25 December 2016

“Our souls worship Him"

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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 Christ's Incarnation, page 103, Pilgrim Publications.
"Oh, you who have never worshipped the Christ of God, may you be led to do so! He is God; therefore adore Him."  

We worship “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

Our faith sees Him go from the manger to the cross, and from the cross right up to the throne; and there, where Jehovah dwells, amidst the insufferable glory of the Divine presence, stands the very same Person who slept in the manger at Bethlehem; there He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Our souls worship Him.

Thou art our Prophet; every word Thou sayest, we believe, and desire to obey. Thou art our Priest; Thy sacrifice hath made us free from guilt, we are washed white in the fountain of Thy blood. Thou art our King; give Thy commands, and we will obey them; lead Thou on, and we will follow. Thou art God, and we worship Thee.

18 December 2016


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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 Christ's Incarnation, pages 47-48, Pilgrim Publications.
"It must ever remain to us the mystery of mysteries that God Himself was manifest in the flesh." 

God the invisible was manifest; God the spiritual dwelt in mortal flesh; God the infinite, uncontained, boundless, was manifest in the flesh. What infinite leagues our thought must traverse between Godhead self-existent, and, therefore, full of power and self-sufficiency, before we have descended to the far down level of poor human flesh, which is, at its best, but as grass, and, in its essence, only so much animated dust!

Where can we find a greater contrast than between God and flesh? Yet the two are perfectly blended in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the lost. “GOD was manifest in the flesh;” truly God, not God humanised, but God as God. He was manifest in real flesh; not in manhood deified, and made superhuman, but in actual flesh. Since this matchless truth is “without controversy,” let us not enter into any controversy about it, but let us reverently meditate upon it.

What a miracle of condescension is here, that God should manifest Himself in flesh! This is not so much a theme for the tongue or the pen, as something that is to be pondered in the heart. It needs that we sit down in quietness, and consider how He, who made us, became like us; how He, who is our God, became our Brother-man; how He, who is adored of angels, once lay in a manger; how He, who feeds all living things, hungered and was athirst; how He, who oversees all worlds as God, was, as a man, made to sleep, to suffer, and to die like ourselves.

This is a statement not easily to be believed. If He had not been beheld by many witnesses, so that men handled Him, looked upon Him, and heard Him speak, it would have been a matter not readily to be accepted that so Divine a Person should ever have been manifest in flesh. It is a wonder of condescension.

11 December 2016

“Is it not a little one?"

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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 New Park Street Pulpit, volume 5, sermon number 248, "Little sins."
"That thought shall carry a desire; that desire a look; that look a touch; that touch a deed; that deed a habit; and that habit something worse, until the man, from little beginnings, shall be swamped and drowned in iniquity." 

Little things, we say, lead on to something worse. And thus it has always been. A spark is dropped by some unwary traveller amidst the dry grass of the prairie. It is but a spark; "Is it not a little one?" A child's foot may tread it out; one drop from the rain-cloud may quench it. But ah! what sets the prairie in a blaze? what bids the rolling waves of flame drive before them all the beasts of the field? what is it that consumes the forest, locking it in its fiery arms? what is it that burns down the habitation of man, or robs the reaper of his harvest? It is this solitary spark,—the one spark—the breeder of the flames. 

So is it with little sins. Keep them back Oh Satan! They be sparks, but the very fire of hell is only a growth from them. The spark is the mother of conflagration, and though it be a little one I can have nought to do with it. Satan always begins with us as he did with Achan. He showed Achan, first of all, a goodly Babylonish garment, and a wedge of gold. Achan looked at it: was it not a little thing to do,—to look? Achan touched it: was not that a little thing? How slight a sin—to touch the forbidden thing! He takes it, and carries it away to his tent, and—here is worse,— he hides it. And at length he must die for the awful crime. 

Oh! take heed of those small beginnings of sin. Beginnings of sin are like the letting out of water: first, there is an ooze; then a drip; then a slender stream; then a vein of water; and then, at last, a flood: and a rampart is swept before it, a continent is drowned. Take heed of small beginnings, for they lead to worse. 

