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47. Christ’s Prayer for His People

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his prayer of Christ is an ever precious portion to all true believers, from the fact that each of them has an inalienable interest in it.

A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, October 21, 1855, By Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil. (John 17:15)

1. This prayer of Christ is an ever precious portion to all true believers, from the fact that each of them has an inalienable interest in it. Every one of us, beloved, when we listen to the words of Christ should remember that he is praying for us; that while it is for the great body of his elect he intercedes in this chapter and the one preceding it, yet it is also for each believer in particular that he offers intercession. However weak we are, however poor; however little our faith, or however small our grace may be, our names are still written on his heart; nor shall we lose our share in Jesus’ love.

2. I will proceed at once to the discussion of the text as my time is limited. First, there is a negative prayer: “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world;” second, here is a positive prayer: “but that you should keep them from the evil.”

3. We have then a negative prayer in this verse. “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.” Now, beloved, when we see people converted to God, when men are turned from iniquity to righteousness, from sinners into saints, the thought sometimes strikes us—would it not be good to take them at once to heaven, would it not be an excellent thing to translate them speedily from the realms of sin to the breast of the Lord who loved them with an everlasting love? Would it not be wiser to take the young plants out of the chilly air of this world, where they may possibly be injured and weakened, and transplant them at once to the land where they may bloom in peace and tranquillity for ever? Not so, however, does Jesus pray. When the man had the demons cast out of him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, I want to follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus said to him, “Go to your friends and relatives, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.” Some men when they are converted are all for going speedily to heaven; but they have not finished with earth yet. They would like to wear the crown without bearing the cross, they desire to win without running, and conquer without a battle; but their whim has no sanction from Jesus, for he exclaims, “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.”

4. I shall first of all speak of the meanings of this prayer; secondly, the reasons for this prayer; thirdly, the doctrinal inferences that we may derive from it; and fourthly, the practical lessons it teaches. Briefly now on each point.

5. I. First. THE MEANINGS OF THIS PRAYER. “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.” Now, there are two senses in which this prayer may be understood. One is,—he does not pray that they should, by retirement and solitude, be kept entirely separate from the world; and the second,—he does not ask that they should be taken away by death.

6. First, as regards retirement from the world and solitude. Some hermits and others have fancied that if we were to shut ourselves out from the world and live alone, we would then be more devoted to God and serve him better. Many men of old lived in deserts, never coming into the cities, wandering around alone, praying in caves and forests, and thinking they were contaminated and rendered impure if once they mingled with mankind. So we have among the Roman Catholics, people who act the part of hermits, living far from the common haunts of men, and conceiving that by so doing they shall abundantly serve God. There are also certain orders of monks and nuns who live almost alone, seeing only their fellows, and fancying that by seclusion they are putting honour upon God, and winning salvation for themselves. Now it is too late in the day for any of us to speak against monasticism. It has demonstrated its own fallacy. It was found that some of those men who had separated from society were guilty of more vile and vicious practices, and sinned more grossly than men who were in the world. There are not many who can depart from the customs of social life, and in solitude maintain their spirit pure and unsullied. Why, brethren, common sense tells us at once that living alone is not the way to serve God. It may be the way to serve self, and wrap ourselves in a garment of self-complacency; but it cannot be the way to worship God truly. If it is possible, by this means, to fulfil one part of the great law of God, we cannot, possibly carry out the other portion—to love our neighbour as ourselves, for we thus become unable to bind up the broken hearted, to bring the wanderer back, or to win souls from death and sin. Out of the heart proceeds all evil, and if we were in retirement we would sin, because we would carry our hearts with us into whatever solitude we entered. If we could only once get rid of our hearts, if there were some means of rendering our natures perfect, then we might be able to live alone; but, as we now are, that door must be well sealed that would keep out the devil; that hell must be much secluded that sin cannot enter. I have heard of a man who thought he could live without sin if he were to live alone; so he took a pitcher of water and a supply of bread, and provided some wood, and shut himself up in a solitary cell, saying, “Now I shall live in peace.” But in a moment or two he happened to kick the pitcher over, and he thereupon used an angry expression. Then he said, “I see it is possible to lose one’s temper even when alone;” and he at once returned to live among men.

