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December 12, 2019 12:00 am
Spurgeon was a pastor and theologian whose body of work is still serving the church long after his death his books and sermons are rich in truth he was asked what you call yourself, and he said that he preferred to think of himself as a bear Christian.
I am never ashamed to about myself Calvinist.
I do not hesitate to take the day Baptist, but if I am asked what my creative as I reply it is simply Jesus wisdom for the horns are Bible teacher Stephen Devi is working through a series called legacies of light.
It's a series of biographies and today we come to the biography of Charles Spurgeon at a time when other preachers were turning to cultural and scientific experts for direction. Spurgeon held fast to the source of truth Jesus Christ himself. Stay with us, as Stephen explores the life of Charles Spurgeon and gives us some practical applications that we can adopt from Spurgeon's example born into a legacy of the pastors Charles Spurgeon entered the world on June 19, 1834. He many of you would know would become the most profoundly influential, internationally known pastor for the next nearly 200 years because of the economic difficulties. I think his mother had 17 children. Charles was sent for a time to live with his grandparents when he was two years of a return back to his parents home. He was six years old and ready to begin formal schooling, but the his grandparents had already taught him how to read it been taught to read the Bible.
Even though Spurgeon had such a bold godly heritage. He resisted the work of God's spirit. Becky wrote this I caught him I must confess that I never would have been saved if I could've helped as long as I could.
I rebelled and bolted and struggled against God when he would have me pray I would not pray when I heard him and and the tear would roll down my cheek. I would wipe it away and defy him to melt my soul. He writes, but long before I began with Christ. He had begun with me.
Spurgeon once said that at the age of 16.
The Holy Spirit had been plowing his soul with 10 horses referring to the 10 Commandments and then cross plowing with the gospel.
Well, there are many accounts of this event that I read several of them and them summarizing for you, but one Sunday morning. The snow was falling so hard that Charles couldn't make it to his own church and so we wandered into a primitive Methodist chapel much different than the doctoral creed that he followed the Congregationalist. He arrived a bit late and when he arrived he discovered that the pastor wasn't even there and they had a guest speaker well at any rate, nobody knew where the pastor was actually probably stuck in the snow drift and so after some rather awkward delays. Another man volunteered to break he was a lay preacher, but he was uneducated and to this day. By the way, still unknown. Spurgeon later recounted the event a detail and and let me read from his journal. He writes this man could barely read yet he preached on the text look into me and be saved. After about 10 minutes were to write. He had quite exhausted. All he had to say. But then he noticed young Spurgeon sitting in the back of the chapel under the balcony, noticing his downcast expression. He suddenly cried out, looking back at Spurgeon young man you look miserable and you will always be miserable miserable in life and miserable and death. You don't obey this text. If you obey now, this moment you will be saved. A young man look to Jesus Christ. What look like it was the end of the sermon.
God's invitation from his word delivered in that simple message was enough and Spurgeon that evening look to Christ say is likely to change forever.
By the way, the passage that that man read a great passage in Isaiah chapter 45 and it really will come to summarize the theme of Spurgeon's life in Isaiah chapter 45 the prophet is quoting God, and it's a wonderful invitation in verse 22.
He is quoting God, who says turned to me and be saved. All the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is no other. I have sworn by myself, the word has gone forth from my mouth in righteousness, and will not be reversed.
