Why So Many Fall.

1 Cor. 10 :6-13.
OW these things were our examples, to the intent we should not
lust after evil things, as they also lusted. either be ye idol-
aters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat
down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. either let us commit
fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and
twenty thousand. either let us tempt Christ, as some of them also
tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. either murmur ye, as some
of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. ow
all these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written
for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Where-
fore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There
hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man ; but God
is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye' may
Idc able to bear it.
Sanctify us, O Lord, through Thy truth:
Thy Word is truth. Amen.
Beloved in Christ:
The world is full of fallen people. Who are they that
fall? Do I mean the heathen? How can a heathen who
never w^as a Christian, fall from grace? Those who fall
from grace are not heathen, but children of God. We
are told in the beginning of this chapter that tliose who
were delivered from Egypt and crossed the Red Sea, were
all baptized by that sea, not immersed, but saved b^^ the
dividing of the waters, walking across on dry land ; saved
by the hand of God that led them over. Possibly you will
understand the whole story better if I give you the Word
of God verbatim: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that
ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under
601 • '
the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all
baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea ; and did
all eat the same spiritual meat ; and did all drink the same
spiritual drink ; for they drank of that spiritual Rock that
followed them ; and that Eock was Christ. But with many
of them God Avas not well pleased; for they were over-
thrown in the wilderness." They fell. "ow these things
were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after
evil things, as they also lusted." Here is a story of six hun-
dred thousand men who could bear arms, professed fol-
lowers of the true and living God, who saw with their own
eyes the mighty works of the almighty hand of God ; who
saw that Avonderful cloud by day and fire by night; who
were fed with manna which fell from heaven ; and with all
these manifestations of the presence of the true and living
God, their bones were scattered over the desert, and only
two of the whole number ever reached the promised land.
My friends, these things were written for our warning, for
our admonition, in order that we might not fall; and
show us :
May the Holy Spirit apply this sermon this evening
to you individually. May you sit before me tonight as if
you were the only person to whom I am speaking; and
may I forget that I am a minister of the Gospel and not
preach professionally, but may God help me to apply this
sermon to my own soul.
I. Many people fall because they do not try to stand.
"either be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is
written. The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose
up to play." Those people knew the true and living God.
God put them on their feet and said. ow stand ; but they
had not crossed the sea and gone very far until even within
the sound of the thunderings of Sinai's lightnings and
storms, in sight of the giving of the law to Moses, they
said to Aaron, Give us gods as we had in Egypt ; and they
made a golden calf and danced around the false god, in-
stead of worshiping the true and living God. Why? Be-
cause they did not try to stand. It was not a question
that day whether there is a true and living God or not;
it was not a question that day at all whether these people
had ever heard of the true and living God; it was not a
question whether heathen fall; it was a question, will
children of God stand, or will they not? and they said,
o, we will not stand; we will dance around the golden
calf because we love it, as we learned back there in Egypt.
In other words, some people love idolatry a great deal
better than the true and living God. And so would I,
if I wanted to sin. I cannot sin with the true and living
God before me, because He has eyes that see, and He has
ears that hear; but when I want to do wrong. Oh, how
nice it is to have a god made of stone. You can take your
hatchet and hit him on the head; he does not know it.
When I want to sin, how fine it is to have some unknown
god somewhere that never gave his people a Bible; that
never knows anything of a Judgment.
And these very people who love idolatry better than
the true and living God, are the very people who would
rather sit down to a big feast and make a god of their
bellies than to worship the true and living God. "The
people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play."
How many professed Christians there are to-day who will
go to any missionary society providing you have got some-
thing to eat; they will go to any missionary society pro-
viding there is something to drink; they will go to any
€hurch gathering providing you can play fool; but how
many people are there who will go to the missionary so-
ciety for the sole purpose of learning what God is doing
to save the souls of the world? How many people are
there who go for the sole purpose of opening their pocket-
books and giving money to send some man out to tell the
poor lost world how to be saved? Why do men fall? Be-
cause it is natural for the natural man to love idolatry
and to hate the truth. They do not try to stand.