7. But it may be understood in a second sense. “I do not pray that you should take them out of this world”—by death. That is a sweet and blessed mode of taking us out of the world, which will happen to us all by and by. In a few more years the chariot of fire and the horses of fire will take away the Lord’s soldiers. But Jesus does not pray that one of his chosen people should be too soon removed: he does not desire to see his newly begotten souls plume their wings and fly aloft to heaven until their time shall come. How frequently does the wearied pilgrim put up the prayer, “Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then would I fly away and be at rest.” But Christ does not pray like that; he leaves it to his Father, until, like sheaves of grain fully ripe, we shall each of us be gathered into our Master’s garner. Jesus does not plead for our immediate removal by death. He asks that we may do well in the world, but he never asks for us to be gathered in before we are ripe. Thus I have explained the two meanings of the words, “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world”—either by living retired from men, or being taken away by death.

8. II. Now the second point was THE REASONS FOR THIS PETITION. These reasons are threefold, Christ does not pray that we should be taken out of the world, because our abode here is for our own good, for the world’s benefit, and for his glory.

9. 1. First, it would not be for our own good to be taken out of this world. I leave out the first idea of the text, and only speak of it concerning death. We conceive that the greatest blessing we shall ever receive from God is to die; but doubtless it would not be for our good to withdraw from this world as soon as we had escaped from sin. It is better for us to tarry a little while; far better. And the reasons for this are—first, because a little stay on earth will make heaven all the sweeter. Nothing makes rest as sweet as toil; nothing can render security as pleasant as a long exposure to alarms, and fears, and battles. No heaven will be as sweet as a heaven which has been preceded by torments and pains. I think the deeper draughts of woe we drink here below, the sweeter will be those draughts of eternal glory which we shall receive from the golden bowls of bliss; the more we are battered and scarred on earth the more glorious will be our victory above, when the shouts of a thousand times ten thousand angels welcome us to our Father’s palace. The more trials the more bliss, the more sufferings the more ecstasies, the more depression the higher the exaltation. Thus we shall gain more of heaven by the sufferings we shall pass through here below. Let us not then, my brethren, fear to advance through our trials: they are for our good; to stop here awhile is for our benefit. Why! we would not know how to converse in heaven if we had not a few trials and hardships to speak of, and some tales of delivering grace to repeat with joy. An old sailor likes to have passed through a few shipwrecks and storms, however hazardous they may have been, for if he anchors in Greenwich Hospital, he will there tell, with great pleasure, to his companions, of his hair breadth escapes. There will be some old soldiers in heaven, too, who will recount their fights, how their Master delivered them, and how he won the victory and kept off all their foes.

10. Again, we would not have fellowship with Christ if we did not stop here. Fellowship with Christ is so honourable a thing that it is worth while to suffer, that by it we may enjoy fellowship. You have sometimes heard me express a desire that I might be in the number of those who shall be alive and remain, and so shall escape death, but a dear friend of mine says, he would rather die, in order that he might thus have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, and I think the thought finds an echo in my own heart. To die with Jesus makes death a perfect treasure, to be a follower in the grave with him makes death a pleasure. Moreover, you and I might be taken for cowards, although we may have fellowship with him in his glory, if we had no scars to prove the sufferings we had passed through, and the wounds we had received for his name. Thus, again you see it is for our good to be here: we would not have known fellowship with the Saviour, if we had not tarried here for a little while. I would never have known the Saviour’s love half so much if I had not been in the storms of affliction. How sweet it is to learn of the Saviour’s love when no one else loves us! When friends flee away, what a blessed thing it is to see that the Saviour does not forsake us but still keeps us, and holds fast by us, and clings to us, and will not let us go! Oh beloved brother and sister, believe that your remaining here on earth is for your eternal benefit, and therefore Jesus said, “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.”

