2082. A Free Grace Promise

by on
Share:

No. 2082-35:229. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, October 11, 1888, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, May 5, 1889.

And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered. {Joe 2:32}

For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1931, “One More Cast of the Great Net” 1932}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2082, “Free Grace Promise, A” 2083}

1. Vengeance was in full sway. The armies of divine justice had been called out for war: “They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war.” They had invaded and devastated the land, and turned the land from being like the garden of Eden into a desolate wilderness. All faces gathered blackness: the people were “much pained.” The sun itself was dim, the moon was dark, and the stars withdrew themselves: the earth quaked, and the heavens trembled. At such a dreadful time, when we might least have expected it, between the peals of thunder and the flashes of lightning, was heard this gentle word, “It shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” Let us carefully read the passage: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” {Joe 2:30-32} In the worst of times that can ever happen, there is still salvation for men. When day turns to night, and life becomes death, and the staff of life is broken, and the hope of man has fled, there still remains in God, in the person of his dear Son, deliverance for all those who will call upon the name of the Lord. We do not know what is to happen: reading the roll of the future, we prophesy dark things; but still this light shall always shine between the rifts of these destructive clouds: “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”

2. This passage was selected by the apostle at Pentecost to be set in its place as a kind of morning star of gospel times. When the Spirit was poured out upon the servants and the handmaids, and sons and daughters began to prophesy, it was clear that the wondrous time had come, which had been foretold so long before. Then Peter, as he preached his memorable sermon, told the people, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”; so giving a fuller and even more evangelical meaning to the word “delivered.” “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered” from sin, death and hell — shall, in fact, be so delivered as to be, in divine language, “saved” — saved from the guilt, the penalty, the power of sin, saved from the wrath to come. These gospel times are still the happy days in which “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” In the Year of Grace we have reached a day and an hour in which “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” This salvation is sent to you at this moment. The time of immediate acceptance proclaimed at Pentecost has never ceased: its fulness of blessing has grown rather than diminished. The sacred promise stands in all its certainty, fulness, and freeness: it has lost none of all its breadth and length: “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

3. I have nothing to do tonight except to tell you over again the old, old story of infinite mercy come to meet infinite sin — of free grace come to lead free will into a better line of things — of God himself appearing to undo man’s ruin accomplished by man, and to lift him up by a great deliverance. May the Holy Spirit graciously aid me while I shall talk to you very simply, like this: —

4. I. First, THERE IS SOMETHING ALWAYS NEEDED. That something is deliverance, or “salvation.”

5. It is always needed. It is the prerequisite of man, wherever man is found. As long as there are men on the face of the earth, there will always be a need for salvation. I could wish that some of you had the instructive schooling which I received last Tuesday, when I was sitting to see enquirers. I had a very happy time in seeing a very large number of people who had joyfully put their trust in Christ; but among them were some who could not trust — poor hearts, conscious of sin, though they did not think they were. These seemed bound hand and foot, locked up in the prison of despair, and darkened in heart. I tell you, I felt dismayed as they baffled me: I felt a fool as they refused to be comforted. I could do nothing for them so far as argument and persuasion were concerned. I could pray with them: I could also ask them to pray, and they did pray: but they were cases in which, unless the arm of God were revealed, I was as powerless with them as when a man stands weeping over the body of his dead wife, and would restore her to life even at the cost of his own life, and yet he could produce neither hearing nor motion. Dear friends, while we mingle only with those who are saved, we still forget how much need there is of a divine salvation. If we could go through London, into its dens and slums, we should think very differently of human need from what we do when we simply come from our own quiet domestic circle, and step into our pew and hear a sermon. The world is still sick and dying. The world is still corrupting and rotting. The world is a ship in which the water is rising fast, and the vessel is going down into the deep of destruction. God’s salvation is needed as much today as when the spirit preached it in Noah’s day to the spirits in prison. God must step in, and bring deliverance, or there remains no hope.

