I finished my prep work this afternoon before starting to write and I sent my cousin a text message “A Sure Guide to Heaven should be required reading for anyone that thinks they know Christ.” What else could I say, why won’t the places that call themselves churches preach like this anymore?
Do they teach like this?
Do people understand their wretchedness to a Holy God? Would they require this book in the newcomer orientation classes? I almost laugh myself silly when I think about the pizza, Pepsi and “oh here you go, we want you to read this book…” “Say what?”
As I was reading the sixth chapter and attempting to digest the truth pouring off the pages my head was swimming, am I really saved? And I believe that I’m saved… I can still remember how I felt when I came to the realization I’d been a false convert my whole adult life. What should I do? Can it be true, have I really just been saved? Did God really show me my sin? What else could I do, but fall to my knees and praise Him for His grace and mercy.
To my dear friends and readers, if this study has not made an impact on you, there is something wrong and I hope you will examine yourself in that light.
You’ve either taken my admonishment to read this book or you haven’t and I’ve either inspired you to want to read it or I’ve lost you by now, so if you have stuck with me, I praise God for your diligence and I trust you have been blessed.
Directions to the unconverted
Before you read these directions, I advise you, yea, I charge you before God and His holy angels, that you resolve to follow them, as far as conscience shall be convinced of their agreeableness to God’s Word and your state; and call in His assistance and blessing that they may succeed. Page 100
Again Ailleen appeals to God’s Word as the source of truth as he lays out sixteen directives for the unconverted.
1: Set it down with yourself as an undoubted truth, that it is impossible for you ever to get to heaven in this your unconverted state
Can any other but Christ save you? And He tells you He will never do it except you be regenerated and converted. Page 101
2: Labour to get a thorough sight and lively sense and feeling of your sins
Till men are weary and heavy laden, and pricked at the heart, and quite sick of sin, they will not come to Christ for cure, nor sincerely enquire, ‘What shall we do?’ Page 101
The loathsome carcase does not more hatefully swarm with crawling maggots, than an unsanctified soul with filthy lusts. They fill the head, the heart, the eyes and mouth of him. Look backward; where was ever the place, what was ever the time, in which you did not sin? Page 102
The least sinful word or thought lays you under the infinite wrath of God. Page 103
3: Strive to affect your heart with a deep sense of your present misery
Read over the previous chapter again and again, and get it out of the book into your heart. [emphasis mine] Remember when you lie down, that for all you know, you may awake in flames; and when you rise up, that by the next night you may make your bed in hell. Page 105
4: Settle it in your heart that you must look out of yourself and away from your own doings for help
Do not think your praying, reading, hearing, confessing, or amending, will effect the cure. These must be attended to, but you are undone if you rest in them. You are a lost man if you hope to escape drowning on any other plank but Jesus Christ. Page 106
5: Henceforth renounce all your sins
If you yield yourself to the practice of any sin, you are undone. In vain do you hope for life by Christ, except you depart from iniquity. Forsake your sins, or you cannot find mercy. You cannot be married to Christ except you be divorced from sin.
Your sins must die, or you must die for them. Page 107
6: Make a solemn choice of God for your portion and blessedness
Take up your rest in God. Sit down under His shadow. Let His promises and perfections turn the scale against all the world.
Poor sinner, you have fallen off from God, and have engaged His power and wrath against you; yet know, that of His abundant grace He offers to be your God again in Christ. Page 108 & 109
7: Accept the Lord Jesus in all His offices as yours
Sinner, you have undone yourself, and are plunged into the ditch of most deplorable misery, out of which you are never able to escape; but Jesus Christ is able and ready to help you, and He freely tenders Himself to you.
The Lord Jesus calls you to look to Him and be saved.
I tell you, nothing can undo you but your own unwillingness. Speak, man; will you give your consent? Page 113
8: Resign all your powers and faculties, and your whole interest to be His
In a word, you must give Him yourself, and all that you have without reservation, or else you can have no part in Him. Page 115
9: Choose the laws of Christ as the rule of your words, thoughts and actions
This is the true convert’s choice. …there is no getting to heaven by a partial obedience. It is not enough to take up the cheap and easy part of religion, and let alone the duties that are costly and self-denying, and oppose the interests of the flesh; you must take all or none. Page 115
10: Let all this be completed in a solemn covenant between God and your soul
Set apart some time, more than once, to be spent in secret before the Lord – in seeking earnestly His special assistance and gracious acceptance of you – in searching your heart, whether you are sincerely willing to forsake all your sins, and to resign yourself, body and soul, unto God and His service; to serve Him in holiness and righteousness all the days of your life. Page 117
11: Take heed of delaying your conversion, but make a speedy, an immediate surrender of your heart to God
Remember and tremble at the sad instance of the foolish virgins who did not come till the door of mercy was shut, and of a convinced Felix who put off Paul to another season, but we do not find that he had another season. Page 120
12: Attend conscientiously upon the Word, as the means appointed for your conversion
Come to every sermon you hear with this thought: ‘O I hope God will now come in; I hope this day may be the time this may be the man by whom God will bring me home.’ Page 121
13: Strike in with the Spirit when He begins to work upon your heart
When He works convictions, O do not stifle them, but join in with Him, and beg the Lord to give you saving conversion. ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ Do not reject Him, do not resist Him. Page 121
14: Set upon the constant and diligent use of serious and fervent prayer
He that neglects prayer is a profane and unsanctified sinner. Page 122
15: Forsake your evil company, and forbear the occasions of sin
You will never be turned from sin till you decline and forego the temptations of sin.
And, of all temptations, one of the most fatal and pernicious is evil companions. Page 122 & 123
16: Set apart a day to humble your soul in secret by fasting and prayer, to work a sense of your sins and miseries upon your heart
…so make a catalogue of your sins, and with shame and sorrow spread them before the Lord.
Thus, I have told you what you must do to be saved. Will you now obey the voice of the Lord? Will you arise and set to the work? O man, what answer will you make, what excuse will you have, if you perish at last through very willfulness, when you have known the way of life? Page 124
A SHORT SOLILOQUY FOR AN UNREGENERATE SINNER
Ah! Wretched man that I am! What a condition have I brought myself into by sin! Oh! I see my heart has deceived me all this while, in flattering me that my condition was good. I see, I see, I am but a lost and undone man, for ever undone, unless the Lord help me out of this condition. My sins! My sins! Lord, what an unclean, polluted wretch I am! More loathsome and odious to Thee than the most hateful venom or noisome carcase can be to me. Oh! What a hell of sin is in this heart of mine, which I have flattered myself to be a good heart! Lord, how universally am I corrupted, in all my parts, powers, and performances! All the imaginations of my heart are only evil continually. Page 125
I can’t imagine most evangelical pastors standing up and giving this type of a message today. Can you just see the place emptying before your eyes? It would have the same effect as Jesus when he preached His sermon from John 6:32-68. Then Peter said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Do you understand these are the words of eternal life?