Sermon 2203. "Lo, I Come"-Application
A SERMON DELIVERED ON LORD'S DAY MORNING, MAY 3, 1891,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.
"Then said I, Lo, I come." Psalm 40:7.
To my great sorrow, last Sunday night I was unable to preach. I had prepared a sermon upon this text with much hope of itsusefulness, for I intended it to be a supplement to the morning sermon [Sermon #2202, "Lo, I Come"- Exposition"] which wasa doctrinal exposition. The evening sermon was intended to be practical and to commend the whole subject to the attentionof enquiring sinners. I came here feeling quite fit to preach, but an overpowering nervousness oppressed me and I lost allself-control-and left the pulpit in anguish. I come here this morning with the same subject. I have been turning it over andwondering why it was so. Perhaps this sermon was not to be preached on that occasion because God would teach the preachermore of his on feebleness and cast him more fully upon the Divine Strength. That has certainly been the effect upon my ownheart.
Perhaps, also, there are some here, this morning, who were not here last Lord's-Day evening, whom God intends to bless bythe sermon. The people were not here, perhaps, for whom the eternal decree of God had designed the message and they may behere now. You that are new to this place should consider the strange circumstance-which never happened to me before in the40 years of my ministry-and you may be led to enquire whether my bow was then unstrung that the arrow might find its ordainedtarget in your heart! The two sermons will now go forth together from the press and, perhaps, going together, they may proveto be like two hands of love with which to embrace lost souls and draw them to the Savior, who herein says, "Lo, I come."God grant it may be so!
The times when our Lord says, "Lo, I come," have all a family likeness. There are certain crystals which assume a regularshape and, if you break them, each fragment will show the same conformation. If you were to dash them to shivers, every particleof the crystal would still be of the same form. Now, the goings forth of Christ which were of old, His coming at Calvary andthat great Advent when He shall come a second time to judge the earth in righteousness-all these have a likeness, the oneto the other. But there is a coming of what I may call a lesser sort, when Jesus cries, "Lo, I come," to each individual sinnerand brings a revelation of pardon and salvation-and this has about it much which is similar to the great ones. My one desirethis morning is to set forth the Lord Jesus as saying to you, as once He did to me, "Lo, I come."
He still cries to the weak, destitute, forlorn, hopeless sinner, "Lo, I come." I shall talk about that coming and hope thatyou will experience it, now, and thus be able to follow me in what I say. I speak mainly to the unconverted, but while I doso, I shall hope to be refreshing the grateful memories of those already saved-but this will all depend upon the working ofthe Spirit of God. To Him, then, lift up your hearts in prayer.
I. I will commence with this observation-THE LORD CHRIST HAS TIMES OF HIS FIRST COMINGS TO MEN-"Then said I, Lo, I come."
What are these times? Maybe some here present have reached this season and this very day is the time of blessing when thetext shall be fulfilled-"Then said I, Lo, I come." Go with me to the first record in the volume of the Book, when it was saidthat He should come. You will find it in the early chapters of Genesis.
Jesus said, "Lo, I come," when man's probation was a failure. Man in the Garden of Eden had every advantage for obedienceand life. He had a perfect nature, created without bias towards evil and he was surrounded with every inducement to continueloyal to his Maker. He was placed under no burdensome law. The precept was simple and plain-"Of every tree of the garden youmay freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for
in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die." Only one tree was reserved-all the rest were given up to be freelyenjoyed. In a very short time-some think it was on the first day, but that we do not know-our mother Eve ate of the fruitand father Adam followed her, and thus human probation ended in total failure. They were weighed in the balances and foundwanting-"Adam, being in honor, continued not." At that point we read in the volume of the Book that the Seed of the womanshould bruise the serpent's head. Then our Redeemer said, "Lo, I come."
