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Author Topic: A CASTAWAY  (Read 743 times)
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« on: September 09, 2008, 04:19:39 PM »

An Old and Beautiful Sermon
by F.B. Meyer

I invite your attention to a few words found in 1Co_9:27 : "Lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

Paul was too eager and too practical a man to dally with a bogy dread. Since then he intimates that it was his daily fear lest, after having preached to others, he might himself be a castaway, I suppose that there were but few hours in his life when this dread did not haunt him. After he had founded so many churches, written so many epistles, and exercised so wide, spread an influence, in his quiet moments he was perpetually face to face with this awful nightmare, that the day might come when he would be a castaway; and the thought drove him almost to madness. When he was traveling over the blue AEgean, when he was sitting making his tents, when he was engaged in dictating his epistles, the thought would come back and back upon his heart: "I may yet be a castaway."

Have you ever feared this? I am not sure that a man ever reaches his highest development without something of the element of fear, and I ask you now if in your life you know something of this haunting dread? May I confess to you that it has become a great dread of my own? and if many days pass, and no one writes to tell me of help derived from my ministry, and no one comes to join our church, and no one seems to be influenced by my life or word, I sit myself down and say:

"Good God, has the time come at last to me when for some reason I, too, am to be a castaway?"

And reverently, humbly, but most searchingly, I ask you, my hearer, whether it may not be possible that this very moment you are already a castaway.


Is it to be supposed for a moment that the Apostle thought that when once the believer has fled to Christ he can be cast out into the outer darkness where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth? Is it possible for a limb to be torn from the mystical body of Christ, for a jewel to be snatched from out of His crown, for a sheep to be devoured from His flock? Are there any unfinished pictures in God's gallery, any incomplete statues in His workshop? Does God begin a work in the soul and leave it incomplete and unperfected? We cannot believe it.

It is said of Rowland Hill, my great predecessor at Christ Church, London, that when an old man of eighty four and just before he died, one Sunday night when the lights had been put out in Surrey Chapel, the verger in attendance heard him go to and fro in the aisle, singing to himself: "When I am to die, ' Receive me '--I'll cry, For Jesus has loved me, I cannot tell why; But this I do find, we two are so joined, He'll not be in heaven and leave me behind."

If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, if it is directed toward Christ, a union has been formed between Him and you which neither heaven nor earth nor hell nor time nor eternity can ever break. And yet the Apostle feared he would be a castaway. What did he mean? One day I was calling on a brother clergyman. He took me out .into his garden to an out, house, against the side of which was resting one of the old fashioned bicycles with a very tall wheel. I said to him: "Do you ever ride this?"

Said he: "No; see how rusty it is. I have not been on it for many months. I have got something better, something that suits my purpose better," pointing to another and a newer bicycle on the other side of the house.

I said to myself: "Then this is a castaway."

When stylographic pens first came out, I purchased one in the hope that it would serve me perfectly. But I was sadly disappointed. Sometimes when I attempted to use it, it was unwilling to serve me. At other times it was profuse in inking the finger. Finally I discarded it in hopelessness and purchased another pen. The one I now hold serves me perfectly, and I have no difficulty whatever in performing by its means any writing upon which I have set my heart. But I keep the other one. It lies in the drawer of my bureau, and often when I am putting my things together to go upon some journey, I think I hear it saying to itself as it lies there:

"Ah, he is going away without me again! There was a time when he never left home without taking me with him; he never wrote a letter without me; he never composed an article but that I first knew its contents; but for these many days and months I have been lying here unused."

That disused stylographic pen is my conception of what Paul meant when he said he feared being a castaway.

You must know that this man loved to save men. It was the passion of his life. Send him to Philippi, and he will not be there a day before he has turned the devil out of the poor demoniac girl. Let him be put in jail, and before midnight he will have baptized his jailor. Send him to Athens, and though he is all alone, he will gather a congregation upon Mars' Hill within a week or two. Put him alongside of Aquila and Priscilla at the bench, and he will make tents and talk to them in such good wise that they will become Christians. Stand him before his judge, and the latter will cry: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian!" Let him go to Rome, tied to a Roman sentry, and he will speak to these men, one after another, in such fashion that the whole Prefer-tan camp will be infused with the love of God. His passion was to save men. I do not believe that if he were alive to-day, he would be in a street car, or a railway car, or on board a steamer without buttonholing some man and speaking to him about his soul and his Savior. The whole passion of the man was to save some; but he feared that unless he took good care, the hour might come in his life when Christ would say:

"Thou hast served me well, but thou shalt serve me no more. Of late thou hast become indolent, and choked with pride, and I have not secured thy whole obedience. I am now compelled to call upon some soul more alert, more obedient than thee; and that man I will use to do the work that thou mightest have done, but which thou didst fail to accomplish."

