There is a resurrection after death. Let this never be forgotten. The life that we live here in the flesh is not all. The visible world around us is not the only world with which we have to do. All is not over when the last breath is drawn, and men and women are carried to their long home in the grave. The trumpet shall one day sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. All that are in the graves shall hear Christ’s voice and come forth–those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. This is one of the great foundation truths of the Christian religion. Let us cling to it firmly, and never let it go.
~ J.C. Ryle
Many shall come from the east and west—and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11)
If we were in the presence of a stern judge, or of a king clothed in awful majesty, we should not dare to sit down.
But there will be nothing to make believers afraid in the kingdom of heaven. Though the sins of their lives ‘were as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow; and though red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ Their sins will be ‘remembered no more;’ ‘sought for, and not found;’ ‘blotted out as a thick cloud;’ ‘cast behind God’s back;’ ‘plunged in the depths of the sea.’
Once joined to Christ by faith, they are complete in the sight of God the Father, and even the perfect angels shall see no spot in them. Surely they may well sit down; and feel at home!
Thousands and tens of thousands have sought for pardon at the mercy-seat of Christ, and not one has ever returned to say that he sought in vain. Sinners of every name and nation—sinners of every sort and description—have knocked at the door of the fold, and none have ever been refused admission.
If the way which the Gospel sets before us were a new and untraveled way—we might well feel faint-hearted. But it is not so. It is an old path. It is a path worn by the feet of many pilgrims, and a path in which the footsteps are all one way. The treasury of Christ’s mercies has never been found empty. The well of living waters has never proved dry.
~ J.C. Ryle
Cease to regard the Gospel as a mere collection of dry doctrines. Look at it rather as the revelation of a mighty living Being in whose sight you are daily to live. Cease to regard it as a mere set of abstract propositions and abstruse principles and rules. Look at it as the introduction to a glorious personal Friend. This is the kind of Gospel that the apostles preached. They did not go about the world telling men of love and mercy and pardon in the abstract. The leading subject of all their sermons was the loving heart of an actual living Christ. This is the kind of Gospel which is most calculated to promote sanctification and fitness for glory. Nothing, surely, is so likely to prepare us for that heaven where Christ’s personal presence will be all, and that glory where we shall meet Christ face to face, as to realize communion with Christ, as an actual living Person here on earth. There is all the difference in the world between an idea and a person.
~ J.C. Ryle
Let it never be forgotten that the material part of a Christian Church is by far the least important part of it. The fairest combinations of marble, stone, wood and painted glass, are worthless in God’s sight, unless there is truth in the pulpit and grace in the congregation. The dens and caves in which the early Christians used to meet, were probably far more beautiful in the eyes of Christ than the noblest cathedral that was ever reared by man. The temple in which the Lord Jesus delights most, is a broken and contrite heart, renewed by the Holy Spirit.
~ J.C. Ryle