"You are not my people!" Romans 9:26
The Lord has a people peculiarly his own; this is clearly stated, and satisfactorily proved in the Word of God. He loves them. He approves of them. He rules them. He supplies them. He protects them. He honors them. For them, He gave His Son — to die in their stead. To them, He gives His Spirit — to sanctify and make them fit for glory. They are a favored and a happy people.
Many claim to be of them, who are not all like them. They would enjoy their privileges — but they do not possess their nature. They number themselves with them — but they will ultimately be separated from them. The Lord never did acknowledge them, and He will, by-and-bye, openly disown them. He now says to them, "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord; and do not do the things that I say?" By-and-bye He will say, "I do not know you — depart from me, you workers of iniquity." That is, "I do not approve you. I never did approve you. Therefore depart from me."
But who are those who now presume — but will by-and-bye be rejected?
The Pharisee is one of them. He who is
striving to purchase Heaven by his works; who is proud of his
performances, and imagines that God must think as highly of him, as he does.
The self-righteous Pharisee is one of the greatest enemies of our Lord — he
is . . .
blind to the spirituality of the law,
ignorant of the true character of God,
a stranger to the wickedness of his own heart,
nd practically rejects the holy gospel.
He will not object to it as a part of the Word of God; but let it be unfolded and applied — and his opposition will immediately appear. Those who reject the gospel — reject the Savior; and those who reject the Savior — will be rejected by God at last.
The formalist will be disowned of God. He
is nearly allied to the Pharisee. He will go through a round of duties, and
hopes by so doing . . .
to satisfy conscience;
to please God;
and purchase Heaven.
But formal duties are but decent sins! They offend, rather than please God. They merit Hell, instead of purchasing Heaven! If God is worshiped — it must be in spirit and in truth. If He is pleased with our poor performances — it is when they flow from love to Him, are sprinkled with the blood of His dear Son, and are laid as a child's offering at His throne. If our services are accepted by a just and holy God — they must be brought to the throne, by the way of the cross.
The duties of the formalist are heartless, misplaced, and worthless; and the poor creatures who imagine they are pleasing God, and securing Heaven by their lifeless duties, will hear Him say to them, "You are not my people!"
The licentious must be refused of God. He loves sin. He lives in direct and open opposition to God; for him, there can be no hope. His head may be full of light — but his heart is enmity against God. He may talk very correctly about truth — but his walk gives his profession the lie. He has never been sanctified — and therefore cannot be glorified. The heart must be changed, and the life must be holy — or we are not God's people. He will not own us. He will not honor us. He will not receive us.
Reader, beware of false confidence! Many take it for granted that they are God's people — but will find themselves woefully deceived.
Look well to your evidences. Is the heart changed? Is the life holy? Do you walk with God? Only those who walk with God on earth — will be owned as His at last.
Look well to your title. Make your calling and election sure. Put your religion out of doubt. So walk, that all may be constrained to say of you, "If there is a Christian — then that man is one." Remember, all are not Israel — who are of Israel; nor are all God's people — who pass for such. Let no man deceive himself, or imagine that he is safe — while his heart and life are unholy; for "without holiness, no man can see the Lord." "Let no man deceive you — he who does righteousness is righteous, even as Christ is righteous." (1 John 3:7)