Listen to me, my Friend-you, also, have had your probation, as you have thought it to be. You left your father's roof withevery hope. Your mother judged you to be of a most amiable character and your friends expected to see in you one whose lifewould honor the family. You thought so yourself. Your probation has reversed that hope-you have turned out far different thenyou should have and, looking back upon the whole of your life to this moment, you ought to be ashamed! It has been a terriblebreaking down for you and for all who know you-and you are sitting in this place feeling, "Yes, it is so. The tests have provenme to be as a broken reed. I am under condemnation by reason of my transgressions against God." How rejoiced I am to tellyou that, at such a time when you are conscious that you are a dead failure, Jesus says, "Lo, I come!" If you had not beena failure, you would not have needed Him and He never comes as a superfluity. But now, in your complete breakdown, you musthave Him or perish-and in infinite pity he cries, "Lo, I come!" Is not this good news for you? Believe it and live!
That also was a time when man's clever dealings with the devil had turned out a great failure. The serpent came and said,"God knows that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."How craftily he put it! How cunningly he insinuated that God was jealous of what man might become and was keeping him backfrom a nobler destiny! He even dared to say, "You shall not surely die," thus giving the Lord the lie direct! He seemed tosay-"His threat is a mere bugbear, a thing to scare you from a great advance in knowledge and position! You shall not surelydie." Eve, in her supposed wisdom, was not able to cope with the serpent's subtlety. "And when the woman saw that the treewas good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruitthereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." The devil had played his cards so well thatman was left bankrupt of virtue, bankrupt of happiness, bankrupt of hope! Then, in the volume of the Book, it was written,"I said, Lo, I come." Yes, in the exact hour when hellish falsehood had robbed man of everything!
No man has yet dealt with the devil without being a loser. The arch-deceiver promises very fairly, but he lies from beginningto end. I know he promised you pleasure unbounded and liberty unrestrained. Now the pleasure is burnt out and the ashes ofthat which once blazed and crackled are terrible to look upon! As for liberty, where is it? You have become the bond-slaveof sin. You were to enjoy life and lo, you are plunged in death! It may be there are in this house persons who bear in theirbodies the marks, not of the Lord Jesus, but of the devil's temptations. He has made you to sin so that your bones are filledwith the sins of your youth-and you know it. He needs a long spoon who eats out of the same dish as the devil and your spoonhas not been long enough! Sin has overreached and betrayed you. And you stand trembling before God as the result of havinglistened to the falsehoods of Hell and having rejected the commands of Heaven
Supposing such a person to be present-and I feel sure he is-I pray that he may hear my text as from the Lord Jesus, Himself."Then said I, Lo, I come." The devil has trod you down, but Jesus comes to raise you up! Your paradise is lost, but by Himit is to be restored! Jesus has come to give repentance and remission of sins. That crafty head which deceived you-the LordJesus has broken-He came for this purpose. If you had not been betrayed, you would not have needed a Deliverer, but your miseryhas made room for His mercy. Not while Adam is perfect in Paradise is there any news of the Seed of the woman bruising theserpent's head. But after the serpent has done his deceitful work and has ruined the race, then we hear that ancient Gospelof God and see the only hope of fallen man! Here is good cheer for you who look with shame upon your foolish yielding to Satan'sdeceits! You are caught as silly birds in a snare! You have been as foolish as the fish of the sea which are taken in a net,but when you are captives, Christ comes to be your Liberator and God commends His love towards you in that while you are yetsinners Christ died for the ungodly!
Further than this, when we find the first promise of our Lord's coming, "in the volume of the Book," we find that man's coveringwas a failure. The guilty pair had gathered the leaves of the fig tree and had made themselves aprons, for they knew thatthey were naked. This was the first fruit of that boasted Tree of Knowledge and it is the principal one to this day! Theirscant coverlet contented them for a little while, but when the voice of the Lord God was heard in the Gar-
den, they confessed that their aprons were good for nothing, for Adam acknowledged that he was afraid because he was nakedand, therefore, he had hidden himself in the thick groves of the Garden. It is easy to make a covering which pleases us fora season, but self-righteousness, presumption, pretended infidelity and fancied natural excellence-all those things are likegreen fig leaves which shrivel up before long, lose their freshness-and are rather an exposure than a covering.
