Sermon 3225. Finding and Following Christ
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24H, 1910.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, AUGUST 21, 1870.
"We have found Him." John 1:45.
[Another Sermon by Mr. Spurgeon on verses 43 to 45 is #2375, Volume 40-FOUND BY JESUS-AND FINDING JESUS.]
I HOPE there are many here who are seeking Christ, but I feel sure that there are with us many more who can truthfully say,"We have passed beyond that stage, for we have found Him." Others may declare that there never was such a Person as Jesusof Nazareth, but we know there was and still is, for, "we have found Him," and we are living in happy daily fellowship withHim! We bear our glad testimony to what the Grace of God has done for us and we say with Philip, "We have found Him, of whomMoses in the Law and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph," whom we also worship as the Son of God.
Notice how positively Philip speaks. He had, himself, only just been found by Christ, yet he does not say, "We think we havefound the Messiah," or, "We hope we have found the promised Deliverer." No, without the slightest hesitation he says, "Wehave found Him." This is a matter about which it is possible for us to be quite as positive as Philip was. There are abundantreasons why we may have a well-grounded assurance that Christ is our Savior if we have truly trusted in Him. Some have thoughtand said that it is not possible for us to know we are saved. Thank God that is not true and many can adopt the Inspired Languageof the Apostle John and say, "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Himthat is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." Suchpositiveness as this is attainable, by God's Grace, by every true Believer in Jesus Christ!
Let me remind you, first, that it ought to be so. Whether we are saved or not is a matter of the greatest importance to us.We cannot afford to let it rest upon a, "perhaps," or a, "maybe." If I have really found Christ, my sins are forgiven me forHis sake-and this is a fact of which I ought to be quite certain. If I have found the Lord Jesus Christ, I am reconciled toGod by the death of His Son, I have been adopted into the family of God, I may confidently look to God for the supply of allmy needs, both for this life and for that which is to come-and I may expect to be taken at the right time to dwell with Himforever. Such glorious blessings as these ought not to be mere matters of speculation with us! Our possession of them oughtto be the result of clean, unmistakable evidence. If I have not found Christ, I am in danger of death every day and of theHell that is the everlasting prison of all unbelievers. If I have not found Christ, I am still without hope and without Godin the world-"condemned already"-because I have not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God! Surely I ought notto go to bed tonight with that all-important question unsettled. I can understand a man being in doubt upon this matter, butI cannot understand his resting comfortably while it is a matter of doubt! If you are content to be in doubt as to whetheryou are entitled to your estates, or as to whether you are mortally diseased or not, well, those are only minor matters comparedwith the salvation of your souls! God forbid that you should be willing to let the far greater matter remain in suspense!Seek the aid of the Holy Spirit and never rest satisfied until you know assuredly that you have found the Lord Jesus Christas your Savior!
A poor woman, some nights ago, wrapping around herself her poor thin shawl, was walking along the street because she had nowhereelse to go. And as she was passing a certain building, she saw written over the door, "For the homeless." "That is the placefor me," she said, and in she went. Now, my Friend, are you a sinner? Then I have to tell you that Jesus Christ came intothe world to save sinners. Are you lost? Then I have to tell you that He came to seek and to save the lost. It would havedone that poor woman no good at all to sit down on a rich man's doorstep and consider how poor she
was-she got what she needed by going to the Home for the Homeless-and Jesus Christ is a Home for Homeless souls, so away withyou, poor homeless soul, and find in Him the shelter that you need! May God's Grace enable you to flee straight away to Christ,for if you do, He will not refuse to receive you!
Remember, also, that no real spiritual comfort can come to us until we know that we have found Christ. Perhapses and maybesare like thorns in our pillow-they prevent us from resting. Or they are like stones in a pilgrim's shoes- they make walkingvery uncomfortable for him. To be able to say with Paul, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able tokeep that which I have committed unto Him against that day," is to have a fountain of consolation springing up within yourheart! But to have to cry-
"'Tis a point I long to know,
Oft it causes anxious thought-
Do I love the Lord, or no?
Am I His, or am I not?"
is to be in continual unhappiness! The man who is in such a state as that may be safe, but he cannot have joy and peace. Hemust be weak, trembling and tossed to and fro, like the waves of the troubled sea when it cannot rest. It is only when wecan say with David, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise," that there is the music ofdeep and lasting joy in the songs that we send up to Heaven!
