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Introduction to three important Sermons by Charles Spurgeon
If these sermons were preached today in most 'evangelical' pulpits, and if they were preached by a man who lacked the name respect of Spurgeon, their message would be castigated as heresy, and the preacher would be charged with presenting works-righteousness as the way of salvation. The fact is, that when the nature and content of these sermons are considered in the light of present day concepts of salvation and methods of evangelism, a great disparity becomes evident. These sermons show the contrast between the content of the gospel message as it was once preached and the message of today which is passed off as the gospel. Today, repentance from sin is rarely presented, and if ever it is mentioned, it is rarely portrayed in a manner as it is set forth in these sermons. Today it seems there is a reluctance to command people to repent of sin for salvation for it smacks of works-righteousness as the way of salvation. Preachers of previous generations never thought they were in such danger. They knew and believed that faith alone was the basis of a sinner's justification before God, but they also taught (as does the Bible) that there are other matters that are essential to salvation, without which, one's faith is a sham, mere presumption.
But today, it is assumed that if a person does nothing more than believe that he/she is a sinner, the matter of repentance has been covered. And if one expresses sorrow over sin in addition to that belief, then indeed, it is assumed, a very bright convert has been obtained. But in former days, salvation was never assured to anyone but to those who turned from sin to the extent that sin no longer dominated the life. This signalled that a person had been truly born again and that Christ Jesus had assumed control of the sinner's life.
There is a sorrow over sin which the world passes for repentance but falls short (2 Cor. 7:9, 10), and I fear there are masses of unrepentant 'believers' in our evangelical churches, who know only this kind of 'repentance.' They know what sin is and know who God the Father and Jesus Christ are, but are not moved to turn from their sin. They remain under God's wrath as long as they remain under sin's dominion. These souls have no legitimate biblical basis for assurance (cf. 1 John 3:7, 10; 2 Cor. 13:5), but, nevertheless, they remain unchallenged and are even lulled by voices which seek to reinforce their delusions that they have received pardon.
May God have mercy on us and raise up voices which will speak the truth in boldness and plainness of speech, making known these two needful things, REPENTANCE TOWARD GOD, AND FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.