Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Best Wine is STILL to Come!!

I'm having a pretty rough time at the moment still believing in the church. I had a few rough emails today that I won't go into right now. But once again I found myself wondering why it seems to me that the world accept and welcome and appreciate and value - but the church seems to disprove, doubt and discourage whereever possible. So how do we react to a feeling like that? I suppose I could wallow in my frustration and disappointment but how would that value the waiting nations who need to hear the gospel?

My take tonight is to remind myself of the glorious church - to re-state the vision! It's something I've done now and again on this blog. And I am so, so grateful to God for heroes of the faith who state it far better than I and who see it far clearer than I. Tonight - C H Spurgeon is my companion, my encouragement, my guide.

1. Preaching a sermon called; "The Feast of the Lord" at New Park Street on November 28th 1858, Spurgeon said;

"There is better wine to come. We are in our privileges superior to patriarchs, and kings, and prophets. God has given us a brighter and a clearer day than they had; theirs was but the twilight of the morning, compared with the noon-day which we enjoy. But think not that we are come to the best wine yet. There are more noble banquets for God's church; and who knoweth how long, ere the best of the precious wine shall be broached? Know ye not that the King of Heaven is coming again upon this earth?".

"Again, he will not give us the best wine first, because that is not his good pleasure ... Again; your Father doth not give you the good wine now, because he is giving you an appetite for it ... Again, the Lord hath this also in view. He is making you fit for the best wine, that he may be glorified by the trial of your faith".

I love Spurgeon's closing remark;

"I have never seen heaven anywhere but close to Calvary. When I have seen my Saviour crucified, then I have seen him glorified; when I have read my name written in his blood, then I have seen afterwards my mansion which he has prepared for me. When I have seen my sins washed away, then I have seen the white robe that I am to wear for ever. Live near to the Saviour, man, and you shall not be very far off heaven. Recollect, after all, it is not far to heaven. It is only one gentle sigh, and we are there. We talk of it as a land very far off, but close it is, and who knows but that the spirits of the just are here to-night? Heaven is close to us; we cannot tell where it is, but this we know, that it is not a far off land. It is so near, that, swifter than thought, we shall be there, emancipated from our care and woe, and blessed for ever".

2. An aspect of the glorious church is vitally and essentially a MILITANT church - preaching a sermon called; "The Vanguard and Rereward of the Church" on December 28th 1858, Spurgeon said;

"Yet nevertheless, the church on earth has, and until the second advent must be, the church militant, the church armed, the church warring, the church conquering".

The reason for our triumphant confidence? Spurgeon says;

"Christ has gone before us, he has done something in that going before, for he has conquered every foe that lies in his way. Cheer up now thou faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ travelled the road, but he has slain thine enemies. Dost thou dread sin? he has nailed it to his cross. Dost thou dread death? he has been the death of Death. Art thou afraid of hell? he has barred it against the advent of any of his children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition. Whatever foes may be before the Christian, they are all overcome".

How can we NOT be confident?! Christ has gone before us! The sin that some religious Pharisees may seek to accuse us of has already been gloriously nailed to the Cross!

3. Spurgeon continues the militant glorious theme in his sermon; "Storming the Battlements" preached on September 16th 1855;

But he brings a note of warning first;

"God's church is very fond of building walls which her God has not sanctioned. She is not content to trust in the arm of God, but she will add thereto some extraneous help which God utterly abhors. "Beautiful for situation—the joy of the whole earth—is Mount Zion, upon the sides of the north, the city of the great king. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, even so is God round about his people, from henceforth, for evermore." But his people are not content with God's being round about them, they seek some other protection".

That leaves me feeling encouraged and driven. This is something worth fighting for. The demonic counterfeit - that which pretends to be "grace" but is in fact legalism designed to control and manipulate is worth resisting and is worth fighting. Because the reality is glorious! The reality is wonderful! The reality will sweep the nations and will see thousands come to faith and trust in the Wonderful Saviour who gave His life in love to see many sons come to glory!

No comments: