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That which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven: Miniature pictures of yourself

SpurgeonLet us now dwell upon the fact, that “the sting of death is sin.”

2. But I must take it in another sense. “The sting of death is sin:” that is to say, that which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven….

Thus, then, having painted two full-length pictures, I might give each one of you miniatures of yourselves. I might picture, O drunkard, when thy cups are drained, and when thy liquor shall no longer be sweet to thy taste, when worse than gall shall be the danties that thou drinkest, when within an hour the worms shall make a carnival upon thy flesh; I might picture thee as thou lookest back upon thy misspent life. And thou, O swearer, methinks I see thee there with thine oaths echoed back by memory to thine own dismay. And thou man of lust and wickedness thou who hast debauched and seduced others, I see thee there and the sting of death to thee, how horrible, how dreadful! It shall not be that thou art groaning with pain, it shall not be that thou art racked with agony, it shall not be that thy heart and flesh faileth; but the sting, the sting shall be thy sin. How many in this place can spell that word “remorse?” I pray you may never know its awful meaning. Remorse, remorse! You know its derivation: it signifies to bite. Ah! Now we dance with our sins-it is a merry life with us-we take their hands, and sporting in the noontide sun, we dance, we dance, and live in joy. But then those sins shall bite us. The young lions we have stroked and played with shall bite; the young adder, the serpent whose azure hues have well delighted us, shall bite, shall sting when remorse shall occupy our souls. I might, but I will not tell you, a few stories of the awful power of remorse: it is the first pang of hell, it is the ante-chamber of the pit. To have remorse is to feel the sparks that blaze upwards from the fire of the bottomless Gehenna; to feel remorse is to have eternal torment commenced within the soul. The sting of death shall be, unforgiven, unrepented sin.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

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That which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven: Second picture of this

Spurgeon 1Let us now dwell upon the fact, that “the sting of death is sin.”

2. But I must take it in another sense. “The sting of death is sin:” that is to say, that which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven….

Or suppose another character-a minister. He has stood before the world, proclaiming something which he called the gospel. He has been a noted preacher: the multitude have been hanging on his lips, they have listened to his words, before his eloquence a nation stood amazed, and thousands trembled at his voice. But his preaching is over; the time when he can mount the pulpit is gone; another standing-place awaits him, another congregation, and he must hear another and a better preacher than himself. There he lies. He has been unfaithful to his charge. He preached philosophy to charm his people, instead of preaching truth and aiming at their hearts. And as he pants upon his bed, that worst and most accursed of men-for sure none can be worse than he-there comes up one, a soul from the pit, and looking him in the face, says, “I came to thee once trembling on account of sin, I asked thee the road to heaven, and thou didst say, ‘Do such-and-such good works,’ and I did them, and am damned. Thou didst tell me an untruth; thou didst not declare plainly the word of God.” He vanishes only to be followed by another, he has been an irreligious character, and as he sees the minister upon his death-bed, he says, “Ah! And art thou here? Once I strolled into thy house of prayer, but thou hadst such a sermon that I could not understand. I listened; I wanted to hear something from thy lips, some truth that might burn my soul and make me repent; but I knew not what thou saidst, and here I am.” The ghost stamps his foot, and the man quivers like an aspen leaf, because he knows it is all true. Then the whole congregation arise before him as he lies upon his bed, he looks upon the motley group; he beholds the snowy heads of the old, and the glittering eyes of the young; and lying there upon his pillow, he pictures all the sins of his past life, and he hears it said, “Go thou! Unfaithful to thy charge: thou didst not divest thyself of thy love of pomp and dignity; thou didst not speak

As though thou ne’er might’st speak again,

A dying man to dying men.”

Oh! it may be something for that minister to leave his charge, somewhat for him to die; but worst of all, the sting of death will be his sin, to hear his parish come howling after him to hell, to see his congregation following behind him in one mingled herd, he having led them astray, having been a false prophet instead of a true one, speaking peace, peace, where there was no peace, deluding them with lies, charming them with music, when he ought rather to have told them in rough and rugged accents the word of God. Verily it is true, it is true, the sting of death to such a man shall be his great, his enormous, his heinous sin of having deluded others.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

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That which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven: First picture of this

Spurgeon 3Let us now dwell upon the fact, that “the sting of death is sin.”

