Volume 2, Issue 6:
A man, who had his eyes up to heaven, the best of books was in his hand, the law of truth was written upon his lips, and he stood as if he pleaded with men.
- John Bunyan
Dost thou live close by them, or meet them in the streets, or labour with them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?
- Richard Baxter
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
- Daniel 12:3
Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor ignorant, ungodly neighbors. Alas, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell; many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever. Have you hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves?
- Richard Baxter
And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
- Mark 16:15
The fact is, brethren, we must have conversion work here. We cannot go on as some churches do without converts. We cannot, we will not, we must not, we dare not. Souls must be converted here, and if there be not many born to Christ, may the Lord grant to me that I may sleep in the tomb and be heard of no more. Better indeed for us to die than to live, if souls be not saved.
- Charles Spurgeon
It is not our comment on the Word that saves, but the Word itself.
- Robert McCheyne
My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart and to heal the broken one.
- John Newton
It is a very solemn delusion when ministers think they are prospering, and yet do not hear of conversions.
- Charles Spurgeon
...that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
- 2 Corinthians 5:19-20
Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.
- Charles Spurgeon
The way the Spirit of God takes, is like that we take in preparing the ground: do you think any farmer would have a crop of corn next year unless they plow now; and you may as well expect a crop of corn on unplowed ground, as a crop of grace, until the soul is convinced of its being undone without a Savior. That is the reason we have so many mushroom converts, so many persons that are always happy! happy! happy! and never were miserable; why? Because their stony ground is not plowed up; they have not got a conviction of the law; they are stony ground hearers; they hear the word with joy, and in a time of temptation, which will soon come after a seeming or real conversion, they fall away.
- George Whitefield
By Douglas Wilson
I sat attentively as the old preacher paused for a moment. He bowed his head for a moment, lifted it, and continued.
And you, sinner, what will you do with these things? I have told you of a crucified Savior. What do you say? There are only
two responses: yes or no.
You say no? And why? You say that the way is hard. You do not wish to begin, only to fall away from Him. But I say to you
that salvation is from the Lord. The One who saves is the same who keeps. If you call on the name of the Lord, you will be saved. Not for
a time, and not temporarily. Saved. You will have eternal life, as a present possession, bestowed in eternity for all eternity.
You say that you are defiled? That you are not worthy to come? But there never was a sinner who
was worthy! Defilement must not keep you from coming; defilement is the
reason you must come. Come, and be clean! Come, and be washed! Come,
You say that God does not want you? that you are not predestined to come? But the Lord says that whoever comes will not
be cast out. What prevents? Those who do not come, refuse merely because they love their sins more than God. Is this true of you?
Then stay away, and welcome to it. If your confused and stupid heart wants nothing more than to knaw on bones and blackened crusts
when the table is set, and the bread of life awaits, then refuse the invitation. But do you want to be free of your lusts and desires,
your weariness of heart, your malice and bitterness? Then
You say that you do not yet believe? Ah, but you do. There are no unbelievers; there are simply those who believe and
hate, and those who believe and love. Which are you? I have set before you a Savior, hung on a tree, drawing all men to Himself. What
do you make of Him? You do believe, but a question does remain. Do you love this Savior or not? Yes or no?
You say you are uncertain as to whether He loves you? The question is an impertinent one, and procedes, just like the rest
of your sinful life, straight from your black heart. As though any sinner ever deserved His love! I come back to the question that must
be answered today; it is not whether He loves
you, but whether you love Him. If you love Him, you will keep His commands and do
His work. And what is His work? It is that you believe in Him, and only Him. And when you have come to this love, through faith, you
will realize that you only love Him because He first loved you.
You say that some of your sins are too great to be forgiven? Your pride, at least, is great. What! You, a mere creature,
capable of sinning in a way that would bankrupt the grace of God? He offers you this grace; do you want to accuse Him for a cheat? Do
you think you could come, and find God's storehouse empty? Proud man, your sin is great enough to damn you, but it is not greater
than the grace of God.
You say that a loving God would not send you to judgment? But is God love, and nothing else? Is He not also just? And
how can a just God allow someone like you into His presence? The judgment is simple; there are no problems caused by it. Sinners
deserve to be cut off, and they are. But grace! There is a problem. How can a God of justice tolerate proud men? The answer to this problem
is the cross. God sent His Son to die on the cross, so that He could be just
and the One who justifies. So we come to this place again. Do
you believe or not? Do you do the work of God at this place or not? If you turn away, then God remains just, and
you are undone. But if you call upon Him, the One who died, God remains the One who justifies, and you will be the one justified. What do you say to this?
Yes or no?
You say that you need time to think. Maybe you will come later. Maybe this is not the right time. Remember as you turn
away, that your heart is deceitfully wicked. It is
lying to you. It sees you looking at the cross there, and it sees you thinking. But for it, that
is the way of death and only death. Tomorrow, it whispers. Not now. Do not be hasty; do not run. What does Scripture say? Does God
know what your heart is saying to you? Aye, God knows. And what does He say? He says that
today is the day of salvation. No one ever
got saved tomorrow, and not one soul was ever pulled from the edge of the pit yesterday. Today you hear, and today you must
believe. Which is it; yes or no?
You say that your friends will mock, and that your family may not come with you. That is true; they may not. They may
all turn from you, and reject you. But again, what does Scripture say? If you love father or mother, wife or children more than the One who
died for sinners, then you cannot come. God does not want you on
your terms. He commands you to count the cost; thus far you are
doing well. But He also commands all men everywhere to repent. Why do you hesitate at this? Why do you halt?
He commands it. And what do you think of His commands, oh creature? Which is it, yes or no?
You say that the church is full of hypocrites? I say that everywhere you turn you see the cross, and so you turn again. So
how, proud sinner, do you differ from the hypocrite? He knows what is true, but does not do it.
You do the same. Christ is the Savior of
the world. You know it, but you do not repent. You know it, but you do not believe. You hypocrite! Will you posture and make a show
of how much you hate hypocrisy? It is only covering for
your hypocrisy. Or do you only hate hypocrisy when it belongs to another? So,
I will not leave it. The Savior is there; He has died, no, more than that, He has risen to life. What say you? Yes or no?
You say you want a preacher who will make you feel good about yourself. Ah, but is there any good reason why you
should? Should sinners be told they are not sinners? Should sinners be left in their blindness? But the truth is unpleasant, you say. So it is.
But it remains the truth, and what do you say? Yes or no?
You say that people should not come to Christ out of fear of hell. I say that this is an excellent reason to come, and the One
who sent me agrees. Did He not say we were to fear the One who can throw both body and soul into hell? I fear Him! Do you not fear
Him? Consider the logic of your unbelief! I do not think people should take medicine merely because they are sick and are going to
die. I do not think a man should appeal to a judge for mercy simply because he has been
condemned. I do not think...ah, away with your
folly. What do you say, yes or no?
You say that there are people who have never heard about this Christ? You wonder if God is just in His condemnation
of them? He is just, for these people you speak of do not love the truth any more than you do. But God is full of mercy, and has
commanded us to preach to them, as well as to you. When you have believed, perhaps
you will be sent to them. It is clear you have a
great compassion for them; you still hate God yourself, and are yet concerned for them. So what will it be, yes or no?
You say there are many religions. You wonder why I press this one on you. Because you need saving and this is the only
one which has the power to save sinners. And why does it have the power to save? Because it is God's truth, and nothing to be ashamed
of. It is the power of God unto salvation, for everyone who believes, and in that "everyone" is an invitation for you.
I would continue, but I am impatient with your excuses. But that is no matter, I am only an old preacher. What does it
matter if I do not want your excuses any more? But there is a day coming, and it is coming for everyone who hears my voice, when
God will have had His fill of your excuses. What is that Day? It is the day you leave your life here, and walk into His Presence, naked,
alone, sinful, and ashamed. What will you say? You have no Advocate. Will you successfully present the excuses of your heart here
today? Or will they be consumed in the Judgment,
along with you?
If you say no, and leave this place, then do you say that you are willing for this to happen? I suppose it is good,
for it will happen. You will have no ground for complaint when it does.
