Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Going Forth With Tears

"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psalm 126:6).

"He that goeth forth..." I would to God that every Christian in this church felt that he had a call as from the Christ of God exalted on His throne to go out and tell others of the way of salvation. I wish that the men and women who have here banded themselves together in a sacred confraternity felt every one of them commissioned of God, each one according to his ability, to pluck brands from the burning, to rescue souls from going forth from God with His call upon you that you have the prospect of coming back successful.

I say, then, to you Christian workers, reach out after those who have been thought to be beyond the range of hope. Seek to convert those who have been neglected. Let it be the effort of Christian people to go after those that nobody else is going after -- the best fruit will be gleaned from boughs hitherto untouched. "He that goeth forth," not he that sits at home, throwing random handfuls out of his window, and expecting the corn to spring up on his doorstep, but he who obeys the word, "Go ye into the world," and overleaps the hedges which shut in the narrow sphere of nominal Christendom, and labours to have fresh lands, fresh provinces, fresh wilderness broken up for Christ, he is the man most likely to win the reward.

"And weepeth." What means this word? I take it, brethren, that as in the first words, "He that goeth forth," we see the man's mode of service, so here we note a little of the man himself. He goeth forth and weepeth. The man likely to be successful, is a man of like passions with ourselves, not an angel, but a man, for he weepeth. But then he is very much a man; he is a man of strong passions, weeping because he has a sensitive heart.

The man who sleeps, the man who can be content to do nothing, and is satisfied with no result, is not the man to win sheaves. God chooses usually, not men of great brain and vast mind, but men of true-hearted, deep natures, with souls that can desire, and pant and long, and heave, and throb.

It is a great thing that makes a genuine man weep. Tears do not lie quite so fleet with most of us; but the man who cannot weep cannot preach, at least, if he never feels tears within, even if they do not show themselves without, he can scarcely be the man to handle such themes as those which God has committed to His people's charge.

If you would be useful, dear brothers and sisters, you must cultivate the sacred passions; you must think much upon the divine realities, until they move and stir your souls: That men are dying perishing, that hell is filling, that Christ is dishonored that souls are not converted, that the Holy Ghost is grieved, that the Kingdom does not come to God, but that Satan rules and reigns (in the souls of men) -- all this ought to be well considered by us, and our heart ought to be stirred until like the prophet we say, "O that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears."

The useful worker for Christ is a man given to tenderness, not a Stoic; not one who does not care whether souls are saved or not; not one who is so wrapped up on the thought of divine sovereignty as to be absolutely petrified; but one who feels as if he died in the death of sinners and perished in their ruin, as though he could only be made happy in their happiness, or find paradise in their being caught up in heaven.

The weeping, then, shows you what kind of man it is whom the Lord of the harvest largely employs; he is a man in earnest, a man of tenderness, a man in love with souls, a man carried away with compassion, a man who feels for sinners, in a word, a Christ-like man; not a stone, but a man who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, a man of heart, a man ready to weep because sinners will not weep. (Excerpts of a sermon preached by Charles Spurgeon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on April 25, 1869)

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