A. A Retreat For Beginners

A retreat for beginners: The City of God on Earth 

(Readers may wish to join these meditations to a nine-day novena to the Holy Ghost, but should not feel obliged to do so in any way if they are not drawn to this. They also may wish to read Rev. Paul O’Sullivan’s little booklet, The Holy Ghost, Our Greatest Friend, available from most Catholic bookstores.)

© Copyright 2012, T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.)

First Treatise


An observant non-Catholic once said: “The ordinary, average Christian cuts a sorry figure. He acts like a man who cannot count up to three.” He said this because all the Christians he knew 100 years ago could tell him what they believed, but they did not live their lives as though they really believed it. The same is true today. Why is this still so?

It is still true because we live totally in the world and for the most part behave as everyone else does, enjoying all the world’s pleasures and comforts. We do not separate ourselves from it as Holy Scripture tells us we must do. St. Paul teaches that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness,” (1Cor. 3:19); that we are to be made “a spectacle to the world,” and will be considered “the refuse of this world,” (1Cor. 4:9,13). “You must needs go out of this world,” he said, and “be not conformed to [it],” (1 Cor. 5:10. Rom. 12:2). The early Christians knew they had a choice. They could choose to follow God and live in His city, or choose to live outside of it in Satan’s city. When Christ came to earth, He prepared for us a city all its own. The Church is called the city on a high mountaintop, and for those who seek it, the lights of this city can be seen by all wherever they are in the world. All the things we need to get to Heaven can be found in this city.

St. Augustine was the first to teach about these two cities in his famous work, The City of God. He tells us that the City of God represents the spirit or soul and the city of Satan the body, or the flesh. To explain this he once again quotes St. Paul. “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit that is from God, that we may know the things that have been given us by God. These things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in the learning of the spirit, combining spiritual with spiritual. But the animal man does not perceive the things that are of the spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him,” (1 Cor. 2:11-14). Man is not an animal, for animals cannot reason. The only thing that separates a man from a beast is his reason. This is why St. John called the antichrists beasts in his Apocalypse. St. Augustine says that the man who says he believes in God, but lives in Satan’s city, “Lives according to man…and is like the Devil…When a man lives according to truth, he lives not according to himself, [his own will and idea of things] but according to God. For it was God who said, ‘I am the Truth,'” (Jn. 14:6). And so man, in order to be true to God and to himself, cannot live with one foot in Satan’s city and the other foot in God’s city, for this is a lie.

Today God’s city is very nearly empty of all inhabitants and Satan’s city is packed full. Those living in this crowded city believe that occasionally through the week, usually on Sunday, they can visit God’s city and He will count them as His citizens. As citizen’s of Satan’s city during the week, they may pray even daily, but too often it is only for those worldly things that they enjoy outside the City of God. While we can try to fool ourselves by visiting God’ s city on Sunday, deep down we know we can never become saints if we remain in Satan’s city, and saints is what God created us to be. So in order to obey God’s will for us on earth, we must become full-time citizens of that city on the mountaintop from which issued all the saints.

Second Treatise


What does it take to become a full-time citizen in the City of God? To become a U.S. citizen, one must first learn the laws and duties of a citizen then take the oath of citizenship promising loyalty to America. This requires that one study and remember these laws and duties. All children and young adults born in this country once learned these laws in civics class in school. These citizens knew their rights and duties as a citizens here and would tell you if you asked. But usually there were more rights mentioned than duties. This is because even U.S. citizens expect to be given their rights even though they do not always perform all their duties as citizens. But who cares to learn the laws and duties of citizenship in the City of God? And who will study and learn them? These laws and duties are not learned by praying in Church on Sunday or even hearing the Gospel, Epistle and sermon. This is called passive, not active learning. Passive eating is when parents feed their infant. Active eating is when he learns to feed himself. As Catholics we have the right to the Sacraments we can receive without sinning and to help in spiritual matters. But with those rights come responsibilities. As spiritual men, God expects more from us than he does from the beasts. Visiting his City on Sunday is not enough.

We become official citizens of God’ City when we are born within its walls. All children born to Catholic parents and baptized in the Church are true citizens; the same applies to adult converts who leave Satan’s city to be baptized as citizens in God’s city. As children we are raised in God’s city, no strings attached, until we reach the age of reason. Then we begin to understand things on our own and learn the rules. We begin at this time to contribute in small ways to the maintenance of God’s City and experience the pride of citizenship. Here we must pause a moment to ask what the Church means by the word “reason.” Webster’s Dictionary defines this word as being able to understand because we have learned enough to make the right choice, even though the wrong use of free will often causes humans to choose evil. When used as a noun, reason means a belief that we use to help us make the right choice. When we use reason as a verb, it means we actually make the choice based on the beliefs we know, but it adds or assumes something else.

The one making the choice has to understand well enough to be able to use one or two beliefs to decide that even something not actually included in these beliefs is wrong. For example: Sammy knows it is wrong to lie and wrong to steal. If he takes his father’s coin collection to his clubhouse, he knows he will eventually be asked where it is and might tell a lie. He therefore can reason that stealing can lead to lying and both are wrong. Reason is something that we must further develop as we mature. Once we reach the age of reason, we are no longer citizen’s of God’s City by virtue of His sheer goodness. As we grow in wisdom, age and grace, we are expected to learn the true extent of our duties and responsibilities as citizens and members of Christ’s Mystical Body. If we can spend 12 years in school learning worldly wisdom, what do we owe to God as citizens in His kingdom? Without God we would not even exist, and yet we know so little of Him. We consume hours of television and spend decades at our worldly vocation but God is not a priority in our lives. The workers can begin their labors in the vineyards that dot the slopes of the City whenever they choose, despite the lateness of the hour. But as Christ observed, the harvest is great but the laborers are few.

Third Treatise

The man referred to in our opening sentence made another statement. He rightly said, “The saints were saints because they lived logically according to their views.” Now Webster’s Dictionary defies logic as the science one studies to learn how to reason properly.

God is the invisible head of His own city. The city is equipped with all its citizens need. God sent His Son Jesus to establish the City, but Jesus died and so left the keys to the City’s gates to the new mayor, St. Peter. Only Peter and his successors who also have the keys decide who may enter the City and who must leave it temporarily or permanently. The Popes are now the Masters of God’s City. They all agreed long ago that the Church must have its own science of logic. This science is called philosophy, and in the Catholic Church it is taught only according to St. Thomas Aquinas. All priests were required to learn this science and to use no other system of philosophy. Today Catholics must learn at least the basics of this science in order to think rightly, direct their lives and assist others.

While it may sound complicated, St. Thomas’ science relies on what once was understood as common sense to solve problems dealing with right and wrong. One of St. Thomas’ most important teachings is that in order for a person to act truly Catholic, he must first be truly Catholic. If one is truly a citizen in God’s City, his actions will only confirm his belief. By being, St. Thomas means to know and understand well enough so that this understanding leaves us no choice: We must determine to leave the city of Satan entirely and live only in God’s City. This is the first step to sainthood. Why is it that so few ever come to this decision?

Msgr. Vaughn tells us it is because we fail to recognize the true evil of sin and how much sin hurts God; even venial sin. We cannot even imagine the true pain these sins cause God because God is perfect, and the slightest imperfection is unpleasing to Him. We have no way of appreciating the pain we cause God because our thoughts are not His thoughts; His exalted nature cannot compare to our fallen nature. Quoting Scripture, Rev. Vaughn further notes that we cannot even begin to understand the weight of our sins unless “we consider in the heart.” How is this done? Rev. Vaughn says it is accomplished by meditation. “Think of thy last end and thou shalt never sin,” ( The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a’ Kempis ).

And yet as Rev Vaughn continues, logic and reasoning is not enough. We must also practice self-denial. We must make up our minds to do things for God even though it costs us great amounts of time, money and pain. This is only a condition of our citizenship in His kingdom. Did He not tell us to take up our cross and follow Him? Can we really and truly believe that offering up the ridiculously easy lives we lead, the petty annoyances that we suffer is anything compared to the sacrifice He made for us? Are we not in this way telling God that what He has sent us in way of punishment for our sins will now be used as an excuse to do nothing more for Him? What if Jesus had decided at the last minute to simply lay down His cross? And we wonder why we lost the Mass!

