A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, September 29, 1872, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. *10/14/2011
For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against
himself, lest you are wearied and faint in your minds. (Heb 12:3)
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1. When the Hebrew Christians were suffering dire persecution the apostle could suggest no better support for their faith than this, “Consider him.” He asked them to look at Jesus, and compare their case with that of their Lord. Such contemplations would prove a sovereign balm for their distressed minds. A consideration of our Lord and Master is the best conceivable strength and support during persecution. Let us look into that fact for a few minutes.
2. The believer under persecution should remember that he is suffering no strange thing, but is only enduring what happened to his Master before him. Should the disciple expect to be above his Lord? “If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” If they had received Christ they would have received us, but since they reject both Christ and his sayings, the followers of Christ must expect that both they themselves and their doctrines will be lightly esteemed.
3. Remember that in addition to his being our Master, Jesus is also God. Shamefully unrighteous was the opposition of mankind to God, whom by all reasons of right and justice they were bound to reverence: yet he endured, with almighty patience, the hostility from sinners against himself. A word from his lips would have withered them, but, like a sheep before her shearers, he was dumb. One glance of his eye of fire would have consumed their spirits, but that eye distilled a tear instead. You are only men, is it much that men should mock you? If God himself, in the person of his dear Son, has endured the opposition of sinners, who are you, oh sons of men, that you should wonder, much less should murmur, when you are reviled for Jesus’ sake?
4. Remember, too, that our dear Lord and Master was perfectly innocent. It was a cruel thing that he should be opposed who had done no harm to anyone. “For which of these works do you stone me?” he said, — a plaintive question, as much as if he had said “I have healed your sick, I have fed your hungry, I have raised your dead, and you requite me like this! Are stones the only testimonials of your appreciation?” They called him a drunken man, yet we know well he was temperance itself. They said he had a demon, though he was the Lord of angels. They charged him with treason, and yet he was himself the King of kings and Lord of all. Now, brothers and sisters, in us there is much that is evil, and when men speak evil of us falsely we may say within ourselves, “Ah, had they known me better they might have truthfully found fault with me in some other area.” You are not innocent, beloved, you often bring the rebuke upon yourselves; and the hostility from sinners against your religion is due to your own fault quite as well as to the world’s opposition to the truth which you love. Therefore if he, the spotless One, endured, should you not endure who are so far from innocent? Should you not be willing for his sake to suffer persecution?
5. Remember, too, the loving mission upon which our Master came. He came into this world on purpose to save men. He had no sinister motive, nor even a secondary aim. The glory of God in the salvation of lost souls was all he lived for, and yet for all that sinners were infuriated against him and opposed him with might and main. Now, the good you can confer upon them is little enough compared with the rich gifts with which the Master’s hands were laden. You come, it is true, to tell them about a Saviour, but you cannot save them. You bring glad tidings of good things, but you are only tiding bearers of the good things your Master actually brought. If they persecuted him who gave his blood for their redemption, it is not unusual if you, who can only tell what he has done, should bear some of the reproaches that fell upon him. We remember, dear friends, how bitter were the reproaches that assailed him, how the enmity of man exerted all its cruel force. They were not content with slandering him in life, they needed to hurry him away to death. Reproach broke his heart, and he was full of heaviness; thus they tortured his soul; and you have not forgotten their cruelties to him in Pilate’s hall, where the mental and physical agonies were blended. You cannot forget the nailing to the cross, and the scorn which greeted him in the midst of his dying grief. You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin. What have you endured compared with him? Just as the poet standing upon the desolate mounds of ruined Rome considering the death throes of an empire, said, “What are our petty griefs? Let me not number mine”; so may you say, “What are the sufferings of any of the saints compared with the infinite griefs of the eternal Son of God?” His was suffering indeed. “Consider him, lest you are weary and faint in your minds.”
