Sunday, January 14, 2007
You saw only yesterday a strong man in your neighborhood brought to the grave by sudden death; it is only a month ago that you heard the bell toll for one whom once you knew and loved, who procrastinated and procrastinated until he perished in procrastination. You have had strange things happen in your very street, and the voice of God has been spoken loudly through the lip of Death to you. Yes, and you have had warnings too in your own body, you have been sick with fever, you have been brought to the jaws of the grave, and have looked down into the bottomless vault of destruction.
It is not long ago since you were given up—all said they might prepare a coffin for you, for your breath could not long be in your body. Then you turned your face to the wall and prayed; you vowed that if God would spare you, you would live a godly life, that you would repent of your sins; but to your own confusion you are just what you were.
Ah! let me tell you, your guilt is more grievous than that of any other man, for you have sinned presumptuously, in the very highest sense in which you could have done so. You have sinned against reproofs, but what is worse still, you have sinned against your own solemn oaths and covenants, and against the promises that you made to God.
He who plays with fire must be condemned as careless; but he who has been burned out once, and afterwards plays with the destroying element, is worse than careless; and he who has himself been scorched in the flame, and has had his locks all hot and crisp with the burning, if he again should rush headlong into fire, I say he is worse than careless, he is worse than presumptuous, he is mad. But I have some such here.
They have had warnings so terrible that they might have known better; they have gone into lusts which have brought their bodies into sickness, and perhaps this day they have crept up to this house, and they dare not tell to their neighbor who stands by their side what is the loathsomeness that even now breeds upon their body.
And yet they will go back to the same lusts; the fool will go again to the stocks, the sheep will lick the knife that is to slay him.
You will go in your lust and in your sins, despite warnings, despite advice, until you perish in your guilt. How worse than children are grownup men!
The child who goes for a merry slide upon a pond, if he be told that the ice will not bear him, turns back in fear, or if he daringly creeps upon it, how soon he leaves it, if he hears but a crack upon the slender covering of the water!
But you men have conscience, which tells you that your sins are vile, and that they will be your ruin, you hear the crack of sin, as its thin sheet of pleasure gives way beneath your feet; yes, and some of you have seen your comrades sink in the flood, and lost; and yet you go sliding on, worse than childish, worse than mad are you, thus presumptuously to play with your own everlasting state.
O my God, how terrible is the presumption of some!
How fearful is presumption of any!
Oh ! that we might be enabled to cry, "Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins."
By Charles H. Spurgeon