Fourth Treatise

Even once they decide to live permanently in His City, many citizens quickly lose the first fervor of their resolution and ask, “What can I do that will look good and cost me the least trouble?” Rather they should ask, “How can I best return to God the talents He gave me and what can I do that will be most pleasing to Him?” St. Bernard of Clairvaux told us to “Pray and hit out with the stick.” In other words, prayer is not enough; we must also fight for God. We must pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended upon us, or “do your best and God will do the rest.” But people today tend to go to either one or the other extreme of this advice.

In the early years of the 20th century, an Italian Bishop, Bishop Bonomelli of Cremona, wrote an excellent treatise on the necessity of both interior and exterior devotion. Interior devotion is prayer said silently with meditation and spiritual reading. Exterior devotion is public or vocal prayer, Sunday devotions, and singing. He reminded us that they “must not be considered as separate or separable things, but only distinct from each other…Exterior worship is derived from interior devotion. Both are a necessity and a duty of man towards God…but interior worship comes first in order of time and intrinsic value, exterior worship comes second in both these respects.” Concerning exterior worship, Bp. Bonomelli tells his people and priests that they must learn well to distinguish “between the worship which they owe to God and that which they should pay to the Virgin, the angels and the saints.” He quotes the French Bishop of Rodez, who explains that the devotion to the Sacred Heart, the Holy Face, the Five Precious Wounds, etc… should not replace veneration of the crucifix and our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. “Let us make an end to this mania for new devotions,” the French bishop pleads. “Do not let us too much materialize or particularize our worship, for in doing so we diminish its value, its meaning and its efficacy…Let everything be in its right place…Before all, Jesus Christ only, by Himself.”

Concerning the often exaggerated legends and popular myths that surround stories of the saints, holy people and holy things, Bp. Bonomelli writes: “It is not by fables, perverted facts, miracles invented by the popular imagination, visions, apparitions, raptures, ecstasies, inventions, exaggerations and the misrepresentation of history that we shall edify the faithful or draw to us those who have separated themselves from the faith…” He goes on to warn Catholics that even in the use of those practices and devotions prescribed and approved by the Church, private or public. “It is…easy to sin through excess… Excess in exterior religious practices disperses the spiritual forces in too many directions, distracts, fatigues and oppresses the spirit and instead of elevating it and arousing all its energies, relaxes the fibers and suffocates it…Let medals, rosaries, images, sacred symbols…be used with moderation…Do not let us imagine real virtue to exist in them…What are all these devotions, rosaries and novenas, benedictions and visits to altars and famous sanctuaries, processions and pilgrimages, hymns and feastdays and functions worth unless we do our duty and live a real Christian life? What are they but a pretence of virtue?…Am I condemning the use of medals, rosaries, images, sacred symbols? God forbid! They are…means to excite the faith and sustain piety — but let them be used with moderation.” As the Bishop reminds his priests, these devotional practices are subject to Church law and should never be reduced to excessive, material, unworthy or superstitious acts.

For as the Bishop notes, many abuses arise around devotions that are fundamentally good. Today this can be seen in the chain letter novenas circulated on the Internet; the newspaper ads which must be published so many times to obtain favors or give thanks for favors obtained. Most disturbing among these are the Little Flower “rose” novenas that often have people scurrying hither and yon to find the required roses for those saying the novena, that their favor might be fulfilled. The good bishop especially renounces these types of novenas and devotions, particularly when the faithful are forever begging “some temporal favor,” while “…of spiritual there is hardly a trace. It would please me to have this list of temporal favors suppressed…The object of these persons’ devotions almost always appears to be a worldly, human one, and therein differs little from that of the heathen.” Especially offensive is the use of these devotions to “pander to the dishonest passion of avarice,” or love of money and material things, which Bp. Bonomelli orders his clerics to guard against. By this he meant those prayers directed to obtain some favor based solely on the desire to obtain money or benefits, even at the expense of an innocent party or parties. “Let us see to it that hearts and minds are fixed on the grand mysteries of the faith and not on their remote applications; on the substance of the dogmas rather than on their outgrowths.”

As Peter Michaels wrote in 1949: “It is not inspiration that the modern lay apostle needs so much as basic knowledge and deep spirituality. Novenas and non-theological sermons are mostly on the inspirational level…Today a lay apostle has to aim at the highest spirituality, such as was formerly thought suitable for a cloistered religious…If all Catholics have a moral duty to understand their faith at their level of secular education, few of us are going to be saved.”

