O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? for your goodness is as a morning cloud…
I. TWO KINDS OF RELIGION. The transient and the truthful. Why do so many who seem to be sincere and earnest endure but for awhile? Worldliness, like the sun, dries up, and temptation, like the wind, scatters and dissolves what looked so beautiful. Truthful persons are sincere, there is a reality in their religion, something that abides. We may also call such a religion truthful as wrought in the soul by the Spirit of truth, by the Spirit, through the truth.
II. SOME PEOPLE HAVE ONLY KNOWN ONE OF THESE KINDS OF RELIGION, AND SOME HAVE KNOWN BOTH. Some have only known the transient. Hitherto it has been conviction without conversion; resolutions without love; deficient repentance and sorrow without real surrender. Truth has not conquered; no governing principle has been introduced into the soul; nothing permanently inscribed on the tablets of the heart. Some have only known the truthful. A few have been drawn gently and even from early life. Others have gone on in darkness several years, and have then been suddenly brought to a stand, and at once "translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son." A third class have known both. In their case there were many attempts and failures. Many settings out and goings back. Yet even such unlikely ones have been saved. Therefore let none despair.
III. WHAT MUST BE DONE IN ORDER REALLY TO PASS FROM THE ONE TO THE OTHER? If you would not have your feelings pass away, you yourself must pass in, you must yield yourself to God. Go in through the door, have really and personally to do with Christ, then religion will become to you an abiding reality. The reason why your religion is a transient one is that you have not yet begun aright. True godliness begins with the pardon of sins. God is willing to begin with the blotting out of sin.
Parallel VersesKJV: O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away.