Written by Dr. Everett Piper
Ray Comfort, in his book “Spurgeon Gold: Pure and Refined,” describes Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the 19th-century preacher who ministered in the streets of London during the cholera pandemic of 1854. Spurgeon’s words, says Mr. Comfort, were pure and refined. They were rhetorical and theological gold. Spurgeon, “had the ability to take the hammer of eloquence and nail a particular truth, to pull back the veil of the eternal and give us a fleeting glance.”
Mr. Comfort continues. “Gold holds its market value. Heaven’s everlasting streets are paved with it … Gold is not meant to sit on the shelf of a rich man. If it does, then it becomes worthless. Its real value will be seen in its being spent on the cause of the Kingdom.” In other words, the gold of truth earns its value only through the spoken word and the active life of men of virtue and valor. The gold of integrity must be “spent.” It cannot be hoarded. It only earns its value if it is invested.
As COVID-19 hysteria sweeps across our nation, the tens of millions of us who still claim to be followers of Christ might do well to consider, not only these words from Ray Comfort, but also the words and actions of Charles Spurgeon of some 150 years past.
They are so good.
They are so faithful.
They are so pertinent and so prophetic.
They are gold.
One can almost hear Spurgeon bellowing from the podiums of New York City and Washington, D.C., as he did from his pulpit in Essex England — “Christians take heart! Be not afraid! Your Savior and your God, is with you! Be steadfast and immovable! Be strong and courageous! Be not afraid! Always abound in the work of the Lord!”
If you listen carefully, this man, known as the Prince of Preachers, a man with a golden tongue and a refined soul, is shouting — “Never let a crisis go to waste. Run toward the storm, not away from it. Embrace this calamity. Have courage! This is your time. This is your destiny. This is your opportunity. Shine with the light of salvation and the love of your Redeemer. Be the Church, for Jesus, himself, has told you the gates of hell will not prevail against you! Put your trust in God, not in yourselves, and not in government. Believe in His sovereignty. Walk in His grace. March with confidence in your King!”
But enough of the dross of my speculation. Hear the exact words of Spurgeon:
“At first, I gave myself up with youthful ardor to the visitation of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the district by persons of all ranks and religions; but, soon, I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it.
“I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when, as God would have it, my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemaker’s window on the Great Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore, in good bold handwriting, these words: ‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.’
“The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying, in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm.
“The Providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window, I gratefully acknowledge; and in the remembrance of its marvelous power, I adore the Lord my God.”
Let me repeat … “Faith appropriated. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm!”
This is gold. Pure gold. Refined gold.
Whether it be a bad market or a bad disease, lovers of Christ should be the first to show the world that our security is not in hand sanitizers but in our Savior.
“Don’t let this crisis go to waste!” shouts Spurgeon.
Show the world what love, joy and peace, truly look like.
Show your neighbor, your city and your nation that even though we walk through dark valleys, fear has lost its victory and death has lost its sting.
Dr. Everett Piper, former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017). This article was originally published by the WashingtonTimes.com.