So in other words, what is in our hearts and minds is what God really wants. He expects us to fulfill the law and worship Him, of course. But we do not wish to behave as the Traditionalists whom we left in the city of Satan. For they base their entire religious existence on the practice of illicit exterior religion, and exterior religion is illicit, or unlawful and displeasing to God anytime it is one-sided or excessive. All things in moderation has always been the teaching of the Church.

Fifth Treatise

While it is a sin to limit one’s spiritual existence to prayer, it also is a sin to omit prayer and perform only good works. This the Church calls the “heresy of action;” omitting action is called the heresy of “quietism.” Both of these disorders have similar undesirable effects. Too much prayer leads to the inability to think, study and meditate rightly. Too much action makes us strangers to God, hardens our hearts and makes us trust too much in self. Those who pray but fail to act are as the publican who went to the Temple merely to appear holy and righteous in the eyes of the priests and lord it over the publican. Those who engage in excessive action tend to play the role of martyr, complain but not let up, then feel unappreciated and put upon. Both these extremes are the result of a lack of unity and cooperation among the faithful. The Church is ONE, and her prayer and activity must also be one. Pope Pius XI taught that it can be a mortal sin not to engage in meaningful work for the Church, and certainly this is true when the Church is so poor and oppressed as She is today.

We are the Mystical Body of Christ on earth. This is an awesome responsibility. How holy must we be to be healthy and not cancerous cells and organs of this Body, building it up and not destroying it? What must we do as a united body to achieve our goals on earth that we might gain Heaven? The answer lies in one of the first truths we memorize in the children’s catechism: We must know, love and serve God in this world to be happy with Him in the next. Let us break down this answer into parts and explain it.

1. We must know God: Through prayer, spiritual reading, study and meditation, we learn who God really is to us and what our duties as creatures are to Him. We develop a personal relationship to God, a relationship that allows us to advance in the spiritual life. We learn to follow the inspirations of the Holy Ghost to promptly take advantage of the graces God sends. We begin a life-long course of study, which should equal the efforts we made during our time in school.

2. We must love God: How does God know that we love Him? We show Him we love Him by saying our prayers and obeying His commandments, as Scripture tells us. What commandments must we obey? This does not mean just obeying the natural law or 10 commandments. This means we must also obey all the laws of the Church (not just the six precepts but also Canon Law). Because God gave the Popes the power to bind and loose, all the commands of the Popes must also be obeyed under pain of mortal sin. We cannot get to Heaven if we fail to do God’s will. God’s will is not just what happens, good or bad in our daily lives, or His will of good pleasure. It is also His signified will which we find in all His laws and the teachings of the Church.

3. When we become citizens of the City, we commit ourselves not only to one and two, but also to voluntary service. If we think of a regular city or country, this means community service or the draft. But unlike secular cities, this service is a duty for all, not something that falls on those being punished or on the male sex alone. Jesus was forever in the service of others during his lifetime. If we wish to be other Christs, we also must serve God on earth.

Sixth Treatise

How do those of different walks of life serve God? First they must serve Him by being faithful to the duties of their state of life. For priests and religious this means observing religious vows and the rules of their particular order. For clergy it means daily recitation of the office, study, meditation and faithful care of the flock entrusted to them. For single people it should mean the choice of a vocation that will allow them to promote the faith, or outside their vocation, some special work taken up for the Church. For parents it means the religious training of their children and close attention to their physical and emotional well being, fidelity to marital vows, maintenance of the home and financial support of the family. For children and students it is obedience to parents, teachers and their superiors in general, application to their studies and especially learning the catechism. Adults and children alike are required to study the duties of their state of life and to faithfully perform them.

