Stunning

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Who Really Preaches a Limited Gospel?

Who Really Preaches a Limited Gospel?

Apparently those who are opposed to mentioning "L" in one's sermons have been so influenced by modernism that they believe that the Sunday worship service should be targeted to the lost and just ignore the needs of the "sheep."

But I believe that attitude of dumbing down theology because we think people can't handle it or aren't as smart as we are is not only insulting but is irresponsible as a Bible teacher.

Read now what Mr. Spurgeon had to say:

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:28

"Jesus Christ, we are told in our text, came into the world “to give his life a ransom for many.” The greatness of Christ’s redemption may be measured by the Extent Of The Design Of It. He gave his life “a ransom for many.” I must now return to that controverted point again. We are often told (I mean those of us who are commonly nicknamed by the title of Calvinists — and we are not very much ashamed of that; we think that Calvin, after all, knew more about the gospel than almost any man who has ever lived, uninspired) — We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, “No, certainly not.” We ask them the next question — Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer “ No.” They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say “No, Christ has died that any man may be saved if” — and then follow certain conditions of salvation.

"We say, then, we will just go back to the old statement — Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did he? You must say “No;” you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace, and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody, We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’s death; we say, “No, my dear sir, it is you that do it. We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.

"Now, beloved, when you hear any one laughing or jeering at a limited atonement, you may tell him this. General atonement is like a great wide bridge with only half an arch; it does not go across the stream: it only professes to go half way, it does not secure the salvation of anybody. Now, I had rather put my foot upon a bridge as narrow as Hungerford, which went all the way across, than on a bridge that was as wide as the world, if it did not go all the way across the stream. I am told it is my duty to say that all men have been redeemed, and I am told that there is a Scriptural warrant for it — “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Now, that looks like a very, very great argument indeed on the other side of the question.

"For instance, look here. “The whole world is gone after him.” Did all the world go after Christ? “Then went all Judea and were baptized of him in Jordan.” Was all, or all Jerusalem baptized in Jordan? “Ye are of God, little children,” and “the whole world lieth in the wicked one.” Does “the whole world” there mean everybody? If so, how was it, then, that there were some who were “of God?” The words “world” and “all” are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture; and it is very rarely that “all” means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts — some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted his redemption to either Jew or Gentile.

"Leaving controversy, however, I will now answer a question. Tell me then, sir, who did Christ die for? Will you answer me a question or two and I will tell you whether he died for you. Do you want a Savior? Do you feel that you need a Savior? Are you this morning conscious of sin? Has the Holy Spirit taught you that you are lost? Then Christ died for you, and you will be saved. Are you this morning conscious that you have no hope in the world but Christ? Do you feel that you of yourself cannot offer an atonement that can satisfy God’s justice? Have you given up all confidence in yourselves? And can you say upon your bended knees “Lord, save, or I perish?” Christ died for you.

"If you are saying this morning “I am as good as I ought to be; I can get to heaven by my own good works,” then, remember, the Scripture says of Jesus, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” So long as you are in that state I have no atonement to preach to you. But if this morning you feel guilty, wretched, conscious of your guilt, and are ready to take Christ to be your only Savior, I can not only say to you that you may be saved, but what is better still, that you will be saved. When you are stripped of everything but hope in Christ, when you are prepared to come empty-handed and take Christ to be your all and to be yourself nothing at all, then you may look up to Christ, and you may say, “Thou dear, thou bleeding Lamb of God! thy griefs were endured for me, by thy stripes I am healed and by thy sufferings I am pardoned.” And then see what peace of mind you will have for if Christ has died for you, you cannot be lost.

"God will not punish twice for one thing. If God punished Christ for your sin, he will never punish you. “Payment, God’s justice cannot twice demand, first, at the bleeding surety’s hand, and then again at mine.” We can today, if we believe in Christ, march to the very throne of God, stand there, and if it is said, “Art thou guilty?” we can say, “Yes, guilty.” But if the question is put, “What have you to say why you should not be punished for your guilty” We can answer, “Great God, thy justice and thy love are both our guarantees that thou wilt not punish us for sin; for didst thou not punish Christ for sin for us? How canst thou, then, be just — how canst thou be God at all, if thou dost punish Christ the substitute, and then punish man himself afterwards?”

"Your only question is, “Did Christ die for me?” And the only answer we can give is — “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Can you write your name down among the sinners — not among the complimentary sinners, but among those that feel it, bemoan it, lament it, seek mercy on account of it? Are you a sinner? That felt, that known, that professed, you are now invited to believe that Jesus Christ died for you, because you are a sinner; and you are bidden to cast yourself upon this great immovable rock, and find eternal security in the Lord Jesus Christ."

[excerpt of sermon by Spurgeon, C. H.: Spurgeon's Sermons: Volume 4: Particular Redemption]

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