During the four years my beloved wife was dying of cancer, she read daily from Spurgeon’s messages and books. I searched “Spurgeon” in the typed manuscript of my Nanci’s last four years of journals. I knew they were full of Spurgeon quotes, but I wasn’t prepared for the total—170! The only person she quoted more often was God, from His Word. It’s no exaggeration to say that other than her Creator and Redeemer, and her immediate family and closest friends, no person spoke to her more powerfully than Charles Spurgeon!
Nanci quoted from Spurgeon’s devotional Faith’s Check Book several times. (You can read it online here.) Here is December 14’s devotional:
“And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5)
Glory be to His name! All things need making new, for they are sadly battered and worn by sin. It is time that the old vesture was rolled up and laid aside, and that creation put on her Sunday suit. But no one else can make all things new except the LORD who made them at the first; for it needs as much power to make out of evil as to make out of nothing. Our LORD Jesus has undertaken the task, and He is fully competent for the performance of it. Already he has commenced His labor, and for centuries He has persevered in making new the hearts of men and the order of society. By and by He will make new the whole constitution of human government, and human nature shall be changed by His grace; and there shall come a day when the body shall be made new and raised like unto His glorious body.
What a joy to belong to a kingdom in which everything is being made new by the power of its King! We are not dying out: we are hastening on to a more glorious life. Despite the opposition of the powers of evil, our glorious LORD Jesus is accomplishing His purpose and making us, and all things about us, “new” and as full of beauty as when they first came from the hand of the LORD.
Nanci copied down longhand Spurgeon’s words: “We are not dying out: we are hastening on to a more glorious life. Despite the opposition of the powers of evil, our glorious LORD Jesus is accomplishing His purpose…” Then she wrote, “I would not trade my cancer journey for anything because of the growth in my love, adoration, and trust in my God.”
Though I never read anything by Spurgeon in Bible College or seminary, once I discovered his books (and especially his sermons) he became one of my greatest sources of eternal perspective, joy, and insight. But even if I’d never read a sentence by Spurgeon, the effect he had on my wife in her greatest years of need would have forever changed not only her life but mine.
P. S. If you haven’t met Charles Spurgeon, introduce yourself to him by reading his classic devotional Morning & Evening, which Nanci loved. I also recommend Spurgeon Gems, 280 short quotations mostly gleaned from his sermons. I have the Charles Spurgeon collection (an incredible 149 volumes, including over 3,500 sermons), one of my favorite add-ons to my Logos Bible Software, an amazing resource I use often in my research.
If you want to read what I selected as the best Spurgeon insights on Heaven and the New Earth (most of them excerpts from his sermons), see my book We Shall See God, which is 60% Spurgeon’s words and 40% mine. (The expression “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission” came to me often while writing that book, since Spurgeon wasn’t available for me to ask if I could co-author it with him! Though it seemed a bit presumptuous on my part, when Nanci introduces me to him in Heaven I don’t anticipate him being offended!)
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.