The Puritan writer Richard Baxter asked some pointed questions that must be repeated today. When we run across ones who want to argue as to whether God is just or right in the way He has prepared for salvation, when someone reads in the Word that this is so and that is so, do we think ourselves fit to contradict His word?
Are we going to call our Maker to the bar of justice to examine His word against falsehood or accusation? Will we set upon Him and judge Him by the law of our conceits and beliefs, against His ways? Are we wiser, and better and more righteous than He?
Must the God of heaven come to us to learn wisdom? Must infinite wisdom learn of, or from folly? Is infinite Holiness going to be corrected by a selfish sinner that cannot keep himself clean for even an hour?
Must the Almighty stand at the judgment bar of a worm? O! Horrid arrogance of senseless dust! It is like every mole, or clod, or dunghill accuse the sun of darkness, and undertake to illuminate the world? Where were we when the Almighty made the laws, did He not call upon us for His counsel? Surely He made them before you were born, without desiring your advice! And we come into the world seeking to reverse His law?!
If we could have done a greater work we should have stepped out of our nothingness and contradicted Christ when He was on earth, or Moses before Him, or have saved Adam and his sinful progeny from the threatened death so that there would not be a need for a Christ!
What if God withdraw His patience and sustainance, and let us drop into hell while we are quarrelling with His word? Will we then believe that there is no hell? There are many who live in out right rebellion against the path God has given for righteousness, salvation and eternal life. Though people try to put this out of their mind, they cannot put it out of the Bible. The Holy Ghost sealed the gospel; the apostles were the secretaries of the Spirit who wrote it; the preachers of the gospel proclaim it and persuade men to obey it; and the Holy Ghost makes the word effectual by opening the hearts of men to hear and either accept or deny it.
Most people love their present state, their carnal self and pleasing the flesh rather than seeking to please the LORD. We naturally love our present state, and are loathe to be brought out of it. Most people we meet love the earth greater than loving heaven, fleshly prosperity more than God. They just want to do enough to escape hell fire that a desire to love, please and honor God. These are wicked and unconverted people.
They may attend church, even teach Sunday school or a youth group and pray or testify in services; but if they love the present world more than heaven they are unconverted as far as God is concerned. The principle business in their life is to prosper in the world to attain their fleshly ends. Though they may read and hear and do much for religion and hate disgraceful sins, yet they never make it their principal business in life to please God.
While here on earth Christ said of such that harlots and publicans (tax collectors) would get to heaven before the religious people would. Whores and publican would accept true repentance because it was easier to make these gross sinners perceive their sin and misery and the necessity of a change, than to convince the more refined religious ones who thought they were converted already;when they were not.
A converted person is one who makes it the principal care and business of life to please God. The blessings of this life are but accommodations toward another life; they are totally subordinate to God. They love a holy life and hate sin of any kind. The drift and bent of their life is toward God. They are wholly taken up with redemption and believing that the LORD Jesus Christ is their only Saviour; HE is the life of their soul and they live by Him; being dead to self and alive to Him.
A true convert knows that the only hope and refuge they have is in Christ; He is their daily bread. They cannot pray without Him, rejoice without Him, nor think or speak or live without Him. These are heavenly minded, not earthly. As a child I have heard said of some that they are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good, I would counter that most are to earthly minded to be of any heavenly good.
True conversion is those who were once addicted to self and lived for self are now devoted totally to God and live for God. Before they would please God so far as might stand with pleasure to their fleshly, as long as it was not too uncomfortable, but not do anything that was of any displeasure or discomfort. True conversion means a great change has taken place. Now God is all in all. God has declared that He is all in all; If we do not believe the God of truth, we are totally inexcusable.
To quote Richard Baxter ~
" Can one make so light of heaven and hell? Our corpse will shortly lie in the dust, and angels or devils will presently seize upon our souls, and every man and woman of you will shortly be among other company, and in another case than now we are;
You will dwell in those houses but a little longer, you will work in your shops but a little longer; you will sit in these seats, and dwell on this earth but a little longer;
you will see with those eyes, and hear with those ears, and speak with those tongues, but a little longer;
til the resurrection day; and can you make yourself forget this? O what a place will you be shortly in of joy or torment! O what a sight will you shortly see in heaven or hell! O what thoughts will shortly fill your hearts with unspeakable delight or horror!
What work will you be employed in;
to praise the LORD with saints and angels,
or to cry out in fire unquenchable with devils!
And should all this be forgotten?
All this will be endless, and sealed up by an unchangeable decree;
ETERNITY, ETERNITY will be the measure of your joys or sorrows.
Can you forget this? "
" When you have gone up and down a little longer, and slept and awakened a few times more,
you will be dead and gone, and find all that is true what I now tell you.
And yet can you now forget it?
You shall then remember that you heard this sermon, and that this day, from this place, you were reminded of these things;
and perceive them matters a thousand times greater than either you or I could have conceived; and yet, now, shall you so much as forget them? "
* There is no democracy in God's Kingdom. We are either saved or lost, redeemed or perishing. God has appointed His way of teaching us; by Scripture and ministers. The word of God delivered in Scripture and sealed by miracles and the holy workings of the Holy Ghost will never deceive us. Believe this or believe nothing! Believe and obey this or we are undone.
Are we truly converted?
How many pulpits in America preached this way yesterday, Sunday, October 26, 2009?