lord, he preached nothing but morality and precepts, but he never found a drunkard reclaimed by strewing him merely the evils of drunkenness; nor did he find a swearer stop his swearing because he told him the heinousness of the sin; it was not until he began to preach the love of Jesus, in his great heart of mercy-it was not until he preached the gospel as it was in Christ, in some of its clearness, fullness, and power, and the doctrine, that “by grace ye are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” that he ever met with success. But when he did preach salvation by faith, by shoals the drunkards came from their cups, and swearers refrained their lips from evil speaking; thieves became honest men, and unrighteous and ungodly persons bowed to the scepter of Jesus. But ye must confess, as I said before, that though the gospel does in the main produce the best effect upon almost all who hear it either by restraining them from sin, or constraining them to Christ; yet it is a great fact, and a solemn one, upon which I hardly know how to speak this morning, that to some men the preaching of Christ’s gospel is “death unto death,” and produces evil instead of good.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Two Effects of the Gospel- A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 27, 1855

The Wednesday Word: Worry or Worship

“Be careful for nothing (don’t worry about anything), but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Does this mean that the act of saying our prayers brings peace? No! There is a big difference between prayers and praying.

What we do learn from this scripture, however, is that believing, thankful, earnest praying is the antidote to worry. This kind of praying will slay worry while it releases the peace of God in the depth of our beings.

Listen to me, worry will circumvent the peace of God in our lives. But, believing, earnest, thankful prayer will destroy all anxiety.

One old time preacher observed, “Worry, is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” That’s so true! We as Gospel believers, however, are to be “careful for nothing, prayerful for everything and thankful for anything.”

In our praying, we draw near to the God who is never subject to worry. He is the sovereign, omnipotent, creator and Lord of the universe. He has nothing to worry about. Nothing takes Him by surprise. He’s not wondering how things will turn out. He is at peace! He has bought and paid for us so we also need not worry. We are now, as we grow in grace, learning to thank Him for all that He is and all that He has done for us. We are worshippers not worriers.

Lest we misunderstand, as believers, we already have peace. Earnest praying does not create it. Jesus has already given the gift of peace to every believer. In John 14:27 He promised, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

All Gospel believers have this peace…..our problem is that we often allow many things to disrupt it.

Our Christian life begins with peace. By faith, we have peace with God (Romans 5:1). The war is over. We have been brought near by the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:13).

Then comes the peace of God. It is humanly inexplicable (Philippians 4:7). It passes understanding. It garrisons our hearts and minds. We are kept! The word “keep” means “to stand guard over.” It’s interesting to note that when Paul wrote these very words, he had a Roman guard on either side of him. They were “standing guard” over the great apostle. It’s no wonder that Paul says that God’s peace is like a guard that protects the heart from anxiety and worry!

Because of the blood, we are already- in intimate, permanent union with Christ (Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 10:19.)

Oh, that we would learn not to worry. Worry destroys our peace. Yet, as believers, we so often willingly and readily enter into the disobedience of worry.

However, God’s promise is that His peace will “keep” our “hearts and our minds.”

Oh that we would learn by heart and live in Isaiah 26:3 which says;

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee.”

We are faced with 2 choices today… Worry or Worship

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com

The Gospel Produces different Effects

I. Our first remark is, that THE GOSPEL PRODUCES DIFFERENT EFFECTS. It must seem a strange thing, but it is strangely true, that there is scarcely ever a good thing in the world of which some little evil is not the consequence. Let the sun shine in brilliance-it shall moisten the wax, it shall harden clay; let it pour down floods of light on the tropics-it will cause vegetation to be extremely luxuriant, the richest and choicest fruits shall ripen, and the fairest of all flowers shall bloom, but who does not know, that there the worst of reptiles and the most venomous snakes are also brought forth? So it is with the gospel. Although it is the very sun of righteousness to the world, although it is God’s best gift, although nothing can be in the least comparable to the vast amount of benefit which it bestows upon the human race, yet even of that we must confess, that sometimes it is the “savor of death unto death.” But then we are not to blame the gospel for this; it is not the fault of God’s truth; it is the fault of those who do not receive it. It is the “savor of life unto life” to every one that listens to its sound with a heart that is open to its reception. It is only “death unto death” to the man who hates the truth, despises it, scoffs at it, and tries to oppose its progress. It is of that character we must speak first.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Two Effects of the Gospel- A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 27, 1855