April 18, 2021
in re: last week’s lesson
In treating sin. No human being can cure sin. Men may blame sin, but
they cannot cast it out. Here is a disease that no medicine of man’s can
touch. But there is room for some action of ours. We are able and ought
to be to apply the Divine remedy. Yet people fail to do so! How conscious
we must be that our efforts are not reaching the sinner and really helping
Have you ever ignored a warning or a direction given and then have to face the
consequences? Ignoring God’s warnings and His Son have far greater
consequences than anything you will have to face in this world!
In reference to the Divine remedy mentioned above, the central message of the
Bible is that God offers salvation from sin through faith in JESUS ALONE
Ignoring this gospel fact puts one in danger of facing the Judgment without
God, without Christ, but forgiveness is available for all who turn to Jesus,
thus the DIVINE REMEDY!
The Last Working Day (ch. 20:19 to ch. 21:38)
It is Tuesday, the last of the Lord’s working days; for Wednesday and the
early part of Thursday were spent apparently in the quiet of His Bethany
home. A busy, trying day, crowded with events in which we see the Son of
God enduring against Himself the contradiction of sinners. Let us gather up
a part of its teaching. When, in the early morning, Christ entered the outer
courts of the temple, He encountered a deputation of persons secretly
commissioned by the Pharisees to entrap Him into admissions which might
be used against Him (vs. 19-20). The deputation consisted (Matthew 22:16)
of some of the more prominent scholars of the rabbis, and some politicians
who were attached to the Herodian dynasty. For so it often is —
a common hatred will unite those whose positions, mental or moral, are
antagonistic. This has been frequently exemplified in religious and religio-
political movements. The emissaries of priest and politician, thus leagued
together, submit their question with ceremonious politeness (vs. 21-22).
He to whom they speak knows what is in man (v. 23). And, demanding
the penny, with the coin held before them He returns the famous sentence
on which so much has been spoken and written, which has been rendered
the catchword of heated ecclesiastical controversy (v. 24), “Whose image
and superscription hath this penny?” It is the image and superscription of
the proud Tiberius. “Then,” is the reply, “if you use his coin, give back to
him what is his due, and to God, whose is the image and superscription on
the human soul, give back what is God’s” (ver. 25).
Emphasize the image of God stamped on mankind, you and me!
Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:12-17
Read ch. 20:1, 9-19
From last week which I did not get around to.
# 314a on the website.
TO THOSE WHO ARE ANGRY
WITH THEIR GODLY FRIENDS.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE,
“And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy
countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted;
and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall
be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” — Genesis 4:6, 7.
SINNERS are not all of the laughing sort: Cain’s mind was angry, and his
heart was heavy. The short life of the vicious is not always a merry one.
See, here you have a man who is utterly without God, but he is not without
sorrow. His countenance has fallen: his looks are sullen: he is a miserable
man. There are many ungodly people still in the world who are not happy
in the condition in which they find themselves. The present does not
content them, and they have no future from which to borrow the light of
hope. The service of sin is hard to them, and yet they do not quit it for the
service of the Lord. They are in danger of having two hells — one in this
life, and another in the world to come.
They have a religion of their own, even as Cain brought an offering of the
fruit of the ground; but it yields them no comfort, for God has no respect
to their offering, and therefore they are displeased about it. The things of
God bring an increase to their inward wretchedness: it was after a sacrifice
that Cain’s countenance fell. Many unrenewed hearts quarrel with God at
his own altar: quarrel by presenting what he never commanded, and then
by growing wroth because he rejects their will-worship. They attend the
means of grace, but they are not saved nor comforted, and they do not like
it. They pray, after a fashion, and they are not heard, and they feel
indignant at the slight. They read the Scriptures, but no cheering promise is
ever applied to their hearts, and they grow fierce at their failure. They see
another accepted, as Abel was, and this excites their jealousy, and envy
gnaws at their heart. They are wroth with God, with their fellow man, and
with everything about them; their countenance falls, and they are in a
morose mood, which fits them for any cruel word or deed. Can you not see
their sullen looks?
They would like to have the enjoyments of religion very much, they would
like to have peace of conscience, they would like to be uplifted beyond all
fear of death, they would like to be as happy as Christian people are; but
they do not want to pay the price, namely, obedience to God by faith in
Jesus Christ. They would willingly bring an offering to God according to
their own choice and taste, but they do not care to come with “the lamb”
as their sacrifice: they cannot accept the atonement made by our Lord’s
laying down his life for us. They wish to have the reward of obedient faith
while yet they have their own way. They would reap the harvest without
sowing the seed. They would gather clusters without planting vines. They
would win the wages without serving, the Master of the vineyard. But as
this cannot be, and never will be, they are full of bitter feeling. Since sin
and sorrow are sure to be, sooner or later, married together, and since only
by walking in the ways of God can we hope to find peace and rest, they
quarrel with the divine arrangement, grow inwardly miserable, and show it
by their sullen looks and growling words.
They are in a bitter state of heart, and it is fair to ask each one of them,
“Why art thou wroth?” Alas! they are not angry with themselves, as they
ought to be, but angry with God; and often they are angry with God’s
chosen, and envious of them, even as Cain was malicious and vindictive
towards Abel. “Why should my neighbor be saved, and not I? Why should
my brother rejoice because he has peace with God, while I cannot get it?
Why should my own sister be converted and sing of heaven, and I, who
have gone to the same place of worship, and have joined in the same
prayers and hymns, seem to be left out in the cold?” Such questions might
be useful to them; but instead of looking into their own hearts to see what
is wrong there, instead of judging themselves and trying to get right with
God, they inwardly blame the Lord, or the persons whom they think to be
more favored than themselves. The blessings of grace are to be had by
them; but they refuse to take them, and yet quarrel with those who accept
them. They play the part of the dog in the manger, who could not eat the
hay himself; and would not let the horses do so. They will not accept
Christ, and yet grumble because others have Him.
It is one of the sure signs of the seed of the serpent — that they will always
be at enmity with the seed of the woman. This is one of the marks of
distinction between those who walk after the flesh and those who walk
after the spirit; for as Ishmael mocked Isaac, so the child of the flesh mocks
the child of promise even to this day. So soon as the two sons born to
Adam were grown up, the great division was seen: he who was of the
wicked one slew the man who by faith offered a more acceptable sacrifice.
This division has never ceased, and never will cease, while the race of man
remains on earth under the reign of God’s long-suffering. By this shall ye
know to which seed ye belong; whether ye are of those who hate the
righteous, or of those who are hated for Christ’s sake.
Now, I want to call attention to a very gracious fact connected with this
text; and that is, that, although Cain was in such a bad temper that he was
very wroth, and his countenance fell, yet God, the infinitely gracious One,
came and spoke with him, and reasoned with him patiently. It is wonderful
that God should speak with man at all, considering man’s insignificance.
Did not the Psalmist say, “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy
fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man,
that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
But for the Lord to speak with sinful man is a far greater marvel; and for
him to reason with such a man as Cain, a murderer in heart, and soon to be
a murderer in deed, impenitent, implacable, presumptuous, blasphemous;
this is a miracle of mercy! Shall the pure and holy God speak with such a
wretch as Cain, who was angry with his brother without just cause? Why
does He not at once cut him off while yet his hate has not issued in murder,
and thus at the very beginning show His detestation of envy and malice?
Truly His mercy endureth for ever. Behold, the Lord comes to Cain with a
question, gives him an opportunity of speaking for himself, and defending,
if he can, his state of mind. “Why art thou wroth? and why is thy
countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if
thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.”
Yet this is no solitary instance of the condescension of God: it is the way of
our God to expostulate with sinners, and to let them produce their strong
reasons, and justify themselves it they can. It is His fashion to say, “Turn
turn ye, why will ye die, O house of
of any, but that they should turn unto Him and live. He is greatly patient
and waiteth to be gracious. God gives none up until they fatally resolve to
give themselves up, and even then His good Spirit strives with them as long
as it is possible to do so, consistently with His holiness.
Often to the very gates of death, and up to the very edge of the bottomless
pit, His pity follows obstinate sinners, crying still, “Turn ye! Turn ye! Turn
ye! Why will ye die?” Ay, the angry sinner — the Cain-ite sinner — the
sinner whose face betrays the anger of his soul, whose heart is hot with
enmity against God and against His Christ, even he is not left to die without
divine pleadings which may show him his fault and folly. Still does the
Lord handle conscience with skill, and arouse thought with fit enquiries:
“Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?”