6. Yet reflect, beloved, amid all these sufferings, our Lord’s temper remained unruffled. He spoke strong words against hypocrisy and falsehood wherever he saw them. He spared neither Scribe nor Pharisee, but in those stern denunciations not a single atom of personal anger was blended. He did not denounce them in resentment of their attacks upon himself, but because they deserved to be denounced, and were in themselves too vile to be tolerated. No personal animosity ever ruffled the serenity of our great Master’s spirit. Moreover, he was never moved to take the slightest revenge upon his foes; even for those who nailed him to the cross, he had no return except the prayer, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And, just as he had no vengeance against them, so they exerted no evil influence upon him. He persevered in his life work just as much as if he had never been opposed. Like the sun that goes on in its strength whether there are clouds to hide it or whether it shines from the blue serene, Christ continued in his heavenward way; coming out of his chamber full of love for his spouse like a bridegroom girded for the race he pursued his mighty journey, not waiting until he had fulfilled his course. Oh, how strengthening is this contemplation! Let us consider him and reflect, that by reason of his sufferings, and his patience, and his forgiveness, and his perseverance, he achieved a triumph over evil, which was in effect a complete victory of righteousness over sin. If he could have been ruffled he would have been defeated, if he could have been angered he would have been overthrown, if he could have been restrained in his progress, then he would not have been victorious; but he bore and bore and bore again, he suffered and he suffered and he suffered still; like the anvil that does not reply to the hammer, he still wore out those hammers by his patience. Brethren, consider this, and suffer with a patience like your Master’s. Consider Jesus, and push on in the allotted path of holy service, just as he did. Consider him, and look forward with expectancy to the joy of triumphing over evil, for in you Christ will get the victory over sin again, in you he will again be crowned with many crowns, and in you again his cross shall become the symbol and weapon of victory.
7. But, now, I must confess I did not take this text with the view of preaching from it as it stands, but from a light which shines from it. We have given you an outline of what could have been said upon the text, but the thought occurred to me if the consideration of Christ is a most effective medicine for the persecuted, in order to prevent their being weary or faint in their mind, doubtless the very same sacred balm would be beneficial to all other cases of spiritual distress; and as I thought of all the diseases of God’s people, and like a physician tried this prescription upon them, I discovered that it was equally suitable and effective in every case. So I thought I would speak this Sunday morning to those souls which most need our care, namely, to those who are seeking Jesus, and longing after salvation, but are filled with doubts and despondencies, and I will say to them “consider him.” I am persuaded, beloved, if I am enabled by God’s Spirit to lead any seeking soul to “consider him,” I shall also lead that soul into liberty. I believe this topic will be the opening of the prison doors for those who are bound. I feel for some of you that God has set before you this morning an open door which no man can shut, and my prayer shall be offered over every syllable that I utter, that God may lead you through that open door at this very moment. So that not twenty or a hundred, but thousands of you may find Christ, and be saved with an everlasting salvation. I know the medicine has power in it if God the Holy Spirit will only apply it.
8. I shall now speak to the seeking sinner, taking him by the hand and appealing to him in simple but earnest language.
9. You who seek salvation I say to you, in the name of the living God, consider Christ Jesus, the Son of God, the only Saviour of man.
10. And do this first to meet your own consideration of your SIN. You are awakened enough to know that you have sinned against God. Though a little while ago sin seemed a trifle, you now know that it is a terrible thing, a deadly thing, and the thought oppresses your spirit that your sin deserves the wrath of God, that it must be punished, that God would not be a just moral Governor if he were to pardon you absolutely: he must take vengeance upon your inventions and punish you for your iniquity. Now I am glad that you have considered your sin and its heinousness; but, poor soul, let me take you by the hand and say to you, consider him — the Saviour, Christ Jesus. For if you will remember concerning him that God has been just and has laid the sin of his people upon the Lord Jesus Christ. It was impossible that sin should be wiped out with no remark from God, but he has been pleased to accept a substitute in the person of his only begotten Son, who could lawfully be a substitute because he is the head of his people, and it was natural that in their fall he should take an interest as being to them what Adam was to the whole human race. Now, the Lord need not punish you, oh sinner, for sin, for he has punished Jesus Christ in the place of all believing sinners; he need not visit you with stripes, for the stripes due to your sin, if you believe in Jesus, were laid upon another’s back; your iniquities were gathered all together in one mighty load and then placed upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ, the great scapegoat for sin. Does that not remove distress from your mind? If you consider your sin consider also the five wounds, consider the bloody sweat, consider the tortured body of the immaculate Christ, who was God at the same time that he was man, and say to your soul, “If Jesus died in your place, there is a sufficient compensation made for the injured honour of Almighty God, so that he can be just and yet the justifier of the ungodly.”
