He [Christ] is nearer now than when we first believed. The day of the Lord is right at hand, and it is not safe for us to delay [to prepare for] His coming.
Do you think that any of us, when He comes, will be brought before the great Judge and will feel that we have devoted too much time to preparation? Will such thoughts come into our minds? Shall we think that we have been altogether too sympathetic, that we have devoted too much time in winning souls back to Christ, and binding up the brokenhearted? No indeed. Our thoughts will be these as we look back to those who stand before the Judge: “Why didn’t I help them at such a time when I ought to?” or, “O, I am glad I did deny myself and help them to stand on the solid rock.” These are the very thoughts that will come up to us in the judgment when everyone is judged according to the deeds done in the body.
And as many are weighed in the balance, they will be found wanting. Then they will proclaim their sins upon the housetop. They will not be afraid to have everybody know their sins, if they can only make restitution for them and save one soul. But let us thank God today that we are not yet before the judgment seat of God, but we have an Intercessor, One who has loved us so that He gave His own precious life for us individually, just as though there was not another soul in the universe. He died for us, and we are of infinite value of Jesus Christ. How can we measure the sacrifice He has made for us? Then we should feel how we have wounded and bruised the Son of God and put Him to an open shame when we deny Him.
It is not that you come out in words and deny Him, but in your actions you deny Christ so that He is ashamed to call you brethren. We want every one of us to be consecrated to God.
Let the plowshare go deep, and uproot all this Phariseeism, and let this self-righteousness be torn all to pieces. The very best way to have this done is to fall on the Rock and be broken. Just as soon as you see there is nothing in you that is righteous, just as soon as you have a dread of sin, you will fall on the Rock, and then it is that Christ can take you and mold you and fashion you into a vessel of honor. But just as soon as you allow your thoughts and feelings to be turned against one another, this is unlike Christ, and just so sure it is that you are not vessels unto honor, but dishonor. You don’t give God a chance; you are trying to fashion yourself after a mold of your own imagination, but you want to take that out of your mind, and keep Christ before you every day—when you rise up and when you sit down, when you go out and when you come in.
You want to exercise all that Christian politeness and respect because you are the purchase of the blood of Christ, and He has died upon Calvary’s cross that we might live. Christ Himself has bridged the gulf for us. It is our duty to help those who are downcast. Recollect what their privileges are, and don’t talk of the difficulties, but go right to them and try to bind up the brokenhearted. These are right in the church all around us. Never have an idea that you know more than your brethren, but just keep humble. It was this spirit of surmising that brought all the weakness into the Jewish nation.
We want to learn in the school of Christ meekness and lowliness of heart, and from whom are we to learn these lessons? Jesus says, “I am meek and lowly of heart.” “Learn of Me” (Matthew 11:29). Now, if there is anything in us like self, then Christ cannot dwell there. We want to represent Christ to the world. We must have self hid with Christ in God, and when this is the case we will represent Christ to the world. Oh, there is something wonderful about it—He loves us as He loves His Son (see John 17:23). Just think of it—loves us as He does His Son! This is wonderful, wonderful. In Him we have all heaven presented to us, and the more we see in Jesus the less we see that is good in self. …
May God help us to put away self and cling to Jesus; then we will spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God.
Sermons and Talks, vol. 1, 102–104.