Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

An excerpt from a message preached by Charles Spurgeon – this kind of preaching is rare in the world of the 21st century. Too many think we can amuse goats instead of feed sheep. In the end, the minister loses because he has failed in his commission. The sheep are not being fed and will drift away, and the goats for which the services were catered have moved on to the next best thing – but still lost!

THE POWER OF THE CHURCH

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. (Hebrews 1:30000023

The true power of the church lies in Christ personally. You may have all the stars that ever made bright the Milky Way with their combined sheen, but there is no power in them to kill evil or conquer sin

The stars of the church shine because God makes them shine. Their shining is not their own: it is a borrowed light with which they are radiant. But the power that overcomes evil, wounds the heart, pierces the conscience, and kills reigning sin is of the Lord alone.

“Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword” (Revelation 1:16). Glory not, therefore, in men; for power belongs unto God. The power lies in Christ’s Word. “Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.”

“He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully…saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 23:28). People are disturbed and troubled by the real gospel: under the false gospel they can sleep unto destruction. Bring out the sword: it is made to wound; let it exercise its salutary sharpness.

The gospel has two edges so that none may play with it. When they think to run their fingers along the back of it, they will find themselves cut to the bone. Whether we regard its threats or its promises, it cuts at sin.

Let us therefore know that the power of the church does not lie anywhere but in the Word as Jesus himself speaks it. Let us keep to his own pure, unadulterated, unblunted Word, and let us pray him to send it forth with power out of his own mouth into the hearts and consciences of men.1

Charles Spurgeon

[1] Charles Spurgeon, At the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], January 27.

Hat tip to http://apprising.org/

Quotes: Charles Spurgeon on Humility in the Pulpit

From the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, in his work “The Soulwinner”:

“In the matter of soul-winning, humility makes you feel that you are nothing and nobody, and that, if God gives you success in the work, you will be driven to ascribe to Him all the glory, for none of the credit of it could properly belong to you. If you do not have success, humility will lead you to blame your own folly and weakness, not God’s sovereignty. Why should God give the blessing, and then let you run away with the glory of it? The glory of the salvation of souls belongs to Him, and to Him alone. Then why should you try to steal it? You know how many attempt this theft. ‘When I was preaching at such-and-such a place, fifteen persons came into the vestry at the close of service, and thanked me for the sermon I had preached.’ You and your blessed sermon be hanged, – I might have used a stronger word if I had liked, for really you are worthy of condemnation whenever you take to yourself the honour which belongeth unto God only. You remember the story of the young prince, who came into the room where he thought his dying father was sleeping, and put the king’s crown on his head to see how it would fit him. The king, who was watching him, said, ‘Wait a little while, my son, wait till I am dead.’ So, when you feel any inclination to put the crown of glory on your head, just fancy that you hear God saying to you, ‘Wait till I am dead, before you try on My crown.’ As that will never be, you had better leave the crown alone, and let Him wear it to who it rightly belongs. Our song must ever be, ‘Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.'”

Quotes (768)

charles-spurgeon Oh! had I words that I might this morning attempt to depict to you what eternal death is. The soul has come before its Maker; the book has been opened; the sentence has been uttered; “Depart ye cursed” has shaken the universe, and made the very spheres dim with the frown of the Creator; the soul has departed to the depths where it is to dwell with others in eternal death. Oh! how horrible is its position now. Its bed is a bed of flame; the sights it sees are murdering ones that affright its spirit;. the sounds it hears are shrieks, and wails, and moans, and groans; all that its body knows is the infliction of miserable pain! It has the possession of unutterable woe, of unmitigated misery. The soul looks up. Hope is extinct—it is gone. It looks downward in dread and fear; remorse hath possessed its soul. It looks on the right hand—and the adamantine walls of fate keep it within its limits of torture. It looks on the left—and there the rampart of blazing fire forbids the scaling ladder of e’en a dreamy speculation of escape. It looks within and seeks for consolation there, but a gnawing worm hath entered into the soul. It looks about it—it has no friends to aid, no comforters, but tormentors in abundance. It knoweth nought of hope of deliverance; it hath heard the everlasting key of destiny turning in its awful wards, and it hath seen God take that key and hurl it down into the depth of eternity never to be found again. It hopeth not; it knoweth no escape; it guesseth not of deliverance; it pants for death, but death is too much its foe to be there; it longs that non-existence would swallow it up, but this eternal death is worse than annihilation. It pants for extermination as the laborer for his Sabbath; it longs that it might be swallowed up in nothingness just as would the galley slave long for freedom, but it cometh not—it is eternally dead. When eternity shall have rolled round multitudes of its everlasting cycles it shall still be dead. Forever knoweth no end; eternity cannot be spelled except in eternity. Still the soul seeth written o’er its head, “Thou art damned forever.” It heareth howlings that are to be perpetual; it seeth flames which are unquenchable; it knoweth pains that are unmitigated; it hears a sentence that rolls not like the thunder of earth which soon is hushed—but onward, onward, onward, shaking the echoes of eternity—making thousands of years shake again with the horrid thunder of its dreadful sound—”Depart! depart! depart! ye cursed!” This is the eternal death.

- C.H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892