Spurgeon’s Conversion

Mark Dever, commenting on the importance of a reference to Numbers 21:8-9 cf. John 3:14-15 in the conversion of Charles Spurgeon, writes and, then, quotes:

The great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon came to a saving knowledge of Christ when, during a snowstorm, he stumbled into a primitive Methodist chapel and heard a laymen expounding on another text about “looking.” The regular preacher of the church was absent that day, and Spurgeon recounts in his autobiography this untutored man’s words from the pulpit: “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin’ to do but to look and live.”

And then Spurgeon says,

“I saw at once the way of salvation.  I know not what else he said, – I did not take much notice of it, – I was so possessed with that one thought.  Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, the people only looked and were healed, so it was with me.  I had been waiting to do fifty other things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could have looked my eyes away.  There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled way, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to him.  Oh that somebody had told me this before, ‘Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.'”

From Mark Dever’s The Message of the Old Testament, pg. 147; Spurgeon’s quote from C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Vol. 1:106.

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Why We Believe Children Who Die Go To Heaven: An Article

By R. Albert Mohler, Jr., and Daniel L. Akin.  Go here to read this interesting article.  What do you think?

Spurgeon’s “Resurgam” (I Shall Rise Again)

 

“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come; Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some other grain but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”—1 Corinthians 15:35-38.

e preach with words; God preacheth to us in acts and deeds. If we would but perceive it, creation and providence are two continual sermons, streaming from the mouth of God. The seasons are four evangelists, each of them having his testimony to utter to us. Doth not summer preach to us of God’s bounty, of the richness of his goodness, of that lavish munificence with which he has been pleased to supply the earth, not simply with food for man, but with delights for both ear and eye in the beauteous landscape the melodious birds, and the flowers of various hue? Have you never heard the still small voice of autumn, who bears the wheatsheaf, and whispers to us in the rustling of the seer leaf? He bids us prepare to die. “All we,” saith he, “do fade as a leaf, and all our righteousnesses are but as filthy rags.” Then comes winter, crowned with snow, and he thunders out a most mighty sermon, which, if we would but listen to it, might well impress us with the terrors of God’s vengeance, and let us see how soon he can strip the earth of all its pleasantries, and enrobe it in storm, when he shall come himself to judge the earth with righteousness, and the people with equity. But it seems to me that spring reads us a most excellent discourse upon the grand doctrine of revelation. This very month of April, which, if it be not the very entrance of spring, yet certainly introduces us to the fullness of it; this very month> bearing by its name the title of the opening month, speaks to us of the resurrection. As we have walked through our gardens, fields, and woods, we have seen the flower-buds ready to burst upon the trees, and the fruit-blossoms hastening to unfold themselves; we have seen the buried flowers upstarting from the sod, and they have spoken to us with sweet, sweet voice, the words, “Thou too shalt rise again, thou too shalt be buried in the earth like seeds that are lost in winter, but thou shalt rise again, and thou shalt live and blossom in eternal spring.”

To read the rest, go here.

Agreeableness Not Synonymous With Regeneration

I have observed that the general and secular culture of the South is noticeably, and often frustratingly, aligned with the “churchy” culture of the Southern states. The secular culture is quite agreeable to the church culture and the church culture seems to be quite content with reflecting that culture and quite indifferent towards molding it. The Gospel is met with much agreement, but little conversion. As with most dichotomies, this is simultaneously advantageous for the church provided the church is appropriately opportunistic, while being an eternal threat both to the accountability of the church’s evangelical identity and to the immortal souls of those deceived by their agreeable nature to the things of Christ when we do not make use of the opportunity so given.

With regards to the Church of the living God, we need to mortify our “churchiness” and become the Church. Contentment in the way of things current will ultimately lead to the condemnation of souls, not the salvation of them. We ought not to be content with the agreeableness of the lost, and we should not rest at ease until their eyes are spiritually opened and they are given the Divine breath of life accompanied by the evidence of spiritual sneezes removing the clog of spiritual and agreeable deception. Being agreeable to the Gospel is not synonymous with being regenerate of God, although we ought to be thankful for what agreeableness exists, for though it serves too deceive a soul, yet the reality of it is often the impression of God upon the same soul, and we ought to, therefore, be encouraged and emboldened to move forward with the Gospel in hopes of true conversion to Christ. We must push forward upon this soul, not settling until the habit of sin and the ritual of agreeableness has been broken, thrown down to the ground in contrition, and lifted back up through a real and genuine faith in Jesus Christ. The Gospel is relevant, the word of the cross is the power of God to those who are being saved, who are called of God, and we must persist and persuade and be in earnest with agreeable souls until God swallows them up, drowns them in the spittle of His holy Law, and revives them by the CPR of the Gospel, imputing to them His holy breath of life through faith in Christ.

We are thankful for those churches who are bringing in the people in groves and we hope that God will make salvific use of whatever is imparted that honors Him, but the fear is that in many of these there may not be much imparted to those souls that truly honors God or converts anyone to Christ – perhaps they are converted to the creation of human atmospheres which masquerade as the presence of God, or perhaps they are converted to a man who speaks with great charisma about the “God within a box”, and that is quite comfortable to both the preacher and the lost soul; it just doesn’t do much to seed and water and convert souls to Christ!