There was never a man yet that came to the gallows but confessed that he began with small thefts;—the stealing of a book at school—the pilfering, afterwards, from his master's till leading to the joining of the gang of robbers,—the joining of the gang of robbers leading to worse crimes and, at last, the deed was done, the murder was committed, which brought him to an ignominious death. 

Little sins often act as burglars do;— burglars sometimes take with them a little child; they put the little child into a window that is too small for them to enter, and then he goes and opens the door to let in the thieves. So do little sins act. They are but little ones, but they creep in, and they open the door for great ones. A traitor inside the camp may be but a dwarf, and may go and open the gates of the city and let in a whole army. 

Dread sin; though it be never so small, dread it. You cannot see all that is in it. It is the mother of ten thousand mischiefs. The mother of mischief, they say, is as small as a midge's egg; and certainly, the smallest sin has ten thousand mischiefs sleeping within its bowels.

04 December 2016

Killing and healing

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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 teachings of nature in the Kingdom of grace, pages 223-224, Pilgrim Publications.
"Whatever God hath not planted will be rooted up."

Jesus Christ had spoken certain truths which were highly objectionable to the Pharisees. Some of His loving disciples were in great fright, and they came to Him and said, “Knowest Thou not that the Pharisees are offended?” Now our Saviour, instead of making any apology for having offended the Pharisees, took it as a matter of course, and replied in a sentence which is well worthy to be called a proverb,—“Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.”

Now we have oftentimes, as Matthew Henry very tritely remarks, a number of good and affectionate but very weak hearers. They are always afraid that we shall offend other hearers. Hence, if the truth be spoken in a plain and pointed manner, and seems to come close home to the conscience, they think that surely it ought not to have been spoken, because So-and-so, and So-and-so, and So-and-so took offence at it.

If we never offended, it would be proof positive that we did not preach the Gospel. They who can please man will find it quite another thing to have pleased God. Do you suppose that men will love those who faithfully rebuke them? If you make the sinner's heart to groan, and waken his conscience, do you think he will pay you court and thank you for it? Nay, not so; in fact, this ought to be one aim of our ministry, not to offend, but to test men and make them offended with themselves, so that their hearts may be exposed to their own inspection.

Their being offended will discover of what sort they are. A ministry that never uproots will never water; a ministry that does not pull down will never build up. He who knoweth not how to pluck up the plants which God hath not planted, scarcely understandeth how to be a worker of God in His vineyard.

Our ministry ought always to be a killing as well as a healing one,—a ministry which kills all false hopes, blights all wrong confidences, and weeds out all foolish trusts, while at the same time it trains up the feeblest shoot of real hope, and tenders comfort and encouragement even to the weakest of the sincere followers of Christ.

27 November 2016

Put your alter on the altar

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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 John Ploughman's Talk, pages 140-141, Pilgrim Publications.
"Make as few changes as you can; trees often transplanted bear little fruit." 

If you have difficulties in one place you will have them in another; if you move because it is damp in the valley, you may find it cold on the hill. Where will the ass go that he will not have to work? Where can a cow live and not get milked? Where will you find land without stones or meat without bones? 

Everywhere on earth men must eat bread in the sweat of their faces. To fly from trouble, men must have eagles' wings. Alteration is not always improvement, as the pigeon said when she got out of the net and into the pie. 

There is a proper time for changing, and then mind you bestir yourself, for a sitting hen gets no barley. But do not be for ever on the shift, for a rolling stone gathers no moss. Stick-to-it is the conqueror. He who can wait long enough will win. 

This, that, and the other, anything, and everything, all put together make nothing in the end; but on one horse a man rides home in due season. In one place the seed grows; in one nest the bird hatches its eggs; in one oven the bread bakes; in one river the fish lives.

20 November 2016

Sin put away

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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 13, sermon number 759 "Jesus putting away sin."
"In the end of the world Christ was revealed to put away sin. He did not come into the world to palliate it merely, or to cover it up, but he came to put it away." 

Observe, he not only came to put away some of the attributes of sin, such as the filth of it, the guilt of it, the penalty of it, the degradation of it; he came to put away sin itself, for sin, you see, is the fountain of all the mischief. He did not come to empty out the streams, but to clear away the fatal source of the pollution. He appeared to put away sin itself, sin in its essence and being.

