J. C. Ryle: God often takes great pains with ungodly men.


    Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
Matthew 23:34 ESV

J. C. Ryle comments:

God often takes great pains with ungodly men. He sent the Jews “prophets and wise men and scribes.” He gave them repeated warnings. He sent them message after message. He did not allow them to go on sinning without rebuke. They could never say that they were not told when they did wrong.

This is the way in which God generally deals with the unconverted. He does not cut them off in their sins without a call to repentance. He knocks at the door of their hearts by sicknesses and afflictions. He assails their consciences by sermons, or by the advice of friends. He summons them to consider their ways by opening the grave under their eyes, and taking away from them their idols. They often know not what it all means. They are often blind and deaf to all His gracious messages. But they will see His hand at last, though perhaps too late. They will find that “God spoke once, yes twice, though man paid no attention.” (Job 33:14) They will discover that they too, like the Jews, had prophets, and wise men, and Scribes sent to them. There was a voice in every providence, “Turn, turn, why will you die?” (Ezek 33:11.)

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