11. But there rises in your mind this thought, “My sin has placed me in a miserable position, for I am a sinner, and being a sinner I must be obnoxious to the anger of God. It is not possible that a pure God could permit me to live in his presence, for he cannot look upon iniquity. How can I hope for acceptance before God when I am defiled?” Now listen, soul. You are a sinner, but “consider him,” ask yourself what is Jesus Christ? I speak with reverence for his name, as our Redeemer, what is he apart from sinners? Is his name not “Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” If there were no sinners, what could be the value of his name? It would be an empty sounding title without a meaning. How could he save if there were no lost ones to be saved? He could only be called a Saviour by way of compliment. Remember, what did Jesus come from heaven for if he did not have a relationship with sinners? “It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” He came for nothing, if he does not find sinners and save them; and if you, and such as you, have no right to look to Jesus, then what did be come to earth for? If there is a righteous man here who has no sin, Christ has nothing to do with you, you will perish without a Saviour; but if you are a sinner, you are the kind of person that he came to save, and the fact of your knowing that you are a sinner should give you comfort.
12. Look at the duties of Christ — “consider him.” Is he not a priest? And what is a priest for, but to make propitiation for the sins of the people? Is our Lord not described as a sacrifice for sin? But to what end is there a bloody sacrifice if there is no sin to put away? Jesus is our advocate. What does the apostle say? “If any man sins, we have an advocate.” Who needs an advocate with God, except the man who has offended? Jesus is an intercessor, too, but who needs him to intercede for him if he is innocent? He makes intercession for the sins of his people. You see, then, if you will consider him, that as a poor man is necessary before there can be an alms giver, as a disconsolate soul is necessary before a comforter can exercise his gift, so a sinner is necessary before a Saviour can be what he is ordained to be. Jesus needs your sinnership so that he may exercise his sacred work upon it. Place a surgeon amid men who are never sick, and what is there for him to do? Tell a physician that in a certain city no one is ever ill, and he will leave on the next train. If there were no sinners what use would a propitiation be? Therefore as you consider him, though your sense of sin will not vanish, your despair about it will be driven completely away.
13. “Yes, but,” another says, “while I have been considering my sin I have been stunned altogether by a sense of its greatness. Oh, sir, mine has not been mere verbal sin, I have committed crimson transgressions of which it would be a shame to speak. I have defiled myself by actual crimes which I cannot erase from my memory.” So be it, but I bring you my one remedy, “Consider him.” What kind of a Saviour is Jesus Christ, a little Saviour or a great one? Is he not the Son of God, and himself God? What is the need for a divine person to be a propitiation for limited sin? It was the infinity of sin that required the Godhead itself to become incarnate, in order that human guilt might be put away. If you say, “I have very little sin”; I tell you Christ will have nothing to do with you. He did not come from heaven to be a physician to a pin’s prick on a man’s finger which will heal by itself, but he is a physician who delights to heal putrifying sores and gaping wounds, and incurable diseases. And you, great, big, black, devilish sinner, you are just the kind of man that Christ delights to operate upon, for in you he will show his power, his mercy, his grace, his sovereignty. There is room to display the infinity of his mercy in such a one as you are. Therefore, do not be cast down, do not be faint and weary in your seeking after him, but come at once and submit to him who is mighty to save.