There also is another obligation that few are aware of today. That is answering the call, first made by Christ Himself and repeated at the Vatican Council, to participate in some meaningful way in saving souls. This also is known as Catholic Action. Knowing and loving must somehow translate to acting, to serving. If we are not serving God in His City, we are not giving testimony to the faith that is in us. Charity must begin at home but it should not end there. Christ tells us not to hide our light under a bushel but to share it with the world. To believe that the faith is something that applies mainly to our families and ourselves is to entirely misunderstand Christ’s command to the Apostles to go and teach all nations. Pope Pius XII tells us that from the very beginning, lay people were actively involved in the work of the Apostles. In an address given in 1957, he announced that in Communist countries, lay people had taken over nearly all the work of the hierarchy except for Mass and Sacraments. Pope St. Pius X, while yet a cardinal, had this to say about Catholic Action:

“Where the Pope is there is the Church. The more open the war against the Pope is the more active, the more resolute should Catholic Action be in defending and maintaining the inviolable rights of the Sovereign Pontiff…Who is it that must bestir himself to defend the violated rights and insulted dignity of the Pope, the Bishops and the Church? In other times it was the Pope and Bishops who intervened in the defense of their children, threatened by the savage invasions of the barbarians; today it must be the children who will rise up in defense of their Father, the laity in defense of the Hierarchy…Catholic Action will not please certain timid souls, who, through good living, are so attached to their habitual quiet and so afraid of every innovation that they believe it is quite sufficient to pray because God knows best how to defend the faith, humiliate His enemies and make the Church triumphant. But these good people whom I would call optimists will wait in vain for society to reChristianize itself simply by the prayers of the good. Prayer is absolutely necessary, because in the ordinary economy of salvation God does not concede graces except to him who prays. India and Japan would never have been converted by the prayers alone of Xavier; the Apostles would never have conquered the world if they had not done the work of heroes and martyrs. It is necessary, therefore, to join work with action…” And this is confirmation of all that was said above.

Seventh Treatise

Since Pope St. Pius X spoke, the Great Apostasy foretold in Holy Scripture has occurred. After the false V2 council held in Rome in the 1960s, Catholics who once inhabited God’s City and its suburbs departed. They either accepted the V2 antipopes or joined other heretical or schismatic sects. Many have since died and their descendants are lost to the faith. The most important mission of the Church, given to Her by our Lord Himself, is the salvation of souls. And great is the potential harvest.

How many reading this know of people interested in our faith and Sunday devotions? And yet there is little effort made to reach out to these people and explain what we do; to welcome them into our tiny community. We cannot give to others what we do not have. We must have a spirit of oneness, of neighborliness in God’s City, before we can pass it on. The only way it is possible to do this is to work together toward common goals. Many attempts have been made to encourage cooperation in the past, but all have failed. The success of any attempt is up to you. You must decide if Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross is something you truly want to carry into your lives in a personal way. You alone can decide whether Christ’s mission for His Church will be continued or abandoned in the 21st century. If we do not model this example for our children, who will carry on when we are gone?

When Christ ascended to Heaven, there were a few hundred Catholics on earth. On Pentecost, the Church’s birthday, St. Peter converted 2,000. This conversion was possible because 10 days after Christ’s Ascension, He sent the Paraclete to the Apostles who gave them those gifts necessary to begin the conversion of the world. For nine days before Pentecost, the Apostles and the Blessed Mother gathered in the Upper Room to prepare themselves to receive these gifts. The gifts they prayed for were necessarily spiritual ones. That is why we read earlier that it is a great abuse to use such prayers to ask for material things, especially when the need for spiritual gifts is so great. This does not follow the pattern of the first novena. We have prayed the Holy Ghost Novena each day and read form our Holy Ghost booklets in a true spirit of prayer and apostleship. When all have truly accepted the Holy Ghost into their hearts, then can we begin to live as the early Christians lived in God’s City; the early Christians who hailed one another with the greeting: “Live in the Spirit!

A Secret of Sanctity

I am going to reveal to you a secret of sanctity and happiness. If every day during five minutes you will keep your imagination quiet, shut your eyes to all the things of sense and close your ears to all the sound of earth, so as to be able to withdraw into the sanctuary of your soul, which is the temple of the Holy Ghost, speaking there to Him, saying: O Holy Ghost, soul of my soul, I adore Thee. Enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me. Tell me what I ought to do and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in everything that Thou permittest to happen to me. Only show me what is Thy Will. — Cardinal Mercier

Eighth Treatise

What is Catholic Action? For this we go to the Popes of the last century.

