3160. The Call Of “Today”

by on

No. 3160-55:421. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, May 1, 1873, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

p>A Sermon Published On Thursday, September 2, 1909.

Therefore as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” {Heb 3:7}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1160, “The Entreaty of the Holy Spirit” 1151}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3160, “Call of ‘Today,’ The” 3161}

   Exposition on Heb 2; 3 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3217, “Earnest Warning Against Unbelief, An” 3218 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Heb 3:1-16 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2552, “Take Heed, Brethren” 2553 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Heb 3:1-4:1 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3160, “Call of ‘Today,’ The” 3161 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Heb 3:1-4:3,9 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3495, “Judgment On Zacharias, The” 3497 @@ "Exposition"}

1. The Holy Spirit says “Today.” There is a great deal of talk about yesterday. There are some who will have it that there are nothing like the days that are past “the good old times.” There are some who boast in what they did years ago. Their work was done yesterday. They have long ago retired from the business of life, but still they are accustomed to indulge in the memories of what they did in days gone by. Yesterday is also dwelt on in lamentation and even in despair. Yesterday! alas, opportunities are past. “The harvest is past, and the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Yesterday we lived in sin; yesterday we rejected Christ; yesterday we stifled conscience; and therefore despair says that it is all over now. Time is gone. Closed for ever are the gates of mercy: the death-warrant is signed: the gallows are erected for the execution.

2. Now it is noteworthy that the Holy Spirit, neither that we may take comfort in it, nor despair about it, does not say “yesterday”—he says “today.” He does not point us to the past—(we shall have to look at that and weep over it, or bless God for it either with repentance or gratitude)—he does not point us to the time of the Flood but to today. A very large proportion of mankind, you will find, delight in dwelling on the word “tomorrow.” Oh, what will they not do tomorrow! Sin shall be rejected tomorrow; the Saviour shall be sought tomorrow. Clasped in the arms of faith, they will exalt in the peace of Christ tomorrow; they will pray tomorrow; they will serve God tomorrow. Alas! Of all the nets of Satan as a fowler for the souls of men, perhaps there is none in which he takes more than in this big net of procrastination. “I will,—I will,” and there it ends. “I go, sir,” and he did not go. To resolve and re-resolve, and then to die, the same is the melancholy history of thousands of hearers who present a fair prospect for heaven a thousand times, and yet will never enter there.

3. Tomorrow! Oh, you cursed word tomorrow! How has man made you cursed! I do not find you in the almanac of the wise; you are only in the calendar of fools. Tomorrow! There is no such thing except in dreamland, for when that comes which we call tomorrow it will be today, and still for ever, today, today, today. There is no time but what is. Time was, is not, and time to come, is not.

4. Today is the only time we have. Happily for us, the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY IF YOU WILL HEAR HIS VOICE.” Never do I find him saying “tomorrow.” His servants have often been repulsed by men like Felix who have said, “Go your way for now, when I have a more convenient time I will send for you.” And never did any apostle say, “Repent tomorrow, or wait for some convenient time to believe.” The constant testimony of the Holy Spirit, with regard to the one single part of time, which I have shown indeed to be all time, is, “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

5. Now I am trying to speak tonight not as though I were preaching at all, but I want to talk to you Christians first, and then to you unconverted people very seriously, and may God the Spirit speak through the words.

6. I. First to you who love the Lord, or profess to do so—Christian people—I have to say to you tonight,—THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS “TODAY.”

7. That is to say, that it is essential to duty that we attend to it at once. Every command of Christ bears the date of today. If a thing is right, it should be done at once; if it is wrong, stop it immediately. Whatever you are bound to do, you are bound to do now. There may be some duties of a later date, but for the present what the duty is, is the duty now. There is an immediateness about the calls of Christ. What he tells you to do, you must not delay to do. The Holy Spirit says “Today.” And I would say this with regard to everything. Do you love the Lord? Have you ever professed his name? Then the Holy Spirit says “today.” Do not hesitate to take up his cross at once and follow him,—the cross of him who was nailed to the cross for you; who by his precious blood has made you not your own, but his. Confess him before men. Has he not said, “He who denies me before men, I will deny him before my Father who is in heaven!” “Confess with your mouth, if you have believed with your heart.”

