Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Excuses for keeping out Christ

To harbour Christ was to run the risk of being put out of the synagogue in the first place, to become the object of public contempt in the second, and perhaps in conclusion to meet with a sudden and violent death; therefore, prudent, careful men, closed their doors against him, and argued that they could not expose their families to so much peril. They might in their hearts admire him, in their souls they might lament that he was so hardly dealt with, but they could not run the risk of declaring themselves to be on his side by entertaining him at that moment of excitement.

So is it at this hour, men always have a good reason, as they think, for that most unreasonable of all unkindnesses, the rejection of Jesus, their best friend. The farm, the merchandise, the newlymarried wife, all these are the transparently weak excuses for not coming to the gospel supper. Preoccupation of mind with some other pursuit, or the self-denials which Christianity would involve, or the difficulties which are supposed to beset a consistent Christian profession, any, or all of these, and worse than these, serve to satisfy the human conscience with the shadow of an excuse. Jesus Christ is kept on the cold side of the door, and our worst enemies are welcomed. Though it is the highest honor that man can have to entertain him, yet a cruel refusal is given him, and any excuse in the world is thought to be sufficient.

From a sermon entitled "Wanted, A Guestchamber!," delivered December 15, 1867. Image by Steve Willi under Creative Commons License.

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