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The poor man who lay on my dunghill, and the dogs licked his sores; there he is in heaven, while I am cast down

But to conclude. Methinks I see thee in some place in hell, tied to a rock, the vulture of remorse knowing thy heart; and up there is Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, You lift up your eyes and you see who it is. “That is the poor man who lay on my dunghill, and the dogs licked his sores; there he is in heaven, while I am cast down. Lazarus-yes, it is Lazarus; and I who was rich in the world of time am here in hell. Father Abraham, send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue.” But no! It cannot be; it cannot be. And whilst you lie there if there be one thing in hell worse than another, it will be seeing the saints in heaven. Oh, to think of seeing my mother in heaven while I am cast out! Oh, sinner, only think, to see thy brother in heaven-he who was rocked in the selfsame cradle, and played beneath the same roof-tree-yet thou art cast out. And, husband, there is thy wife in heaven, and thou art amongst the damned, And seest thou, father! thy child is before the throne; and thou! accursed of God and accursed of man, art in hell. Oh, the hell of hells will be to see our friends in heaven, and ourselves lost. I beseech you, my hearers, by the death of Christ- by his agony and bloody sweat-by his cross and passion-by all that is holy- by all that is sacred in heaven and earth-by all that is solemn in time or eternity -by all that is horrible in hell, or glorious in heaven-by that awful thought, “for ever,”-I beseech you lay these things to heart, and remember that if you are damned, it will be unbelief that damns you. If you are lost, it will be because ye believed not on Christ; and if you perish, this shall be the bitterest drop of gall-that ye did not trust in the Savior.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

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It is not the wrath now you have to fear, but the wrath to come- and there shall be a doom to come

But, sirs, the worst fulfillment of this doom is to come! Good Whitfield used sometimes to lift up both his hands and shout, as I wish I could shout, but my voice fails me. “The wrath to come! the wrath to come!” It is not the wrath now you have to fear, but the wrath to come- and there shall be a doom to come, when “ye shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat thereof.” Methinks I see the last great day. The last hour of time has struck. I heard the bell toll its death knell-time was, eternity is ushered in; the sea is boiling; the waves are lit up with supernatural splendor. I see a rainbow-a flying cloud, and on it there is a throne, and on that throne sits one like unto the Son of Man. I know him. In his hand he holds a pair of balances; just before him the books,-the book of life, the book of death, the book of remembrance. I see his splendor and I rejoice at it; I behold his pompous appearance, and I smile with gladness that he is come to be “admired of all his saints.” But there stands a throng of miserable wretches, crouching in horror to conceal themselves, and yet looking for their eyes must look on him whom they have pierced; but when they look they cry, “Hide me from the face.” What face? “Rocks, hide me from the face.” What face? “The face of Jesus, the man who died, but now is come to judgment.” But ye cannot be hidden from his face; ye must see it with your eyes: but ye will not sit on the right hand, dressed in robes of grandeurand when the triumphal procession of Jesus in the clouds shall come, ye shall not march in it; ye shall see it, but ye shall not be there. Oh! Methinks I see it now, the mighty Savior in his chariot, riding on the rainbow to heaven, See how his mighty coursers make the sky rattle while he drives them up heaven’s hill. A train girt in white follow behind him, and at his chariot wheels he drags the devil, death, and hell. Hark, how they clap their hands. Hark, how they shout. “Thou hast ascended up on high- thou hast led captivity captive.” Hark, how they chaunt the solemn lay, “Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” See the splendor of their appearance; mark the crown upon their brows; see their snow-white garments; mark the rapture of their countenances; hear how their song swells up to heaven while the Eternal joins therein, saying, “I will rejoice over them with joy, I will rejoice over them with singing, for I have betrothed thee unto me in everlasting lovingkindness.” But where are you all the while? Ye can see them up there but where are you? Looking at it with your eyes, but you cannot eat thereof. The marriage banquet is spread; the good old wines of eternity are broached; they sit down to the feast of the king; but there are you, miserable, and famishing, and ye cannot eat thereof. Oh! how ye wring your hands. Might ye but have one morsel from the table-might ye but be dogs beneath the table. You shall be a dog in hell, but not a dog in heaven.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