8. It is the immediate duty of the believer to be baptized. “As soon as you believe in Christ you may.” “Today,” says the Holy Spirit. Having united yourself to the people of God, then whatever, according to your position and calling, is incumbent on you, do it. Are you a young Christian, warm, fervent in spirit, and do your seniors call you impudent and dampen your ardour? Do not listen to them: go and do what is in your heart. I would give nothing for a man’s zeal if that zeal does not make him indiscreet sometimes. Imprudence so far from being a sin is often an indication of the possession of the highest grace. No, David, imprudent as you are, take the smooth stones from the brook. Do not wait until you are become a king or a hoary-headed monarch about to resign the crown to Solomon. While you are ruddy and a youth do not hesitate. The Holy Spirit says “Today.” Or are you called in midlife? Your sun has already spent half its day. Is it suggested to you that you should seek your children’s conversion? Plead at once that your little ones so long neglected may now be saved. The Holy Spirit says to you, parent, father, mother,—“Today.” Are you come into the midst of a multitude of workers of which you are the employer seeking their good? Seek it today. Have you in your heart the intention to serve God when you have amassed so much wealth? What! shall God be second? Shall mammon take the first place and Jehovah be put into the background? No, let your gold come in second or not at all. Let your God come in now. The Holy Spirit says “Today.” “But there are urgent things pressing.” If you can claim that they are duties, God forbid that I should tell you to neglect them, but if they are covetous and lustful, put them aside and now, in the prime of your life, while yet the marrow is in your bones and your eye is not dim, give to God what he claims from you today.

9. Have you lingered long on the road, and has the evening come, and has the sun almost touched the horizon, and is the red light gleaming in the sky? Then the Holy Spirit, says to you, “Oh aged Christian, serve God today.” I cannot comprehend the postponements of old age; yet we frequently encounter them. There was an aged man who meant to devote all his wealth to the church of God, but he put it off and the thing was never done. There was another who meant to have spoken to his children. He would gather them together on a certain day, and would speak to them and their children; for so it had come about that he was a grandfather now; but he said he would do it eventually; and the time never came. “Whatever your hand finds to do”—what does the Scripture say? Think about it? No,—“do it.” Give God your first and best thoughts. Many a man has thought over a good thing until the devil has come in with a second thought and the thing has never been done. I love that blessed thing that made Magdalene, or Mary, whoever it was, break the alabaster box over the Saviour. She did not sit down to calculate or the thing would not have been done. And this is especially incumbent on the aged. You are not likely to be guilty of indiscretion; your blood is not hot; therefore you may fling the reins on the back of your zeal; you are not likely to exceed in your zeal; therefore, please, go at once. Oh, I wish Christians were in the habit of following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Remember, there are many things he gives to us that we do not deserve at all or do not receive so as to carry them out. Do not be as the horse or mule which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle. Oh, be guided by gentler means, the softer touches of God’s hand. The Holy Spirit says “Today.” Whatever Christian service may come across you, Christian brother, let me urge you not to let the night pass away, nor tomorrow until you have accomplished all of it. Get through it, dear brother, get through it, at once. The Lord knows when duty will be most acceptable to him. The Lord loves fresh gathered fruit. You are not to store it up until the bloom is gone and say, “I will bring it tomorrow.” The Holy Spirit says “Today.” WHATEVER IS TO BE DONE FOR THE LORD, LET IT BE DONE NOW.

10. II. And then there is a second set of obligations which come on the Christian, that is, undoing. NOW THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS “TODAY.”

