Lord’s Day 05/30 life’s battle

To us, also, in due time, shall be brought the message, “The Master is come and calls for you.” My ear hears a voice crying aloud, “Set your house in order; for you shall die and not live.” Will not you hear it? Will any one of you refuse the voice which speaks from Heaven? Death evidently pays no respect to character, age, or hopefulness. A man may addict himself to the service of his country, but his patriotism will not protect him.

He may be surrounded with a wall of affection, but this will not screen him. He may have at his command all the comforts of life and yet life may ooze out before the physician is aware. He may be tenderly loved by an affectionate mother and his name may be engraved on the heart of the fondest of wives, but death has no regard to the love of women. “It is appointed unto men once to die.” There is no discharge in this war—we shall all march into this fight—and unless
the Lord, Himself, shall speedily come and end the present dispensation, we shall, each one, fall upon this battlefield, for the shafts of Death fly everywhere and there is no armor for either back or breast by which his cruel darts may be turned aside.

I would to God that all of us retained this Truth of God in our memories. “Lord, make me to know my end and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.” We have a very clear conviction that others will die, but as to ourselves, we put far from us the evil day and care not to dwell upon a subject which smells so unpleasantly of the morque! Yes, we admit that we shall die, but not so soon as to make it a pressing matter—we imagine that we are not within measurable distance of the tomb. Even the oldest man gives himself a little longer lease on life. And when he has passed his four-score years, we have seen him hugging life with as much tenacity as if he had just commenced it! Brothers and Sisters, in this we are not wise—Death will not spare us because we avoid him. What is there about any one of us that we should fare better than the rest of our fellow men? We are in the same army, marching upon the same field—why should we escape where all others fall? Only two of our race have gone into the better land without crossing the dark river of death—Enoch and Elijah—but no one among us will make a third.

I hope that God’s Spirit may, this morning, impress many of you with these reflections, and lead you to the Cross of Christ by the way of this memento mori. May a prince’s death awaken many of you to life! He, being dead, now speaks to you! From yonder sunny shores he reminds you of the valley of death which you must shortly traverse.

[Sermon excerpts from What Is Your Life? by C. H. Spurgeon. March 30, 1884]

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