2. But I must take it in another sense. “The sting of death is sin:” that is to say, that which shall make death most terrible to man will be sin, if it is not forgiven. If that be not the exact meaning of the apostle, still it is a great truth, and I may find it here. If sin lay heavy on me and were not forgiven-if my transgressions were unpardoned, if such were the fact (though I rejoice to know it is not so) it would be the very sting of death to me. Let us consider a man dying and looking back on his past life: he will find in death a sting, and that sting will be his past sin. Imagine a conqueror’s death-bed. He has been a man of blood from his youth up. Bred in the camp, his lips were early set to the bugle, and his hand, even in infancy, struck the drum. He had a martial spirit; he delighted in the fame and applause of men, he loved the dust of battle and the garment rolled in blood. He has lived a life of what men call glory. He has stormed cities, conquered countries, ravaged continents, overrun the world. See his burners hanging in the hall, and the marks of glory on his escutcheon. He is one of earth’s proudest warriors. But now he comes to die; and when he lies down to expire what shall invest his death with horror? It shall be his sin. Methinks I see the monarch dying; he lies in state; around him are his nobles and his counsellors; but there is someone else there. Hard by his side there stands a spirit from Hades; it is the soul of a departed woman. She looks on him and says, “Monster! My husband was slain in battle through thy ambition: I was made a widow, and my helpless orphan and myself were starved.” And she passes by. Her husband comes, and opening wide his bloody wounds, he cries, “Once I called thee monarch; but by thy vile covetousness, thou didst provoke an unjust war. See here these wounds-I gained them in the siege. For thy sake I mounted first the sealing ladder; this foot stood upon the top of the wall, and I waved my sword in triumph, but in hell I lifted up my eyes in torment. Base wretch, thine ambition hurried me thither!” Turning his horrid eyes upon him, he passes by. Then up comes another, and another, and another yet: waking from their tombs, they stalk around his bed and haunt him; the dreary procession still marches on, looking at the dying tyrant. He shuts his eyes, but he feels the cold and bony hand upon his forehead; he quivers for the sting of death is in his heart. “O Death!” says he, “to leave this large estate, this mighty realm, this pomp and power-this were somewhat, but to meet those men, those women, and shoes orphan children, face to face, to hear them saying, ‘Art thou become like one of us?’ while kings whom I have dethroned, and monarchs whom I have cast down shall rattle their chains in my ears, and say, “Thou wast our destroyer, but how art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou brought down as in a moment from thy glory and thy pride!’” There you see the sting of death would be the man’s sin. It would not sting him that he had to die but that he had sinned, that he had been a bloody man, that his hands were red with wholesale murder-this would plague him indeed, for “the sting of death is sin.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

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Sin brought death into the world

September 27, 2021 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 6Let us now dwell upon the fact, that “the sting of death is sin.”

1. First, sin puts a sting into death from the fact that sin brought death into the world. Men could be more content to die if they did not know it was a punishment. I suppose if we had never sinned there would have been some means for us to go from this world to another. It cannot be supposed that so huge a population would have existed that all the myriads who have lived from Adam down till now could ever have inhabited so small a globe as this, there would not have been space enough for them. But there might have been provided some means for taking us off when the proper time should come, and bearing us safely to heaven. God might have furnished horses and chariots of fire for each of his Elijahs; or as it was said of Enoch, so it might have been declared of each of us, “He is not, for God hath taken him.” Thus to die, if we may call it death, to depart from this body and to be with God, would have been no disgrace; in fact it would have been the highest honor: fitting the loftiest aspiration of the soul, to live quickly its little time in this world, then to mount and be with its God; and in the prayers of the most pious and devout man, one of his sublimest petitions would be, “O God, hasten the time of my departure, when I shall be with thee.” When such sinless beings thought of their departure they would not tremble, for the gate would be of ivory and pearl-not as now, of iron-the stream would be as nectar, far different from the present “bitterness of death.” But alas! How different! Death is now the punishment of sin. “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” “In Adam all die.” By his sin every one of us become subject to the penalty of death, and thus, being a punishment, death has its sting. To the best man, the holiest Christian, the most sanctified intellect, the soul that has the nearest and dearest intercourse with God, death must appear to have a sting, because sin was its mother. O fatal offspring of sin, I only dread thee because of thy parentage! If thou didst come to me AS an honor, I could wade through Jordan even now, and when its chilling billows were around me I would smile amidst its surges; and in the swellings of Jordan my song should swell to, and the liquid music of my voice should join with the liquid swellings of the floods, “Hallelujah! It is blessed to cross to the land of the glorified.” This is one reason why the sting of death is sin.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