Let me add that you may confidently hope to attain this assurance of knowledge because so many others have already done so.I have reminded you of Philip, John and Paul, but such knowledge as this was not confined to the Apostolic age-it is at thismoment the priceless privilege of tens of thousands of Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ! If I were now to say, "Let allthose Brothers and Sisters who know that Christ is theirs stand up and testify to this fact," I believe that the bulk of thiscongregation would at once rise! And I pray that you weaker ones, you timid and trembling souls may seek Him who can workthis great Grace in you, also, so that you, too, may be able to say as positively as Philip did, "We have found Him."
Now I am going, with the Holy Spirit's help, to suggest a few reflections for those to bear in mind who can say, "We havefound Him." And the first is this-IF WE HAVE FOUND CHRIST, HE MUST HAVE FIRST FOUND US.
Two verses (v 43) before our text, we read that this very man who had found Christ, had himself been found by Christ. It isprobably true, my dear Brother or Sister in Christ, that you were brought to know the Lord through some human instrumentality.A godly father or mother, a faithful minister of the Gospel, a loving Sunday school teacher or other Christian friend. Orthe reading of the Word under the guidance of the Holy Spirit may have been the means of your conversion. There is a veryprecious link between the instrument of your salvation and yourself which you ought never to forget. Surely we can never ceaseto thank God for the man or the woman whom He used to lead us out of darkness into His marvelous Light! Yet that holy mandid not convert us. That gracious woman could never have given us a new heart and a right spirit. We must trace our new birthto its superhuman origin-it was the Lord, and the Lord alonewho worked that wondrous miracle of regeneration! "You has HEquickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." If the Lord has not turned you from the error of your ways, you are stillin the broad road that leads to destruction! If He has not found you as the shepherd finds his lost sheep, you are still wanderingon the dark mountains of sin and woe! And, as the sheep would never find its shepherd unless he first found it, so you, ifyou have found Christ, must first have been found by Christ!
I want you to go still further back and to remember that, inasmuch as you never imagined that it was wrong for Christ to saveyou, although He has not saved all other sinners and although some in your own family have not yet found Him- and althoughsome who attend the same place of worship as you do have not found Him, while you have found Him and been found by Him-youhave never thought that it was wrong for Christ to make this difference between you and others. I want you to also rememberthat whatever Christ has done, He must have always meant to do-it must have been His eternal purpose to do it! Unless youare a careless blunderer, you do not do anything without having made up your mind to do it. And certainly, the Lord JesusChrist has not acted in this great matter of the salvation of souls without thought and deliberation! Do you not see thatthis brings us to the Doctrine of Election? Many people do not like that Doctrine, but all Christian people, though they maynot believe it as we do, must believe that which is the very essence of it-for if there is a difference between ourselvesand others, it must have been Christ who made it by His Grace! And as He made it, then it must have been right for Him tomake it, and it could not have been wrong for Him to purpose to make that difference! We do not believe that Christ does anythingwithout a plan and a purpose. And it makes no difference whether the purpose was in His mind a year ago or from all eternity!I mean that there would be the same difficul-
ty with regard to the Doctrine, though I see no difficulty in it at all. Well then, the Lord Jesus Christ purposed from alleternity to work His good work in you by His Holy Spirit-to bring you to repent of your sin and to trust in His atoning Sacrifice-and,therefore, it is a part of His promise to bring you home to Heaven to dwell with Him forever! Yet there have been and stillare many in this world who have not found Him-more eminent than you are, people of greater ability and loftier station. Thereare wise men who have never become wise unto salvation and rich men who do not possess this heavenly treasure. There are mightykings who lord it over mighty hosts of men, who know not the Lord of Hosts and yield not homage to the Lord Jesus Christ!When you think of all this, do you not marvel that you should have been found by Christ and that you should have found Christ?Do you not wonder that God should have chosen you, that Christ should have redeemed you, that the Holy Spirit should haveregenerated you? And will you not bless and praise the Lord to all eternity for making you the simple subject of His Gracewhile such multitudes and so many far more mighty ones have been passed by?
