“God has been pleased to stake His honor upon the gospel. Men desire a name, and God also is jealous of His glory. Now, what has God been pleased to select for His name? Is it not the conversion and salvation of men?…And dost thou think God will get a name by saving little sinners by a little Savior? Ah! His great name comes from washing out stains as black as hell, and pardoning sinners who were foulest of the foul.
Is there one monstrous rebel here who is qualified to glorify God greatly, because his salvation will be the wonder of angels and the amazement of devils? I hope there is. O thou most degraded, black, loathsome sinner, nearest to being a damned sinner, if this voice can reach thee, I challenge thee to come and prove whether God’s mercy is not a match for thy sin.
Thou Goliath sinner, come thou hither; thou shalt find that God can slay thine enmity, and make thee yet His friend, and the more His loving and adoring servant, because great forgiveness shall secure great love. Such is the greatness of divine mercy, that ‘where sin abounded, grace doth much more abound.’
Dost thou think, again, O sinner, that Jesus Christ came out of heaven to do a little deed, and to provide a slender store of mercy? Dost thou think he went up to Calvary, and down to the grave, and all, that he might do a commonplace thing, and provide a stinted, narrow, limited salvation, such as thine unbelief would imagine His redemption to be? No.
We speak of the labors of Hercules, but these were child’s play compared with the labors of Christ who slew the lion of hell, turned a purifying stream through the Augean stables of man’s sin, and cleansed them, and performed ten thousand miracles besides: and will you so depreciate Christ as to imagine that what he has accomplished is, after all, little, so little that it is not enough to save you?
If it were in my power to single out the man who has been the most dishonest, most licentious, most drunken, most profane—in three words, most earthly, sensual, devilish—I would repeat the challenge which I gave just now, and bid him draw near to Jesus, and see whether the fountain filled with Christ’s atoning blood cannot wash him white.
I challenge him at this instant to come and cast himself at the dear Redeemer’s feet, and see if He will say, ‘I cannot save thee, thou hast sinned beyond My power.’ It shall never, never, never be, for He is able to the uttermost to save. He is a Savior, and a great one. Christ will be honored by the grandeur of the grace which He bestows upon the greatest of offenders.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Bread Enough to Spare,” a sermon on Luke 15:17 delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, on Lord’s Day morning, July 16, 1871.