This is the planned final part of this series of blog posts, and here are the previous parts:
This is another little related excerpt I found from Thomas Manton in his sermon 6 on Genesis 24:63, of which the entire sermon you can read here:
Others for want of considering the end of their lives, are so far from living as Christians, that they scarce live as men, but either as beasts, or as devils. Delight in the pleasures of the world transformeth a man into a beast, it is their happiness to enjoy pleasures without remorse, and to gratify the body; and delight in sin transformeth a man into a devil. Worldly pleasures are not bread, and sinful pleasures are poison: You that are allured by the pleasures of the world, which are lawful in themselves, you lay out your money for that which is not bread; and you to whom it is meat to do evil, you feed upon that which is rank poison; the world cannot satisfy, and sin will surely destroy.
How much of our time is spent in the things of the world, even those that might be lawful? I believe this is an important question to continue to ask ourselves.
Finally, let’s look at the example of Christ, again from Thomas Manton in a sermon on Philippians 2:7, which in its entirety you can read here:
(2.) As it is an argument to confirm us in the certainty of the happiness of the world to come. It were best to choose the easiest life here if we did not believe eternity, to live a life of pomp and ease. The troubles and miseries of the godly have been counted a sure argument to confirm it: 1 Cor. xv. 19, ‘If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.’ God would not make us miserable by our duty. And 2 Thes i. 5, ‘It is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.’ If the consideration of godly men’s sufferings in this world be of moment to such an inference, much more the sufferings of Christ, who was not only a man good and innocent beyond example, instructing the souls, curing the bodies of so many men, but also the Son of God. His exaltation is a pledge of our happiness, and his humiliation an argument he is gone there as our forerunner.
The kingdom of the world, ruled by Satan, is the enemy of all people — its ends, like Satan’s, are to destroy souls. The carnal man, which is enmity against God (Rom 8:7), is like a cancer to the soul (Paul calls it “the body of this death” in Rom 7:24; see what Puritan commentator Dr. John Gill says about this verse), and these worldly distractions and pleasures are like sugar to that cancer, which feed it and help it grow. Why wouldn’t we choose to deny ourselves these things?
The carnal man is with us until we die, Satan is on the constant prowl, and the world is continuously pulling us toward it. After going through the previous 5 parts (and hopefully the whole sermon here), and this part, I believe that surely this is something for which we should always be on careful watch, for the rest of our lives, if we have concern for our eternal welfare.
May the Lord God almighty help us to mortify the flesh, and by His infinite graces and mercies, may the things of earth during our time here ever continue to fade…
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.
Psalm 73:25-26 – “25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.“