“I die every day,” said the apostle (1 Corinthians 15:31). This was the life of the early Christians; they went everywhere with their lives in their hands.
We are not at this time being called to pass through the same fearful persecutions: if we were, the Lord would give us grace to bear the test. But the tests of Christian life, at the present moment, though outwardly not so terrible, are still more likely to overcome us than even those of the fiery age. We have to bear the sneer of the world—that is small; its flatteries, its soft words, its oily speeches, its fawning, its hypocrisy are far worse. Our danger is that we might grow rich and become proud; we might give ourselves up to the fashions of this present evil world and lose our faith. Or if wealth does not test us, worldly care is quite as mischievous. If we cannot be torn in pieces by the roaring lion, we may be hugged to death by the bear. The devil cares very little which it is, as long as he destroys our love for Christ and our confidence in Him.
I am afraid that the Christian church is far more likely to lose her integrity in these soft and easy days than in those rougher times. We must stay awake now, for we are crossing enchanted ground and are most likely to fall asleep to our own ruin, unless our faith in Jesus is a reality and our love for Jesus an ardent flame. Many in these days of easy-believism are likely to prove to be tares, and not wheat; hypocrites with attractive masks on their faces, but not the true-born children of the living God.
Christian, do not think that these are times in which you can dispense with watchfulness or with holy ardor; you need these things more than ever, and may God the eternal Spirit display His omnipotence in you, that you may be able to say, in all these softer things as well as in the rougher, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
— Charles Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, April 26.