Dream word – PREPARE
“‘I overthrew some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; Yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord.” NKJV
Two more twin towers
I am writing tonight’s Whisper from the village of Bolney in West Sussex. I just so happen to be a few miles from the village of Hassocks, where on the London to Brighton railroad line, the Clayton Tunnel, digs itself 1.5 miles into the chalky hills of the Sussex Downland! Today, the tunnel’s north-facing black and open mouth is still bedecked by castle-like towers, where like some foul entrance to hell, it has for well over a century, vomited its cold and moaning commuters, all the way up to London’s Victoria Station. I have passed this tunnel entrance thousands of times in my life and have always been intrigued regarding the possibility of living in these twin towers, above this pretty and steaming, black and gleaming, gory gate of hell.
In 1873, on the death of missionary David Livingstone a copy of one of CH Spurgeon's printed sermons “Accidents, Not Punishments” was found among his but few possessions. Grubby, much read and well worn, it bore a handwritten comment at the top of the first page which said, “Very good, DL.” Livingstone had apparently carried this sermon with him throughout his travels in Africa, and upon his death it was returned to Spurgeon and apparently was much treasured by him.
Spurgeon preached this message, “Accidents, Not Punishments” in response to two disasters in 1861. One was a terrible collision between two trains in this same Clayton Tunnel, between London and Brighton and another train wreck in Kentish Town Fields, North London. In both these gruesome incidents, 38 people were killed and hundreds injured.
The crux of Spurgeon’s sermon was a call for Christians not to quickly attribute the judgement of God to terrible accidents. Wise advice! Indeed, in that same sermon Spurgeon makes reference to his first message preached at Surrey Gardens Music Hall in 1856 which was used fir an event of his, and also was where seven people were killed in a human stampede and 28 more people were seriously injured. “I can say with a pure heart," says, Spurgoen, "we met for no object but to serve our God, and the minister had no aim in going to that place but that of gathering the many to hear who otherwise would not have listened to his voice and yet there were funerals as the result of a holy effort (for holy effort still we avow it to have been, and the after-smile of God hath proved it so). There were deaths, and deaths among God's people, I was about to say, I am glad it was with God's people rather than with others. A fearful fright took hold upon the congregation, and they fled, and do you not see that if accidents are to be viewed as judgments, then it is a fair inference that we were sinning in being there—an insinuation which our consciences repudiate with scorn?”
The fact is that we are all dying. The fact is that both the righteous and the unrighteous, whether in planned or unplanned ways, whether in gruesome or gallant circumstances, shall all meet death. Spurgeon was right, that the ways of death and the providences of God in it, are mostly inscrutable! Indeed, I echo Spurgeon’s call in that, “God Forbid we should offer our own reason when God has not offered His.”
Death is coming. All you can do is be prepared to meet him. For all of us are already living in the twin towers above the Clayton Tunnel, above the black gates of death. Are you prepared tonight? For I tell you, that it is only if you have safely met with Jesus that you can safely meet with death.
Listen: “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!” - Amos 4:12 NKJV
Pray: Lord, each day I praise You. Lord, each day I give myself away to You. Lord, thank You that You have dealt with the cold of the grave by the heat of Your resurrection, that You have dealt with the sting of death by the Shield of Your salvation and that even I, yes even I am safe in You. For You are the Lord Christ, my Jesus, my Saviour. Amen!
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