That to me every need will bow and every tongue will swear allegiance sound familiar. Paul picks up on that. Philippians chapter 2, they will say of me only in the Lord our righteousness and strength. Men will come to him and all who were angry at him will be put to shame. And the Lord all the offspring of Israel be justified and will glory now. The King James translation the invitation of verse 22 is look to me and be saved. That would be the verse. The change Spurgeon's heart and life. In fact, Spurgeon would really go on throughout his ministry and life. Everybody in his world to Jesus Christ. Within a year Charles was invited to preach he was 17 years of age and a handful of villagers meeting in a barn asked him to preach for them on the Lord's day, so we agreed and then they invited him back and he continued to preach in that makeshift bar to a handful of people, but within two years. The group of villagers had grown to just over 400 without any formal education, but he did have a photographic mind that makes up for everything that it and he was a voracious reader. He'd read about six books a week is library would include more than 12,000 volumes and he loved the study and he loved to preach at the age of 19 folks in London and heard about those villagers in the barn and the passion of this young man and so they invited to preach at this well known but dying Church Called New Park St., Chapel auditorium that sat right around 1200 people a long history of pastors like Dr. Gill, who had been published in several volumes. Brilliant men biblically oriented. The church had overtime been enveloped by the developing City of London and had become what we would call today and inner-city church Spurgeon. It's interesting actually thought there invitation to him was a mistake and so we didn't act upon.
They invited him again and when he realized they were serious. He declined. Why would why would a city church one in uneducated country boy to be their pastor, but this once vibrant church have heard about this uneducated boy spoke with passion, then color and truth and they persisted. So he finally accepted an invitation to come and preach. When he arrived to preach he spoke that Sunday less than 200 people were there history records that his clothing didn't fit him. His hair did lay down obediently in a Catholic and he simply didn't fit the London city scene at his father had already told him he was making a mistake in going. Maybe he was right, a teenage girl in the congregation that Sunday happen to recall how Spurgeon's appearance was odd and distracting if not comical.
She actually wrote in her diary and I quote about his long badly trimmed hair oversized black satin coat and his mismatched blue handkerchief with large white spots which he graphically described as an illustration in a sermon calling all the more attention to it.
She writes he awakened in me feelings of amusement. He awakened more than that because within two years she married him they got his handkerchief for the rest of his life. Susanna was her name. By the time he turned 20, was married and he and Susanna began her ministry and he accepted the call to become the pastor of this church and it is remarkable to read that the unique blessing of God's hands. Upon his ministry because as soon as he became their pastor.
The church began literally to explode with growth effect within one year. The congregation had outgrown their auditorium and the people decided to build a new and so that church building was under construction. The congregation rented a public hall to meet in, which was in that day and age.
Scandalous because the church should never use of public building to meet in it was unheard of. Spurgeon didn't carry been preaching in a barn for three years. This is probably an improvement right. A year later they moved into that new church building, which was immediately filled to capacity. They had to leave it again and rent space while they built another new church building.
By now the name of Charles Spurgeon was a household name. Some called him a glory hound others called him the boy actor no matter just about everybody wanted to hear, preach, and everybody from the Queen down would once he was asked what you call yourself, and he said that he preferred to think of himself as a mayor Christian probably picked up later by CS Lewis. He went on. I quote him. I am never ashamed to eval myself a Calvinist.
I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist, but if I am asked what my creed is I reply, employee, Jesus Christ's begin approval of the by March 1861 they moved into their newly built Metropolitan Tabernacle in London still in ministry still Orthodox, still big pastor that I had the privilege of visiting there. It in his day, although it's it's smaller now, but in his day exceeded 5600 people by the end of his ministry he would see 14,500 people baptized in his church would have a standing active membership of 5300 remarkable in these days. In the midst of all of this. Spurgeon suffered with his own physical issues he suffered with severe gout swelling in his joints, rheumatism and inflammation of the kidneys that brought him intense pain fact from the age of 35 until he died at the age of 57. He literally would spend one third of his time out of the pulpit recovering from his ailments.
Still, he worked 18 hours a day.
You produce more than 140 books back when his missionary friend by the name of David Livingston asked him on one occasion Charles how you managed to do to men's work in a single day. Spurgeon replied we forgot that there are two of us could answer, then he love the verse from Paul to the Colossians I labor, striving according to his power finally works within Colossians 129.
Early on he founded a school for pastors. He wanted men to get training.
He never received hundreds of men would graduate from the school in this enterprise.
