Tag Archive | Faith

Are You Ready?

Colorful 2017 sticker sign

Are You Ready?

by J. C. Ryle

“Be also ready.” Matthew 24:44

Reader, I ask you a plain question at the beginning of a New Year. Are you ready? It is a solemn thing to part company with the old year. It is a still more solemn thing to begin a new one. It is like entering a dark passage. We know not what the may meet before the end. All before us is uncertain. We know not what a day may bring forth, much less what may happen in a year. Reader, are you ready? Are you ready for sickness? You cannot expect to be always well. You have a body fearfully and wonderfully made. It is awful to think how many diseases may assail it. “Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long!” Pain and weakness are a hard trial. They can bow down the strong man, and make him like a child. They can weary the temper and exhaust the patience, and make men cry in the morning, “Would God it were evening, and in the evening, would God it were morning.” All this may come to pass this very year. Your reason may be shattered. Your senses may be weakened. Your nerves may be unstrung. The very grasshopper may become a burden. Reader, if sickness comes upon you, are you ready? “Man,” says the Scripture, “is born to sorrow.” This witness is true. Your property may be taken from you. Your riches may make themselves wings and flee away. Your friends may fail you. Your children may disappoint you. Your servants may deceive you. Your character may be assailed. Your conduct may be misrepresented. Troubles, annoyances, vexations, anxieties, may surround you on every side like a host of armed men. Wave upon wave may burst over your head. You may feel worn, and worried, and crushed to the dust. Reader, if affliction comes upon you, are you ready?

Are you ready for bereavements? No doubt there are those in the world whom you love. There are those whose names are engraved on your heart, and round whom your affections are entwined. There are those who are the light of your eyes, and the very sunshine of your existence. But they are all mortal. Any one of them may die this year. Before the daisies blossom again, any one of them may be lying in the tomb. Your Rachel may be buried. Your Joseph may betaken from you. Your dearest idol may be broken. Bitter tears and deep mourning may be your portion. Before December you may feel terribly alone. Reader, if bereavement comes upon you, are you ready?

Are you ready for death? It must come some day. It may come this year. You cannot live always. This very year may be your last. You have no freehold in this world. You have not so much as a lease. You are nothing better than a tenant at God’s will. Your last sickness may come upon you and give you notice to exit. The doctor may visit you and exhaust his skill over your case. Your friends map sit by your bed-side, and look graver and graver every day. You may feel you own strength gradually wasting, and find something saying within, “I shall not come down from this bed, but I shall die.” You may see the world slipping from beneath your feet, and all your schemes and plans suddenly stopped short. You may feel yourself drawing near to the coffin, and the grave, and the worm, and an unseen world, and eternity, and God. Reader, if death should come upon you, are you ready?

Are you ready for the second coming of Christ? He will come again to this world one day. As surely as He came the first time, 1800 years ago, so surely will He come the second time. He will come to reward all His saints who have believed in Him and confessed Him on earth. He will come; to judge all His enemies, the careless, the ungodly, the impenitent, and the unbelieving. He will come very suddenly, at an hour when no man thinks, as a thief in the night. He will come in terrible majesty, in the glory of His, Father, with the holy angels. A flaming fire shall burn before Him. The dead shall be raised. The judgment shall be set. The books shall be opened. Some shall be exalted into heaven. Many, very many, shall be cast down to hell. The time for repentance shall be past. Many shall cry, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” but find the door of mercy shut forever. After this there will be no change. Reader, if Christ should come the second time this year, are you ready? Oh! reader, these are solemn questions. They ought to make you examine yourself. They ought to make you think. It would be a terrible thing to be taken by surprise. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But shall I leave you here? I will not do so. Shall I raise searchings of heart, and not set before you the way of life? I will not do so. Hear me for a few moments, while I try to show you THE MAN THAT IS READY. He that is ready has a ready Savior. He has Jesus ever ready to help him. He lives the life of faith in the Son of God. He has found out his own sinfulness, and fled to Christ for peace. He has committed his soul, and all its concerns, to Christ’s keeping. If he has bitter cups of affliction to drink, he knows they are mixed by the hand that was nailed to the cross for his sins. If he is called to die, he knows that the grave is the place where the Lord lay. If those whom he loves are taken away, he remembers that Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and a husband who never dies. If the Lord should come again, he knows that he has nothing to fear. The Judge of all will be that very Jesus who has washed his sins away. Happy is that man who can say with Hezekiah, “The Lord is ready to save me!” (Isaiah xxxviii. 20.)

