GOD's true seekers believe basic Bible truth Eph4:15 1Jn2:6.

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   If you think about it, GOD's value of heaven and yours are very different things. His salvation, when he set a price upon it, was to be brought to men only through the death of his Son. But you think that your good works can win the heaven which Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD, procured at the cost of his own blood! Do you dare to put your miserable life in comparison with the life of GOD's obedient Son, who gave himself even to death? Does it not strike you that you are insulting GOD? If there is a way to heaven by works, why did he put his dear Son to all that pain and grief? Why the scenes of Gethsemane? Why the tragedy on Golgotha, when the thing could be done so easily another way? You insult the wisdom of GOD and the love of GOD.
   There is no attribute of GOD which self-righteousness does not impugn. It debases the eternal perfections which the blessed Saviour magnified, in order to exalt the pretensions of the creature which the Almighty spurns as vain and worthless. The trader may barter his gold for your trinkets and glass beads, but if you give all that you have to GOD it would be utterly rejected. He will bestow the milk and the honey of his mercy without money and without price, but if you come to him trying to bargain for it, it is all over for you; GOD will not give you choice provisions of his love that you do not know how to appreciate.
   The great things you propose to do, these works of yours, what comparison do they bear to the blessing which you hope to obtain? I suppose by these works you hope to obtain the favour of GOD and procure a place in heaven. What is it, then you propose to offer? What could you bring to GOD? Would you bring him rivers of oil, or the fat of ten thousand animals? Count up all the treasures that lie beneath the surface of the earth; if you brought them all, what would they be to GOD? If you could pile up all the gold reaching from the depths of the earth to the highest heavens, what would it be to him? How could all this enrich his coffers or buy your salvation? Can he be affected by anything you do to augment the sum of his happiness, or to increase the glory of his kingdom? If he were hungry he would not tell you. "The cattle upon ten thousand hills are mine," he says (Psa 50: 10). Your goodness may please your fellow-creatures, and your charity may make them grateful, but will GOD owe anything to you for your gifts, or be in debt to you for your influence? Absurd questions! When you have done everything, what will you be but a poor, unworthy, unprofitable servant? You will not have done what you ought, much less will there be any balance in your favour to make atonement for sin, or to purchase for you an inheritance in the realms of light.
   You who are going to save yourselves by reforms, and by earnest attempts and endeavours, let me ask you, if a man could not perform a certain work when his arm had strength in it, how will he be able to perform it when the bone is broken? When you were young and inexperienced, you had not yet fallen into evil habits and customs. Though there was depravity in your nature then, you had not become bound in the iron net of habit, yet even then you went astray like a lost sheep and you followed after evil. What reason have you to suppose that you can suddenly change the bias of your heart, the course of your actions and the tenor of your life, and become a new man? "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" (Jer 13:23). Are there not ten thousand probabilities against one that as you sinned before you will sin still? You found the pathway of evil to be so attractive and fascinating that you were enticed into it, and you will still be enticed and drawn away from that path of integrity which you are now so firmly resolved to tread.

