RPM, Volume 18, Number 15, April 3 to April 9, 2016

Sermons on John 17

Sermon XV

By Thomas Manton

"And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." John 17:11.

Thirdly, The next point is taken from that clause, "But these are in the world" Christ's apprehensiveness of the danger of believers in their worldly state.

In managing this argument—(1.) I will open the danger; (2.) Why God permitteth it; (1.) Christ's apprehensiveness of it.

1. To open the danger. There is danger from within and from without; within are lusts, and without are temptations; they are subject to many infirmities, and exposed to infinite dangers and temptations.

[1.] From within. If we could live as fish in the salt sea, fresh without any taint of saltness, without receiving a savor from things without, the danger would not be so great: "Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust," (2 Pet. 1:4); the root of the matter is within us. The world without would do no harm were it not for the world in our own hearts. Pleasures, honors, profits are dangerous snares, but not to an angel. When John reckoneth up the contents of the world, he doth not reckon up the objects, but the lusts: "The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," (1 John 2:16). Satan is our enemy, the world is the bait, but our heart is the traitor. Baalam could not hurt Israel till he corrupted them by whoredoms. The worst enemy is within us; we carry the danger in our own bosoms. We must look for blows in the world, but inward ulcers are worse than wounds, because the evil is inward, and the constitution of the body helpeth it Sins are more dangerous than troubles, because they are aided by nature.

[2.] From without. The world is an evil place, both in regard of sin and misery; we are sure to be vexed or defiled, to be corrupted by the favors or discouraged by the frowns of it. In the world we have a great many enemies; there is the god of the world, and the powers of the world, and the men of the world, and the things of the world.

(1.) There is the god of this world. This country in which we dwell, it is the kingdom of Satan, Christ's bitter enemy. He is called "the prince of the world," (John 12:31), not by right, but the world hath made him so. Can God's children live long in peace in the kingdom of Satan? He cannot endure to lose one corner of his empire, therefore frowns and flatters, and seeks to corrupt or discourage the saints: "The god of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not," (2 Cor. 4:4). Titles are suited to the matter in hand. Satan blindeth most, as the god of this world; the creature is but suborned, Satan is at the back of it, and lieth in ambush to surprise our souls; "Is not the hand of Joab in all this?" The devil is in the snare. The world is Satan's chessboard; we can hardly move back or forth but the devil sets out one creature or another to attack us, either by fear, causing us to draw back, or by the love of some worldly creatures alluring us out of the lists wherein we should walk.

(2.) The powers of the world; usually they are set against Christ, and therefore at the latter end of the world they shall be broken and dashed to pieces. The world is a country wherein the church is a stranger; every man fearing God is like a strange plant brought from a far country, hath much ado to grow. The wicked are like nettles and thistles, that grow without ploughing or watering, because they grow in their own place; but the soil and air of the world doth not suit with the saints; one time or other they are nipped, here is no kindly weather for them. A Christian is not only a stranger, but an nonconformist to the world: "And be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed in the renewing of your minds," (Rom. 12:2). In every age there is something or other started up for his trouble and exercise. In his Father's house he is taught to do otherwise, and this putteth him upon trouble. If God giveth the church a little rest, it is but like a well day out of the fit of an ague (fever), to recover strength for the next trial; a mortified saint, that is drawn up to heaven, and would live by the laws of his Father's house, must look for frowns: "Yea, and all those that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution," (2 Tim. 3:12). Christ's grapes must expect the winepress; all their care should be to yield good liquor. It is a statute, like the laws of the Medes and Persians: "That through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God," (Acts 14:22). Neither doth experience cross that rule; the apostle saith, "Who shall separate us from the love of God? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter," (Rom. 8:35,36). The world is the slaughter-house and shambles of the saints; here Christ was slain, all his witnesses butchered. Christ's lambs must look to have their throats cut. There is an old enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent; it lasteth from Abel till the day of judgment. Jacob's and Esau's quarrel began from the day of their birth: "Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say," (Ps. 129:1); from my youth upward, ever since Christ had a seed in the world. The world would not be the world, nor you Christians, if the world did not hate you. Satan cannot change his nature, and the world waxeth worse and worse. Instead of marvelling to see the children of God afflicted and persecuted, we should marvel to see it otherwise. If one should tell you that your way lieth through a stony country, full of bushes and briars, you would think yourselves out of the way if you should meet with nothing but green and pleasant plains. The roadway to heaven is through a howling wilderness; if you have a foot of good land, it is God's blessing.

(3.) The men of the world. A man cannot hold any communion with them, but he shall be the worse for them: "We know we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness," (1 John 5:19). The men of the world are sooty dirty creatures; we cannot converse with them, but they leave their filthiness upon us. It is hard to touch pitch and not be defiled: "Save yourselves from this untoward generation," (Acts 2:40). We grow in a wilderness, and there are many crooked trees that are like to twine about us, and to hinder our growth towards heaven. To disentangle ourselves, there must be a great deal of care. So, "If a man, therefore, purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour," (2 Tim. 2:21). "From these;" from what? In a great house, there are vessels of gold and vessels of earth, some to honor, and some to dishonor. There are carnal seducers that are apt to pervert us by their enticement and example, as black pots leave their soil upon those that touch them; so base persons and carnal heretics infect us with their sinful pollutions. By converse we are tainted unawares; as antinomian doctrines make the children of God less strict; though they do not pervert their judgment, yet they weaken their care and strictness. Nature is more susceptible of evil than of good. We easily catch a sickness, but we do not get health from one another. Ears of corn do not catch and hang upon men, but thorns do: "We live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation," (Phil. 2:5), that are as briars and thorns, very catching.

(4.) The things of this world. The world is the valley of snares, and so to the children of God it often proveth the valley of sorrows. Frequency of converse maketh the snare more easily to insinuate. It is hard to be much conversant in any matter, and not to receive some tincture from it These things, honors, pleasures, profits, they are accustomed objects, they are bred up with us; we must of necessity be conversant with meats and drinks and worldly substance, and insensibly they leave a taint upon the soul, especially where we have them at full. Worldly prosperity is a great snare to the saints; and things are better preserved in brine than honey. How soon is the soul corrupted. The warm sunshine maketh the weeds grow as well as the flowers. I observe great alterations in David's spirit; in adversity he spared his enemy, when he found Saul in the cave; in prosperity, he killed his servant, when he plotted Uriah's death; when he threatened Nabal in affliction, he bore with Shimei. God's children have a better country when they have the world's best advantages. Some fruits are not natural in England; though the weather be good, they do not agree with the soil.

2. Why God permitteth them to be in the world; he might have taken them to himself, and glorify them as soon as sanctify them, or else have gathered them into some island, some obscure angle and corner of the world, out of harm's way. But I answer—That doth not suit with God's dispensations: "I pray not that thou wouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil," (John 17:15). The Lord hath some ends to be accomplished. He can at first conversion make us perfect and glorified saints; it is his wisdom to take a time; as Absalom was not to see the king's face presently, so we must wait our time.

[1.] For his own glory. The sweetness and power of grace is more discovered in this worldly estate. It is more wonder to maintain a candle in a bucket of water than in a lanthorn [lantern], or a spark in the midst of the sea: "God's power is made perfect in weakness," (2 Cor. 12:9); that is, it is more gloriously discovered. Excellent things suffer a kind of imperfection till there be an occasion to discover them; therefore the apostle would glory in infirmities, as they occasioned a greater exercise of the divine grace. In this worldly estate, grace is discovered not only by its operation, but by conquest and victory; not only as it worketh, but as it fighteth: "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world: they are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them," (1 John 4:4,5). There is a spirit that worketh in the saints, and a spirit that worketh in the world; these two are conflicting; the world is the lists and place of battle, but Satan is, beaten in his own territory: "Stronger is he that is in you than he that is in the world." The saints may be molested, but not overcome. Still God hath his elect, and Christ his members, though Satan hath so many factors and agents for his kingdom. Look, as Israel was sent into Egypt that God's power might be made known— "For this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth," saith God to Pharaoh, (Ex. 9:16) —so we are in the world that his power may be known. We had missed many wonderful passages of providence if Israel had not been in Egypt. God will have us take many experiences of the sweetness and power of grace along with us to heaven. As travellers at night talk of the foul way and the dangers of the journey, so in heaven we shall discourse of the praises of our Redeemer, and his wise and powerful conduct. God would have us take these frequent experiences of grace along with us.

