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The Lord Makes the Difference

September 15, 2010
This is one of my favorite story-illustrations explaining the Bible’s view of election (which is God chose me first, so that I would chose Him):
Charles Spurgeon told of a time when he was preaching to a group of Methodist brethren. In his own words he gave us an account of what transpired:
Preaching a few months ago in the midst of a large congregation of Methodists, the brethren were all alive, giving all kinds of answers to my sermon, nodding their heads and crying, “Amen! Hallelujah! Glory be to God!” My spirit was stirred, and I preached away with an unusual force and vigor, and the more I preached, the more they cried, “Amen, Hallelujah! Glory be to God.” At last a part of text led me to what is styled high doctrine. So I said, this brings me to the doctrine of Election. There was a deep drawing of breath, Now, my friends, you believe it. They seemed to say, “No, we don’t.” But you do, and I will make you sing “Hallelujah” over it. I will so preach it to you that you will acknowledge it and believe it. So I put it thus: Is there no difference between you and other men? “Yes, yes, glory be to God.” There is a difference between what you were and what you are now? “Oh yes, yes.” There is sitting by your side a man who has been to the same chapel as you have, heard the same gospel; he is unconverted, and you are converted. Who has made the difference, yourself or God? “The Lord!” said they. “The Lord! Glory! Hallelujah.” Yes, cried I, and that is the doctrine of Election; that is all I contend for, that if there be a difference, the Lord made the differenc.
[C. H. Spurgeon, “Election and Holiness.” March 11, 1860].
(See 1 Corinthians 1:20-31; 4:7)

Green, M. P. (1989). Illustrations for Bilical Preaching : Over 1500 sermon illustrations arranged by topic and indexed exhaustively (Revised edition of: The expositor’s illustration file.). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
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