This teaching, which seems to me to be so simple and plain, lies at the root of the most profound Doctrines of Holy Writ andit is, at the same time, one of the most practical Truths of God in the whole of the Divine Revelation! Nothing makes us loveChrist more than knowing that He has loved us with an everlasting Love and, therefore, with loving kindness has drawn us untoHimself. Nothing makes us crave for likeness to Him so much as the knowledge that He has chosen us and ordained us, that weshould go and bring forth fruit and that our fruit should remain even, "fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life."I wish that this Truth was understood and believed by all Christians, for it is God's Truth, and a very precious Truth. Ifeel sure that it is believed by many who have not recognized it or fully understood it. I remember preaching in the openair to a great crowd of miners, most of them Methodists. And as I preached, they shouted, "Glory!" "Hallelujah!" "Praise theLord," and so on. Just as they were in full cry in that fashion, I paused a moment and then said, "This brings me to the Doctrineof Election." I could almost feel the cold shiver of disappointment that seemed to pass through the crowd. And it appearedlikely that there would be no more "Hallelujahs" during that discourse. But I said to them, "In your hearts you really believethat Doctrine, though you imagine you do not. And before I have finished my sermon, I will prove it to you, and many of youwill shout, 'Praise the Lord,' for it even more loudly than you were doing just now." I saw the look of incredulity upon theirfaces, but I went on. "Here is a man who was once a drunk, a swearer, a Sabbath-breaker, a thief, a liar and everything thatwas bad. But a great change has somehow come over him and he is quite a new man compared with what he used to be. There isno such alteration in many of his old companions and friends-who can have made him so different from what he once was? Hereis a glorious golden crown and whoever has made this man to be such a contrast to what he was before ought to have this crownplaced upon his head!" Then I said, "Shall I put the crown on the man's own head? Did he make this change in himself?" "No,no" came the answer from all parts of the crowd. "Well then," I asked, "On whose head shall I put the crown? Who is to havethe glory of this man's conversion?" At once they cried, "The Lord, the Lord alone! Put the crown on His head." So far wewere all agreed and I, therefore, asked next, "Was it wrong for God to make this difference?" No one dared to say that itwas, so I advanced to my next question, "As it was right for God to make this difference, was it not also right for God toplan beforehand that He would do so? The Lord did not act without a set purpose and, therefore, as He is to be crowned forthe action, is He not also to be crowned for the purpose to do it?" "Yes, that He is!" cried the crowd. "Bless His name, hallelujah!"So I won the hallelujahs, by His Grace, of my Methodist friends for the Doctrine of Election as I said I would!
We do not preach, we have never preached and we shall never preach that God has created any man for the purpose of destroyinghim! But we do preach and shall preach as long as we live, that salvation is of the Lord and all of Grace from first to last!And, therefore, that all the glory of it must be given to the Divine hand that worked the work, to the eternal mind that plannedthe work and to the great heart of love that was the Fountain and Source from which the gracious purpose sprang! The onlyexplanation of the whole matter is the one we have so often sung-
"What was there in you that could merit esteem, Or give the Creator delight? 'Twas even so, Father,'you always must sing,'Because it seemed good in Your sight' Then give all the glory to His holy name, To Him all the glory belongs, Be yours thehigh joy to still sound forth His fame, And crown Him in each of your songs."
II. My second observation is-IF WE HAVE FOUND CHRIST, LET US FOLLOW HIM. Philip found Him and followed Him all his days.
Christ was given to be the Leader and Commander of His people, so His people should all follow Him. You have followed Him,Beloved, but can you not follow Him yet more closely? You are His disciples, but can you not learn more of Him than you haveyet learned? Let us follow our Jesus promptly. I want to be in such a state of heart and mind that the moment I know whatChrist's will concerning me is, I do it! I would like to be a leaf borne along by the blessed current of His Divine Purpose-havingno will or wish to resist the sacred influences of His unerring mind and loving heart-to obey His commands promptly and cheerfullyand, not only to obey cheerfully, but also to suffercheerfully if He so pleases! It is a blessed condition to be in to takeanything and everything from Christ, whether it is a kiss or a blow-to do anything for Christ, whether it is pleasing to theflesh or not-to yield up everything for Christ, to be, indeed, a divine sacrifice for Him, which is, after all, only the "reasonableservice" which He is fully entitled to claim from us! We read in the Revelation concerning some, "These are they which followthe Lamb wherever He goes." And happy are they who imitate them, even while here on earth! Beloved Brothers and Sisters inChrist, I entreat you to leave no path untrodden where you can see the footprints of your Lord and Master! Jesus went to Jordan'sstream and was baptized there by John-have you followed Him in this blessed ordinance? Jesus, even while living and laboringamong sinners, was separate from them-are you living the separated life? What He did, let us do as far as it is in our power!What He was, let us be as far as that is possible! He was reviled, despised and rejected of men-so let us count it an honorto receive similar treatment for His sake. He was content to walk on the bleak side of the hill-let us not seek the sunnyside by craving the world's esteem. Is this your heart's desire, Beloved? Do you sing-
"Through floods and flames, if Jesus leads, I'll follow where He goes"?