[2.] To try us. Were it not for the worldly state, there would be no place for temptation, nor room for the exercise of grace. He will not glorify us as soon as convert us; neither can we expect to go singing to heaven, and without blows: "Be ye followers of them who through faith and patience have inherited the promises," (Heb. 6:12). Never any went to heaven, but there was a time to exercise both his faith and patience; we are to run and fight, this is common to all the saints. In the way to heaven many things will befall us, that will make it seem unlikely that we shall ever come thither; so we have need of faith; and troubles must have their turn ere heaven be possessed, so we have need of patience. Why should we look for a peculiar privilege? "The same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world," (1 Pet. 5:9). All the saints are troubled with a busy devil, a naughty world, and a corrupt heart. Name but one saint of God that hath been excused, that went to heaven without trials and temptations. That quiet estate which you dream of is without precedent. The cross is the badge of this society; as Elijah said, "Am I better than my fathers?" You are not better than all the saints, than your other brethren that are in the world. You should be ashamed to be alone, and never called out to exercise. There is a measure of sufferings appointed, and every member must take his share. It is distributed by a wise hand, so much for the head, so much for the shoulders, so much for hands and feet: "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh," (Col. 1:24). Would we only be irregular, and refuse to take our burden? Briefly, there would be no temptation, no trial, were it not for the worldly estate, but here we must look for it The skill of a mariner is known in a storm, and so is our fortitude and other graces tried and discovered. I have read in the lives of the fathers of a devout man that being one year without any trial, cried out, Domine, reliquisti me, quia non me visitasti hoc anno—Lord I thou hast forgotten me, and for a whole year hast not put me upon any exercise. Those whom God will make most perfect, he putteth them upon the greatest trials. Abraham had never been represented as the father of the faithful if he had not been exercised so much, with so many hazards and temptations.

[3.] To convince the world by their example, their strictness, patience, fortitude. They are in the world, but not of the world. If a Christian were not a member of the world, he would never be the wonder of the world. They have flesh and blood as others have, and have not divested themselves of the affections and interests of nature; the same bodies, the same interests; yet they can deny all, and upon the convenient reasons of religion abhor the pleasures and dear contentments of this life, and become weaned, mortified, strict, holy; and this raiseth the world's wonder: "They think it strange that you run not with them to all excess of riot, speaking evil of you," (1 Pet. 4:4). They are so bewitched with these things that they wonder how any can resist the temptation. Godly men are to walk up and down the world as God's witnesses: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord," (Isa. 43:11). They testify that there is a reality in religion, and how it worketh, by the strictness and mortification of their lives. They are to be examples to the world: "Ye are the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart," (2 Cor. 3:3). By your lives God writeth his mind to the world; you are a living rule, a walking Bible.

[4.] To fit them for glory. We do not commence per saltum [a leap]. Vessels of honor must be seasoned: "Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light," (Col. 1:12). What should an unmortified man do in heaven? Heaven would be a prison to him, the company of God and the communion of saints a burden. We do not come into God's presence hot and reeking from our lusts; we are first set in the garden of the church before we are transplanted to the upper paradise; they grow a while in the land of grace, that they may take kindly with the soil.

(1.) Partly to weaken our desires to the world. The stones were to be hewed and squared before they were to be set in the temple; there was no noise of axe or hammer heard there. So during our worldly state we are humbled with many afflictions, that we may be weaned by degrees from the world and worldly objects: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world," (Gal. 6:14). The world doth not suit with the saints, as children are weaned from the teat by wormwood: when men are pleased in the world they forget their country. We stir liquors and syrups that are over the fire, that they may not stick and burn to. As Esther, when she was chosen for Ahasueras's bride, was "to accomplish the months of her purification" before she was presented to him, (Esther 2:12); so some days are to be spent in our purifying and sanctifying before we are presented to God.

