The Safe Side!
There are usually two sides:
the one dangerous—the other safe;
the one is uncertain—and the other is sure.
It is always the wisest—to be found on the safe side!
Look at the unbeliever. He denies the Bible to be God's book. He walks by his own reason. He gratifies his senses and his lusts. He lives in sin. He must soon die. He has no Savior. He has no good hope. If the Bible is false—he is safe; but if the Bible is true—he is damned forever. What a fearful alternative! But has it made the impression upon him which it ought? Has he examined the evidences of the authority and inspiration of the Bible? Ten to one—that he has not! Has he carefully read the Bible through, with a sincere desire to know if it is God's book or not? Ten to one—that he has not! He has heard certain things said against the Bible. There are many things in the Bible which he does not, in his present state of mind cannot, like. He is prejudiced against it. He feels toward it as Ahab felt towards Micaiah, and for the same reason. It never prophecies good concerning him—but evil. It requires him to change his present sinful course; but he loves it. It requires him to change his mind upon many and most important subjects; but he likes his present views. He loves sin, and the Bible condemns it. He gratifies the lusts of the flesh, and the Bible bids him mortify them. In a word, there is as much opposition between the Bible and him—as between light and darkness, holiness and sin, truth and error. Therefore he hates it! He has no solid rest, no settled peace, no certain hope, no bright prospect beyond the grave. At the best, with him all is uncertain, unsatisfactory, and vexatious. He is certainly not on the safe side.
Look at the true Christian. He believes the Bible to be from God. He has examined it. He has evidence of its inspiration in his heart. He fully believes it.
What it says of himself as a sinner—he knows to be true.
What it says of Jesus as a Savior—he has proved to be a fact.
As guilty—he has applied to God for pardon, and obtained it.
As impure—he has sought the cleansing operations of the Holy Spirit, and has experienced them.
His guilt is gone—therefore he has no slavish fears.
His soul is justified—therefore he has peace with God.
He approves of the inspired precepts—and regulates his life by them.
He carries his cares to God—and is sustained under them.
He realizes that God is his Friend, his Father, and his everlasting Portion.
He is peaceful.
He is often happy.
To him death has no sting—and eternity no terror.
He knows Jesus as his Savior—and trusts in Him.
He knows God as his Father—and walks with Him.
He knows the Holy Spirit as his comforting Teacher—and listens to Him.
He is, perhaps, more tried than the unbeliever—but he has supports, consolations, and pleasures—of which the unbeliever knows nothing. He lives to bless others, to honor God, to prepare for a glorious immortality.
He would not change his worst day—for the unbeliever's best day!
He is on the safe side!
If the unbeliever should be right—the Christian is no loser.
But if the Christian is right—and he is—the unbeliever is the biggest loser—an infinite loser!
Look at the mass of those by whom we are surrounded. They are not positive infidels; but are they true Christians?
Are they on the safe side?
There is the side of God—are they on it?
There is the side of Satan—are they on it?
There is the side of Jesus—are they on it?
There is the side of the world—are they not rather on it?
No one is on the safe side who has not "a new heart," who has not been washed from sin in the blood of Jesus, and sanctified to God by the indwelling and operation of the most holy and ever-blessed Spirit. Unless robed in the Redeemer's righteousness, adorned with the fruits of the Spirit, and walking contrary to the course of this world—we are not on the safe side. Is Christ found in my heart, as the hope of glory? Is my body the temple of the Holy Spirit? Am I walking in holy fellowship and daily communion with God as my Father? Have I grace in my heart—and glory in my eye? Is the world under my feet, and a crown of life suspended over my head? If so, I am on the safe side.
To be on the safe side now, is to be on the side of holiness: to hate sin—to flee from sin—to confess sin with sorrow and grief before God—to sigh and pray for perfect, complete, and everlasting deliverance from all sin.
To be on the safe side now, it to be on the side of Jesus: to love his truth, and do all we can to circulate it—to love his people, and do all we can to increase their holiness and happiness—to love his cause, and defend it, maintain it and extend it—to love his ways, and walk in them without partiality or hypocrisy—to love his appearing, and be daily looking for it with desire, preparation, and patience.
To be on the safe side, is to be on the side of God's people: united to them, working with them, and striving to increase their number.
To be on the safe side, is to be delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son.
To be on the safe side, is to be justified before God, to have peace with God, and be prepared for glory. This is to have passed from death to life, and to have obtained an inheritance among all them that are sanctified by faith in Jesus.
To be on the safe side, is to be fit to live, prepared for death, and qualified to enjoy an eternal holy heaven.
Reader, on which side are you? There is but one safe side.
There is no safety for a sinner now—but at the Cross!
There will be no safety at death and judgment—but in Christ.
There is a day of storm coming; a horrible tempest is lowering; once more the fountains of the great deep of God's wrath will be broken up, and the windows of heaven will be opened. Upon the wicked he will rain snares, fire, brimstone, and an horrible tempest—this will be the portion of their cup. There will then be no safety—but in the ark, and that ark is Christ!
No garment will do for that great and dreadful day—but the garment of salvation!
No robe will do for the marriage supper of the Lamb—but the robe, the glorious, the magnificent, the costly robe of Jesus' righteousness. Lay aside, then, every other dress. Do not venture out in the rags of your own righteousness, in the worthless garment made up of your prayers, tears, repentance, reformation! Trust only in the mere mercy of God, as displayed in the cross of Christ!
Be on the safe side. Flee to Jesus, and flee at once. Submit to the righteousness of God, and submit at once. Seek for a place in, and fitness for, the kingdom of God, and seek at once.
The day of judgment is at hand. The hour of separation will soon be here, as it is written:
"But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand—and the goats at his left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world!' (the safe side)
Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones—into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons!' (the perilous side)
And they will go away into eternal punishment—but the righteous will go into eternal life!" Matthew 25:31-46
He who is on the safe side now—will be on the safe side then!
There will be no changing sides then!
Who, then, is on the Lord's side? Who?
Reader, are you? Are you sure of it? Is there no doubt?
Take heed to be on the safe side!