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****FEW SAVED!~continued*******


(J. C. Ryle)

II. Let me, in the second place, point out the MISTAKES which are common in the world about the number of the saved.

I need not go far for evidence on this subject. I will speak of things which every man may see with his own eyes, and hear with his own ears.

I will try to show that there is a wide-spread delusion abroad about this matter, and that this very delusion is one of the greatest dangers to which our souls are exposed.

(a) What then do people generally think about the spiritual state of others while they are alive? What do they think of the souls of their relatives, and friends, and neighbors, and acquaintances? Let us just see how that question can be answered.

They know that all around them are going to die, and to be judged. They know that they have souls to be lost or saved. And what, to all appearance, do they consider their end is likely to be?

Do they think those around them are in danger of hell? There is nothing whatever to show they think so. They eat and drink together; they laugh, and talk, and walk, and work together. They seldom or never speak to one another of God and eternity—of heaven and of hell. I ask anyone, who knows the world, as in the sight of God, is it not so?

Will they allow that anybody is wicked or ungodly? Never, hardly, whatever may be his way of life. He may be a breaker of the Sabbath; he may be a neglecter of the Bible; he may be utterly without evidence of true religion. His friends will often tell you, "It does not matter! He has a good heart at the bottom, and is not a grossly wicked man."

I ask anyone, who knows the world, as in God's sight, is it not so? And what does all this prove? It proves that people flatter themselves there is no great difficulty in getting to heaven. It proves plainly that people are of opinion that most people will be saved.

(b) But what do people generally think about the spiritual state of others after they are dead? Let us just see how this question can be answered.

People allow, if they are not infidels, that all who die have gone to a place of happiness, or of misery. And to which of these two places do they seem to think the greater part of people go, when they leave this world?

I say, without fear of contradiction, that there is an unhappily common fashion of speaking well of the condition of all who have departed this life. It matters little, apparently, how a man has behaved while he lived. He may have given no signs of repentance, or faith in Christ; he may have been ignorant of the plan of salvation set forth in the Gospel; he may have shown no evidence whatever of conversion or sanctification; he may have lived and died like a creature without a soul. And yet, as soon as this man is dead, people will dare to say that he is "probably happier than ever he was in his life." They will tell you complacently, that "he has gone to a better world." They will shake their heads gravely, and say they "hope he is in heaven." They will follow him to the grave without fear and trembling, and speak of his death afterwards as "a blessed change for him." They may have disliked him, and thought him a bad man while he was alive; but the moment he is dead they turn round in their opinions and say they trust he is gone to heaven! I have no wish to hurt anyone's feelings. I only ask anyone, who knows the world—Is it not true?

And what does it all prove? It just supplies one more awful proof that people are determined to believe it is an easy business to get to heaven. People will have it that most people are saved.

(c) But again, what do people generally think of ministers who preach fully the doctrines of the New Testament? Let us see how this question can be answered.

Send a clergyman into a parish who shall "declare all the counsel of God," and "keep back nothing that is profitable." Let him be one who shall clearly proclaim justification by faith—regeneration by the Spirit—and holiness of life. Let him be one who shall draw the line distinctly between the converted and the unconverted, and give both to sinners and to saints their portion. Let him frequently produce out of the New Testament a plain, unanswerable description of the true Christian's character. Let him show that no man who does not possess that character can have any reasonable hope of being saved. Let him constantly press that description on the consciences of his hearers, and urge upon them repeatedly that every soul who dies without that character will be lost. Let him do this, ably and affectionately, and after all, what will the result be?

The result will be, that while some few repent and are saved, the great majority of his hearers will not receive and believe his doctrine. They may not oppose him publicly. They may even esteem him, and respect him as an earnest, sincere, kind-hearted man, who means well. But they will go no further. He may show them the express words of Christ and His Apostles; he may quote text upon text, and passage upon passage—it will be to no purpose. The great majority of his hearers will think him "too strict," and "too close," and "too particular." They will say among themselves, that the world is not so bad as the minister seems to think—and that people cannot be so good as the minister wants them to be—and that after all, they hope they shall be all right at the last! I appeal to any minister of the Gospel, who has been any length of time in the ministry, whether I am not stating the truth. Are not these things so?

And what does it prove? It just makes one more proof that people generally are resolved to think that salvation is not a very hard business, and that after all most people will be saved.

