‘He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ Hebrews 13:5
Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 21:1–9
The Lord will not and cannot leave his people, because of his relationship to them. He is your Father; will your Father leave you? Has he not said—‘Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.’ Would you, being evil, leave your child to perish? Never, never! Remember, Christ is your husband. Would you, a husband, neglect your wife? Is it not a shame to a man, unless he nourishes and cherishes her even as his own body, and will Christ become one of these ill husbands? Has he not said that, ‘he hateth putting away’? Will he ever put you away? Remember, you are part of his body. No man yet ever hated his own flesh. You may be but as a little finger, but will he leave his finger to rot, to perish, to starve? You may be the least honourable of all the members, but is it not written that upon these he bestows abundant honour, and so our uncomely parts have abundant comeliness? If he be father, if he be husband, if he be head, if he be all-in-all, how can he leave you? Think not so hardly of your God.
Consider, also, that his honour binds him never to forsake you. When we see a house half-built and left in ruins, we say, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Shall this be said of your God, that he began to save you and could not bring you to perfection? Is it possible that he will break his word, and so stain his truth? Shall men be able to cast a slur upon his power, his wisdom, his love, his faithfulness? No! thank God, no! ‘I give,’ he says ‘unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.’ If you should perish, believer, hell would ring with diabolical laughter against the character of God.
For meditation: ‘I’ve started, so I’ll finish’ may not always be true of us (Luke 14:28–30), but it is true of God (Numbers 23:19; Isaiah 46:10–11), whether we consider his work of creation (Genesis 2:1–3), his work on the cross (John 19:28–30) or his work in the Christian (Philippians 1:6).
Sermon no. 477
31 October (Preached 26 October 1862)