6. Some need deliverance from present trouble. If you are in this need tonight through very severe distress, I invite you to take my text as your guide, and believe that “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” Depend on it, in any form of distress, physical, mental, or whatever it may be, prayer is wonderfully available. “Call upon me,” says God, “in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” If you are so down at the heel that your foot is on the bare pavement; if you have come to this place in bodily sickness, and feel as if you would die on the seat in which you sit; if there is no physician to help you, and no friend to stretch out a generous hand, call upon God, I beseech you. You have come to the end of men; you are now at the beginning of God. See whether your Maker will forget you. See whether the great, generous heart of God does not still beat tenderly towards the sorrowful and the afflicted. If I saw you lying wounded on a battle-field, bleeding to death, I would say, “Call upon God.” If I knew that you did not have a home to go to, but must walk these streets all night, I would say, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” I will take the text in the broadest sense, and ask you, indeed, command you, to test your good and gracious God in the day of your calamity.

7. This is true whenever you come into a position of deep personal distress, even though it should not be of a physical kind. When you do not know how to act, but are bewildered and at your wits’ end, when wave of trouble has followed wave of trouble until you are like the sailor in the storm who reels to and fro, and staggers like a drunken man; if you cannot help yourself now, because your spirit sinks and your mind fails, call upon God, call upon God, call upon God! Lost child in the woods, with the night fog thickening around you, ready to lie down and die, call upon your Father! Call upon God, you distracted one; for “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” In the last great day when all secrets are known, it will seem ridiculous that people ever took to writing tales and romances; for the real stories of what God has done for those who cry to him are infinitely more surprising. If men and women could only tell in simple, natural language how God has come to their rescue in the hour of imminent distress, they would set the harps of heaven ringing with new melodies, and the hearts of saints on earth glowing with new love for God for his wonderful kindness to the children of men. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness! Oh that we could abundantly utter the memory of his great goodness to us in the night of our weeping!

8. The text holds good concerning deliverance from future troubles. What is to happen in the amazing future we do not know. Some try to startle and alarm you with prophecies of what will soon happen; concerning whom I would warn you to be well on your guard. Take little heed of what they say. Whatever is to happen according to the Word of God — if the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood — if God shall show great wonders in the heavens and the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke, still remember that though you will then assuredly need deliverance, deliverance will still be near at hand. The text seems put in a startling context in order to advise us that when the worst and most terrible convulsions shall occur, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The star Wormwood may fall, but we shall be saved if we call upon the name of the Lord. Plagues may be poured out, trumpets may sound, and judgments may follow each other as quickly as the plagues of Egypt, but “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” When the need of deliverance shall apparently increase, the abundance of salvation shall increase with it. Do not fear the direst of all wars, the bitterest of all famines, the deadliest of all plagues; for still, if we call upon the Lord, he is pledged to deliver us. This word of promise handles the most terrible of possibilities with a sure salvation.

9. Yes, and when you come to die, when to you the sun has turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, this text ensures deliverance in the last dread hour. Call upon the name of the Lord, and you shall be saved. Amid the pains of death, and the gloom of departure, you shall enjoy a glorious visitation, which shall turn darkness into light, and sorrow into joy. When you wake up amid the realities of the eternal future there will be nothing for you to dread in resurrection, or in judgment, or in the yawning mouth of hell. If you have called upon the name of the Lord, you shall still be delivered. Though the unpardoned are thrust down to the depths of woe, and the righteous scarcely are saved, yet you who have called upon the name of the Lord must be delivered. The promise stands firm, whatever may be hidden in the great roll of the future; God cannot deny himself, he will deliver those who call upon his name.

10. What is needed, then, is salvation; and I do think, beloved brethren, that you and I who preach the Word, and long to save souls, must very often go over this grand old truth about salvation for the guilty, deliverance for all who call upon the name of the Lord. Sometimes we talk to friends about the higher life, about attaining to very high degrees of sanctity; and all this is very proper and very good; but still the great fundamental truth is, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” We urge our friends to be sound in doctrine, and to know what they do know, and to understand the revealed will of God; and this is also very proper; but still, first and foremost, this is the elementary, all-important truth — “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” To this old foundational truth we come back for comfort. I sometimes rejoice in God, and am glad in the God of my salvation, and spread my wings and mount up into communion with the heavenlies; but still there are other times when I hide my head in darkness, and then I am very glad of such a broad, gracious promise as this, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I find that my sweetest, happiest, safest state, is just as a poor, guilty, helpless sinner, to call upon the name of the Lord, and take mercy at his hands as one who deserves nothing but his wrath, while I dare hang the weight of my soul on such a sure promise as this, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Get where you may, however high your experience; be what you may, however great your usefulness, you will always want to come back to the same ground upon which the poorest and weakest of hearts must stand, and claim to be saved by almighty grace, through simply calling upon the name of the Lord.