14. “Yes,” another said, “but in thinking over my sin I see its uniqueness. I believe my case is one of a kind. I do not think another man could have committed the sin I have done under the circumstances, and with the particular aggravations.” So be it. You are a unique sinner, but “consider him,” for he is a unique Saviour. Was there ever such a one as Jesus? You are a wonderful sinner, but his name is also called Wonderful. If you are a sinner of such a class, that, if you are saved, all the angels will throng the streets to see you come to heaven and point at you, and say, “Behold a monstrous sinner, saved”; I say, if it is so you will bring all the more glory to Christ, you will only make his name the more famous through every heavenly street. But I tell you, however unusual you may be, Christ will meet you. If you have out soared all others in the daring flights of your sin, Jesus has gone beyond you in the flights of his mercy. Although you should have gone as near the gates of hell as possible, and have imitated the devil in his worst qualities, still the Redeemer is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him. He is a Saviour, and a great one. If you can ever find such a Saviour as Christ, then I will ask you to find such a sinner as yourself; but since you are a peerless sinner, since you must say of yourself, “Ne plus ultra,” I will say the same of Jesus, — there is no one beyond him. He stands alone and by himself, and so the sinner and the Saviour are well matched. Let your fears be hushed to sleep, and put your trust in him.
15. Now, the same precious sentence will be useful to the seeking soul, if its contemplation should have taken another form. I can well believe that some of you are grievously oppressed with the sense of the greatness of God. You have lived for years negligent of the God who created you and supplied your needs, but now you have been awakened and aroused to the fact that there is a God, a God whom you have despitefully entreated, whom you have shamefully disregarded; and you are shocked to find that it is so, for now you have a sense of the greatness of God, and you are afraid that he will crush you. You know the justice of God, and you are sure that he must avenge the injuries you have done to his holy law, and, therefore, you go through every day with a dreadful sound in your ears, crying, “Where shall I go from his presence, and how shall I escape from his vengeance?” You are surrounded with God, and in him you live and move and have your being, and this omnipresent God is your enemy, for you have made him so by your rebellions against him.
16. Now as a cure for all this, I have to say to you “consider him” — Christ Jesus. You are afraid of God because he hates sin. Your fears are based on truth. God hates sin infinitely. If there were only one grain of sin in the whole universe, he would burn it to ashes to get rid of that grain of sin, for it is such a detestable thing in his sight. But now consider Christ Jesus; for sin was laid on him. If you will come now and put your trust in Jesus, you may be sure that your sin was laid on Christ, and the wrath of God concerning sin was spent upon him. The vials of Jehovah’s indignation were poured upon the devoted head of the Great Shepherd of the sheep. God hates sin, but he will not hate you, for you have no sin if you believe in Jesus, seeing your sin is transferred to your surety and laid upon Christ, and you are clean.
17. Ah, but you say, “He is such a holy God, how can I approach him?” Well, I will tell you the most blessed secret outside of heaven. It is this — you can, by faith, put on the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus, and when you have it on you, you will be as holy in the sight of God as Christ is holy. Did not Jesus keep the law? What need was there that he should? He did not need to have become a servant to his Father. He has a righteousness to spare, and he gives it to us, for he is made to us “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” When a soul puts on the righteousness of Christ by faith, even the all-seeing eye of God cannot see a flaw in that righteousness. Adam in the garden had a perfect righteousness, but then it was only a human one; you and I, when we believe in Jesus, have a perfect righteousness which is divine — the righteousness of the Eternal Son of God himself, and so we can come to God as if we had been perfectly innocent, and stand on terms of full familiarity with the thrice holy One.
