“Will you follow the wicked policy of separating your own personal interests from those of your Redeemer and His church? If so your ship is wrecked before it leaves the harbor. You are no child of God if this principle holds the mastery over you. Your salvation lies not in your separation from Christ and His church, but in your union with them. Over the sea of life there is no passing in safety but in the vessel which carries your Lord and His disciples. Are you going to sail in a separate boat, or will you try to swim across the sea in your own strength? Then look to yourself, and expect disaster.
If your interests and Christ’s are to be separated you must supply yourself with atonement, with righteousness, with spiritual life, and with heavenly food; yea, you must make a heaven for yourself. You cannot do this, and therefore it would be your ruin to attempt to stand alone. Do you wish to be joined with Jesus so as to be rescued from hell ? I tell you, sirs, there is no receiving Christ unless you receive His doctrine and rule. You must receive this grace also, namely, that you give yourself to Him to make His interests your interests, His life your life, His kingdom your kingdom, His glory your glory.
Your personal welfare will be found in submergence into Christ. Sink or swim with your Lord and His cause. Do you mean to separate yourself from the church of God, and say, ‘I shall look to my own salvation, but I cannot be supposed to take an interest in saving others’? In such a spirit as that I do not say you that you will be lost, but I say you are lost already. It is as needful that you be saved from selfishness as from any other vice. Some of our worst fetters are those which are forged by selfishness, and this is one of the chief bonds which our Redeemer must burst for us. We must live unto God and love others as God hath loved us, or else we are still in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity. I conceive that nobody who professes to be a Christian would deliberately wish to set up a private estate apart from Christ and His cause.”
–Charles Spurgeon, “Esther’s Exaltation; or Who Knoweth?” (No. 1777) an exposition of Esther 4:13-14 in Return, O Shulamite! And Other Sermons Preached in 1884. (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1885), pp. 77-78.