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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2008, 04:21:53 PM »

An Old and Beautiful Sermon
by F.B. Meyer

This comes home upon us, brother ministers. I am speaking to some who in their earlier life were wondrously used of God in soul winning, as they went from the seminary or the college, and took their first church. Sunday after Sunday the inquiry room was crowded. The simple villagers, from their lips, heard the Word of God, and were converted, and the communicant's roll was weekly increased. The boys of the neighborhood were attracted, and won like jewels for Christ. Am I not speaking to women who in their first burst of love to Christ wore the signs of holy earnestness in their circles of society, so that all who came in contact with them were made to feel the power of a genuine love to God? May we not all look back to days upon days, long passed, when we were the channels through which Jesus spoke and wrought, and the Holy Ghost was poured upon men? But what has happened? We preach the same old sermons, but Christ is apparently indifferent to them. We go through the same mechanical routine, but there is no stir of life. These many days have passed, and there have been no additions to our church roll. We have won men to ourselves, but not to Christ. And so it seems as though whilst men flattered us, and whilst we had a certain complacency in their applause, heaven passed on unheeding, the souls of men were unreached, and our churches were just dying of inanition; the old passing on to God, but the young untouched, unsaved.

"May not the question therefore come to us now: "Perhaps, after all, Christ has ceased to use me! Christ has no further purpose for me! I am too clumsy, too obtuse, too disobedient, too full of myself, too much out of touch with Him! And so I am to be put on the shelf!" Like those great stones in the quarry at Baalbec, almost completely quarried, but yet the temple was finished without them! May not this question go through the audience: "Am I a castaway? I belong to Christ, and when I die I believe I will go home to Him. I know that He has saved me by His precious blood; but has He ceased to use me?"

Look for a moment upon the pages of Scripture, and see how they are


Let us then understand why men are cast away.

I take the first case, that of Esau. He comes in from hunting. He is born to the birthright. The birthright includes the power of standing between God and the clan, speaking to God for men. He is famished. Yonder is the steaming mess of pottage prepared by his brother Jacob.

"Give me that red lentile pottage," he cries.

Jacob, crafty in heart, bargains: "Give me your spiritual birthright."

Is there not here some Christian, who in the past has had some steaming mess of pottage appealing to the senses? There is not one of us who has not been tempted by some temptation to sense. Aye, it may be there is many a man who is glancing back into his past life, and who knows that he has yielded--not once or twice, but oftener--to the appeal to the senses. He has taken a drink, or indulged some other appetite, and has despised his birthright.

I once heard a story that made my heart ache, of a gray headed man who had been greatly used of God. In his home he had fallen into one gross act of immorality. Another went to accuse him of his crime. They were sitting together at the tea table. His portion was not sufficiently sweet; and in the midst of this talk upon which depended whether or not the one should be held guilty, and whether he should be permitted to continue in his ministry, he said slightingly:

"My tea is sour. Give me some more sugar."

He cared more at that awful moment of his life whether or not the tea was sour or sweet enough, while his power as a minister of God's holy gospel was trembling in the balance. He did eat and drink, and despised his birthright.

Have you never eaten and drunken, and despised your birthright? Are you quite sure that some silent and beautiful form has not come into your life and destroyed your heart's true love? Are you quite sure that there is not in you some hungry appetite that has sought satisfaction?

"Give it me. I must have it. I cannot live without it. Even though I have not quite the spiritual power that I had, give it me."

So men despise their birthright still, and they are cast away. Esau became a prince in this world, and the father of a line of dukes, and all the world flattered him and thought him a prosperous and successful man, but God wrote over him the awful epitaph:

"This man is a castaway, He did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus he despised his birthright."

I turn the page of Scripture, and come to the first king of Israel, Saul. A noble man in many respects, he was sent by God to fulfil His mission, but he put a reserve upon his obedience, and told Samuel with a kind of pious blarney:

"Blessed be thou of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord."
The old prophet at that moment detected the lowing of the herd and the bleating of the flock, and said very significantly:

"Performed the commandment of the Lord! What means then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"

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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2008, 04:25:08 PM »

An Old and Beautiful Sermon
by F.B. Meyer

I am not here to denounce specific forms of sin. If I did, the result would be that the people who were not directly attacked would hold up their umbrellas and let my words drip upon some others whom they think they would fit, and they would suppose therefore that they passed muster. But I am here to bring you face to face with the eternal God, to lead your consciences before the great White Throne, and let the light of the eternal purity of God blaze like a flash light upon them. It will be for you to determine if under the profession of obedience there are some flocks and herds that you are reserving for yourselves. It is possible when you go to a man's home, or when you even smell his breath, or when you hear him speak, to know whether or not he has given up all for God. Some unfortunate sheep starts bleating. Saul professed obedience, but kept back something for himself; and God rejected him. He lingered ten years more on the throne, but he was a castaway. A young David was already anointed to succeed him.

