Monday, February 18, 2013

Charles H. Spurgeon on 'The Temporal Gifts of the World'

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27ESV).
This is one of my favorite quotes from my hero of old, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1950), in his sermon on John 14:27. Read it slowly and try to understand the logic of his thinking and its spiritual truth as he compared the temporal gifts of the world and the eternal gifts of God in Jesus Christ. He preached:

“Naked you did come into it and it will take care you shall take nothing out of it, for naked shall you go out of it again! Oh, Man, you have accumulated knowledge until you have become a walking encyclopedia, but what shall you take with you? What difference shall there be between your hollow skull and that of the meanest peasant, when some wanton sexton in some future year, shall take it up or split it with his spade? What shall you be the better for all those big thoughts that have stretched your skull and all those marvelous conceptions that have made it ache so much that you could scarcely carry it upon your shoulders? You will go back again to your fellow earth and the worms shall eat you and the philosopher shall taste no sweeter to his tooth than did the peasant! And, then, whether you are prince or king, or whether you are a poor, ignorant man, the worms shall make no distinction. You shall still rot—still be consumed—noisome gases and a handful of dust shall be your whole residue!

What, then, can the world give? If it tried, it could not give you anything that would last! It cannot give you anything better than air! It can give you nothing that can pass into eternity with you. What? Though it follows you with the trumpet of fame, that trumpet cannot be heard half-way across the Jordan! If all the men in the world clapped their hands in your praise, not one angel, even on the very borders of the celestial world would observe the tumult of applause! The world can give you nothing that you can carry with you—you are at best a packhorse that shall carry its burden till it ends its journey and then it must lie down and die! You do but carry a burden on your back and verily, death shall unload you before you are allowed to enter another world!

How different is Christ in His gifts! What He gives, He gives forever! When He bestows mercies, they are lasting things. No shadows does He give, but real substance—no fancies, but eternal realities does He bestow. Oh, men and women of this world, when your gold is melted—when your diamonds have dissolved in gas—when your estates have gone—when your hopes are lost and when your goods are destroyed, then shall the people of God begin to know their riches! Then shall they shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.”

How different is Christ in His gifts!
What He gives, He gives forever!
When He bestows mercies, they are lasting things
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