I pray God that he may speak to any among my congregation who may be
in this sad and evil condition. I have felt lately that I may have but few
more opportunities of preaching the gospel, and therefore I would try and
speak more solemnly every time I preach, and endeavor to strike right
home at the heart and conscience, if by any means I may save some. Oh
how I long to bring men to Jesus! I could gladly lay down my life to save
my hearers. May the Holy Spirit make my words to be full of force and
holy fire; and may they meet the case of some here present whom I have
never seen before, but whose thoughts are as well known to God as if they
were printed in a book and laid open before His eyes! Oh that I may be
moved to speak a word which shall fit the case as a glove fits the hand
which wears it! May it not merely be the voice of man that speaks to you;
but may it be clear that God has commissioned his servant to speak to your
hearts, and that by my sermon God himself expostulates with you even as
He expostulated with Cain in those ancient times!
Recollect that the case is that of a man who is angry, angry mainly because
he cannot get the comforts of religion. He sees his brother enjoying them,
and he grows wroth with him for that reason. With him, and all like him, I
would reason with kind words.
I. I shall take the last sentence of the text first: “Unto thee shall be his
desire, and thou shall rule over him.” In these words God argues with Cain,
and answers the charge of favouritism which was lurking in his mind. He
tells him, in effect, that NO DIFFERENCE IS MADE IN THE ARRANGEMENT
OF SOCIAL LIFE, BECAUSE OF THE ARRANGEMENTS OF GRACE. Notice
that he says to him, “Unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over
him” — which I understand to mean just this: “Why are you so angry
against Abel? It is true that I have accepted his offering: it is true that he is
a righteous man, and you are not; but, for all that, you are his elder
brother, and he looks up to you, his desire is toward you, and you shall rule
over him. He has not acted otherwise than as a younger brother should act
towards an elder brother, but he has admitted your seniority and priority.
He has not revolted from you: you rule over him: you are his master. Why,
then, are you so angry?” Observe this, then — that if a man shall be angry
with his wife because she is a Christian, we may well argue with him —
Why are you thus provoked? Is she not a loving and obedient wife to you
in all things, except in this matter touching her God? Is she not all the
better for her religion? I have known a husband meet his wife at the
Tabernacle door and call her foul names all the way home for no other
reason than because she joined in the worship of God. Yet she was all the
more loving, diligent, and patient because of that worship. Here is your
child converted, and you are angry. Are you not unreasonable in this? You
are his father, and he yields obedience to you. God has not caused religion
to alter the natural position of things: your child, your servant, your wife,
all recognize this, and remain in due subservience to you. For what cause
are you thus sullen and wroth? Good sir, this is not like a reasonable man.
Be persuaded to let better feelings sway you.
Now, this is an important thing to note, because first of all it takes away
from governments their excuse for persecution. In the early days of
Christianity, multitudes of Christians were tormented to death because of
their faith in Jesus. There was no excuse for it, for they had done no harm
to the State. Christianity does not come into a nation to break up its
arrangements, or to break down its fabric. All that is good in human
society it preserves and establishes. It snaps no ties of the family; it
dislocates no bonds of the body politic. There are theories of socialism and
the like which lead to anarchy and riot; but it is not so with the mild and
gentle teaching of Jesus Christ, whose every word is love and patience. He
says, “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek,
turn to him the other also.” His apostle says — “Wives, submit yourselves
unto your own husbands: husbands, love your wives; children, obey your
parents in all things: servants, obey in all things your masters, not with
eyeservice as menpleasers: masters, give unto your servants that which is
just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.” Such
precepts as these are no injury to government. Paul was no leader of
sedition, no destroyer of the rights of property. Caesar needed not to fear
Christ. Jesus did not covet Caesar’s purple or Caesar’s throne. Even Herod
needed not to tremble for his princedom, for the child that was born at
kingdom is not of this world,” said our Lord Jesus, “else would my
servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews.” Now, inasmuch
as the religion of Jesus Christ does no hurt to social order, teaches no one
to be rebellious, takes away from no man his rights, but guards the rights
of all from the meanest to the greatest, all excuse is taken away from any
government that dares to put out its hand to touch the
to each disciple of Jesus, the government may be satisfied that he is loyal.
“Thou shalt rule over him” is certainly true. Christians will cheerfully
submit to all lawful rule and righteous authority. To them it is a matter of
joy if they are enabled to lead peaceable lives because the magistrate is a
terror to evildoers. They are a non-resistant, peaceable, quiet people, who
have from the beginning of the world until now borne burdens and suffered
and been content to suffer, so that they might but be true to their Master.
