Monday, December 17, 2007

The Door to Heaven

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”    John 10:9

Jesus, the great I AM, is the entrance into the true church, and the way of access to God himself. He gives to the man who comes to God by him four choice privileges.

1. He shall be saved. The fugitive manslayer passed the gate of the city of refuge, and was safe. Noah entered the door of the ark, and was secure. None can be lost who take Jesus as the door of faith to their souls. Entrance through Jesus into peace is the guarantee of entrance by the same door into heaven. Jesus is the only door, an open door, a wide door, a safe door; and blessed is he who rests all his hope of admission to glory upon the crucified Redeemer.

2. He shall go in. He shall be privileged to go in among the divine family, sharing the children’s bread, and participating in all their honours and enjoyments. He shall go in to the chambers of communion, to the banquets of love, to the treasures of the covenant, to the storehouses of the promises. He shall go in unto the King of kings in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the secret of the Lord shall be with him.

3. He shall go out. This blessing is much forgotten. We go out into the world to labour and suffer, but what a mercy to go in the name and power of Jesus! We are called to bear witness to the truth, to cheer the disconsolate, to warn the careless, to win souls, and to glorify God; and as the angel said to Gideon, “Go in this thy might,” even thus the Lord would have us proceed as his messengers in his name and strength.

4. He shall find pasture. He who knows Jesus shall never want. Going in and out shall be alike helpful to him: in fellowship with God he shall grow, and in watering others he shall be watered. Having made Jesus his all, he shall find all in Jesus. His soul shall be as a watered garden, and as a well of water whose waters fail not.

Spurgeon Devotional for December 17, Evening
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Friday, December 7, 2007

The Preaching of Repentance

Let every man understand that he will never have remission of sin while his is in love with sin, and that if he abides in sin, he cannot obtain the pardon of sin.  There must be a hatred of sin, a loathing of it, and a turning from it, or it is not blotted out.  We are to preach repentance as a duty.  "The times of this ignorance God winked at, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent." "Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins."  He that has sinned is bound to repent of having sinned.  It is the least that he can do.  How can any man ask God for mercy while he abides in his sin?

We are to preach the acceptableness of repentance.  In itself considered, there is nothing in repentance deserving of the favor of God, but the Lord Jesus Christ having come, we read, "He that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find mercy."  God accepts repentance for the sake of His dear son.  He smiles upon the penitent sinner, and puts away his iniquities . This we are to make known on all sides.

We are also to preach the motives of repentance--that men may not repent from mere fear of Hell, but they must repent of sin itself.  Every thief is sorry when he has to go to prison; every murderer is sorry when the noose is about his neck.  The sinner must repent, and not because of the punishment of sin, but because his sin is sin against a pardoning God, sin against a bleeding Savior, sin against a holy Law, sin against a tender gospel.  The true penitent repents of sin against God, and he would do so even if there were no punishment.  When he is forgiven, he repents of sin more than ever, for he sees more clearly than ever the wickedness of offending so gracious a God.

We are to preach repentance in its perpetuity.  Repentance is not a grace, which is only to be exercised by us for a week or so at the beginning of our Christian career.  It is to attend us all the way to Heaven.  Faith and repentance are to be inseparable companions throughout our pilgrimage to glory.  Repenting of our sin and trusting in the great Sinbearer--this is to be the tenor of our lives; and we are to preach to men that it must be so.

We are to tell them of the source of repentance, namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is exalted on high to give repentance and remission of sins.  Repentance is a plant that never grows on nature's dunghill.  The nature must be changed, and repentance must be implanted by the Holy Spirit, or it will never flourish in our hearts.   We preach repentance as a fruit of the Spirit, or else we greatly err.

These words are refreshing.  Nowadays, if repentance isn't neglected entirely by preachers, it is negated to a mere change of mind about God.  There are some who discourage the preaching of  "repentance" because they say, "The world doesn't understand the word."  Then we should educate them until they do.  We shouldn't dumb down the message, but instead lift up the understanding of those who, without repentance, will perish. -- Ray Comfort

Taken from "Spurgeon Gold" compiled by Ray Comfort, published by Living Waters.  They also have "Wesley Gold" and Whitefield Gold."
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