‘And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself to be another? for I am sent to thee with heavy tidings.’ 1 Kings 14:6
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 56:1–7
Here was an occasional hearer; and we make the observation that this occasional hearer was totally destitute of all true piety. Most occasional hearers are. Those who have true religion are not occasional hearers. You will find that truly gracious persons are diligent in the use of the means. Instead of thinking it a toil to come up to the place of worship, I know there are some of you who wish there were two Sundays in the week; and the happiest times you ever have are when you are sitting in these seats and joining in our sacred songs. There are no words which give you a better idea of heaven as a place than:
‘Where congregations ne’er break up, And Sabbaths have no end.’
Gracious souls love the place where God’s honour dwells, and the assembling of themselves together is always a blessed thing to them; but occasional hearers are generally graceless persons—I know how you spend your Sunday. There is the morning: you are not up very early; it takes a long time to dress on a Sunday morning; then follows the Sunday paper, with the news of the week; that must be gone through. The wife has been toiling hard all the morning with the dinner; what do you care? Then there is the afternoon, when there is a little more lolling about. Then in the evening, there is the walk. But the day, after all, is not very happy and comfortable: and sometimes you have wished there were no Sundays except that they give your body a little rest. You do not fear God, nor do you care for his service.
For meditation: For many today business, shopping and sport would have to be added to Spurgeon’s description of the occasional hearer’s Sunday. The Christian Sunday has been attacked in exactly the same way as the Jewish Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:15–17). Is the Lord’s Day important enough for you to keep Sunday special?
Sermon no. 584
1 August (Preached 31 July 1864)