Monday, June 16, 2008

The Gospel to every creature

Golden Sunrise

I want to say to every sinner, “You are in a state in which there is nothing morally that can qualify you for being saved, but Jesus Christ meets you where you now are.”

Remember first, that when the gospel was first sent into the world, those to whom it was sent, were manifestly without any moral qualification. Did you ever read the first chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans? It is one of those awful passages in Scripture, not intended to be read in congregations; but to be read and studied in the secrecy of one’s chamber. The apostle gives a portrait of the manners and customs of the heathen world, so awful, that unless our missionaries had informed us, that it is exactly the photograph of life in Hindustan at the present moment, infidels might have declared that Paul had exaggerated.

Heathendom in the time of Paul, was so desperately wicked that it would be utterly impossible to conceive of a sin, into which men had not fallen; and yet, “We turn unto the Gentiles,” said the apostle; and yet the Lord himself commanded, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” What! To Sodomites, whose very smallest sin is adultery, and fornication; to thieves and murderers, to murderers of fathers and mothers? Yes, go and preach the gospel to them! Manifestly, the fact that the world was steeped up to its very throat in the filth of abominable wickedness, and yet the gospel was sent to it, proves that Christ does not seek for any qualification of morality, or righteousness in man, before the gospel is available to him. He sends the Word to the drunkard, to the swearer, the harlot, the vilest of the vile; for such is the gospel of Christ intended to save.

From a sermon entitled "Good News For You," delivered October 5, 1862. Flickr photo by Ron Almog; some rights reserved.

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