He that is ready has a ready heart. He has been born again, and renewed in the spirit of his mind. The Holy Spirit has shown him the true value of all here below, and taught him to set his affections on things above. The Holy Spirit has shown him his own deserts, and made him feel that he ought to be thankful for everything, and satisfied with any condition. If affliction comes upon him, his heart whispers, “there must be a needs-be. I deserve correction. It is meant to teach me some useful lesson.” If bereavement comes upon him, his heart reminds him that the Lord gave and the Lord must take away, whenever he sees fit. If death draws near, his heart says, “My times are in your hand; do as you will, when you will, and where you will.” If the Lord should come, his heart would cry, “This is the day I have long prayed for- the kingdom of God is come at last.” Blessed is he who has a ready heart!

He who is ready, has a home ready for him in heaven. The Lord Jesus Christ has told him that He is gone “to prepare a place” for him. A house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, awaits him. He is not yet come to his full inheritance. His best things are yet to come. He can bear sickness, for yet a little time he shall have a glorious body. He can bear losses and crosses, for his choicest treasures are far beyond the reach of harm. He can bear disappointments, for the springs of his greatest happiness can never be made dry. He can think calmly of death. It will open a door for him from the lower house to the upper chamber, even the presence of the King. He is immortal until his work is done. He can look forward to the coming of the Lord without alarm. He knows that they who are ready will enter in with Him to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Happy is that man whose lodging is prepared for him in the kingdom of Christ! Reader, do you know anything of the things I have just spoken of? Do you know anything of a ready Savior, a ready heart, and a ready home in heaven? Examine yourself honestly. How does the matter stand? Oh! be merciful to your own soul. Have compassion on that immortal part of you. Do not neglect its interests for the sake of mere worldly objects. Business, pleasure, money, politics, will soon be done with forever. Do not refuse to consider the question I ask you. ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY?

Reader, if you are not ready, I beseech you to make ready without delay. I tell you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that all things are ready on God’s part for your salvation. The Father is ready to receive you. The Lord Jesus is ready to wash your sins away. The Spirit is ready to renew and sanctify you. Angels are ready to rejoice over you. Saints are ready to hold out the right hand to you. Oh! why not make ready this very year? Reader, if you have reason to hope you are ready, I advise you to make sure. Walk more closely with God. Get nearer to Christ. Seek to exchange hope for assurance. Seek to feel the witness of the Spirit more clearly and distinctly every year. Lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets you. Press towards the mark more earnestly. Fight a better fight, and war a better warfare every year you live. Pray more. Read more. Mortify self more. Love the brethren more. Oh! that you may endeavor so to grow in grace every year, that your last things may be far more than your first, and the end of your Christian course be better than the beginning.

Source: http://www.gracegems.org/23/Ryle_ready.htm

True Faith Receives The Whole Christ

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 227: 

Nuremberg chronicles f 149v 3Happiness without [outside] you will not make you happy; salvation round about you will not save you. If you would be saved, there must be a near and immediate union with happiness. Christ in the heart, and salvation cometh with him. A Christian is not only Christ without, not imputing his sins to him, clothing him with his righteousness; but Christ within too, cleansing the heart from the love of sin, “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Do not think you have any share in Christ without you, except you receive Christ within you; because Christ is one within and without, and his gifts are undivided. Therefore, true faith receives whole Christ as a complete Saviour; even as he is entirely offered, so he is undividedly received: as he is without saving us, and within sanctifying us, – Christ without, delivering from wrath, – and Christ within, redeeming from all iniquity, – these cannot be parted more than his coat that had no seam.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89321-True-faith-receives-whole-Christ, Comment 1

