Four-fold Gospel - A. B. Simpson - ebook
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And they cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Rev. 7:10.This is the cry of the ransomed around the throne when the universe is dissolving in wreck, and terror is filling the hearts of men. It is the first cry of the ransomed after they reach their home and have seen all that it means to be lost and to be saved, while the earth is reeling, and the elements are melting, and all things are quaking and trembling in the first approaches of the great catastrophe. They see behind them all the way through which the Lord has led them; down that long vista they behold the toils they have come through and the perils they have escaped, and they recognize how tenderly the grace of God has led them on and kept them safe. They see the robes and crowns that are prepared for them, and all the joy of the eternal future which is opening before them. They see all this, and then they behold Him whose hand has kept it all safely for them, and whose heart has chosen it for them. They look back upon all the past: they look forward into all the future; they look up into the face of Him to whom it was all due, and then they lift up their voices in one glad exultant cry, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” This is what salvation means; this is what they have believed for; this is what He died to give them. They have it all. They are saved, and the full realization of it has come home to their heart at last.

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THEFOUR-FOLDGOSPEL

by

Rev. A. B. Simpson

Third Edition, Revised

published by

THE CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE PUBLISHING CO.

692 Eighth Avenue, New York

Copyrighted, 1890, By A. B. Simpson.

Hope. Inspiration. Trust.

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Contents

I. Christ our Saviour

II. Christ our Sanctifier

III. Christ our Healer

IV. Christ our Coming Lord

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I. Christ our Saviour

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. Rev. 7:10.

This is the cry of the ransomed around the throne when the universe is dissolving in wreck, and terror is filling the hearts of men. It is the first cry of the ransomed after they reach their home and have seen all that it means to be lost and to be saved, while the earth is reeling, and the elements are melting, and all things are quaking and trembling in the first approaches of the great catastrophe. They see behind them all the way through which the Lord has led them; down that long vista they behold the toils they have come through and the perils they have escaped, and they recognize how tenderly the grace of God has led them on and kept them safe. They see the robes and crowns that are prepared for them, and all the joy of the eternal future which is opening before them. They see all this, and then they behold Him whose hand has kept it all safely for them, and whose heart has chosen it for them. They look back upon all the past: they look forward into all the future; they look up into the face of Him to whom it was all due, and then they lift up their voices in one glad exultant cry, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” This is what salvation means; this is what they have believed for; this is what He died to give them. They have it all. They are saved, and the full realization of it has come home to their heart at last.

Let us look a little at what it means to be saved. It is not at all a little thing. We sometimes hear that certain Christians are only justified. It is a mighty thing to be justified. It is a glorious thing to be born again. Christ said it was greater to have one’s name written in heaven than to be able to cast out devils. What does salvation mean?

I. What it Saves us From

1. It takes away the guilt of sin. It frees us from all liability and punishment for past offences. Sin deserves punishment. Salvation takes this all away. Is it not glorious to be saved?

2. Salvation saves us from the wrath of God. God hates evil and must punish it somehow. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men. But from this salvation delivers us.

3. Salvation delivers us from the curse of the law. We can recall the terrors of its revealing, the lightnings and thunder that surrounded the mountain, and the terror of Israel before it was given at all. They could not bear that God should speak to them thus, and they entreated Moses, “Speak thou with us and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” But if the giving of the law was terrible, more terrible was the breaking. It is perilous to break the law of the land. The most tender appeal of affection did not avail to save those condemned anarchists in Chicago recently. The hand of the law was on their throats, and to the gallows they must go. I remember the days when the assassin of President Lincoln was stalking through the land. The law would have searched the world to find him out. How terrible it must have been for him to feel that the eye of justice was looking for him, and sooner or later would surely find him! The circle narrowed and narrowed around him, till at last he was grasped in the cordon. So the cordon of law tightens around the sinner who is under its power. Salvation delivers us from this curse through Him who was made a curse for us.

4. It delivers us also from our evil conscience. There is always a shadow left on our hearts by sin, and a feeling of remorse. It is the black wing of the raven, and its hoarse voice is ever whispering of despair. The memory of past guilt will follow people so that after many years they tell of crimes committed, the punishment for which they escaped, but the burden never left their conscience. Sometimes it seemed to slumber for a while, and at last it sprang upon them like a lion. Salvation delivers from our evil conscience. It takes the shadow from the heart and the stinging memory of sin from the soul.