Now what solid reason can people show us for these common opinions? Upon what Scripture do they build this notion, that salvation is an easy business, and that most people will be saved? What revelation of God can they show us, to satisfy us that these opinions are sound and true?

They have none—literally none at all. They have not a text of Scripture which, fairly interpreted, supports their views. They have not a reason which will bear examination. They speak smooth things about one another's spiritual state, just because they do not like to admit that there is danger. They build up one another into an easy, self-satisfied state of soul, in order to soothe their consciences and make things pleasant. They cry "Peace, peace," over one another's graves, because they want it to be so, and would gladly persuade themselves that so it is. Surely against such hollow, foundationless opinions as these, a minister of the Gospel may well protest.

The plain truth is that the world's opinion is worth nothing in matters of religion. About the price of an ox, or a horse, or a farm, or the value of labor—about wages and work—about money, cotton, coals, iron and corn—about arts, and sciences, and business—about railways, and commerce, and trade, and politics—about all such things the people of the world may give a correct opinion. But we must beware, if we love life, of being guided by man's judgment in the things that concern salvation. "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him." (1 Cor. 2:14.)

Let us remember, above all, that it never will do to think as others do, if we want to get to heaven. No doubt it is easy work to "go with the crowd" in religious matters. It will save us much trouble to swim with the stream and tide. We shall be spared much ridicule—we shall be freed from much unpleasantness. But let us remember, once for all, that the world's mistakes about salvation are many and dangerous. Unless we are on our guard against them we shall never be saved.

***to be continued******

****Put God’s things first*********

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well—Matthew 6:33

The way of the world is to seek the things of this world in the first place, and to seek them vehemently, and too often unscrupulously, and to leave the things which pertain to the kingdom of God and his righteousness to be sought after when we shall have “a convenient season.” The energies of the body and mind and all the best feelings of the heart being thus too often expended upon worldly and perishable objects there is no strength left for pursuing the duties of religion.

The Scriptures say, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;” make religion to hold the chief place in our heart and the inferior things of the world an inferior place; then may we depend upon God for as much prosperity and success as he sees fit to send us. Let not then the things of this world make us forget our everlasting welfare; let not the pleasures of this life render us insensible to the joys of religion. The best way to be provided for in this world is to set our affections on the things of the next. To begin with God is to begin at the right end.

~~~~~~

**Make piety your main business—and not a by-business**

"Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure," 2 Peter 1:10. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling," Philippians 2:12. "But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness!" Matthew 6:33. Oh! why is the glory of this poor world so much regarded—but because the glory of heaven is so little minded. Oh! what is an earthly kingdom—in comparison of the heavenly kingdom? The angels themselves, though they are glorious spirits—yet they are ministering spirits.

Do not most men of the world make light of God, and of Christ, and the Spirit, and heaven, and their precious souls? "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.' But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them!" Matthew 22:2-6.

Wretched worldlings make religion a by-business; they will hear, read, and pray, when they have nothing else to do. Oh, that such men did but know what everlasting glory and everlasting torments are! Would they then do—as they now do? Oh, that they did but know the worth of their souls, and their need of a Savior; the shortness of their time, and the greatness of their work! Would they then neglect God and their own souls as they do?

Oh, friends, let me beseech you to whom I write, to make piety your main business! Make hearing, reading, praying, believing, and doing, your main business! "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you!" John 6:27.

~~~~~~~~~

****Every Day Has Vexations and Blessings**

(Christopher Christian Sturm)

Every day has its vexations; but every day has also its blessings and its joys.…The sunbeam that warms me, the drink that solaces the cravings of my thirst, the food which gratifies my appetite, the sleep which invigorates me— all these are blessings. Every day the patience of God bears with me; every day his Spirit operates on my heart; every day I am permitted to edify myself through the word of the Lord; every day I can send up my prayers to his celestial abode; these are my daily joys. And where remain my extraordinary blessings and benefits? The friends, in whose embrace I find contentment; the agreeable intelligence of some wished-for or unexpected event; a victory over my heart; some prosperous occurrence which I had not anticipated; and even, out of every vexation, the blessing of being humble, endued with foresight, and resigned—are not these pure benefits, which indemnify me for all my concomitant distresses? And is not the day itself, in which I live, a free gift of grace? I say, my life is short; but a day is yet shorter than life, and a trouble shorter than a day; while God’s grace endures forever. Would that I might, by this consideration, be prompted to … silence my complaints! … On no day shall I be bereft of opportunities of observing the goodness of my heavenly Father, if I am only attentive to his ways; and I shall every day, however pregnant it may be with disappointments, be still compelled to praise him, if I have but trust in his governance, and comfort myself under all circumstances in patience and hope.…

