Monday, November 2, 2009

The Unchanging God

by C. H. Spurgeon (Taken from the Sermon "The Immutability of God", Delivered on January 7, 1855)

“I am the Lord, I charge not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”- Malachi. 3:6.

Yet again, God is unchanging in his promises. Ah! we love to speak about the sweet promises of God; but if we could ever suppose that one of them could be changed, we would not talk anything more about them. If I thought that the notes of the bank of England could not be cashed next week, I should decline to take them, and if I thought that God’s promises would never be fulfilled it I thought that God would see it right to alter some word in his promises-farewell Scriptures! I want immutable things: and I find that I have immutable promises when I turn to the Bible: for, “by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,” he hath signed, confirmed, and sealed every promise of his. The gospel is not “yea and nay,” it is not promising to-day, and denying to-morrow, but the gospel is “yea, yea,” to the glory of God. Believer! there was a delightful promise which you had yesterday- and this morning when you turned to the Bible the promise was not sweet. Do you know why? Do you think the promise had changed? Ah, no! You changed; that is where the matter lies. You had been eating some of the grapes of Sodom, and your mouth was thereby put out of taste, and you could not detect the sweetness. But there was the same honey there, depend upon it, the same preciousness “Oh!” says one child of God “I had built my house firmly once upon some stable promises; there came a wind and I said, O Lord, I am cast down and I shall be lost. Oh! the promises were not cast down; the foundations were not removed; it was your little “wood, hay, stubble” hut, that you had been building. It was that which fell down. You have been shaken on the rock, not the rock under you. But let me tell you what is the best way of living in the world. I have heard that a gentleman said to a negro, “I can’t think how it is you are always so happy in the Lord, and I am often downcast.” “Why massa” said he, “I throw myself flat down on the promise-there I lie; you stand on the promise-you have a little to do with it, and down you go when the wind comes, and then you cry, ‘Oh! am down’ whereas I go flat on the promise at once and that is why I fear no fall.” Then let us always say, “Lord there is the promise; it is thy business to fulfill it.” Down I go on the promise flat! No standing up for me. That is where you should go-prostrate on the promise; and remember, every promise is a rock, an unchanging thing. Therefore, at his feet cast yourself, and rest there forever.

But now comes one jarring note to spoil the theme. To some of you God is unchanging in his threatenings. If every promise stands fast, and every oath of the covenant is fulfilled, hark thee, sinner!-mark the word hear the death-knell of thy carnal hopes; see the funeral of the fleshy trustings. Every threatening of God, as well as every promise shall be fulfilled. Talk of decrees! I will tell you of a decree : “He that believeth not shall be damned.” That is a decree, and a statute that can never change. Be as good as you please, be as moral as you can, be as honest as you will, walk as uprightly as you may,-there stands the unchangeable threatening: “He that believeth not shall be damned.” What sayest thou to that, moralist? Oh, thou wishest thou couldst alter it, and say, “He that does not live a holy life shall be damned.” That will be true; but it does not say so. It says, “He that believeth not.” Here is the stone of stumbling, and the rock of offense; but you cannot alter it. You believe or be damned, saith the Bible; and mark, that threat of God is as unchangeable as God himself. And when a thousand years of hell’s torments shall have passed away, you shall look on high, and see written in burning letters of fire, “He that believeth not shall be damned.” “But, Lord, I am damned.” Nevertheless it says “shall be” still. And when a million acres have rolled away, and you are exhausted by your pains and agonies you shall turn up your eye and still read “SHALL BE DAMNED,” unchanged, unaltered. And when you shall have thought that eternity must have spun out its last thread-that every particle of that which we call eternity must have run out, you shall still see it written up there, “SHALL BE DAMNED.” O terrific thought! How dare I utter it? But I must. Ye must be warned, sirs, “lest ye also come into this place of torment.” Ye must be told rough things for if God’s gospel is not a rough thing; the law is a rough thing; Mount Sinai is a rough thing. Woe unto the watchman that warns not the ungodly! God is unchanging in his threatenings. Beware, O sinner, for ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'

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