He just had the straightforward approach to ministry education. He taught the students, as well as other faculty. He had hit a blunt sense of humor that became rather legendary brought a few illustrations along a for example, on one occasion the search committee wrote to Spurgeon asking Ora a minister from among his student body and they presented the job description and then told him the salary they would pay student. Spurgeon wrote back to them that the salary was so small and I quote from his letter, the only individual I know who could live on such a salary is your offering is the angel Gabriel. He would need cash or clothing. He could just come down from heaven on Sunday and go back up that same night, so I advise you to invite Gabriel to be your pastor. On another occasion the letter arrived from the pastoral search committee looking for student to Spurgeon asking if Spurgeon would send them a student who could come and fill their auditorium.
Spurgeon replied they didn't have any students that large that he added that he would send the student who would capably fill the pulpit. Spurgeon personally interviewed every prospective student he was looking for what he called the clear evidence of the call of God on their lives.
He didn't believe that college called them in the ministry. They must be called and then they came in for train which is exactly the right way to go about it. He would turn down the so many applicants that he earned the nickname person's layer simply felt concern for protecting the church you can imagine it back in his day there great concern was getting men to fill the pulpit were actually inverted the Christ. Like the time young man came to apply Frankfurt's Spurgeon right and I quote his face could have served as the title page 2 of volume on pride, he sent word to me that he must see me at once without any appointment's audacity gained an entrance and when he stood before me.
He said Sir I want to enter your college and I wish to enter it at once informed me that Esther was preaching he could produce the highest testimonials, but hardly thought they would be needed is a personal interview with me would convince me of his ability at once his surprises great when I said Sir I am obliged to tell you, I cannot accept your application why not well I'll tell you plainly. You are so dreadfully clever that I could not insult you by receiving renew our student body where we have nothing but rather ordinary student, you would have to condescend too much in joining us well.
Then he said you want to at least allow me to show my preaching abilities. Select any text you like to suggest any subject you please and here in this very room.
I will preach upon it.
Spurgeon responded all I cannot, for I feel myself unworthy of the privilege in the interview was over. You can imagine how Spurgeon was constantly being demanded upon he would start more than 60 different ministries under his supervision. Spurgeon was actually a a contextual preacher, that is, he would expound on one verse of the next Sunday. It might be an entirely different book at the different text, Old Testament, New Testament. His congregation never had the privilege of spending years and years and one book of the Bible is to say amen they're not laughing right sometimes on Saturday night. Or he could find the verse he just couldn't locate the tax and so we call out in desperation to Susanna, whom he affectionately called wife eat, which doesn't settle that affectionate does it but he was a wife come here, come help me in Susanna when commanded and said she would write out how with great joy she bring her Bible and was study and she would read to him several text that had marked her life.
Over the course of the last few days or weeks and then suddenly she said Spurgeon would seize on the text and say that it that's it. Leave the study and within a few hours he would have a sermon prepared the following Monday he would edit his notes.
By the way, the sermon transcript and it would be sent to newspapers in different parts of the world it would be read by millions of dove is interesting. On one particular Saturday night, Spurgeon was in bed and he was asleep but Susanna said he began to preach in his sleep, even though he was asleep he was plainly speaking and so Susanna got up, got a pen and paper and and begin to write down the notes and when Spurgeon awakened the next morning she handed him what he had unconsciously preached that night and he took one look at those notes immediately discard the sermon you prepare for that Sunday morning when it was pulpit with her noted preached that you, I told my wife not to write down what I say when I was building the you can well imagine that Spurgeon's ministry was often cloud diversity. He was a lightning rod. Once Spurgeon preached a message condemning infant sprinkling and it caused this incredible uproar throughout Great Britain just once or eventually American newspaper editors and near constant was running a sermon, they began editing his sermons to take out any of his comments against slavery because he condemned public wasn't interested in the majority opinion of the day. Some of the controversies were of his own making that two of the most famous pastors in Victorian England were Charles Spurgeon and Joseph Parker Spurgeon, of course, preached on a Sunday to close to 10,000 people in two Sunday services. Parkers congregation was second in size only to Spurgeon were both very influential and Orthodox early in their ministries. They fellowship together and often exchanged pulpit but unfortunately they had a disagreement. Spurgeon started. He accused Joseph Parker of being an unspiritual pastor because he often attended the theater were plays and operas form thought appropriate Parker fire back, criticizing the fact that Spurgeon was a poor example because he smokes cigars both in private and public both considered one another to be misled and misleading. These two great men of the faith, fellowship over that and their friendship would never be the same on another occasion an innocent conversation made it into the newspapers when Spurgeon's friend, the Moody came to visit and that Spurgeon had a preach for him. One Sunday. They evidently sparred a little later on. Probably just a good humor, but it was widely reported that Moody asked Spurgeon when was he going to give up these all cigars and Spurgeon pointed a finger in the movies. Considerable midsection and said when you get rid of this it I use these examples to remind us that even the greatest men of faith in Becker. Arguably, the divide over issues far less significant than the gospel.