11. So I have said enough about what is always needed — this deliverance, this salvation.

12. II. Now, secondly, let us attentively observe THE WAY IN WHICH THIS DELIVERANCE IS TO BE HAD. Help us, blessed Spirit, in our meditation. It is to be had, according to the text, by calling upon the name of the Lord.

13. Is not the most obvious sense of this language, prayer? Are we not brought to the Lord by a prayer which trusts in God — by a prayer which asks God to give the deliverance that is needed, and expects to have it from the Lord, as a gift of grace? It amounts to much the same thing as that other word, “Believe and live”; for how shall they call on him of whom they have not heard? And if they have heard, yet vain is their calling if they have not believed as well as heard. But to “call on the name of the Lord,” is briefly to pray a believing prayer; to cry to God for his help, and to leave yourself in his hands. This is very simple, is it not? There is no cumbersome machinery here, nothing complex and mysterious. No priestly help is needed, except the help of that great High Priest, who intercedes for us within the veil. A poor, broken heart pours its distress into the ear of God, and calls upon him to fulfil his promise of help in the time of need — that is all. Thank God, nothing more is mentioned in our text. The promise is — “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

14. What a suitable way of salvation it is for those who feel that they can do nothing! Ah, dear hearts! if we had to preach to them a very difficult and elaborate salvation, they would perish. They do not have the mind, some of them, to follow our directions if they were at all intricate; and they do not have enough hope to venture upon anything that looks at all difficult. But if it is true that “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” this method is simple and available, and they grasp it. He can pray to God who can do nothing else. Thank God, he does not need to do anything else; for if he can call for help, he gets deliverance, and, in that deliverance, he gets all that he will ever need between this place and heaven. He has called upon the name of the Lord, and all that is deficient in him will be supplied for time and for eternity. He will be delivered, not only now, but throughout all the future of his life, until he sees the face of God in everlasting glory.

15. The text, however, contains within it a measure of specific instruction: the prayer must be to the true God. “Whoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved.” There is something distinctive here; for one would call on Baal, another would call on Ashtaroth, and some on Moloch; but these would not be saved. The promise is special: “Whoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved.” You know that triune name, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” — call upon it. You know how the name of Jehovah is presented most conspicuously in the person of the Lord Jesus — call upon him. Call upon the true God. Call upon no idol, call on no Virgin Mary, no saint, dead or living. Call on no image. Call on no impression of your mind! Call upon the living God — call upon him who reveals himself in the Bible — call upon him who reveals himself in the person of his dear Son; for whoever shall call upon this God shall be saved. You may call upon the idols, but these will not hear you: “They have ears, but they do not hear. They have eyes, but they do not see.” You may not call upon men, for they are all sinners like yourselves. Priests cannot help their most zealous admirers; but, “Whoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved.” Note, then, it is not the mere repetition of a prayer as a kind of charm, or a piece of religious witchcraft, but you must make a direct address to God, an appeal to the Most High to help you in your time of need. In presenting true prayer to the true God you shall be delivered.

16. Moreover, the prayer should be intelligently presented. We read, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord.” Now, by the word “name” we understand the person, the character of the Lord. The more, then, you know about the Lord, and the better you know his name, the more intelligently you will call upon that name. If you know his power, you will call upon that power to help you. If you know his mercy, you will call upon him in his grace to save you. If you know his wisdom, you feel that he knows your difficulties, and can help you through them. If you understand his immutability, you will call upon him, as the same God who has saved other sinners, to come and save you. It will be good, therefore, for you to study the Scriptures much, and to pray the Lord to reveal himself to you so that you may know him; since, in proportion to your acquaintance with him, you will with greater confidence be able to call upon his name. But, little as you may know, call on him according to the little you do know. Cast yourself upon him, whether your trouble tonight is external or internal; but especially if it is internal, if it is the trouble of sin, if it is the burden of guilt, if it is a load of horror and fear because of the wrath to come, call upon the name of the Lord, for you shall be delivered. There stands his promise. It is not, “He may be delivered,” but he “shall be.” Note well the everlasting “shall” of God — irrevocable, unalterable, unquestionable, irresistible. His promise stands eternally the same. Has he said, and shall he not do it? “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

17. This way of salvation, by calling upon the name of the Lord, glorifies God. He asks nothing of you except that you ask everything of him. You are the beggar, and he is the benefactor. You are in the trouble, and he is the Deliverer. All you have to do is to trust him, and beg from him. This is easy enough. This puts the matter into the hands of the Lord, and takes it out of your hands. Do you not like the plan? Put it in practice immediately! It will prove itself gloriously effective.

