Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Evil Disputings

Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Charles Hadden Spurgeon“Carefully notice the range which this catalogue takes. It is a very singular one, for it begins with thoughts, and then it runs on until it lands us in utter want of thought, or foolishness. Matthew Henry says, “Ill-thinking is put first, and unthinking is put last.” Sin begins with “evil thoughts,” but ends in foolishness. The word rendered “evil thoughts” may be translated evil disputings, evil dialogues. Now this is thought by some to be almost a virtue, certainly a manly exercise. To be able to dispute, to be a questioner, a caviller, a perpetual and professional doubter; that, I say, is highly esteemed among men. What is modern thought but evil thought? David says, “I hate vain thoughts;” and all thoughts which run counter to the revelation of God are vain. In this instance I may quote the Psalmist: “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men, that they are vanity.” Thoughts which are devout and reverent towards the sacred oracles are to be cultivated; but the thoughts which cavil at revealed truth, and would improve upon the infallible declarations of Jehovah, are evil and vain thoughts. All manner of mischief may come out of thinking in opposition to God; hence it is said, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” Thinking contrary to God’s mind, and disputing with the clear statements of God’s own word, may be the first step in a descent which shall end in everlasting destruction.

Rising in evil thought, sin flows through a black country full of varying immoralities, until it falls into the Dead Sea of “foolishness.” How often have I heard it said of a vicious life, when it has ripened into horror: “The man must have been mad! He was not only wicked, but what a fool he must have been! The devil himself seems to have forsaken him. He acted craftily enough at one time; but afterwards he went against his own interests, and insured his own destruction.” Yes, men begin with the thought that they know better than their Maker, and at last they reach utter thoughtlessness, stolidity of conscience, and stupidity of mind. In the end they refuse to think at all, and nothing can save them from reckless defiance of common prudence. They are given over to judicial senselessness. Though God himself should speak, they have no ears for him: their sin has brought on them the punishment of utter hardness of heart. They have made themselves to be as the adder, which will not hear the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. This is the way of sin — to begin with fancied wisdom, and end with foolishness. The man who thought himself more than a man, at last ends as a brute beast devoid of reason. What a range, my brethren, there is between these two points! Read the words again, and see what a terrible zig-zag path lies between wrong thought and no thought at all.” —C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Excerpt taken from A sermon delivered on Lord's-Day morning, July 25th, 1886, by C. H. Spurgeon titled Hidenous Discovery.

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