The excerpts below are from a sermon preached by Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843, this man was only 29 when he went home to be with the Lord) entitled Let Us Therefore Fear, a sermon he preached as an exposition on Hebrews 4:1-2. The title of this post is a line from the sermon, not listed below, but a good place to start.
“How many of you are utter strangers to conversion and the Lamb of God, and yet think to sail easily into eternal glory? Ah! brethren be not proud, but think when ye are turning away from Christ Jesus – I am despising the only way to the Father. Let this word sink into your heart, ‘No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.’ ‘Neither is there salvation in any other.’
It is amazing how far a natural man may go in understanding the Word of God. A man may go a long way in comprehending a scheme of divinity. He may know all the doctrines of the Bible. He may be able to distinguish good doctrine from bad doctrine. He may be able to preach clearly and well, and yet he may never have mixed faith with the Word.
How many among yourselves have clear natural knowledge of divine things who show by your unholy lives or unrenewed hearts that the Word has never been engrafted into your soul. The devil has great knowledge of divinity and of the Bible, but he has no faith.
How is it with you, dear friends? Ah! I fear many are contented with the faith of natural men. I fear most are contented with head knowledge or a mere flash of natural affection under the Word. Have you ever had a sweet relish of the things of the gospel? Have you ever felt the certainty of the great things of Christ and eternity from their overpowering glory? Ah! do not take up with a slight work.
Some think they will go to heaven because they have sat under the preached gospel. Learn from the falsehood of this hope. Israel perished from under the gospel. Thousands perished under the preaching of Christ and the apostles.
Some think they are safe because they have believed the gospel. Ah! remember the gospel will be to your hurt if it does not save you. ‘If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin’ (John 15:22).”
-Robert Murray M’Cheyne; from Sermons on Hebrews, Banner of Truth Trust 2004