26 May 2012

When the Preacher Gets Personal

A word about "individualism" and true evangelical convictions

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. I was reminded of the following excerpt because of something Paul Washer said on Saturday at the Reformation Montana Conference. The excerpt is from "The Warning Neglected," a sermon preached at London's Metropolitan Tabernacle on Sunday morning, 29 November 1857.

n religion men love far rather to believe abstract doctrines, and to talk of general truths, than the searching inquiries which examine their own personal interest in it. You will hear many men admire the preacher who deals in generalities, but when he comes to press home searching questions, by-and-by they are offended.

If we stand and declare general facts, such as the universal sinnership of mankind, or the need of a Saviour, they will give an assent to our doctrine, and possibly they may retire greatly delighted with the discourse, because it has not affected them; but how often will our audience gnash their teeth, and go away in a rage, because, like the Pharisees with Jesus, they perceive, concerning a faithful minister, that he spoke of them.

And yet, my brethren, how foolish this is. If in all other matters we like personalities—if in everything else we look to our own concerns, how much more should we do so in religion? for, surely, every man must give an account for himself, at the day of judgment. We must die alone; we must rise at the day of resurrection one by one, and each one for himself must appear before the bar of God; and each one must either have said to him, as an individual, "Come ye blessed;" or else, he must be appalled with the thundering sentence, "Depart, ye cursed."

If there were such a thing as national salvation; if it could be possible that we could be saved in the gross and in the bulk, that so, like the sheaves of corn, the few weeds that may grow with the stubble, would be gathered in for the sake of the wheat, then, indeed, it might not be so foolish for us to neglect our own personal interests; but if the sheep must, every one of them, pass under the hand of him that telleth them, if every man must stand in his own person before God, to be tried for his own acts—by everything that is rational, by everything that conscience would dictate, and self-interest would command, let us each of us look to our own selves, that we be not deceived, and that we find not ourselves, at last, miserably cast away.

C. H. Spurgeon


donsands said...

My pastor preached this very truth yesterday from John 9:39-41.

The Pharisees said, "Are we blind?"

Jesus said, "If you were blind you would see, but since you say "I see", you are blind, and your sin remains."

Jesus came for judgment, not to judge, but to save.
And His Word will judge ever soul.
Did we believe Him and love Him? Or did we reject Him, and hate Him?

Have a great week in the Lord, and a nice Memorial Day in Christ.

Robert Warren said...

This is the main reason a straight-shooter like Brother Washer doesn't always get unvited back.