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An infidel was once addressing a crowd of people in the open air. He was trying to persuade them that there was no GOD and no DEVIL, no Heaven and no Hell, no Resurrection, no Judgement, no SALVATION, and no life to come. He advised them to throw away their bibles and not mind what the preachers said. He recommended them to think as he did, and be like him. He talked boldly against happiness which comes from SALVATION. The crowd listened eagerly. It was like the “blind leading the blind”. Both were falling into the ditch (matt 15 : 14)
In the middle of his address a poor woman suddenly pushed her way through the crowd where he was standing. She dtood before him. She looked him full in the face. “Sir, she said in a loud voice, ” Are you happy? “. The infidel looked scornfully at her, and gave her no answer. ” sir”, she said again, i ask you to answer my question. Are you happy? You want us to throw away our bibles. You tell us not to believe what parsons say about religion. You advise us to think as you do and be like you. Now before we take your advice we have a right to know what good we shall get by it. Do your fine new notions give you much comfort? Do you really feel happy?
The infidel stopped, and attempted to answer the old woman’s question. He stammered, and shuffled, and fidgetted, and endeavoured to explain his meaning. He tried hard to turn the subject. He said, he “had not come there to preach about happiness.” but it was no use. The old woman stuck to her point. She insisted on her question being answered, and the crowd took her part. She pressed him tight with her enquiry, and would take no excuse. And at last the infidel was obliged to leave the ground, and sneak off in confusion. He could not respond to the question. His conscience would not let him. He dared not say that he was happy because there was no true happiness without Jesus christ.
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HEAVEN OR HELL??
To be truely happy the highest wants of a man’s nature must be met and satisfied.
The true christian is the only happy man, because his conscience is at peace. That mysterious witness for God, which is do mercifully placed placed within us, is fully satisfied and at rest. It sees in the blood of jesus christ a complete cleansing away of all its guilt. It sees in the priesthood and mediation of christ a complete answer to all its fears. It sees that through the sacrifice and death of christ, God can now be just, and yet be the justifier of the ungodly. It no longer bites and stings, and makes its possesor afraid of himself. The lord Jesus christ has amply met all its requirements. Conscience is no longer the enemy of the trie christian, but his friend and adviser. Therefore he is happy.
The plain truth is that without christ there is no true HAPPINESS in this world. He alone can give the comforter who abideth forever.
He is the sun, without him men can never feel warm. He is the light, without him men men will always be in the dark. Je is the bread, without him men are always starving. He is the living water, without him men are always athirst, Give them whst you like – place them where you please – surround them with all the comforts you can imagine – – it makes no difference. Seperate from christ the prince of peace, a man cannot be truely happy.
Come to him, imploring him yo show you his mercy, and grant you his salvation,
To wash you in his own blood, and take your sins away – – to speak peace to your conscience, and to heal your troubled soul. Tell him all this unreservedly. This is coming to christ.
You have everything to encourage you. The lord Jesus himself invites you. He proclaims to you as well as unto others, “Come unto me, all you that are laboured and heavy laden, and i will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and and learn of me, for i am meek and lowly in heart, and yea shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” ( mattew 11:28-30)
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wait for nothing. You may feel unworthy. You may feel as if you did not repent enough. But wait no longer. Come to christ.
You have everything to encourage you. Thousands have worked in the way you are invited to enter, and have found it good. Once like yourself, they served the world, and plunged deeply into folly and sin. Once like yourself, they became weary of their wickedness and longed for deliverance and rest. They heard of christ and his willingness to save and give us happiness, they came to him by faith and prayer, and after many a doubt and hesitation- they found him a thousand times more gracious than they have expected. They rested on him and were happy. They carried his cross and tasted peace. Oh walk in their steps! I beseech you, by the mercies of God, to come to christ. As ever you would be happy, i entreat you to come to christ. Cast off delays. Awake from your past slumber: arise and be free! This day come to christ!.
Written by Bishop J. C Ryle
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