This is not only true with regard to idolatry; it is
just as true with regard to licentiousness. "either let
us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and
fell in one day three and twenty thousand.'^ Back in the
garden of Eden when God made man. He wrote on his
heart, Thou shalt not commit adultery. In order that the
people might not forget it, God gave the law to Moses over
on yonder burning mt3untain, and wrote with His own
finger on tables of stone, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
And the people doAvn at the foot of the hill seemed to know
what is coming. There was a reflection in their own hearts
of what was going on on Mount Sinai, and they said. Come
on, let us hurrj^ up; the law is coming; let us have a
grand old time before that time; and twenty- three thous-
and people committed fornication and were killed in a
single day. Why? Because they did not want to stand.
They did not try to stand. And why is it that so many
professed Christians have the stain on their character
that never can be blotted out, tho' God can forgive them?
Because the only object they have hi all the world is just
an opportunity, watching for a chance. The question
with them is not at all, what is right or what is wrong;
but, I would love to do wrong, where is the chance and
I Avill do it; and they fall because they do not want to
There is another very common sin among people that
makes men fall, and that is a rebellion against God and
against His servants. "either let us tempt Christ as
some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of ser-
pents. either murmur ye, as some of them also mur-
mured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.'^ You who
are acquainted with Bible history know these old stories.
You know how the people were not satisfied with the
manna that fell from heaven, and how they murmured
against God and against Moses, and the apostle tells the
Corinthians they murmured against Christ. When Moses
struck that Eock, the people supposed, this is just a stone,
but it was a type of Christ. That cloud of the wilder-
ness some thought was just smoke or a cloud, but we are
told in the Word of God it was Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ
is not only two thousand years old ; He is the Alpha and
the Omega, the beginning and the end, yesterday, today,
and forever; and as they did in the wilderness in those
days, rebelled against Moses and rebelled against God,
and were slain by the thousand, so that out of the six
hundred thousand men, the very desert was covered with
the bleached bones of the men that fell because they
wanted to fall, only two of them ever reached the
promised land.
ow, dear friends, let us not suppose in these days
it is so much easier to be a Christian that it used to be.
Hundreds of people in the Christian churches these days
are living lives that they would not have pictured on the
wall and have you to look at them for anything. How
many of us would love to do that today? I ask the ques-
tion, Why do so many people fall, and the first way that
the devil wants people to fall is simply to get them into
that mental condition that they do not care.
II. Then there is a second reason for falling. The
second class of people who fall so easily are those who
think they must stand. "ow all these things happened
unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our
admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth tak^ heed
lest he fall." The Apostle Paul recognized the fact that
some people in the world think they must stand.
There are certain classes of people who look back
over their lives and make comparisons between themselves
and others, and they cannot see that they have ever fallen
like some people have, and consequently they draw the
conclusion, I never can fall ; I must stand. Then again
sometimes they have no sympathy whatever for those who
have fallen; and then, in the third place, they draw the
conclusion that just because they never have fallen, they
can take part in certain questionable things that others
cannot, because they must stand.
BeT\'are of the man that grows proud in his spirit and
thinks, I never fell and consequently never will fall. Did
you ever stop to ask the question what would have be-
come of you if you had been reared as some people have
been ; if you had been thrown out into the world as some
people have been thrown out? It is well enough for you
and me to boast that we never fell, when we had parents
who watched us day and night until we were fifteen years
old, and prayed with us every day, and threw their arms
of love around us, and had our conscience brightened by
sending us to the pastor and having us thoroughly cate-
chized and instructed until our consciences were burning
as briglit as the fires of Sinai. It is well enough for. you
and me to boast that we never fell when we were put out
into the very be«t families that could be found with a
warning to those who were watching us to report at home
how tlie boy is behaving. It is well enough for you and
me to boast that we never fell when many a time we would
have fallen if we had only had the opportunity; but God
was careful to watch over us and protect us. It is easy
enough for us to boast that we never fell when we are so
homely that nobody in tlie world w^ould look at us. ,It is
easy enough for us to boast that we never fell when no
one ever tried to make us fall. My dear friends, let us
not boast. There are thousands of ways and traps for us
to fall, and let him that thinketh he standeth take heed
lest he fall. o sympathy for the fallen. You think be-
cause David fell he was a Aveak man? There is not a
stronger man in the world today than David was. Be-
cause the Apostle Peter denied his Master, you say weak
Peter. There isn't one man out of ten thousand that
would not have denied his Master under the same cir-
cumstances. You say fallen Judas, but, my friends, many
a man today would be a Judas if he had the opportunity.
