Great Forgiveness for Great Sin
Preached December 31, 1876
Published MTP 1903
Provided by Mack Tomlinson
I like the way Luther talks upon this subject. … He says, “Jesus Christ is not a sham savior for sham sinners, but He is a real Savior Who offers a real atonement for real sin, for gross crimes, for shameless offenses, for transgressions of every sort and every size.” And a far greater One than Luther has said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa 1:18). I have set the door of mercy open widely, have I not? There is no one here who will dare to say, “Mr. Spurgeon said that I was too guilty to be forgiven!” I have said nothing of the kind. However great your guilt, though your sins, like the great mountains, tower above the clouds, the floods of divine mercy can roll over the tops of the highest mountains of iniquity and drown them all. God give you grace to believe this and to prove it true this very hour!
The greatness of God’s forgiveness may be judged by the freeness of it. When a poor sinner comes to Christ for pardon, Christ does not ask him to pay anything for it, to do anything, to be anything, or to feel anything, but He freely forgives him. I know what you think: “I shall have to go through a certain penance of heart, at any rate, if not of body. I shall have to weep so much, or pray so much, or do so much, or feel so much.” That is not what the gospel says. That is only your false view about it. The gospel says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Act 16:31). Trust Jesus Christ, and the free pardon of sin is at once given without money and without price (Isa 55:1).
Another thing that indicates its greatness is its immediateness. God will forgive you at once, as soon as you trust Christ. There was a daughter, well beloved by her father, who, in an evil hour, left her home and came to London. Here, having no friends, she soon fell a prey to wicked men and became an utter wreck. A city missionary met with her, spoke faithfully to her about her sin, and the Holy Spirit brought her to the Savior’s feet. The missionary asked for her father’s name and address; and at last, she told him. But she said, “It is no use for you to write to him. I have brought such dishonor on my family that I am quite certain he would not reply to any letter.” They wrote to the father and stated the case; and the letter that came back bore on the envelope, in large text hand, the word Immediate. Inside, he wrote, “I have prayed every day that I might find my child and am rejoiced to hear of her. Let her come home at once. I have freely forgiven her, and I long to clasp her to my bosom.” Now, soul, if thou seekest mercy, this is just what the Lord will do with thee. He will send thee mercy marked Immediate, and thou shalt have it at once. I recollect how I found mercy in a moment, as I was told to look to Jesus, and I should be forgiven. I did look; and, swift as a lightning flash, I received the pardon of sin in which I have rejoiced to this very hour. Why should it not be the same with you, the blackest and worst sinner here, the most unfeeling and the least likely to repent? Lord, grant it; and Thou shalt have the praise!