The Great Separation!
J.C. Ryle, 1878
… Reader, who are the WHEAT in the world? Listen to me, and I will tell you.
The wheat means all men and women who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ — all who are led by the Holy Spirit — all who have felt themselves sinners, and fled for refuge to the salvation offered in the Gospel — all who love the Lord Jesus, and live to the Lord Jesus, and serve the Lord Jesus — all who have taken Christ for their only confidence, and the Bible for their only guide, and regard sin as their deadliest enemy, and look to Heaven as their only home. …
Do you believe the Bible? Then depend upon it, Hell is a subject that ought not to be kept back. It is striking to observe the many texts about it in Scripture. … I cannot forget the words of a dying hearer of Mr. Newton’s — “Sir, you often told me of Christ and salvation; why did you not oftener remind me of Hell and danger?”
Let others be silent about Hell if they will — I dare not do so. I see it plainly in Scripture, and I must speak of it. I fear that thousands are on that broad way that leads to it, and I would sincerely arouse them to a sense of the peril before them. What would you say of the man who saw his neighbor’s house in danger of being burnt down — and never raised the cry of “Fire!” What ought to be said of us as ministers, if we call ourselves watchmen for souls, and yet see the fires of Hell raging in the distance — and never give the alarm? Call it bad taste, if you like, to speak of Hell. Call it charity to make things pleasant, and speak smoothly, and soothe men with constant lullaby of peace. From such notions of taste and charity — may I ever be delivered! My notion of charity is to warn men plainly of danger! My notion of taste in the ministerial office, is to declare all the counsel of God. If I never spoke of Hell — I would think I had kept back something that was profitable — and would look on myself as an accomplice of the devil.
Reader, I beseech you, in all tender affection, beware of false views of the subject on which I have been dwelling. Beware of new and strange doctrines about Hell and the eternity of punishment. Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy — but not just; a God who is all love — but not holy; a God who has a Heaven for everybody — but a Hell for none; a God who can allow good and evil to be side by side in time — but will make no distinction between good and evil in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own imagination! It is as true an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple — as true an idol as was ever molded out of brass or clay! The hands of your own imagination and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible — and beside the God of the Bible — there is no God at all. …
Beware of being wise above that which is written. Beware of forming fanciful theories of your own, and then trying to make the Bible square with them. Beware of making selections from your Bible to suit your taste — refusing, like a spoiled child, whatever you think bitter — seizing, like a spoiled child, whatever you think sweet. What is all this but taking Jehoiakim’s penknife? What does it amount to but telling God, that you, a poor short-lived worm — know better than He? It will not do! It will not do. You must take the Bible as it is. You must read it all, and believe it all. You must come to the reading of it in the spirit of a little child. Dare not to say, “I believe this verse, for I like it. I reject that, for I do not like it. I receive this, for I can agree with it. I refuse that, for I cannot reconcile it with my views.” Nay! but O man, who are you that replies against God? By what right do you talk in this way? Surely it were better to say over every chapter in the Word, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening!” Ah, reader, if men would do this, they would never deny Hell, the chaff, and the fire!
What is Liberal ‘Christian’ Theology? — “Love” of our fellow man becomes the defining issue. Jesus’ Greatest Commandment of loving God with ALL OF OUR HEART… / ‘Life in the Son’ is IGNORED, where our yoke is easy and our burden is light, where we’ll find rest for our souls, UNITED IN CHRIST • Liberal Christianity creates a FALSE GOD according to its own liking rather than worshiping God as He is described in the whole of the Bible
Spiritual Avalanche – Steve Hill: The 7 Great Lies in the Church Today — Overemphasis of Prosperity • Exaggerated View of Grace (grace-changers nullify all divine warnings) • Antinomianism = against rules, so “anything goes” (but “Jesus didn’t set us free to sin; He set us free from sin”) • Gazing Upon Man, not God • Challenging the Authority of the Word (God didn’t really mean what He said) • Rejecting Hell • Universal Reconciliation
Spiritual Avalanche – Steve Hill: Many Challenge the Authority of the Word Despite its Clarity — “When the Scriptures contradict our feelings and preferences, RATHER THAN crucify our feelings and preferences and BOW DOWN BEFORE GOD and His Word, WE QUESTION GOD’S WORD”
(2 min video) Francis Chan: Judgement? Have you read the Bible? • “When we’re perfectly ‘ONE’ they’re going to start believing…” • “I made a decision that even when this Book doesn’t make sense to me, I’m still going to submit to it”