Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The false Gospel... and the true

I have heard that an Englishman has professed himself a Mahometan because he is charmed by the polygamy which the Arabian prophet allows his followers. No doubt the prospect of four wives would win converts who would not be attracted by spiritual considerations. If you preach a gospel which makes allowances for human nature, and treats sin as if it were a mistake rather than a crime, you will find willing hearers. If you can provide absolution at small cost, and can ease conscience by a little self-denial, it will not be wonderful if your religion becomes fashionable. But our gospel declares that the wages of sin is death, and that we can only have eternal life as the gift of God; and that this gift always brings with it sorrow for sin, a hatred towards it, and an avoidance of it. Our gospel tells a man that he must be born again, and that without the new birth he will be lost eternally, while with it he will obtain everlasting salvation. Our gospel offers no excuse or cloak for sin, but condemns it utterly. It presents no pardon except through the great Atonement, and it will give that man no security who tries to harbor any sin in his bosom. Christ died for sin; and we must die to sin, or die eternally. If we preach the gospel faithfully, we must preach the law.

You cannot fully preach salvation by Christ without setting Sinai at the back of the picture, and Calvary in the front. Men must be made to feel the evil of sin before they will prize the great Sacrifice which is the head and front of our gospel. This is not to the taste of this or any other age; and therefore I am sure man did not invent it.

From a sermon entitled "Our Manifesto," delivered April 25, 1890.

Photo by j.anne4; some rights reserved.

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