The chief dangers which will confront the church in the coming century will be . . .
religion without the Holy Spirit,
Christianity without Christ,
forgiveness without repentance,
salvation without regeneration,
Heaven without Hell.
(William Booth, 1829-1916)
He, that would have the company of God and his own thoughts, needs go aside from other company, and be alone, (so) that he may not be alone! (Thomas Manton 1620-1677)
God’s justice stands forever against the unrepentant sinner in utter severity! The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions! It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all kinds of iniquity–while damnation draws every day nearer, and the command to repent goes unregarded. As responsible moral beings, we dare not so trifle with our eternal future! “On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot!” Psalm 11:6. “Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them!” Isaiah 3:11. “They always heap up their sins to the limit. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost!” 1 Thessalonians 2:16. “They called to the mountains and the rocks: Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:16-17. “He, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb!” Revelation 14:10. (A.W. Tozer)
Go dogs, and eat the garbage! “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? ‘Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear mere professors pleading that they may do this, and do that–that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, “Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your worldly cravings show how rotten your hearts are! If you are hungering after such dog’s food–go dogs, and eat the garbage!” Worldly amusements are fit food for pretenders and hypocrites. If you were God’s children, you would loathe the thought of the world’s evil joys. Your question would not be, “How far may we be like the world?” but your cry would be, “How can we get away from the world? How can we come out of it?” “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things!” Philippians 4:8. (Charles Spurgeon)
There are so many lean Christians who devour hundreds of sermons! “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2. “I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways.” Psalm 119:15. It is not merely hearing a sermon that does you good, but meditating on what you hear. So when you hear a sermon, if you do not meditate and ponder upon what you hear, you will never get any good. There are so many lean Christians who devour hundreds of sermons–and are never any better, never any fatter in grace. They never meditate, ponder and consider what they hear–that is the reason why they are so lean in grace. Pray unto God to enlighten your understandings, to quicken your devotion, to warm your affections–that by meditation on holy things you may be made more holy, you may have your lusts more mortified, you may have your graces more increased, you may better behold the vanity of the world, you may lifted up to Heaven and eternal realities. “Meditate upon these things.” 1 Timothy 4:15. (Edmund Calamy, 1600–1666)
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep!” John 10:11. “He will carry the lambs in His bosom, holding them close to His heart!” Isaiah 40:11.
Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the Good Shepherd. Why does He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness in His redeemed children at once melts His heart. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock draw forth His compassion. He is considerate of the weak of His flock. He purchased them with His blood, they are His property–He must and will care for those who cost Him so dear. He is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant engagements not to lose one. They are all a part of His glory and reward. “He carries the lambs in His bosom!” Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love them so much? Here is tender nearness. So near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer. Here is hallowed familiarity. There are precious ‘love passages’ between Christ and His weak ones. Here is perfect safety. In His bosom, who can hurt them? None can snatch them away from His omnipotence! They can never perish–ever! Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of Jesus! (Charles Spurgeon)
“It is not given to us in this world to study the pages of the book of life and see if our names are there. But if there is one thing clearly and plainly laid down about election, it is this—that elect men and women may be known and distinguished by holy lives… Hence, when St. Paul saw the working “faith” and laboring “love” and patient “hope” of the Thessalonian believers, he said, “I know your election of God” (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thess. 2:13; Rom. 8:29; Eph. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:3, 4). He that boasts of being one of God’s elect, while he is willfully and habitually living in sin, is only deceiving himself and talking wicked blasphemy.”
J. C. Ryle, Holiness: It’s Nature, Hinderances, Difficulties and Roots
“In describing the Christian’s love toward his brother, the Bible uses such expressions as “Love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22) and “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10). Other translations choose such words as fervently, fondly, and affectionately in the same passages to describe the love Christians ought to have for one another. Three different writers use the expression “brotherly love” or “love as brothers,” all indicating that Christian love is to be characterized by an affection that family members have—or ought to have—for one another (see Hebrews 13:1 and 1 Peter 3:8). All of these passages from the Bible indicate that our emotions are involved. We are to reach out and embrace our brother with a deep fervency of spirit, in our hearts if not in actuality. Obviously, such a fervency of spirit cannot substitute for loving actions, but surely it should accompany them. We dare not settle for less.”
Bridges, Jerry. The Practice of Godliness: Godliness has value for all things (pp. 209-210).