Charles Spurgeon didn’t need more than 140 characters to communicate the gospel.
That’s probably why Spurgeon is one of the most tweeted evangelical preachers on the Internet. His words pack a punch without pulling them.
“It is usually the short, dagger-like sentence that does the work best.”
Spurgeon “talked English rather than pulpit.” His words cut soul deep because he spent hours memorizing Shakespeare, reading John Bunyan, and studying the art of wordsmithing. “To preach the gospel,” Spurgeon once said, “is not to mumble over some dry manuscript.”
“The preacher must also mind that he preaches Christ very simply. He must break up his big words and long sentences, and pray against the temptation to use them. . . . He must preach Christ so plainly that his hearers can not only understand him, but that they cannot misunderstand him even if they try to do so.”
Spurgeon couldn’t preach a boring sermon if his life depended on it. The Bible was to dramatic to deflate. “We do not go out snow-balling on Sundays,” Spurgeon said, “we go fire-balling.”
“Some ministers would make good martyrs. They’re so dry they would burn up quickly.”
My good friend and Spurgeon fan, Kerry Allen, curates @SPURGEONdotUS and has graciously given me access to the most popular Spurgeon quotes for July. Here is a list of the top ten.
1. “Believe me, if a church does not pray it is dead.”
2. “Until God can change or lie, he never will bring to mind again the sin of that man whom he hath pardoned.”
3. “You need not be so much afraid of that which grieves you as of that which charms you.”
4. “When God pardons a man's sins, he pardons them all; he makes a clean sweep of the whole.”
5. “Never do what you are ashamed of; it matters not who sees.”
6. “No man is good who thinks he cannot be better.”
7. “Jesus Christ and him crucified should be the Alpha and the Omega of every sermon.”
8. “Hard words, if they be true, are better than soft words, if they be false.”
9. “The doorstep of the palace of wisdom is a humble sense of ignorance.”
10. “People die of bursting hearts when no tears relieve them.”
A Final Word
Because Spurgeon lived before the invention of audio or video technologies, only his words survive. Even when gout paralyzed his hand, Spurgeon continued writing because he believed that words matter. Words matter so much that "the Word" became matter (John 1:14).
The gospel is not only what we say, but how we say it.
With Spurgeon, you and I worship a Writer who inscribed our names in the Lamb's Book of Life (Revelation 21:27). God has given us a Written Word and the Living Word, Jesus Christ. So when you write, Christian, you participate in the impulse of your Creator.
So let’s watch our words today because the world surely is.
Jesus was right. The truth will set you free (John 8:32). But truth written in love will set other people free.