We have now come to Mount Cavalry, which is the hope of this world. We read in the four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, of the crucifixion of the blessed Son of God. Of course all the mountains are very interesting, and something wonderful has taken place on them all, but the thing that is worth most to this lost world is the thought that the blessed Christ was crucified on the mountain top for the redemption of this world.
The hope of heaven hangs on the Mount of Calvary. The hope of heaven is seen there; the hope of the poor sinner is there, and the hope of the believer is there. The songs that have stirred the world have been songs that were written in the blood of the blessed Son of God. He had to die to shed His blood, and He died on the top of Mount Calvary, so we have to look in that direction to see salvation, or heaven, or hope, or light, or life, or anything that lifts and elevates man and puts him at his best for God and the world, with its suffering humanity.
We all look from the beautiful church with its hardwood pews and Brussels carpets and thundering organ and red-wood pulpit, to the cross of Christ on the mountain.
We read that without the shedding of blood there is no remission, and back behind the shedding of the blood is the cross, and the cross stood on Mount Calvary. Just why the Son of God went to Calvary to die I don’t know, but we know that he did, and that is enough for us to know. We never will get out of reach of Calvary. There is no sin that is known to the human family, outside of the sin against the Holy Ghost, but there is power enough at Mount Calvary to blot out. All the sins of the universe have been piled on the Son of God at Calvary and He bore them all away. I used to think that there, on that great occasion, He made atonement for all the sins that had ever been committed, but it covered more ground than that, for it had to reach forward to all the sins that ever would be committed, and make a provision for them all.
About 1900 years after the blessed Christ hung on the cross of Calvary, I was born and went into a life of sin. At the age of twenty-one I heard of the death of the blessed Christ for the remission of my sins, and I wept my way to the altar, and repented of my sins, and confessed my sins, and forsook my sin, and believed on the blessed Son of God. And from Calvary there came out pardon, full and free, and the bloodstained cross stood out before me and I saw that there was hope for the guilty sinner. My faith took hold of the shed blood, the light of heaven broke in on my poor lost soul, and I got up out of the straw with the shine on my face, and the glory in my soul. From that day until this I have had springs in my heels and a well in my soul and the glory in my eye and a hope that reached away beyond the grave and out into the eternities. Well, glory to God! it is enough to make a fellow shout just to talk about it.
So we go up and down in this old world singing such songs as “At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away.”
Somebody else will take up the chorus and begin to sing
“Calvary’s stream is flowing.”
Somebody else will take up another old hymn and begin to sing
“It was there on its side Jesus suffered and died To redeem a poor sinner like me.”
We have found out that a religion that has no cross in it and no Calvary in it and no blood in it is a dead religion, and a hopeless religion. A lifeless religion is man-made and dies with its creator, which is man.
The Apostle Paul, the greatest preacher that the world ever saw, said, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” The Apostle was dead to the world, and the world was dead to him. He did not want anything that belonged to the world, and the world did not want anything that belonged to him. Calvary means death to the world. It is a disgrace to the cause of Christ to hear church members, who trot to the theater and card table and ball room, talk of crucifixion. To my mind it is a real sport for the devil. In the name of the Christ Who shed His blood on Mount Calvary, how can they dare to stand in the presence of God and talk about being crucified when there is nothing they are dead to but scriptural salvation! They are as much alive to the works of the devil as he himself is, and they are as dead to the works of the Church as the devil. In many places these people are the leaders in the house of God. I don’t wonder that the Son of God said upon one occasion that the “harlots go into the kingdom of heaven before you.” When He spoke those awful words He was talking to the elders and chief priests, at that time the rulers of the house of God.
The latest thing that comes to my hearing is in one of the little cities out in Ohio. There, in the First Methodist Church, is a young lady who sings in the choir on Sunday morning. While I was in the town holding a revival there was a big ball in the city, and the girl danced with the devil. They had the thing all arranged, and she was dressed for the great occasion, and of course the devil was all arranged to act his part. The lights were turned low, or turned out, I don’t know which, and the devil came in and this young lady danced with the devil. Of course she knew the devil; he was a young man in the city whom she kept company with and he a sinner. A sinner keeping company with a woman who passed herself for a Christian, and in the ball room dancing with a man who is supposed to be the devil! What faith could he have in the religion of that young woman? She is as sure to put him in the pit of despair as the world stands, if he is led by her influence. Wouldn’t she be a pretty spectacle up in the choir next Sunday morning? Just think of a woman in the choir on Sunday morning, and in the arms of the devil on Tuesday night.
There is no Mount Calvary there; there is no pleading for the lost there; there is no life hid with Christ in God there; there is no witness of the Spirit there; there is no baptism with the Holy Ghost there. Just listen to a few words from the Methodist discipline: “Dost thou renounce the devil and all his works, and the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, so that thou shalt not follow or be led by them?” And she said, “I renounce them all.”
Well, there is but one hope, and that is to keep our eyes on Mount Calvary and press our claims to the gates of the devil for a devil that can degrade the women of the earth and leave them hopeless and in dark despair, and come into a Christian nation and into the Methodist Church and drag the women of America down on his level, is a pretty shrewd devil. We had better sing
“The cleansing stream, I see, I see, I plunge and oh! it cleanseth me.”
Amen and Amen.