Charles Spurgeon – 1834-1892
He was the pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London for thirty years, the most famous pastor of his day – and a Reformed Baptist. His preaching was powerful to the winning of souls to Christ. What was the gospel that he preached that brought thousands to Christ? What was his life-long confession? Read what Spurgeon describes as his salvation at the age of 16.
When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul – when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, “How did you come to be a Christian?” I sought the Lord. “But how did you come to seek the Lord?” The truth flashed across my mind in a moment – I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then asked myself, “How came I to pray?” I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. “How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so?” Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession,
I ascribe my change wholly to God . . . I know nothing, nothing again that is more humbling than this doctrine of election. I have sometimes fallen prostrate before it when endeavoring to understand it. But, when I came near it, and the one thought possessed me – ‘God hath from the beginning chosen you unto salvation’ – I was staggered with the mighty thought; and from the dizzy elevation down came my soul, prostrate and broken, saying, ‘Lord, I am nothing, I am less than nothing. Why me? Why me?
Yes, Spurgeon is awesome! I fully believe in the doctrine of election and am familiar with scriptures that support it. It is interesting to me that this doctrine can be accepted, but then that leads to the discussion that some are not chosen. Some are not His. Some have been predestined for eternal separation from Him because of His choosing. To me, that is more difficult to discuss.
Yes – in theological discussions the term is called “Double Predestination” and comes from Rom. 9:19-24. God is involved as much as in preparing for destruction as he is in preparing for glory. He can do and both remain just and merciful as the text says because the whole lump of clay should be damned. The only way to make sense of this is to keep the Doctrine of Sin in view, while looking at Election. If your doctrine of sin is weak, then election will seem arbitrary and cold-hearted. I love teaching a class on this from time to time.