Old Doxoblogy

Monday, October 10, 2005

Spurgeon on the Second Coming and Predictions

In certain cases this uneasiness has drawn to itself a wrong expectation of immediate wonders, and an intense desire for sign-seeing. Ah me, what fanaticisms come of this!
In America years ago, one came forward who declared that on such a day the Lord would come, and he led a great company to believe his crazy predictions. Many took their horses and fodder for two or three days, and went out into the woods, expecting to be all the more likely to see all that was to be seen when once away from the crowded city. All over the States there were people who had made ascension-dresses in which to soar into the air in proper costume. They waited, and they waited, and I am sure that no text could have been more appropriate for them than this, "Ye men of America, why stand ye here gazing up into heaven?" Nothing came of it; and yet there are thousands in England and America who only need a fanatical leader, and they would run into the like folly.
The desire to know the times and seasons is a craze with many poor bodies whose insanity runs in that particular groove. Every occurrence is a "sign of the times": a sign, I may add, which they do not understand. An earthquake is a special favourite with them. "Now," they cry, "the Lord is coming"; as if there had not been earthquakes of the sort we have heard of lately hundreds of times since our Lord went up into heaven. When the prophetic earthquakes occur in divers places, we shall know of it without the warnings of these brethren.
What a number of persons have been infatuated by the number of the beast, and have been ready to leap for joy because they have found the number 666 in some great one's name. Why, everybody's name will yield that number if you treat it judiciously, and use the numerals of Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, or Timbuctoo. I feel weary with the silly way in which some people make toys out of Scripture, and play with texts as with a pack of cards. Whenever you meet with a man who sets up to be a prophet, keep out of his way in the future; and when you hear of signs and wonders, turn you to your Lord, and in patience possess your souls. "The just shall live by his faith." There is no other way of living among wild enthusiasts.
Believe in God, and ask not for miracles and marvels, or the knowledge of times and seasons. To know when the Lord will restore the kingdom is not in your power. Remember that verse which I read just now in your hearing,—"It is not for you to know the times or the seasons."
If I were introduced into a room where a large number of parcels were stored up, and I was told that there was something good for me, I should begin to look for that which had my name upon it, and when I came upon a parcel and I saw in pretty big letters, "It is not for you," I should leave it alone. Here, then, is a casket of knowledge marked, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." Cease to meddle with matters which are concealed, and be satisfied to know the things which are clearly revealed.

Taken from: The Ascension and the Second Advent Practically Considered
Delivered on December 28th, 1884, by C. H. SPURGEON, At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.


Bhedr said...

Methinks you need word verification.
Good post from the great Chuckster!

J. Wendell said...

Great reading!
Spurgeon has also been quoted to say regarding the rapture, “I would rather be on the welcoming committee than the planning committee.” Contrast that with Harold Camping who said, “Sept. 1994! Oops, 1995! Oops … well, all churches are apostate! Every one: leave your church!” (I’m loosely quoting HC) Who can even remember ONE of the Eighty-eight reasons Christ will return in 1988? There was also a group earlier who was looking for his (His) physical return in 1914 … revised it to 1915 … then revised it several times since, and still they follow the leaders even though the predictions are off... way off! (JWs)

In His eschatological program,
Brother John

P.S. I think Brian is right about that word verification. Hi Brian!

J. Wendell said...

One wise brother said recently in a comment on a "reasonable" blog:

". . . even though we are finite creatures unable to grasp the infinite, we should make an effort to understand what we can . . ."

Good idea.

Anonymous said...

And who can forget that famous West coast teacher who, in the spring of 1980, predicted the rapture would take place somewhere between Sept. and Dec. of 1981.Or all his affiliates who caused quite a stir about y2k

Shawn said...

Interesting. Thanks Jeremy