Christ Preparing our Hearts 23

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

If I shall come to glory, what a God shall I enjoy forever and ever! Into what blessed arms and bosom shall I cast my soul! And if I shall go to hell at least, can I bear up under the weight of God’s vengeance? Well, yet there is hope, God’s heart, the door of grace, and the gate of heaven, yet stands open. How would the damned in hell give thousands of worlds (if they had them) for my may be?

Christ prepares the hearts of sinners by crushing any hope they have in self. As long as a sinner has any hope in his or her own merits, ability to obtain merit, or worth to God, that sinner will not and cannot look to Christ alone. The only hope that a sinner must have is that God can show grace to anyone He pleases and that it is Christ who is the only sacrifice for sin and the only perfect righteousness for sinners. The glory of the Gospel is that Christ alone has provided all that is needed to save sinners and that the Spirit alone can apply what Christ has purchased to sinners. The sinner that looks to self for even the smallest amount of faith is a rebel against the perfect self-sufficiency of God and the perfect work of Christ to save sinners.

This alone must be the hope of sinners. They must have all hope in self crushed and that includes all hope that the sinner can make a choice or exercise his or her will to believe. Everything must come by Christ and Christ alone. We don’t look to Christ with faith in order to be saved, but instead we look to Christ for faith and all things that we must have in order to be saved. We look to Christ to prepare our hearts as we cannot do that either. Men and women can be self-righteous in thinking that they are righteous and they are like the Pharisees who trusted in self. Men and women can look to themselves in thinking that they are smarter than others and so they don’t trust in themselves, but in doing that they are trusting in something they have done. Men and women can think that they can prepare their hearts and in thinking that they are looking to self for something. The real state of the matter is that Christ alone can prepare the hearts of sinners for Him to take His throne in those hearts.

The real point of the previous two paragraphs is to point sinners to Christ alone as their only hope. No sinner has any hope in himself or in anything he can do. No sinner can prepare his heart in any way and no sinner has any hope but in Christ and Christ alone. There is no merit in any righteousness that a sinner can do, but not only that there is no merit in anything a fallen human can do. The only good that a human being can do is worked in him or her by Christ. There is no room for boasting in self, but instead there is only room for boasting in Christ and His cross. There is no room for boasting in my righteousness in the slightest, but we are to boast and make much of the righteousness of Christ. If a person truly values his or her eternal soul, that person must be ready to be stripped by Christ of all hope in anything s/he is or can do. The Christ who prepares souls prepares them to have no hope but in Him alone.

Sinner, what is your deepest trust? You may think of yourself as a Christian and you may be a leader in a church or you may be very active in a church. But in the deepest part of your heart, do you trust in your status at church or your activity in the church at all? Do you think or believe that you are converted because of things you do? You may not admit this with your mouth, but in the depths of your heart what do you really trust in? Do you despise others (comes from pride) because they are not as good as you or as active as you? Do you think of yourself as better than others because you know more about the Bible or you know more theology?

There are sinners in hell who were more active than you. There are sinners in hell who were leaders in the church. There are sinners in hell who thought they were converted because they were preachers or active leaders. There are sinners in hell who despised others. There are sinners in hell who knew more about the Bible than you do and probably know for more now than you do. At the very least the devil knows more about the Bible than you do. The devil is far beyond you in knowing about theology and there are many of his children in hell who know far more theology than you do or ever will. Those are the damned who would give thousands of worlds to be able to have the slightest bit of hope of being saved. If they would give so much to have the slightest bit of hope, what will you hope in? Sure enough Christ must break you from all hope in self and give you hope in Him. Seek Him.

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