Thursday, April 9, 2009

When the Church knows defeat

Joshua might have gone from city to city exterminating the nations, as they justly deserved to be, but Achan had taken of the accursed thing and hidden it in his tent, therefore no victory could be won by Israel till his theft and sacrilege had been put away. Beloved, this is symbolic of the Christian Church. We might go from victory to victory; our home mission operations might be successful, and our foreign agencies might be crowned with triumph, if it were not that we have Achans in the camp at home.

When Churches have no conversions, it is more than probable that hypocrites concealed among them have turned away the Lord’s blessing. You who are inconsistent, who make the profession of religion the means of getting wealth, you who unite yourselves with God’s people, but at the same time covet the goodly Babylonish garment, and the wedge of gold, you are those who cut the sinews of Zion’s strength; you prevent the Israel of God from going forth to victory. Ah! little do we know, beloved, how Satan has hindered us. We, as a Church, have had much reason to thank God, but how many more might within these walls have been added to the number of this Church if it had not been for the coldness of some, the indifference of others, the inconsistency of a few, and the worldliness of many more! Satan hinders us not merely by direct opposition, but by sending Achans into the midst of our camp.

From a sermon entitled "Satanic Hindrances," delivered October 29, 1865. Image by spisharam under Creative Commons License.

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