Saturday, June 2, 2007
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
- Jesus Christ(Matthew 12:25-26)
Do you think it is a likely thing, that he will fight against Satan with all his might, who is himself a servant to Satan? Will he do any great harm to the kingdom of the devil, who is himself a member and a subject of that kingdom? Will he be true to Christ who is in covenant with his enemy? Now, this is the case of all unsanctified men, of whatsoever rank or profession they be. They are the servants of Satan, and the subjects of his kingdom; it is he that ruleth in their hearts; and are they like to be true to Christ that are ruled by the devil? What prince will choose the friends and servants of his enemy to lead his armies in war against him? This is it that hath made so many preachers of the gospel to be enemies to the work of the gospel which they preach. No wonder if such deride the holy obedience of the faithful; and if while they take on them to preach a holy life, they cast reproaches on them that practice it! O how many such traitors have been in the Church of Christ in all ages, who have done more against him, under his colors, than they could have done in the open field! They speak well of Christ and of godliness in the general, and yet slyly do what they can to bring them into disgrace, and make men believe that those who set themselves to seek God with all their hearts are a company of enthusiasts or hypocrites. And when they cannot for shame speak that way in the pulpit, they will do it in private among their acquaintance. Alas! how many such wolves have been set over the sheep! If there was a traitor among the twelve in Christ’s family, no wonder if there be many now. It cannot be expected that a slave of Satan, ‘whose god is his belly, and who mindeth earthly things,’ should be any better than ‘an enemy to the cross of Christ.’ What though he live civilly, and preach plausibly, and maintain outwardly a profession of religion? He may be as fast in the devil’s snares, by worldliness, pride, a secret distaste of diligent godliness, or by an unsound heart that is not rooted in the faith, nor unreservedly devoted to Christ, as others are by drunkenness, uncleanness, and similar disgraceful sins. Publicans and harlots do sooner enter heaven than Pharisees, because they are sooner convinced of their sin and misery. No man can fight well, but where he hateth, or is very angry; much less against them whom he loveth, and loveth above all. Every unrenewed man is so far from hating sin to purpose, that it is his dearest treasure. Hence you may see, that an unsanctified man, who loveth the enemy, is very unfit to be a leader in Christ’s army; and to draw others to renounce the world and the flesh, seeing he cleaveth to them himself as his chief good.
- Richard Baxter
(from the book The Reformed Pastor)