Soon will dawn those blissful days of eternity, in which there shall be no woes, but only unmixed ecstasy; no punishments, but only perfect grace; no sighs, but only songs of praise. Then you will forget all your afflictions, or if you should remember them, you will rejoice that every day had its vexation.


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June 7th 2018 -- A Holy Touch -- PRAISE report -I have to write this down to keep it fresh !!! There was a Open Heaven I was walking back to my car near my quite dead end street ! IT was like stopped time just for few moments , I heard birds singing I SUDDENLY FELT touched by not me but Anointing you of LOVE for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit all at once but separately I started by Just standing I was Praises , Singing to God , then I was feeling God's Glory In a Tangible Way - Like being in the Love, Spirit, Joy, Praise, Glory with Thanksgiving and my Love for God being one. I decided to lift my hands and just be so touched in a Holy way !!! And just to Glorify God because I am a praise and Worship dancer ( I have not done this in years) I wasn't dancing physically and but in my Heart Spirit too ! God is so amazing . HIS LOVE is so awesome and I had to Glory if God because God has the Victories there is no doubt !!! There is a Open Heaven and I want every one to God not only is our God real HE IS STILL ON THE THRONE but also with us !!! Thank you God for this peak ( not even peak) more like Invisible but Right there with us - within and without. HIS Word is true and God is answers to Every and all of ours needs . God Glory with power is working together with all Power !!! For God has made the Earth and Everything it so Wow Trust, believe, it started with God I am seeking you and I need you and minutes later i felt and watched with my heart , Hearkening to the Holy Spirit say one again There is No doubt God moving all things together For our needs but also for HIS Glory !!! Hallelujah and amen !!! carolyn kurz-palmer - But God did This !!!
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*****WHOLEHEARTED*****

(Spurgeon)

Suppose you see a lake, and there are twenty or thirty streams running from it: why, there won't be one strong river in the
whole area. There will be a number of little brooks which will be dried up in the summer, and will be temporary torrents in
the winter. Every one of them will be useless for any great purpose, because there is not enough water in the lake to feed
more than one great stream.