Do not forget that he did take away the filth of sin, the guilt of sin, the punishment of sin, the power of sin, the dominion of sin, and that one day he will kill in us the very being and existence of sin, but do recollect that he aimed his stroke at sin itself. My Master seemed to say, as the king of Syria did of old, “Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king.” He aimed his shafts at the monster’s head, smote his vital parts, and laid him low. He put hell itself to flight, and captivity was led captive.

What a glorious word—our Lord put away sin! We read in the word of God, sometimes, that he cast it into the depths of the sea; that is glorious, nobody can ever find it again—in the shoreless depths of the sea, Jesus drowned our sins. Again, we find he removed it as far as the east is from the west. Who can measure that distance? Infinite leagues divide the utmost bounds of space: so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

We read again that he has made an end of sin. You know what we mean by making an end of a thing, it is done with, annihilated, utterly destroyed and abolished. Jesus we here read has put sin away, he has divorced it from us. Sin and my soul are no more married. Christ has put sin away—he has borne it away as the scape-goat carried the iniquity of the people in type and shadow.

He has literally taken upon himself the sins of all his people, and, stronger than Atlas, has borne the load and carried it away and hurled it into his sepulchre, where it lies buried forever. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God who justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

Sin is clean gone. If thou believest in Christ, there is nothing that can be laid to thy charge. The past, the present, the future— every sin was laid on Christ; sins of tongue, and brain, and heart, and hand, and thought, were all laid on him. Sins against men, sins against God, adultery, murder, blasphemy, everything, all were laid on Jesus.

He became, as it were, the common reservoir for all the sin of his people to meet in, and then he emptied it all out by his atoning sacrifice; so that the filth of his people is removed. He has crossed the Kedron and put away the filth of sin. You and I may sing concerning sin as Israel sang concerning Egypt when the ransomed nation stood upon the shore of the Red Sea. “The depths have covered them: there is not one of them left.”

13 November 2016

Encouragement for pilgrims

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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 28, sermon number 1,652, "The singing pilgrim."
"A man who is a pilgrim reckons that land to be his country in which he expects to remain the longest."

Through the country which he traverses he makes his way with all speed; but when he gets home he abides at his leisure, for it is the end of his toil and travail. What a little part of life shall we spend on earth!

When you and I have been in heaven ten thousand years we shall look back upon those sixty years we spent here as nothing at all: their pain a pin’s prick, their gain a speck, their duration the twinkling of an eye.

Even if you have to tarry eighty or ninety years in this exile, when you have been in heaven a million years, the longest life will seem no greater than a thought, and you will wonder that you said the days were so weary and the nights so dreary, and that the years of sickness dragged such a weary length along.

Ah me, eternal bliss, what a drop thou makest of our sea of sorrow! Heaven covers up this present grief, and so much overlaps it that we could fold up myriads of such mourning and still have garments of joy enough to clothe an army of the afflicted. We make too much of this poor life, and this fondness costs us dear.

Oh for a higher estimate of the home country, with its delights forevermore! then would the trials of a day exhale like the dew of the morning, and scarce secure an hour of sorrow. We are only here time enough to feel an April shower of pain, and we are gone among the unfading flowers of the endless May.

Wherefore let us not make the most of the least, and the least of the most; but let us put things in their order, and allot to brief life its brief consideration, and to everlasting glory its weight of happy meditation. We are to dwell throughout eternity with God! Is not that our home?

That is not a man’s residence into which he enters at the front door and in a moment passes out at the back, and is gone never to return, as though it were a mere passage from one street to another; and yet this is about all that believers do as to this poor world.

That is a man’s home where he can sit down at his ease and look on all around him as his own and say—

“Here will I make a settled rest, 
While others go and come, 
No more a stranger or a guest, 
But like a child at home.” 

Yes, this shows that we are pilgrims, because we are here for so short a space compared with the length of time we shall spend in the dear country beyond.

06 November 2016

Whether election of persons or presidents

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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 28, sermon number 1,656, "My solace in my affliction."
"The design and purpose of God are fixed, not fickle. He knows what he intends."

You and I often begin with a design from which we are bound to deviate as we see something that would be better, or as we see that our better thing is not attainable, and we are obliged to be content with something inferior. But in God’s case there can be no defect of judgment which would require amendment, and there can be no defect of power which would drive him from his first determination.

