posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "His Own Funeral Sermon." That's a sermon Spurgeon preached on Sunday evening, 19 October 1890, the weekend after the death of William Olney, longtime deacon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Mrs. Spurgeon said the message would have been a suitable eulogy for Spurgeon himself. So when he died less than two years later, the sermon was published within a few days of Spurgeon's funeral.
eople talk nowadays about Zeitgeist, a German expression which need frighten nobody; and one of the papers says, "Spurgeon does not know whether there is such a thing."
Well, whether he knows anything about Zeitgeist or not, he is not to serve this generation by yielding to any of its notions or ideas which are contrary to the Word of the Lord.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not only for one generation, it is for all generations. It is the faith which needed to be only "once for all delivered to the saints"; it was given stereotyped as it always is to be. It cannot change because it has been given of God, and is therefore perfect; to change it would be to make it imperfect. It cannot change because it has been given to answer for ever the same purpose, namely, to save sinners from going down to the pit, and to fit them for going to heaven.
That man serves his generation best who is not caught by every new current of opinion, but stands firmly by the truth of God, which is a solid, immovable rock.
But to serve our own generation in the sense of being a slave to it, its vassal, and its valet—let those who care to do so go into such bondage and slavery if they will.
Do you know what such a course involves? If any young man here shall begin to preach the doctrine and the thought of the age, within the next ten years, perhaps within the next ten months, he will have to eat his own words, and begin his work all over again. When he has got into the new style, and is beginning to serve the present world, he will within a short time have to contradict himself again, for this age, like every other, is "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
But if you begin with God’s Word, and pray God the Holy Ghost to reveal it to you till you really know it, then, if you are spared to teach for the next fifty years, your testimony at the close will not contradict your testimony at the beginning. You will ripen in experience; you will expand in your apprehension of the truth; you will become more clear in your utterance; but it will be the same truth all along.
Is it not a grand thing to build up, from the beginning of life to the end of it, the same gospel? But to set up opinions to knock them down again, as though they were ninepins, is a poor business for any servant of Christ.
David did not, in that way serve his own generation; he was the master of his age, and not its slave. I would urge every Christian man to rise to his true dignity, and be a blessing to those amongst whom he lives, as David was. Christ "hath made us kings and priests unto God his Father"; it is not meet that we should cringe before the spirit of the age, or lick the dust whereon "advanced thinkers" have chosen to tread.
Beloved, see to this; and learn the distinction between serving your own generation and being a slave to it.