Unfashionable Blood

As I mentioned a few months ago, I keep coming across hymns and spirituals, from various periods, that I’ve never sung anywhere, at any time. Here’s another one, from the pen of Johnson Oatman Jr., author of “Higher Ground”.

Depending On The Blood

On the golden streets of heaven all men hope to walk some day,
Yet so many are not willing to accept the living way;
But while others build on good works, or opinions if they may,
Hallelujah! hallelujah!
I'm depending on the blood.

In the soul-cleansing blood of the Saviour,
I've been washed in the crimson flood;
Tho' the world may say there is hope some other way,
I'm depending on the blood.

Some will tell us that God's mercy is their only hope and plea,
That a soul He could not punish throughout all eternity;
But I read that my dear Saviour died for sinners just like me,
Hallelujah! hallelujah!
I'm depending on the blood.

As we look back thro' the ages where the kings and prophets trod,
We may see their altars reeking with the sacrifice and blood;
But those types were only pointing to the Paschal Lamb of God,
Hallelujah! hallelujah!
I'm depending on the blood.

'Tis the burden of that chorus over on the streets of light,
That the blood from Calv'ry's mountain has washed all their garments white;
So I'll shout along life's pathway till I reach that land so bright:
"Hallelujah! hallelujah!
I'm depending on the blood."

Johnson Oatman Jr. 1856-1922.

Why have hymns like this fallen out of fashion? Perhaps the answer is in this extract from a recent sermon by Dr E. A. Johnston, which you can find at SermonAudio.com, should you wish to hear it in its entirety.

But what is the missing element in our pulpits today? The apostle Paul answers this question in 1 Corinthians 1.18, which states: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The missing element in our message today, friends, is a bloodstained Saviour on a bloody cross. We’ve gotten out our mop buckets and have cleaned up all the blood and gore round Calvary. We’ve made the cross such a pristine place you can sit and have your lunch there. 

I submit to you, friends, that the main reason that the Christ of the cross is no longer preached is because we in the church today have eliminated the need of repentance as a necessity to salvation. 

If you preach up man’s duty of repentance, then you have to preach on sin; and if you preach on sin, then you have to warn men to flee from a burning hell; and if you preach the doctrine of hell, then you must preach the doctrine of God’s punishment for sin.

Now you’ve opened a can of worms in your church, angered your good Deacons, and run off your largest givers, who are just there for their own power and self-importance.

But until our pulpits return to a God-centred gospel message, the full counsel of God, which holds up the great doctrines of Ruin, Redemption, Repentance and Regeneration, then we will continue to grow our churches with the unconverted, and stand guilty at the judgement, with their blood on our hands.

To be continued.