Be careful that you do not lose sympathy for those that
have fallen.
Here is a young man with money in his pocket; no
father or mother who are Christians ; thrown out into the
world at the age of sixteen or eighteen; gone from the
innocent country — and sometimes the country is not so
innocent — to the city ; falls into bad company. A home-
sick boy will make company Avith a dog; he will take up
with any man; he will take up company with any woman.
My dear friends, that young man tlirown out into the
world as I have described, with lust burning with strong
physical development, unless tlie mighty grace of God
throws its arm around him, will fall. Your daughter,
left without a mother's care, going away from home,
treated illy by those that ought to lift her up, lonely and
lonesome, looking for company, wanting some kind word
somewhere, will take up with the first man she sees in
some way or other, and the more God has blessed her, the
more Satan will try to overthrow her. Don't boast, my
dear friends. When you think you are standing you will
And especially is this true when we once get the
notion in our heads that we have stood so long that now
we are safe, and we can do what others cannot do. Did
you ever try to picture your whole life in some one else?
The devil always makes us believe that whatever we do is
right; that we are justified because it is tue; he always
makes us believe that we have certain environments and
certain circumstances that makes it all right in our case.
Oh, if we could just see ourselves, as we would see others
doing the same thing! My duty as a pastor and a minister
of the Gospel is always to ask myself this question : What
would I think of every minister of the Gospel in this
world, if he did just exactly as I am doing? That is the
only way I can see myself as I ought ; and the only way
you can see yourself as you ought, is just to ask yourself
the question. ow then if my brother, my neighbor, would
do just exactly as I am doing, what would I think of him?
The man that thinks he must stand is the man that gets
the false idea that he can do what others cannot do and
stand. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest
he fall. My dear friends, if over five hundred and ninety-
nine thousand people fell of the Israelites, there may a
couple of hundred fall in this audience. Beware that you
do not think you are standing and cannot fall.
III. There is still a third class. There are many
who fall because they think they cannot stand. "There
hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to
man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be
tempted above that ye are able, but will with the tempta-
tion also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to
bear it."
Those that think they cannot stand are the ones who
think that they have temptations such as the world has
never had. How often a man thinks, ow my temptation is
an unusual one; there never was a man in all the world
tempted as I am; and, going on that conclusion he says,
well, I must fall. Paul writes down a sentence I wish
you could all write down in your hearts and keep for-
ever. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as
is common to man." Your temptation is mine, and mine
is yours. We all have the same temptations, if not just
of the same character, they are equal in their downing
The next mistake we make sometimes is this, that we
think our temptations have absolutely no limit, and that
God is not helping us. Have you ever felt that Avay, that
your temptation has got such control now that surely God
has forsaken you, and it is impossible to try any more,
I must yield? Paul writes again on your memory, never
to forget it : "God is faithful who will not suffer you to
be tempted above that ye are able." God never tempted
you any more than you needed. If you are a mechanic and
have made a machine of am^ kind, when it is done you test
it, and if it isn't worth testing, it isn't worth having.
When God in His love allows you to be tried and tested,
and then you say, I cannot stand it, you are a worthless
machine; you are not fit to live in this world. That is
why so many people fall; they will not try to stand the
test; they think they cannot, and consequently they think
there is no use trying to escape. They think, what is the
use? God gave me certain desires and I will fulfil them;
if I have got a weakness it is not my fault ; it is inherited ;
I will go and satisfy it; there is no use trying; I T\ill
fall anyway, and so I will fall; I cannot stand. Paul
says. Don't argue that way; that is the devil's arguiricnt.
This same God who is faithful will with the temptation
also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Good news ! a way to escape ! and God will show you how.
ow, my dear friends, in conclusion, let me see if I
cannot show my c^oul and your soul how to escape in times
of temptation.
One of the very first things we must recognize in this
world is this, that the greatest blessings lie right close
to the greatest temptations. Show me a Savior and I
will show you a Satan tempting Him. Show me a Christ
going over the Holy Land preaching the Gospel of salva-
tion, and I will show you by His side the devil possessing
men, women and children. Show me a great blessing in
yourself and I will show you a great temptation right by
the side of it. And that is why so many Christians fall.
They think, well now, I am regenerated; I am a new
creature, a child of God, and consequently there is no
danger ; I will not fall ; I will stand. My dear friend, if
you were not a child of God, what would be the use of
the devil tlirowing you down? Just because you are a
child of God comes the wrestle, and if nearly six hundred
thousand men were overthrown in the wilderness, and
that was an ensample for you, then, my dear friends, re-
member that your great blessings lie right close to the
greatest temptations.
Let me illustrate what I mean : Over in Allen County
a few years ago, I took dinner with a man. He sat by my
side, and he said, "There is one thing in the world that
I never allow myself to do, and I have never had any temp-
tation to do if I said, "What is it?" He said, "I never
dance; I never care anything about it." Then I looked
at the man, and I saw he was not able to walk, because he
was a cripple. I thought, Poor man, you could not dance
if you Avanted to. And I thought to myself, if you were
as nimble as I am, and enjoyed music as I do, and could
hardly keep quiet when you hear music, you would say
you have had the temptation to dance. I would rather
dance than eat. Why? Because I love it. The blessing
of a strong body, physically developed, and every nerve
a string, will dance in the dark, if you give it a chance.
A lady said to me one day, "I have got no use at all
for that Miss So-and-so; she has made a woeful mistake
in life and she had no business to fall ; I would not have
fallen as she did." Tlien I looked at her old homely face
and I said, "Well, you have got a reason for not falling;
DO man ever looked at you„" She could not help it. I am
not finding fault with her face. Oh, what a blessing it
would have been for many a woman if she had had a
homely face! but don't tell me that a woman wdth a
homely face and a bad pliysical development has got the
same battle in life that another one has, the pride of the
city. Close to her blessings in life lie the greatest tempta-
tions. And unless we recognize these facts that I am giv-
ing you this evening, we will fall.
The way to escape is to recognize that the greater
the temptation is, the greater the blessing must be.
Satan's masterpiece means Christ by his side. A strong
blow to knock a man down by Satan, means a mighty
soldier of God if he does not fall. And that is the first
step to escape temptation.
Another way of escape is to pray without ceasing.
An Indian who one time received a large package of to-
bacco, after opening it found some money, and began to
debate. Shall I keep the money or shall I not? And finally
he made up his mind that he would take the tobacco back
to the owner and give the money back to him. When he
came the owner said to the Indian, "What made you bring
the money back?'' "Why," said he, "I have got two men
in me; when I first found the money, the one man said.
Keep it; then the other man said. You have no right to
it ; and they began to fight, and they fought day and night,
and," he said, "one day I just settled the quarrel; I said,
Here, you two men ; I am going to take that money back ;
and they quit fighting." That was the way the Indian
told the story that I want to tell you now. There is a
God in heaven who has planted a conscience in our hearts
and souls and that God has said. Pray without ceasing;
and He has taught us to say. Lead us, not into temptation.
