C. H. Spurgeon
Sermon Notes From Charles Spurgeon
These Notes from Spurgeon, famed for his expository preaching in England at Park St.
and Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, are well worth studying, adapting, and making
your own, for any sound preacher of the Gospel. He is deservedly known
to this day as "the Prince of Preachers," and is arguably the greatest
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13. Man's Extremity, God's Opportunity.

For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up or left. Deut. 32:36

To ungodly men the time of their fall is fatal; there is no rising again for them. They mount higher and higher upon the ladder of riches; but at last they can climb no higher, their feet slide, and all is over. This calamity hasteneth on. "To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste" (verse 35).

But it is not so with three characters of whom we will now speak: they are judged in this world that they may not be condemned hereafter (1 Cor. 11:32). Of each of them it may be said, "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down" (Ps. 37:24).

I. THE LORD'S OWN CHURCH.

1. A church may be sorely tried, "power gone, none left."

By persecution the faithful may be cut off (Ps. 107:39).

By removals, death, poverty, a church may be depleted to a painful extent (Isa. 1:8-9).

Through the lack of a faithful ministry, there may be no increase; and those who remain may grow feeble and dispirited.

By general falling off of hearers, members, etc., a church may besorely distressed. Various circumstances may scatter a people, such as internal dissension, pestilent heresy, and lack of spiritual life. Where there is no spiritual food hungry souls find no home (Job 15:23).

2. But it may then cry to God.

If indeed his people, the covenant stands, and he will judge them.

If still his servants, the bond holds on his side, and he will repent himself for them.

His eye is ever upon them, and their eye should be up to him.

3. He will return and revive his own church. He who killed will make alive (verse 39). He pities his children when he sees them broken down under their sorrows.

4. Meanwhile the trial is permitted:

To find out his servants and drive out hypocrites (Isa. 33:14).

To test the faith of sincere saints, and to strengthen it.

To manifest his own grace by supporting them under the trying times, and by visiting them with future blessing.

To secure to himself the glory when the happier days are granted.

II. THE TRIED BELIEVER.

1. His power may be gone. Personally he becomes helpless. Bodily health fails, prudence is baffled, skill is taken away, courage sinks, even spiritual force departs (Lam. 3:17-18).

2. His earthly help may fail. "There is none shut up or left)' A man without a friend moves the compassion of God.

3. He may be assailed by doubts and fears, and hardly know what to do with himself (Job 3:23-26). In all this there may be chastisement for sin. It is so described in the context.

4. His hope lies in the compassion of God: he has no pleasure in putting his people to grief. "He will turn again, he will have compassion" (Mic. 7:19). Such sharp trials may be sent because:

Nothing less would cure the evil hidden within (Isa. 27:9).

Nothing less might suffice to bring the whole heart to God alone.

Nothing less might affect the believer's future life (Isa. 38:16).

Nothing less might complete his experience, enlarge his acquaintance with the Word, and perfect his testimony for God.

III. THE CONVINCED SINNER.

He is cleaned out of all that wherein he prided himself.

1. His self-righteousness is gone. He has no boasting of the past, or self-trust for the future (Job 9:30-31).

2. His ability to perform acceptable works is gone. "Their power is gone." "Dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1 ).

3. His secret hopes which were shut up are now all dead and buried.

4. His proud romantic dreams are gone (Isa. 29:8).

5. His worldly delights, his bold defiance, his unbelief, his big talk, his carelessness, his vain confidence, are all gone.

6. Nothing is left but the pity of God (Ps. 103:13).

When the tide has ebbed out to the very uttermost, it turns.

The Prodigal had spent all before he returned.

Empty-handed sinners are welcome to the fullness of Christ.

Since the Lord repents of the sorrows of the desponding, they may well take heed and repent of their sins.

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