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The Sting of Death

September 20, 2021 Leave a comment

SpurgeonWhen I select such a text as this, I feel that I cannot preach from it. The thought overmasters me, my words do stagger: there are no utterances that are great enough to convey the mighty meaning of this wondrous text. If I had the eloquence of all men united in one, if I could speak as never man spake, (with the exception of that one godlike man of Nazareth) I could not compass so vast a subject as this. I will not therefore pretend to do so, but offer you such thoughts as my mind is capable of producing To night we shall speak of three things: first, the sting of death; secondly, the strength of sin; and thirdly, the victory of faith.

I. First, THE STING OF DEATH. The apostle pictures death as a terrible dragon or monster, which, coming upon all men, must be fought with by each one for himself. He gives us no hopes whatever that any of us can avoid it. He tells us of no bridge across the river Death; he does not give us the faintest hope that it is possible to emerge from this state of existence into another without dying: he describes the monster as being exactly in our path, and with it we must fight, each man personally, separately, and alone; each man must die; we all must cross the black stream; each one of us must go through the iron gate. There is no passage from this world into another without death. Having told us, then, that there is no hope of our escape, he braces up our nerves for the combat; but he gives us no hope that we shall be able to slay the monster; he does not tell us that we can strike our sword into his heart, and so overturn and overwhelm death; but pointing to the dragon, he seemed to say. “Thou canst not slay it, man, there is no hope that thou shouldst ever put thy foot upon its neck and crush its head; but one thing can be done-it has a sting which thou mayest extract; thou canst not crush death under foot, but thou mayest pull out the sting which is deadly, and then thou needst not fear the monster, for monster it shall be no longer, but rather it shall be a swift winged angel to waft thee aloft to heaven.” Where, then, is the sting of this dragon? Where must I strike? What is the sting? The apostle tells us that “The sting of death is sin.” Once let me cut off that, and then, though death may be dreary and solemn, I shall not dread it; but holding up the monster’s sting, I shall exclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Let us now dwell upon the fact, that “the sting of death is sin.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

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With all that bold flight of eloquence, he does not deny that death is a gloomy thing

September 13, 2021 Leave a comment

CharlesSpurgeonThe sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But

thanks to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus

Christ.”-1 Corinthians 15:56, 57.

WHILE the Bible is one of the most poetical of books, though its language is unutterably sublime, yet we must remark how constantly it is true to nature. There is no straining of a fact, no glossing over a truth. However dark may be the subject, while it lights it up with brilliance, yet it does not deny the gloom connected with it. If you will read this chapter of Paul’s epistle, so justly celebrated as a master-piece of language you will find him speaking of that which is to come after death with such exaltation and glory, that you feel, “If this be to die, then it were well to depart at once.” Who has not rejoiced, and whose heart has not been lifted up, or filled with a holy fire, while he has read such sentences as these: “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Yet with all that majestic language, with all that bold flight of eloquence, he does not deny that death is a gloomy thing. Even his very figures imply it. He does not laugh at it, he does not say, “Oh, it is nothing todie;” he describes death as a monster, he speaks of it as having a sting, he tells us wherein the strength of that sting lies and even in the exclamation of triumph he imputes that victory not to unaided flesh, but he says, “Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

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The Wednesday Word: How God Got Rid of Our Sins

The gospel is wonderfully simple. It is the good news of the doing, dying and rising again of the God/Man. This gospel work was and is both finished and successful. As proof of this, we have, at this very moment, a glorified saviour seated in the place of cosmic authority (Hebrews 10:12).