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   The way to heaven by following the law given at Mount Sinai is very steep and narrow, and it takes only one wrong step for a man to be dashed to pieces. Stand at the foot and look up at it if you dare. On its brow of stone there is the black cloud, out of which lightning leaps and the blast of the trumpet sounds loud and long. Do you not see Moses tremble, and you will dare to stand unabashed where Moses is fearful and afraid? Look upwards, and give up the thought of climbing those steep crags, for no one has ever striven to clamber up there in the hope of salvation without finding destruction among the terrors of the way! Be wise, give up that deceitful hope of salvation which your pride leads you to choose and your presumption would soon cause you to rue.
   Suppose you could do some great thing, which I am sure you cannot, and it were possible that you could from now on be perfect, and never sin again in thought, or word, or deed; how would you be able to atone for your past delinquencies? Shall I call for a resurrection in that graveyard of your memory? Let your sins rise up for a moment, and pass in review before you. Ah, the sins of your youth may well frighten you; those midnight sins; those midday sins; those sins against light and knowledge; those sins of body; those sins of soul! You have forgotten them, you say, but GOD has not. Look at the file! They are all placed there, all registered in GOD's daybook, not one forgotten - all to be read against you in the day of the last judgment.
   How can future obedience make up for past transgression? The cliff has fallen and though the wave washes up ten thousand times, it cannot set the cliff up again. The day is bright but still there was a night, and the brightest day does not obliterate the fact that once it was dark. The self-righteous man knows that what he is doing cannot satisfy GOD, for it cannot satisfy himself; and though he may perhaps drug his conscience, there is generally enough left of the divine element within the man to make him feel and know that it is not satisfactory.
   To believe what GOD says, to do what GOD commands, to take that salvation which GOD provides - this is man's highest and best wisdom. Open your Bible. It is the pilgrim's guide, in which GOD describes the glory yet to be revealed. This is the one message of the gospel, "believe and live." Trust in the incarnate Saviour, whom GOD appointed to stand in the place of sinners. Trust in him and you shall be saved.

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   "Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him" (Luke 15: 1). The most depraved and despised classes of society formed an inner ring of hearers around our LORD. I gather from this that he was a most approachable person, that he welcomed human confidence and was willing that men should commune with him.
   Eastern monarchs affected great seclusion, and were likely to surround themselves with impassible barriers of state. It was very difficult for even their most loyal subjects to approach them. You remember the case of Esther, who, even though the monarch was her husband, still risked her life when she presented herself before King Ahasuerus, for there was a commandment that no one should come before the king unless they were called, at peril of their lives. It is not so with the King of kings. His court is far more splendid; His being is far more worshipful; but you may draw near to him …if Heb10:22 without hindrance. He has set no men-at-arms around his palace gate. The door of his house of mercy is wide open. Over the lintel of his palace gate is written, "For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened" (Matt 7:7).
   Even in our own day great men are not easily approached. There are so many back stairs to be climbed before you can reach the official who might help you, so many servants to be passed by, that it is very difficult to achieve your objective. The good men may be affable enough themselves, but they remind us of the old Russian fable of the hospitable house-holder in a village who was willing to help all the poor who came to his door, but who kept so many big dogs loose in his yard that nobody was able to get to the threshold, and therefore his personal affability was of no use to anyone. It is not so with our Master.
   Though the LORD Jesus Christ is greater than the greatest, and higher than the highest, he has been pleased to put out of the way everything which might keep the sinner from entering into his halls of gracious entertainment. From his lips we hear no threats against intrusion, but hundreds of invitations to enter into the dearest intimacy. Jesus is to be approached not every now and then, but at all times, and not by some favoured few, but by all in whose hearts his Holy Spirit as kindled the desire to enter into his secret presence. Ps91:1

   The philosophical teachers of our LORD's day affected very great seclusion. They considered their teachings to be so profound that they were not to be uttered in the hearing of the common multitude. "Far hence, ye profane," was their scornful motto. They stood on a lofty pillar of their fancied self conceit and occasionally dropped down a stray thought upon the common herd beneath, but they did not condescend to talk familiarly with them, considering it a dishonour to their philosophy to communicate it to the multitude. One of the greatest philosophers wrote over his door, "Let no one who is ignorant of geometry enter here." But our LORD, compared with whom all wise men are fools - who is, in fact, the wisdom of GOD - never drove away a sinner because of his ignorance, never refused a seeker because he was not yet initiated and had not taken the previous steps in the ladder of learning, and never permitted any thirsty spirit to be chased away from the crystal spring of divine truth. His every word was a diamond, and his lips dropped pearls, but he was never more at home than when speaking to the common people, and teaching them about the kingdom of GOD.