Let me apply this chiefly to the unconverted

But, let me apply this chiefly to the unconverted. They often see great works of God done with their eyes, but they do not eat thereof. A crowd of people have come here this morning to see with their eyes, but I doubt whether all of them eat. Men cannot eat with their eyes, for if they could, most would be well fed. And, spiritually, persons cannot feed simply with their ears, nor simply with looking at the preacher; and so we find the majority of our congregations come just to see; “Ah, let us hear what this babbler would say, this reed shaken in the wind.” But they have no faith; they come, and they see, and see, and see, and never eat. There is someone in the front there, who gets converted; and some one down below, who is called by sovereign grace- some poor sinner is weeping under a sense of his blood guiltiness, another is crying for mercy to God: and another is saying, “Have mercy upon me, a sinner.” A great work is going on in this chapel, but some of you do not know anything about it; you have no work going on in your hearts, and why? Because ye think it is impossible; ye think God is not at work. He has not promised to work for you who do not honor him. Unbelief makes you sit here in times of revival and of the outpouring of God’s grace, unmoved, uncalled, unsaved.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

This brings us now to conclude with the PUNISHMENT

II. This brings us now to conclude with the PUNISHMENT. “Thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.” Listen unbelievers! ye have heard this morning your sin, now listen to your doom: “Ye shall see it with your eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.” It is so often with God’s own saints. When they are unbelieving, they see the mercy with their eyes, but do not eat it. Now, there is corn in this land of Egypt; but there are some of God’s saints who come here on the Sabbath, and say, “I do not know whether the Lord will be with me or not.” Some of them say, “Well, the gospel is preached, but I do not know whether it will be successful.” They are always doubting and fearing. Listen to them when they get out of the chapel. “Well, did you get a good meal this morning?” “Nothing for me.” Of course not. Ye could see it with your eyes, but did not eat it, because you had no faith. If you had come up with faith, you would have had a morsel. I have found Christians, who have grown so very critical, that if the whole portion of the meat they are to have, in due season, is not cut up exactly into square pieces, and put upon some choice dish of porcelain they cannot eat it. Then they ought to go without; and they will have to go without, until they are brought to their appetites. They will have some affliction, which will act like quinine upon them: they will be made to eat by means of bitters in their mouths; they will be put in prison for a day or two until their appetite returns, and then they will be glad to eat the most ordinary food, off the most common platter, or no platter at all. But the real reason why God’s people do not feed under a gospel ministry, is because they have not faith. If you believed, if you did but hear one promise that would be enough; if you only heard one good thing from the pulpit, here would be food for your soul, for it is not the quantity we hear, but the quantity we believe, that does us good-it is that which we receive into our hearts with true and lively faith, that is our profit.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

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Unbelief is the damning sin

5. And now to close this point — for I have been already too long — let me remark that you will observe the heinous nature of unbelief in this — that it is the damning sin. There is one sin for which Christ never died; it is the sin against the Holy Ghost. There is one other sin for which Christ never made atonement. Mention every crime in the calendar of evil, and I will show you persons who have found forgiveness for it. But ask me whether the man who died in unbelief can be saved, and I reply there is no atonement for that man. There is an atonement made for the unbelief of a Christian, because it is temporary, but the final unbelief-the unbelief with which men die-never was atoned for. You may turn over this whole Book, and you will find that there is no atonement for the man who died in unbelief; there is no mercy for him. Had he been guilty of every other sin; he had but believed, he would have been pardoned; but this is the damning exception- he had no faith. Devils seize him! O fiends of the pit, drag him downward to his doom! He is faithless and unbelieving, and such are the tenants for whom hell was built. It is their portion, their prison, they are the chief prisoners, the fetters are marked with their names, and for ever shall they know that, “he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

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Unbelief has been severely punished

