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Young Charles Spurgeon had no shortage of comforting words (See sermons 5, 6, 13, 31, and 53), and while he took no pleasure in pointing out faults in the church, he considered it a loving act to show people where they were at odds with their God.
This sermon (A Solemn Warning for all Churches) was preached on February 24th, 1856, and is still relevant for churches of the 21st century.
“You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy.”—Revelation 3:4.
1. General defilement – 2:48
2. Special preservation – 24:38
3. A peculiar reward – 31:43
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But what do men say of us? “Oh! you are too excited.” Good God! excited! when men are being damned; Excited! When we have the mission of heaven to preach to dying souls. Excited! preaching too much! when souls are lost. Why should it come to pass that one man should be perpetually labouring all the week, while others are lolling upon their couches, and preach only upon the Sabbath-day? Can I bear to see the laziness, the slothfulness, the indifference of ministers, and of churches, without speaking. No! there must be a protest entered, and we enter it now.
If we would be certain that we are the people of God, we must take care that we have no blots on our dress, for each one of those spatterings of the mire of this earth will cry out, and say “Perhaps you are not a child of God.” Nothing is such a father of doubts as sin; sin is the very mother of our distress. He who is covered with sin must not expect to enjoy full assurance, but he who liveth close to his God, and keeps his garments unspotted from the world—he shall walk in white, knowing that his adoption is sure.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon