18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things (Philippians 3).
The word for “weeping” here is found 39 times in the New Testament, and is not even once used in a figurative sense. Thus, we can rightly picture the Apostle Paul through real tears dictating these words to his amanuensis. While Epaphroditus put pen to papyrus, Paul put his hands to his face while describing these people, whose end he knew would be “destruction” because they were “enemies” of God who gloried in self-indulgence and “earthly things.”
Such people should be pitied, rather than hated. I love the quote from Charles Spurgeon, who said: “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. . . . If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned or unprayed for.”
Lord, help us This Day to weep for sinners, and do all we can to bring them to Christ. Amen.