Now a man's heart has only enough life in it to pursue one object fully. You must not give half of your love to Christ, and the other half to the world. No man can serve God and money, because there is not enough in the heart to serve the two.

~~~~~<<

*There's no cost of being a Christian in America!**

(Leonard Ravenhill)

I went to a church not along ago — they got thirty acres. So what are their plans with it? They want their own football field and tennis courts. Dear God, do we go to church to learn to play tennis? God help the preachers!

We have such an accommodating Christianity today.

The best title of the professing church of God today, in my judgment, is "Unbelieving Believers." There's cancer in the church tonight!

At this grim hour, the world sleeps in the darkness — and the Church sleeps in the light.

You'll never get me to believe that the church today believes in Hell.

We're a million, billion miles away from New Testament Christianity!

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again!

Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord, the less entertainment you need.

Is the world crucified to you — or does it fascinate you?

The apostles had no gold, but lots of glory. We have lots of gold, but no glory.
The book of Acts shows us the church before it became fat and short of breath by prosperity!

Who or what takes priority over God in our lives?

Where, oh, where are the eternity-conscious believers?

Where are the souls white-hot for God because they fear His holy name and presence and so live with eternity's values in view?

There's no cost of being a Christian in America!

I'd rather have ten people who want God — than 10,000 people who want to play church!

~ ~ ~ ~

**Which would you really choose?***

(Thomas Doolittle, "Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!")

What the object of the love of the heart is--is object of the choice of the will. And such as is the choice of your wills--such are you.

If you choose the world before Christ--I dare boldly to call you a worldly man!
If you choose pleasures before Christ--I dare confidently to declare you a voluptuous man!
But if Christ is chosen before all other things--I may term you to be a truly holy man.

Suppose then the world, and all the riches thereof, and all the honors and the pleasures of it, were set on the one hand--and Christ on the other hand. Which would you really choose?

It is an easy thing to say that you would choose Christ, and not the world. But my question is: Which you would really choose?

Can you say, and appeal to God who knows your heart: "Lord, You who know all things--You know that I choose Christ before riches, Christ before pleasures, liberty, life, or anything that is dear unto me in this world. You know that I would rather have Christ without the world--than the world without Christ. You know that I would rather have the Lord Jesus with disgrace, with poverty, and with the cross--than all the treasures of the world!"

This must be a man's choice--or he cannot be said to have sincere love to Jesus Christ.

If Jesus is not loved above all--He is not sincerely loved at all!

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other--or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24

~ ~ ~ ~

***The world, so fair, so fascinating!***

(Hetty Bowman, "Life, Its Duties and Discipline")

It is possible that these words may meet the eye of some whose hearts are still set on the world, and the things of the world.

Firm are the meshes in which the world entangles the heedless footstep!

Potent is the spell which the world weaves around the thoughtless and unwary!

The mazes of pleasure firmly enslave the soul!

The world, so fair, so fascinating! How shall it be given up? How shall the fingers be unclasped from that bright cup which seems so full of happiness?

Says the worldling, "Surely the sacrifice need not be made yet! The world and its pleasures need not yet be exchanged for the cross of self-denial and sacrifice! Not yet! Not yet!"

But listen, dear reader, and if the words seem harsh--remember that they are the words of Him whose heart yearns with tenderness, pity, and compassion for the lost and the perishing:
"No man can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and Money." Matthew 6:24
"If any man loves the world--the love of the Father is not in him."
"Friendship with the world is enmity with God."

What shall we say to these things? Shall we, speak peace to you--when there is no peace? Shall we flatter you with the hope that all may yet be well? Shall we point you to a crown of unfading glory--while your heart still rebels against the light and easy yoke of the Crucified One? Nay!

Rather would we remind you of the solemn warning, that "The end of these things is death!" A day will come when your eye will grow dim, and the death-damp gather on your brow, and your feet enter the dark valley. Where, then, will be your hope? Where, then, will be your refuge?

And when that day has passed, and another, yet more terrible, has dawned--when the eternal throne shall be set, and the books opened, and the dead, small and great, stand before God--then where will you conceal yourself, that you will not hear the awful sentence, "Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into everlasting fire!"

It is because we would save you from such a fearful doom--a doom which, as surely as the Word of God is true, will overtake all, however naturally amiable and cordial they may be, yet reject the Savior's offered mercy--that we would earnestly entreat you in Christ's stead, "Be reconciled to God!"


~~~~~~


***Half-hearted Christianity!***

(Horatius Bonar)

If you are Christians, be consistent. Be Christians out and out — Christians every hour, in every part. Beware . . .
of half-hearted discipleship,
of compromise with evil,
of conformity to the world,
of trying to serve two masters,
of trying to walk in two ways, the narrow and the broad, at once.
It will not do. Half-hearted Christianity will only dishonor God, while it makes you miserable!

"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money!" Matthew 6:24

*What means should be used, that Satan's temptations may not prevail against us?~~~continued***

(8) If we would not be overcome by temptation—let us be careful of our own hearts, that they do not decoy us into sin. The apostle says, "A man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:14. [Everyone is a Satan to himself.] Bernard. Every man has a tempter in his own bosom. A traitor within the castle is dangerous. The heart can bring forth a temptation, though Satan does not midwife it into the world; if Satan were dead and buried, the heart could draw us to evil. As the ground of all diseases lies in the humours of the body—so the seed of all sin lies in the original lust. Look to your hearts!

(9) If you would not be overcome by temptation—flee the "occasions of sin." Occasions of sin have great force to awaken lust within. He who would keep himself free from infection, will not come near an infected house. Just so, if you would be sober, avoid drunken company. When Joseph was enticed by his mistress, he shunned the occasion; the text says, "He refused to be with her." Gen 39:10. The Nazarite, who was forbidden wine, might not eat grapes, which might occasion intemperance. Do not come near the borders of temptation! Suppose any one had a body made of gunpowder, he would not come near the least spark of fire, lest he should be blown up. Many pray, "Lead us not into temptation," and yet run themselves into temptation!