5. It delivers from an evil heart, which is the source of all the sin in the life. It is natural for men to sin even while they hate it. The tendency to evil is in every nature, chained to it like a body of death, so that when we would do good evil is present with us. It takes possession of the will and heart, like a living death. It is offensive, it smells of the sepulchre, it is full of the poison of asps, it putrefies the whole moral being and bears it, too, down to death. Salvation frees us from its power and gives us a new nature.

6. It frees us from the fear of death. It takes away the sting of that last enemy, through fear of whom we would otherwise all our lifetime be subject to bondage. I remember when I was a child what a shock a funeral bell would give me. I could not bear to hear of some one’s being dead. The love of Christ has taken this all away. The death-bed of God’s children is to them the portal of heaven.

7. Salvation delivers us from Satan’s power and kingdom. God hath “delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.” We are saved from the ills and the serpent and the bonds of sin, and the devil is for us a conquered foe. Salvation delivers us from much sorrow and distress in life. It brings a glorious sunlight into the life and drives away those clouds of depression and gloom which overwhelm us.

8. Beyond all else, salvation delivers us from eternal death. We are not going down into outer darkness and the depths of woe. Christ has unlocked the fetters of the pit and saved us from endless death. We are delivered from that terrible agony which the kindest lips that ever spoke has called “the worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched.”

These are some of the things that salvation has delivered us from. Is it not indeed glad tidings?

II. What Salvation Brings to us

1. It brings the forgiveness of all our sins and entirely removes them. They are blotted out as completely as though we had paid all that was due for them, and they can never appear against us again.

2. It brings us justification in the sight of God, so that we stand before Him as righteous beings. We are accepted as though we had done everything He had commanded, and had perfectly kept the law in every particular. With one stroke of the pen He erases the account that was against us; with another stroke He puts there all the righteousness of Christ. We must take both sides of this. The spotlessness of Jesus is put to your account as if it were your own. All His obedience to the Father is yours. All His patience and gentleness are yours. Every service that He has rendered to bless others is put to your account as if you had done it all. Every good thing you can discover in Him is yours, and every evil thing in you is His. That is salvation. Is it not wonderful?

3. It brings us into the favor and love of God, and secures us full acceptance in the person of Jesus. He loves us as He loves His only begotten Son. The moment we are presented in the arms of Christ, we are accepted in Him. Dr. Currie, a brilliant writer connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, has left a beautiful incident in his own life. He was the editor of one of the best journals of his church, and in many ways he was closely connected with its work. He dreamed one night, a little before his recent death, that he died and went up to the gate of heaven. There he met an angel and asked to be allowed to enter. The angel asked him who he was. He answered: “I am Dr. Currie, the editor of the Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal Church.” The angel answered: “I don’t know you, I never heard of you before.” Soon he met another angel and told him the same story, and received the same answer: “I don’t know you.” At last one of the angels said: “Let us go to the Judge and see if He will know you.” He went before the throne and told the Judge about his life and the work he had done for the church, but received the answer from the Judge: “I don’t know you at all.” His heart was beginning to gather the blackness of despair, when suddenly there was One at his side with a crown of thorns upon his head, who said: “Father, I know him. I will answer for him.” And instantly all the harps of heaven began to sing: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain,” and he was ushered into all the glory of the celestial world. Not all the preaching we have done, or all the service we have rendered will amount to anything there. We must be identified with the man who wore the thorns; we must be accepted in the Beloved, and then the Father will love us even as He loves His Son. We shall stand with Him even as Christ does.

4. Salvation gives us a new heart. It brings to us regeneration of the soul. Every spark of life from the old polluted nature is worthless, and the divine nature is born in us as a part of our very being.

5. Salvation gives us grace to live day by day. A man may be pardoned and so get out of prison, and yet have no money to supply his needs. He is pardoned, yet he is starving. Salvation takes us out of prison, and provides for all our needs besides. It enables us to rejoice in the glory of God, which is “able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence is His glory with exceeding joy.”

6. It brings to us the help of the Holy Spirit, who is ever at our side as a gentle mother, helping our infirmities and bringing grace for every time of need.

7. It brings to us the care of God’s providence, causing all things to work together for our good. This is never true until we are saved; but when we are the children of God all things in earth and in heaven are on our side.

8. Salvation opens the way for all the blessings that follow it. It is the stepping stone to sanctification and healing, and the peace that passeth understanding. From this first gateway the prospect opens out boundlessly to all the good land we may go on to possess.

9. Salvation brings us to eternal life. It is, of course, only the beginning, but the heavenly land has its portals open even here, and when we at last reach the throne and look out and see all the possibilities that yet lie before us, we shall sing with the ransomed, “Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

III. The Process by which these Blessings Come

1. They come through the mercy and grace of God.