He Would Not Give Up One Darling Sin





The longer I preach, the more I am convinced that that is what keeps

men out of the kingdom of God. John knew about Herod's private life,

and warned him plainly.



If those compromising Christians of whom I have spoken had been near

John, one of them would have said:



"Look here, John, it is reported that Herod is very anxious about

his soul, and is asking what he must do to be saved. Let me give you

some advice; don't touch on Herod's secret sin. He is living with

his brother's wife, but don't you say anything about it, for he

won't stand it. He has the whole Roman Government behind him, and if

you allude to that matter it will be more than your life is worth.

You have a good chance with Herod; he is afraid of you. Only be

careful, and don't go too far, or he will have your head off."



There are those who are willing enough that you should preach about

the sins of other people, so long as you do not come home to them.

My wife was once teaching my little boy a Sabbath-school lesson; she

was telling him to notice how sin grows till it becomes habit. The

little fellow thought it was coming too close to him, so he colored

up, and finally said:



"Mamma, I think you are getting a good way from the subject."



John was a preacher of this uncompromising kind, for he drove the

message right home. I do not know when or how the two were brought

together at that time, but John kept nothing back; he boldly said:



"Herod, it is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife."



The man was breaking the law of God, and living in the cursed sin of

adultery. Thank God, John did not spare him! It cost the preacher

his head, but the Lord had got his heart, and he did not care what

became of his head. We read that Herod feared John, but John did not

fear Herod.



I want to say that I do not know of a quicker way to hell than by

the way of adultery. Let no one flatter himself that he is going

into the kingdom of God who does not repent of this sin in sackcloth

and ashes. My friend, do you think God will never bring you into

judgment? Does not the Bible say that no adulterer shall inherit the

kingdom of God?



Do you think John the Baptist would have been a true friend of Herod

if he had spared him, and had covered up his sin? Was it not a true

sign that John loved him when he warned him, and told him he must

quit his sin? Herod had before done many things, and heard John

gladly; but he did not like him then. It is one thing to hear a man

preach down other people's sins. Men will say, "That is splendid,"

and will want all their friends to go and hear the preacher. But let

him touch on their individual sin as John did, and declare (as

Nathan did to David), "Thou art the man," and they say, "I do not

like that." The preacher has touched a sore place.



When a man has broken his arm, the surgeon must find out the exact

spot where the fracture is. He feels along and presses gently with

his fingers.



"Is it there?"



"No"



"Is it there?"



"No."



Presently, when the surgeon touches another spot, "Ouch!" says the

man.



He has found the broken part, and it hurts. John placed his finger

on the diseased spot, and Herod winced under it. He put his hand

right on it:



"Herod, it is not lawful for thee to have thy brother Philip's

wife!"



Herod did not want to give up his sin.



Many a man would be willing to enter into the kingdom of God, if he

could do it without giving up sin. People sometimes wonder why Jesus

Christ, who lived six hundred years before Mohammed, has got fewer

disciples than Mohammed to-day. There is no difficulty in explaining

that. A man may become a disciple of Mohammed, and continue to live

in the foulest, blackest, deepest sin; but a man cannot be a

disciple of Christ without giving up sin. If you are trying to make

yourself believe that you can get into the kingdom of God without

renouncing your sin, may God tear the mask from you! Can Satan

persuade you that Herod will be found in the kingdom of God along

with John the Baptist, with the sin of adultery and of murder on his

soul?



And now, let me say this to you. If your minister comes to you

frankly, tells you of your sin, and warns you faithfully, thank God

for him. He is your best friend; he is a heaven-sent man. But if a

minister speaks smooth, oily words to you; tells you it is all

right, when you know, and he knows, that it is all wrong, and that

you are living in sin, you may be sure that he is a devil-sent man.

I want to say I have a contempt for a preacher that will tone his

message down to suit some one in his audience; some Senator, or big

man whom he sees present. If the devil can get possession of such a

minister and speak through him, he will do the work better than the

devil himself. You might be horrified if you knew it was Satan

deceiving you, but if a professed minister of Jesus Christ preaches

this doctrine and says that God will make it all right in the end,

that though you go on living in sin, it is just the same. Don't be

deluded into believing such doctrine--it is as false as any lie that

ever came from the pit of hell. All the priests and ministers of all

the churches cannot save one soul that will not part with sin.



There is an old saying that, "Every man has his price." Esau sold

his birthright for a mess of pottage; pretty cheap, was it not? Ahab

sold out for a garden of herbs. Judas sold out for thirty pieces of

silver--less than $17 of our money. Pretty cheap, was it not? Herod

sold out for adultery.





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