11. 2. And again, it is for the good of other people. I think we should all be willing to remain on earth for the good of others. Why should not saints die as soon as they are converted? For this reason: because God meant that they should be the means of the salvation of their brethren. You surely would not wish to go out of the world if there would be a soul to be saved by you. I think if I could go to glory before I had converted all the souls allotted to me, I would not be happy; but that would be impossible, for God will not shut his saints in until they have been spiritual fathers to those appointed to them. We do not wish to enter heaven until our work is done, for it would make us uneasy on our beds if there would be one single soul left to be saved by our means. Tarry, then, Christian; there is a brand to be plucked out of the fire, a sinner to be saved from his sins, a rebel to be turned from the error of his ways: and maybe that sinner is one of your relatives! Maybe, poor widow, you are spared in this world, because there is a wayward son of yours not yet saved, and God has planned to make you the favoured instrument of bringing him to glory. And you hoary headed Christian, it may be that though “the grasshopper is a burden to you,” and you long to go, you are kept here because one of your offspring, by your instrumentality, is yet to be saved. Tarry, then, for your son’s sake, who came from your loins. I know how deeply you do love him, and for his sake surely you are content to be left here a little longer, counting it for the best that you may bring your son into glory with you.

12. 3. But the third reason is because it is for God’s glory. A tried saint brings more glory to God than an untried one. I do truly think in my own soul that a believer in a dungeon reflects more glory on his Master than a believer in paradise; that a child of God in the burning fiery furnace, whose hair is yet unscorched, and upon whom the smell of the fire has not passed, displays more the glory of the Godhead than even he who stands with a crown upon his head, perpetually singing praises before the Eternal throne. Nothing reflects so much honour on a workman as a trial of his work, and its endurance of it. So with God. It honours him when his saints preserve their integrity. Peter honoured Christ more when he walked upon the water, than when he stood upon the land. There was no glory given to God by his walking on the solid shore, but there was glory reflected when he trod upon the water. Peter saw the Lord coming on the water, and he said to him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.” What may we not go through, Christians, at his command? Oh I think we could rise and cut Agag to pieces, and hew the devil himself and break his head, through the power of Jesus. It is then for the glory of Jesus that we yet tarry. If my lying in the dust would elevate Christ one inch higher, I would say, “Oh let me remain, for it is sweet to be here for the Lord!” And if to live here for ever would make Christ more glorious, I would prefer to live here eternally. If we could only add more jewels to the crown of Christ by remaining here, why would we wish to be taken out of the world? We would say, “It is blessed to be anywhere, where we can glorify him.”

13. III. The third point is THE DOCTRINAL INFERENCE WE MAY DERIVE FROM THIS PRAYER.

14. The first inference—Death is God taking the people out of the world; and when we die we are removed by God. Death is not an independent being, who comes at his own will, to carry us away when he pleases. In fact, it is not true that death does take away the Christian at all: God alone can remove his children from this world. Whether the humble peasant, or the reigning monarch, one hand lifts them to the sky. You will see this by referring to the book of Revelation where the vintage of the wicked is gathered by an angel, but the harvest of the righteous is reaped by Christ himself. “And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over the fire; and cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the cluster of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” These were the wicked. But if you go to the preceding passage, it says, “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, Thrust in your sickle, and reap: for the time is come for you to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he who sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” Christ is the reaper who cuts his own grain. He will not trust an angel to do it. God alone has the issues of life in his hand.

15. The next thing is that dying is not of one half as important as living to Christ. “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.” He does not make their dying an object of prayer, “but that you should keep them from the evil.” He prays that they should be preserved in life, knowing that their death would assuredly follow in due time, as a matter of course. Many say one to another, “Have you heard that so-and-so is dead?” “How did he die?” They should rather say, “How did he live?” It may be an important question,—how does a man die; but the most, important one is, how does a man live? What curious notions people have about death! The question they ask is not whether a man dies in the Lord Jesus, but, “Has he had a very easy death? Did he die gently?” If so, they conclude that all is well. If I ask, “Had he any affection to trust in Christ?” the reply probably will be, “Well, at all events, I thought he had; he had a very easy death.” People think so much of an easy death. If there are no pains in death, if they are not in trouble, and not plagued like others, they falsely conclude all to be well. But though like sheep they are laid in the grave, they may awaken to destruction in the morning. It is not a sign of grace that our dying is easy. It is natural for people in the decay of strength to die easily. Many of the most vicious men, who have destroyed the power of their bodies, have an easy, painless death, from the fact that there is nothing left to struggle against death; but, then, though they die like lambs, they wake up in sorrow. Do not put any confidence in deathbeds, my dear friends; do not look on them as evidences of Christianity. The great evidence is not how a man dies; but how he lives.

