Dr. A. J. Gordon was a great preacher of the second coming of Christ. His son and biographer writes, “Advocacy of this doctrine cost him much. It seems to awaken suspicion and lead to estrangement – this great doctrine of hope.” Dr. Gordon himself said, “It is not wanted by a church with millionaire merchants and great universities. But, after all, it was for the assertion of this doctrine that Christ at the last was crucified” (Matthew 26:64). To this day certain churchmen resent the enthusiastic proclamation of it. To declare that our Lord may return at any moment may disturb their grandiose plans and programs.
CARNALITY WITH A HALO
For ye are yet carnal:…are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
I Corinthians 3:3
Let it be observed that the marks of carnality Paul had in mind here were not card-playing, dancing, and theater-going. They are, indeed, marks of carnality, but Paul was concerned with some sins we overlook while we lambaste other forms of evil. “Whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?”
Some who have long prided themselves that they do not smoke or haunt the movies seem not to have discovered that in their partyism and church strife they are just as carnal as the worldlings they censure.
Nothing has harmed the cause of Christ more than the Paul-Cephas-Apollos factions. And they are all the more deceptive because such carnality looks so much like zeal for the truth. “Nothing is so like conviction as simple obstinacy,” and more than one dear brother has fancied himself Mr. Valiant-for-truth when, indeed, he is Mr. Fond-of-a-fight.
Be sure your “conviction” is not carnality.