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Hindrances to Coming to the Light

There may be some sin within you which you are harboring to your soul’s peril. When a soldier’s foot has refused to heal, the surgeon has been known to examine it very minutely, and manipulate every part. Each bone is there, and in its place; there is no apparent cause for the inflammation, but yet the wound refuses to heal. The surgeon probes and probes again, until his lancet comes into contact with a hard foreign substance. “Here it is,” he says, “a bullet is lodged here; this must come out, or the wound will never close.” So my probe may discover a secret in you, and if so, it must come out, or you must die. You cannot expect to have peace with God, and still indulge in that drunkard’s glass. What, a drunkard reconciled to God? You cannot hope to enjoy peace with God, and yet refuse to speak with that relative who offended you years ago. What, look to be forgiven, when you will not yourself forgive? There are doubtful practices in your trade behind the counter; do you dare to hope that God will accept a thief?—for that is what you are, a thief and a liar. You brand your goods dishonestly, call them twenty when they are fifteen; do you expect God to be your friend while you remain a rogue? Do you think he will smile on you in your knavery, and walk with you when you choose dirty ways? Perhaps you indulge a haughty spirit, or it may be an idle disposition; it does not matter which kind of devil is in you, it must come out, or else the peace of God cannot come in. Now, are you willing to give sin up? If not, it is all lost time to preach Christ to you, for he is not meant to be a Saviour of those who persevere in sin. He came to save his people from their sins, not in them; and if you still cling to a darling sin, do not be deceived, for you can never enter within the gates of heaven.

Why have some not found the light? It may be that you have sought peace with God only occasionally; after an earnest sermon you have been awakened; but when the sermon has been concluded, you have gone back to your slumber like the sluggard who turns again upon his bed. After a sickness, or when there has been a death in the family, you have then zealously bestirred yourself; but before long you have declined into the same carelessness as before. Remember he who wins the race is not the one who runs in spurts, but the one who continues running to the end. No man gets Christ by thinking of him only now and then, and in the meantime regards vanity and falsehood in his heart. He only shall have Christ who must have him, who must have him now, and who gives his whole heart to him, and cries, “I will seek him till I find him, and when I find him I will never let him go.”

Let me remind you that the great reason why earnest souls do not get speedy rest lies in this: they are disobedient to the one plain gospel precept, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” I would pin them to this point. It is not necessary at all to combat their doubts and fears; we may do it, but I do not know that we are called upon to do so; the plain matter of fact is, God lays down a way of peace, and you will not have it. God says by believing in Jesus you shall live: you will not believe in Christ, and yet hope to live! God reveals to you his dear Son and says, “Trust him,” and moreover, “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar” (1 John 5:10), and yet you dare to make God a liar; every minute that you live in a state of unbelief, you, as far as you can, make God to be a liar! What an atrocity for any one of us to fall into! What an amazing presumption for a sinner to live in who professes to be seeking peace with God!

I will suppose that I have you by the hand, and am gazing intently into your eyes. I fear for you because of the danger that you will become frost-bitten by your long sorrow, and fall into a fatal slumber. You have been seeking rest, but you have not found it; what an unhappy state you are in! You are now unreconciled to God; your sin clamors for punishment; you are among those with whom God is angry every day. Can you bear to be in such a condition? Does something not bid you arise and flee out of this city of destruction in case you are consumed? What happiness you are missing every day! If you lay hold on Christ by faith, you would possess a joy and peace passing all understanding. You are fretting in this low and miserable dungeon; you have been in the dark year after year, when the sun is shining, the sweet flowers are blooming, and everything is waiting to lead you forth with gladness. Oh, what joys you lose by being an unbeliever! Why do you stay so long in this evil state? Meanwhile, what good you might have done! Oh, if you had been led to look to Jesus Christ months ago, instead of sitting in darkness yourself, you would have been leading others to Christ, and pointing other eyes to that dear cross that brought peace to you.

What sin you are daily committing! For you are daily an unbeliever, daily denying the ability of Christ, and so doing injury to his honor. Does the Spirit of God within you not make you say, “I will arise, and go to my Father?” Oh, if there is such a thought trembling in your soul, do not quench it, obey it, arise and go, and may your Father’s arms be wrapped around your neck before today’s sun goes down. Meanwhile, permit me to say, what a hardening process is insensibly going on within! If not better, you are certainly worse than twelve months ago. Why, those promises that cheered you then now yield no comfort! Those threats which once startled now cause you no alarm! Will you dawdle any longer? You have waited to be better, and you are growing worse and worse. You have said, “I will come at a more convenient season,” and every season is more inconvenient than the one which came before it. You doubted then—you are the victim of deeper and more dastardly doubts today. Oh, that you could believe in him who must be true! Oh, that you could trust in him who ought to be trusted, for he can never deceive! I pray the day may come, even this very moment, when you will shake yourself from the dust, arise and put on your beautiful garments, for every hour you sit on the dunghill of your soul-destroying doubts you are being fastened by strong bands of iron to the seat of despair. Your eye is growing dimmer, your hand more palsied; and the poison in your veins is raging more furiously. Yonder is the Saviour’s cross, and there is efficacy in his blood for you. Trust Jesus now, and this moment you will enter into peace. The gate of mercy swings readily on its hinge and opens wide to every soul which casts itself upon the bosom of the Saviour. Oh, why are you waiting? Mischief will befall you. The sun is going down; hurry, traveler, in case you are overtaken with everlasting night.

There are many people around you, some of whom you may know, who have trusted Jesus and they have found light. They once suffered your disappointments, but they have now found rest to their souls. They came to Jesus just as they were, and at this moment they can tell you that they are satisfied in him. If others have found such peace, why not you? Jesus is still the same. It is not to Christ’s advantage to reject a sinner, it is not for God’s glory to destroy a seeker; rather, it is for his honor and glory to receive those who humbly rest in the sacrifice of his dear Son. What is holding you back? You are called, come. You are pressed to come, come. In the courts of law I have sometimes heard a man called as a witness, and no sooner is he called, though he may be at the end of the court, than he begins to press his way up to the witness-box. Nobody says, “Who is this man pushing here?” or, if they should say, “Who are you?” it would be a sufficient answer to say, “My name was called.” “But you are not rich, you have no gold ring upon your finger!” “No, but that is not it, I was called.” “But you are not a man of repute, or rank, or character!” “It does not matter, I was called. Make way.” So make way, doubts and fears; make way, devils of the infernal lake; Christ calls the sinner. Sinner, come. Though you have nothing to recommend you, because it is written, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out,” come, and the Lord will bless you, for Christ’s sake.

Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). Advice for Seekers (pp. 22–24). Logos Bible Software. (Public Domain)

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