(2.) Partly to make us long for glory. Our worldly estate is cumbersome; here are sins and afflictions, that we may long for a better estate: "Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!" (Ps. 120:5). As the Israelites' task was doubled, that they might long for Canaan and cry out for the land of rest. The inconveniences of our pilgrimage make the everlasting estate more sweet; troubles without us, diseases upon us, and sins within us, and all to make us long for home. Notwithstanding all the hard usage and entertainment in the world, how difficultly are we weaned!

3. Christ's apprehensiveness of this danger. You shall see it is a circumstance often mentioned: a little before his death, at his death, now in heaven.

[1.] A little before his death. We have two instances—one when he was about to wash his disciples feet and institute the supper: "Jesus having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end," (John 13:1). Christ was then thinking that he should shortly depart; his thoughts were not on his own glory so much as our danger. If Christ would have thought of his own, he might have thought of the angels and glorified saints. Cyril and Chrysostom observe that he did not think of angels and glorified saints, but of his own in the world, those that were left to the miseries and temptations of an evil and unquiet world. No question it was sweet to Christ to think of the glorified saints and angels; but they were safe, and now was a time to show pity rather than delight. The other instance we have in his prayers in this place, from the 11th to the 17th verse. I might mention many passages in his sermons. Christ, when he was about to leave us, he had the affection of a father to his children, or of a dying husband to his wife; he was careful of our estate after his departure.

[2.] So at his death. A great thing that was in the eye of Christ was victory over the world: "He gave himself for us, to redeem us from the present evil world," (Gal. 1:4). Certainly Christ is willing to help you, when he suffered so much that he might help you. When you love the world, you cross the end of Christ's death; his whole life was but a renouncing the world. The poverty of Christ upbraideth our aspiring projects and pursuits of worldly greatness. We seek to join house to house and field to field, and "he had not a place whereon to lay his head." But in his death he would make all sure. One thing that he purchased of the Father is grace to subdue the world. When he was to die, he said, Lo I give myself, upon condition thou wilt give them grace; let them be freed from the bondage of carnal fears and carnal desires. There is not a thing more answerable to the design and aim of his death than this is.

[3.] After his death and ascension into heaven, he is tenderly affected toward believers in the world; he still retaineth his human nature and his human affections, the same heart and the same pity: "We have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities," (Heb. 4:15). Christ, though he be exalted, is tenderly affected towards those that are left behind; he is still tenderly affected towards you in all your straits and troubles and infirmities. Christ's exaltation hath made no change in his bowels; he carried his love with him, not only into the grave, but into heaven; he is our Lord, but still our brother: as God, he knoweth our infirmities; and as man, he feeleth them; his love is most at work when you are in danger. Oh! what a comfort is this in all your temptations! There is one in heaven that, seeth and feeleth all this; let us bear it the better, and ride out the storm. If a man were persuaded that his friends on shore knew what tempests he endured at sea, and were praying for him, it would be a great comfort to him in his distress. Christ's heart worketh towards thee; he who is always heard is now praying for thee in heaven; he is touched with a feeling of thy infirmities. How should this comfort us! They have many snares and many enemies; Lord, help them!

The reasons of this apprehensiveness and tender feeling are his interest, love, charge, and experience: they are his own: "Having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them to the end," (John 13:1).

(1.) His interest. Christ hath a share going in every believer. As when there are ships at sea in which you have a share, you pray for their safe return, and are tenderly affected when you hear they are in danger. Christ is loath to lose his share; he had but now pleaded his interest with the Father: "All thine are mine, and mine, are thine," (John 17:10). We are a part of his goods; the world would weaken the estate of Christ. Believers are his treasure, and they are in danger of rocks and pirates; and therefore he prayeth to the Father. Now Christ hath an interest in them, not only by the Father's grant, but their own dedication; they are his, and all that they suffer is for his sake: "I have given them thy word, and therefore the world hateth them," (John 17:14). Let a man go on in a wicked, carnal, ungodly way, and the world will not vex him. Let a man once be zealous for Christ, and then he must expect trouble enough. They endure all this for me, and shall I not be sensible? If a child should inadvertently break his leg or arm, you would pity him; but if he should break his leg or arm in your service or defense, to rescue his father, you would pity him more.

