Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Let us expect the hatred of the world

We do not expect to see the world lifted up to become more and more absorbed into the Church, The union of the world with the Church was never the object of our religion. The object of Christ is to gather to himself a people from among men; it is not the lifting up of all, but the calling out of the some, the making of men to differ, the manifestation of his special and discriminating grace, the gathering together of a people whom he has formed for himself. In this process morality is promoted, men are civilised and improved, but this is only indirectly God’s object, and not his immediate end; the immediate end of the gospel being the salvation of the people whom he has ordained unto eternal life, and who, therefore, in due season arc led to believe in him. The world, to the end of the chapter, will be as much at enmity with true believers as ever it was. Because “ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you,” this will be as true when Christ shall come as at the present moment. Let us expect it; and when we meet with scorn and persecution, let us not be surprised as though some strange thing had happened unto us.

From a sermon entitled "Barabbas Preferred to Jesus," delivered October 16, 1864. Image by helmet13 under Creative Commons License.

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