Importance Of Practical Holiness (10)

Whatever we may think fit to say, we must be holy, if we would see the Lord. Where is our Christianity if we are not? We must not merely have a Christian name and Christian knowledge, we must have a Christian character also. We must be saints on earth, if ever we mean to be saints in heaven. God has said it and He will not go back: 'Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.' 'The pope's calendar,' says Jenkyn, 'only makes saints of the dead, but Scripture requires sanctity in the living.' 'Let not men deceive themselves,' says Owen, 'sanctification is a qualification indispensably necessary unto those who will be under the conduct of the Lord Christ unto salvation. He leads none to heaven but whom He sanctifies on the earth. This living Head will not admit of dead members.'

Surely we need not wonder that Scripture says, 'Ye must be born again' (Joh_3:7). Surely it is clear as noonday that many professing Christians need a complete change, new hearts, new natures, if ever they are to be saved. Old things must pass away; they must become new creatures. 'Without holiness no man,' be he who he may, 'no man shall see the Lord.'

2. Let me, for another thing, speak a little to believers. I ask you this question, 'Do you think you feel the importance of holiness as much as you should?'

I own I fear the temper of the times about this subject. I doubt exceedingly whether it holds that place which it deserves in the thoughts and attention of some of the Lord's people. I would humbly suggest that we are apt to overlook the doctrine of growth in grace, and that we do not sufficiently consider how very far a person may go in a profession of religion, and yet have no grace, and be dead in God's sight after all. I believe that Judas Iscariot seemed very like the other apostles. When the Lord warned them that one would betray Him, no one said, 'Is it Judas?' We had better think more about the churches of Sardis and Laodicea than we do.