11. Have I done wrong towards my neighbour? Have I spoken an unkind word? Have I made an unjust speech? Let me make my peace with my friend. But when? “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” I heard the other day that when a wasp had stung one, the sting would go away if the wasp died before the sun went down. And perhaps there may be about each one of us some bad habit, something we cannot justify ourselves in. Let us seek to be purged from it; for “the Holy Spirit says ‘Today.’” Is there any sin to be conquered? There is no such time to strike sin as today. You will never strike this Amalekite as well as now. He will be off his guard if you strike him now. AT ONCE, THEN, STRIKE THE BLOW AGAINST THE SIN, WHATEVER IT MAY BE. There is no time for killing weeds in the garden of the soul like today. There is no time for throwing salt on the field which is fruitful with noxious poison like now. Never imagine that you will get rid of sin by degrees. I know some people have been cured of a taste for strong drink by degrees, and such things may be possible, but the Christian will find it easier to wean himself at once by a sacred total abstinence from everything that is sinful; for as long as you parley with the enemy the enemy will still have power over you, and blessed is that man who does not begin to take off one finger of his right hand and then another and then another, but takes the axe and chops it off as one whole thing at once. “If your right hand offends you cut it off.” Some think this is enough—“If your right hand offends you pare the nails.” It is not so. Oh, yes; for doing and for undoing, the Holy Spirit says “Today.”

12. But I cannot linger where there is so much to say. Remember, beloved Christian friends, that there are some duties which if you DO NOT DO TODAY YOU NEVER WILL DO. I called on a Christian man some time ago and saw him looking very sorrowful. He was a man of earnest spirit, always trying to do good, and I was surprised to see sorrow on his face; but he said, “My dear sir, I experienced a very sad thing this morning. There is a man who has been doing certain errands around here, and I noticed him and felt a great concern about his soul, and yesterday I had resolved that when he came into the shop I would speak to him. It has been my habit to speak to everyone I came in contact with. Well, I do not know whether I can excuse myself or not, but this man came on his usual errands, and I was busy and did not speak to him as I intended. I planned to do it this morning, and his wife has come around and said he is dead, and I cannot forgive myself, for there is nothing else I can do for him, and I feel almost as though his blood will lie at my door.”

13. You cannot tell if you will not be in company this evening with someone who will never have a warning if you do not give it tonight, never have another invitation to come to Jesus, and if you should hear tomorrow that your friend has suddenly dropped down dead, and that he was unconverted, it would cause you some regret and remorse that you had not spoken. Now, now, because it is “now, or never.” If it might be “Now or tomorrow,” there might be some reason for delay, but it is not so, it is “now or never.” Therefore please, brethren (and I am speaking much more to myself than to you), to be instant in season and out of season. Oh, pity those poor souls who live in darkness and do not know our sweet Lord Jesus. “You are the light of the world.” Do not defer the light-giving, lest the night comes to them when you cannot help them.


15. There is a contract for certain steamers to carry her Majesty’s mails, and they are bound to leave Liverpool at such a time and arrive at New York so long afterwards. Suppose they leave six hours after the time, if they make the best voyage they can, they break the contract. And an action which is done tomorrow, but should have been done today, whatever is its acceptableness in itself, is faulty. It is as an untimely fruit, out-of-date. If I do not do until tomorrow what I ought to do today, I cannot do tomorrow’s duties. I cannot possibly put Thursday’s work into Friday. Can I not call in help? Yes, but I am robbing my Master of my friend’s service. I have work to do which never can be done in eternity unless it is done today. Throughout all of eternity I can never make up for that lost hour. The work of that hour is gone and can never be done. Eternal mercy can wipe out the sin and, blessed be God, it will; but that is the fact for all that. Therefore the Holy Spirit says “Today.” Today’s work is to be done today, therefore, let it be done.

16. IV. For, beloved friends, there is one remark with regard to service for God, and that is, that DUTIES THAT ARE PUT OFF TEND TO THE HARDENING OF THE HEART.

17. You begin to be familiar with the neglect of them; and nothing is more injurious to the mind than familiarity with sin. To be acquainted with sin is to be made sinful. When I postpone a duty I am acquainted with the neglect of that duty. How many times—(I will give you a riddle if I can; probably you will remember it)—how many times does a man sin in an hour who does not perform the duties of that hour? There is one act of omission, which he has committed the first minute. He ought to have done it at once. Is there a sin each minute or is there a sin each tick of the clock? I would like you to think of that. It seems to me that we do not know how many sins there may be crowded into the neglect of a duty for an hour. And some have neglected duties for a week; they have disobeyed God for a week. Have you ever seen your child sin in that way? You have said, “John, go to the door!” Has he been an obstinate child and not gone but stood still? You say again, “John, go to the door!” He still does not go. I wonder how long you would let your child stand still? I think I know some who could not manage for five minutes to keep their hands off him, and perhaps it is good they should not stand it for that long.

