We are called to turn away from lives in which God is excluded, and to seek and rely on Jesus Christ. Why? What is He really like? What has He done? What can He do for us, now, and eternally? What is it like to know Him, and what are the terms for responding to His call?
‘Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is none else.
This is about how God, indeed how Christ, calls to our souls. Now the text is a very famous text in this church. You know that that great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon in the 19th century was pastor of this church for 38 years. The church goes back to 1650 but it was the ministry of C.H. Spurgeon which is so remembered. Spurgeon is noted today because his books, his sermons, still outsell those of any other writer of religious books, sermons particularly. In fact his sermons fill now 63 volumes. I used to be able to say 62 but in the last few years a 63rd volume of previously unpublished sermons have been located, edited and published. It gives him by far the record as being the English author with the largest work in print, by far. Nobody even approaches him for in-print books.
But when C.H. Spurgeon was a youngster of 14 he came to Christ and experienced conversion through this text which is above and behind me. He’d been seeking the Lord. He was very exercised, very concerned about his soul even at that age. But it was on the 6th of January in the year 1850 that he was walking to church in the Colchester area and as he drew near to the town he knew where he was going. He was going to a Baptist church in the town but there was the most fearful snowstorm, such a blizzard. And he lost his way, no doubt many of you know the story well. He didn’t know where he was going or heading and just on what was then the outskirts of Colchester he stumbled into a little primitive Methodist chapel, a very small chapel. It’s there to this day with a tiny gallery and there were just a few, a handful of people because of the storm. The congregation mainly couldn’t turn up but there was no preacher. The assigned preacher, he couldn’t get there because of the snow and a relatively uneducated man who was entirely unprepared took the pulpit, preached the sermon on this very text.
And as he repeated himself of necessity over and over again, the message spoke to the heart of that 14-year-old youngster and he looked to Christ and he put his trust in him and he prayed to him for forgiveness and for life and that marked his experience of conversion and of course his subsequent ministry became world famous. So I’d like us to think of this text before us now, chapter 45 verse 22, ‘look unto me and be ye saved.’ Look unto me, says God, and we will interpret it as Christ speaking. Indeed the Lord Jesus Christ utters words which are the equivalent of this very text, ‘come unto me all ye that labour.’ And that is the sense of these words.’
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