(3) Nor in the influence of the Spirit (John 14:16, 17; John 16:7, 8). If this were wise and practicable, it might avail — for aught we can know; but since He does not do it, we infer that He refrains from some wise reason. Just as a parent will seek to adapt the surroundings of a child to its powers and capacities, to place him in a position where he shall obtain all the enjoyment that is compatible with his growth and development; so God has provided the things that are. THE RUINOUS CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR DISOBEDIENCE.1. We propel our street cars, we light our houses, we run our machinery, we multiply our conveniences, because we have found out something about God's regular habit or method of the light and the electricity and the admirable mechanics of the creation, to which from the beginning He has been faithful. They shall not appear among the righteous and the saved. Disappointments fret, and fraud exasperates us, and meddlesome curiosity makes our lip curl. HOW FAR THEY MAY RELY UPON THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD TO BEAR THEM OUT IN THESE SUFFERINGS. De Witt Talmage.Peter means this, "If Christians have such a hard tug to get into heaven, there is no chance at all for anybody else." 1 Peter 5:8). The man who is not a Christian has yet to enter upon the way.2. THE CERTAIN AND DREADFUL MISERY THAT AWAITS THE UNGODLY SINNER. We take the third step in the inquiry, and look at the facts of life. How sweet will heaven be! NOW THIS WELL-DOING MUST BE DISTINGUISHED INTO TWO TIMES.1. If Satan have always ruled it, God will not embrace it.2. The Christian has to contend against temptations which made Adam disobey, and Abraham lie, and Moses get angry, and Job swear, and David sin against chastity, and Peter deny his Master. Provided, also, that we do trust the providence of God, and do indeed commit ourselves to it; relying upon His wisdom and goodness, and entirely submitting ourselves to His will and disposal, both as to the degree and duration of our sufferings. On inquiring what they were doing, I was told they were supporting the ruin to prevent its getting any worse. He would lead you into humility. On inquiring what they were doing, I was told they were supporting the ruin to prevent its getting any worse. And here I shall show —(1) It is more reasonable to expect difficulties in the way of salvation. When they suffer for not betraying it by any indirect and unworthy means.4. Then the tempted soul may be saved. It is not doing good, but doing well that gets God to keep the soul. THE CONDUCT OF CHRISTIANS UNDER SUFFERINGS.1. See what a fearful judgment follows the wicked! As we learn what the laws of life are — the laws of development, survival, and fruitfulness — we discover still further truth concerning the methods of the faithful One from eternity; and we; must trust these laws of life, and adjust our free action to them, or we shall perish. To get there costs toil and labour. "But what is it," some may say, "to hear that the righteous are scarcely saved, when we are so conscious to ourselves of our own unrighteousness?"(Bp. He would enrich your whole spiritual nature. (3) That any man who desired to be happy must, above all things, take pains about himself. If the righteous be "scarcely saved," where will the ungodly and sinner appear? Yes, all we have; for that is only well kept which God keeps; but yet in time of suffering we must be at a point with these things. How many postpone conversion because they think that it is so easy to become religious — they can begin at any time! OBSERVE BOTH THE MYSTERY AND THE MERCY OF THE BELIEVER'S SUFFERINGS IN THIS WORLD.1. One crack of the whip of resolution will frighten out the drove of their iniquities. What will be your condition in the next world?(J. In their reputation. But the ungodly and sinners neglect them altogether. The gospel is the revelation of good —1. When they suffer for the open profession and defence of truths not necessary.II. Bad spirits are ever on the wing, coming to us on steps of sunshine, and floating on the dark wave of midnight, seated on the wings of the morning, and dropping with the evening dew. (1) Why God's children must suffer here. If God is thus faithful in responding to the claims of His creatures, surely He is faithful also in the sense of being worthy of our trust.II. For his will must be sanctified. ANOTHER INFERENCE. Their chief concern is, that whatsoever be lost, this may not; this is the jewel, and therefore the prime care is of this. Oh, what a work is this which Christ undertakes that He may save His people from their sins! "Who then can be saved?"3. On the other hand, children may have equal trials in their parents. Besides this, scandal makes it a hard matter to be saved; to see evil courses and evil persons flourish and countenanced in the world.6. 12, 13; 1 Peter 1:7). (The Evangelist. And so in all duties the flesh is dragging downwards! There is a great measure of self-denial required to be a Christian, especially in matter of revenge, "to pray for them that curse us, to do good to them that persecute us," etc., and so "heap coals of fire upon our enemies' heads" (Proverbs 25:22; Romans 12:20). Many children have been brought up in error. Finney. A faithful Creator! Coals of conversion.2. )The keeping of the soulThe Evangelist.I. And it is for matters better than life that God lets His children suffer here; for, alas! He tells them of judgment beginning at the house of God, by which we are to understand affliction and calamity, wherewith God exercises His people. If the righteous be "scarcely saved," where will the ungodly and sinner appear? "The gospel of God." Commit the keeping of their souls. When, in all our sufferings for the cause of religion, we may, with confidence, commit ourselves to the more especial care of God's providence.1. )A faithful CreatorGod's faithfulnessNewman Smyth.This is one of those Biblical phrases upon which in many a time of need the souls of men may fall back and rest, The phrase was intended originally for the support of some in the early Church who had been compelled to suffer for Christ's sake. Such is the weakness