Secure Christ for Your Friend!
by James Smith, 1857
A Christian was dying. The things of time were fast fading from his view. Eternity, with all its glorious realities, was just bursting upon him. He had tried once more the foundation on which he was resting—and found it solid rock. He had peace in his heart, and glory in his eye. His conscience was clear. His confidence was strong. His Savior's words sounded like music in his soul. The blood of the Cross was inestimably precious. He had nothing to regret, except it was that he had not walked closer with God, and honored his Savior more. The robe of his Redeemer's righteousness was upon him. The Spirit of God was in him. He was enjoying the foretastes of heaven.
His breathing was short. His pulse beat feebly. He was listening to hear the rumbling of his Savior's chariot wheels coming to fetch him home. All his affairs were settled, and he was ready to depart and be with Christ.
In this state, a young friend called on him. He came to take the last look, and to hear the last word. A word to be treasured up, is the last utterance of a very dear friend. A word never to be forgotten—and it never was forgotten. Taking the young man's hand, with loving look, and tremulous voice, he said, "Secure Christ for your friend!" He knew the value of such a friend. He had found Christ precious during a painful affliction. He found Christ sufficient now he was in the article of death. He spoke from experience. He gave the very advice—that he would wish to have given to himself under similar circumstances. He was carrying out the golden rule. He loved that young man tenderly. He felt for that young man's best interests deeply. He breathed out in five words, the whole desire of his soul, "Secure Christ for your friend!"
He knew that would be enough. He was sure that all he could possess without this, would be insufficient. Jesus alone, can prove the friend a perishing sinner needs. Jesus only will meet is case, and suit him under all circumstances. Jesus only could do what he needed, and give what he required.
Reader, is Jesus your friend? Have you secured his friendship? Do you walk with him in love and holy fellowship? No one else can be the friend you will need—in adverse circumstances, on the bed of sickness, and in the hour of death. Carnal friends will forsake you, and Christian friends will be unable to do for you what you need. Jesus is the friend you need. He will do for you exceeding and abundantly above all that you can ask or think. He seeks the friendship of sinners. He puts himself in their way. He sends to them. He stoops to ask them to be his friends. When on earth he went among the poorest, the vilest, the most despised of men. He spoke to them. He listened to them. He ate with them. In consequence of which, the proud Pharisees taunted him with being a "friend of publicans and sinners." Nor did he deny it—but delivered three parables to justify his conduct, and silence them. (Luke 15)
Jesus has everything we could wish for in our most intimate friend. In him dwells all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He has all power in heaven and earth. His love is tender and strong—and whom he once loves—he loves unto the very end. His heart is the home of sympathy, and his eye melts with compassion. His words are truth, and his bosom is mercy and kindness. He is fairer than the children of men. He is the chief among ten thousand. Yes, he is altogether lovely. There is nothing that can awaken admiration, excite reverence, draw forth love, or gratify a well-regulated mind—but it is to be found in Jesus, and to be found in perfection in him. He has heaven and earth at command, with all the resources of eternity and time. You can need nothing—but he has it; nor can you be justified in desiring anything—but he will give it. Therefore said the apostle, "Christ is all—and in all."
Jesus can do all that we require to be done for us. He can quicken the dead—enlighten the dark—instruct the ignorant—support the weak—feed the hungry—pardon the guilty—justify the ungodly—deliver the tempted—and save the lost. He has done all, and suffered all that is necessary, to secure your everlasting deliverance from guilt, disgrace, and danger; and to sanctify, elevate, and crown you with the highest honor. He can support in trouble—supply in need—deliver in danger—comfort in sorrow—cheer in solitude—sustain in conflict—make happy in affliction—and give victory in death. With Christ for our friend, we may go any where, engage in any work, face any foe, endure any trial, and be contented with any lot.
Let me, then, exhort you to "Secure Christ for your friend!" Make sure work of this. Let it be a settled point, an unquestionable fact, that Christ is your friend. He is ready to be so. His heart is fully inclined. The word he has sent you decides this. Are you willing to have Christ for your friend? Is your heart decided to seek this inestimable privilege? If so, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is your friend. Believe what the Scriptures say of him, the testimony his Father has borne to him, the glorious gospel that comes from him. Place confidence in his Word. Rely on his finished work. Trust in his holy name. Take him as God's free gift. Look to him as appointed to save. Cast yourself at his feet. Fall into the arms of his mercy.
Renounce your feelings, your doings, your all—and venture your salvation alone upon what he has done and suffered. The moment you do this, Jesus is your friend. You may tell out all your troubles to him. You may cast all your cares upon him. You may expect to be pardoned and justified through him. You may make use of his name for all you need at the throne of grace; and you may oppose his promise and precious blood to all you fear during the journey of life.
Jesus, as your friend, pays all your debts—meets all your obligations—conquers all your foes—provides for all your needs—advocates your cause in heaven—will be with you in all your troubles—and will make you a conqueror over all your foes. With Jesus at your side, Satan will flee, death will be changed into a friend, the grave will lose all its terrors, and eternity will stand out before you as blazing with glory.
"Secure Christ for your friend!" And do it at once. Today, if you will hear his voice–do not harden your heart. Remember this, he will either be your friend—or your foe; as you are either his friend—or his foe. What a dreadful thing it must be, to be the enemy of Christ. To treat him with contempt, and by preferring sin, self, or the world to him, to "put him to an open shame." Oh, the terrible doom, the awful destiny of the enemies of Jesus! Hear his own solemn words, "As for those my enemies, who do not want me to reign over them—bring them forth and slay them before me!"
To be punished at the command of Christ—to be punished in the presence of Christ—to be punished as the enemies of Christ—to be punished for a lifetime spent in opposition to Christ—to be punished for refusing to be saved by Christ—to be punished because one would not take Christ to be our friend—how terrible, how dreadful, how fearful is this! Yet, this will be the doom of thousands!
Reader, will it be your doom? Do you know? You ought to know. What is your conduct towards Jesus you may know by this, "For with whatever measure you mete—it shall be measured unto you again." If you reject his word, despise his invitations, neglect his great salvation, and seek death in the error of your way—nothing remains for you but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour you as God's adversary! Let me, then, by all that is solemn, by all that is tender, by the mercies of God, and the warnings of the gospel, beseech you to "Secure Christ for your friend!"