It may be that my hearer has found his imaginary virtues failing him. It was when our first parents knew that they were nakedthat the Savior said, "Lo, I come." My downcast Hearer, if you are no longer in your own esteem, as good as you used to be.If you can no longer hide the fact that you have broken God's Law and deserve His wrath. If you no longer believe the devil'slie that you shall suffer no penalty, but may even be the better for sin, then our Lord, the Savior, says to you, "Lo, I come."To you, O naked Sinner, shivering in your own shame, blushing scarlet with conviction- to you He comes! When you have nothingleft of your own, He comes to be your robe of righteousness wherein you may stand accepted with God!
That first news of the coming Champion came at a time when all man's pleas were failures. Adam had thrown the blame on Eve-"Thewoman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." Eve had also thrown the blame on the serpent,but the Lord God had silenced all such excuses and driven them from their refuges. He had made them feel their guilt and hadpronounced upon them the inevitable sentence-and then it was that He spoke of the "Seed of the woman." Here was man's firstand last-and best hope! So too, my Friend, when you dare no longer plead your innocence, nor mention extenuations and excuses,then Jesus comes in! If conscience oppresses you so sorely that you cannot escape from it. If it is so that all you can sayis "Guilty! Willfully Guilty," then Jesus comes! If you neither blame your surroundings, nor your companions, nor the Providenceof God, nor your physical weakness, nor anything else, but just take all the blame to yourself because you cannot help doingso-then Jesus comes in! Verily you have sinned against God, against your parents, against your fellow men, against the Lightof God, against knowledge, against conscience and against the Holy Spirit! No wonder, therefore, that you stand speechless,unable to offer any plea by way of self-justification! It is in that moment of shame and confusion that the Savior says, "Lo,I come," for such as you are He is an Advocate! When a sinner cannot plead for himself, Christ pleads for him! When his excuseshave come to an end, then will the Lord put away his sin through His own great Sacrifice. Is not this a precious Gospel Word?
When our Lord did actually arrive, fulfilling the text by being born of a woman, it was when man's religion had proven a failure.Sacrifices and offerings had ceased to be of any value-God had put them away as a weariness to Him. The scribes and the Pharisees,with all their phylacteries and wide-bordered garments, were a mere sham. There seemed to be no true religion left upon theearth. Then said Christ, "Lo, I come!" There was never a darker 30 years than when Herod slew the innocents and the chiefpriests and scribes pursued the Son of God and, at last, nailed Him to the tree. It was then that Jesus came to us to redeemus by His death! Do I speak to any man here whose religion has broken down? You have observed a host of rites and ceremonies-youwere christened in your infancy, you were duly confirmed, you have taken what you call, "the blessed sacrament." Or it maybe you have always sat in the most plain of Meeting Houses and listened to the most orthodox of preachers-and you have beenamong the most religious of religious people-but now, at last, the Spirit of God has shown you that all these performancesand attendances are worthless cobwebs which avail you nothing! You now see that-
"Not all the outward forms on earth,
Nor rites that God has given,
Nor will of man, nor blood, nor birth,
Can raise a soul to Heaven."
You are just now driven to despair because the palace of your imaginary excellence has vanished like the baseless fabric ofa vision. If I had told you that your religiousness was of no value, you would have been very angry with me and, perhaps,you would have said, "That is a bigoted remark and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for making it!" But now the Spiritof God has told you the same and you feel its force-He is great at convincing of sin! When the Spirit of Truth comes to dealwith the religiousness of the flesh, He withers it in a moment! All religion which is not spiritual is worthless. All religionwhich is not the supernatural product of the Holy Spirit is a fiction. One breath from the Spirit of God withers all the beautyof our pride and destroys the comeliness of our conceit and then, when our own religion is dashed to shivers, the Lord Jesuscomes in, saying, "Lo, I come." He delights to come in His glorious Personality when the Pharisee can no longer say, "God,I thank You that I am not as other men" and when the once bold fisherman is cry-
ing, "Lord, save, or I perish." If you feel that you need something infinitely better than Churchianity, or Dissenterism,or Methodism-in fact, that you need Christ, Himself, to be formed in you-then to you, even to you, Jesus says, "Lo, I come."When man is at his worst, Christ is seen at His best. The Lord walks to us on the sea in the middle watch of the night. Hedraws near to those souls which draw near to death. When you part with self, you meet with Christ. When no shred of hope remains,then Jesus says, "Lo, I come."
Once more. The Lord Jesus is to come a second time and when will He come? He will come when man's hope is a failure. He willcome when iniquity abounds and the love of many has waxed cold. He will come when dreams of a golden age shall be turned intothe dread reality of abounding evil. Do not dream that the world will go on improving and improv-ing-and that the improvementwill naturally culminate in the millennium. No such thing! It may grow better for a while-better under certain aspects-but,afterwards, the power of the better element will ebb out like the sea, even though each wave should look like an advance.That day shall not come except there is a falling away first. Even the wise virgins will sleep and the men of the world willbe, as in the days of Noah, eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage.
And then, all of a sudden, the Lord will come as a thief in the night! The deluge of fire will find men as unprepared as didthe deluge of water! He will come taking vengeance on His adversaries. When things wax worse and worse we see the tokens ofHis speedy coming. He will shortly appear, for the sky is darkening. When every hope will seem blotted out and nothing butgrim ages of anarchy and ungodliness are to be expected, then our Deliverer will come! When the count of bricks was doubledin Egypt, Moses came. And when the world attains to its utmost unbelief and iniquity, Jesus will come. So at this moment myHearer may be saying, "I cannot be worse than I am; if I am not actually already in Hell, yet I feel a fire within which torturesmy soul! The sword of vengeance hangs over my head suspended by a single hair! I tremble to live and I fear to die. Lost!Lost! Lost! I am past hope!" This is the time for my text-"Then said I, Lo, I come." He who is able to save to the uttermostappears to the soul when every other hope disappears. In your deep distress, I see a token for good! You are now reduced tospiritual death and now, I trust, the Eternal Life will visit you!
Now all this I put before you in simple language, believing what I say, and trusting that if I describe your case, you willknow that I mean it for you. I have heard of a preacher who was so fearful lest he should be thought personal, that he saidto his congregation, "Lest any of you should think that what I have said was meant for you, I would observe that the sermonI am preaching was prepared for a congregation in Massachusetts." I can plead nothing of the sort! I refer to you, my Hearer,in the most pointed manner! I will attend to Massachusetts, if ever the Lord sends me there, but just now, I mean YOU. Oh,that you may have Grace to take home these thoughts to yourselves, for if you do, they will, by the Spirit's power, bringthe light of hope into your souls!
II. Secondly, I would remark that CHRIST COMES TO SINNERS IN THE GLORY OF HIS PERSON-"Then said I, Lo, I come." Note thatglorious, I! Have you not seen people engaged in urgent work who did not understand their business? Apprentices and otherunskilled people are muddling time away. They are making bad, worse, and running great risk. Perhaps a great calamity willoccur if the work is not done well and quickly. A first-rate worker is sent for. See, the man has come who understands thebusiness. He cries, "Let me come! Stand out of my way! You are on the wrong tack-let me do it myself!" You have not blamedhim for egotism, for the thing needed to be done and he could do it-and the others could not. Everybody recognized the masterworkman and gave place to him. The announcement of his coming was the end of the muddle and the signal of hope! Even so, Jesuscomes to you sinners and His Presence is your salvation! He says, "Lo, I come." What does He mean?
He means, the setting of all else on one side. There is the priest-he has not helped you much. He may go, for Jesus says,"Lo, I come." There are your own efforts and doings. There are your feelings and thoughts. There are your ceremonies and austerities.There are your prayers and tears. There are your hearings and readings-all these must be laid aside as grounds of confidence-andJesus, alone, must be your trust. He can do for you what none of these can. You are trying to work yourself up to repentanceand faith, but you cannot succeed. Let Him come and He will bring every good thing with Him. It is glorious to see our Lordthrowing down all our bowing walls and tottering fences and to hear Him cry, "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation." Everythingelse vanishes before His perfect salvation!
Before Him there is a setting aside of self. You have been your own confidence. What you could feel, or do, or think, or resolve,had become the ground of your confidence, but now Jesus puts self down and He is, Himself, exalted. By
working yourself to death, you cannot effect our own salvation. Lo, Jesus comes to save you! You cannot weave yourself a garment.Lo, He comes to clothe you from head to foot with His own seamless robe of righteousness! He annihilates self that He mayfill all things.
Here is a glorious setting of Himself at our side and in our place. Mr. Moody tells a story which I would gladly hope maybe true, for one would like to hear something good about a Czar of Russia, and especially about our once enemy, the EmperorNicholas. The story concerns a soldier in the barracks who was much distressed by his heavy debts. He was in despair, forhe owed a great deal of money and could not tell where to get it. He took a piece of paper and made a list of his debts andunderneath the list he wrote, "Who will pay these debts?" He then lay down on his bunk and fell asleep, with the paper beforehim. The Emperor of Russia passed by and, taking up the paper, read it, and being in a gracious mood, signed at the bottom,"Nicholas." Was not that a splendid answer to the question? When the soldier woke up and read it, he could scarcely believehis own eyes. "Who will pay these debts?" was the despairing question. "Nicholas," was the all-sufficient answer! So are weanswered! Who will bear our sins? The grand reply is, "JESUS." He puts His own name to our liabilities and, in effect, thatHe may meet them, He says, "Lo, I come."
Your debt of sin is discharged when you believe in Christ Jesus. "Without shedding of blood is no remission," but the bloodof Jesus Christ, God's dear Son, cleanses us from all sin! You are not now to bear your own sins. Behold the Scapegoat, whocarries them away into the wilderness! Yes, Jesus says, "Lo, I come!" He takes our sins upon Himself. He bears their penaltyand we go free! Blessed words-"Lo, I come"-I come to take your weight of sin, your burden of punishment! I come to be madea curse for you, that you may be made the righteousness of God in Me. Sinner, stand out of the way and let Jesus appear foryou and fill your place! He sets you on one side and then He sets Himself where you have been! Jesus is now the one Pillaron which to lean, the one Foundation on which to build, the one and only Rest for our weary souls!
He sets Himself where we can see Him, for He cries, "Lo, I come." That is to say, "See Me come." He comes openly, that wemay see Him clearly. How I wish the Lord would reveal Himself at this moment to each one of those who are weary of earth,of self, of sin and, possibly, even weary of life, itself! Oh, if you could but see Jesus standing in your place, you wouldhave faith to stand in His place and so become, "accepted in the Beloved"! O Lord, hear my prayer, and cause poor hearts tosee You descending from the skies, to uplift sinners from the dark abyss! Holy Spirit, touch that young man's eyes with heavenlysalve, that he may see where salvation lies. Deal with that poor woman's dim eyes, also, that she may perceive the Lord Christand find peace in Him. Jesus cries, "Lo, I come! Look unto Me, and be you saved, all the ends of the earth"-
"There is life for a look at the Crucified One!
There is life at this moment for thee.
Then look, sinner-look unto Him and be sa ved-
Unto Him who was nailed to the tree." Should you even lie in all the despair and desolation which I described, I would persuadeyou to believe in Jesus! Trust Him and you shall find Him all that you need!
Our lord sets Himself to be permanently our All in All. When He came on earth, He did not leave His work till He had finishedit. Even when He rose to Glory, He continued His service for His chosen, living to intercede for them. Jesus was a Savior1,900 years ago and He is still a Savior-and He will be a Savior until all the chosen race shall have been gathered Home.He tells us, "I said, Lo, I come," but He does not say, "I said, I will go away, and quit the work." Our Lord's ear is boredand He goes out no more from the service of salvation. It is not written of any penitent souls, "You shall seek Me, but shallnot find Me." But it is written, "If you seek Him, He will be found of you." O my Hearer, you are now in the place where theGospel is preached to you-yes, to you, for we are sent to preach the Gospel to every creature! And though you should be theworst, most benighted and most guilty of all the creatures out of Hell, yet you are a creature, and we preach Christ to you!
O poor Heart, may the Lord Jesus say to you "Lo, I come!" for He comes to stay-to stay until He has worked salvation in youas He has worked out salvation for you. He will not leave a Believer till He has presented him spotless before the Throneof God with exceeding joy. I wish I could make all this most clear and plain. You are altogether ruined by your own faultand you cannot undo the evil. You have done all you can and it has come to nothing. You are steeped in sin up to your throat-yes,the filth has gone over your head-you are as one drowned in black waters. Despairing one,
cast not your eyes around to seek for a friend, for you will look in vain to men! No arm can rescue you, save one, and thatis the arm of Jesus who now cries, "Lo, I come!" Set everything else on one side and trust yourself with the Savior, Christthe Lord!
III. Oh, that many may be comforted while I dwell on the third head! CHRIST IN HIS COMING IS HIS OWN INTRODUCTION. Here ourLord is His own herald, "Lo, I come." He does not wait for an eloquent preacher to act as master of ceremonies for Him-Heintroduces Himself. Therefore even I, the simplest talker on earth, may prove quite sufficient for my Lord's purpose if Hewill graciously condescend to bless these plain words of mine. It is not I that say that Jesus comes, but in the text ourLord, Himself, declares, "Then said I, Lo, I come." You need not do anything to draw Christ's attention to you-it is Christwho draws your attention to Himself! Do you see this? You are the blind bat and He is all eyes towards you and bids you lookon Him. I hear you cry, "Lord, remember me," and I hear Him answer, "Soul, remember Me." He bids you look on Him when youbeseech Him to look on you!
He comes when quite unsought, or sought for in a wrong way. To many men and women, Christ has come though they had not evendesired Him. Yes, He has come even to those who hated Him. Saul of Tarsus was on His way to worry the saints at Damascus,but Jesus said, "Lo, I come"-and when He looked out of Heaven, He turned Saul, the persecutor, into Paul, the Apostle! Thepromise is fulfilled, "I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me." Hereinis the glorious sovereignty of His love fully exercised and Grace reigning supreme. "Lo, I come," is the announcement of majesticGrace which waits not for man, neither tarries for the sons of men.
Our Lord Jesus is the way to Himself. Did you ever notice that? He Himself comes to us and so He is the way by which we meetHim. He is our rest and the way to our rest. He says, "I am the way." You want to know how to get to Christ? You have notto get to Christ, for He has come to you! It is well for you to come to Christ, but that is only possible because Christ hascome to you! Jesus is near you-near you now. Backslider, He comes to you! Wandering Soul, roving to the very brink of perdition,the good Shepherd cries, "Lo, I come." He is the way to Himself!
Remember, also, that He is the blessing which He brings. Jesus not only gives life and resurrection, but He says, "I am theResurrection and the Life." Christ is Salvation and everything necessary to salvation is in Him. If He comes, all good comeswith Him, or rather, in Him. An enquirer once said to a minister, "The next step for me is to get a deeper conviction of sin."The minister said, "No such thing, my Friend-the next step is to trust in Jesus, for He says, Come unto Me." To come to Jesus,or rather to receive Jesus who has come to us, is the one essential step into eternal salvation. Though our Lord says, "Comeunto Me," He has preceded it with this other word, "Lo, I come." Poor cripple, if you cannot come to Jesus, ask Him to cometo you and He will! Here you lie and you have been for years in this case-you have no man to put you into the pool and itwould do you no good if he did-but Jesus can make you whole and He is here! You cannot stir hand or foot because of spiritualparalysis, but your case is not hopeless. Listen to my Lord in the text, "Then said I, Lo, I come." He has no paralysis! Hecan come, leaping over the mountains of division! I know my Lord came to me, or I should never have come to Him-why shouldHe not come to you? I came to Him because He came to me-
"He drew me, and I followed on, Charmed to confess the voice Divine."
