Saturday, November 3, 2018

My Victorian Year #41

This week I'll be sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew.

From Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25

Matthew 25:1-13

  • The whole chapter contains three great divisions. In the first, our Lord uses his own second coming as an argument for watchfulness and heart-religion. In the second, He uses His own second coming as an argument for diligence and faithfulness. In the third, He winds up all by a description of the great day of judgment, a passage which for majesty and beauty stands unequaled in the New Testament.
  • We see for one thing, that the second coming of Christ will find His Church a mixed body, containing evil as well as good.
  • After all our preachings and prayings--after all our visiting and teaching--after all our missionary exertions abroad, and means of grace at home, many will be found at last "dead in trespasses and sins!"
  • We see, for another thing, that Christ's second coming, whenever it may be, will take men by surprise.
  • We see, in the next place, that when the Lord comes again, many will find out the value of saving religion too late.
  • At present, we must all be aware, the vast majority of professing Christians care nothing at all about it. They have no sense of sin. They have no love towards Christ. Repentance, and faith, and grace, and holiness, are mere words and names to them. They are subjects which they either dislike, or about which they feel no concern. But all this state of things shall one day come to an end. Knowledge, conviction, the value of the soul, the need of a Savior, shall all burst on men's minds one day like a flash of lightning.
  • We see, lastly, in this parable, that when Christ returns, true Christians shall receive a rich reward for all they have suffered for their Master's sake.
  • Washed in the blood of atonement, clothed in Christ's righteousness, renewed by the Spirit, they shall meet their Lord with boldness, and sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb, to go out no more.
  • The believer may have much tribulation, but he has before him abounding consolations. Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. The day of Christ's return shall surely make amends for all.

Matthew 25:14-30

  • Vigilance is the key note of the first parable, diligence that of the second. The story of the virgins calls on the Church to WATCH, the story of the talents calls on the Church to WORK.
  • We learn, in the first place, from this parable, that all professing Christians have received something from God. We are all God's "servants." We have all "talents" entrusted to our charge.
  • We learn in the second place, that many make a bad use of the privileges and mercies they receive from God.
  • To hide our talent is to neglect opportunities of glorifying God, when we have them.
  • We learn in the third place, that all professing Christians must one day have a reckoning with God.
  • There is a judgment before us all. Words have no meaning in the Bible, if there is none. It is mere trifling with Scripture to deny it. There is a judgment before us according to our works--certain, strict, and unavoidable. High or low, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, we shall all have to stand at the bar of God and to receive our eternal sentence. 
  • We learn, in the fourth place, that true Christians will receive an abundant reward in the great day of reckoning.
  • We learn in the last place, that all unfruitful members of Christ's Church will be condemned and cast away in the day of judgment.
  • The ruin of the lost soul will be found to be his own fault. Those words of our Lord, "you knew," are words that ought to ring loudly in many a man's ears, and pierce him to the heart.
  • Let us leave this parable with a solemn determination, by God's grace, never to be content with a profession of Christianity without practice.

Matthew 25:31-46

  • Let us mark in the first place, who will be the JUDGE in the last day. We read that it will be "the Son of Man," Jesus Christ Himself.
  • Let us mark, in the second place, who will be JUDGED in the last day. We read that before Christ "shall be gathered all nations."
  • Let us mark, in the third place, in what manner the JUDGMENT will be conducted in the last day. We read of several striking particulars on this point. Let us see what they are.
  • The last judgment will be a judgment that will bring joy to all true believers.
  • The last judgment will be a judgment that will bring confusion on all unconverted people.
  • Let us mark, in the last place, what will be the FINAL RESULTS of the judgment day.
  • Who shall describe THE BLESSEDNESS OF ETERNAL LIFE? It passes the power of man to conceive.
  • It can only be measured by contrast and comparison. An eternal rest, after warfare and conflict--the eternal company of saints, after buffeting with an evil world--an eternally glorious and painless body, after struggling with weakness and infirmity--an eternal sight of Jesus face to face, after only hearing and believing--all this is blessedness indeed. And yet the half of it remains untold.
  • Who shall describe THE MISERY OF ETERNAL PUNISHMENT? It is something utterly indescribable and inconceivable.
  • Let us ask ourselves on which side of Christ we are likely to be at the last day. Shall we be on the right hand, or shall we be on the left? Happy is he who never rests until he can give a satisfactory answer to this question.