of man's nature, that evil things soon discourage us; and good things, except we wrestle with our spirits, prove a snare to the best. Those who believe on Him, He never deceives or disappoints. Persecution in olden times; spoiling of their goods; loss of custom; piety a bar to temporal promotion.4. From sin, both from the guilt, filth, power, and being of it. The ungodly have no reason to glory, indulging atheistical thoughts because of the sufferings of the godly.2. If, then, God's persistency in keeping straight on along His well known ways of nature and grace may seem at times to work incidental evil; if God's steadfastness in letting fire burn, and lightnings blast, and devouring floods overwhelm, as well as the sweet sunshine restore and fructify, may at times destroy human homes or lay desolate for a season human hearts — nevertheless, it is His faithfulness which is involved, and that same faithfulness holds in its own persistent method the possibility of future good in place of present evil, and of even larger and eternal good in consequence of temporal hardship. Therefore, God will have it a hard matter to be saved, to frustrate the vain hopes of such wretches. In regard of the cause of God, that we betray it not through fear or cowardice, through base aims and intentions, etc., but endeavour to carry it with a good conscience in all things. Yea, in the ways of sin thou dost indeed steal it back, and carriest it out from Him; thou puttest thyself out of the compass of His defence, goest without the trenches, and art, at thine own hazard, exposed to armies of mischiefs and miseries. God has not created sin, but He will triumph over it. They must, however, give all diligence. The soul is to be more valued than the body.3. There is another ground of quietness contained in the first word, which looks back to the foregoing discourse, "Wherefore" — what? If you are only the offspring of a blind, unintelligent, unknown force; if you are the product of something that men call "a tendency" or law, are you not immediately let down from a conscious dignity, which has been one of the most ennobling factors and influences of your life? One crack of the whip of resolution will frighten out the drove of their iniquities. Their deep and all engrossing desire and purpose to please God was the law of their entire activities. If salvation implies fitness for heaven, and if this implies ceasing from sin, then, of course, it is naturally and forever impossible that any sinner can be saved without holiness.3. Indeed, He only can keep our souls.IV. (3)Worldly mindedness.(4)Self-righteousness.3. It lies in this, committing the soul unto God in well-doing. "The righteous scarcely are saved."1. And surely, if He is thus faithful in adhering to His own purpose concerning you, He is faithful also in the sense of being worthy of your trust. Oh, if in this instance it required the girding up of the soul in order to obtain the hope and joy of Christ's salvation, what shall become of those who make no effort, reach forth no strong prayer, lay hold of no Bible promise, and sleep when peril stands at the helm? Usually because He uses wicked men and the enemies of His Church for that base service, to correct and punish them.2. )The difficulties that are to be encountered in the way of salvationBp. There is a man chained to a wife who is a constant source of temptation and trial to him. Many children have been brought up in error. Whence observe — That the soul of man being an understanding essence, will not be satisfied and settled without sound reasons. IN WHAT SENSE THE RIGHTEOUS ARE SAID TO BE SCARCELY SAVED. To the day of judgment. So the fact that God has method, and must have it in order to be faithful, is reason enough why He does not vary the course of His providence to meet some of our desires, however much the good God might wish to gratify us. The faith in Christ of the righteous is maintained with difficulty. it is an easy matter to be an hypocrite, but not to live godly.(R. Now in order to save men, they must be restored to a state in which God and reason control the free action of the mind, and appetite is held in due subjection. This, likewise, makes the way difficult; we are too apt to offend God daily, giving Him just cause to withdraw His Spirit of comfort from us, which makes us go mourning all the day long; wanting those sweet refreshments of spiritual joy and peace we had before. They should be characterised by well-doing. If the soul be safe, all is well; it is riches enough. The great difficulty is living to please self rather than God. Hannam. Because they live among those that they cannot but suffer from, wheresoever they live. Tillotson. This is the purpose of God concerning them (2 Thessalonians 2:13). But observe further, that we never suffer but when God will. (1) With respect to accidental difficulties arising from the particular circumstances of times and persons. Besides, it would not be for your own comfort to be there. When they rashly expose themselves to danger and run upon sufferings for the sake of religion.2. When men suffer for not renouncing the true religion, and because they will not openly declare against it, and apostatise from it.2. But the ungodly and sinners are entirely destitute of holiness in principle and in practice. (7) The opposition they meet with from Satan (chap. The dispensation of that suffering, they suffer not at all adventures, but according to the will of God.3. The faith in Christ of the righteous is maintained with difficulty. It is no trifling thing to be lost, but it can be done by neglect.I. There would be indeed no use and no hope for anything we may do or say to make things human better were it not for this prior and this final responsibility of God, the faithful One from eternity to eternity. Hannam. Another aggravation of sins against the gospel is that they sin against the better covenant.