And do you ask why so many people fall? Because they
go into dangerous places and say. Lead me not into temp-
tation. Their prayer is. Lead me not; let me go. The
Christian prays. Lead me, not into temptation. Do you
see the difference? And then the child of God that wants
to escape doesn't pray in the morning. Lead me, not into
temptation, and in the afternoon plunge into it. A man
can pray right up to the point, within two minutes of the
instant he falls. The mistake we make is that we do not
pray when we are falling.
A third way to escape is for us to remember that the
opportunities for doing good are a thousand times greater
than the opportunities for doing evil. Why do men fall?
Because they are making opportunities to fall. And when
you find yourself laying a plan that means an opportunity
to sin, right there is your chance to escape. Cut off the
opportunity. It is a great deal easier to preach than to
practice. We sometimes imagine that the places to do
good in the world are only a few, and the chances to do
evil are so many. It is not true. The devil has blinded
us. The fact is, it is terribly hard to find a place to sin.
It is terribly hard to sin. Oh, what a battle people will
make to sin; and yet it may be that you can only find
half a dozen places in the world that you can sin the sin
that you want to sin, while you can find ten thousand
times ten thousand places to do good. There is no other
thing in all the Avorld that is driving so many people to
destruction as this notion of having our bo^-s and girls
these days do nothing until they are through High School.
If our boys and girls were compelled to work hard, not
only work, but work until they are so tired in the even-
ing they would go to bed to sleep instead of running
around over the streets at night and planning means to
destroy others, our characters would be far better estab-
lished. Then, my friends, make yourselves a thousand op-
portunities to do good, and cut off the opportunities to do
evil, and God has made a way for you to escape.
And then let us not forget the history of the past.
Our text tells us that this story of the Israelites is given
us in the Bible as a warning, as an admonition, to us wbo
are living in the last days of the world. My friends, have
you not seen enough of what it means to fall, to \Aakr-n
up? If six hundred thousand men, with the exception of
two, fell, isn't it time that you and I are waking up?
Little does the devil care if I preach the Gospel for fifty
years if in the end he can make all those whom I led to
Christ say, he fell. Tlie victory is then for hell. Let me
urge upon you this morning to notice that David did fall,
that Peter did fall, that Judas did fall, and that your
own relatives did fall, and unless you watch out you
will fall.
The last way of escape that I will give you this even-
ing is to keep in mind day and night, Christ and Him
crucified. You do not generally find that people sin very
much around a corpse in the house; you do not find that
they sin very much in a hospital where they hear the moan-
ing and the groaning and suffering; and if you will re-
member Jesus on the cross crying out, "My God ! My God,
why hast Thou forsaken Me?" and remember that He is
doing this for the fallen that they might stand and not
fall; Oh, my friends, if you will make up your minds to
do what sinning you do up on Calvary's hill, under the
bleeding gore of your Savior ; if you will keep before your
eyes day and night Jesus dying for the very sins you are
thinking of committing, the way to escape the temptation
will appear and you will be free.
May God bless these words this evening to our souls'
eternal good. May He help us to grow in grace, and to
pray as we never did pray before, for purity of heart, for
purity of life, that we may spend eternity in the presence
of those who knew they could not stand by their own
power, and kne^\' that they could not fall when they held
tightly to the hand of Jesus. Amen.
Lord our God, we thank Thee for the plain message of the even-
ing, and we do thank Thee that we know we physically stand before
Thee now, but that Thou hast given us a message which will help us
to stand spiritually to the end of life if we will listen to this voice and
obey it. O God, do Thou bless this congregation, and all our congre-
gations. Give us faithful pastors, fearless pastors. Give us men of God
who proclaim the truth as it is in Thy Word. We ask Thee to go
with us through this night. Bless us in our going out and coming in.
Feed our souls on the bread of life, and O God, help that all of us
may reach the Canaan of eternal rest; and on our way let us pray as
Thou hast taught us :
Our Father who art in heaven ; H'allowed be Thy name ; Thy
kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; Give
us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, as we for-
give those who trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

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