They hate tyranny, but they love order: they protest against oppression, but
they uphold law and justice. Why, then, should they be persecuted? They
ask nothing from the State by way of pay or patronage; they only ask to be
let alone, and to be subject to no disability on account of their religion. Let
all who are in authority, whether as kings or petty magistrates, beware of
wantonly molesting a people who cause them no trouble, lest they be found
in this matter to be fighting against God.
JESUS IS THE CORNERSTONE
The Jewish builders, scribe, priest, Pharisee, and Herodian, rejected Him with
disdain. They could see no excellence in Him that they should build upon
Him; He could not be made to fit in with their ideal of a national church, he
was a stone of another quarry from themselves, and not after their mind
nor according to their taste; therefore they cast Him away and poured
contempt upon Him, even as Peter said, "This is the stone which was set at
naught of you builders" (I Peter 2:7); they reckoned Him to be as nothing, though
HE IS LORD OF ALL!
People still reject Him today!
The husbandmen who had just been described as vine-dressers are now described
as builders, and the murdered son is reproduced under the image of a corner, stone
tossed aside as useless. In the first part of the picture, the earthly humiliation of
Messiah is portrayed when the stone is laid in the earth. In the second, the stone
falling from the top of the building represents the crushing of all earthly opposition
by Messiah in His glory. Woe to the builders, then, who had scornfully rejected Him!
is the cornerstone
Came for sinners to atone
Though rejected by His own
He became the cornerstone
(I could not find who wrote the lyrics - CY - 2021)
Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The
stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of
the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?”
Did ye never read? It is as though Christ said, “Ye have
answered rightly. You profess to know the Scriptures well; do you not,
then, apprehend that Holy Writ foretells that concerning Messiah and His
enemies which you have just announced?” The imagery is changed, but the
subject is the same as in the preceding parable. The vineyard is now a
building; the husbandmen are the builders; the Son is the stone. In the
Scriptures. The quotation is from Psalm 118:22-23 — the same psalm
which was used on the day of triumph when Christ was saluted with cries
of “Hosanna!” and which, as some say, was first sung by
of Tabernacles on the return from Captivity. The stone. This figure was
generally understood to represent Messiah, on whom depended the
existence and support of the
this metaphor were applied to him; e.g. Isaiah 28:16; Daniel 2:34;
Zechariah 3:9; so that the Pharisees could be at no loss to understand
the allusion, seeing that JESUS claimed to be THAT STONE. Rejected;
as being not suitable to the building, or useless in its construction. So the
husbandmen rejected the Son. The ignorance and contempt of men are
overruled by THE GREAT ARCHITECT! The head of the corner. The
cornerstone, which stands at the base and binds together two principal
walls (see Paul’s grand words, Ephesians 2:19-22). We learn that
Christ unites Jew and Gentile in one holy house (compare I Peter 2:6-7).
This (αὕτη – hautae - this), being feminine, is thought by some to refer to
(κεφαλὴν γωνίας – kephalaen gonias - head of the corner); but it is better
to take it as used by a Hebrew idiom for the neuter, and to refer generally to
what has preceded, viz. the settlement of the cornerstone in its destined position,
which is effected by the Lord Himself. THE ULTIMATE VICTORY OF THE
REJECTED SON IS DISTINCTLY PREDICTED! (compare Acts 4:11;
The History of the Cornerstone (Matthew 21:42)
Foundations are not now laid as in olden times. Foundation stones are now
mere ornaments. There is no sense in which buildings now rest on them.
Memorial stones are taking the place of foundation stones. Probably the
figure of the “cornerstone” is taken from
the corner of
which had to be built up from the valley, in order to make a square area for
the temple courts. Dean Plumptre says, “In the primary meaning of the
psalm, the illustration seems to have been drawn from one of the stones,
quarried, hewn, and marked, away from the site of the temple, which the
builders, ignorant of the head architect’s plans, had put on one side, as
having no place in the building, but which was found afterwards to be that
on which the completeness of the structure depended, that on which, as the
chief cornerstone, the two walls met, and were bonded together.” Take this
suggestion, and consider:
done on the limestone block in order to fit it for its place as a
foundationstone. The apostle permits us to think of the experiences of our
Lord’s human life as fitting Him to be the Saviour He became. The Captain
of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, for His work as the
“bringer on of souls.” “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience
by the things that He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) The Cornerstone was being
chiseled and, beveled for its place. Work out this figure.
spoke, the Cornerstone was almost ready; and there were the men who
prided themselves on being the builders of God’s temple of religion. And
they were, then and there, rejecting that “tried Stone, that precious
Cornerstone.” (Isaiah 28:16) They would put nothing on it. It was not to
their mind. It may lie forever in the quarry for all they care. But happily they
were only like overseers, or clerks of works. The Architect Himself may
order this Stone to be brought, and made the “Head of the corner.”