18. “Ah,” one says, “there is good cheer in all this, but still I have some dread remaining, for God is infinitely great.” It is true, it is true, but I would have you “consider him,” for remember, the God you have to deal with is not the God as seen on Sinai, or rather as obscurely heard amid the dense darkness of the trembling mountain, but you have to deal with God in Christ Jesus, and therefore “consider him.” Now think for a minute. Jesus is a strong God it is true. Do you not see him walking the waters of the sea? But why does he pause in the midst of his wondrous marchings over the waves? It is to stretch out his hand and save Peter from sinking, who had said, “Lord save me, or I perish.” The strength of God shall do the same for you; since you are sinking and ready to perish, the omnipotent God will stretch out his hand and snatch you from the waves of fire, and deliver your soul from destruction.
Consider Christ Jesus for a moment as a strong God, and how he uses his
strength. He walks down the streets where the sick folk lie in their beds,
and does he trample on them and crush out the last spark of life from
those poor wretches? No, but he touches this one and an eye is opened, and
he puts his finger on another and an ear is opened, he lays his hand on
the dead and they arise. Oh, yes, and he will do this for you. Be thankful
for a mighty God, for in Christ Jesus the omnipotence of God will only
come to heal your woes. See this omnipotent One take the loaves and the
fishes in his hands and break them, and as he breaks them they multiply
until all those thousands are fed out of one basket full of barley loaves
and small fish: — he will feed your soul with heavenly food to the full. His
greatness will reveal itself in supplying your great needs, and blessing
you greatly. You will see it is so, if you will consider Jesus.
Till God in human flesh I see
My thoughts no comfort find;
The holy, just, and sacred three,
Are terrors to my mind.
But if Emmanuel’s face appears,
My hope, my joy begins,
His name forbids my slavish fears,
His grace forgives my sins.
So I have used the remedy thus far. I dare say I shall be a little tedious — the doctor is always tedious when he has many wounds to bind up.
20. It may be that some soul here is saying, “You have not touched my difficulty yet. I am troubled about sin, and I am troubled about God, but still my greatest anxiety is this — I know that if I could believe, my sins would be pardoned, but I am perplexed with UNBELIEF, and I am severely distressed because of the HARDNESS OF MY HEART, which will not let me repent.” Come, then, soul, and “consider him.”
21. First, you say, “I have little or no faith”; then “consider him.” Did Jesus ever require great faith before he healed a soul? What trembling faith he accepted in the days of his flesh! The poor leper says, “Lord if you will, you can make me clean.” You can get as far as that, can you not? And Jesus Christ said, “I will, be clean.” A poor woman came into the crowd, and was afraid to face the Master, but she crept behind him and touched the hem of his garment, and stole a cure, for she said, “If I may only touch the hem of his garment I shall be made whole,” and Jesus did not rebuke her, but he said, “Your faith has made you whole, go in peace.” So Jesus Christ loves little faith, therefore you, poor Much-Afraid, and you, Despondency, “consider him,” and his gentleness towards the timid and trembling, and let your fears be gone.
But you say, “Ah, I am afraid, I have no faith at all.” Then, beloved,
“consider him,” and among other matters consider well how he deserves your
faith. Tell me, what did Jesus ever do that you should doubt him? He says
he will save you if you will trust him. Point to one promise he has
broken. I challenge you, yes, I challenge all the world to point to one
word that ever fell from his lips and was not fulfilled. That dear and
precious Saviour is truth itself. I feel I can trust him, and whenever I
do not trust him it is because I have not considered him. The sight of him
makes me feel that I would rush into his arms. What, not trust him who
“bears the earth’s huge pillars up?” I must trust him! Son of God and Son
of Man, I see both your strength and your tenderness, and I must rely upon
you. I urge the man who feels that he cannot believe, to consider Christ
Jesus. Think of him in the garden; think of him on the cross. Will his
death not suffice? Think of him as rising from the dead and pleading
before the eternal throne.
Venture on him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude,
Sure this Saviour
Can do helpless sinners good.
