Tuesday, October 24
“Most of God’s people are contented to be saved from the hell that is without; they are not so anxious to be saved from the hell within.”—Robert Murray McCheyne. I can understand this attitude in the lives of unbelievers, but have a harder time applying it to God’s people. I recognize that some people receive Christ to escape hell. I was one of them. But to have no concern for the “sin that besets us” makes one wonder if conversion took place. Upon accepting Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. He is faithful to convict of sin, not just with the lost, but with believers. How can a Christian not be concerned for the “hell within.” McCheyne says most of God’s people are like that. That’s a terrible indictment of Christians in general. Perhaps his point is that the majority of Christians don’t seem to be concerned for the lost. I can agree with that. Too many people occupy the pews of our churches every Sunday and do nothing to “rescue the perishing.” It’s embarrassing to admit that, and I don’t excuse my own lack in that area. I wonder if McCheyne’s audience took heed. Did his words bring about any change in his generation? And what of our generation? Two things are wrong. Preachers are afraid to rebuke their people and the people don’t want to be rebuked. They can just go to another church down the street. I don’t have an answer for that. But Jesus’ criticism of the Ephesian church in Rev. 2 has to be accurate. We have lost our first love. Things that really matter are pushed to the back burner, and life is to be enjoyed. We do not consider ourselves soldiers. We forget that we have a God-given mission. Jesus’ answer to the Ephesian condition was to repent. Right on!