Himself did interfere, brushed those petty officials aside, had the tried Stone
brought out, and on it He has had built the new temple of the ages. That
temple is rising into ever richer and nobler proportions, and it was never
more manifest than it is today, that THE CORNERSTON IS CHRIST!
43 “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from
you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
17 “And He beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone
which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever
it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” In spite of the deprecating expression,
the severity of the tone of Jesus increases in His next words, when, looking at them
with grave anger (ἐμβλέψας – emblepsas – in looking), He proceeds to speak of
Himself under the figure of the rejected stone. Quoting a well-known psalm
(Psalm 118:22), and using the imagery of Isaiah 8:14-15 and Daniel 2:44, He
describes His fortunes under the image of a corner-stone — that stone which forms
the junction between the two most prominent walls of a building, and which is
always laid with peculiar care and attention. In ch. 2:34 of this Gospel Simeon
refers to the same well-known prophetic saying. The husbandmen who had just
been described as vine-dressers are now described as builders, and the murdered
son is reproduced under the image of a corner, stone tossed aside as useless. In
the first part of the picture, the earthly humiliation of Messiah is portrayed when
the stone is laid in the earth. In the second, the stone falling from the top of the
building represents the crushing of all earthly opposition by Messiah in His glory.
Woe to the builders, then, who had scornfully rejected Him!
The Rejection and Exaltation of Christ (v. 17)
We look at:
· THE REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. Its strangeness.
Ø From an evidential point of view. How came the builders to reject
that valuable Stone? How was it that all the miracles of Jesus, so
wonderful, so beneficent, so simple, and so credible as they were;
that the life of Jesus, so holy and so beautiful, so gracious and so
winning as it was; that the truth spoken by Jesus, so profound, so
original, so lofty, so satisfying to the deepest wants of man as it was;
how came it to pass that all this left Him the “despised and
rejected of men”?
Ø From a providential point of view. How do we account for it that there
should have been such a long and complicated preparation for the coming
of the Messiah of the Jews, and of the Redeemer of mankind, and that he
should fail to be recognized when he came? Does not all that Divine
arrangement of Law and ritual and prophecy, of privilege and discipline,
seem to have been attended with failure? Of what use was all that elaborate
preparation, when the people of God rejected the Son of God? when he to
whom everything pointed, and of whom everything foretold, was not
welcomed and honored, but denounced as a deceiver and slain as a
· CONSIDERATIONS WHICH ACCOUNT FOR IT; or which, if they
do not account for it, lessen our surprise concerning it.
Ø As to the evidential difficulty. We need not wonder that the very
strongest evidence failed to convince those who were unconvinced. What
evidence can prevail against bigotry (or prejudice) and selfishness
combined? Our knowledge and experience of mankind must have
abundantly proved that either of these can repel the clearest and
weightiest proofs; much more can both of them. And surely prejudice
and self-interest never found a firmer seat than they found in the
minds of the “chief priests and the scribes” who led the opposition
to our Lord.
Ø As to the providential difficulty. We must take into our consideration
o the fact that God’s dealings with our race include such apparent
failures as this, and oblige us to wait the issue before we judge;
fact that the long preparation of
wholly an apparent failure. There is evidence of much fulfillment
of prophecy; there is the valuable contribution of all that is
contained in Old Testament Scripture, which is a rich and precious
heritage to the human race; and there is, above all, the formation
of a pure and reverent people, distinguished from and raised
above all surrounding nations in the supreme element of moral
character, which supplied the human material for the first
great missionary epoch. Moreover, the very rejection of
Jesus Christ has played to be the beginning and foundation of
ultimate success, and of a success far deeper and larger than
any contemporary and national triumph would have been.
It has led up to:
· HIS EXALTATION.
