13 December 2015

The unending battle

Your weekly Dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 62, sermon number 3,511, "The battle of life."
"Unless we deny ourselves and lay violent hands upon the impulses of our nature, we shall never come to the place where the crowns are distributed to the conquerors." 

Think not that this is an engagement to be quickly terminated. Unlike the laconic dispatch of the ancient Roman, “Veni, vidi, vici,” I came, saw, and conquered, this is a continuous fight. Wouldest thou fight thy way to heaven, not to-day, nor to-morrow; wilt thou win it with a deadly skirmish or a brilliant dash, like a knight at a tournament, thou cannot come back a conqueror!

In sober truth, every man and every woman who enlists for Christ will have to wrestle till their bones shall sleep in the tomb. There shall be no pause nor cessation for thee from this day until the laurel is upon thy brow. If you are defeated one day, thou must overcome the next; if a conqueror to-day, thou must fight to-morrow.

Like the old knights who slept in their armour, you must be prepared for reprisals—always watchful, always expecting temptation, and ready to resist it; never saying, “It is enough,” for he who saith, “It is finished,” until he breathes his last, has not yet truly begun. We must have our swords drawn, even to the very last.

I have sometimes thought that could we enter heaven by one sharp, quick, terrible encounter, such as the martyrs faced at the stake we might endure it heroically; but day after day of protracted martyrdom, and year after year of the wear and tear of pilgrimage and soldier-life is the more bitter trial of patience.

I do but tell you in order that you may be convinced that it is not in our power to fight this warfare at our own charge; that if we have to endure in our own strength and with our own resources, it is most certain that disaster will befall us, and defeat will humble us. To fight, and fight on, is our vocation.

But if thus you fight, you may hope to conquer, for others have done so before you. On the summit of the palace do you not see those robed in white, who walk in light, with faces bright, and sparkling o'er with joy? Can you not hear their song? They have overcome, and they tell you:—

“To him that overcometh
 A crown of life shall be; 
He with his Lord and Master 
Shall reign eternally.” 

They have overcome; then why should not you?

Jesus Christ, who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, has passed through the sternest part of the battle and he has overcome—a type and representative of all those who are cross-bearers, and who shall overcome as he has done.