“The hour is approaching, when the tribes shall go up to their own country; when Judea, so long a bawling wilderness, shall once more blossom like the rose; when, if the temple itself be not restored, yet on Zion’s hill shall be raised some Christian building, where the chants of solemn praise shall be heard as erst of the old Psalms of David were sung in the Tabernacle. ..I think we do not attach sufficient importance to the restoration of the Jews. We do not think enough about it. But certainly, if there is anything promised in the Bible it is this. I imagine that you cannot read the Bible without seeing clearly that there is to be an actual restoration of the Children of Israel … For when the Jews are restored, the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in; and as soon as they return, then Jesus will come upon Mount Zion with his ancients gloriously, and the halcyon days of the millennium shall then dawn; we shall then know every man to be a In-other and a friend; Christ shall rule with universal sway.”
From a Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, June 3, 1855, by the REV. C. H. SpurgeonAt New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.
Born in Kelvedon, Essex, Spurgeon’s conversion to Christianity came on 6 January 1850, at age 15. On his way to a scheduled appointment, a snow storm forced him to cut short his intended journey and to turn into a Primitive Methodist chapel in Colchester where God opened his heart to the salvation message. The text that moved him was Isaiah 45:22 – “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else.” Later that year on 4 April 1850, he was admitted to the church at Newmarket.
His baptism followed on 3 May in the river Lark, at Isleham. Later that same year he moved to Cambridge, where he later became a Sunday school teacher. He preached his first sermon in the winter of 1850–51 in a cottage at Teversham while filling in for a friend. From the beginning of his ministry his style and ability were considered to be far above average. In the same year, he was installed as pastor of the small Baptist church at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, where he published his first literary work, a Gospel tract written in 1853.
.In April 1854, after preaching three months on probation and just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 19, was called to the pastorate of London’s famed New Park Street Chapel, Southwark (formerly pastored by the Particular Baptists Benjamin Keach, theologian John Gill and John Rippon). This was the largest Baptist congregation in London at the time, although it had dwindled in numbers for several years. Spurgeon found friends in London among his fellow pastors, such as William Garrett Lewis of Westbourne Grove Church, an older man who along with Spurgeon went on to found the London Baptist Association.
Within a few months of Spurgeon’s arrival at Park Street, his ability as a preacher made him famous. The following year the first of his sermons in the “New Park Street Pulpit” was published. Spurgeon’s sermons were published in printed form every week and had a high circulation. By the time of his death in 1892, he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations and devotions.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for Spurgeon’s gifts of preaching and teaching, and his legacy that continues today. His expectation of the future of Israel maps out in broad outline a broadly historic premillennial position, which fuelled his passion for mission and ministry then and now. May Messianic Jews learn from his example, and live out their callings according to your Word. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.
“Once a Curse But Now a Blessing” delivered on December 6, 1863 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington:
But the day is coming, yea it dawns already, when the whole world shall discern the true dignity of the chosen seed, and shall seek their company, because the Lord hath blessed them. In that day when Israel shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for their sins, the Jew shall take his true rank among the nations as an elder brother and a prince. The covenant made with Abraham, to bless all nations by his seed, is not revoked; heaven and earth shall pass away, but the chosen nation shall not be blotted out from the book of remembrance. The Lord hath not cast away his people; he has never given their mother a bill of divorcement; he has never put them away; in a little wrath he hath hidden his face from them, but with great mercies will he gather them. The natural branches shall again be engrafted into the olive together with the wild olive graftings from among the Gentiles. In the Yew, first and chiefly, shall grace triumph through the King of the Jews. 0 time, fly thou with rapid wing, and bring the auspicious day.
“The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews” delivered on June 16, 1864 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newing ton:
There will be a native government again; there will again be the forma of a body politic; a state shall be incorporated, and a king shall reign. Israel has now become alienated from her own land. Her sons, though they can never forget the sacred dust of Palestine, yet die at a hopeless distance from her consecrated shores. But it shall not be so for ever, for her sons shall again rejoice in her: her land shall be called Beulah, for as a young man marrieth a virgin so shall her sons marry her. “I will place you in your own land, ” is God’s promise to them … They are to have a national prosperity which shall make them famous; nay, so glorious shall they be that Egypt, and Tyre, and Greece, and Rome, shall all forget their glory in the greater splendour of the throne of David …1 there be anything clear and plain, the literal sense and meaning.
If this passage (Ezekiel 37:1-IO) has a meaning not to be spirited or spiritualized away, it must be evident that both the two and the ten tribes of Israel are to be restored to their own land, and that a king is to rule over them.
“The Leafless Tree” delivered on March 8, 1857 at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark:
If we read the Scripture’s aright the Jews have a great deal to do with this world’s history. They shall be gathered in; Messiah shall come, the Messiah they are looking for-the same Messiah who came once shall come again shall come as they expected him to come the first time. They then thought he would come a prince to reign over them, and so he will when he comes again. He will come to be king of the Jews, and to reign over his people most gloriously; for when he comes Jew and Gentile shall have equal privileges, though there shall yet be some dis tinction afforded to that royal family from whose loins Jesus came; for be shall sit upon the throne of his father David, and unto him shall be gathered all nations.
Spurgeon interpreted the text quite literally, he took its promises at face value. He refused to retreat to a “spiritualized” interpretation which either negated or obfuscated what he viewed as a clear teaching of the text.
Spurgeon repeated the theme of the restoration of Israel to the land on many other occasions. He clearly linked that restoration together with the Jews national acceptance of Christ as their Messiah.
“It is certain that the Jews, as a people, will yet own Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of David as their King, and that they will return to their own land, and they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the old cities, the desolations of many generations.”
Regarding the restoration of national Israel to its land Spurgeon consistently and clearly taught to the following key points:
- Israel as a nation will come to faith in Christ.
- Israel will have a national or geo-political identity.
- The political system will be a monarchy, “a king shall reign”
- Israel will be in the Promised Land
- The borders will correspond to the promises given to Abraham and David.
- Israel will hold a special place among the nations in the millennial kingdom.
- However, Israel remains spiritually part of the church.
- There will be a national prosperity that will be the admiration of the world
- That the prophecies of the Old Testament should not be handled in a non-literal fashion
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