18. Dear friends, I speak to some whom I know to be now present, who are under severe trial. You dare not look up. You seem to be given up; at any rate you have given yourself up; and yet, I urge you, call upon the name of the Lord. You cannot perish praying; no one has ever done so. If you could perish praying, you would be a new wonder in the universe. A praying soul in hell is an utter impossibility. A man calling on God and rejected by God! — the supposition is not to be endured. “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” God himself must lie, he must change his nature, forfeit his claim to mercy, destroy his character of love, if he were to let a poor sinner call upon his name, and yet refuse to hear him. There will come a day, but that is not now — there will come a day in the next state when he will say, “I called, but you refused”; but it is not so now. While there is life there is hope. “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your heart,” but call upon God at once; for this warrant of grace runs through all the regions of mortality, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

19. I remember a time when, if I had heard a sermon on this subject, putting it plainly to me, I should have leaped into comfort and light in a single moment. Is it not such a time with you? I thought, I must do something, I must be something, I must in some way prepare myself for the mercy of God. I did not know that a calling upon God, just trusting myself in his hand, an invocation of his sacred name, would bring me to Christ, the Saviour. But so it stands, and I was happy indeed when I found out about it. Heaven is given away. Salvation may be had for the asking. I hope that many a captive heart here will at once leap to loose his chains, and cry, “It is even so. If God has said it, it must be true. There it is in his own Word. I have called upon him, and I must be delivered.”

20. III. Now I come to notice, in the third place, THE PEOPLE TO WHOM THIS PROMISE AND THIS DELIVERANCE WILL BE GIVEN. “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”

21. According to the context, the people had been greatly afflicted — afflicted beyond all precedent, afflicted to the very brink of despair; but the Lord said, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Go down to the hospital. You may select, if you please, the hospital which deals with the effects of vice. In that house of misery you may stand at each bed and say, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” You may then hurry to the jail. You may stop at every door of every cell, yes, even at the grating of the condemned cell, if there lie men and women there given up to death, and you may with safety say to each one, “Whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”

22. I know what the Pharisees will say — “If you preach this, men will go on in sin.” It has always been so, that the great mercy of God has been turned by some into a reason for continuing in sin; but God (and this is the wonder of it) has never restricted his mercy because of that. It must have been a terrible provocation of Almighty grace when men have perverted his mercy into an excuse for sin, but the Lord has never even taken the edges off of his mercy because men have misused it: he has still made it stand out bright and clear: “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Still he cries, “Turn and live.” “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Undimmed is that brave sun that shines on the foulest dunghills of vice. Trust Christ, and live. Call upon the name of the Lord, and you shall be pardoned; yes, you shall be rescued from the bondage of your sin, and be made a new creature, a child of God, a member of the family of his grace. The most afflicted, and the most afflicted by sin, are handled by this gracious promise, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

23. Yes, but there were some, according to Joel, who had the Spirit of God poured out upon them. What about them? Were they saved by that? Oh no! Those who had the Spirit of God so that they dreamed dreams and saw visions, still had to come to the palace of mercy by this same gate of believing prayer — “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Ah, poor souls! you say, to yourselves, “if we were deacons of churches, if we were pastors, oh, then we should be saved!” You do not know anything about it: church officers are no more saved by their office than you are by being without office. We owe nothing to our official position in this matter of salvation: in fact, we may owe our damnation to our official standing unless we look well to our ways. We have no preference over you plain folks. I do assure you, I am quite happy to take your hand, whoever you may be, and come to Christ on the same footing as you do.

   Nothing in my hand I bring,
   Simply to thy cross I cling.

