I came across this quote from Spurgeon the other day: “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
It is from a sermon preached in 1860 entitled, “The Waling of Risca.” The full sermon manuscript can be found here: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0349.php
The full sermon text aimed to shake unbelievers with their desperate need for Christ. Spurgeon was also deeply moved to shake believers from the chains of lethargy regarding the eternal destination of the lost. It is also interesting to read of Spurgeon’s thoughts elsewhere on predestination and election. When God’s salvific teachings are viewed properly, one will see the cohesive tension and motivation of evangelism. Yes, God tells us He predestinated and elected our salvation. Yes, God tells us that He is not willing that any should perish. Yes, God tells us that whoever calls on Him for salvation will be saved. God’s majestic plan of redemption is mysteriously wonderful!
To accept the teachings of election is not a deterrent to evangelism, but quite the contrary. Salvation is God’s work in the hearts of mankind. He delights in using us (what an awesome thought!), but salvation is not a work of coercion that we exert on the lost. Salvation is a work that God’s Spirit does as we are faithful ambassadors of the Gospel! That is an encouraging truth! Oh, do you see the glorious doctrine of salvation upheld in the Scriptures! When properly understood, then we too can stand with Spurgeon deeply burdened for a broken world careening into the pits of hell. God is on His unstoppable mission of redeeming mankind to Himself through Christ! We must fully grasp this awesome salvation! Let it then be your motivation to proclaim the message of Jesus to our world!
Praise be to God!