Advice For Seekers
Holding Out the Light
Think you donÃ¢ÂÂt measure up to GodÃ¢ÂÂs standard? Feeling the weight of guilt, but not sure how to cast it off? Groping through the dark to find a relationship with God, but not sure He even cares? This book is written to you. Charles H. Spurgeon, called the Ã¢ÂÂprince of preachersÃ¢ÂÂ of the 1800s, seems more like an earnest friend in this book, directly addressing the one who tiptoes around the entryway of salvation but has not yet entered in.
Although you can read the entire text online (e.g., http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/archive/pdf-english/afse.pdf), I like having this classic work in hand and available to give others, republished in a little hardcover by Master Books of New Leaf Publishing. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher to review.
In 14 short chapters, Spurgeon takes the seeker by the hand and guides him toward the narrow path. First, he addresses the one who is trying to be good enough to get to heaven. Ã¢ÂÂIf there is a way to heaven by works, why did He put His dear Son to all that pain and grief? Why the scenes of Gethsemane? Why the tragedy on Golgotha, when the thing could be done so easily another way? You insult the wisdom of God and the love of God.Ã¢ÂÂ Rather than self-righteousness, which is futile since we are all sinners, the way is to Ã¢ÂÂTrust in the Incarnate Savior, whom God appointed to stand in the stead of sinners.Ã¢ÂÂ
Next, Spurgeon noted that when Jesus was on earth, He was approachable to the destitute, despised, and depraved. And these are the kind of people He savesÃ¢ÂÂthose who see themselves as poor in spirit, under the wrath of God for their sins. Ã¢ÂÂYou have but to trust in Jesus and you are saved; made a new creature in an instant; set on your feet again to start upon a new life, with a new power within you, which shall conquer sin.Ã¢ÂÂ
Spurgeon himself was once one of those seekers who thought Ã¢ÂÂI had much to feel and to do to make myself ready for HimÃ¢ÂÂ until he found there was Ã¢ÂÂlife in a look at Christ, that all I needed to do was simply to trust, to come as I was and put my case into His dear pierced hand.Ã¢ÂÂ Salvation is by faith alone, not of works, because Christ has done it all. The works follow as evidence of genuine faith (Ephesians 2:8-10).
The title of the book, Advice for Seekers, was followed by a PublisherÃ¢ÂÂs Note that I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt sure I agreed with. It said that there are sincere seekers of truth who are not yet disciples. But Romans 3:11, Ephesians 2, and 1 John 4:10 describe our natural state as sinners who donÃ¢ÂÂt even seek God. Also, on the back of the book, the publisherÃ¢ÂÂs description says that Christ said He came to draw seekers to Himself. IÃ¢ÂÂm not sure what that is referring to, because Jesus said He came to seek and to save that which was lost.
To those who are lost, Spurgeon pleads, Ã¢ÂÂDo not delay in trusting Christ. Do not entertain a hope that it will ever be easier to trust Jesus than it is now. Do not think that you will ever be in a better state for coming to Him than you are in now. The best state in all the world for washing is to be filthy; the best state in all the world to obtain help from a physician is to be terribly sick; the best state for asking for alms is to be a beggar. Do not try to patch up those rags, to improve your character, or to make yourself better before you come to Christ.Ã¢ÂÂ
If you already know Christ, you will be challenged by SpurgeonÃ¢ÂÂs heart for the lost. If you do not have a relationship with the Lord, you will be introduced to the One who is willing and able to save all who come to Him in repentance and faith.
October 16, 2013
This is a review of the book Advice for Seekers by Charles H Spurgeon, originally published back in 1896 (4 years after his death, incidentally). This publication is by Attic Books (http://www.nlpg.com/imprint/attic-books/), which is a segment of New Leaf Publishing.
When I received the book, I was all prepared to dislike it due to its cheesy look. The cover looks really fake-y like it's pretending to be an old book, and the pages, which look torn out, kind of, which truthfully, I think looks pretty stupid and distracting.
Add to this the old language, which reads kind of like King James version . . . Yup, I was prepared to dislike it, just from these superficial things.
Well, then I began reading it -- and once I got into the pattern of reading the old time writing style, I began to enjoy it! Really surprised myself on that one!!
The book is a series of messages by Spurgeon, aimed at people who are not yet believers in Christ but are searching for the Truth. As I was reading through it, struck by the deep truths that are presented in such a friendly manner, I was thinking that I wished the language was updated so that it would be an attractive, easy book for a nonbeliever to read. However, I suppose that someone who is truly seeking might not be put off by the language and plow through to see the wisdom.
