Charles Gore: “You will have to choose to be Christians.”
“Many will come to Him at the last day — so we cannot but paraphrase his own words — with manifold pleas and excuse derived from the maxims of what is called the Christian world: ‘Lord, we never denied the Christian creed; nay, we had a zeal for orthodoxy, for churchmanship, for Bible distribution, but of course in our business we did as every one else did: we sold in the dearest and bought in the cheapest market; we did not, of course we did not, entertain any other consideration when we were investing our money, except whether the investments were safe; we never imagined that we could love our neighbors as ourselves in the competition of business, or that we could carry into commercial transactions the sort of strict righteousness that we knew to be obligatory in private life. Lord, in all these matters we went by commonly accepted standards; we never thought much about Christianity as a brotherhood.’
“Then he will protest unto them; ‘Did I not say to thee, in that written word wherein thou didst profess to have eternal life: A man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things that he possesseth? Did I not warn thee: How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the kingdom of God? Did I not bid thee seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Did I not tell thee that except a man in spirit and in will, at least, forsook all that had, unless he took up his cross and followed Me, he could not be my disciple? Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth, that hath done, the Will of my Father.
“Brethren, you may depend upon it, that you cannot be a Christian by mere tradition or respectability. You will have to choose to be Christians.”
- Charles Gore, 1891