From Morning and Evening

  • “I have chosen you out of the world.” John 15:19 Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard—for some are made the special objects of divine affection.
  • Do not be afraid to dwell upon this Scriptural doctrine of election. When your mind is most heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a bottle of the richest cordial.
  • Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more and more—the eternal, everlasting, sovereign love of God.
  • This prayer begins where all true prayer must commence, with the spirit of adoption, “Our Father.” There is no acceptable prayer until we can say, “I will arise, and go unto my Father.”
  • This child-like spirit soon perceives the grandeur of the Father “in heaven,” and ascends to devout adoration, “Hallowed be Your name.”
  • The child lisping, “Abba, Father,” grows into the cherub crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”
  • There is but a step from rapturous worship—to the glowing missionary spirit, which is a sure outgrowth of filial love and reverent adoration, “may Your kingdom come, may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
  • We rejoice that our King reigns in providence and shall reign in grace, even unto the ends of the earth, and of His dominion there shall be no end.
  • Praise should always follow answered prayer; as the mist of earth’s gratitude rises when the sun of heaven’s love warms the ground.
  • Do not deny a song—to Him who has answered your prayer and given you the desire of your heart.
  • To forget to praise God—is to refuse to benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of the spiritual life.
  • It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthful and invigorating exercise which quickens the pulse of the believer, and nerves him for fresh enterprises in his Master’s service.
  • Weak hearts will be strengthened, and drooping saints will be revived as they listen to our “songs of deliverance.”
  • Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels do not pray—but they cease not to praise both day and night;
  • A backslider, if there is a spark of spiritual life left in him—will groan after restoration. In this renewal, the same exercise of grace is required—as at our conversion.
  • We needed repentance then; we certainly need it now. We needed faith that we might come to Christ at first; only the like faith can bring us to Jesus now.
  • We needed a word from the Most High, a word from the lip of the loving One, to end our fears then; we shall soon discover, when under a sense of present sin, that we need it now. No man can be renewed without as real and true a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s energy—just as he felt at first, because the work is as great, and flesh and blood are as much in the way now—as ever they were.
  • Let your personal weakness, O Christian, be an argument to make you pray earnestly to your God for help.
  • Yes, Lord, You did indeed know me in my fallen sinful state, and You did even then, choose me for Yourself.
  • When I was loathsome and self-abhorred, You received me as Your child, and You satisfied my craving needs.
  • Since then, my inward experience has often been a wilderness; but You have owned me still as Your beloved, and poured streams of Your love and grace into me to gladden me, and make me fruitful.
  • Yes, when my outward circumstances have been at the worst, and I have wandered in a land of drought, Your sweet presence has solaced me.
  • Most gracious Lord, I magnify You for all Your faithfulness to me in trying circumstances; and I deplore that I should at any time have forgotten You and been exalted in heart—when I have owed all to Your gentleness and love. Have mercy upon Your servant in this thing!
  • No rank, possession, or character, shall suffice to save a single soul who has not believed in the Lord Jesus. My soul, behold this wide-spread judgment and tremble at it.
  • All men are negligent of their souls until saving grace gives them reason, then they leave their madness and act like rational beings—but not until then.
  • Precious is the assurance that our God never changes! The wheel of providence revolves—but its axle is eternal love!
  • “Horror grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken Your law.” Psalm 119:53 My soul, do you feel this holy shuddering at the sins of others? If not, you lack inward holiness. 
  • It cannot but grieve gracious souls—to see what pains men take to go to hell. They know the evil of sin experimentally, and they are alarmed to see others flying like moths into its blaze!
  • Sin makes the righteous shudder, because it violates a holy law, which it is to every man’s highest interest to keep—it pulls down the pillars of the society.
  • Sin in others horrifies a believer, because it puts him in mind of the vileness of his own heart—when he sees a heinous sinner, he cries, “He fell today, and I may fall tomorrow!”
  • Sin is horrible to a believer, because it crucified his Savior! He sees in every iniquity—the nails and spear. How can a saved soul behold that cursed kill-Christ sin without abhorrence?
  • It is an awful thing to insult God to His face. The good God deserves better treatment, the great God claims it, the just God will have it—or repay His adversary to his face!
  • “You put all my tears into Your bottle,” implies that they are caught as they flow! The suppliant, who groans out his words, will be well understood by the Most High God. He may only look up with misty eye; but prayer is the falling of a tear!
  • Tears are the diamonds of heaven! Sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with the most sublime strains which reach the majesty on high!
  • Our God not only hears prayer—but also loves to hear it. “He does not forget the cry of the humble.”
  • Prayer is the Christian’s never-failing resort in any case, in every plight. When you cannot use your sword—you may take to the weapon of all-prayer.
  • Leviathan laughs at the javelin—but he trembles at prayer. Sword and spear need furbishing—but prayer never rusts;
  • When God does not answer His children according to the letter—He does so according to the spirit.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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