Then mind that you not only singthose lines, but make them true in your life! Are any of you following Christ afar off, asPeter did? Then beware lest you fall as Peter did! Are you following Christ in your business, or do you forget Him when youare in the office or in the market? Do you follow Christ in your home, or do you forget Him when you are there? Some of youused to follow Jesus very closely and to be very warm friends of His-have you been growing cold towards Him? Oh, let thisno longer be the case! If you have found Him, follow Him and follow Him "wherever He goes."
III. Now, thirdly, IF WE HAVE FOUND CHRIST, LET US PRIZE HIM. It is no trifle that we find when we find Him, for He is thepriceless pearl whose worth no man fully knows!
If I have found Him, how shall I prove that I prize Him? First, let me be willing to lose all that I have for Him. Does mypresent position in life involve me in sin? Then let me leave it rather than grieve my Lord. Is my business an evil one? Thenlet me renounce it at once, for if I do not, I shall have to renounce Him! Have I any companions who are the enemies of Christ?Then I dare not call them my friends. Is there some dear one with whom I have entered into such close association that itwill draw me away from Christ? Then, while I can, let me break the connection, for I must give up all for the Christ who gaveup all for me! The captain of a vessel, when his ship is in danger of sinking, will throw the most valuable cargo into thesea if, thereby, he may save the ship and the lives of all on board. And I must be willing to part with my joys, my pleasures,my money, my friends and all that I have rather than give up my Lord and Savior, for I must have Christ at any cost!
Further, if you have found Christ and want to prove that you can prize Him, study to find out all that you can about Him.Jesus Christ is a great mine of untold wealth and no man has ever yet perfectly explored that mine. Read the Scripture tolearn all you can about Christ. Listen to any preacher or teacher who can tell you anything about Christ-and be sure to meditateas much as you can upon Christ. He is the chief among ten thousand-"yes, He is altogether lovely." At our first sight of Him,we fall in love with Him, but His choicest beauties are the hidden ones which we only find by diligent search and much fellowshipwith Him. As you get to know more of Him in His Person, in His work, in His office, in His promises, in His power, in Hislove-you will prize Him all the more until you would not set even Heaven, itself, in comparison with Him-for what would Heavenbe if He were not there?
Further, Beloved, if you prize Christ as you ought, you will make all the use you can of Him. And He loves to be of use toHis people. Is there any sin upon your conscience? Run to Him to remove it from you! Is there any trouble on your mind? Goand tell Jesus! Is there anything that is a burden to you? Cast your burdens upon Him and He will relieve you of them, orgive you the Grace and strength to carry them! Remember that Jesus Christ is an everyday Savior, an all-the-year-round Savior,a whole-of-life Savior, a Savior for the body as well as for the soul! Whatever there may be lacking in
you, there is nothing lacking in Him and He can supply all that you lack! He is the Bread of Life, so feed upon Him! He isthe Light of the World, so see everything in the light that comes from Him! He is your All-in-All, so look for all in Him!
Show, too, that you prize Christ as you should by letting others see how you value Him. A bride who has many precious jewelswill wear them where they can be seen and admired by others. And we, too, are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ who is moreprecious than all the gems in the universe! Some professing Christians are apt to blush at any allusion to their Christianity-butif it is the blush of shame, they have cause to be ashamed of such blushing! I never hear of any man blushing because he isa peer of the realm, though there have been many of the so-called "nobility" who might well cause their fellow peers to blush.But to blush because one is a Christian, oh, this must never be! As well might we blush at being likened to an angel! Supposethe ungodly point the finger of scorn at you-that is the only way in which such people can really honor you. Will you strikeyour colors because the enemy attacks you? No, no! Nail the flag to the mast and fight so bravely for Christ that the enemyhas to strike hiscolors! It is the act of a pirate to sail under another flag, so whatever ship you meet on life's wide sea,fly the flag of your King and defy the devil and all his legions to do their worst! At home and abroad, in the House of Godor in the street, in the market or wherever you may be, let friend and foe, alike, know that you belong to Christ! I wouldthat all of us who are members of this Tabernacle might love the Lord with a far deeper and more fervent love than we haveever yet experienced. I know that there are some eminently gracious souls among us and I pray that their number may be greatlyincreased, but I am anxious lest, as a Church, we should fall to the low level of so many of the professing Christians ofthis age! Our Lord Jesus Christ deserves the very best that we can bring to Him, so let us give Him our hearts, our minds,our time, our talents and all we have, to show how greatly we prize Him whom we have found!