18. But now God has had his hands off you, some professors, for weeks on end, and for years on end, for what you know you ought to have done; and yet you have not done it. And all the while the Word of God says to you, “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation.” But you have still continued to tempt the Lord and tried him, though by the winds of his mercy he has kept his hands off you. Do not provoke him any more, but go and say, “I have delayed for too long. Now, Father, I will do what you tell me to. Help me by your grace, for I will not be a disobedient child any more.” Do not delay; for you have provoked him for too long already. I have often pitied God, to think he should be so badly treated, that his children whom he treats so well should make him such a poor return. Let us have sympathy with our dear heavenly Father and say, “We will grieve him no more.”

19. V. There is one more thing that I want to say to you, dear Christian. I have been putting it very strongly today, but I have felt authorized to do so because the text puts it like that. THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS “TODAY.”

20. The Holy Spirit! That clothes it with deep solemnity. The Holy Spirit! That is, the Divine Person of the Godhead, concerning whom we find that there is a sin against him which will never be forgiven. If we want to keep clear of that sin, do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Be very tender concerning all sin: be tender most of all concerning this. Remember how the Holy Spirit loves you—how he loves you! Jesus Christ loved men so that he came and lived among them, and the Holy Spirit loves men so that he comes and lives in them. I wonder which is the more admirable in condescension,—the incarnation of the Son, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are both divinely merciful and gracious. Do not grieve him, then,—he is your Comforter,—he is your Comforter! And have you vexed him who dwells in you and shall be with you. The human heart never entertained so divine a guest. Do not resist him. Yield to him now; for that is the very point on which he lays stress. The Holy Spirit says “Today.” Now I have said in myself (and I pray God to help me to carry it out) I will strive for more grace, and I will seek to do what good I can now. Dear brethren, let that not be merely a resolution, but let us practise it, for the Holy Spirit says “Today.”

21. VI. Now I am going to turn away from you Christians to talk to the unconverted for a little while, and I pray that what is said may go to their hearts. TO YOU, UNCONVERTED SINNERS, THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS “TODAY.”

22. I asked a brother why he was not present on a certain occasion and he said, “I never got an invitation.” I am afraid there are some sinners that never come to Christ because they do not get an invitation. I know that is not the case with any sinner who is in the habit of coming to this house. I believe Christian ministers would do well, or, at any rate not badly, if they never preached anything but invitation. There is much more to preach to advanced people of God, but still there are men who all their lives long have invited men to come to Christ, and I believe they do not do badly to spend their whole time in that.

23. Now the point in the invitation is,—When is it? Someone says, “Will you come to my house for dinner?” Well, if that is all he says, I do not come; but if he says, “I dine at half-past five,” then he gives me the time of day and tells me when he wants to see me. You know if a person says, “Whenever you are going by this way I shall be glad to see you,” you never call in at all; but if a man says, “I shall be glad to see you at such and such a time,” you understand his invitation. And now the Holy Spirit puts a time to the invitation. I am not invited tomorrow, but this first of May—this sweet May day, the Holy Spirit says to me, “Come to Christ, today.” And he says to you tonight through these lips of mine, “Today, even now, come seek and find every good combined in Jesus.” “Look to him, and be saved, all you ends of the earth.” The time is fixed, and the time is fixed for today.

24. Why did he fix today? Well, first, it was his mercy that fixed it. Suppose he had said “tomorrow,” it would have been unkind to detain you in the gall of bitterness all that night. You would have had a wretched night and have said, “I shall not live through it.” You would have wanted Christian people to come and sit with you, and pray with you, while you were under condemnation, so that you might reach tomorrow morning. But he has not said to you that you have got to wait until you are seventeen, or to you over there, that you have got to wait until you are thirty. Oh, no, he says, “Today.” And then it is in wisdom that he says “today,” because it is wisdom to seek the Lord at once; for otherwise the thread of life may be snapped. Have you ever noticed how much more frail our life is than glass? I have seen thin Venican glass three or four hundred years old, but I never saw a man last that time. We are frail things. A moment’s touch and we are dust. The Holy Spirit therefore does not put it off unwisely, but he says, “Today.”

