Friday, December 19, 2008

"Guarding the gospel"?


I have sometimes been rather amused than startled by the claims of some to "defend God" or "guard the gospel," as alleged by some who call themselves "apologists."

I was reminded of these theological balderdashers by a sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, The Dying Thief in a New Light. He said:

Many good people think that they ought to guard the Gospel, but it is never so safe as when it stands out in its own naked majesty! It needs no covering from us. When we protect it with provisos, guard it with exceptions and qualify it with observations, it is like David in Saul’s armor—it is hampered and hindered and you may even hear it cry, “I cannot go with these.”

Let the Gospel alone and it will save! Qualify it and the salt has lost its savor. I will venture to put it thus to you. I have heard it said that few are ever converted in old age and this is thought to be a statement which will prove exceedingly awakening and impressive for the young. It certainly wears that appearance, but, on the other hand, it is a statement very discouraging to the old! I object to the frequent repetition of such statements, for I do not find their counterpart in the teaching of our Lord and His Apostles!

Assuredly our Lord spoke of some who entered the vineyard at the 11th hour of the day. And among His miracles, He not only saved those who were dying, but even raised the dead! Nothing can be concluded from the Words of the Lord Jesus against the salvation of men at any hour or age!

I tell you, that in the business of your acceptance with God, through faith in Christ Jesus, it does not matter what age you are! The same promise is to each of you, “Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” And whether you are in the earliest stage of life, or are within a few hours of eternity, if you fly for refuge, now, to the hope set before you in the Gospel, you shall be saved! The Gospel that I preach
excludes none on the ground either of age or character!

Whoever you may be, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved,” is the message we have to deliver to you! If we address to you the longer form of the Gospel, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved,” this is true of every living person, be his age whatever it may!

I am not afraid that this story of the dying and repenting thief who went straight from the cross to the crown, will be used by you wrongly, but if you are wicked enough to use it so, I cannot help it. It will only fulfill that solemn Scripture which says that the Gospel is a savor of death unto death to some, even that very Gospel which is a savor of life unto life to others!

Note: Read the rest of the sermon at --


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