I am posting this on a different thread so I do not go off track too much on other threads here. I was reading a Sermon last night by one of my favorite preachers,
C.H. Spurgeon, and I was struck with a thought I had not had before. His sermon had to do with those who teach "salvation by works
", and by that he does
not mean just a teaching of working oneself to Heaven. There are also those (and there are some on this board) who teach Grace + works = salvation and eternal life--
and Spurgeon addresses these people also. If you can read the sermon through--even if you do not agree with the man, you will be blessed by it in other ways:http://spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1534.pdf
But now to the point that struck me so profoundly. We often think of hell, or the Lake of Fire, and think of demons and fallen angels being the ones who will be the most
profoundly punished there. At least I have--I have thought of the awful terror that awaits the devil and his angels---and indeed the Bible says the "Lake of Fire
"prepared for them
"(the fallen angels).
But Spurgeon brought up something I hadn't thought about before. I had often wondered when I read "The heart is deceitful above ALL THINGS and desperately wicked,
who can know it?"
(Jeremiah 17:9) How could this be? How could the heart be deceitful above ALL THINGS AND DESPERATELY WICKED
? Had you ever wondered at that
verse also? But then Spurgeon in this sermon points out something very striking.GRACE
is offered to men, not to angels. The Angels FELL
in their wickedness and willfully chose to abandon God. But as far as we know God never offered them free
Grace to restore them to their estate. Hebrews states that Jesus did not die for angels, but for the seed of Abraham. So who are the only agents that can REJECT
Men and Women. We are the only ones who can reject the offer of salvation through God's wonderful Grace.
God, through Christ, has elevated man (in eternity) to a HIGHER
place than from which he fell. We shall judge angels! But I had never thought of the DEPTHS
to which man could
fall if he rejects the Grace of God. The judgment that falls on men who reject the death of Christ on the cross will be greater than that which falls on demons
. And I had never thought
of that before.
We need to think of just how dastardly and horrible it is to reject God's offer of eternal life through Grace. God Himself left the throne of glory, became a man, and suffered a cruel death on
the cross, to allow enemies---hardened sinners, the opportunity to be saved from eternal ruin. Now, imagine if a man REJECTS
that offer. That is a far more dastardly thing to do
than to fall from innocence as the fallen angels did. No wonder Hebrews 10:29 is so terrible. "Of how much greater punishment shall he be thought worthy, than he that has trodden under foot the Son of God, and done despite onto the Spirit of Grace
As I sat and thought about it I became increasingly amazed. I support Wycliffe Bible Translators. They help to translate the Bible into languages that still await a Bible in their own heart felt languages. There are people who are literally "thirsting
" for the Word of God. But then, at the other end of the spectrum are people who have heard the Gospel over and over and over
again, even in many different translations. They have received opportunity upon opportunity to receive Free Grace, and yet have continued to reject it. How awful is that? It is unimaginably
And also imagine the man whom Christ comes to and says "I offer salvation and eternal life to you freely by Grace. There is nothing you can do to earn it---I want to give it to you if you will simply turn your heart, and receive it
". Yet the man, thinking himself to be quite righteous rejects the offer and says "No thanks. I will work for my own salvation thank you
". Or, there is the other man who says "Let me help you save me Lord. I may not be completely righteous, but there is a lot of good in me. I will accept what you did on the cross, but my good works will add to what you did on that cross, and then I will finally arrive in Heaven
". And there are many who literally say this to Jesus. When Jesus said "IT IS FINISHED
" they deny it---and want to add some of THEMSELVES
to the accomplishment of salvation.
What is truly terrible is that these people are also REJECTING
a gift that can only be received FREELY
. And many of these people have been offered Grace over and over and over and over again, yet still reject it, thinking that there is something in themselves that will "help
" save them. They have not put their FULL TRUST
in JESUS ALONE
. As I read this Sermon, and also the book of Galatians the night before I was struck at how closely what Paul warns of in Galatians is being warned also to the listeners of this Preacher in the 1800's.
And I would warn and exhort those who come to this board to avoid teaching that takes away from the Glory of what Jesus did on the cross for us, and points to our works and efforts instead. Any teaching that states that eternal life must be "earned
" by us is preaching a different Gospel
. I state this because the Bible warns us that in the last days will come many false teachers--it's interesting to see that Jude is right before the book of Revelation--as kind of a warning that false teaching will immediately proceed the coming of the Lord. The Gospel message is a pure message of Grace. Hallelujah!