Let Us Go Forth Unto Him

Hebrews 13:12-13
"Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." Heb. 13:12,1312Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. (Hebrews 13:12‑13).
There is far more involved in the soul-stirring call to "go forth" than a mere escape from the absurdities of superstition or the designs of a crafty covetousness. There are many who can powerfully and eloquently expose all such things who are very far from any thought of responding to the apostolic summons. When men set up a "camp," and rally around a standard on which is emblazoned some important dogma of truth, an orthodox creed, an enlightened scheme of doctrine, or a splendid ritual, it demands much spiritual intelligence to discern the real force of the words "let us go forth," and much spiritual energy and decision to act upon them.
They should be discerned and acted on, for it is perfectly certain that the atmosphere of a camp is destructive of personal communion with a rejected Christ. No religious advantage can ever make up for the loss of that communion. It is the tendency of our hearts to drop into cold, stereotyped forms. This has ever been the case in the professing church. These forms may have originated in real power. They may have resulted from positive visitations of the Spirit of God. The temptation is to stereotype the form when the spirit and power have all departed. This is, in principle, to set up a camp.
The Jewish system could boast a divine origin. A Jew could triumphantly point to the temple with its splendid system of worship, its priesthood, its sacrifices, its entire furniture and show that it had all been handed down from the God of Israel. He could give chapter and verse for everything connected with the system. Where is the system, ancient, medieval or modern that could put forth such lofty pretensions with such weight of authority? And yet, the command was to "go forth.”
This deeply solemn matter concerns us all. We are prone to slip away from communion with a living Christ and sink into dead routine. Hence the practical power of the words, "go forth therefore unto Him." It is not, Go forth from one system to another—from one set of opinions to another—from one company of people to another. No, but go forth from everything that merits the appellation of a camp to Him who suffered without the gate. The Lord Jesus is as thoroughly outside the gate now as He was when He suffered there almost twenty centuries ago. What was it that put Him outside? The religious world of that day. The religious world of that day is, in spirit and principle, the religious world of the present moment. The world is the world still. Christ and the world are not one.
Much of the world has covered itself with the cloak of Christianity, but it is only in order that its hatred to Christ may work itself up into more deadly forms underneath. Let us not deceive ourselves. If we will walk with a rejected Christ, we must be a rejected people. If our Master "suffered without the gate," we cannot expect to reign within the gate. If we walk in His footsteps, where will they lead us? Surely not to the high places of this Godless, Christless world. He is a despised Christ—a rejected Christ—a Christ outside the camp. Oh! then, dear Christian, let us go forth to Him bearing His reproach. Let us not seek this world's favor, seeing it crucified and still hates the beloved One to whom we owe everything both now and forever. He is the One who loves us with a love which many waters cannot quench. Let us live for Him who died for us. While our consciences repose in His blood, let our heart's affections entwine themselves around His Person, so that our separation from "this present evil world" may not be merely a matter of cold principle, but an affectionate separation because the Object of our affections is not here.
May the Lord deliver us from that selfishness so common at the present time, which would not be without religiousness, but is the enemy of the cross of Christ. What is needed to stand against this terrible form of evil is not peculiar views, special principles or cold intellectual accuracy. We need a deep-toned devotedness to the Person of the Son of God; a wholehearted consecration of ourselves, body, soul and spirit, to His service; an earnest longing for His glorious advent. Will you and I, then, join in uttering from the very depths of our hearts the cry: "Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?" Psa. 85:66Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? (Psalm 85:6).
C. H. Mackintosh