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A True Friend

This week I am giving you part of a sermon by C.H. Spurgeon, known as the "Prince of Preachers."  Enjoy!

Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. — Proverbs 27:5-6

Commentary on "The Perpetuity of the Gospel" by Charles H. Spurgeon.

Hold on you then, dear friends, to the words of Christ even though you do not always understand them. I must also remind you that every word of threatening that Jesus Christ hath spoken, is true. Oh, that we could have seen His face, and heard the very tones of his voice! There must have been an inexpressible sweetness, and an ineffable tenderness, about the speech of Jesus Christ. All those who heard Him speak knew that He loved them: and the publicans and the sinners, the poor off casts, those who were scouted by everybody else, drew near to Him, because they felt that there sympathy towards them in that great heart of His. Yet, did you ever notice—you must have noticed it—that never a man spake such terrible threatenings to the ungodly as this man spake? It was Jesus who spoke of the worm that never dies, and of the fire that shall never be quenched; it was Jesus who spoke of destroying both body and soul in hell; it was He who said many of the most terrible things about future punishment that ever were uttered, such as the parable of the rich man who died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” When you hear men soften down the threatenings of the Scriptures, do not believe that love suggests such a course of action; it is often the proof of true love that it can speak harsh things. If a man comes, and tells you very pleasant things about yourself, BEWARE of him; he is not your friend; but the man who can warn you, who can point out your fault and folly, who can run the risk of losing your esteem by indicating your danger, that is the one who has a sincere affection for you, and a WISE man will choose such a friend as that. Whatever anyone might think or say, there is not a terrible word that fell from the Savior’s lips, which will not be affected by your likes or dislikes. “He that believeth not shall be damned.” You call this a hard saying; it is true, however, or Christ would not have said it. It must have been some sort of mental crucifixion to Him to speak as He did about the terrors of the world to come; and be ye sure that they are not less awful than He described, not less horrible than He depicted them; so, whatever any may say by toning down His threatenings, reject their falsehoods, for Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the words of Christ shall not pass away.

Know who your friends are! —Bradlee Dean