Tuesday, November 15, 2011


(Because of the wretched state of Red Deer’s pulpit space, it is now, as predicted by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3, the time to ‘pluck up that which is planted…a time to break down…a time to weep…a time to cast away stones’ and even ‘a time to refrain from embracing.’ And it is certainly more ‘a time to speak’ than ‘a time to keep silence.’ Be that as it may, the wrecking ball of negative criticism should be followed by the laying down of truth. To this end, we introduce the sermon sketch as an intermittent blog feature. As the term ‘sketch’ implies, this kind of post, in distinction from the usually lengthy analysis, will be pithy. The source for each sketch will be indicated at the bottom of each post.)


“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God” (Isaiah 45.22.)

Introduction. Six years ago today I was saved from misery and sin as the minister read this text, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” How marvelous it is to now address these words for the good of some other poor sinner! There was a time when mighty God dwelled in solemn silence alone. How outrageous that his creatures would for a moment compare themselves with him! Yet Satan tried to take his throne! Then man imitated Satan. Since then God has been teaching the world this great lesson from our text.

(1) God has been Teaching this Lesson to Mankind. He has been teaching it to false gods. Where are the gods of Persia? Where is Persia’s fire-worshipper? Where are the gods of Greece, like Jupiter and Saturn? Who bows before them now? Where are the gods of Rome? Of China and Polynesia? Buddha, Brahman, and Vishnu shall yet be tramped in the mire. So much for idols. God has been teaching this lesson that there is no God but him, to Empires. Go and see the ruins of Babylon. Go seat yourselves in the temples of Greece. Walk through the deserted theatres of Rome. Hear the voice in the wild wind, “I am God, and there is none else.” God has taught this great truth to monarchs. Take Nebuchadnezzar, who was so proud of his Babylon. He was driven into the field to eat grass like an ox. Remember Herod, who imagined he was divine. The worms ate him up that same day. Modern history is full of examples of kings humbled by God. Wise men of this world have learned our lesson too. The wisdom of Socrates, the writings of Aristotle and Bacon, are all but forgotten now. Philosophies and systems quickly pass away to be replaced by others. God’s Bible is the rock that shall crush all of them into powder. Even the Church of God forgets our lesson: that God has no equal or rival. How did Israel forget when she worshiped strange gods! And Christians in prosperity and pride have been taught the hard lesson by various trials. Great preachers too have had to learn it.

(2) The Special Way God Teaches this Lesson. He teaches us that he alone is God by directing us to look unto him alone for salvation. “Look unto me,” he says, not at the priest, not at yourself. Don’t even look at your repentance and faith. Look to Jesus, or you’ll be damned. Sin qualifies you to come to Jesus, not your righteousness. The sick have need of a physician. And so the preacher says, “Look unto Christ, and ye shall be saved.” See the thorny crown cause drops of blood to trickle down his cheeks. If you want mercy, look at all his wounds. Observe next, that it is “look unto me.” That is the simple way to be saved: Look—four letters, and two of them alike! Man wants a complicated way, with candles and ceremonies, etc. To take down your pride God orders you to do a simple thing, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” A look takes less than a moment. Salvation is as fast. It is not seeing Christ so much as looking for him. Jesus in the dark is as good as Jesus in the light. The will for Christ, the wish for him, that is what is wanted. This method of salvation is the same for everyone, for the gentleman, the prostitute, the Gentile, and the Jew. It is for anyone. This is why the text says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Are you a filthy sinner? So filthy that you dare not look? But God will condemn you unless you look. If you fear, look anyway, and your sin will be removed.

Selection from Conclusion. “In all thine agony, poor soul, in all thy repentance for thy guilt, look unto Christ, and find pardon…Now believe on him; now cast thy guilty soul upon his righteousness; now plunge thy black soul into the bath of his blood…Now ‘Look!’”

{This sermon by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) is sketched by M. H. Gaboury.}

1 comment:

Linda Mew said...

In our time and day we need like never before to fall upon God for his mercy and kindness. We will be broken into pieces through this act, the Bible says, but if we neglect to 'look' for God, the Bible says that we can expect one day that we will be 'crushed', by God himself.

We don't know everything that is coming upon the earth, but we do know that in our current time in 2011 scientists, politicians, kingdoms in upheaval, rebellion and unrest, and peoples in discontent all over the world, are pointing to difficult and even disasterous days ahead for those living on the earth.

the Bible exhorts us to understand the times that we are living in. Currently, the earth is in crisis. People are in crisis. Many animal species are in crisis. The environment is in crisis. The heavens are in crisis.

The souls of men are in crisis.