Why should He not draw you, also? Is He not doing so? Yield to the pressure of His love!
"Then said I, Lo, I come." You see our Lord is His own spokesman. He says to me, "Go and tell those people about My coming"-andI gladly do so-but you will forget my words and refuse to accept the Coming One. Your consciences will be unawakened, yourhearts unmoved-I fear it will be so. But if this text is fulfilled concerning our Lord this day-"Then said I, Lo, I come"-youwill hear HIM! If He speaks, He is, Himself, the Almighty Word, and His voice will reach your hearts and accomplish His purpose!Dear Christian people, join with me in this prayer-Lord, speak to Your chosen ones that lie here in their death-like despair,far off from You, and say to each one of them, "Lo, I come." O downcast Soul, this is your morning-this is the set time tofavor you-this day is salvation come to your house and to your heart! Make haste and come down from the tree of your frivolityor your self-righteousness! Receive the Lord Jesus, for today He must abide in your house and in your heart-the hour for theimperial "must" of the eternal purpose has arrived! God grant it may be so! May this be an hour of which Jesus shall declare-"Thensaid I, Lo, I come!"
IV. Our next point is this-CHRIST, TO CHEER US, REVEALS HIS REASONS FOR COMING. Only a few
words on this. Note the rest of the verse-"Lo, I come: in the volume of the Book it is written of Me." When we were yet withoutstrength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly because it was the due time according to Covenant purposes. Christ comesto a guilty sinner just as He once came to a manger and a stable, because so it was appointed. There is nothing for Him toget, but everything for Him to give. He comes because so it is written in the volume of the Divine Decrees-
"Thus the eternal counsel ran- Almighty Grace, arrest that man!" Therefore in love the Savior appears to the sinner and, byDivine Grace, arrests him in his mad career.
It is His Father's will. Christ's coming to save a soul is with His Father's full consent and aid. The Father wills that youwho believe in Him, lost though you are, should now be saved-and Jesus comes to do the will of the Father.
He comes because His heart is set on you. He loves you and so He hastens to your rescue. Your salvation is His delight. Thoughyour soul is sunk in a sea of need and you are in despair because of that need, Jesus loves you, and comes to meet your case.The best of all is that Jesus loves you. One asked an old man of 90, "Do you love Jesus?" and the old man answered with asmile, "I do, indeed. But I can tell you something better than that." His friend asked, "Something better than loving Jesus!What is that?" The old disciple replied, "He loves me." O Soul, I wish you could see this fact which is, indeed, better thanyour love to Jesus, namely, His love to you! Because He loved His redeemed from before the foundation of the world, therefore,in due time, He says, "Lo, I come."
The fact is, you have need and He has love-and so He comes. There is no hope for you unless He comes and that is why He comes!If you had a penny of your own, He would not give you His purse. If you had a rag of your own, He would not give you His robe.If you had a breath of your own, He would not give you His life! But now that you are naked, poor, miserable, lost and dead,Jesus reveals Himself and you read concerning Him, "Then said I, Lo, I come." He gives you His reasons-reasons not in yourself,but all in His Grace. There is no good in you-there is no reason in you why the Lord should save you-but because of His free,spontaneous, rich, sovereign, almighty Grace, He leaps out of Heaven, He descends to earth, He plunges into the grave to pluckHis Beloved from destruction!
