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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Fictitious Worship

John Calvin:

“There is no knowing that does not begin with knowing God.”

“Those who set up a fictitious worship merely worship and adore their own delirious fancies; indeed, they would never dare so to trifle with God, had they not previously fashioned him after their own childish conceits.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion)

The Fear of Losing What the World Offers

George Whitefield reminds us to discard worldly (sinful) values if we are to hope for eternal rewards:

And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:22 ESV)

I beseech you, by the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, let not your concern for the meat which perishes be at the expense of that which endures to everlasting life; for, to repeat our blessed Savior’s words, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul; or, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Were we always to live in the world, then worldly wisdom would be our highest wisdom: but forasmuch as we have here no continuing city, and were only sent into this world to have our natures changed, and to fit ourselves for that which is to come; then to neglect this important work for a little worldly gain, what is it but, with profane Esau, to sell our birth-right for a mess of pottage.

Alas! How unlike are Christians to Christianity! They are commanded to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” and all other real necessaries shall be added unto them; but they are fearful (O men of little faith!) that if they should do so, all other necessaries would be taken from them: they are strictly forbidden to be careful for the morrow, and yet they rest not night or day, but are continually heaping up riches for many years, though they know not who shall gather them. Is this acting like persons that are strangers and pilgrims upon earth? Is this keeping their baptismal vow? Or rather, is it not directly apostatizing from it, and deserting the service of Jesus Christ, to list themselves under the banner of mammon?

But what will be the hope of such worldlings, when God shall take away their souls? What if the almighty should say to each of them, as he did to the rich fool in the gospel, “this night shall thy soul be required of thee;” O then, what would all those things profit them, which they are now so busy in providing? (“Worldly Business no Plea for the Neglect of Religion”)

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