(10) If you would not be overcome by temptation—make use of faith. "Above all, taking the shield of faith." Eph 6:16. Faith wards off Satan's fiery darts, that they do not hurt us. "Whom resist, steadfast in the faith." 1 Peter 5:9. Mariners in a storm flee to their anchor; flee to your anchor of faith. Faith brings Christ with with them into the field—and then the devil cannot hurt us. The chick is safe from the birds of prey, under the wings of the hen; and we are secure from the tempter, under the wings of the Lord Jesus. Though other graces are of use to resist the impulses of Satan—yet faith is the conquering grace. It takes hold of Christ's merits, value and virtue—and so the Christian becomes too hard for the devil. As the stars vanish when the sun appears—so Satan vanishes when faith appears.

(11) If you would not be overcome by temptation—be much in prayer. Such as walk in infectious places, carry antidotes with them: prayer is the best antidote against temptation. When the apostle had exhorted, to "put on the whole armor of God," he adds, "Praying with all prayer." Eph 6:11, 18. Without prayer, all other weapons will do little good. Christ prescribes this remedy, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation." Mark 14:38. A Christian fetches down strength from heaven by prayer. Let us cry to God for help against the tempter, as Samson cried to heaven for help. "Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me one more time so that I may pay back the Philistines for the loss of my eyes." Judges 16:28. "And the temple crashed down on the Philistine leaders and all the people;" ver 30.

Prayer is flagellum diaboli—it whips and torments the devil. The apostle bids us "pray without ceasing." 1 Thess 5:17. Prayer assuages the force of temptation. Prayer is the best charm we can use against the devil. Temptation may bruise our heel—but by prayer we wound the serpent's head. When Paul had a messenger of Satan to buffet him; what remedy did he use? He betook himself to prayer. "For this thing I besought the Lord three tiimes, that it might depart from me." 2 Cor 12:8. When Satan assaults furiously, let us pray fervently.

(12) If you would not be overcome by temptation—be humble in your own eyes. They are nearest falling, who presume on their own strength. When men grow into self-admiration, God lets them fall, to prick their bubble of pride. O be humble! They are likely to hold out best in temptation, who have most grace—and God gives more grace to the humble. James 4:6. Beware of pride! An abscess is not more dangerous in the body than pride in the soul. The doves, says Pliny, take pride in their feathers, and in their flying high, until at last they fly so high, that they become a prey to the hawk. Just so, when men fly high in pride and self-confidence, they become a prey to the tempter.

(13) If you would not be foiled by temptation—do not enter into a dispute with Satan. When Eve began to argue the case with the serpent, the serpent was too hard for her. The devil, by his logic, disputed her out of paradise. Satan can mince sin, make it small, and garnish it over, and make it look like virtue. He is too subtle for us to win an argument with him. Dispute not—but fight! If you enter into a parley with him, you give him half the victory.

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PLEASE pray as my grandson has to have surgery in Detroit June 1st for hernia's does any one have a 4 dr car for sale in Westland MI area ? SAFE but under $2000 my car just isn't safe anymore and I am the only driver for 4 disabled people and my beautiful grandson Nicolas 2 years old -- My happy little couch potato
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***The Sixth Petition in the Lord's Prayer***

(Thomas Watson)

"Lead us not into temptation—but deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

This petition consists of two parts:
First, "Lead us not into temptation."
Secondly, "But deliver us from evil."

I. "Lead us not into temptation." Does God lead into temptation? God tempts no man to sin. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt he any man." James 1:13. He permits sin—but does not promote it. He who is an encourager of holiness cannot be a pattern of sin. God does not tempt to that to which he has an antipathy. What king will tempt his subjects to break laws which he himself has established?

But is it not said, God tempted Abraham? Gen 22:1. Tempting there was no more than testing. He tried Abraham's faith, as a goldsmith tries gold in the fire; but there is a great deal of difference between testing his people's grace—and exciting their corruption. God tries their grace—but does not excite their corruption. Man's sin cannot be justly fathered on God. God tempts no man to sin.

What then is the meaning of "Lead us not into temptation"?

The meaning is, that God would not allow us to be overcome by temptation; that we may not be given up to the power of temptation, and be drawn into sin.

Where do temptations come from?

