ARE YOU WHEAT OR CHAFF?
J. C. Ryle.
There are only two classes of people in the world in the sight of God, those who are called the wheat, and there are those who are called the chaff. Viewed with the eye of man, the earth contains many different sorts of inhabitants. Viewed with the eye of God, it only contains two.
The wheat means all men and women who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ Â— all who are led by the Holy Spirit Â— all who have felt themselves sinners, and fled for refuge to the salvation preached in the Gospel Â— all who love the Lord Jesus and live to the Lord Jesus, and serve the Lord Jesus Â— all who have taken Christ for their only confidence, and the Bible for their only guide, and regard sin as their deadliest enemy, and look to Heaven as their only home. All such, of every church, name, nation, people and tongue Â— of every rank, station condition, and degree Â— all such are God’s wheat.
The chaff means all men and women who have no saving faith in Christ, whosoever they may be. Some of them perhaps, are infidels, and some are formal Christians. Some are sneering Sadducees, and some self-righteous Pharisees. Some of them make a point of keeping
up a kind of Sunday religion, and others are utterly careless of everything except their own pleasure and the world. But all alike, who have the two great marks already mentioned Â— no faith and no santification Â— all such are chaff.
I know well the world dislikes this way of dividing professing Christians. The world tries hard to fancy there are three sorts of people, and not two. To be very good and very strict, does not suit the world: they cannot, will not be saints. To have no religion at all does not suit the world: it would not be respectable. “Thank God,” they will say, “we are not so bad as that.” But to have religion enough to be saved, and yet not go into extremes Â— to be sufficiently good, and yet not be peculiar Â— to have a quiet, easy-going, moderate kind of Christianity, and go comfortably to Heaven after all Â— this is the world’s favourite idea. There is a third class Â— a safe middle class Â— the world fancies, and in this middle class the majority of men persuade themselves they will be found.
I denounce this notion of a middle class as an immense and soul-ruining delusion. I warn you strongly not to be carried away by it. This middle class is a class nowhere spoken of in the Bible.
Neutrality is impossible. Either you are in one class, or in the other. Which is it of the two?
You attend church, perhaps, you go to the Lord’s table. You like good people. You can distinguish between good preaching and bad. You subscribe to religious societies. You attend religious meetings. You sometimes read religious books. It is well: it is very well. It is good: it is all very good. It is more than can be said of many. But still this is not a straight-forward answer to my question Â— Are you wheat or are you chaff.?
Have you been born again? Are you a new creature? Have you put off the old man, and put on the new? Have you ever felt your sins, and repented of them? are you looking simply to Christ for pardon and life eternal? Do you love Christ? Do you serve Christ? Do you loathe heart-sins, and fight against them? Do you long for perfect holiness, and follow hard after it? Have you come out from the world? Do you delight in the Bible? Do you wrestle in prayer? Do you love Christ’s people? Do you try to do good to the world? Are you vile in your own eyes, and willing to take the lowest place? Are you a Christian in business, tastes, tempers, and daily private habits Â— on week days, and by your own fireside? Oh, think, think, think of these things, and then, perhaps you will be better able to tell | the state of your soul.