When we have carried you to your narrow bed, let us not have to hunt up stray words and scraps of religion, in order to make out that you were a true believer. Let us not have to say in a hesitating way one to another, ‘I trust he is happy; he talked so nicely one day, and he seemed so pleased with a chapter in the Bible on another occasion, and he liked such a person, who is a good man.’ Let us be able to speak decidedly as to your condition. Let us have some solid proof of your repentance, your faith and your holiness, so that none shall be able for a moment to question your state. Depend on it, without this, those you leave behind can feel no solid comfort about your soul. We may use the form of religion at your burial, and express charitable hopes. We may meet you at the churchyard gate, and say, ‘Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.’ But this will not alter your condition! If you die without conversion, without repentance, and without faith, your funeral will only be the funeral of a lost soul, you had better never have been born.
-JC Ryle, Holiness
January 25, 2017 at 4:22 pm
Truly a warning that needs to be voiced in our flocks! “May all who come behind us find us faithful – may the fire of our devotion light their way! May the footprints that we leave – lead them to believe – and the lives we live inspire them to obey!” – not a foggy and allusive “maybe they were” – but a clear and definitive – “What a Christ they had!”