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   Our LORD Jesus is said to be the Mediator between GOD and man. The office of mediator implies at once that he should be approachable. A mediator is not a mediator for one side - he must be close to both the parties between whom he mediates. If Jesus Christ is to be a perfect mediator between GOD and man, he must be able to come so near to GOD that GOD shall call him his fellow, and then he must approach man so closely that he shall not be ashamed to call him brother. This is precisely the case with our LORD.
   Think about this, you who are afraid of Jesus. He is a mediator, and as a mediator you may come to him. Jacob's ladder reached from earth to heaven, but if he had cut away half a dozen of the bottom rungs, what use would the ladder have been? Who could climb up it to the hill of the LORD? Jesus Christ is the great conjunction between earth and heaven, but if he will not touch the poor mortal man who comes to him, then of what use is he to the sons of men? You do need a mediator between your soul and GOD; you must not think of coming to GOD without a mediator; but you do not want any mediator between yourselves and Christ. There is a necessary qualification for coming to GOD - you must not come to GOD without a perfect righteousness; but you may come to Jesus without any qualification, and without any righteousness, because as Mediator he has in Himself all the righteousness and fitness that you require, and is ready to bestow them upon you. You may come boldly to him right now; he waits to reconcile you to GOD by his blood.
   Another of Christ's offices is that of Priest. That word "priest" has come to smell very badly nowadays; but it is a very sweet word as we find it in Holy Scripture. The word "priest" does not mean a gaudily-dressed pretender, who stands apart from other worshippers, two steps higher than the rest of the people, and professes to have power to dispense pardon for human sin. The true priest was truly the brother of all the people. There was no man in the whole camp of Israel so brotherly as Aaron. In fact, Aaron and the priests who succeeded him were so much the first points of contact with men, on GOD's behalf, that when a leper became too unclean for anybody else to approach, the last man who touched him was the priest. The house might be leprous, but the priest went into it; the man might be leprous, but he talked with him and examined him; and if afterwards that diseased man was cured, the first person who touched him must be a priest. "Go, show thyself to the priest," was the command to every recovering leper; and until the priest had entered into fellowship with him, and had given him a certificate of health, he could not be received into the Jewish camp.
   As a third office, let me mention that the LORD Jesus is our Saviour; but I do not see how he can be a Saviour unless he can be approached by those who need to be saved. The priest and the Levite passed by on the other side when the bleeding man lay on the road to Jericho; they were not saviours, therefore, and could not be, but he was the saviour who came where the man was, stooped over him, and took wine and oil and poured them into the gaping fissures of his wounds, and lifted him up with tender love and set him on his own beast, and led him to the inn. He was the true saviour; and, 0 sinner, Jesus Christ will come just where you are, and your wounds of sin, even though they are putrid, will not drive him away from you. His love shall overcome the nauseating offensiveness of your iniquity, for he is able and willing to save those who are like you. I might mention many other offices of Christ, but these three are sufficient. Certainly if the Spirit blesses them, you will be led to see that Jesus is not hard to reach.