25. And the Holy Spirit does it, too, in addition to his mercy and wisdom, out of love for holiness. He would be a partaker of our sin if he excused our living an hour in sin. He never does. If I had God’s liberty to remain in sin for a week, he would be a partaker in my sin. But he has told us to flee to the fountain now. Lovingly and yet with a kind of sternness he tells me to come today. “Today if you will hear his voice,” forsake your sin and flee for refuge.

26. I might mention other attributes of God which would move him to say “Today,” but I will not. If you are at all affected by what I have said (and I hope you may be) do not say, “Well, I will resolve to think about my soul.” I have noticed so many people who have felt “I am a good fellow after all—I have made a splendid resolution, have I not?” Just as I have seen men in commercial life head over heels in debt, go to a loan society or raise a little money at their bankers, or perhaps do what is much the same thing, without raising money at all, give a promissory note, and say, “Well, I have paid that man!” when they have never paid him a farthing, but have given him merely a bit of paper. They get on wonderfully easy because, they have passed a bit of paper saying that they will pay at a certain time when they know that they never intend to do it. Resolutions are promissory notes that men give to God and nothing ever comes of them. I sometimes wish there was no “paper” in business, and certainly I wish there were no “resolutions” in religion. A resolution to repent may damn a man, but a belief would save him. A resolution to believe in Christ may only check the voice of conscience, but a belief would save. Your resolutions are of no use whatever—like draughts from Aldgate pump. {a} They are not worth thinking about. Oh, to have real practical obedience to Christ, for the Holy Spirit says “Today.”

27. Let me just speak further to you for a moment or two. It does seem very sweet that the Holy Spirit says “Today.” Do you know what I would do if I were in your case and you in mine? I remember when I sought the Lord I hoped that after some months of darkness I might get light, and it was according to my hope. Now if I had to seek him over again, I would go and say, “Lord, you have said ‘Today.’ Lo! I seek you today; and shall I say ‘Today’ and you say ‘Tomorrow’? Dear Saviour, I trust you today. Today speak peace to my conscience. Today apply the blood of sprinkling and give my spirit rest.” I would make a plea of it if I were you; for if a man made a great feast and said to the poor, “Come today,” the poor would not expect to sit shivering there to get a meal tomorrow; but they would say, “Our invitation was today. There is food today.” So, sinner, if you will come to the Lord and say, “My Lord, my Father, you have called me today therefore today I feel your love for me, and I pray you today to put my sins away as far as the east is from the west,”—God will keep his word and you will find speedy rest.


29. Some of you have lived fifty years without God and long enough to be condemned. Oh, you would not like to be converted, and then be of no use to your Lord at all, or only have given him a few months of your life. Please, think of this,—the long time past—which may have sufficed you to have done the will of the flesh and the short time that is to come. Do you know how soon you are to die? Is there any man here who is certain that he will live to see another year? When the next service is held to watch the old year out and the new year in, will you be here, or where will you be? The Holy Spirit says “Today.” Every hour that passes is hardening you if you are remaining outside of Christ: it becomes less probable that God will meet with you. There are so many more opportunities wasted, so many more appeals thrown away. Oh, dear hearers, if God made you stand on this platform and said, “I will tell you who they are who will reject your message and perish finally,” I would say, “Good Spirit, tell me no such thing! Conceal the secret! I do not wish to know it.” I think it would break my heart to look into some of your faces and think, “That man will be in hell and be in anguish, and ask for a drop of water to cool his tongue.” I could not bear to feel that it would be so. And yet I feel morally certain it will be so with some of you. Oh, I am staggered when I feel how souls come into this Tabernacle (and some of you are always here) and do not get the blessing. I pray tonight that some of us may get the blessing.