23. Well, then, suppose that after all you should still say, “But still I find unbelief to be my trouble,” then I ask you to remember that he was exalted on high on purpose so that he might bestow the gift of faith and repentance. Even while he was here on earth, his disciples prayed, “Lord, increase our faith,” and you may without a doubt pray to him to give you faith. And you, who mourn a rocky heart, you may say, “Lord, you are exalted on high to give repentance to Israel, give repentance to me”: for Jesus can touch your heart and make it tender in a moment. Only let that nail-pierced hand be laid upon your cold, petrified heart, and it will become warm and filled with heavenly life. If you look to yourself to find repentance, you will look long enough, but if you will look to him, is it not written “They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourns for his firstborn?” A sight of Christ creates repentance in the heart. Jesus looked on Peter; Peter’s eyes were dry until then, but Peter saw that look, and it melted Peter’s heart; right through his nature it pierced like some mighty gleam of a tenfold sun, in a moment it pierced the iceberg of his nature and dissolved his soul. One look at Jesus will melt a heart of stone. “Consider him,” then. Come to the point. You cannot believe nor repent, but he can give you both. If you urge yourself to these, you will often make a mistake, and make yourself more unbelieving and more impenitent than before; but if you go to him for every grace that brings you near, and ask that without money, he will give you everything, he will freely bestow them upon you. If you let him be your Saviour from top to bottom, from beginning to end, if you will just go to him as helpless, lost and ruined, and confide yourself entirely to him, you shall find he will not and cannot fail you in the time of your necessity. So you see, considering him gets rid of those troubles. May the Spirit of God prove it to be so!
24. Perhaps YOUR OWN INSIGNIFICANCE causes you to doubt. You complain and say, “I cannot think Christ would save me. I am a nobody; I am lowly, poor, obscure.” Dear friend, “consider Jesus.” Did he ever fawn at the great ones’ feet? Did he preach in the royal chapel, and there utter soft nothings, fit for the ears of kings and queens? You know he did not. He wore the clothing of the peasantry and called fishermen to be his apostles; by this pouring contempt on princes, for “not many great men, after the flesh, not many mighty are called.” He has chosen the base things of this world, and God has chosen the things that are not to bring to nothing the things that are.
25. “Ah,” one says, “but I mean I have no gift, or knowledge.” Then “consider him,” and let me bring him before your eyes. I see him standing with uplifted hands, exclaiming, “Father I thank you that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seems good in your sight.” Does that not settle that question once and for all? I am sure it ought to do so!
26. “Ah,” one says, “but I am so unworthy.” Yes, and will you tell me where Christ was accustomed to seek out the worthy ones? Did he not go and touch blind beggars’ eyes who were nothing but beggars, and had no recommendation except poverty? Did he not bless those who had no claim by way of righteousness? Does mercy ever ask for merit? Does it not, on the contrary, seek for misery? If an angel of mercy hovered over this congregation, poising himself in midair, I should know that he did not come with mercy to those of you who are good and have no sin — why should he come to insult you? But if there is a brokenhearted sinner here, I know that the angel has a gracious word for him, from the heart of him who delights in mercy. Do not say I am a nobody, and am therefore forgotten. Christ Jesus loves nobodies; he delights to pick up those whom society throws away — the very offscourings and sweepings are his choice. Solomon built his temple of cedar, but our Lord builds his temple with the lowliest wood in the forest. Any jeweller can make a precious thing of gold, but Jesus makes diamonds out of dross, and crowns out of clay.
27. Yes, but still, perhaps, I have not met the particular distress of some and so let me try again. “Ah,” says one, “but I feel my POWERLESSNESS for everything that is good; I am sure if I am saved I cannot help in it.” Ah, poor soul, it is strange that we should ever think we could help the Lord to save us. Could you have helped in creation? If you had been there when God was making the world, would you have offered to help him? When he said, “Let there be light,” would you have rushed forward with a match and said, “Permit me to add my little spark?” It is insulting to think of such a thing. But salvation is a greater work than creation. Stand back, you impertinent flesh and blood! You can only hinder the great work. God does not need your help. Abase yourself, and he will glorify himself in your salvation.