(2.) His love: "Jesus having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end," (John 13:1). Those whom we love, we are troubled about their welfare. A careless father may die, and never be troubled what shall become of his children; but love is very solicitous. Alas! poor orphans, they are without a guide and guardian, left to snares and temptations, and shall it not pity them? Hugo crieth out, O charitas, quam magnum est vinculum tuum! Deum in terram traxisti, cruci affixisti, sepulchro clausisti! &c.—O love, how great is thy power! it was love that brought Christ from heaven, that nailed him to the cross, that laid him in the grave, that carried him again to do our business with God. Had it not been for love he had never come from heaven, and left the bosom of the Father for the lap of the virgin, the form of God for the veil of flesh, the glory of heaven for the darkness of the grave. Had it not been for love, he had never died to deliver us from this present evil world, he had never been feasible of our state and condition. Love is jealous and sensible of all the dangers of the party beloved; the same love of Christ that exposeth us to troubles and hazards for Christ's sake, the same love maketh Christ compassionate of our miseries and sorrows. We are jealous of his honor, and he is jealous of our safety.

(3.) His charge. "Christ hath taken an office upon him, to defend, pity, and guide the elect through all temptations to salvation. Now Christ cannot be unfaithful in his office: "We have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities," (Heb. 4:15). He that is passed into the heavens is still our high priest. Give me leave to admire that expression, twn agiwn leitourgoV "a minister of the sanctuary," (Heb. 8:2). When he was upon earth he came in the form of a servant, and now he is in heaven he is still a servant. We may speak what Christ hath spoken for us, he is our officer and minister even in heaven, not only in the state of his abasement, but in the state of his exaltation. Our Lord would be ours, not only in love but duty, that so we might have the greater assurance. Till all the saints come to heaven, Christ looks upon himself as bound in point of office, they are his charge; he cannot be loving to the church, nor faithful to the Father, if he should do otherwise.

(4.) His experience: "He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin," (Heb. 4:15). Pray mark, "in all points." Christ hath had experience of all trials whereinto any of his servants can fall, poverty, forsaking of friends, exile, imprisonment, hunger, nakedness, watching, weariness, pain of body, heaviness of heart, desertion as to sense, wrath and curse of God. Christ hath carried his feeling with him into heaven; he knew what poverty meaneth, what trouble of conscience, what heaviness of spirit meaneth. Christ could not so experimentally pity us, so feelingly pity us, if he were not like us in all things; his heart was entendered by experience, as a man that hath felt the gout and felt the stone. Israel knew the heart of a stranger; Christ knew the heart of a man that is left to the world's frowns and snares. He took a communion of our nature and miseries, as a pawn and pledge that he will pity us and help us: "The captain of our salvation was made perfect through sufferings," (Heb. 2:10). Christ, though he was perfect, he received the Spirit without measure, yet he lacked one thing which his office required, to be a perfect mediator, till he had an experimental feeling. So, "In that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted," (Heb. 2:18). Christ was able as soon as he came from heaven. As God, what could he not do? But there is an ability of sufficiency, and of idoneity [appropriate; suitable], an experimental ability. Christ had experience, though not of sin, yet of temptation to sin; he is not only able, but willing; he knoweth what it is. Christ would borrow our nature to make experiments.

Use 1. To teach us to walk with caution, and in a continual dependence upon God. We are continually assaulted, and live in the midst of snares. A man that cometh into the world, saith Luther, is like a traveler that cometh into an inn where there dwell none but thieves. Now he that carrieth jewels about him had need to take heed; the diversity, the frequency, the continuation of temptations should make us wary. The diversity; there are baits for every temper, honors for the ambitious, wealth for the covetous, and pleasures for the sensual. The devil hath a diet to feed every distemper; some are sullen, not bent to pleasures, but Satan is not at a loss to fit them with a temptation, there are profits for them; others are facile and more easy, they have pleasures; others would be great, they have honors; and when Satan knoweth the lust, he suiteth the bait; he is an old sophister, well skilled in the tempers of men. Therefore, seeing that in every business, in every bit of meat, in every recreation, there are snares, we had need feed with fear and trade with fear. When there is an enemy in the country, we keep constant watch and ward. Then, for the frequency and continuance of temptations, they are always about us.

