Worldly men varnished over with religion!

(Horatius Bonar)

Refined worldliness is the present snare of the Church. The young are trained and encouraged by their parents to be "lovers of pleasure." Parties, dancing, theaters, and such like, are no longer forbidden things to the followers of the Lamb!

Most church-goers are in fact, but worldly men varnished over with religion—that is all.

These are the ambiguous disciples of our age, who belong to Christ but in name. These are the stony-ground or thorny-ground hearers!

The religion of such is but a half-and-half religion—without depth, or decision, or vigor, or self-sacrifice. It is but a picture or a statue—not a living man.

Such a man's whole religious life is one grand misconception; and every step he takes in it is a blunder, and a stumble, and a snare. Let such a man know that, in his present half-worldly, half-religious condition—he has no real religion at all. It is a fiction, a delusion. It will not stand the test of time or of eternity. It will go to pieces with the first touch. It is all hollow and must be begun again, from the very first stone of the foundation.

O worldly formalist, if you would make sure your hope of eternal life and obtain a discipleship that will stand all tests—count all the past but loss. Fling away your vain hopes and self-righteous confidences. Give up your fond idea of securing both earth and Heaven. Go straight to Calvary; there be crucified to the world, and the world to you, by the cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14). Go at once to Him who died and rose again, and drink into His love. One draught, nay, one drop of that love will forever quench your love of sin, and be the death of that worldliness which threatens to be your eternal ruin!