May 13, 2014 | by: 0 Comments|
Sometimes I fear that you (my dear congregation) get J.C. Ryle overload, if that were possible. I quote him often and in virtually every forum possible (sermons, blog, newsletter, etc.), but that is because I try to read him a lot. Why do I read him a lot? I read him a lot because time and time again I am challenged, instructed, rebuked, and encouraged to love Christ more deeply and follow him more faithfully. Part of the reason that I enjoy reading him so much is that it is often his pattern to awaken his readers to consider great truth from God’s Word (which brings about great conviction), and then point them to our great Savior in whom we can find rest. For example, I was freshly instructed in that way by his little tract entitled, “Thoughts on Immortality.”
A good bit of the tract focuses on time and eternity, and Ryle really wants his readers to reflect on how they’re using their time on earth. That can be seen in the four main points he makes in the tract:
- We live in a world where all things are temporary and passing away.
- We are all going towards a world where everything is eternal.
- Our state in the unseen world of eternity depends entirely on what we are in time.
- The Lord Jesus Christ is the great Friend to whom we must to look for help, both for time and eternity.
Did you notice the development of Ryle’s thought in his four main points? In the first three points he calls his readers to consider the serious realities and implications of time and eternity, and then in his last point he takes his readers to Christ (which is what we need!). Here is just a brief excerpt from that last section (#4):
“The purpose for which the eternal Son of God came into the world can never be declared too fully, or proclaimed too loudly. He came to give us hope and peace while we live among the ‘things seen, which are temporary,’ and glory and blessedness when we go into the ‘things unseen, which are eternal.’ He came to ‘bring life and immortality to light,’ and to ‘deliver those who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage" (2 Tim. 1:10; Heb.2:15). He saw our lost and bankrupt condition, and had compassion on us. And now, blessed be His name, a mortal man may pass through things temporal with comfort, and look forward to things eternal without fear. These mighty privileges our Lord Jesus Christ has purchased for us at the cost of His own precious blood. He became our Substitute, and bore our sins in His own body on the cross, and then rose again for our justification. He suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us unto God. He was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we poor sinful creatures might have pardon and justification while we live, and glory and blessedness when we die (1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; 2 Cor. 5:21).”
We have a wonderful and merciful Savior, don’t we? If you haven’t read much or any of J.C. Ryle’s work before, then you might want to consider beginning with this little tract (Thoughts on Immortality). Don’t let the name scare you. Ryle will take you right to the Redeemer in whom you can find rest.
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