Monday, December 30, 2013

J. C. Ryle: "Remember Lot's wife"

Note:  I preached Sunday morning on Luke 17:20-37 with focus on v. 32:  "Remember Lots' wife."  I closed with some quotations from R. C. Ryle:
In J. C. Ryle’s classic book Holiness, one of the chapters is from a sermon Ryle preached on Luke 17:32 titled, “A woman to be remembered.”
In his sermon, Ryle noted (1) that Lot’s wife was a woman who had many spiritual privileges, but she had no grace; (2) that her sin was disobedience; and (3) that her judgment was fearful.
At one point in that last section, Ryle said this:
If you desire to be a healthy Christian, consider often what your own end will be.  Will it be happiness, or will it be misery?  Will it be the death of righteousness, or will it be a death without hope, like that of Lot’s wife?  You cannot live always; there must be an end one day.  The last sermon will one day be heard; the last prayer will one day be prayed; the last chapter in the Bible will one day be read; meaning, wishing, hoping, intending, resolving, doubting, hesitating—all will at length be over.  You will have to leave this world and to stand before a holy God.  Oh, that you would be wise!  Oh that you would consider your latter end! (p. 173).
He closes:
Oh, may these solemn words of our Lord Jesus Christ be deeply graven on all our hearts!  May they awaken within us when we feel sleepy, revive us when we feel dead, sharpen us when we feel dull, warm us when we feel cold!  May they prove a spur to quicken us when we are falling back, and a bridle to check us when we are turning aside!  May they be a shield to defend us when Satan casts a subtle temptation at our heart, and a sword to fight with, when he says, boldly, “Give up Christ, come back to the world, and follow me!”  Oh, may we say, in such hours of trial, “Soul, remember the Savior’s warning!  Soul, soul, hast thou forgotten his words?  Soul, soul remember Lot’s wife!” (pp. 175-176).    

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