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   Never be content with merely coming close to Christ. When there is a gracious season in a church, and people are converted, many others rest satisfied because they have been in the congregation where works of mercy have been performed. It is dreadful to reflect that there are in our churches men and women who are perfectly satisfied with having spent Sunday in a place of worship. Now, suppose a man has leprosy and he goes to the place where Jesus is: he sees the people thronging to get near, and he joins the press; he pushes on for a certain length of time, and then he returns home perfectly content because he has joined the crowd. The next day the great Master is dispensing healing virtue right and left, and this same man joins the throng, and once more elbows himself tolerably near to the Saviour, and then retires. "Well," he says, "I got into the crowd; I pressed and squeezed, and made my way, and so I was in the way, perhaps I might have got a blessing." Now that would be precisely similar to the condition of hundreds and thousands of people who go to a place of worship on Sunday. There is the gospel; they come to hear it; they come next Sunday, there is the gospel again; they listen to it, and they go their way each time. "Fool!" you say to the man with leprosy, "Why, you did nothing; getting into the crowd was nothing; if you did not touch the LORD who dispensed the healing, you lost all your time; and besides, you incurred responsibility because you got near to him, and yet for not putting out your hand to touch him, you lost the opportunity." It is the same for you good people, who go where Jesus Christ is faithfully preached. You come and go, and come and go continually; and what fools you are, what gross fools, to get into the throng and to be satisfied with that, and never touch Christ! Tell me of your church-goings and your chapel-goings! They are not a morsel of use to you.
   I must caution you not to be content with touching those who are healed. There are many in the crowd who, having touched the Master, clapped their hands and said, "Glory be to GOD, my withered arm is restored," "My eyes are opened," "My dropsy has vanished," "My palsy is gone." One after another they praise GOD for his great wonders; and sometimes their friends who were sick would go away with them and say, "What a mercy! Let us go home together." They would hear all about it, and talk about it, and tell it to others; but all the while, though they rejoiced in the good that was done to others, and sympathized in it, they never touched Jesus for themselves. Noah's carpenters built the ark, but were all drowned. Oh, I beseech you, do not be satisfied with talking about revivals, and hearing about conversions; get an interest in them. Let nothing content any one of us but actual spiritual contact with the LORD Jesus Christ. Let us never sleep or slumber until we have really looked to that great sacrifice which GOD has lifted up for the sins of men. Let us not think of Christ as another man's Saviour, but be passionately in earnest till we get him for our own.
   It shall be my happy task to endeavour to assist into the light those who want to flee from darkness. We will do so by trying to answer the query, "How is it that 1, wanting light, have not found it yet? Why am I left to grope like a blind man for the wall, and stumble at noon as if it were the night? Why has the LORD not revealed himself to me?" You may have been seeking the light in the wrong place. Many, like Mary, seek the living among the dead. It is possible that you may have been the victim of the false doctrine that peace with GOD can be found in the use of ceremonies.

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    It is possible, too, that you have been looking for salvation in the mere belief of a certain creed. You have thought that if you could discover pure orthodoxy, and could then consign your soul into its mould, you would be a saved man; and you have consequently believed unreservedly, as far as you have been able to do so, the set of truths which have been handed to you by the tradition of your ancestors. It may be that your creed is Calvanistic, it is possible that it is Arminian, it may be Protestant, it may be Romish, it may be truth, it may be a lie; but, believe me, solid peace with GOD is not to be found through the mere reception of any creed, however true or scriptural. Mere head-notion is not the road to heaven. "Ye must be born again" means a good deal more than you must believe certain dogmas. It is of the utmost possible importance, I grant you, that you should search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; but recollect how our LORD upbraided the Pharisees. He told them that they searched the Scriptures, but he added, "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life" (John 5:40). You stop short at the Scriptures, and therefore short of eternal life. The study of these, good as it is, cannot save you; you must press beyond this - you must come to the living, personal Christ, once crucified, but now living to plead at the right hand of GOD, or else your acceptance of the soundest creed cannot effect the salvation of your soul. You may be misled in some other manner; some other mistaken way of seeking peace may have beguiled you, and if so, I earnestly pray that you may see the mistake.

   You must understand that there is only one door to salvation, and that is Christ; there is one way, and that is Christ; one truth, and that is Christ; one life, and that is Christ. Salvation lies in Jesus only; it does not lie in you, in your doings, or your feelings, or your knowings, or your resolutions. In him all life and light for the sons of men are stored up by the mercy of GOD the Father. This may be one reason why you have not found the light; because you have sought it in the wrong place.
   If none of these arguments have touched your case, let me further suggest that perhaps you have not found light because you have sought it in a half-hearted manner. None enter heaven who are only half-inclined to go there. Cold prayers ask GOD to refuse them. When a man manifestly does not value the mercy which he asks, and would be perfectly content not to receive it, it is small wonder if he is denied. Many a sinner lies, year after year, freezing outside the door of GOD's mercy, because he has never thoroughly bestirred himself to take the kingdom of heaven by violence. If you are willing to be unsaved, you shall be left to perish; but if you are inwardly set and resolved that you will give GOD no rest until you win a pardon from him, he will give you your heart's desire. The man who must be saved, shall be. The man whose heart is set on finding the way to Zion's hill, shall find that way. I believe that usually a sense of our pardon comes to us when, Samson-like, we grasp the posts of mercy's door with desperate vehemence, as though we would pluck them up, post and bar and all, rather than remain shut out any longer from peace and safety. Strong crying and tears, groanings of spirit, vehement longings, and ceaseless pleadings - these are the weapons which, through the blood of Jesus, win us the victory in our warfare of seeking the LORD. Perhaps, then, you have not bestirred yourself as you should have done. May the LORD help you to be a mighty wrestler and then a prevailing prince!