So when I pass through the Word of God and take case after case, my heart bleeds and cries out because I know not who may be here. I would speak with all tenderness and all pity and all love. I have not come to scathe anyone. I have not come to denounce. It is because I know what the horror of that pit is, and what the horror of being cast away from God's service means, that I now speak in this way. You expected that I would bring you a system of spiritual truth,--and I have such a system to present; you expected that I was going to teach you how to receive the Holy Ghost of Pentecost, so that every day might be a Pentecost,--and I have that blessed message to tell you; but I dare not come to those deep and blessed subjects until I have introduced into your heart a spirit of self scrutiny and searching, that everyone may ask himself:

"Can it be that though I am a minister, or an officer of the church, and bear around the holy elements on Sunday at the Communion service, and give my money to philanthropic objects--can it be that in God's sight I am a castaway?"

Coming out of a meeting recently a brother minister came up to me, took me by the hand, shook it warmly, and said: "I have enjoyed your meeting so much."

Directly he said that I knew that I had failed. When a man says that he has enjoyed a meeting like this, I know that I have not touched him.

You remember when Jacob got down into the Jabbok ford, how beneath those Syrian stars he wrestled with the angel, and the angel with him. Presently the angel put forth his hand and touched the sinew of his strength, and he limped. Do you think it is possible that Jacob could have limped into the camp next morning, and going to his loved Rachel, have said to her "O Rachel, we have had a lovely time all night. I have enjoyed it!"

Rather he must have said to her. "I have had a night which has blasted my strength, which has left a scar upon me which I shall carry till I die. O woman, I have fought with the angel of God's love!"

This may be the beginning of But we must begin at the bottom; we must begin at the root of our self confidence. The prime cause of all failure in private life as well as in public ministry is the assertion of self. As long as men and women think it is all right with them, nothing can be done for them. It is only when there is excited within them a fear that after all things may not be quite so well as they seem, a dread that after all they may have made a mistake and be self, deceived, it is only then that in the secret of their own chambers they begin to ask God: "Am I just what I expected?" It is then that the heart is laid open, and they may be brought to understand how a man may be almost a castaway and yet be taken back to the bosom of Christ as Peter was; for within six weeks the man who was nearly cast away became the Apostle of Pentecost.

Paul said: "Lest I should be a castaway. Therefore, though I have a perfect right to go to an idol temple, I shall not go for fear other men seeing me go may follow me, and what might be innocent to me might be death to them. Lest I should ruin any man's soul by going, I will abstain. I have a perfect right, if I choose, to take a wife; but I shall not do it. I will live a bachelor life, and toil with my hands, because by being lonesome myself I may touch some other man who is lonesome too, and by working with my own hands I shall stay upon the bench beside others who will be drawn to me by sympathy. There are many things which this body of mine may have in innocence, but I shall not take them because I wish to keep my body under, lest it should master me and cause me to be a castaway."

Christ waits--the sweet, strong, pure Son of God, --His heart yearning over men and yearning to pour itself through us to save them. But many of us have choked Him, resisted Him, thwarted Him. One feels like asking the whole audience to fall before Him in confession, and to ask that this holy day may not pass until He has restored us to fellowship with Himself.

My friend, Dr. Harry Grattan Guinness, told me once that all the water supply had become choked out of their college in Derbyshire, England. They could not obtain one drop of water from the bottom to the top of the house. They searched the cisterns, and inspected the taps and the whole machinery, and found no cause. At last they went to the junction between the main reservoir pipe and their house-pipe, and there in the orifice, in the joint between the two, squatted a huge toad, which (as they were told) had probably come in as a tadpole, had fed upon the water, and had grown to this size, so that the whole water was stopped because it choked the orifice.

Your life has been dry lately; no tear, no prayer, no fervor, You have not met Christ, you have not seen His face for many a long day, He has not used you. It must be because there is something in your heart, innocent once but injurious now. May God show you what it is! Get quiet, and prostrate yourself before God. If people want to speak to you, brush past them. If they want to detain you with small talk, leave them. Cast yourself down in some solitary place before God, and say:

"May God forgive me! May God show me the sin, show me what it is that hinders me, show me what has nearly wrecked my life. Whatever comes, may I not be a castaway, but still used by Thee through the Holy Ghost for Christ."

(My Note:  Check    http://articles.christiansunite.com/    for a large number of excellent articles and sermons.)

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