What could have been done more . . . that I have not done . . .? Wherefore . . . — Isa. 5:4.
I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain. — Isa. 49:4.
They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; . . . and . . received not the promise. — Heb. 11:37-39.
I have suffered the loss of all things. — Phil. 3:8.
All forsook me. — 2 Tim. 4:16.
There is to-day a losing side; who is willing to be on that side?
The God of Scripture is evidently on that side. He created the glorious angels, and one of the highest, probably the very highest, rebelled against Him, and drew away a great company of angels with him.
Some other intelligent beings were created by Him, and in some way we know not have become demons, unclean spirits, who are all around us, and are so numerous that a legion of them attended one single man.
God created the world in which we live, and the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted with joy; but how soon all was changed. The enemy entered this fair creation, and man turned against God, and to this day man believes that God is a hard God, and that the way to be happy is to live in self-will.
After probably nearly 1700 years of trial God had to sweep away the whole human race by a flood except one family.
He told that family to replenish the earth; their answer was the building of Babel that they might not be scattered.
He chose a family and a nation, did all that He could for that nation, and His name was blasphemed among the heathen through that nation.
He sent His only Son, saying, they will reverence My Son, and they took Him, and killed Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard.
He exalted His Son to His right hand, and sent down His Holy Spirit, and set up the Church to display Christ on earth, and behold that which today bears the holy name of Christ, has become mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.
No one is so maligned as God, but God is patient. He is willing to wait for vindication till His whole plan is accomplished. Are we willing to be today on the losing side with God and to wait His time?
Christ outwardly is on the losing side to-day. He who is called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace, came into this world, and instead of the world bowing down in adoration they saw and hated both Him and His Father. At first many were attracted to Him, they thought that through Him they would attain their carnal desires; but He was not the hero they looked for, He was meek and lowly in heart. He would not suit them, He would not put Himself at the head of the Jewish nation, throw off the Roman yoke and sit upon the throne of David. The great ones of earth kept aloof from the first, the poor, who at first flocked to Him, fell off. He had not where to lay His head. He was finally left with a few obscure followers, who loved and clung to Him though they could not understand Him, and these at the hour of His direst need forsook Him and fled, and as a malefactor He was held up to scorn and execration. The God in whom He trusted did nothing to save Him, and the bitter cry broke from Him, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Who could have dreamt that this should be the end of His life on earth, that man should thus cast out the Creator-God who came in flesh to bless man in grace and truth.
Since that day of crucifixion the world has seen Him no more.
Also, although He has been exalted to glory and has sent down the Holy Ghost, while He Himself is unceasingly labouring to create Himself anew in the hearts of His own, yet how poor the visible result. No sooner has a testimony been formed by the Spirit, and committed to man than man has corrupted it, and now the last days of the Church on earth are reached. The last special action of the Spirit has taken place, and those who professedly received this testimony have failed even more grossly than their fathers, and it only remains for Christ to take His place as the one faithful and true witness, and to stand outside at the door knocking, if so be one here and one there will open to Him.
Yes, Christ is to-day on the losing side. He is patient, and can wait for vindication till he has carried out the whole will of God. Are we willing to share in the patience of Christ?
The saints, who are true, are ever on the losing side, from the time when righteous Abel was slain by his brother to the time (yet future) when they will overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony, and love not their lives unto the death.
The saints of old were on the losing side (with rare exceptions for a moment). They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented (of whom the world was not worthy). They wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
These were evidently on the losing side in this world, though it was the time of the earthly calling. Can then those, who have the heavenly calling, be otherwise than on the losing side to-day, if they be true? Is it not true to-day that only those, who lose their lives for Christ's sake can save them?
Man has ever failed, wolves have entered the flock from without, elders have arisen and spoken perverse things. Power and strength in this world have ever been on the side of the majority, and the minority must suffer. It is not pleasant to be cast out to-day any more than of old, but blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Can the present time be an exception? Impossible. Can the last testimony prove any better than the former ones? Impossible. God's true saints must be content to be on the losing side to-day. They must be the persecuted; theirs is no power to persecute, they are the feeble few, they must suffer, they must be condemned by human tribunals, they must to-day be classed among the evil-doers. It is the day of God's patience and of Christ's; there is a silent heaven overhead. They must be content to say: "We are poor, we are feeble, we are of no account, but we must obey God rather than man. We would fain shew love and kindness to all men, but we must obey God."
Such cannot use the rod of authority, the only rod they know is the rod of priestly grace and loving ministry. They will never persecute, they will suffer and be content to be on the losing side to-day, knowing that the losing side to-day will be the winning side when Christ gets His rights, when the first shall be last and the last first, when every table shall be turned, and when those spoken evil of to-day will be with Christ in glory in that day.
Again we ask, who is willing to be on the losing side with God and with Christ to-day?