Now beloved, it is very easy to follow religion when she goes abroad in her silver slippers, but the true man follows her when she is in rags, and goes through the mire and the slough. To take up with Christ when everybody cries up his name is what a hypocrite would do, but to take up with Christ when they are shouting, "Away with him! away with him!" is another matter. . .
At another time the gospel is assailed by learned criticisms and by insinuations against the authenticity and inspiration of the books of Scripture, while fundamental doctrines are undermined one by one, and he who keeps to the old faith is said to be behind the age, and so on. But happy is that man who takes up with Christ, and with the gospel, and with the truth when it is in its worst estate, crying, "If this be foolery, I am a fool, for where Christ is there will I be; I love Him better at His worst than others at their best, and even if He be dead and buried in a sepulcher I will go with Mary and with Magdalene and sit over against the sepulcher and watch until He rise again, for rise again He will; but whether He live or die, where He is there shall his servant be." Ho, then, brave spirits, will ye enlist for Christ when His banner is tattered? Will you enlist under Him when His armor is stained with blood? Will you rally to Him even when they report Him slain? Happy shall ye be! Your loyalty shall be proven to your own eternal glory. Ye are soldiers such as He loves to honor.
. . .Now, dear young people, if you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is yours, give yourselves up to Him by a distinct act and deed. Feel that one grand impulse without needing pressure or argument—"The love of Christ constraineth me"; but do not wait to have your duty urged upon you, for the more free the dedication the more acceptable it will be. I am told that there is no wine so delicious as that which flows from the grape at the first gentle pressure. The longer you squeeze the harsher is the juice. We do not like that service which is pressed out of a man: and certainly the Lord of love will not accept forced labor. No; let your willinghood show itself. Say—
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, ALL for thee.
. . . You have been bought with a price, and you should, therefore, in a distinct manner own your Lord's property in you, and transfer to Him the title-deeds of your body, spirit, and soul.
Where is our Master? Well, He is always on the side of truth and right. And, O, you Christian people, mind that in everything, politics, business, and everything you keep to that which is right, not to that which is popular. Do not bow the knee to that which for a little day may be cried up, but stand fast in that which is consistent with rectitude, with humanity, with the cause and honor of God, and with the freedom and progress of men. It can never be wise to do wrong. It can never be foolish to be right. It can never be according to the mind of Christ to tyrannize and to oppress. Keep you ever to whatsoever things are pure and lovely and of good report, and you will so far keep with Christ. 'Temperance, purity, justice-these are favorites with Him; do your best to advance them for His sake.
I conclude with this observation. Will our Lord Jesus Christ accept at our hands tonight such a consecrating word? If we are trusting in Him for salvation will He permit us to say that we will keep with Him as long as we live? We reply, He will not permit us to say it in our own strength. There was a young man who said, "Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest," but Christ gave him a cool reception: and there was an older man who said, "Though all men shall forsake thee yet will not I," and in reply his Master prayed for Him that his faith should not fail. Now, you must not promise as Peter did, or you will make a greater failure. But, beloved, this self-devotion is what Christ expects of us if we are His disciples. He will not have us love father or mother more than Him; we must be ready to give up all for His sake. This is not only what our Master expects from us, but what He deserves from us.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Excerpt from C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon “Loyalty to the Core.”