Christless Religion!: Matthew 12:22-23

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AT 12:22-23{THE above title would, no doubt, offend many an eye, to others it would appear quite out of place at the present time; the growing goodness of the age, the increase of religion among men is pleaded on every side as a reason for rejecting the hard thought of the world becoming more wicked every day, and man in general on it more hardened and indifferent. It may appear harsh to some who read this paper to have it stated that Christ is left out of the religion, or so-called Christianity of the great bulk of professors. Christianity is a word used to signify that a man is neither a Jew, Turk, infidel, nor heretic, but without any sense of a soul really brought out of the world to God. In the popular use of the word, a man is said to be a good Christian though he has never believed on Jesus, has never known the forgiveness of his sins, has never known Christ. Then religion, too, is said to be the common portion of nearly all decent professors. They attend their place of worship on the Sabbath or Sunday, they receive the sacrament once a month, or twice a year; they give their money to spread the scriptures, or to convert the heathen, and they feel better for it all: yet are they unchanged, the very same in every respect; or, if differing from those whom they term profane persons, it is by no means to their own credit, being as "whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." (Matt. 23:2727Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthew 23:27).)
What can be more solemn than the words of the Lord Jesus, as His eye traveled over the wide world of profession? "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye workers of iniquity." How dreadful this word, for the die is cast, the doom is come Let me be faithful and straightforward. Look around you at this moment, and what do you see? A great piece of hypocrisy being played by men, religion without reality, a noisy and a showy profession, by which souls are deceived and dragged down respectably and religiously to hell. This is that religion of which some one affirms, “that it has slain its ten thousands." Shall there then be no warning word? Shall we not beseech men to pause upon the brink of so terrible a precipice? Shall we not hold forth the word of truth? Away with such thoughts.
Reader, there are two words in scripture, and if they do not describe you, be assured your Christianity is Christless, and your religion vain-"born again" are the words. Have you been? “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again," are the words of Him who also said, "the Son of man must be lifted up." " MUST BE BORN AGAIN." Not must be religious, or must be moral, or must turn over a new leaf (as is said), or must mend your ways, but “must be born again." What a cutting, searching word. It sets man in his best state or worst state aside altogether; it brings in a new life, a new nature. There is necessity here, for ye must be born again; such necessity that “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
There are two grand reasons why ye must be born again. First, because nothing less would suit God, righteous, holy as He is.
Secondly, nothing less would meet the case of man, ruined and lost, in himself irreparably bad. But do you say, where am I to get this other life, this other nature of which I hear so much in these days? The very same scripture that shuts you out in your natural state, supplies the answer to your question. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth, in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Reader, soon all unreality will have passed away; soon will this day of empty profession be over. Where shall you be found then? Where are you now? W. T. T.