I’ve been slowly reading my way through Soul Depths and Soul Heights by Octavius Winslow. The following quote from chapter 7, “Hoping in the Lord,” is one of the reasons I have really appreciated this book. It is not a quick read, but it is good and worth thinking through. In light of the fact that we need to be discerning as we read and listen to any writers or speakers but especially those who claim to be Christian, I so much appreciate Winslow’s exhortation to have the Word of God as our ground and proof for truth.
“A few practical deductions will close this chapter. It follows from the preceding exposition that it is of the utmost importance, of vital moment, that we make sure of the nature and foundation of our hope. There are false hopes of heaven, as there are false hopes of earth. It was a most holy prayer of the Psalmist, which every believer should, in a daily examination of his real state before God, breathe - ‘Let me not be ashamed of my hope’ (Psa. 119:116). Oh, what multitudes are cherishing a spurious hope of heaven! building their hope, not upon the Rock Christ Jesus, but upon the quicksand of their own righteousness! Look well, my reader, to the nature and foundation of your hope for the future! In settling the question of its reality, assume nothing as true which has not God’s Word for its ground and its proof.
It is written: ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ It is written: ‘If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature.’ It is written: ‘Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.’ It is written: ‘He that believeth not shall be damned.’ Heaven and earth shall pass away, with all their greatness and grandeur, but God’s Word shall never pass away! Look well, then, to your hope after death. See that it is built upon Christ alone - a divine Redeemer, a personal Christ, a sin-atoning Saviour-Christ, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, yes, the all and in all of your hope of glory.”