V. Here is my last word-CHRIST'S COMING IS THE BEST PLEA FOR OUR RECEIVING HIM-and receiving Him now! O Sirs, remember youhave not to raise the question whether He will come or not. He is come! You have not to say, How can I come to Him? He comesto you! You need a Mediator between your soul and God, but you do not need any mediator between yourself and Jesus, for Hesays, "Lo, I come." To you in all your filthiness, in all your condemnation, in all your hopelessness, He comes! Wait notfor anybody to introduce you to Him, or Him to you-He has introduced Himself and here is His card-"Then said I, Lo, I come."No pleas are needed to persuade Him to come to you, for He says, "Lo, I come." Though you cannot think of a single argumentwhy He should appear to you in mercy, He does so! It is written, "I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy;and I will say to them which were not My people, You are My people; and they shall say, You are my God." O Words of wondrousGrace! Our gracious Lord does not wait for our entreaties; but of His own accord He says, "Lo, I come." Without asking youand without your asking Him, He puts in an appearance in the sovereignty of His Grace.
No search is needed to find the Lord, for He comes in manifested Grace and calls upon us to see Him. "I have long been searchingfor Christ" murmurs one. What? Seeking for the sun at noonday? Jesus is not lost! It is you that are lost and He is searchingfor you! He says, "Lo, I come"-it is you that will not come. Still one declares that he has been seeking the Lord Jesus formany a day. This is sadly strange, for Jesus is near. "Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into Heaven? or, Who shalldescend into the deep? The Word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart, that if you will confess with your mouththe Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved." If you believein the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall be saved! Searching after Christ? No, verily He says, "Lo, I come."
Moreover, no waiting is needed and no preparation is to be made by you. Why do you wait? HE does not wait, but cries, "Lo,I come!" "I will get ready for Christ," you say, but it is too late to talk so, when He cries, "Lo, I am come." Receive Him!If you are, in yourself, sadly unready, yet He, Himself, will make everything ready for Himself. Only open wide the door andlet Him in. Do you say, "But I am ashamed"? Be ashamed! He bids you be ashamed and be con-
founded, while He declares, "I do not this for your sakes." Yet be not so ashamed as to commit another shameful deed by shuttingthe door in your Redeemer's face! Shut not out your own mercy!
A pastor in Edinburgh, in going round his district, knocked at the door of a poor woman for whom he had brought some neededhelp, but he received no answer. When next he met her, he said to her, "I called on Tuesday at your house." She asked, "Atwhat time?" "About eleven o'clock. I knocked, and you did not answer. I was disappointed, for I called to give you help.""Ah, Sir!" she said, "I am very sorry. I thought it was the man coming for the rent and I could not pay it and, therefore,I did not dare to go to the door." Many a troubled soul thinks that Jesus is One who comes to ask of us what we cannot give,but, indeed, He comes to give us all things. His errand is not to condemn, but to forgive. Miss not the charity of God throughunbelief! Run to the door and say to your loving Redeemer, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof, butas You have come to me, I welcome You with all my heart."
No assistance is needed by Christ on your part. He does not come with half a salvation and look to you to complete it. Hedoes not come to bring you a robe, half woven, which you are to finish. How could you finish it? Could the best saint in theworld add anything to Christ's righteousness? No good man would even dream of adding his home-spun to that raiment which isof worked gold! What? Are you to make up the deficient ransom price? Is it deficient? Would you bring your clods of mud intothe royal treasury and lay them down, side by side with sapphires? Would you help Christ? Go, yoke a mouse with an elephant!Go harness a fly side by side with an archangel! But dream not of yoking yourself with Christ. He says, "Lo, I come," andI trust you will reply, "My Lord, if You are come, all is come, and I am complete in You"-
"You, O Christ are all I need, More than all in You I find."
Receive Him-receive Him at once! Dear children of God and sinners that have begun to feel after Him, say with one accord,"Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus." If He says, "Lo, I come," and the Spirit and the bride say, Come, and he that hears says,Come, and he that is thirsty comes, and whoever will is bidden to come and take the Water of Life freely-then let us jointhe chorus of comes, and come to Christ ourselves! "Behold, the Bridegroom comes; go you out to meet Him!" You who most ofall need Him, be among the first and most glad, as you hear Him say, "Lo, I come!"
All that I have said will be good for nothing as to saving results unless the Holy Spirit shall apply it with power to yourhearts. Join with me in prayer that many may see Jesus, just now, and may at once behold and accept the present salvationwhich is in Him.