What, then, shall we do? Do not misunderstand.
I did not say that the time will never come when we could be
separated from sin. I said, Look at yourself, and I will look at my
self, and we will see what we are, how full of evil traits, and what
little progress we have made in this work of overcoming, and ask the
question, When will the time ever come when you and I
shall have so separated ourselves from sin that we can meet him
in flaming fire? It is that time which I say will never, never
But, bless the Lord! there is time to be separated
from sin. No time will ever come when we can do this work ourselves;
but the time is now, JUST NOW, to be separated from sin. The time
to be separated from sin is right now, and that now is all the
time; for "now is the accepted time; now is the day of
salvation." Only God can separate us from sin; he will do
it, and he will do it just now. Bless his name!
Yet, what every one must understand is this: the only
way that God does, or can, separate anybody from sin is by that very
consuming fire of his presence. The only way, therefore, in which you
and I can ever be so separated from sin as to meet God as he is, in the
flaming fire that he is, in that great day, is to meet him TODAY
as he is, in the consuming fire that he is. The only way that we can be
prepared to meet him at his coming in that great day is to meet him in
his coming today. For there is a coming to men now, as
really as to the world in that great day. "I will not leave you
comfortless: I will COME TO YOU." John 14:18. But do not
forget that whether he comes to you or to me now, or whether he
comes to other people in that great day, he comes only as a consuming
Listen: "If any man hear my voice, and open the
door,"—what does he say?—"I will come in to him."
Good. Thank the Lord! And "he is a consuming fire" and when he
comes in to you, that coming will consume all the sin in you, so
that when he comes in the clouds of heaven in flaming fire, you can meet
him in joy in the consuming fire that he is.
Then do you hear his voice? "Behold, I stand at
the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
I WILL COME INTO HIM." Do you hear his voice? Then swing open wide
the door, and keep it everlastingly open. Bid him welcome, in the
consuming fire that he is: and that flaming fire of his presence will
consume sin in all your being, and so will thoroughly cleanse and
prepare you to meet him in flaming fire in that great day.