So, let’s ask, how does God get rid of the believer’s sins? To answer this question, the Lord has taken great pains, in His Word, to show how completely He has done this. Watch how He employs word pictures that are so easily understood.

For example,

(1) In Psalm 103:12, we read, “As far as the east us so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Where is the East? Where is the West? No matter where we are on the globe there is always an east and a west. But who can tell us their actual location? If we begin traveling west, we will still be westward bound after many days of journey. Similarly, if we set out to discover the ultimate location of the east, we will never finally arrive.

As far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. This is how God got rid of our sins.

2) In Isaiah 38:17, we read, “Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” What a precious passage to assure us that God no longer sees our sins. Who can see behind his back? No one. The good news is that He no longer sees our sins. He Himself hurled them behind His back…. And not just some of our sins, … all of them.

All our sins;

Every sin in thought, word, or deed;

Every secret sin;

Every presumptuous sin;

All our sin!

He cast our sins behind His back. This is how God got rid of our sin!

3) In Micah 7:19, we read “Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Again, we find it is His work. He Himself cast our sins there. Not simply into the sea, but into the depths of the sea. If a person on board a ship empties some coins over the ship’s side, how much of it he will get back again? Not a red cent! All the coins would go down into the depths. So also with our sins. God cast them, great and small, into the depths of the sea, never to be brought back again.

This is how God got rid of our sins!

4) In Isaiah 44:22 we read, I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins.” Have you looked at the sky recently? There was a cloud there yesterday, an imposing one. Where is it today? … It is gone! And so it is with our sins. One day our sins rise up as a thick cloud between us and God, but God Himself blots them out because of the blood!

This is how God got rid of our sins!

5) In Isaiah 1:18, we read, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Scarlet and crimson are two of the most difficult colours to destroy, but God Himself took our scarlet sins, purges them, and, as it were, makes them white as snow.

This is how God gets rid of our sins!

It is our privilege to know, as David did, that we are, with reference to sin, made whiter than snow (Psalm 51:7). God has gone to amazing lengths to get rid of our sin! (See also Hebrews 10: 17, Ephesians 1:7 and Romans 4:7-8).

Is Jesus precious to you? He remembers our sins no more. He forgives us according to the riches of His grace. Who can compute this kind of love and mercy?

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Wednesday Word- Ashamed

Some years ago, an eminent minister of the Gospel lay on his death bed and a friend asked him, “Are you afraid to die?” ” No,” he said, turning his dimming eyes on his questioner. “No, I am not afraid, but I am ashamed!”

These words impacted me. I identified with them entirely. I love and believe the message of grace but when I look at my past life, I cringe. I am ashamed. I am compelled to say with Bishop Beveredge, ‘I cannot but look back upon my whole life but as one continued act of sin! “

I melt when I consider God´s patience and forbearance towards me. How does he put up with me? I´m amazed at the hideous vitality of sin and self that yet lurks within me. I am ashamed.

I have not preached the way I should have preached. I am ashamed

I have wasted opportunities for the Gospel and am ashamed

I see my lack of love and am ashamed.

I see my ingratitude and shortcomings and am ashamed.

I realize my lack of zeal and am ashamed.

I consider my prayer life and am ashamed.

Concerning prayer, I identify with the great John Newton who wrote,

“Often at the mercy-seat,

While calling on Thy name,

Swarms of evil thoughts I meet,

Which fill my soul with shame.

Agitated is my mind,

Like a feather in the air,

Can I thus a blessing find?

My soul, can this be prayer?”

Thank you, brother John Newton! Glad to see I´m not the only one in this boat. In fact, we are a large company. We know God has forgiven us, but we find it hard to forgive ourselves. We look at our failures and feel ashamed.

All fear of death has been taken away by the certainty of eternal life through Jesus; but we are at times keenly aware that, at best, we are unprofitable servants (Luke17:10)! Think of the many times our heart has been cold towards our precious master, friend and Saviour, the Lord Jesus. We have earned the right to be ashamed.

Ashamed of our imperfections,

Ashamed of ourselves.

Ashamed at our start, stop prayer life.

Ashamed at how little of the Word we know.

How we thank our Saviour for grace, mercy and the precious blood.

An awful price has been paid for our ransom. May we be overwhelmed and amazed at the undeserved mercy of God. He has even died for our shame. He has saved and adopted us.

Final thought. The “ashamedness,” we feel can only be felt in this life. In glory we will be like the Lord, we will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12). Shame cannot exist in the presence of God. All the bitter shame and sorrow flee in the brightness and glory of His grace! Psalm 16:11 assures us that “In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” There’s not an inch of room for “shame” there.

But do some people actually arrive in glory with shame? Perhaps so! We read, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” (Revelation 21:4). Included in these tears could well be tears of shame. At the end of the day, I don´t know. But this I do know; all memory of unworthiness and sin shall be impossible when we wake in His likeness (Psalm 17:15).

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

You have the freedom of Jerusalem

September 2, 2019 Leave a comment

Then, to conclude, you have the freedom of Jerusalem, the mother of us all. That is the best gift. We are free to heaven. When a Christian dies, he knows the open sesame that can open the gates of heaven, he knows the pass-word that can make the gates wide open fly; he has the white stone whereby he shall be known as a ransomed one, and that shall pass him at the barrier, he has the passport that shall let him into the dominions of Jehovah; he has liberty to enter into heaven. Methinks I see you, ye unconverted, in the land of shades, wandering up and down to find your portion. Ye come to the porch of heaven. It is great and lofty. The gate hath written o’er it, “The righteous only are admitted here.” As ye stand, ye look for the porter. A tall archangel appeareth from above the gate, and ye say, “Angel, let me in.” “Where is thy robe?” Thou searchest, and thou hast none; thou hast only some few rags of thine own spinning, but no wedding garment. “Let me in,” sayest thou, “for the fiends are after me to drag me to yonder pit. Oh, let me in.” But with a quiet glance the angel lifteth up his finger and saith. “Read up there;” and thou readest, “None but the righteous enter here.” Then thou tremblest, thy knees knock together; thy hands shake. Were thy bones of brass they might melt, and were thy ribs of iron they might be dissolved Ah! there thou standest, shivering, quaking, trembling; but not long, for a voice which frights thee from thy feet and lays thee prostrate, cries, “Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” O dear hearers, shall that be your portion? My friends as I love you,—I do this morning and hope I ever shall,— shall this be your lot? Will you not have freedom to enter into the city? Will you not seek that Spirit which giveth liberty? Ah! I know ye will not have it if left to yourselves; some of you perhaps never will. O God, grant that that member may be but few, but may the number of the saved be great indeed!

Turn, then my soul unto thy rest

The ransom of thy great High Priest,

Hath set the captive free.

Trust to his efficacious blood

Nor fear thy banishment from God,

Since Jesus died for thee.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

You have a right to enter into the city

Then, if you have the “Spirit of the Lord,” dear friends, you have a right to enter into the city. There are many of the freemen of the City of London here, I dare say, and that is a great privilege, very likely. I am not a freeman of London, but I am a freeman of a better city.

Savior, if of Zion’s city,

I, by grace, a member am,

Let the world revile or pity,

I will glory in thy name.”

You have a right to the freedom of Zion’s city, and you do not exercise it. I want to have a word with some of you. You are very good Christian people, but you have never joined the church yet. You know it is quite right, that he that believeth should be baptized; but I suppose you are afraid of being drowned, for you never come. Then the Lord’s table is spread once every month, and it is free to all God’s children, but you never approach it. Why is that? It is your banquet. I do not think if I were an alderman I should omit the city banquet; and being a Christian, I cannot omit the Christian banquet; it is the banquet of the saints.

Ne’er did angels taste above

Redeeming grace and dying love.”

Some of you never come to the Lord’s table; you neglect his ordinances. He says, “This do in remembrance of me.” You have obtained the freedom of the city, but you won’t take it up. You have a right to enter in through the gates into the city, but you stand outside. Come in brother; I will give you my hand. Don’t remain outside the church any longer, for you have a right to come in.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855