Nothing New Under The Sun

Nothing New Under The Sun

By Kevin Butler

 

       “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.”—Revelation 21:5.

 

“HOW PLEASED WE ARE with that which is new! Our children’s eyes sparkle when we talk of giving them a toy or a book which is called new; for our short-lived human nature loves that which has lately come, and is therefore like our own fleeting selves. In this respect, we are all children, for we eagerly demand the news of the day, and are all too apt to rush after the ‘many inventions’ of the hour.”

 

While this may sound like a modern-day parent struggling over which electronic toy or e-reader tablet to buy, the author really was talking of simple toys or books.

Charles Spurgeon delivered this New Year’s sermon on Thursday evening, January 1st, 1885, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in central London. I found it in the Spurgeon Archive at spurgeon.org. He continued, as if reminiscing about 2012:

“The newness which Jesus brings is bright, clear, heavenly, enduring. We are at this moment specially ready for a new year. The most of men have grown weary with the old cry of depression of trade and hard times; we are glad to escape from what has been to many a twelve-months of great trial. The last year had become wheezy, croaking, and decrepit, in its old age; and we lay it asleep with a psalm of judgment and mercy. We hope that this newborn year will not be worse than its predecessor, and we pray that it may be a great deal better.”

 

Still recovering from the election in the U.S. and heading toward the “fiscal cliff” (that I pray is resolved by press time), we should focus on what is truly “new.” Again, from 1885:

“We ought not, as men in Christ Jesus, to be carried away by a childish love of novelty, for we worship a God who is ever the same, and of whose years there is no end. In some matters ‘the old is better.’ There are certain things which are already so truly new, that to change them for anything else would be to lose old gold for new dross.

“The old, old Gospel is the newest thing in the world; in its very essence it is forever good news.… ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ What a splendor of almighty goodness shines out upon our souls! Lord, let us enter into this new universe of Thine. Let us be new-created with the ‘all things.’ In us also may men behold the marvels of thy renewing love.”

 

Spurgeon went on for many pages, focusing on the key verse in Revelation 21. As he neared the end of his message, the “Prince of Preachers” issued a powerful (but not always politically-correct) challenge:

“Numbers of Christians seem to live in the marshes always. If you go through the valleys of Switzerland, you will find yourself get feverish and heavy in spirit, and you will see many idiots, persons with the goitre, and people greatly afflicted. Climb the sides of the hills, ascend into the Alps, and you will not meet with that kind of thing in the pure fresh air. Many Christians are of the sickly-valley breed. Oh that they could get up to the high mountains, and be strong!

“I want to say to such, if you have been all your lifetime in bondage, you need not remain there any longer; for there is in Jesus the power to make all things new, and to lift you into new delights. It will seem to be a dead lift to you; but it is within the power of that pierced hand to lift you right out of doubt, and fear, and despondency, and spiritual lethargy, and weakness, and just to make you now, from this day forward, strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

 

Be strong in that old Gospel hope as you enter this new year.

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