IV. Fourthly, and briefly, IF WE HAVE FOUND CHRIST, LET US NEVER PART WITH HIM. Philip became one of Christ's disciples, thenone of His Apostles-and now he is with Christ forever!
Tomorrow you will go, young man, into the workshop or to the counter and your companions will laugh at you if you say youare a Christian. But do not part with Christ because of the laughter of fools! Some of you will be going to the Stock Exchangeor to the various markets of this great city-but part not company with Christ by doing what is wrong. Hold Him fast and keepto that which is right, honest and true, for he is a traitor to Christ who gets even a penny by an unrighteous action! Tomorrowsome of you may hear that which is blasphemous or foul-rebuke it in your Lord's name, for he who is silent when he ought tospeak is tacitly denying his Lord and Master. Again I say to you, hold Him fast however much men may scoff at you for doingso, for such a treasure as Christ is well worth holding! Let no man separate you from your Lord. If you are truly His, I ampersuaded that no one and nothing shall be able to part you. Though the devil himself should try to tear Christ away fromyou, he cannot do it, for Christ is stronger than Satan and He holds you with a Divine grip which the devil and all his hostscannot relax!
I especially urge you not to let Jesus slip away from private prayer, or the reading of the Scriptures, or your intimate personalcommunion with Him. Make your prayers more fervent, your study of the Word more intense and real, and your daily walk withChrist more close and tender. Abide in Him! Never give Him or anyone else cause to think that you have left Him. The goodsoldier of Jesus Christ never has a furlough-he is like the knights of old who slept in their armor and were ready for thefray at any moment. A Christian is to always be a Christian and in every place! He may not do wrong once a year, nor oncein a lifetime. What would you say to a man who told you he was only going to poison himself once? What would you think ofa wife who said she was going to cease loving her husband just once? We, too, are married to Christ, so we are His and whollyHis-and only His! Hold us fast, O blessed Lover of our souls, for only so can we continue to hold You fast!
V. My last injunction is this-IF YOU HAVE FOUND CHRIST, TELL OTHERS ABOUT HIM, even as Philip said to Nathanael, "We havefound Him."
I have sometimes feared that some professing Christians fancy that they are to keep Christ all to themselves. They seem tohave an idea that Heaven is just-
"A little spot enclosed by Grace"- where only they and a small select company of like-minded persons will gain admittance!I cannot congratulate them upon harboring such a notion and I very strongly urge them to imitate the example of a man whofound that he had a forged bank-note in his possession-he threw it over a hedge and ran away as fast as he could for fearanybody should think it belonged to him! Such a spirit as that seems to me to be quite contrary to the mind of Him who weptover Jerusa-
lem and who said, "How often would I have gathered the children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,and you would not!"
Have you found this great hive of honey and is it very sweet to your taste? Then tell others of it, for there is abundancefor them and you, too. You are not like the poor people in a besieged city who feel that every mouthful that someone elseeats leaves so much the less for them. Oh, no! There is "bread enough and to spare" in the great Father's house, so no prodigalson need perish with hunger! At the Gospel banquet you may eat as much as you want, but there will be just as much left forothers. We have to deal with the God who is Infinite and Omnipotent, whose supply is inexhaustible and who will be glad andgratified as we spread far and wide the invitations to the great feast in honor of His Son! My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,as you love Him, follow His blessed example by going after the lost sheep until you find them! If you had only common humanity,it ought to make you earnest in seeking to deliver others from going down to the Pit, by telling them of Him who has paidthe ransom price for all who put their trust in Him! A battlefield must present a terrible sight to all who gaze upon it.I wish all those who are so eager for war could see the horrors of which we can scarcely bear to read. Yet this great Londonpresents a still more terrible sight to those whose eyes have been opened to see sinners as they really are in the sight ofGod! Our streets swarm with the unregenerate! Many of you live next door to them when they are at home. Some of you live inthe same house with them. Some even sleep in the same room with them. Plead for your husbands or wives, your brothers andsisters, your parents or children-and plead with them as well as forthem! God forbid that you should be eternally separatedfrom those who are so near and dear to you! Pray for them night and day! You who are the Lord's remembrancers, take no restand give Him no rest, and give them no rest until they are saved! Next to your own relatives, plead with and for your employees,your employer, your neighbors and all with whom you come in contact! And then widen your sympathies and supplications untilthey shall embrace all of woman born! Remember Richard Krill's question, "Brethren, the heathen are perishing, will you letthem perish?" Do not neglect the heathen abroad or the heathen at home! An earnest minister said to his people one Sabbath,"I am going, this week on a mission to the heathen." The deacons looked at one another, for the pastor had not mentioned thematter to them. And the members thought, "We are about to lose our dear minister, but whatever has made him think of goingas a missionary to the heathen?" While these thoughts were passing through their minds, he quietly added, "But I am not goingout of this town in order to be a missionary."