I would also recommend this book for a believer in Christ. It is an encouragement and a reminder of the truths found in the Word of God regarding salvation, security, sin, and more.
So -- though I originally thought I'd not like this book, turns out that I do! I would recommend it, but understand that you'll have to get into the rhythm of reading the old-sounding writing.
I received a free copy of this book from New Leaf Publishing Company for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.
August 27, 2013
Over the years, I have read many different perspectives or reviews on Spurgeon as a man, his faith and his writings. There are some who would agree with him and others who wouldnÃ¢ÂÂt. Yet once in awhile it is good to read something written by Charles Spurgeon as food for the mind, heart and soul. I found this small book so very rich for every part of my being. Advice for Seekers is written for those who have reasons for not considering the claims of Christ or havenÃ¢ÂÂt really taken time to consider fully who He is or what He has done.
If you are a Christian, then I would still highly recommend the Ã¢ÂÂadviceÃ¢ÂÂ given herein. Why? Regardless of how long or short your walk with the Lord has been time isnÃ¢ÂÂt the measuring stick, but Christ. As we walk in our respective fields of employment, homes and such, we can forget the simplest yet most profound Person. Sometimes as we gather with others who are likeminded we tend to no longer know how to speak to them in a way that causes them to stop and consider in their hearts this God we worship.
I recommend a copy for personal libraries of homes all around the globe, right next to the Bible. When life gets busy or emotions are awry, it is hard to know where in the Bible to read and find comfort. Perhaps this small book and the heart of this pastor can help steer the most torn up soul. It has been written as well as spoken that where we set our eyes there we will be most influenced. So give pause in your day and ask yourself, Ã¢ÂÂWhere am I looking?Ã¢ÂÂ
Spurgeon, with simplicity and conviction of heart, will move you toward Christ as you read through the pages. If you need refreshment or a fire rekindled within the depths of your soul, remember you arenÃ¢ÂÂt alone in these experiences. Others have gone through this before. Spurgeon is such a man who left behind words that ring with truth, conviction and exhortation.
Whether you are a fan of his writings or not, donÃ¢ÂÂt base your decision of reading nor purchasing a copy on that standard alone. Consider where you are right now in your walk with Christ, in fellowship with others and be willing to open up your heart to being renewed. The book is not a theological debate nor is it loaded with words that are of academic consideration; it is simple, plain and forthright. Published with the very words of Spurgeon as he wrote them and now available for us today for serious and prayerful thought by readers everywhere. Grab a copy and perhaps give a copy away as a gift.
July 25, 2013
God loves you. God hates sin. Therein lies the dilemma. Charles Spurgeon's age-old book, Advice for Seekers, addresses you. You, the sinner. Me, the sinner. When Jesus reached out to this sinner, I had nothing to offer in return. All I could do was reach up to grab hold of the hand that would never let me go (and even that very act was God giving me the strength). Forgiven. Redeemed! I was bought with a price that was impossible to ever repay. With Jesus' last breath on the cross, he uttered, "Tetelestai." A commercial word that meant "It is paid; the debt is paid in full." It is finished!
Spurgeon draws on Scripture to reveal Jesus' promises to give us life everlasting and for us to rest in the abundant life that He offers us. So, why do we settle for the sublime, complaining, discontentment,...the things of this world? Are you living the life of faith that God has called you to? Spurgeon had his own frustrations as a young man and with a gentle spirit, shares with us how he came to surrender his life completely to God.
Christ has called us and desires us to come up out of the pitiful bogs we live in. Are you a seeker? Seeking to find meaning and purpose in life, seeking to shed the weight of sin on your heart, seeking forgiveness, seeking love/understanding/compassion, seeking grace, seeking....ever seeking. Perhaps you are already a Believer and you are seeking to share the gospel message with others, seeking a deeper relationship with the One who called you out of the pit. I encourage you to read this book and be inspired, encouraged, and assured.
To quote Mr. Spurgeon: "The way of salvation has in all ages been one and the same. No man has ever been saved by good works. The way by which the just have lived has always been the way of faith. There has not been the slightest advance upon this truth; it is established and settled, evermore the same, like the God who uttered it. At all times, and everywhere, the gospel is and must forever be the same. 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever.'.....Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God's Word shall never pass away."
A 19th century reproduction, Advice for Seekers is a beautifully bound collection of Charles Spurgeon's writings, words, and faith-filled insights. There is something to be said for pages that are "made to look old". Something timeless, classic, and comforting to hold. I think for this very reason, I would be hard-pressed to ever convert to digital books!
Thank you to New Leaf Publishing for the gift of this book. It was a joy to review and share!
May 8, 2013