God has a plan, depend upon it: it were an insult to the supreme intellect if we supposed that he worked at random, without plan or method. To some of us it is a truth which we never doubt, that God has one boundless purpose which embraces all things, both things which he permits and things which he ordains.

Without for a moment denying the freedom of the human will, we still believe that the supreme wisdom foresees also the curious twistings of the human will, and overrules all for his own ends. God knows and numbers all the inclinations and devices of men, and his plan in its mighty sweep takes them all into account.

From that plan he never swerves. What he has resolved to do he will do. The settled purpose of his heart shall stand for ever sure. Of what use could the opposition of angels or of men be when Omnipotence asserts its supremacy?

As you walk down your garden on an autumn morning the spiders have spun their webs across the path, but you scarcely know it, for as you move along the threads vanish before you. So is it with every scheme, however skillfully contrived, that would arrest the fulfillment of the Divine purpose. The will of God must be done. Without the semblance of effort he moulds all events into his chosen form.

In the sphere of mind as well as in that of matter his dominion is absolute. One man cannot immediately operate on the will of another man so as to change its course, although intermediately he may propound reasons which, by their effect on the understanding, may completely alter the inclination of his fellow-creature; but this is a trite proverb—“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” God can bend the thoughts of men as easily as we can lay on the pipes, and turn the water into any cistern we choose.

30 October 2016

A short madness

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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 John Ploughman's Pictures, pages 36-37, Pilgrim Publications.
"Anger is a short madness." 

The less we do when we go mad the better for everybody, and the less we go mad the better for ourselves. He is far gone who hurts himself to wreak his vengeance on others. The old saying is “Don’t cut off your head because it aches,” and another says “Set not your house on fire to spite the moon.”

If things go awry, it is a poor way of mending to make them worse, as the man did who took to drinking because he could not marry the girl he liked. He must be a fool who cuts off his nose to spite his face, and yet this is what Dick did when he had vexed his old master, and because he was chid must needs give up his place, throw himself out of work, and starve his wife and family.

Jane had been idle, and she knew it, but sooner than let her mistress speak to her, she gave warning, and lost as good a service as a maid could wish for. Old Griggs was wrong, and could not deny it, and yet because the parson’s sermon fitted him rather close, he took the sulks and vowed he would never hear the good man again. It was his own loss, but he wouldn’t listen to reason, but was as wilful as a pig.

Do nothing when you are out of temper, and then you will have the less to undo. Let a hasty man’s passion be a warning to you; if he scalds you, take heed that you do not let your own pot boil over. Many a man has given himself a box on the ear in his blind rage, ay, and ended his own life out of spite.

He who cannot curb his temper carries gunpowder in his bosom, and he is neither safe for himself nor his neighbours. When passion comes in at the door, what little sense there is indoors flies out at the window. By-and-by a hasty man cools and comes to himself, like MacGibbon’s gruel when he put it out of the window, but if his nose is off in the meantime, who is to put it on again? He will only be sorry once and that will be all the rest of his life.

Anger does a man more hurt than that which made him angry. It opens his mouth and shuts his eyes, and fires his heart, and drowns his sense, and makes his wisdom folly.

23 October 2016

Where to ascribe greatness

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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 New Park Street Pulpit, volume 7, sermon number 367, "The Great Supreme."
"In this world we seldom judge men as to character; we judge them as to rank."

The poor and honest man shall go through the streets—will ye crowd to see him? A man shall wear a crown who is a perjurer—and will ye not rush out and clap your hands at him? Ye judge according to rank, and not according to character. Would God we all knew how to judge men, not according to the sight of our eyes, or the hearing of our ears, but according to the rightness of their characters.

Oh, honour the Queen; God has said so in his Word. Pay deference unto authorities as ye should do; but if in aught they swerve, remember your knee must bow to God, and to God alone. If in aught there is anything wrong, though it should have a sovereign’s name attached to it, remember one is your Master, one is your King, “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Ascribe not greatness unto emperors and monarchs—“Ascribe ye greatness unto our God,” and unto our God alone. In the case of those who are in the employ of masters, it is but just and right that they should render unto their masters that which is their due; but when the master commands that which is wrong, allow me solemnly to caution you against giving to him anything which you are not bound to do.

Your master tells you, you must break the Sabbath. You do it because he is your master; ye have violated this command, for it is said, “Ascribe ye greatness unto God.” You are tempted in your employment to commit a fault; you are commanded to do it; you are irresolute; you waver for a moment; you say, shall I obey God or man? At last, you say, "My master said so, I must obey him, or I shall lose my employment."

Remember you have not ascribed greatness unto God, when you say that. Rather say this:—“In all things that are right, I am the servant of all men; but in things that are wrong, I will not yield. I will stand up stedfast for God’s right and for God’s commands. Men may be my masters when they tell me to do the thing that is honest and the thing that is just, but if in aught they swerve from that, I will not break my heavenly Master’s command. He is more my Master than they—I will stand firm and fast by Him.”

How many young men are tempted from the path they ought to pursue by those who exercise influence upon them! How many a young woman has been turned aside from rectitude by some command which has been given her by a person who had influence over her. Take care that ye allow no man to get dominion over your conscience.

Remember you will have no excuse at the day of judgment; it will be no palliation of your guilt to say that you were commanded by man to do wrong. For God will reply to you—“I told you to ascribe greatness to me, and to me only, and inasmuch as you obeyed man rather than God, you have violated my command.” “Ascribe ye greatness to our God.” Take that caution; believe it; and receive it in your daily life, and in your dealing with great and small.

16 October 2016

"You have few days"

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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 Able to the Uttermost, page 108, Pilgrim Publications.
"Dear brothers and sisters, our one desire is to glorify God." 

Now, we shall glorify Him for ever and ever; but there is a particular form of service which only belongs to this life. Are you not anxious—very anxious—that you should honour Christ here and do as much as you can? Well, you have few days—but few days.

Oh, one could almost wish to live to be as old as Methuselah for the sake of winning men’s souls and bringing sinners to Christ. But it cannot be. Oh, how we ought to work for Jesus, seeing He is such a Master, and deserves to have so much from His servants. And yet there is so short a space to do it in.

If we are painting for eternity, oh, let us move our hands with skill and with rapidity as hearing the chariot wheels of eternity behind us. Can we afford to waste hours or even minutes?

I have heard of a Puritan who used to rise and study at five in the morning. But one day he heard a smith’s hammer while he was getting up, and he said, "Shall a smith work harder than a minister of God? Shall he give to his hard service more time than I give to my Lord and Master?” And he would thus chide himself, though he was one of the most industrious of men.

Remember, dear friends, that you are born of woman, and that you have but few days—few days in which to bring sons and daughters to the Saviour, few days in which to save that Sabbath school class, few days, oh, preacher, in which to make this place ring with salvation, few days in which to be a shepherd to the people of God—a few days in which to call sinners and to warn backsliders.

Let us live, while we live, brethren, to the utmost power and capacity of our manhood, for we are of few days.

09 October 2016

Haters wanted!

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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 Golden Alphabet, Psalm 119:104, Pilgrim Publications
"Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way." Psalm 119:104

Because he had understanding, and because of the divine precepts, he detested sin and falsehood. Every sin is a falsehood: we commit sin because we believe a lie, and in the end the flattering evil turns a liar to us, and we find ourselves betrayed.

True hearts are not indifferent about falsehood, they grow warm in indignation: as they love the truth, so they hate the lie. Saints have a universal horror of all that is untrue; they tolerate no falsehood or folly, they set their faces against all error of doctrine or wickedness of life.

He who is a lover of one sin is in league with the whole army of sins; we must have neither truce nor parley with even one of these Amalekites, for the Lord hath war with them from generation to generation, and so must we. It is well to be a good hater. And what is that? A hater of no living being, but a hater of “every false way.”

The way of self-will, of self-righteousness, of self-seeking, of worldliness, of pride, of unbelief, of hypocrisy, of lustfulness—these are all false ways, and therefore not only to be shunned, but to be abhorred. This final verse of the strophe marks a great advance in character, and shows that the man of God is growing stronger, bolder, and happier than aforetime.

He has been taught of the Lord, so that he discerns between the precious and the vile, and while he loves the truth fervently he hates falsehood intensely. May all of us reach this state of discrimination and determination, so that we may greatly glorify God!

02 October 2016

“Do it"

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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 39, sermon number 2,317, "Obeying Christ's orders."
“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Do not think about it, especially for a very long time, and then wait until it is more impressed upon you, or till there is a convenient season. 

“Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” One of the great evils of the times is that of deliberating about a plain command of Christ and asking, “What will be the result of it?” What have you to do with results?

“But if I follow Christ in all things, I may lose my position.” What have you to do with that? When a soldier is told to go up to the cannon’s mouth, he is very likely to lose his “position,” and something else; but he is bound to do it.

“Oh, but I might lose my opportunities of usefulness!” What do you mean? That you are going to do evil that good may come? That is what it comes to. Will you really, before God, look that matter in the face? “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” At any expense, at any risk, do it.

I have heard some say, “Well, I do not like doing things in a hurry.” Very well, but what saith David? “I made haste, and delayed not—to keep thy commandments.” Remember that we sin every moment that we delay to do anything commanded by Christ. Whether every moment of delay is a fresh sin, I cannot say; but if we neglect any command of his, we are living in a condition of perpetual sinning against him; and that is not a desirable position for any of Christ’s disciples to live in.

Beloved, “whatever he saith unto you, do it.” Do not argue against it, and try to find some reason for getting off it I have known some believers who have not liked to have certain passages of Scripture read at the family altar because they have rather troubled their consciences. If there is anything in the Bible that quarrels with you, you are wrong; the Bible is not. Come you to terms with it at once, and the only terms will be obey, obey, obey your Lord’s will.

I am not holding this up to you as a way of salvation; you know I should never think of doing that. I am speaking to those of you who are saved. You are Christ’s servants, his saved ones; and now you have come to the holy discipline of his house and this is the rule of it, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”

25 September 2016

The living Word

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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 34, sermon number 2,010, "The Word a sword."
"There is a style of majesty about God's Word, and with this majesty a vividness never found elsewhere."

They dream—they dream that they have put us among the antiquities, those of us who preach the old Gospel that our fathers loved! They sneer at the doctrines of the apostles and of the reformers, and declare that believers in them are left high and dry, the relics of an age which has long since ebbed away.

Yes, so they say! But what they say may not after all be true; for the gospel is such a living gospel that, if it were cut into a thousand shreds, every particle of it would live and grow. If it were buried beneath a thousand avalanches of error, it would shake off the incubus and rise from its grave. If it were cast into the midst of fire it would walk through the flame as it has done many a time, as though it were in its natural element.

The Reformation was largely due to a copy of the Scriptures left in the seclusion of a monastery, and there hidden till Luther came under its influence, and his heart furnished soil for the living seed to grow in. Leave but a single New Testament in a Popish community, and the evangelical faith may at any moment come to the front, even though no preacher of it may ever have come that way.

Plants unknown in certain regions have suddenly sprung from the soil, the seeds have been wafted on the winds, carried by birds, or washed ashore by the waves of the sea. So vital are seeds that they live and grow wherever they are borne; and even after lying deep in the soil for centuries, when the upturning spade has brought them to the surface, they have germinated at once.

Thus is it with the Word of God; it liveth and abideth for ever and in every soil and under all circumstances it is prepared to prove its own life by the energy with which it grows and produces fruit to the glory of God. How vain, as well as wicked, are all attempts to kill the gospel. Those who attempt the crime, in any fashion, will be for ever still beginning and never coming near their end.

They will be disappointed in all cases, whether they would slay it with persecution, smother it with worldliness, crush it with error, starve it with neglect, poison it with misrepresentation, or drown it with infidelity. While God liveth his Word shall live. Let us praise God for that.

21 September 2016

Rodney Dangerfield Sociology

by F. X. Turk

Ok, Ok.  Don't get too excited people.  Seriously.

Watch this for about 90 seconds, because it this is where we are today as a society:

The video above is loaded to start at about 1:45, which is after Dangerfield has done his "blue" routine about his relationship with his wife.  The remainder of the bit is his self-deprecating "no respect" routine in which his doctor, his bartender, his wife, kids and parents all treat him with, as we can probably guess, with "no respect."  While he probably didn't invent this trope, at least today he is the one best known for it because of his rapid-fire delivery, his amazing physical presence, and the undeniable dog-faced charm which he never drops.  He is the character needed for the jokes to work from start to finish, even in the walk-off.

So why break my hiatus -- which I am loving, by the way, and I am sorry that you miss me (follow me on twitter if you miss me that much) -- to show you 90 seconds of Rodney Dangerfield on a once-famous blog which was well know for both high-quality theology and red-hot biblically-based commentary?

I have invented a parable this week, and I wanted to run it by you.  In order to sort of get the full effect for that parable, I wanted you to first listen to Dangerfield to set up what I am trying to say here.

So   let's imagine for a minute that you work with a guy that looks and acts like Rodney Dangerfield -- let's call him Andy.  When he comes to work, he wears a decent suit, nice shirt and tie, clean shaven every day.  On the surface, he's just like you -- a person in the image of God, and maybe because he's a little less Brad Pitt and a little more, well, Rodney Dangerfield, Andy knows that he can't come to work looking like he's about to go to a picnic after work.  He has to come to work, as is proverbially said, dressed for the job he really wants.

But as he does his job, week in and week out, Andy is in a routine where he is actually using the classic Dangerfield trope of "getting no respect" whenever something at work happens.  Project is due? Of course it's late - I went to IT to get them to solve the problems with my Outlook, and they told me they didn't have any confidence in me, either.  Customer is unhappy? Of course he's unhappy -- he told me he wanted me to take him to lunch because his doctor said he had to lose weight, and I was so ugly he'd lose his appetite.  Quality is bad? I asked Production if there were any quality issues I should know about, and they told me I was fat and a liar and that I smelled bad, too.  It seemed funny at first, but Andy does it every day: everything that goes wrong around him is not only not his fault, it is draped in this complaint that everyone around him will not give him any respect.

It gets so bad that you decide to take him to lunch to see what it is he thinks he is doing, and if you can help.  And this is where it gets really interesting because even as you invite him to lunch, he says to you, "I know what you're trying to do, but it's no use: this is all your fault."

"My fault?" you say. "How can it be my fault?"

"It happened before you got here, but nobody here shows me any respect. I'm convinced that there's a company policy at this point, a policy of systematic no-respect.  Everybody shows me no respect, all the time.  No respect.  Everybody - even you."

Now, this is absolutely not what you expected.  You actually came to him because you could see that what was in fact happening was that this guy was making the whole company lose confidence in his performance, and as he made more of these unfunny excuses it became harder and harder to judge him according to the content of his character because his character, frankly, was not good.  It also made it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt when circumstances actually were stacked against him -- because whether the issue was impossible to resolve or he just never tried, he always blamed everyone else and their lack of respect for him.  You thought he was kidding at first or looking to buy time, but here it turns out that, unbelievably, he is convinced that the reason he's constantly failing is that nobody actually gives him any respect. And that lack of respect is somehow baked into the company's way of doing business.

"OK, hang on a second Andy," you say.  "What about Randy?  You know Randy, right?"

Randy, it turns out, looks like Andy -- I mean, like brothers.  Like there before the grace of time and natural selection (not that we are evolutionists), you could mistake Andy for Randy from behind for sure, and maybe out of the corner of your eye.

"That guy?" Andy says. "He's the worst of all.  He's like my Uncle Thomas.  I told Thomas I was joining Gamblers Anonymous, he gave me 3 to 1 odds I wouldn't make it."

"What?  What's that supposed to mean?"  It's a funny joke, but you have no idea where he is going with it.

"I'm saying that while everyone is down on me, he's actually getting ahead by using me and pushing me aside."

"That's not true," you tell him.  "You came here from Detroit, he came here from Nigeria.  You have worked in the US all your life, he has only been here a few years -- maybe since just before college.  You started here before he did, and yet somehow even though he has some disadvantages you don't have -- he had to learn the language, he had to become a citizen to keep his job, he has to live far from his family -- he's about to get promoted to the department head, and you are still in this same job because you blame other people for your condition, and he is, frankly, trying to make his own condition."