Bring Your Wants To Him To Supply

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works, 1:31:

Сложенные руки человека образуют чашу для водыWhen you come to the throne of grace, come to receive out of Christ’s fulness, and come not to bring grace with you to add to Christ’s store. He loves to give, and glories in giving; but he scorns to receive grace from you; and in truth you have none but what he gives. Bring your wants to him to supply, but bring not your fulness to brag of. Spread your sins before this throne with shame and sorrow, and plead for a gracious pardon; but take heed you bring not your sorrow, tears, and repentance, nay, nor your faith itself, as a plea for that pardon. How abominable is it to Christians’ ears, and how much more unto Christ’s, to hear a man plead thus for pardon: “Here is my repentance; where is thy pardon? Here is my faith; where is thy justification?” I know men abhor to say so. But take good heed, lest any thought bordering on it enter into thy heart. Faith is the tongue that begs pardon; faith is the hand that receives it, it is the eye that seeth it; but it is no price to buy it.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90587-He-loves-to-give-and-glories-in-giving, Comment 1

The First Right Step Heavenward

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works, 1:23:

BabyfootWhat then is this coming to the throne of grace? 1. It is in believing on Jesus Christ. This is the first approach to the throne of grace. He is the propitiation, and mercy-seat, and throne of grace, 1 John 4:10. Believing on him, is coming to him, John 6:35. It is coming to the Father by him, John 14:6. It is believing on God by him, 1 Pet. 1:21. It is believing on him, and on him that sent him, John 12:44. Believing on Jesus Christ, is an employing of Christ in way of trust, as to all his fulness of grace, and our utter indigence thereof. Whatever a man do, whatever exercises of religion he be taken up in, he never comes to the throne of grace, till his heart and soul go forth towards Jesus Christ for righteousness and life. The first right step heavenward, is saving faith in Christ. Nothing savingly good can precede it, and all saving good follows it: for faith unites the man to Christ, and all the fruits of holiness and righteousness spring from the virtue of the vine Christ; with whom the believer hath first union by grace, and then communion of Christ’s grace, by which he lives, and works, and grows.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/90566-The-first-right-step-heavenward

Faith and Repentance

Prayer008The manner in which faith and repentance are coupled together in Scripture plainly shows that as faith is implicitly present in repentance, so repentance is implicitly in faith.

— R. L. Dabney

Source: http://christianquote.com/faith-and-repentance/

Believing of His Precious Promises is Salvation

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 30:

La Normandie Jules Janin illustration 95Our Lord Jesus Christ, – an expert Saviour, and very learned and complete for this work, – he brings man out of this pit of misery by that same way he fell into it. He fell down by unbelief, and he brings him up out of it by faith. This is the cord that is cast down to the poor soul in the dungeon; or rather his faith is the dead-grip of the cord of divine promises which is sent unto the captive-prisoner; and by virtue thereof he is drawn out into the light of salvation. Unbelief of the law of God did first destroy man; now the belief of the gospel saves him. The not believing of the Lord’s threatenings was the beginning of his ruin; and believing of his precious promises is salvation.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88687-An-expert-Saviour

Other Men’s Faith Will Not Save You

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 27:

01042013 - Baby eye (8613072602)Other men’s faith will not save; you cannot see to walk to heaven by other men’s light, more than you can see by their eyes. You have eyes of your own, souls of your own, subordinate to none but the God of spirits, and the Lord of consciences, Jesus Christ: and therefore examine all that is spoken to you from the word, according to the word; and receive no more upon trust from men, but as you find it upon trial to be the truth of God.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/88680-You-have-eyes-of-your-own