IF SOME ARE ELECT. WHY PREACH?
By C.H. Spurgeon
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." John 17:20
Captious and cavilling persons will object, "You say that God loves His people, and therefore they will be saved; then what is the good of preaching?" What is the good of preaching? When I say that God loves a multitude that no man can number, a countless host of the race of men, do you ask me what is the good Of preaching?
What is the good of preaching? To fetch these diamonds of the Lord out of the dunghill; to go down to the depths, as the diver does, to fetch up God's pearls from the place where they are.
What is the good of preaching? To cut down the good corn, and gather it into the garner.
What is the good of preaching? To fetch out God's elect from the ruins of the fall, and make them stand on the rock Christ Jesus, and see their standing sure.
Ah, ye who ask what is the good of preaching, because God has ordained some to salvation, we ask you whether it would not be a most foolish thing to say, because there is to be a harvest, what is the good of sowing? There is to be a harvest, what is the use of reaping? The very reason why we do sow and reap is, because we feel assured that there is to be a harvest.
And if, indeed, I believed there was not a number who must be saved, I could not go into a pulpit again. Only once make me think that no one is certain to be saved and I do not care to preach. But now I know that a countless number must be saved; I am confident that Christ shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days. I know that, if there is much to dispirit me in my ministry, and I see but little of its effects, yet He shall keep all whom the Father has given to Him; and this makes me preach. I come into this chapel tonight with the assurance that God has some child of His, in this place, not yet called; and I feel confident that He will call someone by the use of the ministry, so why not by me? I know there are not a few souls whom God has given me through my ministry, not only hundreds, but thousands. I have seen some hundreds of those who profess to have been brought to God through my preaching at Park Street, and elsewhere; and with that confidence I must go on. I know that Jesus must have a seed. His people must increase, and it is the very purpose of the ministry to seek them out, and bring them into God's fold. Our Saviour tells us the use of the ministry is, that they may believe on me through their word.
There is one peculiarity about this. Christ says, They shall believe on me through their word. Have you never heard people call out about running after men? They say, "You are all running after such-and-such a man." What then, would you have them run after a woman? You say, "The people go after one particular man." Whom else shall they go after? Some persons say, "We went to such-and-such a place, and the people there love their minister too much." That would be very dreadful, but it is not so. As for ministers being in danger of being ruined by too much love in any particular place, they get too much of the reverse somewhere else. If we get a little sweet, somebody else is sure to put in much that is bitter. Is it not singular that Christ should say, They shall believe on me through their word?
Now, do God's people believe on Christ through the word of the ministry? We know that our faith does not rest on the word of man, but on the Word of God. We do not rest on any man, yet it is through their word; that is, through the word of the apostles, and through the word of every faithful minister.