28. “Still,” one says, “I feel so feeble in everything I try to do. I tried to pray, but I could not.” What did you do? “I fretted because I could not pray.” Well, you prayed much better than if you had thought you had prayed; for he who groans because he cannot pray has prayed the best prayer in the world. The poor tax collector did not say much, but when he struck upon his chest, even if he had not added the recorded words, he prayed; that striking on his bosom meant the true prayer of his soul, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” “Ah,” one says, “I have been trying to overcome sin recently, and I have been beaten.” You shall overcome by the blood of the Lamb, but all your own warring against sin will certainly end in defeat. Let the sword of the Lord and of Gideon be laid bare, and the Midianites will soon be put to the rout; but unless it is the sword of the Lord there will be no routing your foes. “Consider him,” and have hope. “Oh, but if I have any love for Christ it is so little. If I have any faith it is almost unbelief. If I have any life it is only a flicker. How can I be saved?” Now, soul, once and for all stop all this talk. Your salvation is in Christ, and not in you. Do not say, “I have little strength”: confess you have none at all, and then you are near the truth. Do not say, “I have little life”; confess that you are dead by nature, and you have hit the mark. Do not say, “I have little virtue”; say, “All unholy and unclean, I am nothing else but sin.” When you reach the bottom you cannot fall lower, and that is the place where you ought to be, and Jesus will never meet you until you come to the lowest point. Your extremity is his opportunity; when you are a beggarly bankrupt, and cannot pay half a farthing in the pound, then all Christ’s richest treasures shall be yours; but if you have a little to add to help the Saviour, just so that you may have a side glance at the glory, he will have nothing to do with you. He wants you, but he does not need your help; he wants your emptiness to fill it, but he needs nothing of your own to increase his fulness.
29. Now, I must hurry on for time fails me. Perhaps, I have some here who say, “My case lies out of your track this morning, for I am the subject of very fierce Satanic TEMPTATIONS. I have recently had such blasphemous thoughts and horrible suggestions that I can scarcely conceive any other human being has ever been subjected to them.” Now, at once “consider him.” He was “tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin.” “We have a high priest who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities,” I want you to remember this, and so to “consider him.” Now, I know that if a preacher of the gospel has had no temptations no one ever goes to him with questions of conscience; but if a man of God has been led through great adversity and soul trouble, all the distressed and afflicted people in the neighbourhood are sure to flee to him because he can sympathise with them. Now, our dear Redeemer can sympathise with you who are tempted by the devil, for he was forty days in the wilderness tempted by Satan too. Go to him. “But I am afraid of the temptations I shall have in years to come.” Are you? Then “consider him,” for “he is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him, seeing he always lives to make intercession for them.” What a choice word that was of his to Peter, “Satan has desired to have you so that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you so that your faith does not fail.” Oh, poor soul, consider Jesus, and remember that if all the demons in hell were to tempt you, and you had only Jesus Christ present with you, you need no more fear than if the dogs in the streets barked at your heels when all their teeth were extracted. Jesus has broken the devil’s teeth by the power of his intercession. He has power to howl at us but he cannot bite us, he worries whom he cannot devour with a malicious joy, but the Lord has struck our enemy upon the cheekbone, and by one tremendous blow of his pierced hand he has broken the teeth of the oppressor.
