Art thou become like unto us? — Isa 14:10
What must be the apostate professor’s doom when his naked soul appears before God? How will he bear that voice, “Depart, you cursed; you have rejected me, and I reject you; you have played the harlot, and departed from Me—I also have banished you forever from my presence, and will not have mercy upon you!” What will be this wretch’s shame at the last great day when, before assembled multitudes, the apostate shall be unmasked? See the profane, and sinners who never professed religion, lifting themselves up from their beds of fire to point at him, “There he is,” says one, “will he preach the gospel in hell?” “There he is,” says another, “he rebuked me for cursing, and was a hypocrite himself!” “Aha!” says another, “here comes a psalm-singing Methodist—one who was always at his meeting; he is the man who boasted of his being sure of everlasting life and here he is!”
No greater eagerness will ever be seen among Satanic tormentors, than in that day when devils drag the hypocrite’s soul down to perdition. Bunyan pictures this with the solemn grandeur of poetry, when he speaks of the back-way to hell. Seven devils bound the wretch with nine cords, and dragged him from the road to heaven, in which he had professed to walk, and thrust him through the back-door into hell. Mind that back-way to hell, professors!
“Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith.” Look well to your state; see whether you are in Christ, or not. It is the easiest thing in the world to give a lenient verdict when oneself is to be tried; but O, be just and true here. Be just to all but be rigorous in judging yourself. Remember if it is not a rock on which you build, when the house shall fall and great will be the fall of it. O may the Lord give you sincerity, constancy, and firmness; and in no day, however evil, may you be led to turn aside.
Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. — 2 Pet 1:4
Vanish forever all thought of indulging the flesh—if you would live in the power of your risen Lord. It were ill that a man who is alive in Christ—should dwell in the corruption of sin. “Why do seek the living, among the dead?” said the angel to Magdalene. Should the living dwell in the sepulcher? Should divine life be immured in the charnel house of fleshly lust? How can we partake of the cup of the Lord and yet drink the cup of Belial? Surely, believer, from open lusts and sins, you are delivered—have you also escaped from the more secret and delusive lime-twigs of the Satanic fowler? Have you come forth from the lust of pride? Have you escaped from slothfulness? Have you clean escaped from carnal security? Are you seeking day by day to live above worldliness, the pride of life, and the ensnaring vice of avarice? Remember, it is for this that you have been enriched with the treasures of God.
If you are indeed the chosen of God, and beloved by Him, do not allow all the lavish treasure of grace to be wasted upon you. Follow after holiness; it is the Christian’s crown and glory. An unholy church! it is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world—have been brought upon her by an unholy church. O Christian, the vows of God are upon you. You are God’s priest—act as such. You are God’s king—reign over your lusts. You are God’s chosen one—do not associate with Belial. Heaven is your portion—live like a heavenly spirit, so shall you prove that you have true faith in Jesus, for there cannot be faith in the heart unless there be holiness in the life.