16. IV. The practical lesson we learn from this part of the text—“I do not pray that you should take them out of the world”—is this, that we never have any encouragement to peevishly ask God to let us die. Christians are always wanting to die when they have any trouble or trial. You ask them why? “Because we want to be with the Lord.” Oh yes, they want to be with the Lord, when troubles and temptations come upon them. But it is not because they are “panting to be with the Lord,” it is because they desire to get rid of their troubles—or else they would not want to die at all times when a little vexation is upon them. They want to get home, not so much for the Saviour’s company, as to get out of a little hard work. They did not wish to go away when they were in quiet and prosperity. Like lazy fellows, as most of us are, when we get into a little labour we beg to go home. It is quite right sometimes that you should desire to depart, because you would not prove yourself to be a true Israelite if you did not want to go to Jerusalem. You may pray to be taken home out of the world, but Christ will not take up the petition. When your prayers come to the Lord, this little one may try to get among them, but Christ will say, “I do not know anything about you, "I do not pray that you should take them out of the world."” You may wish it sincerely, and really desire it, but you will not at present get your Master to pray with you. Instead, then, of crying, or wishing to be away from the battle, brace yourself up in the name of the Lord. Think every wish to escape the fight, is only to desert your Master. Do not so much think of rest, but remember, that though you may cry, “Let me retire into the tent,” you will not be admitted until you return a victor. Therefore, stop here, and work and labour.

17. My dear friends, I had intended to preach from the other half of the verse, but that is quite impossible, the time is so far gone, and I can only manage the first part of it. So I must depart from my original intention; and I will restrict myself to some thoughts which occur to me upon the first portion of our text.

18. “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.” Perhaps, tomorrow you will be saying, “I am very sorry Sunday is over. I am obliged to go back to business again. I wish it were always Sunday, that I might attend to my preaching, or to the schools, or to the prayer meeting, or to the tract distributing. No obstructions of the world afflict me there, no vexations of the spirit occur there. I am sick of the world. Oh! if I could never go into it again.” Let me jog your elbow a bit. Does Jesus think so? Hear him! “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.” There is no remedy for the ill, if it is an ill, therefore endure it with appropriate fortitude; yes, rather seek to improve the opportunity thus afforded you, of conferring a blessing upon your fellow men, and of gaining advantages for yourselves.

19. The pious mind will know how to use the very sight of sin to its own sanctification. It will learn humility when it remembers that restraining grace alone prevents a similar fault in itself, it will gather subjects for gratitude and admiration from the fact that grace alone has made it to differ. Never shall we value grace as much as when we see the evil from which it delivers us, never shall we more abhor sin than when we discern its visible deformity. Bad society is in itself like the poisonous cassava, (a tropical plant with tuberous roots) but if baked in the fire of grace it may even be rendered useful. True grace casts salt into the poisonous stream, and then when forced to ford it, the filth of it is destroyed. Abide, then, oh soldier, in the trenches of labour and battle, for the hardness of service is beneficial to you.

20. But remember while here that you lose no opportunity of attacking the foe. Never miss an opportunity of having a shot at the devil. Be ready on all occasions to do mischief to the enemy. In business, drop a word of savour and unction; in company, turn the conversation heavenward; in private, wrestle at the throne. I do not advise you to intrude religion at unseasonable hours. I do not conceive it to be your duty when a customer calls to pay a bill to ask him into your office and spend half an hour in prayer with him, nor would I think it needful to sanctify your ribbons and shawls by exhorting the purchasers across the counter. Some have not been quite innocent of the charge of fanaticism who make as much use of religion to attract customers, as they do of their plate glass window. Do not talk of religion to be heard of men, but when a fair opportunity offers itself, out with your rifle and take a steady aim. Cromwell’s singular advice to his soldiers was, “Trust in God, my friends, and keep your powder dry.” In a better sense this is mine. More than all keep up a continual fire on the enemy by a holy life. Nothing will reprove sin more than your holiness. If you cannot tell the stick it is crooked, you can prove it to be so, by laying a straight one side by side with it. So put your purity before the impure, and they will be effectually reproved.

