top of page

Still No Light, and Why?

It shall be my happy task to endeavor to assist into the light those who want to flee from darkness. We will do so by trying to answer the query, “How is it that I, wanting light, have not found it yet? Why am I left to grope like a blind man for the wall, and stumble at noon as if it were the night? Why has the Lord not revealed himself to me?” You may have been seeking the light in the wrong place. Many, like Mary, seek the living among the dead. It is possible that you may have been the victim of the false doctrine that peace with God can be found in the use of ceremonies.

It is possible, too, that you have been looking for salvation in the mere belief of a certain creed. You have thought that if you could discover pure orthodoxy, and could then consign your soul into its mould, you would be a saved man; and you have consequently believed unreservedly, as far as you have been able to do so, the set of truths which have been handed to you by the tradition of your ancestors. It may be that your creed is Calvanistic, it is possible that it is Arminian, it may be Protestant, it may be Romish, it may be truth, it may be a lie; but, believe me, solid peace with God is not to be found through the mere reception of any creed, however true or scriptural. Mere head-notion is not the road to heaven. “Ye must be born again” means a good deal more than you must believe certain dogmas. It is of the utmost possible importance, I grant you, that you should search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; but recollect how our Lord upbraided the Pharisees. He told them that they searched the Scriptures, but he added, “Ye will not come to me that ye might have life” (John 5:40). You stop short at the Scriptures, and therefore short of eternal life. The study of these, good as it is, cannot save you; you must press beyond this—you must come to the living, personal Christ, once crucified, but now living to plead at the right hand of God, or else your acceptance of the soundest creed cannot effect the salvation of your soul. You may be misled in some other manner; some other mistaken way of seeking peace may have beguiled you, and if so, I earnestly pray that you may see the mistake.

You must understand that there is only one door to salvation, and that is Christ; there is one way, and that is Christ; one truth, and that is Christ; one life, and that is Christ. Salvation lies in Jesus only; it does not lie in you, in your doings, or your feelings, or your knowings, or your resolutions. In him all life and light for the sons of men are stored up by the mercy of God the Father. This may be one reason why you have not found the light; because you have sought it in the wrong place.

It is possible that you may have sought it in the wrong spirit. When we ask for pardon, reconciliation and salvation we must remember to whom we speak, and who we are who ask the favor. Some appear to deal with God as if he were bound to give them salvation; as if salvation indeed were the inevitable result of a round of performances, or the deserved reward of a certain amount of virtue. They refuse to see that salvation is a pure gift of God, not of works, not the result of merit, but of free favor only; not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. Though the Lord has placed it on record in his Word, in the plainest language, that “it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (Rom 9:16) yet most men in their hearts imagine that everlasting life is tied to duties and earned by service. You must abandon such vainglorious notions; you must come before God as a humble petitioner, pleading the promises of mercy, abhorring all idea of merit, confessing that if the Lord condemns you he has a right to do it, and if he saves you, it will be an act of pure gratuitous mercy, a deed of sovereign grace. Oh, too many of you seekers hold your heads too high; to enter the lowly gate of light you must stoop. On the bended knee is the penitent’s true place—“God be merciful to me, a sinner,” is the penitent’s true prayer. If God should condemn you, you could never complain of injustice, for you have deserved it a thousand times; and if those prayers of yours were never answered, if no mercy ever came, you could not accuse the Lord, for you have no right to be heard. He could righteously withhold an answer of peace if he so willed.

Confess that you are an undeserving, ill-deserving, hell-deserving sinner and begin to pray as you have never prayed before. Cry out of the depths of self-abasement if you want to be heard. Come as a beggar, not as a creditor. Come to crave, not to demand. Use only this argument, “Lord, hear me, for you are gracious, and Jesus died; I cry to you as a condemned criminal who seeks pardon. Deliver me from going down into the pit, that I may praise your name.” This harboring of a proud spirit, I fear, has been a great source of mischief with many, and if it has been so with you, amend it and go now with humble and contrite hearts, in lowliness and brokenness of spirit, to your Father whom you have offended, for he will surely accept you as his children.

Others have not obtained peace, I fear, because they do not yet have a clear idea of the true way of finding it. Although it has been preached to us so often, it is still little understood. The way of peace with God is seen through a haze by most men, so that no matter how plainly you put it, they will, if it is possible, misunderstand you. Your salvation does not depend upon what you do, but upon what Christ did when he offered himself as a sacrifice for sin. All your salvation takes root in the death throes of Calvary; the great Substitute bore your sin and suffered its penalty. Your sin shall never destroy you if upon that bloody tree the Lord’s chosen High Priest made a full expiation for your sins; they shall not be laid against you any more forever. What you have to do is simply to accept what Jesus has finished. I know your idea is that you are to bring something to him; but that vainglorious idea has ruined many, and will ruin more. When you are brought empty-handed, made willing to accept a free and full salvation from the hand of the Crucified, then, and then only, will you be saved.

‘There is life for a look at the Crucified One.’

But men will not look to the cross. No, they conspire to raise another cross; or they aspire to adorn that cross with jewels; or they labour to wreathe it with sweet flowers; but they will not give a simple look to the Saviour, and rely alone on him. Yet no soul can ever obtain peace with God by any other means; while this means is so effectual that it has never failed, and never shall.

The waters of Abana and Pharpar are preferred by proud human nature, but the waters of Jordan alone can take away the leprosy (see 2 Kings 5:1–14). Our repentings, our doings, our resolutions, these are simply broken cisterns; but the only life-draught is to be found in the fountain of living water opened up by our Immanuel’s death. Do you understand that a simple trust, a sincere dependence, a hearty reliance upon Christ is the way of salvation? If you do know this, may the God who taught you to understand the way give you grace to run in it, and then your light has come; arise and shine. Your peace has come, for Christ has bought it with his blood. For as many as trust in him he has been punished; their sins are gone:

Lost as in a shoreless flood, Drown’d in the Redeemer’s blood;

Pardon’d soul, how bless’d art thou, Justified from all things now.

If none of these arguments have touched your case, let me further suggest that perhaps you have not found light because you have sought it in a half-hearted manner. None enter heaven who are only half-inclined to go there. Cold prayers ask God to refuse them. When a man manifestly does not value the mercy which he asks, and would be perfectly content not to receive it, it is small wonder if he is denied. Many a sinner lies, year after year, freezing outside the door of God’s mercy, because he has never thoroughly bestirred himself to take the kingdom of heaven by violence. If you are willing to be unsaved, you shall be left to perish; but if you are inwardly set and resolved that you will give God no rest until you win a pardon from him, he will give you your heart’s desire. The man who must be saved, shall be. The man whose heart is set on finding the way to Zion’s hill, shall find that way. I believe that usually a sense of our pardon comes to us when, Samson-like, we grasp the posts of mercy’s door with desperate vehemence, as though we would pluck them up, post and bar and all, rather than remain shut out any longer from peace and safety. Strong crying and tears, groanings of spirit, vehement longings, and ceaseless pleadings—these are the weapons which, through the blood of Jesus, win us the victory in our warfare of seeking the Lord. Perhaps, then, you have not bestirred yourself as you should have done. May the Lord help you to be a mighty wrestler and then a prevailing prince!

Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). Advice for Seekers (pp. 8–11). Logos Bible Software. (Public Domain)

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page