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   There may be some sin within you which you are harbouring to your soul's peril. When a soldier's foot has refused to heal, the surgeon has been known to examine it very minutely, and manipulate every part. Each bone is there, and in its place; there is no apparent cause for the inflammation, but yet the wound refuses to heal. The surgeon probes and probes again, until his lancet comes into contact with a hard foreign substance. "Here it is," he says, "a bullet is lodged here; this must come out, or the wound will never close." So my probe may discover a secret in you, and if so, it must come out, or you must die. You cannot expect to have peace with GOD, and still indulge in that drunkard's glass. What, a drunkard reconciled to GOD? You cannot hope to enjoy peace with GOD, and yet refuse to speak with that relative who offended you years ago. What, look to be forgiven, when you will not yourself forgive? (Mat6) There are doubtful practices in your trade behind the counter; do you dare to hope that GOD will accept a thief? - for that is what you are, a thief and a liar. You brand your goods dishonestly, call them twenty when they are fifteen; do you expect GOD to be your friend while you remain a rogue? Do you think he will smile on you in your knavery, and walk with you when you choose dirty ways? Perhaps you indulge a haughty spirit, or it may be an idle disposition; it does not matter which kind of devil is in you, it must come out, or else the peace of GOD cannot come in. Now, are you willing to give sin up? If not, it is all lost time to preach Christ to you, for he is not meant to be a Saviour of those who persevere in sin. He came to save his people from their sins, not in them; (Mat1:21) and if you still cling to a darling sin, do not be deceived, for you can never enter within the gates of heaven.
   Why have some not found the light? It may be that you have sought peace with GOD only occasionally; after an earnest sermon you have been awakened; but when the sermon has been concluded, you have gone back to your slumber like the sluggard who turns again upon his bed. After a sickness, or when there has been a death in the family, you have then zealously bestirred yourself; but before long you have declined into the same carelessness as before. Remember he who wins the race is not the one who runs in spurts, but the one who continues running to the end. No man gets Christ by thinking of him only now and then, and in the mean time regards vanity and falsehood in his heart. He only shall have Christ who must have him, who must have him now, and who gives his whole heart to him, and cries, "I will seek him till I find him, and when I find him I will never let him go."
   Do you desire eternal life? Is there within your soul a hungering and a thirsting after such things that may satisfy your spirit and make you live forever? Then "Come, for now all things are ready" (Luke 14:17) - all, not some, but all. There is nothing that you need between here and heaven which is not provided in Jesus Christ, in His being and in His work. All things are ready: life for your death, forgiveness for your sin, cleansing for your filth, clothing for your nakedness, joy for your sorrow, strength for your weakness, indeed, more than anything you could ever want is stored up in the boundless nature and work of Christ. You must not say, "I cannot come because I do not have this, or do not have that." Are you to prepare the feast? Are you to provide anything? Are you bringing even salt or water? You do not know your true condition, or you would not dream of such a thing. The great householder himself has provided the whole of the feast, you have nothing to do with the provision but to enjoy it.