30. An incident occurred this afternoon. An aged minister, an excellent man, came into my vestry, and shook my hand and said, “I have this letter which I should like you to see.” Well, I had many things to attend to, but he was so anxious and said, “I know you will like to hear it,” that I took the letter. Before I read it he explained to me that he had a son who had made a profession of religion, but had gone aside from it, and it had pretty well broken his heart. At last, he was to go to America, and the father sent him away with a very heavy heart. The old man took off his spectacles. The letter was from his son and it said, “I went to hear Mr. Spurgeon, and I have not the slightest doubt that it has had an influence on my whole life. The text was, ‘He is as a root out of a dry ground.’ The sermon was divided into four parts.” I can remember the sermon well enough. I was suffering from great pain at the time. “The point which lasted longest was the one when he said that God had made Christ to grow up like a root—like a root out of a dry ground. He went on for twenty-five minutes,”—(then he gave an opinion of my style which I would not read to you)—“but what surprised me most was that, out of five or six thousand, he fastened his eyes on me although I was in the farthest gallery”—(the young man’s name was Thomas So-and-so—the son of the Baptist minister)—“and suddenly he shouted out these words, ‘There is that wild, dare-devil Tom. God intends to save him: and he will be a comfort to his father in his old age.’” The old gentleman took off his spectacles again when he got to that and said, “And so he is.” It went on, “I thought he was going to say my name.” He trembled lest the people should think his name was Tom. Well, that cheered my heart to think of that young fellow, and I thought I would have a shot at some of you tonight, and I pray that it may go right straight through your hearts. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1075, “A Root Out of a Dry Ground” 1066 @@ "27."}

31. And now, this first of May, if you meet God tonight, if you pray and believe in Jesus tonight, this will be your spiritual birthday. You will remember the night that believers were baptized and that that night Christ met you. It is now twenty-three years, I think, within an hour or two, since I was also baptized on the first of May, confessing Christ in my early youth, and I will close my sermon by saying that if he had been a bad master I would have run away from him, and if he had not kept his promises I would not believe him; but he has been a good master and a dear Saviour. I think it is twenty-four years during which I can bear an earnest testimony to the goodness and love of Christ. If you knew him you would not live a minute without him. “Ah,” you say—“will he have me?” Will you have him? That is the point. You will not have any wooing to do towards Christ. He loved sinners; he died for sinners. “Whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

32. THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS TODAY. Do you say “Today” too? Amen and amen.

{a} Aldgate Pump is a historic water pump in London, located at the junction where Aldgate meets Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall Street.…Served by one of London’s many underground streams, people began to complain about the “funny” taste of the water. Upon investigation, this was found to be caused by the leaching of calcium from the bones of the dead in many new cemeteries in north London through which the stream ran. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldgate_Pump"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Heb 3:1-4:1}

3:1. Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling.” What wonderful titles! “Holy brethren,” made brethren in holiness and made holy in our brotherhood,—“partakers of the heavenly calling.”—called by God from among the worlds. Our occupation and our calling henceforth is to serve the Lord. Well, if you are holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.” Think much of him. Remember who it is you follow, with whom you are brethren. If you think little of your Leader you will live very poor lives. Consider him, often think of him, try to copy him. With such a Leader what kind of people ought we to be?

2, 3. Who was faithful to him who appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honour than the house.

Moses was only a part of the house after all, a prominent stone in the building, but Christ is the builder, builder of the house, foundation, top-stone of it. Think then much of him. Get a high idea of him as faithful to God in everything. Moses kept the law and was a good example to Israel except in some point of weakness, but Christ perfectly carried out his Father’s commission, and he is worthy of more honour than Moses.

4-6. For every house is built by some man; but he who built all things is God. And Moses truly was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold tightly to the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

“But Christ as a Son”—far higher degree—“Christ as a son over his own house,” of which he is the heir, of which he is even now the sole proprietor—“whose house we are, if we hold tightly to the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.” None are truly Christ’s but those who persevere in grace. Men may be nominally Christ’s, but they are not Christ’s house unless they hold tightly to the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Temporary Christians are not really Christians.

7, 8. Therefore as the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

You are his house, give him rest, do not provoke him. If you belong to him be holy, do not grieve him. If you are his house do not be defiled: surely he should dwell in a holy place.

