As I was being discipled, my teacher told me a sad story of when he was in the college ministry. In his early days as a Christian, a man said, “twenty years from now, half of the people in this room will not be seeking God.” He thought no way, but as time went on, he saw people cool off first hand. I was sobered up quickly.
“That’s scary,” I told him.
“That is scary.” He paused, “Run a little bit scared.”
“How do you know you’ll be having your quiet time in twenty years?” he asked.“Do it now?” I timidly returned.
“Have it today! If you have it today, you’ll have it tomorrow.”
One of the most unsettling things in the Christian walk is the falling away of trusted friends. We live our lives with them; we share our time with them; we open up our hearts to them. Then, slowly with some, instantly with others, we see signs of their disconnect with God. Some past grievance is not forgiven or a sin is justified; a root of bitterness springs up. They harden their hearts and justify more sin. Their tenderness and sensitivity dries up; it is only hurting me, they protest. They lash out and break contact, make false accusations, or grow cynical. In the end, only God knows the condition of their hearts and when or if they will ever return.
Here, in a sobering passage, Jonathan Edwards discloses how Satan goes about to make counterfeits of the most cherished commodities in the world- Christian love and humility. By showing that few take time to imitate that which is fake, but many to imitate that which is rare- gold, silver, diamonds, etc., he points out that there are indeed many fakes out there. A cubic zirconia may look like a diamond, but its treatment of the light within it shows it false. And with some, they cannot be seen as fake until they are held up to the Light over time, and the refraction of their hearts under that light exposes what is true.
Part II Section VI
It is no evidence that religious affections are saving, or that they are otherwise, that there is an appearance of love in them

“…It may be observed, that the more excellent any thing is, the more will be the counterfeits of it. Thus there are many more counterfeits of silver and gold, than of iron and copper: there are many false diamonds and rubies, but who goes about to counterfeit common stones? Though the more excellent things are, the more difficult it is to make any thing like them, in their essential nature and internal virtue; yet the more manifold will the counterfeits be, and the more will art and subtlety be exercised and displayed, in an exact imitation of the outward appearance. Thus there is the greatest danger of being cheated in buying medicines that are most excellent and sovereign, though it be most difficult to imitate them, with any thing of the like value and virtue, and their counterfeits are good for nothing when we have them. So it is with Christian virtues and graces; the subtlety of Satan, and men’s deceitful hearts, are wont chiefly to be exercised in counterfeiting those that are in highest repute. So there are perhaps no graces that have more counterfeits than love and humility these being virtues wherein the beauty of a true Christian especially appears…”
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