I cannot properly express the privilege it has been to present the work of Joseph Alleine on this blog. This is not a book that you would most likely put on your must read list. I want to encourage all to present this book to the leadership of your church and challenge them to preach this from the pulpit or at least talk about it. Encourage everyone you know to read it including your leadership. I believe God will use this to reveal many deceptions among those that think they are right with God, but are not.
In an age where most churches feel the need to be relevant and courageous, biblical teaching on conversion and repentance is no longer en vogue, the greatest mission field today is sitting within the walls of “churches”. The greatest challenge in evangelism today comes from those that profess Christ. The preaching is watered down, so not to offend, and the gospel is compromised to keep the unregenerate in the seats. This should not be the case. I urge you friends to challenge them; it just might have them understand their desperate situation.
Do you remember the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when they make it into the room where the chalice of Christ is located? They must choose which cup and drink from the water to give them eternal life? What an interesting representation of our lives. We must choose wisely and live or choose foolishly and perish. The cross stands before us today to look to it and be saved or stay in our sin and die.
In the conclusion of A Sure Guide to Heaven, Joseph Alleine makes his final appeal to turn to Christ and live.
And now, beloved, let me know your mind. What do you intend to do? Will you go on and die, or will you turn and lay hold on eternal life? How long will you linger in Sodom? How long will you halt between two opinions? Have you not yet resolved whether Christ or Barabbas, whether bliss or torment, whether this vain and wretched world, or the paradise of God, be the better choice?
How long will you rest in idle wishes and fruitless purposes? When will you come to a fixed, firm, and full resolve? Do you not see how Satan cheats you by tempting you to delay? How long has he drawn you on in the way of perdition!
Well, do not put me off with a dilatory answer; tell me not later. I must have your immediate consent. If you are not now resolved, while the Lord is treating with you and inviting you, much less likely are you to be later, when these impressions are worn off, and you are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Page 141
Remember, you are now upon your good behaviour [sic] for everlasting; if you do not make a wise choice now, you are undone for ever [sic]. What your present choice is, such must be your eternal condition. Page 142
Hear, O ye drunkards, how long will you be drunk? Put away your wine. Though you have rolled in filthiness of your sin, give yourselves unto Christ, to live soberly, righteously, and godly; embrace His righteousness; accept His government; and though you have been vile, He will wash you (Rev i 5). Page 146
And now bear witness that mercy has been offered you. ‘I call heaven and earth to record against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that you may live’ (Deut xxx 19). I can only entreat you and warn you. I cannot otherwise compel you to be happy; if I could, I would. What answer will you send me with to my Master?
If you are not the despisers of grace, and would not shut the doors of mercy against yourselves, repent and be converted. Page 147
Alleine leaves us with the answer. Repent and be converted.
How simple… how easy…
But why is this impossible for the hardened human heart? The call is clear. Man is responsible for his failure to receive Christ. If you don’t turn and live you will die in your sins and trespasses. Today I appeal to your conscience, turn and live.
If you are a Believer, preach the word!