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Monday, August 20, 2007

Are You Thought A Fool By Anyone Because Of Your Soul?

The following is from a book I am reading entitled simply Holiness by J. C. Ryle.

"There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough - a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and is worth nothing. . . . . But if you really are in earnest about your soul - if your religion is something more than a mere fashionable Sunday cloak - if you are determined to live by the Bible - if you are resolved to be a true New Testament Christian, then, I repeat, you will soon find you must carry a cross. . . .

The offence of the cross is not ceased. God's true people are still a despised little flock. True Evangelical religion still brings with it reproach and scorn. A real servant of God will still be thought by many a weak enthusiast and a fool. . . .

You cannot be a friend of Christ and a friend of the world at the same time. You must come out from the children of this world, and be separate; you must put up with much ridicule, trouble, and opposition, or you will be lost for ever. You must be willing to think and do things which the world considers foolish, and to hold opinions which are only held by a few. It will cost you something. The stream is strong, and you have to stem it. The way is narrow and steep, and it is no use saying it is not. . . .

Are there any sharp corners in your religion, anything that ever jars and comes in collision with the earthly-mindedness around you? or is all smooth and rounded-off, and comfortably fitted into custom and fashion? Do you know anything of the afflictions of the gospel? Is your faith and practice ever a subject of scorn and reproach? Are you thought a fool by anyone because of your soul?"

It is too bad that Baptist preachers are not spending more time reading this kind of material rather than Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Apostasy. Far too many churches/preachers allow the world to become comfortable in their midst rather than exhorting people to true New Testament discipleship. A discipleship where we are crucified to the world and the world to us!
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