Friday, June 4, 2010

The Word never void

The gospel is all life and energy, like leaven it heaves and ferments with inward energy, it cannot rest till it leavens all around it. It may be compared to salt which must permeate, penetrate, and season that which is subject to its influence. Paul compares the preaching of Christ to a sweetsmelling savor. Now, you cannot say to a perfume, “Be quiet; do not load the air with sweets; do not affect men’s nostrils.” It cannot do otherwise, the fragrance must fill the chamber. Even so, Christ must be a savor, either of life unto life, or of death unto death; but a savor he must be wherever he comes. It is do more possible for you to restrain the working of the gospel than to forbid the action of fire.

Stand before the fire, it shall warm and comfort you; thrust your hand into it, it shall burn you. Keep that fire in its proper place, it shall yield you abundant service; cast forth the firebrand, it shall consume your house, it shall devour all that comes in contact with it. You cannot say to fire, “Restrain your consuming energy.” It must work because it is fire. And so with yonder sun. Though clouds may hide it from our sight at this moment, yet for ever does it pour forth, as from a furnace mouth, its heat and light. Nor could it cease to burn and shine, unless it ceased to be a sun. As long as it is a sun, it must permeate surrounding space, with its influence and splendor. Do you wonder that the Sun of Righteousness is of yet diviner energy? Do you marvel that whether the blaze of his glory blinds his enemies, or his warmth of love dries the tears of his friends, in every case there is a distinct result, and a manifest effect? Never does the gospel return void, it prospers even in that for which the Lord hath sent it.

From a sermon entitled "Christ - The Fall And Rise Of Many," delivered December 26, 1869. Image by sophie under Creative Commons License.

1 comment:

Peter said...

It is no more possible for you to restrain the working of the gospel than to forbid the action of fire.
The gospel goes out in all over the world despite much persecution in some countries. Praise be to God!