Posted by: William | March 11, 2008

Is There Cause to Pity Myself?

Richard Baxter writes:

 

“Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor ignorant, ungodly neighbors. Alas, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell; a many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever. Have you hearts of rock that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace… Dost thou live close by them, or meet with them in the streets, or labour with them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?”

 

Baxter’s words are stirring if we will allow them to do so. This quotation caught my eye, particularly concerning his comment “ If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace.”

 

Perhaps a complacency towards those barreling towards hell is an indication of a feigned faith. I find that this quotation may pose good questions useful for introspection. When we have the grace that we claim, we will truly love. I like John Piper’s definition of Love when he says something like, “love is: laboring for what will make another person infinitely satisfied, namely Jesus Christ.” So, while we are not required to stand on a soap box and shout out the dangers of hell (although I’m not knocking that either), the grace we receive will certainly produce love with certainly includes a deep and moving concern for the lost.

 

Jesus, I pray that you would move me in deep concern for those who are far off from you. Lord help me to love them as you have loved them. Reveal the places in my heart that are indifferent or complacent to ward a lost world. Jesus, I pray that to the praise of the glory of your grace, you would teach us to be more obedient spilling over from gratitude. Lord, sanctify and continue to erect your church, for the sake of your glory.

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