‘And they took Jesus, and led him away.’ John 19:16
Suggested Further Reading: John 15:18–21
I will not say it is because we are unfaithful to our Master that the world is more kind to us, but I half suspect it is, and it is very possible that if we were more thoroughly Christians the world would more heartily detest us, and if we would cleave more closely to Christ we might expect to receive more slander, more abuse, less tolerance, and less favour from men. You young believers, who have lately followed Christ, should father and mother forsake you, remember you were bidden to reckon upon it; should brothers and sisters deride, you must put this down as part of the cost of being a Christian. Godly working men, should your employers or your fellow-workers frown upon you; wives, should your husbands threaten to cast you out, remember, without the camp was Jesus’ place, and without the camp is yours. O you Christian men, who dream of trimming your sails to the wind, who seek to win the world’s favour, I do beseech you cease from a course so perilous. We are in the world, but we must never be of it; we are not to be secluded like monks in the cloister, but we are to be separated like Jews among Gentiles; men, but not of men; helping, aiding, befriending, teaching, comforting, instructing, but not sinning. The more manifestly there shall be a great gulf between the church and the world, the better shall it be for both; the better for the world, for it shall be thereby warned; the better for the church, for it shall be thereby preserved. Go then, like the Master, expecting to be abused, to wear an ill name, and to earn reproach; go, like him, without the camp.
Sermon no. 497
1 March (1863)