Sunday night I preached at the Men’s Mission in London on “Faith” from Hebrews 11:1-12:2. In that message, we talked about what happens when life doesn’t get better after coming to Christ. What if it gets worse? Is Jesus—if He is the object of our faith—enough to allow us to endure every situation?
I always get nervous preaching a message like that, but after doing so, I found the following passage from J.C. Ryle’s Holiness to be sweetly refreshing:
If we desire to do good, let us never be ashamed of walking in the steps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Work hard if you will, and have the opportunity, for the souls of others. Press them to consider their ways. Compel them with holy violence to come in, to lay down their arms, and to yield themselves to God. Offer them salvation, ready, free, full, immediate salvation. Press Christ and all His benefits on their acceptance. But in all your work tell the truth, and the whole truth. Be ashamed to use the vulgar arts of a recruiting serjeant [sic]. Do not speak only of the uniform, the pay, and the glory; speak also of the enemies, the battle, the armour, the watching, the marching, and the drill. Do not present only one side of Christianity. Do not keep back “the cross” of self-denial that must be carried, when you speak of the cross on which Christ died for our redemption. Explain fully what Christianity entails. Entreat men to repent and come to Christ; but bid them at the same time to “count the cost.”
J.C. Ryle, Holiness (as published in Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J. C. Ryle, p. 181)