And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
Perdition means hopeless ruin. A token is a premonition. The natural world is full of warnings. A change in the atmosphere or in the order of things, a coming disaster or great event, is heralded by certain phenomena, which long experience and observation know how to interpret. So also in the political, social, moral, and religious spheres. So evident are these tokens to the discerning that it is not difficult to forecast the future. On this principle Paul interprets the conduct of adversaries. And every preacher of the gospel is warranted in accepting certain traits of character and developments of depravity as "evident tokens of perdition" in those in whom they are found, and hold them forth as warnings, "beacon lights" in the world. Let me specify a few such tokens, not from the infidel, or openly immoral classes, but from the respectable and Church-going class of sinners.
I. A STATE OF HABITUAL MORAL INSENSIBILITY on the momentous .and infinitely interesting matter of salvation.
II. A QUIET, SLEEPING CONSCIENCE, under the sunlight of the Bible, and the faithful and searching appeals of God's ambassadors.
III. CONVICTIONS OF SIN LOST, AND RELAPSE into greater carelessness and insensibility than ever before, after a period of religious interest.
IV. PASSED BY AND LEFT UNDISTURBED in their sins — left, it may be, to scoff and oppose — when God's Holy Spirit has been sent down in mighty power to awaken and convert souls and gather in the harvest.
V. WHERE PROVIDENTIAL CHASTISEMENTS FAIL OF THEIR END, and, instead of humble, penitent submission and tearful recognition of God's hand in them, there is a proud, unyielding spirit of bitterness. Now where such things appear, "perdition" is nigh; the final wrath is imminent; the last sands of hope are falling; the knell of despair is ready to sound!
Parallel VersesKJV: And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.