21. Well then, again, do not be afraid to go out into the world to do good. Christ is keeping you in the world for the advantage of your fellowmen. I am sometimes wicked enough to think that I would rather go anywhere than stand up again and preach my Master’s gospel. Like Jonah, I have thought I would rather pay my fare to be carried away to Tarshish, instead of coming back to Nineveh. So would some of you who have tried to preach, and have not been as successful as you wished to be. But do not be downhearted, my brother; a Christian should never get so. If you have only one listener today, perhaps the next time the number will be doubled, and so on, until they cannot be counted. Never say, “I wish to go out of this world:” do not murmur, “My life is prolonged beyond my joys.” Do what you can. Do not go among people with fear; do not be ashamed to look duty in the face. If you are not successful at first, do not be cowards and run away from your guns. We should do all we can to bring our guns into line with our brothers, and take good aim at our foes. Never desert your work, though you come home distressed in spirit, though you see no gleam of success, and nothing is gained. Remember, you cannot run out of the battle, but you must go on; and you cannot escape the service. On then, and glory shall be yours.

22. Now, my brethren, what bearing has this text upon the ungodly? There are some here, my dear friends, of whom I have sometimes thought that I could almost pray that God should take them out of the world. I can tell you why: they are so wicked—so dreadfully wicked, such hardened reprobates, with such iron souls, that they seem as if they never would be turned to God, and whose portion it would appear to be damned themselves, and to lead others to the same condition. I know a village where there is a man so vicious, so abandoned, that I could almost pray for him to be removed out of the world; he is so awfully wicked that many of those I thought hopeful Christians have been poisoned by his example. Indeed he seemed to be depraving the entire population. He stands like a deadly Upas tree,1 with outspread branches, overshadowing the whole place. He is consuming all around him; and instead of it being a mercy for him to be here, it would be like a mercy if he were gone. Are not some of you like that man? Are you not so bad that you are doing all the mischief in the world you can? You never do anything for the cause of Christ. You are always trying to do your utmost against it. You never sow a little blade of God’s grass where none grew before. You are of no service, and yet you are spared, because Jesus says, “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.” He prays that you may be in the world a little longer. And what has he preserved you from? First, fever comes and bows you down; but Christ says, “Let him not depart yet. Oh spare him now.” And you are spared. The second time, disease comes near to you, and great pains bow you down. Again he prays, “Spare him!” and you are yet safe. The third time you are fast approaching your end. Now the angel of death is lifting up the glittering steel, and his axe is almost fallen on you. Yet Christ says, “Spare him, angel! Spare him—perhaps he may yet turn to me with full purpose of heart.” He whom you hate loved you so much that he interceded for you, and therefore you were spared until now. Remember, however, that this reprieve will not continue for ever. At last Justice will cry, “Cut him down, he encumbers the ground.” Some of you have been encumbering the ground for sixty or seventy years—old sinners; of no use in this world. Is it so? There you are! occupying the ground, keeping other trees from growing, and of no use! Your family is being damned by your example; the whole neighbourhood is tainted by you. Do not tell me I should not speak so roughly. I tell you, as long as I have a tongue in my head you shall have no mincemeat from me. If you are lost, it shall not be for lack of plain speaking and honest warning. Oh, you who encumber the ground! how much digging and fertilizing have you received by the Lord’s hand, and yet you are fruitless. The axe will soon strike at your root, and oh, the fire into which you shall be cast! Ungodly man, you are spared until your overflowing cup of sin is dropping like oil upon the flame of vengeance, and the increasing fire will presently reach you. The longer the archer draws the bow the more mighty is the force of the arrow. What though vengeance tarries, it is so that its sword may be sharpened and its arm nerved for a more dire execution. Oh, you grayheads! a little more delay and the stroke shall fall; tremble and kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, when his wrath is kindled only a little.

