“What fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness?” —2 Cor. 6:14
“The friendship of the world is enmity with God.”
Ah, yes; the fashion of this world passeth away; and
they who have followed that fashion, and identified
themselves with that world, will find too late that,
in gaining the world, they have lost their souls;
that, in filling up time with vanity, they have
filled eternity with gloom; that, in snatching at
the pleasures of earth, they have lost the joys of
heaven, and the glories of the ever lasting
Yes, life is brief, and time is swift; generations
come and go; graves open and close each day; old and
young vanish out of sight; riches depart, and honors
fade; autumn follows summer, and winter soon wipes
out every trace of leaf and blossom; nothing abides....
O follower of the world, consider thy ways and
ponder thy prospects.... Look before thee, and
make sure of something better and more substantial.
Look on the right hand and on the left, and see the
weary crowds, seeking rest, and finding none....
Think, too, of thy brief time on
earth, lent thee, in God’s special love, to
accomplish thy preparation for the eternal
kingdom. And, when thou considerest these
things, rouse thyself from thy dream of pleasure,
and rest not till thou hast made good the entrance
at the strait gate which leadeth unto life....
Worldliness a Mark of
“The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside
are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the
word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive
the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a
while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that
fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out
and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life,
and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the
good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble
and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. " Luke 8:11-15
...They want to infuse as much
religion into their life, their doings, their
conversation, as will make them be reckoned
religious men.... But they want
also as much of worldly comfort and pleasure as will
gratify the tastes of a still unrenewed nature.
Their life is a compromise; and their object
is to balance between two adverse interests, to
adjust the conflicting claims of this world and of
the world to come; to please and to serve two
masters, to gratify two tastes, to walk in two
opposite ways at once, to secure the friendship
of the world without losing the friendship of God....
If they were compelled to choose between
their two masters, the probability is that they
would prefer the world; for their heart is not in
their religion, and religion is not in their heart.... Their consciences would not allow them to
throw it off; but it occupies a very small part
of their thoughts and affections. They are, in
fact, worldly men varnished over with religion;
that is all. They are made up of two parts, a dead
and living; the living part is the world, and dead
There are many of these in our day, when
religion is fashionable. When religion is
unfashionable there are few; when it is scoffed at,
still fewer; when it is persecuted, hardly any....
They have never broken with sin, nor crucified
self, nor taken up the cross. Whatever their
lives or their words may be, their heart is nor
right with God....
They never led to the new birth; they issue
in no lasting spiritual life, so that, instead
of leading to the transformation of the whole
man, inner and outer, they have merely...
been roused, but not converted....
passed through a certain religious process,
but not experienced the heavenly change...
been moved under sermons; roused by
searching books; done many things and taken
many steps which seemed to be religious.
Yet, after all, there has been no
crucifixion of the old man, no
resurrection to newness of life....
The routine of religion is still gone through,
and the profession still kept up; but all within
is dried up and withered; there is no enjoyment
of spiritual things
[unless, as is now happening, all kinds of
counterfeit thrills and experiences are brought
into the church];
the service of God is a burden; praise and
prayer are irksome; sermons and sacraments are
wearisome; and the poor professor moves on in
his heartless career; outwardly still religious,
but at heart as unspiritual and worldly as if he
had never at any time been touched or awakened
carnal tastes never having been radically
changed, but simply overborne for a season,
by a rush of religious earnestness, he
returns naturally to their gratification in
their old objects, and his only restraints
are the dread of a dark future, which he cannot
people merely argue that a loving God would send
no one to hell -- all will share the delights of
and the desire to maintain a religious
character, to stand well with religious men, and
to maintain his place in the church. How many of
this class there may be in our day, God only
knows. We are warned that, in the last days,
there will be multitudes having the form of
godliness, but denying the power thereof.
belong to Christ but in name. These are the
stony-ground or thorny-ground hearers;
men who have a place at our communion tables,
who figure at religious committees, who make
speeches on religious platforms, yet are, after
all, “wells without water,” “trees without
root,” stars without either heat or light....
away thy vain hopes and self-righteous
confidences. Give up thy fond idea of securing
both earth and heaven. Go straight to Calvary;
there be thou crucified to the world, and world
to thee, by the cross of Christ. Go straight
to the grave of Christ; there bring all thy
sins, thy worldliness, thy half-heartedness, and
all pertaining to thy old self, that being made
partaker of Christ’s death and burial, thou
mayest be sharer of His resurrection too.
once to Him who died and rose again, and drink
into His love. ... The love of
Christ will not only make you an out and out
Christian, a thorough-going, decided man in all
the things of God, but it will pour in a peace
which you have never known, which you cannot
know, save in simple faith in the heavenly
Peacemaker, and in entire surrender of soul to
Him who gave Himself for us, that He might
deliver us from a present evil world, according
to the will of God our Father.