“God commended to each one the care of his neighbor…Hence…all the faithful without exception must labor for the interests of God and of souls,” (Pope St. Pius X). “Catholic Action is nothing else than the exercise of Christian charity, which is obligatory upon all men,” (Pope Pius XI, discourse of Sept. 29, 1927). Pius XII confirms this statement as follows: “Apostolate is nothing else but the exercise of Christian charity…What would the Twelve have done, lost in the world’s immensity, if they had not called aloud to others and said, ‘Let us carry forth the treasure of heaven; help us to distribute it?'” In a speech given to the Directors of the Apostleship of Prayer, Sept. 29, 1927, Pope Pius XI said: “All are bound to collaborate in spreading the Kingship of Christ, since all are the favored subjects of this tender King…To do nothing is a SIN OF OMISSION, and it may be extremely grave. All must act, and for all there is a place and a way.”

“We believe that the first point to be remembered is the need for action, action clearly conceived and strongly desired. You must reject every attitude of PASSIVE ACCEPTANCE OR INDIFFERENCE, every form of APATHETIC QUIETISM. You cannot in any way expose yourselves to the reproaches of the Master who takes His servant to task because he has buried his talent in the earth instead of making it bear profit, (Matt. 25:24-27). Imitate rather the Good Samaritan of the parable (Luke 10: 30-37) who understands his duties to his neighbor and whom the Lord set as an example to his questioner saying: ‘Go and do likewise.’ Duties to our neighbors, the command to love them as Christ loved them, extends to all. The greatest and highest love for neighbor is to wish for them salvation and do our utmost to help them seek and find the truth.”

St. Augustine’s well-known observation on this matter cannot be forgotten either: “The God who made you cannot save you without you.” Spoonfed or passive religion is no religion at all, as Pope Pius XII warned above. We are to be partakers in the life of the Mystical Body in such a way that all our efforts and those of our fellows rise up to Christ as a pure oblation and acceptable sacrifice. St. Joan of Arc led an Army; St. Bernard crusaded to restore the true pope to Rome; St. Louis fought for the causes of God and of France; St. Dominic and St. Anthony of Padua relentlessly waged war against the Cathars; and we have not even begun to fight. Matthew 28:19-20 puts everything into perspective. Christ, by 1) commanding the Apostles to go and teach all nations; 2) commanding them to teach all He commanded and 3) then, after commanding, promising to be with them unto the consummation, was trying to tell us something. If we do our part, Christ will do His. But since all possess free will, none can be forced to do anything. Christ foretold the Church would last unto the consummation because He knew that at least a few would rise in His defense. The command to teach is delivered primarily to St. Peter, and under him the Apostles and their successors. But it extends to all, as the popes have taught.

There is a place for all, Pope Pius XI said. All must find their place at the wedding feast described in the Gospel parable, or forfeit Heaven.

Ninth Treatise

Catholic Action has a very important function. When we selfishly keep the faith to ourselves, people believe it is just a put-on; a fairy tale we only pretend to believe. If we show them that our faith is as much about them as it is about us, show them by example how it has benefited us and can benefit them, then it becomes real to them. The only way to make Christ’s life and work real is to do what He and His Apostles did; to imitate their example. Christ told His Apostles to love one another as He had loved them. This was a love worth dying for; a love so pure and so strong it gave us countless martyrs for the first four centuries of Christian existence.

Someday people will once again seek God, probably just prior to or following some terrible disaster that has brought them to their knees. They may even look in our direction, and what will they find? A ragged stand of hollow reeds, shaken by the wind? What will they think when they see so few of us, and the few they see cannot even count to three? If we honestly believe we are what remains of the true Church of Christ on earth, then our belief, our being, must become acting. If it does not, no one will ever believe that we are who we say we are. For faith without works is a dead faith.

Those of good will with generous hearts will use this opportunity to at last relocate permanently to the City of God and assume all the duties of a citizen. Those wishing to retain citizenship in both cities at once will do nothing. We know God’s will in this matter. We have the use of free will, the ability to reason and decide which is the course that most surely will lead us to Heaven. How sincere we really are about reaching Heaven will be seen in the choice we make. This choice will be easy if we only remember what Christ told us about trying to live in both cities at once. He said this at different times, in many different ways. He told us that we must either be with Him entirely or against Him; that we must either gather with Him or be scattered; and that light can never be a part of darkness. Finally He told us the fate of those who insist on living in both cities; those fence straddlers who can never decide which side they really are on. It is a terrible condemnation that suggests God’s contempt for those who do not have the courage to act. He told us He would vomit them from His mouth.

The words are His. The choice is yours.

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