24. Often, when I have been cheering up a poor sinner, and urging him to believe in Christ, I have thought, “Well, if he will not drink this cup of comfort, I will even drink it up myself.” I assure you, I need it as much as those to whom I carry it. I have been as big a sinner as any of you, and therefore I take the promise for myself. The divine cordial shall not be lost: I will accept it. I came to Jesus as I was, weary, and worn, and faint, and sick, and full of sin, and I trusted him on my own account, and found peace — peace on the same basis as my text sets before all of you. If I drink from this consolation, you may drink it too. The miracle of this cup is that fifty may drink, and yet it is just as full as ever. There is no restriction in the word “Whoever.” You maidens who have the Spirit of God upon you, and you old men who dream, it is neither the Spirit of God nor the dreaming that will save you; but your calling on the sacred name. It is, “whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

25. Also, there were some upon whom the Spirit of God did not fall. They did not speak with tongues, nor prophesy the future, nor work miracles; but though they did none of these marvels, yet it stood true to them — “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Even though no supernatural gift was bestowed, though they saw no vision and could not speak with tongues, they called upon the name of the Lord, and they were saved. There is the same way of salvation for the little as well as for the great, for the poorest and most obscure as well as for those who are strong in faith, and lead the hosts of God to the battle.

26. But some were terribly afraid. I should think that a good many must have been sadly alarmed when there were in the earth blood and fire and pillars of smoke, the sun turned into darkness and the moon into blood: but, afraid as they were, if they called upon the name of the Lord, they were delivered. Now, Mrs. Much-Afraid, what do you say to that? Mr. Ready-to-Halt, did I hear your crutches sounding in the aisle just now, or was it an umbrella? Never mind, if you call upon the name of the Lord, you shall be saved. You who are so feeble in mind, so weak, so wounded that you hardly dare to trust, still it is written for your sakes also, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

27. “Ah!” another says, “but I am worse than that. I have no good feelings. I would give all that I have to own a broken heart. I wish I could even feel despair, but I am hard as a stone.” I have been told that sorrowful story many times, and it almost always happens that those who most mourn their lack of feeling are those who feel most acutely. Their hearts are like hell-hardened steel, so they say; but it is not true. But if it were true, “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Do you think that the Lord wants you to give yourself a new heart first, and that then he will save you? My dear soul, you are saved when you have a new heart, and you do not need him to save you then, since you are saved. “Oh, but I must get good feelings!” Must you? Where are you going for them? Are you to rake the dunghill of your depraved nature to find good feelings there? Come without any good feeling. Come just as you are. Come, you who are like a frozen iceberg, who have nothing about you whatever, but what chills and repels; come and call upon the name of the Lord, and you shall be saved. “Wonders of grace to God belong.” It is not a small gospel that he has sent us to preach to small sinners, but ours is a great gospel for great sinners. “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

28. “Ah, well!” one says, “I cannot think it is meant for me, for I am a nobody.” Nobody, are you there? I have a great love for nobodies. I am worried with somebodies, and the worst somebody in the world is my own somebody. How I wish I could always turn my own somebody out, and keep company with no one except nobodies! Then I should make Jesus a somebody. Nobody, where are you? You are the very person that I am sent to look after. If there is nothing of you, there shall be all the more of Christ. If you are not only empty, but cracked and broken; if you are done for, destroyed, ruined, utterly crushed and broken, this word of salvation is sent to you: — “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

29. I have thrown the gate wide open. If it were the wrong track, all the sheep would go through; but since it is the right road, I may throw the gate open for as long as I wish, but yet the sheep will shun it, unless you, Great Shepherd, shall go around the field tonight, and lead them in. Take up in your own arms some sheep whom you have purchased long ago with your dear heart’s blood — take him upon your gracious shoulders, rejoicing as you do it, and place him within the field where the good pasture grows.

30. IV. I want you to dwell for a minute upon THE BLESSING ITSELF. “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” I need not say much about it because I have already expounded it.

31. It is a very good rule, when a man makes you a promise, to understand it in the narrowest sense. It is fair to him that you should do so. Let him interpret it liberally, if he pleases; but he is actually bound to give you no more than the bare terms of his promise will imply. Now, it is a rule which all God’s people may well practise, always to understand God’s promises in the largest possible sense. If the words will bear a bigger construction than at the first sight they naturally suggest to you, you may put the larger construction upon them. “He is able to do extremely abundantly above all that we ask or even think.” God never draws a line in his promise, so that he may go barely up to it; but it is with the great God as it was with his dear Son, who, though he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, yet spent the greater part of his time in Galilee, which was called, “Galilee of the Gentiles”; and went to the very verge of Canaan to find a Canaanite woman, so that he might give her a blessing. You may put the biggest and most liberal sense, then, on such a text as this, for Peter did so. The New Testament is accustomed to give a broader sense to Old Testament words; and it does so most rightly, for God loves us to treat his words with the breadth of faith.

