Many Want Christ on Their Own Terms

To forsake all for Christ, to hate father and mother, yes, a man’s own life for Him, ‘This is a hard saying’ (Luke 14:26). Some will do much—but they will not have that religion which will save them. They never come to be entirely devoted to Christ, nor to be fully resigned to Him. They must have the sweet sin; they mean to do themselves no harm; they have secret exceptions for life, liberty, or estate. Many take Christ thus, and never consider His self-denying terms, nor count the cost; and this error in the foundation mars all, and ruins them forever (Luke 14:28-33). ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Do not Deceive your Own Hearts

Beloved, do not be your own betrayers. Do not deceive your own hearts, nor set your hands to your own ruin by a willful blinding of yourselves. Set up a tribunal in your own breasts. Bring the Word and conscience together. ‘To the law and to the testimony.’ [Isa 8:20] Hear what the Word concludes of your state. Oh follow the search until you find how the case stands. Make a mistake here—and you perish! And, such is the treachery of the heart, the subtlety of the temper, and the deceitfulness of sin—all conspiring to flatter and deceive the poor soul; and so common and easy it is to make a mistake, that it is a thousand to one that you will be deceived, unless you are very careful and thorough and impartial in the inquiry into your spiritual condition. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

A Spirit of Sloth and Slumber Possesses the Unsanctified

But I find by sad experience that such a spirit of sloth and slumber possesses the unsanctified that, though they are convinced that they are yet unconverted, often they carelessly sit still. Through the love of sensual pleasure—or the hurry of worldly business—or the noise and clamor of earthly cares and lusts and affections—the voice of conscience is drowned, and men go no farther than some faint wishes and general purposes of repenting and amending. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Many Rest in the Externals of Religion

Many rest in the externals of religion and in the outward performance of holy duties. And very often this most effectually deceives men, and more certainly undoes them than open profaneness; as it was in the Pharisee’s case. They hear, they fast, they pray, they give alms—and therefore will not believe their case is bad. Whereas, resting in the work done, and coming short of the heart-work and the inward power and vitality of religion, they fall at last into the burning, from the flattering hope and confident persuasion of their being all set on the way to heaven. Oh dreadful case, when a man’s religion shall serve only to harden him, and effectually to delude and deceive his own soul! ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

The Spiritually Blind Cannot Discern the Terrors of Hell

Could I bring paradise into view—or represent the kingdom of heaven to as much advantage as the tempter did the kingdoms of the world, and the glory thereof, to our Savior; or could I uncover the face of the deep and devouring gulf of Hell in all its terrors, and open the gates of the infernal furnace; alas, he [the spirituall dead] has no eyes to see it! Could I paint the beauties of holiness, or the glory of the Gospel; or could I expose to view the more than diabolical deformity and ugliness of sin; he can no more judge of the loveliness and beauty of the one, and the filthiness and hatefulness of the other, than a blind man of colors. He is alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in him because of the blindness of his heart (Eph 4:18). He neither knows nor can know—the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14). His eyes cannot be savingly opened but by converting grace (Acts 26:18). He is a child of darkness, and walks in darkness. Yes, the light in him is darkness. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Idiots Prefer Husks before Manna

How is a fool tested but by showing him an apple and a piece of gold? If he chooses the apple before the gold, he is judged to be a fool and his estate is beggared. How many such idiots there are who prefer husks before manna, the gaudy, empty things of this life before the Prince of Glory! Will not Satan beggar them at last for fools? “The Godly Man’s Picture” pgs. 54-55