If you read Spurgeon's works and I recommend you at least read his devotional entitled, morning and evening, you'll beat you be caught up above everything else. The simple fact that he loved the Lord he loved people he loved Christ he loved the church.
He loved shepherding in his writings have this uncanny ability even now nearly 200 years later to especially bring encouragement when your heart is discouraged. For example, Spurgeon once wrote, oh, dear friend. When my grief presses the to the dust worship there if that spot has come to be thy Gethsemane then present their thy strong crying tears into thy God. Remember David's words E people pour out your heart but don't stop there.
And if the quotation E people pour out your hearts before him turn the vessel upside down. It is a good thing to empty it. This grief may ferment to something more sour turn the vessel upside down and let every drop run out. Let it run out for the Lord. Spurgeon wrote of his own sufferings and I quote the good that I have received from my sorrows and pains in Greece is altogether incalculable affliction is the best piece of furniture in my house.
It is the best book in my library. His final years were filled with controversy over what came to be called downgrade Spurgeon charge the pastors in the Baptist Union of which he was a member of fellowship of pastors you belong to, with neglecting the gospel dumbing down the doctrine he he attacked the growing accommodation of Charles Darwin's book, which had been recently published, which he believed was a compromise that must be decried on God's literal miraculous six days of creation. Hundreds of pastors were incensed with his accusation that they were abandoning their post and he was eventually voted out of the union he would learn later that when they voted him out. Cheers that he'd been censored. All I can say is history has vindicated his warning as warnings he delivered are still freshly needed that Gladys's ministry was life. Spurgeon never got very far from that verse which arrested his attention. As a young teenager brought salvation to himself.
He had looked to Christ and let me close with words from one of his own sermon.
How marvelous that we mortals sinners worms should be the objects of divine love that we are in the accepted by Christ. Some Christians feel accepted by their own experience. That is when their spirit is lively and her hopes bright. They think God accepts them and they feel so happy, so heavenly minded so drawn above the earth. But when their souls collapse in the dust. They are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted Joyce that believer in this you are even then accepted in the beloved rescinds problem but God is cast your sins behind his back and you are accepted in the righteous one you you have to fight with corruption and to wrestle with temptation, but you are already accepted in him who has overcome the powers of evil, the devil tempts you, but be of good cheer.
He cannot destroy you, for you are already accepted you look within, and you say there is nothing acceptable here in me. Christ said and you will see that everything acceptable is to crimes alone.
Look to Christ. This is wisdom for the heart. The teaching ministry of pastor Stephen Davey. You can learn more about Steven and about our ministry by visiting wisdom online.org. That site is filled with resources designed to help you understand and live out God's word.
I encourage you to call us today to learn about Steven's latest book called legacies of light. It's based on this series and is in stock today. Call us at 86 648 Bible and we can help you. Tomorrow we look at the life of George Mueller. So join us for that Huron wisdom for the harness