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A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

A Sure Guide to Heaven (1688)

by Joseph Alleine

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I need to read this book. Joseph Alleine was one of my 1600s great-grandfathers twice, that is, I have two lines of ascent to him in my father's maternal lineages. He is one of my favorite great-grandfathers. He was a progenitor of many godly descendants. I started to listen to it online, but I need a physical book to read instead. I have to remember to put this book on my buy list. Once I read it, I will, Lord willing, write a review of it on LibraryThing. ( )
  quietmind | Aug 9, 2017 |
Previously titled "Alarm to the Unconverted"
  BobbyMcCreery | Aug 8, 2017 |
I downloaded this free on kindle from Amazon for those that want to read it.

I would rate the first two-thirds of the book 5 stars but the final third I found a bit repetitive. There are three parts to the book and I will let the author speak for himself as a re-hash in the 21st century would not do it justice!

1. Mistakes about, Nature of and Necessity of Conversion

"In short, conversion does not consist in ILLUMINATION or CONVICTION or in a SUPERFICIAL CHANGE or PARTIAL REFORMATION. An apostate may be an enlightened man (Heb 6: 4), and a Felix tremble under conviction (Acts 24: 25), and a Herod do many things (Mark 6: 20). It is one thing to have sin alarmed only by convictions, and another to have it crucified by converting grace."

"Conversion lies in the thorough change both of the heart and life. The AUTHOR of conversion is the Spirit of God. The INTERNAL cause is free grace alone. The EXTERNAL cause is the merit and intercession of the blessed Jesus. The INSTRUMENT of conversion is personal and real. The final END of conversion is man’s salvation, and God’s glory. Conversion turns the balance of the judgment, so that God and His glory outweigh all carnal and worldly interests.The great inquiry is, whether the judgment and will are steadily determined for God above all other good, real or apparent. If so, and if the affections do sincerely follow their choice and conduct, though it be not so strongly and feelingly as is to be desired, there is no doubt."

"Do I speak to the trees and rocks— or to men? to the tombs and monuments of the dead— or to the living? If you are men and not senseless stocks, stop and consider where you are going! If you have the reason and understanding of men, do not dare to run into the flames, and fall into hell with your eyes open! Stop and think, and set about the work of repentance. What, men? and yet run into the pit, when the very beasts will not be forced in? What, endowed with reason? and yet trifle with death and hell, and the vengeance of the Almighty? Are men only distinguished from brutes in that these, having no foresight, have no care to provide for the things to come, and will you, who are warned, not hasten your escape from eternal torments? O show yourselves men, and let reason prevail with you!"

2. Marks and Miseries of and Directions to the Unconverted

"Secret reserves in closing with Christ. To forsake all for Christ, to hate father and mother, yes, a man’s own life for Him, ‘This is a hard saying’ (Luke 14: 26). Some will do much— but they will not have that religion which will save them. They never come to be entirely devoted to Christ, nor to be fully resigned to Him. They must have the sweet sin; they mean to do themselves no harm; they have secret exceptions for life, liberty, or estate. Many take Christ thus, and never consider His self-denying terms, nor count the cost; and this error in the foundation mars all, and ruins them forever (Luke 14: 28-33)."

"Sinner, I think this would go like a dagger to your heart, to know that God Himself is your enemy! Oh where will you go? Where will you shelter yourself? There is no hope for you, unless you lay down your weapons and sue out your pardon, and get Christ to stand as your friend and make your peace. If it were not for this, you might go into some howling wilderness, and there pine in sorrow, and run mad for anguish of heart and horrible despair."

Alas for you, poor man! How effectually has sin undone you, depraved you and despoiled you even of your reason to look after your own everlasting good! O miserable wretch! What stupidity and senselessness have surprised you! Oh let me knock and awake this sleeper! Who dwells within the walls of this flesh? Is there a soul here, a rational, understanding soul; or are you only a senseless lump?

O man, who has bewitched you, that in the matters of this present life you shall be wise enough to forecast your business, foresee your danger, and prevent your ruin; but in matters of everlasting consequence shall be slight and careless, as if they little concerned you?

What shall I say? Would it not grieve a person of any humanity, if, in the time of a raging plague, he should have a remedy that would infallibly cure all the country and recover the most hopeless patients, and yet his friends and neighbors should die by hundreds around him, because they would not use it?

Motives to Conversion and Conclusion

This was definitely not light reading and was hard going in places but extremely challenging and convicting both as a reminder to ensure our own conversions are sound and that we are sincerely reaching others with the Gospel.

Throughout the book the author implores readers to turn to God and escape the judgement to come. The final two chapters are basically a passionate plea to turn from sin and embrace Jesus before it's too late!

"What your present choice is— such must be your eternal condition."

I strongly recommend that all Christians read this. If you can persuade a non-Christian to do so great as God may use it but I'm not sure that they would persevere to the end due to the spiritually heavy content in this age of worldliness.

( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
  pastorroy | Jul 9, 2013 |
The most biblical salvation tract I have every read. Probably too heavy for the average nonbeliever today though. I read this book almost fifteen years ago as a believer during my private devotions. I found it to be very enriching. It has become one of my favorite books. It seems that I remember reading somewhere that C.H. Spurgeon kept this little book by his bed. ( )
  ScottSlaughter | Jan 14, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 187844221X, Paperback)

The fire of God was in the bones of young Joseph Alleine. His preaching and his prayers dripped with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. ''O Lord,'' he prayed, ''choose my words; choose my weapons for me; and when I put my hand into the bag and take out a stone and sling, do Thou carry it to the mark and make it stick, not into the forehead, but into the heart of the unconverted sinner, and smite him to the ground as You did to Saul of Tarsus.'' Alleine's words in this book mirror his message to the unconverted. Chapter 1 shows what Conversion is, what it is not. Chapter 2 opens up the necessity of conversion. Chapter 3 exposes the marks of the unconverted. Chapter 4 proves the misery of the unconverted. Chapter 5 describes the means of conversion. Chapter 6 then closes with the motives of conversion. All of these explain why this book is named An Alarm to the Unconverted. Sinners who have read, and who now will read, this classic of classics have squirmed, excused, pleaded falsely, yet have been unable to escape the message straight from Heaven: ''Study your own hearts. Do not rest till God has made thorough work with you. For you must be other men, or else you are lost men''( p. 8) Tens of thousands, yea more, have accredited this book with having opened their eyes to their unconverted state. Among these, perhaps even half of these, were church members sailing under Christ's colors. These fervent words have burned their way into the hearts of both the small and the great. George Whitefield told how it affected him. C. H. Spurgeon ''when brought under conviction'' turned to this book. Like Pilgrim's Progress, this book has been through hundreds of printings. Many of these have been private printings of ten thousand or more copies. Why is this? It speaks the message of God so plainly that it brings conviction such as attended the apostle Peter's preaching when he cried out, ''Therefore, repent and be converted, unto the blotting out of your sins,'' and thousands of so

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:24 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

One of the greatest evangelistic books, and a spur to personal evangelism.

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