As Evil Reigns In The End-Of-This-Age, Where Should Believers Be? "Without The Camp" - CHM

Heb. 13:13 "Let us go forth, therefore, unto him, without the camp, bearing his reproach"

If the sufferings of Christ have secured us an entrance into heaven, the place where He suffered expresses our rejection from earth. His death has procured us a city on high; the place where He died divests us of a city below.* "He suffered without the gate," and, in so doing, He set aside Jerusalem as the present centre of divine operation. There is no such thing, now, as a consecrated spot on the earth. Christ has taken His place, as a suffering One, outside the range of this world's religion — its politics, and all that pertains to it. The world hated Him, and cast Him out. Wherefore, the word is, "go forth." This is the motto, as regards every thing that men would set up here, in the form of a "camp," no matter what that camp may be. If men set up "a holy city," you must look for a rejected Christ "without the gate." If men set up a religious camp, call it by what name you please, you must "go forth" out of it, in order to find a rejected Christ. It is not that blind superstition will not grope amid the ruins of Jerusalem, in search of relics of Christ. It assuredly will do so, and has done so. It will affect to find out, and do honour to, the site of His cross, and to His sepulchre. Nature's covetousness, too, taking advantage of nature's superstition, has carried on, for ages, a lucrative traffic, under the crafty plea of doing honour to the so-called sacred localities of antiquity. But a single ray of light from Revelation's heavenly lamp, is sufficient to enable us to say that you must "go forth" of all these things, in order to find and enjoy communion with a rejected Christ.

When men set up a "camp," and rally round a standard on which is emblazoned some important dogma of truth, or some valuable institution — when they can appeal to an orthodox creed — an advanced and enlightened scheme of doctrine — a splendid ritual, capable of satisfying the most ardent aspirations of man's devotional nature — when any or all of these things exist, it demands much spiritual intelligence to discern the real force and proper application of the words, "Let us go forth," and much spiritual energy and decision to act upon them. They should, however, be discerned and acted upon, for it is perfectly certain that the atmosphere of a camp, let its ground or standard be what it may, is destructive of personal communion with a rejected Christ; and no so-called religious advantage can ever make up for the loss of that communion. It is the tendency of our hearts to drop into cold stereotyped forms. This has ever been the case in the professing church. These forms may have originated in real power. They may have resulted from positive visitations of the Spirit of God. The temptation is to stereotype the form when the spirit and power have all departed. This is, in principle, to set up a camp.

This is a deeply solemn matter. It concerns us all, because we are all prone to slip away from communion with a living Christ and sink into dead routine. Hence the practical power of the words, to go forth therefore unto him." It is not, Go forth from one system to another — from one set of opinions to another — from one company of people to another. No: but go forth from everything that merits the appellation of a camp, "to him" who "suffered without the gate." The Lord Jesus is as thoroughly outside the gate now, as He was when He suffered there eighteen centuries ago. What was it that put Him outside? "The religious world" of that day: and the religious world of that day is, in spirit and principle, the religious world of the present moment. The world is the world still. "There is nothing new under the sun." Christ and the world are not one. The world has covered itself with the cloak of Christianity; but it is only in order that its hatred to Christ may work itself up into more deadly forms underneath. Let us not deceive ourselves. If we will walk with a rejected Christ, we must be a rejected people. If our Master "suffered without the gate," we cannot expect to reign within the gate. If we walk in His footsteps, whither will they lead us? Surely, not to the high places of this Godless, Christless world.

C.H. Mackintosh (CHM) 1820-1896
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*Heb. 13:14 'For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come'

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

That scripture, Heb 13:13...Let us go forth unto him without the gate...., is the one God used to bring me out. It's a difficult road, but worth traveling. Thanks for the CHM and all the other readings. HFHP