@ReadingSpurgeon: Isaiah 48:10 – God’s people in the Furnace (NPSP1S35)
“When you least expect it, you will find election, redemption, justification, effectual calling, final perseverance, or covenant security introduced, just to let us see what the solid foundations of the Gospel are.” C. H. Spurgeon says that this was you see in Isaiah 48:10 – “I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.”
The subject of this sermon is the furnace of affliction where God’s chosen ones are continually found.
Before he gets into the main body of the sermon, he makes a couple of observations.
First, “all persons in the furnace of affliction are not chosen.” There are some who are not. “It is a great truth that every child of God is afflicted, but it is a lie that every afflicted man is a child of God.”
Second, “the immutability of God’s love to His people.” God’s love for His people does not change when they have been put in the furnace. “Think not, then, when you are in trouble that God has cast you off. Think He has cast you off if you never have any trials and troubles.”
He has four headings:
I. If you want God’s people, you must generally look for them in the furnace
“You will not find the saints of God where you do not find the furnace burning round about them.”
II. The reasons why there is a furnace
Why does God see fit to put us in the furnace? It is because this is the stamp of the covenant, all precious things have to be tried, if the Christian to be a sacrifice to God, it must be burned with fire, and to be like Christ.
“The Captain of your salvation has gone through the dark valley before you – therefore, onward! Onward with boldness! Onward with courage! Onward with hope! that you may be like your Saviour by participation in His sufferings.”
III. The benefits of the furnace
The benefits that are derived from the furnace is that it purifies us and makes us more ready to be moulded.
A couple more benefits are that God’s people get more light there than anywhere else, and it is useful for bringing plagues on our enemies who hate God’s people.
IV. Comforts in the furnace
The first comfort is election. “Comfort yourself, you tried one, with this thought, God says, “I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.”
The next comfort is that you have the Son of Man with you in the furnace. “It is the valley of the shadow of death. You see nothing, but He says, “Fear not, I am with you, be not discouraged, for I am your God.”
There is another furnace which is not the one that Spurgeon speaks of here. The sermon closes with an appeal to escape this one. “Would you find entrance into heaven and escape from hell, there is but one road. The road is this, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved… he that believes not shall be damned.”