We have seen that God's cure for selfishness is the setting before us of another self to absorb our own in the person of Jesus.
now to see that His cure for worldliness is the bringing before us of
another world, more glorious than that which He calls on us to forsake.
There is no thorough cure for it but this. It is lack of faith that makes us
And when the believing eye gets fixed on the world to come, then
we learn to set our affections on things above.
So long, however, as all
here is bright, we are content with them; we allow ourselves to sink down
and settle quietly among the things of earth.
But when God unroofs our
dwelling, or tears up its foundation by an earthquake, then we are forced to
look upward and seek a better and more enduring portion.
Many such shocks,
however, are often needed before our souls are broken off from their
cleaving to the dust.
The opposite of worldliness is heavenly mindedness or spiritual mindedness.
This, the new relish which the Holy Spirit imparts at conversion, in some
measure produces. But it is feeble.
It easily gives way. It is not keen
enough to withstand much temptation.
God's wish is to impart a keener relish
for the things of God and to destroy the relish for the things of time.
He effects by blighting all objects in which there was earthly sweetness, so
that by being deprived of objects to "mind" on earth, it may of necessity be
led to "mind" the things above.
He dries up all the "nether springs" of
earthly joy, that we may betake ourselves to the "upper springs" which can
There is much worldliness among the saints.
There is worldliness in their
motives and actions, worldliness in their domestic life and in their
interaction with society...
There is worldliness in the arrangements of their
households and in the education of their families;
There is worldliness in
their expenditure, so much being laid out for self, so little for God;
is worldliness in their religious schemes, and movements, and societies;
there is worldliness in their reading, and in their conversation;
in short, too much of the spirit of fervent worldliness about their whole
deportment, and little of calm, happy superiority to the things of earth.
They are fretted, disturbed, bustled just like the world.
They grudge labor,
or fatigue, or expense, or annoyance in the cause of Christ, or in serving
They have much of earth, little of Heaven about them.
are not largehearted, openhanded- willing to spend and be spent, unmoved and
unruffled, as those whose eye is ever set on the incorruptible inheritance
on which they so soon shall enter.
They are low and unaspiring in the things
Perhaps there are few things against which we require to be more warned than
against this spirit of worldliness.
The Church is very prone to forget her
pilgrim character in this present evil world and to live as a citizen of
Her dignity as the eternally chosen of the Father is lost sight of;
her hope as the inheritor of the glory and the kingdom of the Son is
And oh, how much of sorrow she is preparing for herself by thus
losing sight of her calling!
What desolation may be even now hovering over
the tabernacle of many a saint, because they will not come out and be separate, because they refuse to be "strangers on the earth as all their
Sad it is, indeed, that we should need affliction to teach us
Why should we whose home and treasure are above, ever again seek our home or
our treasure here?
Why should we stoop from our heavenly elevation to mingle
again with the company which we have forsaken?
Have we repented of our
Are we ashamed of our pilgrim staff and our pilgrim road? Surely
Oh, if to be a stranger on earth is to be divided from sin and sinful
appetites, from the seducing vanities and worthless mockeries of the world,
from the fascinating beauty and perilous splendor of this decaying scene...
to be a stranger on earth is to be a friend of God, a member of the heavenly
household, an expectant of the kingdom, an heir apparent of the crown of
glory- who would not be a stranger here?
What higher honor would we seek than to share the homelessness of Jesus, the
homelessness of the Church from the beginning?
Why should we seek to enter
into nearer fellowship and dearer relationship with such a world as this?
we knew of no fairer heritage, we might not be wondered at for lusting after
our forsaken pleasures.
But we have the pleasures that are at God's right
hand forever, and what are earth's allurements to us?
What to us are the
sights and sounds of earth, who "shall see the king in his beauty," and hear
His voice, into whose lips grace is poured?
What to us is the green
fertility of earth, who shall enter into the possession of the new earth,
when "the winter is past, the rain over and gone"?
What to us is the gay
glory of a city's wealth and pomp, who shall be made citizens of the New
Jerusalem, where dwells the glory of God and of the Lamb, whose foundations
are of precious stones, whose walls are of jasper, whose gates are of pearl,
whose streets and pavements are of transparent gold?
Let us, then, "pass the time of our sojourning here in fear."
Let our loins
be girt about and our lamps burning, and let us be as men ready to go forth
to meet our returning Lord.
If we watch not, if we reject the warning, our
chastisement will be sharp and sore.
The present seems a time of peculiar warning to the saints. Many are lying
under the rebukes of the Lord.
Judgment has begun at the house of God. God
is dealing very closely and very solemnly with His own.
On many a saint at
this moment is His rod lying heavily, for He would sincerely warn and arouse
them before the evil day arrive.
He is dealing with them as He dealt with
Lot on the night before the desolation of Sodom.
Let the saints, then, be
Let them be zealous and repent and do their first works.
be separate, touch not the unclean thing!
Put off the works of darkness; put
on the armor of light.
He is calling on them to get up to a higher level in
the spiritual life, to be done with wavering, indecision, and compromise.
is calling on them to consider the apostle and High Priest of their
profession and walk in His steps.
He is calling on them to look at the cloud
of witnesses, and lay aside every weight, especially that sin (of unbelief)
which does so easily beset them, and to run with patience the race set
before them- "looking unto Jesus."
Church of the living God! Be warned. Please not yourself, even as Jesus
pleased not Himself.
Live for Him, not for yourself, for Him, not for the
Walk worthy of your name and calling, worthy of Him who bought you as
His bride, worthy of your everlasting inheritance.
Up, too, and warn the world! The chastisements that are falling so thickly
on you are forerunners of the fiery shower that is preparing for the earth.
Up, then, and warn them- urge and entreat them to flee from gathering wrath.
They have no time to lose, neither have you.
The last storm is on the wing.
Its dark skirts are already visible in the heavens.
Judgment has begun at
the house of God, and if so, what shall the end be of them that obey not the
Gospel of God!