The Triumph Of Christianity

Below are quotes from a sermon on Psalm 22:27, delivered by Charles Spurgeon on April 21, 1872.

‘All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord:
and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before You.’
Psalm 22:27

SOME have thought that this Psalm was used as a soliloquy by our Lord when He was expiring upon the Cross. It may be so. Fitter words could scarcely have been conceived, even by our Lord Himself. We must not, however, strain a point to establish a conjecture, nor attempt to prove that which is not revealed to us. We have no sort of hesitation, however, in asserting that this Psalm describes both the outward sufferings and the inward emotions of our expiring Lord, and in that light it becomes a very wonderful Psalm indeed. Its clear prophetic description is an evidence of our Lord’s Messiahship, and indeed it is so full and plain that it is a key to His sufferings. Here the Prophet explains the Evangelist, just as in ordinary cases the Evangelist is the expositor of the Prophet. Towards the close of this Psalm its ton is singularly altered, mournfulness departs and joy occupies its place; the mighty Hero sees the conflict ended, anticipates the victory, and begins to chant the conquerors paean. We have selected our Text out of that part of the Psalm which overflows with the joy of anticipated triumph, and we trust that this morning the joy of the Lord may be our strength, so that we may be moved to prayer and nerved for action. As this is the annual Missionary Sabbath, I feel bound to preach upon the subject; yet, while I do so, I shall at the same time desire to speak personally to the souls of all present; for remembering that we are in a dying world; I, a dying preacher to drying hearers, would not deliver even a single discourse without appealing to the consciences and aiming at the hearts of those who are present. Because we are thinking of heathens or of the coming triumphs of Christ in the latter days, we must not forget those who are perishing before our eyes. Excuse me, therefore, no, commend me, if every now and then I drive right away from the subject to assail men’s hearts.

I. Our first point this morning is, I think, pretty clear in the Text, namely, that THE CONVERSION OF THE NATIONS TO GOD MAY BE EXPECTED. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before You.” We are all agreed that such a thing is to be desired; it is, indeed, a “Consummation devoutly to be wished,” since this is the true and only remedy for the ills of human society; nothing else will ever cure earth’s woes but the bringing of her back again to her God from whom she has wandered. We are equally well agreed, I think, in the sorrowful conclusion that such a consummation does not appear at all likely to the eye of observation, and the judgment of reason; how little progress has the Kingdom of God made in the world in these latter days! In the heroic age of Christianity, the Cross was borne as a conquering symbol from land to land in a short space of time! The Apostles were clothed with extraordinary power, and their immediate successors, retaining much of their spirit, went from strength to strength till the nations heard the testimony of Christ and myriads submitted to it. A long pause has intervened, with only occasional breaks, such as the Reformation, the times of refreshing under the Methodists, and the partial revival of our own times; despite these hopeful outbreaks of life, the progress of Christianity has been very slight, indeed, compared with what might have been expected from the force of its essential truth, and from the fact that its message commends itself to the best sympathies of the human heart. Alas, alas! The battle is long and weary, and the end is not yet; so far from going on to victory, we so decline that men taunt us with the decadence of our holy faith, and foretell that we are nearing the period of decay when something better will supplant the Gospel! We do not believe the insinuation; we reject it as blasphemy, and yet we should not wonder if our lethargy and failure have been the soil in which his noxious thought has grown; it is unquestionable that the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, except to those who regard it with very optimistic eyes, has not progressed of late as we could have desired; it would be fair to conclude, judging things to come by the things that appear, and setting aside the hopes of faith, and the teaching of Revelation, that it is not probable that so spiritual a faith as that of Christ should ever subdue the nations. Men need a coarser system of religion; their minds are groveling, they desire a creed which will tolerate their lusts; they crave a religion which will afford scope for their pride and their self-will. The Doctrines of the Gospel Kindle men’s hostility when they are fairly and honestly preached – there would be more opposition to it if it were not so frequently diluted, and even falsified by its professed teachers.

