posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from the sermon "A Home Question and a Right Answer," preached Sunday evening, February 5th, 1882 at the Met Tab in London. Spurgeon was dealing with Jesus' challenge to the disciples in John 6:67: "Do you also want to go away?"
say deliberately that if I go away from my Master I can expect nothing but the hottest wrath of God for ever. Unhappy, unhappy wretch, to have preached to such multitudes, if I deny my Lord! Condemned out of my own mouth a thousand times over! I shall be a mark for all the arrows of vengeance.
And what shall I say of my brethren behind me, the deacons and elders of this church? If they go away from Christ and forsake him after their brave professions, who shall apologise for them? Many here are marked men and women. Your experience of Christ has been long, sweet, deep, remarkable, and you have spoken of it to others with much confidence and delight. If you go away you will deserve to be hung up like Haman, on the gallows, fifty cubits high-an exhibition of direct treachery, and a monument of the awful wrath of God against such as trample on the blood of Christ. You will be sinners above all the sinners of your time.
Oh, may it never be, for if one of the twelve shall do it, it will be the greatest sin of all. It will grieve the heart of the Master, it will open the mouths of blasphemers, it will afflict the saints, it will disgrace the apostates, and bring down upon them infinite condemnation.
And yet, do you know, when others are turning aside, the question had need be asked, for apostasy is very contagious. We are called sheep, and it is of the nature of sheep that if one goes right the next will follow; but if they meet with a gap in the hedge and one leaps through it they will all follow the same road. When backsliding and apostasy become fashionable you may ask even the twelve, "Will ye also go away?"
As I have seen, in my short experience, minister after minister turning aside to novelties of doctrine, and especially into the deep pit of modern thought, into which the abhorred of the Lord do fall, I have thought of one and of another, "Will ye also go away?" As men that I have spoken with, and prayed with, and trusted in, have one by one apostatized from the faith of God’s elect, I have been staggered and astounded; surely this fashionable sin has a fascinating influence over many minds, and would delude, if it were possible, the very elect.
How few stand to the landmarks in this age of wandering! How few are found approved in the day of trial! The question is one that must of necessity be pressed home, "Will ye also go away?"