32. Come, then, if you are the subject of the judgments of God; if you believe that God’s hand has visited you on account of sin, call upon him, and he will deliver you both from the judgment, and from the guilt that brought the judgment — from the sin, and from what follows the sin. He will help you to escape. Try him now, I urge you.

33. And if your case should be different: if you are a child of God and you are in trouble, and that trouble eats into your spirit, and causes you daily wear of spirit and tear of heart — call upon the Lord. He can take away from you the fret and the trouble too. “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” You may have to bear the trouble, but it shall be so transformed as to be rather a blessing than an evil, and you shall fall in love with your cross, since the nature of it has been changed.

34. If sin is the great cause of your present trouble, and that sin has brought you into bondage to evil habits, if you have been a drunkard and do not know how to learn sobriety, if you have been unchaste and have become entangled in vicious connections; call upon God, and he can break you away from the sin, and set you free from all its entanglements. He can cut you loose tonight with the great sword of his grace, and make you a free man. I tell you that, though you should be like a poor sheep between the jaws of a lion, ready to be devoured immediately by the monster, God can come and pluck you out from between the lion’s jaws. The prey shall be taken from the mighty, and the lawful captive shall be delivered. Only call upon the name of the Lord! Call upon the name of the Lord, and you shall be delivered.

35. Yes, and I repeat what I said just now. If you have come under the power of disease, if you are near to death, if already death has written his name legibly upon your body, and you are afraid of death and hell; still call upon the name of the Lord, and you shall be delivered at this last moment. Even now, when the pit gapes wide open for you, and like Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, you are ready to go down alive into it, call upon the name of the Lord and you shall be delivered.

36. If I were telling you what I had made up, or hammered out of my own brain, I could not expect you to believe me; but, since this Book is inspired, and since Joel spoke in the name of God, and since the apostles spoke in the name of Jehovah, this is the very truth of the God who made the heavens and the earth. “Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”

37. V. In conclusion, I must remind you of one mournful thought. Let me warn you of THE SADLY COMMON NEGLECT OF THIS BLESSING.

38. You would think that everyone would call upon the name of the Lord; but read the text, “For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said.” It shall be there as the Lord has said. Will they not have it then? Notice! “And in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” It seems to shrivel me up altogether, that word “remnant.” What! Will they not come? Are they madmen? Will they not come? No, only a remnant; and even that remnant will not call upon the name of the Lord until God first calls them by his grace. This is almost as great a wonder as the love which so graciously invites them. Could even demons behave worse? If they were invited to call upon God, and be saved, would they refuse?

39. Unhappy business! The way is plain, but “few there are who find it.” After all the preaching, and all the invitation, and the illimitable breadth of the promise, yet all who are saved are contained “in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Is not our text a generous invitation; the throwing open of the door, yes, the lifting of the door from off its hinges, so that it never might be shut? And yet “broad is the gate, and wide is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in there.” There they come, streams of them, hurrying impatiently, rushing down to death and hell — yes, eagerly panting, hurrying, dashing against each other to descend to that awful gulf from which there is no return! No missionaries are needed, no ministers are needed to plead with men to go to hell. No books of persuasion are needed to urge them to rush onward to eternal ruin. They hurry to be lost: they are eager to be destroyed. Just as when the wild bisons of the prairie hurry onward in their madness, until they come to a great gulf, and then rush down headlong, a cataract of life leaping to death, so it is with the sons of men! They choose their own delusions, and covet their own damnations, and that without end. This is all that sovereign mercy rescues after all — a remnant, and that remnant only because the arm of the Lord is revealed, and a miraculous power exerted upon their wills. This is the misery of it, that the guilty are not willing to be parted from their sins. They will not seek what is their only source of life, joy, and salvation. They prefer hell to heaven, sin to holiness. Never did the Master speak a word which observation more clearly proves than when he said, “You will not come to me, so that you might have life.” You will attend your chapels, but you will not call on the Lord. Jesus cries, “You search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are what testify of me; but you will not come to me, so that you might have life.” You will do anything rather than come to Jesus. You stop short of calling upon him. Oh my dear hearers, do not let it be so with you! Many of you are saved; I beseech you to intercede for those who are not saved. Oh, that the unconverted among you may be moved to pray. Before you leave this place, breathe an earnest prayer to God, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon your name.” Join with me in prayer at this moment, I entreat you. Join with me while I put words into your mouths, and speak them on your behalf — “Lord, I am guilty. I deserve your wrath. Lord I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to will and to do your good pleasure.

