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Leave us Alone!

July 15, 2014

“Change is dreaded by the one in sin. They are content to remain as they are. In certain stages of a sinner’s life he feels as if he does not want to be anything but just what he is. He has succeeded in business, he is merry of heart, he is enjoying himself. No doubt there is a worm at the root of all his self-satisfaction, but he does not want to think about that worm. The tree looks all right—why do you want to interfere with it? The apple is beautiful, look at its fair rosy cheeks—suppose there is a maggot in the very core that will destroy it—why do you not let us look at the apple as long as we can be pleased with it? People who talk like that have built a very pretty house, but it is all cardboard—nothing more! But then, see how nicely it is painted and how very beautiful it looks! It is true that the first storm that arises will destroy it, but, possibly, there will not come a storm just yet, so why not let us be easy while we can? There are, alas, many of those easy-going souls. I pity the man who never has any troubles.

I believe that there are some people who never will have the heartache till they have known what it is to be hungry almost to starvation. It was so with that poor prodigal—he never thought of going back to his father till, “he would gladly have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: but no man gave any unto him.” Poverty, sickness, bereavement and sorrow of heart are often God’s angels that come to smite men on the side and wake them up, as the angel awoke sleeping Peter and delivered him from prison, where he was to have been led forth to die on the morrow! Some of you ought to thank God that He does not let you have a very easy or merry time. He does not let you settle on your lees, but keeps on emptying you from vessel to vessel. The reason for this is that He has designs of love for you and He means that you never should rest till you rest in Him! But it is often because of the pride which comes of fullness of bread and the fatness of heart which grows out of worldly prosperity that many a man says to the Lord Jesus Christ, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, You Son of the Most High God?”

And then, if you try to probe such people a little deeper and begin to talk to them about death and judgment, they probably turn upon you with great indignation, for they claim the right to be left alone. “Surely,” they say, “this is a free country, so we ought to be left alone and not to interfered with.” You will hear them say concerning a certain preacher, “Why does not that man preach his own religion and leave other people alone?” Perhaps one of them says, “I liked that sermon very well, on the whole, but I did not like that part of it in which the minister attacked such-and-such an error, as he called it. Why cannot he leave other people alone?” Yes, that is the old cry, “Leave us alone! Leave us alone!” If you will only let the devil alone, the devil will let you alone—but if you once attack him, he will be certain to attack you! But just think for a moment what this foolish sinner claims—he claims the right to live in blindness! You who can see must not tell him that he is blind! If you do so, he says you are infringing his rights. He says that he has a right to lie in prison if he chooses to do so! And if you come and hammer at the door, or shout to him through the iron bars that there has come One who can let loose the captives, he complains that you are disturbing him! Here is a man on the verge of destruction, asleep on the edge of a precipice! If you wake him, he tells you that he has a right to sleep there if he likes and that he does not want you to awaken him in that rough way and talk to him about his imminent danger! Here is another man lying down on the railway track and the engine and train are coming along that line. If you try to move him, he says that he has a right to lie there if he likes. What is it to you if the engine goes right over his body and cuts him in pieces? You cry to him, “Madman, escape for your life! The engine will be on you directly.” If he does get up, he abuses you and says, “Mind your own business! You go your way and leave me alone.” That is the style in which sinners talk when they claim the right to be left alone.

But everybody who has any sense knows that such talk is the language of a fool, for a man has not the right to be damned! He has not the right to destroy himself eternally. Our law very properly withholds from a man the right to commit suicide—if he is caught in the act of attempting to take his own life, he is punishable as a criminal. The act of suicide is a grave offense against the Laws of God and man, and no man has the right to damn his own soul and so to commit spiritual suicide. So we mean to interfere, by God’s help, with such a foolish and wicked man—and cry to him to escape from the wrath to come and, in doing so, we are only obeying the highest instinct of Nature—and the Law of Love, which is the Law of God.”

– CH Spurgeon

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