30. I still hear another cry. “Come here,” one says, “I have something to whisper in your ear I can hardly tell. My trouble is about my INWARD CORRUPTION. Oh, if ever there is an unclean heart in all the world I have it, it is like some foul pond which bubbles up with putrid gas. My innermost nature is filled with all manner of filthiness and iniquity, like a mud volcano, which pours forth a putrid stream. Oh, sir, my heart is abominable; a cage of unclean birds is nothing compared to it, it is a den of demons.” Well, well, “consider him.” You remember how he came into the temple, and there were the buyers and sellers, with their young bulls and sheep and doves. I have often marvelled at the ease with which he drove them out. He did not even have a rope with him, but only a few small cords, but he began immediately to strike around him, and oh, how they ran. Those money grubbers, who would not have lost a shekel for their lives, saw their gold and silver spilt on the ground, while the young bulls and the sheep fled from the holy place, and the doves fluttered out into the air. Let Christ come into your heart, and he will soon drive out the buyers and sellers, indeed, and the old dragon himself. Remember, too, that Jesus is a creator. He made the heavens and the earth, — can he not create you anew? Is it not said, “He who sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold I make all things new.’ ” Consider his omnipotent power; having given you a new heart, can he not make you completely holy? Oh, do not think so continually of your sin and sinfulness and proneness to transgression, but think of Christ, almighty to save, and whether you sink or swim cast yourself upon him; lost or saved, come and cling to his cross this morning, and I warrant you not one of you shall perish, but eternal life shall be the portion of every man who rests in him.
31. Still someone says, “I am troubled about THE THREE LAST THINGS; I am afraid of death, and I am afraid of judgment, and I am afraid of hell.” Afraid of death? Well; but if you will only trust the Son of God who died for sinners, you need never be afraid to die. Your little child, when she has run around, and wearied herself and needs to sleep, is she afraid to fall asleep in mother’s arms, with her head on mother’s breast? And you, dear child of God, when you are wearied with your work, you shall go and lay your head on Jesus’ bosom and fall asleep, and it shall be just as easy, and just as sweet, as for your little ones to sleep on your bosom.
32. “But I am afraid of judgment,” one says. Judgment: but your judgment is already past. Your sins were judged in Christ, and punished in Christ, if you believe in him. The sins of all believers were brought before the judgment bar and condemned and broken on the wheel in Christ. Let us go back to that famous passage by Paul for a minute; he pictures God’s chosen people standing before the throne, and he cries “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” Who is afraid of judgment when no one can lay anything to his charge? And then he goes on to say “Who is it who condemns?” No one can condemn except the judge, and who is he? It is Christ who died, and can he who died for us condemn us? Impossible, he cannot misrepresent himself. So you need not be afraid of judgment.
33. “But I am afraid of hell,” one says. Ah, and there is good reason to fear it. “Fear him who can cast both body and soul into hell, yes, I say to you, fear him.” But you need not fear hell if you trust in Jesus, for Christ has suffered the punishment of your sin; and as far as you are concerned hell is not for you. There are no flames of wrath for you, they spent themselves upon the Saviour. When the Jew laid his sin offering on the altar, and the fire consumed it, the sinful Jew stood there and said, “That young bull stands for me.” When it has all burned, he said, “My sins are burned.” And when they took the ashes into an unclean place and utterly consumed them, he said, “My sin is put away, they have put it outside the camp, it is consumed for ever.” So when we “consider him,” even our dear Lord Jesus on the cross, we see him there as a complete sacrifice, the fire of God roasting and burning him up, consuming his reins within him until he is utterly consumed as a sacrifice, and there our sin was annihilated. Every believer may know that there his sin ceased to be, for it is written, “He has finished transgression. He has made an end of sin, and has brought in an everlasting righteousness.”
I do not want to stop when I have such a subject as this, but I must; only
as I stop it shall be with this earnest prayer that every seeking sinner
here may believe in Jesus at once. Oh, weary one, why do you not rest upon
him? Wanderer, you will never find rest until you come to Jesus! Seeker,
vain are your seekings if you will not have my Lord! Trembler, your
tremblings themselves are to be trembled at, if they keep you from the
cross! There is the Saviour, to be had without money and without price; he
is preached to you. Believe him: that is, trust him and live for ever! May
the Lord bless you now, and constrain you by his mercy to do so for Jesus’
[Portion of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Heb 12]