4. Our next remark is-unbelief has been severely punished. Turn you to the Scriptures! I see a world all fair and beautiful; its mountains laughing in the sun, and the fields rejoicing in the golden light. I see maidens dancing, and young men singing. How fair the vision! But lo! a grave and reverend sire lifts up his hand, and cries, “A flood is coming to deluge the earth: the fountains of the great deep will be broken up, and all things will be covered. See yonder ark! One hundred and twenty years have I toiled with these my hands to build it; flee there, and you are safe.” “Aha! old man; away with your empty predictions! Aha! let us be happy while we may! when the flood comes, then we will build an ark- but there is no flood conning; tell that to fools; we believe no such things.” See the unbelievers pursue their merry dance. Hark! Unbeliever. Dost thou not hear that rumbling noise? Earth’s bowels have begun to move, her rocky ribs are strained by dire convulsions from within; lo! they break with the enormous strain, and forth from between them torrents rush unknown since God concealed them in the bosom of our world. Heaven is split in sunder! It rains. Not drops, but clouds descend. A cataract, like that of old Niagara, rolls from heaven with mighty noise. Both firmaments, both deeps-the deep below and the deep above-do clasp their hands. Now unbelievers, where are you now? There is your last remnant. A man — his wife clasping him round the waist — stands on the last summit that is above the water. See him there? The water is up to his loins even now. Hear his last shriek! He is floating — he is drowned. And as Noah looks from the ark he sees nothing. Nothing! It is a void profound. “Sea monsters whelp and stable in the palaces of kings.” All is overthrown, covered, drowned. What hath done it? What brought the flood upon the earth? Unbelief. By faith Noa escaped from the flood. By unbelief the rest were drowned.

And, oh! do you not know that unbelief kept Moses and Aaron out of Canaan? They honored not God — they struck the rock when they ought to have spoken to it. They disbelieved: and therefore the punishment came upon them, that they should not inherit that good land, for which they had toiled and labored.

Let me take you where Moses and Aaron dwelt-to the vast and howling wilderness. We will walk about it for a time; sons of the weary foot, we will become like the wandering Bedouins, we will tread the desert for a while. There lies a carcase whitened in the sun- there another, and there another. What means these bleached bones? What are these bodies-there a man, and there a woman? What are all these? How came these corpses here? Surely some grand encampment must have been here cut off in a single night by a blast, or by bloodshed. Ah, no, no. Those bones are the bones of Israel; those skeletons are the old tribes of Jacob. They could not enter because of unbelief. They trusted not in God. Spies said they could not conquer the land. Unbelief was the cause of their death. It was not the Anakims that destroyed Israel; it was not the howling wilderness which devoured them; it was not the Jordan which proved a barrier to Canaan, neither Hivite or Jebusite slew them; it was unbelief alone which kept them out of Canaan. What a doom to be pronounced on Israel, after forty years of journeying: they could not enter because of unbelief!

Not to multiply instances, recollect Zechariah. He doubted, and the angel struck him dumb. His mouth was closed because of unbelief. But Oh! If you would have the worst picture of the effects of unbelief if you would see how God has punished it, I must take you to the siege of Jerusalem, that worst massacre which time has ever seen, when the Romans raised the walls to the ground, and put the whole of the inhabitants to the sword, or sold them as slaves in the market-place. Have you never read of the destruction of Jerusalem, by Titus? Did you never turn to the tragedy of Masada, when the Jews stabbed each other rather than fall into the hands of the Romans? Do you not know, that to this day the Jew walks through the earth a wanderer, without a home and without a land? He is cut off, as a branch is cut from a vine — and why? Because of unbelief. Each time ye see a Jew with a sad and sombre countenance-each time ye mark him like a denizen of another land, treading as an exile this our country-each time ye see him, pause and say, “Ah! it was unbelief which caused thee to murder Christ, and now it has driven thee to be a wanderer; and faith alone — faith in the crucified Nazarene — can fetch thee back to thy country, and restore it to its ancient grandeur.” Unbelief, you see, has the Cain mark upon its forehead. God hates it — God has dealt hard blows upon it: and God will ultimately crush it. Unbelief dishonors God. Every other crime touches God’s territory; but unbelief aims a blo at his divinity, impeaches his veracity, denies his goodness, blasphemes his attributes, maligns his character; therefore, God of all things, hates first and chiefly, unbelief, wherever it is.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855