9. When your forefathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works for forty years.

Oh, children of God, some of you have been more than forty years now in the Lord’s service: do not vex him. You have been long called out of Egypt and brought into the separate place in this wilderness-world: be careful to be fit for the Divine indwelling.

10, 11. Therefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, ‘They always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.’ So I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter into my rest.’”

May God grant that none of this congregation may be of that mind, who having named the name of Christ and being known as his people, continue to grieve him one way or another, to put him to the test by their doubts, to make him angry by their sins. No, may God grant we may be of another kind lest he should lift his hand and swear, “They shall not enter into my rest.”

12. Take heed, brethren, lest there is in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Here the charge is not to the outside world but to those whom he had called “holy brethren.” He drops the word “holy” for there are some brethren so-called who would not deserve that name, and to them he speaks very pointedly, “Take heed, take heed, lest there is in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” And how will that be shown? By wandering off, one way or another, away from the living God. If your God is not a living God to you in whom you live and move and have your being, if he does not come into your daily life, but if your religion is a dead and formal thing, then you will soon depart.

13, 14. But exhort each other daily, while it is called “Today”; lest any of you are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end;

Not otherwise. Again I say those who do not hold on and hold out are not really partakers of Christ, but we are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. Those who fly to this doctrine and that, unsettled spirits, wandering stars, mere meteors of the night, these are not Christ’s, but we must hold the beginning of our faith steadfast to the end.

15. While it is said, “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation.”

Twice over we are warned of this, to avoid hardness of heart. May God save us from ossification of heart, petrifaction of heart, until we get a heart of love or a heart of stone—may God save us from this.

16. For some, when they had heard, provoked: however not all who came out of Egypt by Moses.

There were two; it was a small remnant who were faithful.

17. But with whom was he grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?

God speaks very lovingly of the bodies of his saints, but see how he speaks of the bodies of apostates, “whose carcasses” as if they were no better than so many brute beasts, “whose carcasses fell in the wilderness.”

18. And to whom did he swear that they should not enter into his rest, but to those who did not believe?

Sinning and not believing seem to go together. The seventeenth verse asks the same question as the eighteenth, but the answer is different. “With those who had sinned” says the seventeenth verse, “to those who did not believe” says the eighteenth verse. Lack of faith brings lack of holiness, and when we continue in the faith we continue in obedience.

19. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

4:1. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

I left out the “us” because that is inserted by the translators and should not be there. The promise is left to someone, it does not say to us—“a promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” Not come short of it but even seem to do so. May God keep us from the very shadow of sin, from the very appearance of evil. “For to us was the gospel preached as well as to them.” In the old time that gospel which was preached to them was preached to us—“but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” May God send us this holy mixture of the hearing and the believing, to our soul’s salvation, for his glory. Amen.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Devotional Books.

Morning By Morning; or, Daily Readings for the Family or the Closet. Cloth, 3s. 6d.; leather, 5s.; morocco, 7s. 6d. Cheap edition, 2s. 6d.

Evening By Evening; or, Reading at Eventide for the Family or the Closet. Cloth, 3s. 6d. leather, 5s.; morocco, 7s. 6d. Cheap edition, 2s. 6d.

Morning and Evening Daily Readings. New Edition on India paper, in one volume. Cloth, gilt edges, 3s. 6d.; leather, 5s.; calf or morocco, 7s. 6d. Cheap edition, 2s. 6d.

The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith: Being Precious Promises arranged for daily use. With Brief Practical Comments. Cloth, 3s. 6d.; morocco, 7s. 6d. Cheap edition, 2s. 6d.

The Interpreter; or, Scripture for Family Worship: Being selected passages of the Word of God for every morning and evening throughout the year, accompanied by a running comment and suitable Hymns. Cloth 25s.; leather 32s. and 42s. Cheap edition, cloth, 12s. 6d.; leather, 21s.

Good Tidings of Great Joy. Christ’s Incarnation the Foundation of Christianity. Cloth boards, 1s. 2d. post free.

Six Pretty Gold Corded Booklets, very suitable for gifts. Published at 6d. each; post free 1s. 9d. for the set of six.

Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings, London, E. C., and from all Booksellers and Colporteurs.

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.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Privacy Policy

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

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