By Shelley Neese, The Jerusalem Connection
Charles Spurgeon, a British Reformed Baptist preacher, is one of history’s most influential orators and theologians. Long before loud speakers Spurgeon was drawing crowds of 10,000 to hear his plain-spoken, scripture-heavy sermons. Though he died 56 years before the birth of the modern state of Israel, the return of the Jews to the land of their covenant was something he foretold many times in his sermons. He was not the only prophetic voice calling for Israel’s physical and spiritual restoration in 19th century Britain but he was certainly an important one. Here are excerpts from four of Spurgeon’s sermons that offer clear statements on his theology and thinking in relation to the Jews and the Nation of Israel.
“The Church of Christ” delivered on June 3, 1855 at New Park Street Chapel, Southward:
The hour is approaching, when the tribes shall go up to their own country; when Judea, so long a howling wilderness, shall once more blossom like the rose; when, if the temple itself be not restored, yet on Zion’s hill shall be raised some Christian building, where the chants of solemn praise shall be heard as erst of the old Psalms of David were sung in the Tabernacle . . .I think we do not attach sufficient importance to the restoration of the Jews. We do not think enough about it. But certainly, if there is anything promised in the Bible it is this. I imagine that you cannot read the Bible without seeing clearly that there is to be an actual restoration of the Children of Israel . . . For when the Jews are restored, the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in; and as soon as they return, then Jesus will come upon Mount Zion with his ancients gloriously, and the halcyon days of the millennium shall then dawn; we shall then know every man to be a brother and a friend; Christ shall rule with universal sway.
“Once a Curse But Now a Blessing” delivered on December 6, 1863 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington:
But the day is coming, yea it dawns already, when the whole world shall discern the true dignity of the chosen seed, and shall seek their company, because the Lord hath blessed them. In that day when Israel shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for their sins, the Jew shall take his true rank among the nations as an elder brother and a prince. The covenant made with Abraham, to bless all nations by his seed, is not revoked; heaven and earth shall pass away, but the chosen nation shall not be blotted out from the book of remembrance. The Lord hath not cast away his people; he has never given their mother a bill of divorcement; he has never put them away; in a little wrath he hath hidden his face from them, but with great mercies will he gather them. The natural branches shall again be engrafted into the olive together with the wild olive graftings from among the Gentiles. In the Jew, first and chiefly, shall grace triumph through the King of the Jews. O time, fly thou with rapid wing, and bring the auspicious day.
“The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews” delivered on June 16, 1864 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington:
There will be a native government again; there will again be the form of a body politic; a state shall be incorporated, and a king shall reign. Israel has now become alienated from her own land. Her sons, though they can never forget the sacred dust of Palestine, yet die at a hopeless distance from her consecrated shores. But it shall not be so for ever, for her sons shall again rejoice in her: her land shall be called Beulah, for as a young man marrieth a virgin so shall her sons marry her. “I will place you in your own land,” is God’s promise to them . . . They are to have a national prosperity which shall make them famous; nay, so glorious shall they be that Egypt, and Tyre, and Greece, and Rome, shall all forget their glory in the greater splendour of the throne of David . . . I there be anything clear and plain, the literal sense and meaning of this passage —a meaning not to be spirited or spiritualized away—must be evident that both the two and the ten tribes of Israel are to be restored to their own land, and that a king is to rule over them.
“The Leafless Tree” delivered on March 8, 1857 at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark:
If we read the Scripture’s aright the Jews have a great deal to do with this world’s history. They shall be gathered in; Messiah shall come, the Messiah they are looking for—the same Messiah who came once shall come again—shall come as they expected him to come the first time. They then thought he would come a prince to reign over them, and so he will when he comes again. He will come to be king of the Jews, and to reign over his people most gloriously; for when he comes Jew and Gentile shall have equal privileges, though there shall yet be some distinction afforded to that royal family from whose loins Jesus came; for he shall sit upon the throne of his father David, and unto him shall be gathered all nations.
Shelley Neese is the managing editor for The Jerusalem Connection.