The god of this world, and the addictive desire for the material goods of this earth, will blunt the conscience of a man until he will refuse to see the reasonableness of George Whitefield’s logic below:
[Is] eternal life, that free gift of God in Christ Jesus, to be purchased with money; or could men carry their flocks beyond the grave, to buy oil for their lamps, i.e. grace for their hearts, when they should be called to meet the bridegroom, there might be some reason why God might well bear with them: but since their money is to perish with them; since it is certain, as they brought nothing into the world, so they can carry nothing out; or supposing they could, since there is no oil to be bought, no grace to be purchased when once the lamp of their natural life is gone out; would it not be much more prudent to spend the short time they have here allotted them, in buying oil while it may be had, and not for fear of having a little less of that which will quickly be another man’s, eternally lose the true riches? . . .
And thus it will be with all unhappy men, who . . . are disquieting themselves in a vain pursuit after worldly riches, and at the same time are not rich towards God.
They may, for a season, seem excellently well employed in being solicitously careful about the important concerns of this life; but when once their eyes are opened by death, and their souls launched into eternity, they will then see the littleness of all sublunary cares, and wonder they should be so besotted [intoxicated] to the things of another life, while they were, it may be, applauded for their great wisdom and profound sagacity in the affairs of this world.
Alas! how will they bemoan themselves for acting like the unjust steward, so very wisely in their temporal concerns, in calling their respective debtors so carefully, and asking how much every one owes to them, and yet never remembering to call themselves to an account, or inquire how much they owed to their own great Lord and master? (“Worldly Business no Plea for the Neglect of Religion”)