But if you say yes, then what is the gift? You, out in the cold of your malice, out in the dark of your lusts, have been shown
a great house. The Master of the house has invited, no, more than that,
commanded that you come and fellowship with Him at His
table. But there, out in the night of your sin, you have hated Him; for years, you hated His wealth, you hated His charity, and you hated
His sons and daughters. But now, by the Spirit, beyond your understanding and mine, that hatred is gone. You approach the
door, trembling and afraid. But no, it is not locked; it swings open. Bright, warm, yellow light streams out. The heads at the table turn,
and you wonder why you hated them. No one rises to set a place for you;
the place is already set. The Master beckons for you to take
your seat. You try to protest; your clothes are filthy, and you have not washed. But then you look down and see that you are dressed in
clothes you have not seen before, and they are
white. Your hands are clean.
You turn around, and look back out the door. You remember now, with burning shame, all your excuses. You remember
now all the times the Master of the house invited you to come - but you would not. You remember the mystery of your own sinfulness,
and wonder at why you did not come before. You turn back to the table, and take your place, your eyes full of grateful tears.
You look at the food, and wonder at the simple fare. There in the middle is the bread of life. The one who eats will never
be hungry. There in the goblet is a deep, red wine. The one who drinks will never thirst. You shake your head in wonder at your
own blindness, and at the mercy of God in removing it.
Truth is bread, and it feeds the hungry.
Truth is wine, and it takes away the dry parched thirst in mouths of sinners. You, dear friend, bow your head to say grace, and you will say it forever and ever. Amen.
Come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.
And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God be merciful to me a sinner!" I tell you, this man went down to his house justified...
- Luke 18:13-14a
You that have nothing but creature joy, hunting after butterflies, feeding upon carrion, why do you spend money for that which is not bread? You that are afflicted, tempest-tossed, and not comforted, look to a manifested Jesus. According to your faith so be it unto you. Believe none, and you will have no joy. Believe little, and you will have little joy. Believe much, and you will have much joy. Believe all, and you will have all joy, and your joy will be full. It will be like a bowl running over, good measure, pressed down, and running over. Amen.
- Robert McCheyne
All ye miserable Souls, who are guilty of any of those Evils I before express'd, and to continue in them, believe it, the Time hastens when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty Angels, in flaming Fire, to take Vengeance on you; to inflict Punishments with Jealousy and incensed Indignation, suited to the Number and Heinousness of your Crimes...In the last Place, I exhort you, my Brethren, in the Name and Bowels of Christ, and by all that should be clear to you, that you would quickly endeavor to prepare for Christ's Coming to Judgment, which may be very speedily for you, even before tomorrow Morning.
- Gilbert Tennent
Those who come must come empty-handed. They are to come as pentitents and bankrupts. They must come repenting and believing.
- Erroll Hulse
Some attempts are still being made, but they are inconsiderable in comparison to what might be done if the whole body of Christians entered heartily into the spirit of the divine command on this subject. Some think little about it, others are unacquainted with the state of the world, and others love their wealth better than the souls of their fellow creatures.
- William Carey
Our best duties are so many splendid sins. Before you can speak peace to your heart you...you must be made sick of your righteousness, of all your duties and performances. There must be a deep conviction before you can be brought out of your self-righteousness; it is the last idol taken out of our heart. The pride of our heart will not let us submit to the righteousness of Jesus Christ. But if you never felt that you had no righteousness of your own, if you never felt the deficiency of you own righteousness, you cannot come to Jesus Christ.
- George Whitefield
Now God stands ready to pity you; this is the day of mercy; you may cry now with some encouragement of obtaining mercy. But when once the day of mercy is passed, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God...God will have no other use to put you to but to suffer misery...for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel but only to be filled full of wrath.
- Jonathan Edwards
How shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
- Romans 10:14
Credenda/Agenda is a publication of Canon Press, which is the literature ministry of Community Evangelical Fellowship, 110 Baker, Moscow, Idaho, 83843; phone: (208) 882-2034; Douglas Wilson is the editor.
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