The GOSPEL TRUTH
HOLINESS -- III
WHAT a deal there is of going to meetings and getting blessed, and then going away and living just the same, until sometimes we, who are constantly engaged in trying to bring people nearer to God, go away so discouraged that our hearts are almost broken.
We feel that people go back again from the place where we have led them, instead of stepping up to the place to which God is calling them. They come and come, and we are, as the Prophet says, unto them a very pleasant instrument or a very unpleasant one, as the case may be; and so they go away, and do not get anything. They do not make any DEFINITE ADVANCE. We have not communicated unto them any spiritual gift. They merely have their feelings stirred, and consequently, they live the next week exactly as they lived the last, and go down under the temptation just as they did before.
Would you dream for a moment from reading the New Testament that this was the kind of thing God intended in His provisions of grace and salvation? Is there not a definite end in every promise, exhortation, and command? God is most definite in His requirements and promises, and in the provision which He has made; and yet many of the Lord's people are perpetually and persistently indefinite. They go to and fro, like a door on its hinges, and never get anything from the Lord. Now, we don't want this meeting to be one of that sort. We want you absolutely to get something from the Lord, and we are quite sure you may, and WILL, if you comply with the condition. The Lord is here to give you that particular measure of grace, strength, and salvation which you want. Now that you have come up to the threshold of the goodly land there is only one thing can keep you out, provided you have made the needed consecration of which you have been hearing, and which, I think, most of you understand. Of course, if you are holding anything back, then you can never come in until you give that up. If you are cleaving to some doubtful thing, and don't give God the benefit of the doubt, you can never come in; but, if you see this, and make the necessary consecration, if you really desire this blessing, there is only one thing can possibly keep you out of its enjoyment, and that is--UNBELIEF.
It will be said of you, in years to come, as it was said of some in olden times, "They entered not in because of unbelief." You have come right up to the threshold, and some of you have been there many a time. Oh! what gracious influences you have been the subject of. You have seen through the veil! You have felt his hand! You have had your feet on the threshold! You have been almost in, and then you have drawn back through unbelief. Shall it be so again tonight? God forbid! Will you step over? Will you venture? Will you trust? Will you leap on to His faithfulness? Will you spring into the arms of Omnipotent love, and trust Him with consequences? Never mind if you do die, or something happens to you that never happened to anyone else in the world's history; God will take care of you. Never mind if the Devil does come round and "consider" you, as he did Job, and afflict you with boils, and put you upon the dunghill--you will be happier there with Jesus than in a palace without Him. Oh! this caring for consequences! The Devil knows the grand possibilities open to many of you; he knows not only what you might receive and enjoy in yourselves, but what you might accomplish for God if you would only come in and possess this blessing; and so he frightens you with consequences. He knows what you might do, and whom you might be instrumental in saving!
Who knows how many of these precious ones that cluster round you, you may be instrumental in leading on to this higher platform--this glorious vantage ground of Christian experience? and, through them, how many more? and how, in this way, the glorious blessing would spread? Oh! let me beg of you to think of this. Remember also, that every time you come near and go back, there is less probability that you will ever come in at all; and the nearer you come and go back, there is less probability that you will ever come as near again.
YOU ARE GRIEVING THE SPIRIT. There are some people who have been coming near for years, and now they have gone back altogether, and I am afraid they will never come up again. The Lord help you! WHAT WILL YOU DO? The law of the Kingdom, from beginning to end, is, "According to your faith be it unto you," and, "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." Eternal truth has uttered it--"ye shall have them." Now then, will you? Have you let go all? Are your skirts free? Are you leaving all behind you? Are you resolved from tonight to cut from the past, and no more make any provision for the flesh to fulfil its lusts, but that you will bid the things that are behind a final adieu, close your eyes on them, and fix your eyes on the mark of the prize of your high calling, and press on every succeeding hour of your life until you reach it? Will you? If you will, God will give you this blessing. He waits to do it; He is here. The Holy Ghost is here: He is leading many of you up; He is beseeching you; He is seconding what I am saying in your hearts; He is saying, 'Come, beloved; come into the banqueting house.' He wants to bless you and fill you with His Spirit. Now then, will you come? Oh! the Lord help you not to draw back, but to press on, press on, PRESS ON, never minding the consequences.
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