It is the earnestness and passion of the Church that will be the means of true conversion. Our aim is not to make converts to an agreeable nature, a cushy and comfortable nature over against the warnings and threatenings and punishment of just and eternal torments; our aim is to win souls to Christ for the sake of His name among all the nations. This is the exhortation of Spurgeon from the text of 2 Kings 4:29-37, when Elisha came to the Shunamite women’s house and found her son lying dead on the bed, he stretched himself over the child and the child’s flesh became warm – this, I would say, is that good kind of agreeable nature, but it is not enough to satisfy us – for Elisha got up and stretched himself out again over the child and then the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes – ah, then he was alive, the breath of life causing him to sneeze, and when he has so spiritually sneezed and had eyes opened, then we shall rest in regeneration. Spurgeon writes more ably, “The result of the prophet’s work soon appeared: ‘the flesh of the child waxed warm.’ How pleased Elisha must have been; but I do not find that his pleasure and satisfaction caused him to relax his exertions. Never be satisfied…with finding your children in a barely hopeful state. Did a girl come to you, and cry, ‘Teacher, pray for me’? Be glad, for this is a fair token; but look for more. Did you observe tears in a boy’s eyes when you were speaking of the love of Christ? Be thankful for it that the flesh is waxing warm, but do not stop there. Can you relax your exertions now? Bethink you, you have not yet gained your end! It is life you want, not warmth alone…not mere conviction, but conversion…not only impression, but regeneration, – life, life from God, the life of Jesus…nothing less must content you.” (from “The Soul Winner”; pages 157-158.)

The Church must be just that; the Christian must be just that; and when they are, Christ will be just that in the conversion of the lost soul. If our petitions with the Gospel are met with agreeableness, do not be fooled into thinking them saved, lest with that agreeableness comes the agreeable fruit of faith. If you observe them and their life stands in stark opposition to their agreeable nature, then thank God that at least their flesh is perhaps “waxed warm”, but do not cease in our holy endeavor and end of seeing the soul saved, brought to God through faith in Christ. Watch them “sneeze”, and “open their eyes”, then we shall recognize new life. Again, agreeableness is not synonymous with regeneration, with being born of God. Work up a sweat in earnestness, plead with the lost soul until they see through their agreeableness into the deadness of the testimony of their lives, and when they presume themselves dead, then with more zeal, stretch out over them the Gospel of Christ.

And this is not the south only, but a great percentage of America is agreeable to the notion of Christianity and of “believing in God”, and that is well and good, and ought to be a thing very hopeful for us so long as we then walk through the open door of that statistic with the Gospel of Christ in heart and hand to see them converted. But until the end is met by the grace of God the cultural agreeableness to the belief in a God is insufficient, for even the demons “believe in God” and they shutter, but it avails nothing to believe what demons and the devil, himself, believes, when God believes in God rightly, if one does not believe rightly in Christ exclusively through whom God is truly revealed and known. Again, agreeableness is not synonymous with regeneration, but it is hopeful for those who aim to see the lost soul saved and reunited to God.

In conclusion, an agreeable nature to the things of God can be both damning and the advantageous hope of conversion, the finger print of God on a life, the great chasm between the two possibilities being bridged only by the zeal of Christians to share the full Gospel of Christ with an earnestness that transcends agreement and confronts the culturally deceived with sin, righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment (Acts 24:25). Only then, like Felix, will the agreeable become “alarmed.” We must seek to alarm the agreeable, to sound off in the soul, that culture, heritage, positive thinking, self-improvement projects, regular church attendance, or singing in the choir, and the like, does not save anybody. And only when they become alarmed, having their agreeableness set against spiritual deadness, are they set to be comforted with Christ. We do not seek an agreeableness in the lost soul, dear Christians, we seek the life of God imputed, we seek conversion, we seek true righteousness. May this be our passion and earnest plea to God in Jesus’ name.

Spurgeon on "The Soul Winner" and His "One Business"

“It is a grand thing to see a man thoroughly possessed with one master-passion. Such a man is sure to be strong, and if the master-principle be excellent, he is sure to be excellent, too. The man of one object is a man indeed. Lives with many aims are like water trickling through innumerable streams, none of which are wide enough or deep enough to float the merest cockleshell of a boat; but a life with one object is like a mighty river flowing between its banks, bearing to the ocean a multitude of ships, and spreading fertility on either side. Give me a man not only with a great object in his soul, but thoroughly possessed by it, his powers all concentrated, and himself on fire with vehement zeal for his supreme object, and you have put before me one of the greatest sources of power which the world can produce. Give me a man engrossed with holy love as to his heart, and filled with some masterly celestial thought as to his brain, and such a man will be known wherever his lot may be cast, and I venture to prophesy that his name will be remembered long after the place of his sepulchre shall be forgotten.”

-pg. 249 of “The Soul Winner”

“Now observe, brethren, if I, or you, or any of us, or all of us, shall have spent our lives merely in amusing men, or educating men, or moralizing men, when we shall come to give in our account at the last great day, we shall be in a very sorry condition, and we shall have but a very sorry record to render; for of what avail will it be to a man to be educated when he comes to be damned? Of what service will it be to him to have been amused when the trumpet sounds, and heaven and earth are shaking, and the pit opens wide her jaws of fire, and swallows up the soul unsaved? Or what avail even to have moralized a man if still he is on the left hand of the Judge, and if still, ‘Depart, ye cursed,’ shall be his portion? Blood-red with the murder of men’s souls will be the skirts of professing Christians, unless the drift, and end, and aim of all their work has been to ‘save some.'”

-pg. 254 of “The Soul Winner”