   Thou alone hast power, I know,
      To save a wretch like me;
   To whom, or whither should I go
      If I should turn from thee?

But now I call upon your name from my very soul. Trembling, yet believing, I cast myself wholly upon you, oh Lord. I trust the blood and righteousness of your dear Son; I trust your mercy, and your love, and your power, as they are revealed in him. I dare to lay hold upon this word of yours, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Lord, save me tonight, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Joe 2:11-32]
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death — Crucifixion To The World By the Cross” 282}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Stated — Mercy For The Guilty” 544}
{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death — ‘A Crown Of Thorns’ ” 275}
The Sword And The Trowel. Edited by C. H. Spurgeon.
Contents for May, 1889.
A Word with the Obscure. By C. H. Spurgeon.
Sleeping in Church.
A Suggestion.
Qadees Qadayrât Qasayeh.
Why always whisper? Why not speak out?
Elijah’s Experience Retold.
Artesian Eloquence.
Almost a Hundred.
The Romance of Missions in the South Seas.
The Mission to Deep-Sea Fishermen.
Tell your Minister.
The Old Theology.
Learning to Sing.
Post-mortem Salvation.
Spiritual Cuckoos.
Notices of Books.
Notes.
Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Stockwell Orphanage.
Colportage Association.
Society of Evangelists.
For General Use in the Lord’s Work.

Price 3d. Post free, 4 Stamps.
Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and all Booksellers.


Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death
282 — Crucifixion To The World By the Cross
1 When I survey the wondrous cross
   On which the Prince of Glory died,
   My richest gain I count but loss,
   And pour contempt on all my pride.
2 Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
   Save in the death of Christ, my God,
   All the vain things that charm me most,
   I sacrifice them to his blood.
3 See from his head, his hands, his feet,
   Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
   Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
   Or thorns compose so rich a crown!
4 His dying crimson, like a robe,
   Spreads o’er his body on the tree,
   Then am I dead to all the globe,
   And all the globe is dead to me.
5 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
   That were a present far too small;
   Love so amazing, so divine,
   Demands my soul, my life, my all!
                           Isaac Watts, 1709.


Gospel, Stated
544 — Mercy For The Guilty
1 Mercy is welcome news indeed
      To those that guilty stand;
   Wretches, that feel what help they need,
      Will bless the helping hand.
2 Who rightly would his alms dispose
      Must give them to the poor;
   None but the wounded patient knows
      The comforts of his cure.
3 We all have sinn’d against our God,
      Exception none can boast;
   But he that feels the heaviest load
      Will prize forgiveness most.
4 No reckoning can we rightly keep,
      For who the sums can know?
   Some souls are fifty pieces deep,
      And some five hundred owe.
5 But let our debts be what thy may,
      However great or small,
   As soon as we have nought to pay,
      Our Lord forgives us all.
6 ‘Tis perfect poverty alone
      That sets the soul at large;
   While we can call one mite our own,
      We have no full discharge.
                        Joseph Hart, 1759.


Jesus Christ, Sufferings and Death
275 — “A Crown Of Thorns” <7.6. Double>
1 Oh Sacred Head, once wounded,
   With grief and pain weigh’d down,
   How scornfully surrounded
   With thorns, thine only crown!
   How pale art thou with anguish,
   With sore abuse and scorn!
   How does that visage languish,
   Which once was bright as morn!
2 Oh Lord of life and glory,
   What bliss till now was thine!
   I read the wondrous story,
   I joy to call thee mine.
   Thy grief and thy compassion
   Were all for sinners’ gain;
   Mine, mine was the transgression,
   But thine the deadly pain.
3 What language shall I borrow
   To praise thee, Heavenly Friend,
   For this thy dying sorrow,
   Thy pity without end?
   Lord, make me thine for ever,
   Nor let me faithless prove;
   Oh let never, never
   Abuse such dying love!
4 Be near me, Lord, when dying;
   Oh show thy cross to me;
   And, for my succour flying,
   Come, Lord, to set me free:
   These eyes new faith receiving,
   From Jesus shall not move,
   For he who dies believing,
   Dies safely through thy love.
               Bernard of Clairvaux, 1153.
                  tr. Paul Gerhardt, 1659.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Newsletter

Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390