Long suits prevail at last. From the first use of reason till the hour of death, as long as God continueth our abode in the world, we are in danger. There are many baits; Satan is crafty, and the world is spiteful, and our hearts are naught. We are now upon our trial, the great work of religion is to walk in a constant watchfulness and dependence. Alas! many are as if they were in the haven already; so negligent, so careless, as if they were in the midst of paradise, out of temptations.

Use 2. To press us to grow weary of the world; it is a place full of snares; here we have many snares and many enemies. If we have a mind to sin no longer, why should we desire to live in the world? The world is a step-mother to the saints; why should we desire to hang upon the dug? He that would always live here is like a scullion [a kitchen helper] that loveth to lie among the pots. In heaven we have pure company, and are out of the reach and danger of temptations. The devil, when he was not fit for heaven, was cast out into the world, a fit place for misery, sin, and torment; it is Satan's walk and circuit. Here is antichrist, the devil's eldest son; here are terriculamenta et irritamenta, fears and snares. It is a dirty odd corner of the universe; we can hardly walk up and down but we shall defile our garments. Here are briars to hitch us, snares and baits to entice us. There is a more excellent country above, where we shall have the company of God and the fellowship of the saints, saints without corruption, other manner of saints than here. There is no tempter there, there should be your country. In a pet we long for heaven, but it should be out of a resolved judgment. Men fight in the world as long as they are able, and then make heaven their refuge. It should not be a melancholy wish; we should desire heaven, not as weary of work and service, but as weary of temptation.

Use 3. Examination. What kind of temper have we? There are "children of this world," (Luke 16:8). The world is their own mother, they love to lie hanging on the dugs and teats. And there is a spirit called "the spirit of the world," (1 Cor. 2:12), a genius that suiteth with present conveniences; there is "their portion." (Ps. 17:14); "Their names are written in the earth," (Jer. 17:13); that is their happiness. The nature of the world's sons is all for the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life; to go fine, to feed high, to shine in worldly pomp, affect honors and great places. Too many Christians are baptized into this spirit. There is a use of the things of this world, but we should use them with fear; they cannot smell the rose of the field, Christ hath no scent or savor. Oh! it is a sad character to be a child of this world; one that hath the nature of the mother in them, one of the world's breed. A child of God is a pilgrim and stranger: "I am a stranger in the earth," (Ps. 119:19). Abraham purchased but a sepulchre; that is all the faithful can lay claim to on earth. He looketh on himself as born and bred in another land; his mother is a princess, the bride, the Lamb's wife; and his Father is in heaven; he is in the world, but not of the world.

Use 4. Comfort. Christ is apprehensive of your danger. All trials you meet with do either better your hearts or hasten your glory. Christians must expect danger, but need not fear it. Formido sublata est, non pugna. You are not absolutely freed from molestations of the world, but you have a sanctified use of them: "These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace; in the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good comfort, I have overcome the world," (John 16:33). The victory consisteth not in not suffering and not fighting, but keeping what we fight for: "The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work," (2 Tim. 4:18); not from the lion, but sin.

Use 5. The example of Christ. When we die, let us be mindful of the danger of our relations that we leave behind us, our families, church, ministry; commend them to God. Dying Christians should be best at the last; dying Moses left a song. Do not leave the world without a testimony of your love and zeal: "Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover, I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance," (2 Pet. 1:14, 15).

Subscribe to RPM
RPM subscribers receive an email notification each time a new issue is published. Notifications include the title, author, and description of each article in the issue, as well as links directly to the articles. Like RPM itself, subscriptions are free. Click here to subscribe.