The time must come when you, as well as others, must go down the dark valley of the shadow of death. The hour must come when you, like all your forefathers, must sicken and die. The time may be near or far off. God only knows. But whenever the time may be, I ask again, What are you going to do? Where do you plan to turn for comfort? On what do you plan to rest your soul? On what do you plan to build your hope? From where will you get your relief?
I plead with you not to ignore these questions. Allow them to work on your conscience, and do not rest until you can give them a satisfactory answer. Do not play with that precious gift, an immortal soul. Do not defer the consideration of the matter to a more convenient time. Do not presume on a death-bed repentance. The most important business surely ought not be left to the last.
One dying thief was saved that men might not despair, but only one that none might presume.
I repeat the question. I am sure that it deserves an answer. “What will you do when you are sick?”
No one can be an eminent Christian, no matter how frequently he hears his favorite preacher, who does not converse much with his Bible in secret. Anyone who wishes to grow in grace and in knowledge must commune daily with the Bible’s prophets and apostles. Through the medium of these inspired texts, the Christian must drink largely of the pure living waters and undiluted milk of the word. Alas, it is a weak and sickly faith that depends solely upon the hearing of sermons or the reading of Christian “bestsellers” for its spiritual support.
God’s word is the food of the soul. There is more concentrated nourishment in a single text of Scripture, drawn out by the digestive process of meditation to strengthen the heart of the believer, than in many pages of uninspired, though instructive, composition. God’s words are life, and they are spirit. Read the pages of Christian martyrology and you will find that the secret of the martyrs’ strength was in their intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures. They were Bible Christians, and not mere sermon Christians. (more…)
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” — James 1:8
Some things are true and some things are false. I regard that as an axiom; but there are many persons who evidently do not believe it. The current principle of the present age seems to be, “Some things are either true or false, according to the point of view from which you look at them. Black is white, and white is black according to circumstances; and it does not particularly matter which you call it. Truth of course is true, but it would be rude to say that the opposite is a lie; we must not be bigoted, but remember the motto, ‘So many men, so many minds.'”
Our forefathers were particular about maintaining landmarks; they had strong notions about fixed points of revealed doctrine, and were very tenacious of what they believed to be scriptural; their fields were protected by hedges and ditches. But their sons have now grubbed up the hedges, filled up the ditches, laid all level, and played at leap-frog with the boundary stones. The school of modern thought laughs at the ridiculous positiveness of Reformers and Puritans; it is advancing in glorious liberality, and before long will publish a grand alliance between heaven and hell, or, rather, an amalgamation of the two establishments upon terms of mutual concession, allowing falsehood and truth to lie side by side, like the lion with the lamb. (more…)
“The earth is the LORD’s” (Exodus 9:29) and He “renews the face of the earth” (Psalm 104:30).
There is an exquisite appropriateness in our celebrating the resurrection of Christ in the spring. When nature is waking to life again after her long winter of sleep, it is then that the thoughts of Christians everywhere are turned to the wonder of the Savior’s coming out of the tomb after His ordeal with sin and death. Christ’s resurrection was an act once accomplished at a given moment in history. It does not in any sense depend upon seasons or celebrations, nor does the miracle of the springtime add anything to the glory of the once-done deed.
The workings of God in nature do, however, cast a warm light upon His workings in redemption, and the springtime of life in the earth illustrates the miracle of life in the new creation. In midwinter we can see a dry and leafless tree and think what a change the spring will make in its condition. Surely if God can make such a difference in a tree, He can change the heart of a sinner, too. Nevertheless, it takes some faith to stand in a winter landscape surrounded by the chilly silence of snow and ice and believe that in a few short weeks every trace of frost will be gone, that the snow-covered hills will be dressed in green and the ice-blocked streams will be running swift and free again in the summer sun. Yet our confidence is never disappointed. (more…)
For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths. — 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
A jellyfish is a pretty and graceful object when it floats in the sea, contracting and expanding like a little, delicate, transparent umbrella. Yet the same jellyfish, when cast on the shore, is a mere helpless lump, without capacity for movement, self-defense, or self-preservation. Alas! It is a vivid type of much of the religion of this day, of which the leading principle is the widespread dislike of distinct biblical doctrine.
In the place of the Church’s once-strong views of truth, the idol of the day is a kind of Jellyfish Christianity – a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or sinew, without any distinct teaching about the atonement or the work of the Spirit, or justification, or the way of peace with God. It is a vague, foggy, misty Christianity, of which the only watchwords seem to be, “You must be liberal and kind. You must never condemn a man’s doctrinal views. You must consider everybody is right and nobody is wrong.” (more…)
How sweet the Gospel is! But what makes the Gospel sweet? There is but one word which sheds a perfume through the whole—GRACE. Take grace out of the Gospel and you destroy the Gospel; you nullify and overthrow it; it is the Gospel no more. Grace pervades every part and every branch of the blessed Gospel; it is the life of the Gospel; in a word, it is the Gospel itself.
“Be gracious unto thee” is our petition to the LORD. In what, then, is God gracious? In a broken law? What does that know of grace? In New Year resolutions, creature performances, or human righteousness? Can the Lord, will the Lord, show Himself gracious in these things?
I read in Gulliver’s Travels where Jonathan Swift wrote satirically about a scientific project by the fictional Grand Academy of Lagado for “extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers.” Well, we might as well expect to make sunbeams out of cucumbers as to make grace out of the law; it is cold as cucumbers; there is no sun in it. Grace, to be grace, must come out of the Gospel. It is in the Gospel, and out of the Gospel it must come; and it does come, excluding all man-made righteousness and putting an extinguisher upon all human merit. As the Apostle argues: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace; otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). (more…)
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Using supporting quotations as a rhetorical device on this website is not a blanket endorsement of the individuals being quoted, though some common ground most likely exists pertaining to the topic at hand.