Legal Thunders are Not Intended for the Justified Saints

There are many expostulations and admonitions which do appeal to the wilful and wicked, to the indifferent and unbelieving, to those who err and are out of the way, but this is not one of them. Here we have a special charge to disciples of Jesus who know the time, and also know that their salvation draweth nigh. They are represented as being asleep and needing to awake from their present sluggishness; but they are not described as those who had ceased to be Christians, or whose salvation was in jeopardy. Though it is admitted that it is high time for them to awake out of sleep, their salvation is never questioned, but on the contrary they are reminded that now it is nearer than when they believed. The tone and tenor of this call to circumspection suggest to us that when we address the Lord’s people and find occasion to rebuke and reprove them we should never insinuate that they are likely to be banished from the household of faith, or to be cast away from the presence of God, or to be treated as reprobates. Even if we feel convinced that they are asleep, and that they must be aroused, we ought not to denounce them with railing accusations, or threaten them with the wailings of the lost and the doom of unquenchable fire. You would not be pleased if anyone should touch your child with a horsewhip; nor will the Lord allow us to strike his chosen with the rod of the wicked. Legal thunders are not intended for justified saints.

–Spurgeon, Wake Up! Wake Up! MTP 24 (1878).


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