(R. On the other hand, children may have equal trials in their parents. Finally, the greatness of the change requisite in passing from sin to real holiness — from Satan's kingdom into full fitness for Christ's, creates no small difficulty in the way of saving even the converted, Remarks: We see why the Scriptures are so full of exhortations to the Christians to run, run, and especially to run by rule. All the Christian's foes are marshalled under three sturdy generals — the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. Every one knows how terribly this law tends to perpetuate and strengthen itself. WHAT GROUND AND REASON THERE IS FOR GOOD MEN TO EXPECT THE MORE PECULIAR AND ESPECIAL CARE OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE IN CASE OF SUCH SUFFERINGS. GOD IS FAITHFUL IN RESPONDING TO THE CLAIMS OF HIS CREATURES. We must assume the Divine responsibility on the large scale of history. The person to whom, to God.4. Because God will discard hypocrites in this life, who take up so much of religion as stands with their ease and credit in the world, avoiding every difficulty which accompanies godliness, but, so they may swim two ways at once, go on in their lusts still and be religious withal. The first is, if the righteous are thus scarcely saved, must not many professors of religion be in a sad mistake?2. One other characteristic might be added to these three elements of moral character, method, and aim, which are comprehended in the faithfulness of our God — viz., responsibility. We take the third step in the inquiry, and look at the facts of life. It is against Jehovah, the Infinite One, and against one to whom we are under infinite obligations. Provided furthermore, that, according to our ability, we have been much in the exercise of alms and charity.7. 12, 13; 1 Peter 1:7). Their chief concern is, that whatsoever be lost, this may not; this is the jewel, and therefore the prime care is of this. Trapp. THE INTEGRITY OF THAT SUFFERANCE. Because it is impossible for God by any means He can wisely employ to persuade them to desist from sinning. See what a fearful judgment follows the wicked! (The Evangelist. Tillotson.I. It is in view of this fact that I say God finds it impossible to gain the sinner's consent to the gospel by any means that He can wisely employ.2. It remains now to ponder the inference which the apostle chiefly designs to impress on our minds, "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (4) Of His ascension into heaven (Hebrews 6:20). But we are blessed with it in all its purity, freeness, and fulness (Psalm 16:6; Hebrews 4:2).II. If they did, its discouraging effect might be disastrous. (2) Having thus showed what difficulties there are which arise from the different circumstances of times and persons, I am now to consider those which arise from the terms of salvation, which are common to all persons and times.Here we must suppose salvation to be the thing aimed at as the chief end or happiness of such men, and here are two kinds of difficulties to be inquired into. If the righteous be "scarcely saved," where will the ungodly and sinner appear? There is a wife who sees scarce a peaceful moment in all her life with her husband — all is vexation and sorrow of spirit. WHY THE SALVATION OF THE RIGHTEOUS IS DIFFICULT. Before our suffering. Adams.I. It will be to die, not only under the curse of the law, but under the gospel. (2)Confounds the obstinate, and stops their mouths.Therefore, let us carry ourselves well, not only before, but in suffering. "Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" For this Christ died. Owing to their strong remaining corruptions.2. Those who "obey not the gospel of God."II. The righteous are saved, while the life and welfare of their souls are secured, whatever may otherwise befall them.II. The righteous frequently experience great difficulty in performing some of the harder duties of the Christian life. So that all were agreed that it was impossible to attain to anything that looked like happiness without some real difficulty, which was necessary to be undergone, although the success Were uncertain. Their own tempers perhaps are chafed, and they become a sore temptation to a similar state of chafed and fretted temper in their parents. Consider thus God's method in the natural creation. We have implied A CONSOLATION TO THE RIGHTEOUS. We can relish it then. But chiefly they are in a militant estate here. )Commit the keeping of their souls to HimThe saint's hiding place in the evil dayR. De Witt Talmage. God gave you and them power to live together in common affections and pursuits. This is an act of faith resting on His promise of salvation through a Mediator.2. But it is equally true of both. To serve God is doing good, but after their own lusts, is not doing well. You have known some man who had this character of faithfulness. Oh, the snares that are laid for them! The appetites, desires, and affections with which man has been endowed, have theft' correspondent means of satisfaction in the world around him. How many impulses must be withstood and overcome l how great the change that must be wrought in both the physical and moral state of the man! The act of creation constitutes a relation between God and us, which imposes on 'him obligations and gives us claims on him. Nevertheless, their salvation is here represented as being with difficulty obtained. )If so -- what thenC. If you would commit your soul to the keeping of God, know that He is a holy God, and an unholy soul that walks in any way of wickedness, whether known or secret, is no fit commodity to put into His pure hand to keep. How is it possible, then, that the ungodly and sinners can find favour before the judgment seat?(C. Everlasting happiness depends upon committing the soul to God now.III. )The soul's refugeT. Show what His grace can do in supporting the mind of the sufferers, and in filling their hearts with gratitude. Thus they not only have not faith and seek not after it, but they yield themselves to be bound and fettered in infidelity. Stillingfleet.That the righteous should scarcely be saved seems hardly reconcilable with the grace and deign and promises of the gospel. As man has chosen that he shall not be educated by standing firm, he must be educated by and through his very fall. Or necessity, but it is opposed to the difficulty in the Creator has character gets... 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