When you say that, Andy gets really upset.  He starts to shout at you, as if you were the one saying that there was no way for him to succeed on his own. "I can't believe you!  You and your work privileges!  You and Randy and everyone else around here think that it's easy to get by, but you don't know what it's like for everyone to be against you!  Nobody appreciates what I do no matter what I do. And things will never get better around here unless ... " and suddenly a light goes on behind Andy's eyes.  You can see the dawning of revelation as the gears turn in his head and suddenly a new idea is born in him.  You watch him a a minute, and you think he has suddenly realized what you came to tell him.

"Unless you stop blaming other people and get yourself on the team, right?"

His lit-up visage suddenly reverts to an angry glower.  "Are you kidding me?! Are you serious?!  That will never work," he yells.  "But what will obviously work is if they fire the Boss and they put me in charge!  That's what would make things change around here!  In fact, I am going right now to HR to tell them that they better make me the guy running the show around here to make up for all the years of people disrespecting me, or else I'm going to sue them into the ground!"

Andy marches off to the HR office, and you head out to lunch.  You're pretty sure they are going to fire him when he goes up there, but you don't want to be here to see it.

As with all parables, it ruins it to explain it.  But: for those who have ears, let him listen.  

18 September 2016

The midnight cry

Image result for charles spurgeon

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 Gospel of the Kingdom, pages 222-223, Pilgrim Publications

"And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." Matthew 25:6 

That midnight cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” startled all the sleepers. It would be well if we all thought more of the great truth of our Lord’s Second Advent. The oftener it is preached, in due proportion with other revealed doctrines, the more likely will it be to arouse both slumbering possessors and sleeping professors of love to Christ.

As the midnight of this present evil age approaches, there is increasing need for all to be bidden to listen for the clarion cry, “Go ye out to meet him.” 

11 September 2016

Divided hearts

Image result for divided heart

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 New Park Street Pulpit, volume 5, sermon number 276, "A divided heart."
"When a man’s heart is divided, he is at once everything that is bad." 

With regard to himself he is an unhappy man. Who can be happy while he has rival powers within his own breast. The soul must find a nest for itself, or else it cannot find rest. The bird that would seek to rest upon two twigs would never have peace, and the soul that endeavours to find two resting places, first, the world, and then the Saviour, will never have any joy or comfort.

A united heart is a happy heart; hence David says, “Unite my heart to fear thy name.” They that give themselves wholly to God are a blessed people, for they find that the ways of religion are “ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Men who are neither this nor that, neither one thing nor another, are always uneasy and miserable. The fear of discovery, and the consciousness of being wrong, conspire together to agitate the soul and make it full of unease, disease and restlessness of spirit. Such a man is unhappy in himself.

He is in the next place, useless in the church. Of what good is such a man to us? We cannot put him in the pulpit to propound that gospel he does not practice. We cannot put him in the deaconship to serve the church which his life would ruin. We cannot commit to his charge the spiritual matters of the church in the eldership, because we discern that not being spiritual himself, he is not to be entrusted with them.

In no respect is he of any good to us. “Reprobate silver shall men call them.” His name may be in the church-book, but it had better be taken away. He may sit among us and give us his contribution, we should be better without it and without him than with either, though he should double his talent and treble his contributions. We know that no man who is not united in his heart vitally and entirely to Christ, can never be of the slightest service to the church of God.

But not only this; he is a man dangerous to the world. Such a man is like a leper going abroad in the midst of healthy people; he spreads the disease. The drunkard is a leper set apart by himself; he doth but little harm comparatively, for he in his drunkenness is like the leper when he is driven from society. His very drunkenness cries out, “Unclean, unclean, unclean!”

But this man is a professor of religion and, therefore tolerated. He says he is a Christian, and therefore he is admitted into all society, and yet he is inwardly full of rottenness and deception. Though outwardly whitewashed like a sepulchre, he is more dangerous to the world, I say, than the most vicious of men. Tie him up—let him not go loose; build a prison for him.

But what am I saying? If you would build a prison for hypocrites, all London would not suffice for ground for the prisons. Oh my brethren, notwithstanding the impossibility of binding them, I do say that the maddest dog in the hottest weather is not one-half so dangerous to men as a man who hath a divided heart, one who runs about with the rabid poison of his hypocrisy upon his lips, and destroys the souls of men by contamination.