The Portion of the Imitators of the Crucified

I am crucified with Christ…  – Galatians 2:20

In these soft and silken days any man may be a Christian professor. Oftentimes it pays well to make a profession of godliness. Men think the better of you: it brings customers to the shop. No one knows how many conveniences may attach to the profession of religion: albeit, if it be pretense without pretext, everlasting destruction awaits such violation of truth, for God will surely avenge hypocrisy. But in days of persecution, to profess Christ is very inconvenient. Then to be baptised in water may involve a baptism of blood. Then for the soul to burn with zeal for Christ would probably be followed with the body being burnt at the stake. Then a word for Jesus would bring a word of conviction from the judge’s mouth, and, close at the heels of that word, death. Then they who loved not Christ betook themselves to the other side; the cowards and the spies shrunk away. Demas went, and Judas went, and all of that brood, to their own company, and then only the true and the brave, the regenerate, the elect of God were left. They stood fast and firm-all the stronger for losing such ill company. Then in those days the church was like a heap of golden wheat, all winnowed and clean grain, fit for a burnt offering to the Most High, to be offered up as a meat offering upon His altar. Her martyrs were amongst her noblest sons, the very glory of the church and of the Lord Jesus Christ. So you see persecution is overruled for this great good. It ought never to be, while there are sinners in this world-it ought never to be that the Christian escapes opposition…It should not be that we should think it an easy thing and a light matter to be a follower of Him whose life was sorrow, and whose death was the death of the cross. If we are to be conformed to Him, it cannot be by ease and sloth. Not the downy couch, but the crown of thorns; not the triumph, but the shame, must be the portion of the imitators of the Crucified. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

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