10 July 2016

The unequal yoke

Your weekly Dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 50, sermon number 2,914, "A mournful defection."
"If you want to wither your happiness for ever, you have only to go and be yoked with an unbeliever."

Never confide in those persons of whose principles you have good cause to stand in doubt. Above all, let me admonish you, young people, not to be “unequally yoked together.” Marriage without the fear of God is a fearful mistake. Those ill-assorted unions between believers and unbelievers rob our churches of more members than any other popular delinquency that I know of.

Seldom—I might almost say never—do I meet with a woman professing godliness who becomes joined in wedlock to a man of the world but what she goes away. She ceases to follow Jesus and we hear no more of her. Absorbed in the pursuits, the passions, and the pleasures of the life that now is, she is sucked under the stream and drawn into the vortex.

In the romance of her courtship, she glibly said, “I shall win him;” but, in the reality of their conjugal bonds, he could coolly say, “I have won you.” Probably the stronger nature wins the day. In this case, however, a precept of the Gospel is violated and the penalty of disobedience is incurred.

It is much easier for the one who professes religion to give up the faith, after laying down the cross, than for another who has no religion to take up the cross and follow the Saviour in whom he has never yet believed.

I counsel you, young man or woman, who contemplate a marriage on the basis of capricious attractions, without reference to the sanctity of the relationship before God, to communicate your intention to your minister and renounce your membership in the church, before you say your vows. Give up all profession of religion voluntarily. Do not wait to be excommunicated. Do not sneak away without giving an account of yourself.

You had better count the cost and pay the price of your own presumption. Should your unwarranted but sanguine hopes succeed, and your earnest endeavours to gain the conversion of your helpmeet be successful, that would be an uncovenanted mercy. If God chose to give it to you, it would not even then excuse you for tempting him by your waywardness, or provoking him to jealousy by your wilfulness.

There is an express command, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” I appeal to every Christian man or woman who has been converted since marriage,—Do you not find it exceedingly hard to keep up your courage when one pulls one way and one another? And does it not cut you to the quick to think that your union is but temporary; that, however dear you may be to each other now, you will be parted at the judgment seat of Christ—parted to meet no more?

The Lord make us careful about our associates, about those among whom we stand, by whom we sit, with whom we walk!
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