Somehow or another they got into our professing churches without ever having come face to face with the holy demands of a Holy God
Evangelist Rolfe Barnard (1904-1969)
I am dead certain that the mess we are in religiously and spiritually now, the love-sick so-called "church" people, the sickly sentimental crop of so-called "believers" who are enthusiastic about a fair or a frolic but are conspicuously absent from prayer meeting — I am sure that this is due to the fact that our churches are full of people who are not born right.
Somehow or another they got into our professing churches without ever having come face to face with the holy demands of a Holy God, and being brought in the face of those demands to the place of throwing up all hands of self-effort and self-confidence and turning one's self over lock, stock and barrel to the Sovereign Christ. Somehow or another they have missed the main business.
Somehow or another they got in what we call the church without turning in abhorrence and in utter conviction against sin, without turning from their sin to obedience unto God.
And, of course, their lives fail! If we dodge this step [repentance], we miss out on salvation!
In The Early Church, It Meant Something To Be A Christian
In the days of the Apostle Paul it was Jesus or Ceasar as Lord — and you are either in enemy territory, friendly with God's enemies, giving comfort to those who would tear God off His throne and wipe the memory of the shed blood of Jesus Christ off the face of the earth if they could; or you are in the camp of those who gladly surrender to the rule and reign of Christ, and own His death as your death, His life as your life, His resurrection as your resurrection and His reign as your reign.
This excerpt is from a Rolfe Barnard sermon entitled, "The Sermon That Cost A Preacher His Head" (John the Baptist Comes To Town, part 3). Edited by Eulala J. Bullock. Free PDF edition by Grace-eBooks.com. Subtitles added by GospelFuel.com for web readability.