Ø Notwithstanding His humiliation. That Stone was rejected indeed; that
Teacher was silenced, that Prophet slain, that cause covered with infamy;
those hopes, cherished by a few disciples, were laid in the tomb and
covered from sight; yet, notwithstanding all that apparent defeat and
discomfiture, that “Stone has become the Head of the corner,” that
Teacher the great Teacher of Divine wisdom, that Prophet the
acknowledged Savior of mankind, that cause the
upon earth. As the reward of His humiliation “God hath highly
exalted Him” (Philippians 2:6-11; Hebrews 2:9-10) As a result of
His humiliation, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.”
(John 12:32). The cross has been the great magnet which has been
attracting the world. It is to a crucified Savior, once slain for our sins,
dying in mercy toward our race, that we are drawn in faith and love.
It is He “who loved us, and gave Himself for us” (Ephesians 5:2)
unto such shame and sorrow and death — it is He whom we rejoice
to make the Friend of our heart and the Sovereign of our life.
It is well for us that we stand at a point in time where we can recognize the
Corner-stone. We know Jesus Christ better than we should have done had we
lived when He was the Stone rejected of the builders. We could not be better
placed than we are by the providence of God for understanding Him and
rejoicing in His worth. Knowing Jesus Christ as we know Him now, it is for
us to accept Him without delay as OUR PERSONAL REDEEMER and to
commend Him, with all devotedness, to the estimation and trust of all beholders.
Contact and Conflict with Christ (v. 18)
There is one thing which, as a stone or rock, Christ is willing and waiting
to be to us; there is that also which, in spite of His own desire concerning
us, we may compel Him to be to us.
· THE ROCK ON WHICH WE MAY BUILD.
Ø Christ desires to be as the Corner-stone or Foundation-stone
on which the whole structure of our character and of our
destiny is resting.
o Building on Him, our peace of mind will be secure;
o Building on Him, our character will be strong and saintly,
our life will be useful and noble;
o Resting on him, our souls will be sustained in hours of trial;
o Abiding in Him, we shall have peace at the last.
· THE ROCK AGAINST WHICH WE ARE BRUISED OR EVEN
BROKEN, We cannot come, in any sense or degree, into conflict with
Christ without being injured by the act.
Ø To turn from Him is to deprive ourselves of the best; it is to rob
ourselves of the highest motives to rectitude and spiritual worth, of the
deepest springs of goodness and of beauty, of the heavenliest influences
that can breathe upon the soul, of the purest and most elevating joys that
can fill the heart, of the noblest activities that can occupy and crown our
Ø To reject Him, whether by deliberate and determined refusal or by a
foolish and guilty procrastination, is to do conscious wrong to ourselves;
it is to injure our conscience, to weaken our will, to suffer constant
spiritual deterioration, to be moving along that downward slope which
ends in darkness of mind and in self-despair.
Ø To disobey the commandments of Christ is to come into collision with
those laws of God which are also laws of our spiritual nature, any and
every infraction of which is attended with inward and serious injury; e.g:.
o to hate our brother without a cause,
o to look with lustful eye,
o to love our own life rather than the cause of God and
this is to suffer harm and damage to the spirit.
Ø To work against Christ and His gospel is to be constructing that which
will be destroyed, is to be delving and building on the sand with the tide
coming in which will wash everything away. In no way can we take up
an attitude of resistance to Jesus Christ without “wronging our
own soul.” It may be by a cruel renunciation of all that is best,
or it may be by incurring the judgment which must fall and does
fall upon folly and sin.
· THE ROCK WHICH MAY CRUSH US IN ITS FALL. “On
whomsoever it shall fall,” etc. The snow-drift and the glacier are
magnificent objects on which to gaze; but how terrible is the descending,
destructive avalanche! It is simply inevitable that the brightest light should
cast the deepest shade; that fullest privilege and most abounding
opportunity should, in the case of the guilty, end in deepest condemnation
and severest penalty (John 3:19; Hebrews 6:4-8; Philippians 3:18-19). “
When God arises to judgment, when the rock of Divine dissatisfaction falls,
when the “wrath of the Lamb” is revealed (Revelation 6:12-17), then must
there be made known what God intends by “everlasting destruction from
His presence” (II Thessalonians 1:9). All that is meant by that we do not know:
we may well resolve that, by timely penitence and loving faith, we will never
learn by the teaching of our own experience what it means FOR THAT ROCK
TO FALL ON US!
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