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Spurgeon: A Present Religion

April 16, 2011

From Sermon #196, “A Present Religion” — May 30, 1858

Very differently, however, do we act with affairs of the present life—things that are sweet to us become the more sweet by their nearness. Was there ever a child who longed for his father’s house who did not feel that the holidays grew more sweet in his estimation the shorter the time was that he had to tarry?

What man is there who having once set his heart on riches, did not find his delight in the thought of being rich increase with the nearness of his approach to the desired objective? And are we not, all of us, accustomed when we think a good thing is at a distance, to try if we can shorten the time between us and it?

We try anything and everything to push on the lagging hours! We chide them, wish that Time had double wings, that he might swiftly fly and bring the expected season! When the Christian talks of Heaven, you will always hear him try to shorten the distance between himself and the happy land. He says—
“A few more rolling suns at most
Will land me on fair Canaan’s coast.”
There may be many years between him and Paradise, but still he is prone to say—
“The way may be rough, but it cannot be long.”

Thus do we all delight to shorten the distance between us and the things for which we hope. Now let us just apply this rule to religion. They who love religion love a present thing. The Christian who really seeks salvation will never be happy unless he can say, “Now am I a child of God.” Because the worldling dislikes it, he puts it from him! Because the Christian loves it, therefore its very fairest feature is its present existence, its present enjoyment in his heart! That word, “now,” which is the sinner’s warning and his terror, is to the Christian his greatest delight and joy! “There is therefore”—and then the sweetest bell of all rings—“there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.”

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