And there is no need for anybody to go out of town in order to be a missionary to the heathen! There they are, Brothers andSisters, all around you! And you are the missionaries. There is your work-go and do it-and may God bless you in it-and somay many precious immortal souls through you be led to find Jesus and to trust in Him for salvation, for His name and mercy'ssake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: ACTS2:1-21.
[The following Exposition is the earlier portion of the one published with Sermon #3224, Volume 56-"REPENTANCE AND REMISSION".]
Verses 1-8. And when the day of Pentecost [See Sermons #511, Volume 9-PENTECOST and #1783, Volume 30, also named PENTECOST.]was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And
suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, andit filledall the house where they were sitting. Andthere appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filed with the HolySpirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews,devout men out of every nation under Heaven. Now when this was told abroad, the multitude came together and were confoundedbecause every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying, one to another, Behold,are not all these which speak, Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?These men, sofar from being able to speak many languages, could not, by themselves, speak even one correctly! The Galileans dialect wasa base degradation of the true Jewish tongue, so that the Galileans were always the subject of sneers and scoffing on accountof their mispronunciation. There are several stories in the old Rabbinical writings, all intended to ridicule the Galileans-yetthese men had now been taught to speak their own language perfectly and, what was still more marvelous-languages that theyhad never heard now came pouring forth
from their lips with the greatest fluency! How wide the range of those foreign tongues was, we learn from the following verses-
9-11. Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts in Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretesand Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. Babel's curse was now removed-not by a reversingof God's curse, for God's curses and blessings are both like the laws of the Medes and Persians which never can be altered.Men still spoke the tongues of confusion, but the Apostles were able to speak to them all after receiving that miraculousgift of tongues. Thus was fulfilled that promise of Jesus, "He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also;and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto My Father." Christ never spoke with many tongues, nor did He enableHis disciples to do so during His life on earth! But when He had gone back to Heaven to His Father and had received giftsfor men, they were enabled to do greater works than He had accomplished by His personal ministry here below.
12,13. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What means this? Others mocking, said, These menare full of new wine.That is to say, if a Libyan, for instance, had been listening to one who was preaching in the languageof Cappadocia, he might think that the man was merely babbling strange sounds without any meaning in them. To others, theInspired Speech of the Apostles was only like the incoherent utterance of drunken men!
14-20. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, andsaid to them, You men of Judaea, and all you that dwellat Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: for these are not drunk as you suppose, seeing it is but thethird hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days,says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and
your young men shall see visions in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will show wonders in Heaven aboveand signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon intoblood, before that great and notable day of the Lord comes. Doubtless this refers first to the siege of Jerusalem, when thosestrange portents were seen in the heavens, and afterwards to that far greater and more notable day of the Lord, the Day ofJudgment, when the moon shall become as blood and the sun shall become black as sackcloth of hair.
21. Andit shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. What a glorious Gospel versethis is! This is one of the great lifeboat-texts of the Bible. He who can get into this boat shall certainly sail to Gloryin safety! "Whoever"-there is no exception of character, whatever his past life may have been! "Whoever shall call on thename of the Lord"-here are no hard conditions-prayer, trust, confession of that trust-all these make up calling upon the nameof the Lord. And whoever shall do this, not only may be but, "shall be saved." There is no perhaps, no maybe about it-"Whoevershall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved."