The following is an excerpt from Charles Spurgeon’s sermon Heaven and Hell from Matthew 8:11-12. (September 4, 1855)
But my text hath a yet greater depth of sweetness, for it says, that “many shall come and shall sit down.”
Some narrow-minded bigots think that heaven will be a very small place, where there will be very few people, who went to their chapel or their church. I confess, I have no wish for a very small heaven, and love to read in the Scriptures that there are many mansions in my Father’s house.
How often do I hear people say, “Ah! straight is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be that find it. There will be very few in heaven; there will be most lost.”
My friend, I differ from you. Do you think that Christ will let the devil beat him? That he will let the devil have more in hell than there will be in heaven? No; it is impossible.
For then Satan would laugh at Christ. There will be more in heaven than there are among the lost. God says, “there will be a number that no man can number who will be saved;” but he never says, that there will be a number that no man can number that will be lost.
There will be a host beyond all counts who will get into heaven. What glad tidings for you and for me! For, if there are so many to be saved, why should not I be saved? Why should not you? Why should not yon man, over there in the crowd, say, “cannot I be one among the multitude?” And may not that poor woman there take heart, and say, “Well, if there were but half-a-dozen saved, I might fear that I should not be one; but, since many are to come, why should not I also be saved?”
Cheer up, disconsolate! Cheer up, son of the mourning, child of sorrow, there is hope for thee still! I can never know that any man is past God’s grace. There be a few that have sinned that sin that is unto death, and God gives them up, but the vast host of mankind is yet within the reach of sovereign mercy—” and many of them shall come from the east and from the west, and shall sit down in the kingdom of heaven.”
There is one more word I must notice before I have done with this sweet portion-that is the word “shall.” Oh! I love God’s “shalls” and “wills.”
There is nothing comparable to them. Let a man say “shall,” what is it good for? “I will,” says man, and he never performs; “I shall,” says he, and he breaks his promise. But it is never so with God’s “shalls.”
If he says “shall,” it shall be; when he says “will,” it will be. Now he has said here, “many shall come.”
The devil says “they shall not come;” but “they shall come.”
Their sins say “you can’t come;” God says “you shall come.”
You, yourselves, say, “you won’t come;” God says “you shall come.”
Yes! There are some here who are laughing at salvation, who can scoff at Christ and mock at the gospel; but I tell you some of you shall come yet.
“What!” you say, “can God make me become a Christian?” I tell you yes, for herein rests the power of the gospel.