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   If you lack anything, come and take what you lack; the greater your need the greater is the reason why you should come where all things that your need can possibly want will be at once supplied. If you are so needy that you have nothing good at all about you, all things are ready. When GOD has provided all things, what more could you possibly provide? It would be a disgraceful insult if you thought of adding to his "all things;" it would be a presumptuous competing with the provisions of the Great King, and this he will not endure. All that you are lacking between the gates of hell, where you now lie, and the gates of heaven, to which grace will bring you if you believe - all is provided and prepared in Jesus Christ the Saviour.
   The way of salvation has always been the same. No man has ever been saved by his good works. The way by which the just have lived has always been the way of faith. There has not been the slightest advance upon this truth; it is established and settled, ever the same, like the GOD who uttered it. At all times, and everywhere, the gospel is and must forever be the same. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever" (Heb 13:8). We read of "the gospel" as one; never of two or three gospels. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but Christ's Word shall never pass away.
   It is also noteworthy not only that this truth should be so old, and should continue so unchanged, but that it should possess such vitality. This one sentence, "The just shall live by his faith," produced the Reformation. Out of this one line, as from the opening of one of the apocalyptic seals, came forth all that sounding of gospel trumpets, and all that singing of gospel songs, which sounded like the noise of many waters in the world. This one seed, forgotten and hidden away in the dark medieval times, was brought out, dropped into the human heart, and made to grow by the Spirit of GOD so that it produced great results. The least bit of truth, thrown anywhere, will live! Certain plants are so full of vitality that if you only take a fragment of a leaf and place it on the soil, the leaf will take root and grow. It is utterly impossible that such vegetation should become extinct; and so it is with the truth of GOD - it is living and incorruptible, and therefore there is no destroying it. As long as one Bible remains, the religion of free grace will live; indeed, if they could burn all printed Scriptures, as long as there remained a child who remembered a single text of the Word, the truth would rise again. Even in the ashes of truth the fire is still living, and when the breath of the LORD blows upon it, the flame will burst forth gloriously.
   The love of Christ constrains him to seek after whatever is true, and right, and good, and loving, and honourable in the sight of GOD. Having received by faith the privilege of 1Jn2:27,28 he strives to live as a child of GOD. Having obtained by faith a new life, he walks in the newness of life. "Immortal principles forbid the child of GOD to sin." If any man lives in sin and loves it, he does not have the faith of GOD's elect; for true faith purifies the soul. The faith which is worked out in us by the Holy Spirit is the greatest sin-killer under heaven. By the grace of GOD it affects the inmost heart, changes the desires and the affections, and makes the man a new creature in Christ Jesus. If there are on earth any who can truly be called just, they are those who are made so by faith in GOD through Jesus Christ our LORD. Indeed, no other men are "just" except those to whom the holy GOD gives the title, and these live by faith. Faith trusts GOD, and therefore loves him, and therefore obeys him, and therefore grows like him. It is the root of holiness, the spring of righteousness, the life of the just.

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the most widely popular of English preachers in the nineteenth century was without question, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England, June 19th, 1834. Both his father and grandfather being pastors, young Spurgeon was raised in the knowledge and understanding of the Christian gospel; but it was not until a stormy January night in 1850 that he was converted. In August of the same year, Spurgeon preached his first sermon to a small gathering of farmers.
   A year later he was called to pastor a village church; and in 1854 in his nineteenth year was installed as shepherd over the flock of the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, London, later to become the Metropolitan Tabernacle. In January, 1855, Spurgeon published his first sermon, a practice which would not cease until 1916, twenty-four years after his death. During his pastorate at London, Spurgeon ministered to a congregation of almost 6,000 people each Sunday, published his sermons weekly, wrote a monthly magazine, and founded a college for pastors, two orphanages, an old-folks home, a colportage society, and several mission stations.
   His body wracked by pain in the later years, and his ministry attacked by his opponents, Spurgeon continued to preach the gospel until his death in January, 1892.
   What was the secret to Spurgeon's success? He was a man gifted with a powerful voice, a mastery of plain language and illustration, and a great intellect. Power, fervor of conception, and passionateness of appeal individualized his sermons, as they were saturated with Christian earnestness. But the most important ingredient to Spurgeon's success was his deep yet very simple trust in and understanding of his LORD and Saviour and of His great grace and love. Out of this came a great longing to have others come to know, to love and to worship the LORD Jesus as he did.