(J.C. Ryle, 1884)
"For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?" 1 Corinthians 14:8
We need a more certain sound about personal holiness. I fear that the standard of holy living is lower just now than it has been for many years. Professing Christians seem unable to realize that there is anything inconsistent in ball-going, theater-going, gambling, card-playing, excessive dressing, novel-reading, and an incessant round of gaiety and amusements!
The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!
A crucified life of self-denial and close walking with God, a life of real devotedness and zeal for holy living--is hardly ever to be seen!
Yet surely our Lord meant something when He spoke of "taking up the cross!"
Surely Paul meant something when he said,
"Come out from among them and be separate!"
"Be not conformed to this world!"
"Without holiness no man shall see the Lord!"
If Christ returns the second time in this generation, we shall find His words about the days of Noah and Lot fully verified. Those days are upon us!
"Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all!"
"It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all!" Luke 17:26-29
"Ask for the old paths, where the good way is--and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16