The world, so fair, so fascinating!
(Hetty Bowman, "Life, Its Duties and Discipline" 1861)
It is possible that these words may meet the eye of some whose hearts are still set on the world, and the things of the world.
Firm are the meshes in which the world entangles the heedless footstep!
Potent is the spell which the world weaves around the thoughtless and unwary!
The mazes of pleasure firmly enslave the soul!
The world, so fair, so fascinating! How shall it be given up? How shall the fingers be unclasped from that bright cup which seems so full of happiness?
Says the worldling, "Surely the sacrifice need not be made yet! The world and its pleasures need not yet be exchanged for the cross of self-denial and sacrifice! Not yet! Not yet!"
But listen, dear reader, and if the words seem harsh — remember that they are the words of Him whose heart yearns with tenderness, pity, and compassion for the lost and the perishing:
"No man can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24
"If any man loves the world — the love of the Father is not in him."
"Friendship with the world is enmity with God."
What shall we say to these things? Shall we, speak peace to you — when there is no peace? Shall we flatter you with the hope that all may yet be well? Shall we point you to a crown of unfading glory — while your heart still rebels against the light and easy yoke of the Crucified One? Nay!
Rather would we remind you of the solemn warning, that "The end of these things is death!" A day will come when your eye will grow dim, and the death-damp gather on your brow, and your feet enter the dark valley. Where, then, will be your hope? Where, then, will be your refuge?
And when that day has passed, and another, yet more terrible, has dawned — when the eternal throne shall be set, and the books opened, and the dead, small and great, stand before God — then where will you conceal yourself, that you will not hear the awful sentence, "Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire!"
It is because we would save you from such a fearful doom — a doom which, as surely as the Word of God is true, will overtake all, however naturally amiable and cordial they may be, yet reject the Savior's offered mercy — that we would earnestly entreat you in Christ's stead, "Be reconciled to God!"