(1) Temptations come from within—from ourselves. The heart is the breeder of all evil. Our own hearts are the greatest tempters. Everyone is a Satan to himself. "Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust." The heart is a perfect bait to temptation. James 1:14.

(a) Temptations come from without—from Satan. He is called the Tempter. Matthew 4:3. He lies in ambush to do us harm. The devil stands girded for battle—he lays a plot of temptation to blow up the fort of our grace. He is not yet fully cast into prison—but is like a prisoner under bail. The world is his diocese, where he is sure to be tempting, whatever we are doing—reading, praying, or meditating. We find him within—but how he came there we know not; we are sure of his company, though uncertain how we came by it. "A saint's whole life," says Augustine, "is temptation." Elijah, who could shut heaven by prayer, could not shut temptation out of his heart. This is a great molestation to a child of God; as it is a trouble to a virgin to have her chastity daily assaulted. The more we are tempted to evil, the more we are hindered from good. We are in great danger of the "Prince of the air;" and we need often pray, "Lead us not into temptation." That we may see in what danger we are from Satan's temptations:

[1] Consider Satan's malice in tempting. This hellish serpent is swelled with the poison of malice. Satan envies man's happiness. To see a clod of dust so near to God; and himself, once a glorious angel, cast out of the heavenly paradise—makes him pursue mankind with inveterate hatred. "The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath." Rev 12:12. If there is anything this infernal spirit can delight in, it is to ruin souls, and to bring them into the same damnation as himself. This malice of Satan in tempting must needs be great, if we consider three things:

(1) That Satan, though full of torment, should tempt others. One would think that he would scarcely have a thought but of his own misery; and yet such is his rage and malice that, while God is punishing him, he is tempting others!

(2) His malice is great, because he will tempt where he knows he cannot prevail; he will put forth his sting, though he cannot hurt. He tempted Christ. "If you be the Son of God." Matthew 4:3. He knew well enough Christ was God as well as man—yet he would tempt him. Such was his malice against him that he would put an affront on him, though he knew he should be conquered by him. He tempts the elect to blasphemy; he knows he cannot prevail against them; and yet such is his malice, that though he cannot storm the garrison of their hearts—yet he will shoot his artillery against them.

(3) His malice is great, because though knowing his tempting men to sin will increase his own torment in hell, he will not leave it off. Every temptation makes his chain heavier and his fire hotter—and yet he will tempt! Therefore being such a malicious revengeful spirit, we need pray that God will not allow him to prevail by his temptation. "Lead us not into temptation."

[2] Consider Satan's DILIGENCE in tempting. "Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour!" 1 Peter 5:8. He neglects no time; he who would have us idle—is always busy himself. This lion of hell, is ever hunting after his prey, he compasses sea and land to make a proselyte. He prowls around—as a spy; he watches where he may throw in the fireball of temptation. He is a restless spirit; if we repulse him, he will not desist—but come again with a new temptation. Like Marcellus, a Roman captain Hannibal speaks of, whether he conquered or was conquered, was never quiet. More particularly, Satan's diligence in tempting is seen in this:

(1) If he gets the least advantage by temptation, he pursues it to the utmost. If his temptation to sin begins to take, he follows it closely and presses to the act of sin. When he tempted Judas to betray Christ, and found him inclinable, and beginning to bite at the bait of thirty pieces of silver, he hurried hum on, and never left him until he had foully betrayed his Lord and Master. When he tempted Spira to renounce his religion, and saw him begin to yield, he followed the temptation closely, and never left off until he had made him abjure his faith in Christ.

(2) Satan's diligence in tempting is seen in the variety of temptations he uses. He does not confine himself to one sort of temptation; he has more plots than one. If he finds one temptation does not prevail, he will utilise another. If he cannot tempt to lust, he will tempt to pride. If temptation to covetousness does not prevail, he will tempt to extravagance. If he cannot frighten men to despair, he will see if he cannot draw them to presumption. If he cannot make them profane, he will see if he cannot make them formalists. If he cannot make them wicked, he will tempt them to be erroneous. He will tempt them to leave off ordinances; he will pretend revelations. Error damns as well as vice. Vice pistols, error poisons. Thus Satan's diligence in tempting is great—he will turn every stone; he has several tools to work with; if one temptation will not do he will make use of another. Had we not need then to pray, "Lead us not into temptation"?

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