"Is everything all right?"

James Smith

"So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. 'Is everything all right?' he asked." 2 Kings 5:21

"Is everything all right?" What deep thoughts, and what important inquiries — do these words awaken in a serious mind! It may be "all right" with my reader — and if so, it is a great mercy. But it may not be "all right" — and if so, it is a serious matter. Let Naaman's question, then, furnish us with a text — and let us try and derive some profit from the subject he suggests. "Is everything all right?" Or it is all wrong? It is one or the other, as it respects the soul and eternity; for there is no intermediate or middle state. Allow me, then, to propose three questions:

First, "Is everything all right with your HEART?"

This is a momentous question, for by nature it is radically and universally wrong. Every imagination of the thoughts of the heart is evil, only evil, and that continually. It is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. It is a fountain which sends forth streams of pollution as black as hell. From within, out of the heart, proceed all manner of evil, and every species of crime.

The heart is, therefore, naturally wrong — and no one can rectify it but the Holy Spirit. The gospel is the instrument — but the Holy Spirit is the only agent that can effectually change a sinner's heart. He does so by a silent, secret, invincible power; by which he softens, sanctifies, and consecrates it to God. He destroys the image of Satan which was set up in it — and sets up the image of Christ in its place. He changes its bent and bias, so that . . .
we now desire — what we once despised;
we now seek — what we once disdained;
and we now love — what we once hated.

If the heart is "all right," then . . .
God is the object of its love,
Christ is the object of its faith,
the gospel is the object of its veneration,
the salvation of sinners is the object of its pursuits,
and heaven is the object of its hope.

If the heart is "all right," then . . .
Christ is found in it,
grace reigns over it,
prayer and praise flow from it, and
holiness is ardently desired by it.

If the heart is "all right," then . . .
the bible is prized,
the gospel is highly esteemed,
Christ is highly exalted,
God is cheerfully obeyed, and
sin is hated and forsaken.

If the heart is "all right," then . . .
it mourns over faults committed,
struggles against corruption within,
and sighs for freedom from temptation and depravity.

Reader, is your heart "all right?" Inspect it narrowly, watch it closely, examine it carefully — and take heed lest it deceives you!

If it is right now—then it was wrong once, and you know it. If it is right in the sight of God—then you see much that is wrong in it, and, therefore, take it . . .
to the Word of God to be searched,
to the open fountain to be cleansed, and
to the Spirit of God to be purified.

Settle this point before we proceed, for every man really is—just as his heart is.

Right or wrong then — which is it?

If right — who made it so?

How was it made so?

What is the proof that it is so?

Let these questions be deeply and seriously pondered — and let them be honestly and satisfactorily answered.

Second, "Is everything all right with your HEAD?"

By the head we mean the intellect — the thinking faculty.

Is it light — or darkness?

Is it instructed — or ignorant?

Is the eye of the mind clear and penetrating?

Is the judgment sound and correct?

Are the views Scriptural and sanctifying?

Many have their minds full of confusion; there is . . .
no order in their thoughts,
no arrangement of their ideas,
no clearness in their perceptions.

They scarcely know . . .
whether salvation is by works — or by grace;
whether they must trust in Christ — or in the virgin Mary;
whether they must look to Jesus for all — or to themselves for part.

They neither receive into their minds God's revelation of himself, nor subject their judgments to the judgment of God. Fallen and misguided reason — is enthroned, and God's infallible revelation is required to bow before it, and be imperiously judged by it. Then the head is all wrong!

When the head is "all right," then . . .
God's Word is its standard, its directory, its rule;
it receives whatever God has revealed;
it believes whatever God has said; and
it obeys whatever God has commanded.

It views . . .
as a loving father;
as a compassionate Savior;
the Holy Spirit as a gracious Comforter;
the Bible as the revelation God's mind;
the world as our temporary residence;
as a preparation for eternity, and
God's glory
as the desired end of every action.

When the head is "all right," then . . .
it traces up every good thing to God,
and every evil thing to the creature;
it magnifies God's grace in its salvation,
and acknowledges God's justice in the condemnation of the lost.

Reader, how is it with your head?

What are your views . . .
of self,
of sin,
of salvation,
of sanctification,
of hell, and
of heaven?

What do you think . . .
of Christ,
of grace,
of the world?

Do your views correspond with God's views — as revealed in his Word? Are your thoughts the same as God's thoughts on all the great subjects referred to? If not, your head is not "all right." Take your head as well as your heart — to the Bible, and examine it carefully by that!

Thirdly, "Is everything all right with your LIFE?"

The life is but the exposition of the heart.

The life is but the exhibition of the ruling principles of the nature.

Man generally lives outwardly, according to the nature that he possesses inwardly. Like the trees in nature, the fig tree will not bear olive berries; nor will the grape-vine produce figs. Just so, a holy life can never be produced from an unholy heart! If the principles of the heart are unsound — the life will be incorrect. A cloak may be put on, a mask may be worn, a pretense may be made — but 'the man' must sooner or later be detected.

That man only is "all right" in his life — who makes the precepts of God's Word his rule, seeks grace to obey them because he loves them, and strives daily and earnestly to conform his life to them. The grace of God which brings salvation, teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts — and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

If the acquisition of wealth, if to obtain worldly distinctions and honors, or if to enjoy flesh-pleasing and carnal pleasures — are the great objects of life—then all is wrong! But if to honor God, to imitate the Savior, to spread the gospel, to bring sinners to Christ, and to bless and benefit all around us to the utmost of our power, is our object — then, in reference to our life, it is "all right."

We then love God supremely, and the whole race of man heartily. We copy the Savior's example. We show our faith by our works. We prove the power and purity of our principles — by our practice. The conduct confirms and illustrates the excellence of the creed. We are the living epistles of Christ — known and read by all men. But if we are selfish, stingy, worldly, proud, conceited, contentious, unloving—then we cannot be "all right"!

For Jesus has said — and from his decision there is no appeal, "By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them!" Matthew 7:16-20

"Is everything all right?"

Let us, then, ask ourselves these three questions:

Is my heart all right — in the sight of God?

Is my head all right — when examined by God's Word?

Is my life all right — in the view of discerning, honest, and impartial men?

Let us put these questions into the hand of conscience; let us take them to God's throne; let us look at them from the sick bed, as we stand by the side of our coffin, and in the light of eternity, which will soon burst upon us; remembering that if wrong, we may now be set right by the grace and Spirit of God; but if we neglect to examine into the matter, we may soon have to cry from the depths of eternal despair, "I was all wrong — and shall be wrong forever!"