Before we get to the below sermon excerpt from Charles Spurgeon here at Apprising Ministries we wish to extend our gratitude for you keeping us in your prayers. I did see the neurologist yesterday. The tests are definitely not pleasant ones to go through.
Long story short, the doctor found that I don’t have MS. As far as ALS, it is a disease that mimics many of the symptoms of CMT.1 It’s now quite clear that I do have CMT, which I pretty much knew. However, it was good that he taught me more about it.
I actually learned that CMT can even affect more than lower legs. Leaving this aside, the doctor then told me that he could not see any real reason to believe that I have developed ALS; but because of my CMT, he really cannot be more definite than that.
So, that’s a bit of good news; as is the fact that, at this time, CMT doesn’t seem to be affecting more than my lower legs. I also want you to know that the desire to do this vital work at AM during this growing apostasy in Christendom is still there.
As always, we covet your prayers; for the prayer of faithful saints is a most powerful weapon that God has given His Church, and we’ve little doubt that enemy forces would love to blow up Apprising Ministries. May we fight on together and not let that happen:
You must not expect, because you are a Christian, that unbelievers will begin to admire you and say, “What a mystery! This man has a new life in him! What an admirable thing, what a desirable possession! We wish we partook of the same.” Nothing of the kind. They do not know that you have such a life at all. They can see your outward actions, but your inward life is quite out of reach of their observation.
Christ is in Heaven today. He is full of joy. But the world does not know His joy. No worldly heart is boasting and rejoicing because Christ is glad in Heaven. Christ today is pleading before the Father’s Throne, but the world does not see Christ’s engagements. Christ’s occupations are all hidden from carnal eyes. Christ at this present moment reigns and has power in Heaven and earth and Hell—but what does the worldly man see of it? Jesus has fellowship with all His saints everywhere—but what does the ungodly discern? I might stand and preach until midnight concerning my Lord, but all that men who are unconverted would gain would be to hear what I have to tell and then to say, “Perhaps it is true.” But they could not possibly discern it—the thing is beyond the cognizance of sense.
So is our spiritual life. Beloved, you may reign over sin, but the sinner does not comprehend your being a king. You may officiate as a priest before God, but the ungodly man does not perceive your priesthood and your worship. Do not expect him to do so! Your labor is lost if you try by any way to introduce him to these mysteries except by the same door through which you came yourself. I never try to teach a horse astronomy—and to teach an unconverted man spiritual experience would be a folly of the same sort. The man who knows nothing of our inner life takes up “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and he says, “Yes, it is a very wonderful allegory.”
It is, Sir, but unrenewed minds know nothing about it. When we have sometimes read explanations of the Pilgrim’s Progress, we could not but detect that the writer of the explanation had need to have had it explained to himself. He could describe the shell, but the kernel of the nut was far beyond his reach! He had not learned to crack the shell and to feed upon the meat. Now it must be so, it must be so, if Christ is our life. Christ has gone away and cannot be seen. It must be so that the greater proportion of the spiritual life must be forever a secret to all but spiritual men.
But there is a part which men do see and that I may liken to Christ when He was on earth—Christ seen of men and angels. What did the world do with Christ as soon as they saw Him? Set Him in the chair of State and fall down and worship His absolute perfection? No, not they— “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”2 Outside of the camp was His place! Cross-bearing was for Him His occupation, not of one day, but of every day. Did the world yield Him solace and rest?
Foxes, you have your holes! Birds of the air, you have your nests! But the Son of Man had no where to lay His head!3 Earth could afford Him no bed, no house, no shelter! At last it cast Him out for death and crucified Him and then would have denied Him a tomb if one of His disciples had not begged His body! Such you must expect to be the lot of the part of your spiritual life which men can see. As soon as they see it to be spiritual life, they will treat it as they treated the Savior.
They will despise it. “Sure!” they say, “pretty fancies, fine airs, nice ideas.” You expect them to give you comfort, do you? Worldlings to give you comfort? Do you think that Christ will have anywhere to lay His head in this world today any more than He had 1800 years ago? You go about to find what God gives the foxes and the birds—but what He never meant to give to you in this world—a place to lay your head. Your place to lay your head is up yonder on your Savior’s bosom, but not here. You dream that men will admire you, that the more holy you are and the more Christ-like you are, the more peaceable people will be towards you. My dear Friends, you do not know what you are thinking!
“It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house, Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of His household?”4 I believe if we were more like Christ we should be much more loved by His friends and much more hated by His enemies. I do not believe the world would be half so lenient to the Church, today, if it were not that the Church has grown complacent to the world.
When any of us speak up boldly, mercenary motives are imputed to us! Our language is turned upside down and we are abhorred of men. We get smooth things, Brethren, because I am afraid we are too much like the false prophets who prophesied peace, peace, where there was no peace.5 Let us be true to our Master! Stand out and come out and be like He, and we must expect the same treatment which He had. And if we receive it we can only say, “This is what I expected.”—
” ‘ Tis, no surprising thing
That we should be unknown.
The Jewish world knew not their king,
God’s everlasting Son.” (source)
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