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Unbelief disables a man for the performance of any good work

March 19, 2018 1 comment

3. But there is a third point. Unbelief disables a man for the performance of any good work; “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” is a great truth in more senses than one. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” You shall never hear me say a word against morality; you shall never hear me say that honesty is not a good thing, or that sobriety is not a good thing; on the contrary, I would say they are commendable things; but I will tell you what I will say afterwards-I will tell you that they are just like the Dowries of Hindostan; they may pass current among the Indians, but they will not do in England; these virtues may be current here below, but not above. If you have not something better than your own goodness, you will never get to heaven. Some of the Indian tribes use little strips of cloth instead of money and I would not find fault with them if I lived there, but when I come to England, strips of cloth will not suffice. So honesty, sobriety, and such things, may be very good amongst men and the more you have of them the better. I exhort you, whatsoever things are lovely and pure, and of good report, have there-but they will not do up there. All these things put together, without faith do not please God. Virtues without faith are whitewashed sins. Obedience without faith, if it is possible, is a gilded disobedience. Not to believe, nullifies everything. It is the fly in the ointment; it is the poison in the pot. Without faith, with all the virtues of purity, with all the benevolence of philanthropy, with all the kindness of disinterested sympathy, with all the talents of genius, with all the bravery of patriotism, and with all the decision of principle- “without faith it is impossible to please God.” Do you no see then, how bad unbelief is, because it prevents men from performing good works. Yea, even in Christians themselves, unbelief disables them. Let me just tell you a tale-a story of Christ’s life. A certain man had an afflicted son, possessed with an evil spirit. Jesus was up in Mount Tabor, transfigured; so the father brought his son to the disciples. What did the disciples do? They said “Oh, we will cast him out.” They put their hands upon him, and they tried to do it; but they whispered among themselves and said, “We are afraid we shall not be able.” By-and-by the diseased man began to froth at the mouth, he foamed and scratched the earth, clasping it in his paroxysms. The demoniac spirit within him was alive. The devil was still there. In vain their repeated exorcism, the evil spirit remained like a lion in his den, nor could their efforts dislodge him. “Go!” said they; but he went not, “Away to the pit!” they cried; but he remained immoveable. The lips of unbelief cannot affright the Evil One, who might well have said, “Faith I know, Jesus I know, but who are ye? ye have no faith.” If they had had faith, as a grain of mustard seed, they might have cast the devil out, but their faith was gone, and therefore they could do nothing. Look at poor Peter’s case, too. While he had faith, Peter walked on the waves of the sea. That was a splendid walk; I almost envy him treading upon the billows. Why, if Peter’s faith had continued, he might have walked across the Atlantic to America. But presently there came a billow behind him, and he said, “That will sweep me away;” and then another before, and he cried out, “That will overwhelm me;” and he thought-how could I be so presumptuous as to be walking on than top of these waves? Downs goes Peter. Faith was Peter’s life-buoy; faith was Peter’s charm-it kept him up; but unbelief sent him down. Do you know that you and I, all our lifetime, will have to walk on the water? A Christian’s life is always walking on water-mine is-and every wave would swallow and devour him but faith makes him stand. The moment you cease to believe, that moment distress comes in, and down you go. Oh! Wherefore dost thou doubt, then?

Faith fosters every virtue; unbelief murders every one. Thousands of prayers have been strangled in their infancy by unbelief. Unbelief has been guilty of infanticide; it has murdered many an infant petition, many a song of praise that would have swelled the chorus of the skies, has been stifled by an unbelieving murmur, many a noble enterprise conceited in the heart has been blighted ere it could come forth, by unbelief; many a man would have been a missionary; would have stood and preached his Master’s gospel boldly; but he had unbelief. Once make a giant unbelieving, and he becomes a dwarf: Faith is the Samsonian lock of the Christian; cut it off, and you may put out his eyes-and he can do nothing.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Sin of Unbelief” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, January 14, 1855