23. And yet, I think, some of you who have encumbered the ground do most heartily desire to serve God. Poor sinner! I rejoice that you feel that you have been an encumbrance. Do you confess that you have been a poor thorn and briar until now? Do you acknowledge that the Lord would have been just to you if he had damned you? Then come as you are and cast yourself on Jesus, without works, without merit. Will you ask the Lord to turn you into a good fig tree? If you will, he will do it; for he declares, that he hears prayer.

24. There was once a poor man in a small country town who had not all the sense people usually have, but he had sense enough to be a great drunkard and swearer as God would have it, he once listened to a poor woman, who was singing—

I’m a poor sinner and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.

Home he went, repeating these words, he put his trust in a crucified Saviour, and was truly converted. Well, he soon came to the church, and although he was a pedlar, and always travelling around, he said, “I want to join your church.” They, remembering his sinful way of life, required some great evidence of a change before they received him. “Oh!” he says, “I must come in.” “But you have been such a great sinner, and you are unconverted,” added the elders. “Well,” said poor Jack, “I do not know if I’m unconverted, and I confess I am a great sinner—but

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.”

They could not get from him any other testimony except this. He would only say—

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.

They could not refuse him, and therefore accepted him into fellowship. After this he was always happy. When a Christian man said to him “But you always seem so happy and pleased, Jack; how is it?” “Well” he said, “I ought to be happy, for—

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.”

“Well but,” said the gentleman, “I cannot see how you can be always so happy and sure. I sometimes lose my evidences.” “I do not,” said Jack,

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is in my all in all.

“Ah,” said a friend, “I am at times miserable because I remember my sad sinfulness even since conversion.” “Ah,” said Jack, “you have not begun to sing,

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.”

“Oh!” said the friend, “how do you get rid of your doubts and fears? My faith frequently fails, and I miss my sure hope in Christ. My frame of mind is so variable and feelings so contrary, what do you think of that?” “Think,” said poor Jack, “why master I have no good things to care about—

I’m a poor sinner and nothing at all;
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.”

25. Well, then, if there is any one here who is “a poor sinner, and nothing at all,”—where is he? in the gallery, or sitting down below? If he cannot say all that poor man said; if he can say the first line, he need not fear to say the second. Never mind if he cannot say,

Jesus Christ is my all in all.

If he can say,

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all,

he is most assuredly on the right road.

26. “Oh! but,” says one, “I am sinful, vile, worthless.” All right! you are “a poor sinner and nothing at all,” and Jesus Christ is willing to be your “all in all.” “But I have blasphemed God, departed from his ways, and grievously transgressed.” Well, I believe all that, and a great deal more, and am very glad to hear it; for thus I see you are

A poor sinner, and nothing at all.

I am very glad if you will hold that opinion of yourself. “Ah! but I am afraid I have sinned too much. When I try I cannot do anything. When I try to mend my ways; when I try to believe in Christ, I cannot.” We are glad, very glad of it brother, that you are

A poor sinner, and nothing at all.

If you had a single particle of goodness; if you had a little bit not big enough to cover the top of your little finger, we would not be glad. But if you are

A poor sinner, and nothing at all;
Jesus Christ is your all in all.

Come! will you have him? You are “nothing at all.” Will you have Christ? Here he stands. Ask: it is all he wants, for you are the object of his regard. There are only three steps. One is to step out of self, the second is to step upon Jesus, the third is to step into heaven. You have taken one step. I am sure you will take the others. God never makes you feel you are

A poor sinner, and nothing at all;

but, sooner or later, he gives

Jesus Christ as your all in all.

Oh poor sinner, do not be doubtful of my Master’s power. Only touch the hem of his garment, and you shall be made whole. Like the poor woman in the crowd, only reach for it and touch it, and he will surely say to you, “You are saved.” If you will go to him with this cry,

I’m a poor sinner, and nothing at all;
And Jesus Christ is my all in all;

then you will see the blessed reason why Jesus interceded thus: “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world.”

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).

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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.

Footnotes

  1. Upas is an evergreen tree in the family Moraceae, native to southeastern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka east to southern China, the Philippines and Fiji; closely related species also occur in eastern Africa. It produces a highly poisonous latex, known in Java as "Upas," from the Javanese word for "poison". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upas

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