. . .

Our new-born nature craves for the spread of the Redeemer’s Kingdom, and prays for it instinctively. Nor is the instinct wrong, for the Lord, when He was asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, said, “After this manner pray you,” and He gave them as part of the manner of their prayer the right to express the desire, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is done in Heaven.” Do not your souls long for the conversion of your families? Does not the same desire make you pant for the Salvation of the people among whom you dwell – your townsfolk and your countrymen? And when you are nearest to God and most spiritual, have you not still larger aspirations? Do you not pray for the conversion of all mankind? Yes, have you not found  yourselves breaking out with a cry like that of dying like that of dying David, “Let the whole earth be filled with His Glory”? Do you think the Lord has taught His spiritual people to desire this, not in moments of excitement, but in times of sober fellowship with Himself, and will He not grant it? Surely God the Holy Spirit knows what the mind of God is! Does He not make intercession in the saints according to the Will of God? He has taught us to desire, and long for, and pray for this because He intends to give it! The prayers of the saints are the shadows of coming blessings; as you may prognosticate the storm by the motion of the mercury in the barometer, so may you much more infallibly foretell the future from the emotions, the longings, and the agonies of the saints of God! Therefore I feel that the whole earth must be filled with the Lord’s Glory, because the souls of His saints pine for it.

. . .

We trust the time shall hasten on when as the morning chases away the darkness, so the Truth, and the right, and the Christ of God shall, from among the sons of men, destroy sin, error, and rebellion!

. . .

Yet, none of us bore the pangs which He endured, and cannot; therefore, measure the vastness of the expected recompense. Surely the Redeemer deserves a numerous seed, a countless progeny to be His crown of rejoicing!

. . .

We shall not labor well if we do not labor in hope; if we think mission work to be a forlorn enterprise, we shall go about it with faint hearts and slack hands; if we do not believe in a great success ultimately to come, we shall not use great means; we shall straiten ourselves in action if we narrow our expectations. Certainly we have not used very great means yet, for all the missionary operations now being carried on in the world are very little more than casting the crumbs from under our table to the poor heathen dogs; we have not done as much as to give the fragments of the Gospel feast to the nations!

. . .

II. Our Text teaches us very plainly that THE CONVERSION OF THE NATIONS WILL OCCUR IN THE USUAL MANNER OF OTHER CONVERSIONS.

. . .

Blessed memories will one day come over this wicked world and lead it to turn back to the Lord. It is the work of the missionary to stir the world’s memory – to go and tell it over, and over, and over again about its Savior – for there is a power which God has kept alive in human consciences which will respond to the voice of the Gospel!

. . .

III. The last point is the most important of all. THE MEANS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS RESULT ARE TO BE FOUND AT CALVARY.

. . .

The old legend of Constantine, “In hoc signo Vinces,” has truth in it for us: “By this shall we conquer”; by the Cross, by the preaching of Jesus Christ, and nothing else! I charge the Church of God not to hamper herself with a mass of lumber, either of ceremonies, buildings, schools, or officers – but to go forth with the sling and the stone of David! Saul’s armor is, however, in good favor at this hour, and the church looks everywhere but to her God; it is miserably amusing to mark the way in which our so-called National Church tries to win men to God . . .

. . .

Our hope of success lies, under God, in the preaching of the Gospel.

. . .

Let Jesus’ death be our first theme, and our last theme; utter all others in proportionate harmony, but let this be first and chief.

. . .

Sinner, your hope is at the Cross! Hasten there! Anxious Soul, your peace is at the Cross! Fly there! Despairing Soul, your Salvation is at the Cross! Look there! One look will save you! God help you to give it now! Through those tears which dim your eyes, look now, for Jesus smiles upon you; look to Him, and you shall now have everlasting life! God bless you all, and God prosper His work in the world, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

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