Modern Allurements.

We are living in an evil day, in which the love of many towards Christ is waxing cold. Worldly friendships, society aspirations, love of pleasures, popular recreations, and costly extravagance: these are eating up the very life of Christian testimony, besides destroying the pilgrim character; so that in very many instances there is a surprising lack of those things which should distinguish the professed child of God from the children of this world. “How is the fine gold become dim! “may well be remarked (Lam. 4:1).

Let us remember, when allured by the bait of what is called “good society” with its assumed advantages of social position, that there is between Christ and the world nothing in common. His Cross is a permanent barrier whereby “the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal. 6:14). No society is better than that of the “household of faith,” described as the excellent of the earth (Psa. 16:3, R.V.), and no position is comparable with the believer’s standing in Christ.

What an inordinate thirst there is for pleasure, that leading evil characteristic of the “last days” (2 Tim. 3:4). Everything now must be seasoned with pleasure to suit the popular taste, otherwise things are rejected, even by Christians. Sobriety is out of fashion, and we must not take matters too seriously! Even the preaching of the Gospel must be “bright” and the Services “attractive”; albeit the Holy Spirit has come to convict men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8). Our Christian gatherings also must have a spice of “entertainment,” and the speakers “witty” and amusingly “anecdotal,” to suit the spiritual degeneracy that has set in. Religious Babylon is permeated with this spirit of amusement. Let us beware of innovations from that quarter, so grieving to the Holy Spirit. The realised presence and power of God, so needful, is not associated with entertainment and lightness.

Be careful of recreation, which is going mad these days. A pleasant walk, a little gardening, fishing, some home hobby, etc., were once the recreations—good for body and mind alike. Now it is the tennis party, the golf links, the cricket and football field, the bowling green— mixing of saved and unsaved together. In the evening, the social party, the popular music, the entertaining lecture, and last and worst, the “pictures.” These are not God’s provision for the recreation of His redeemed ones, purchased by the blood of His crucified Son; but they are pleasures this world provides for its own. Pleasure, rightly understood, is of God and is good; but it is pleasure in fellowship with Christ and in the simple things His own hand provides.

What unrestrained extravagance is taking possession of the people, and the children of God are being caught in its grip. Things that are plain, neat, simple, and inexpensive, are being exchanged for the up-to-date, fashionable and costly things; as in modern houses and furnishings, latest model in cars, stylish clothing (some hardly decent), golden ornaments, etc. This copying of a doomed world ill befits a heavenly pilgrim and stranger. What an amount of money is wasted on costly extravagant things, that could be used for God and laid up as treasures in Heaven. Oh, for a return to a simpler and Christ-like manner of life, becoming the followers of the One who was meek and lowly in heart (Matt. 11:29).