Let Us Repent Immediately
Second Clement, written circa A.D. 125, is the earliest known Christian sermon outside of the New Testament.
Brothers, we ought to think of Jesus Christ as we do of God, as “Judge of the living and the dead.” For he has given us the light; as a father he has called us sons; he saved us when we were perishing. What praise, then, shall we give him, or what repayment in return for what we received? Our minds were blinded, and we worshiped stones and wood and gold and silver and brass, the works of men; indeed, our whole life was nothing else but death. For he had mercy upon us and in his compassion he saved us when we had no hope of salvation.
But how do we acknowledge him? By doing what he says and not disobeying his commandments, and honoring him not only with our lips but “with our whole heart and with our whole mind.” And in Isaiah he also says, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”
Let us, therefore, not just call him Lord, for this will not save us. For he says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will be saved, but only the one who does what is right.” So then, brothers, let us acknowledge him in our actions by loving one another, by not committing adultery or slandering one another or being jealous, but by being self-controlled, compassionate, and kind. And we ought to have sympathy for one another and not be avaricious.
For if we do the will of Christ, we will find rest; but if we do not, if we disobey his commandments, then nothing will save us from eternal punishment. And the Scripture also says in Ezekiel, “Even if Noah and Job and Daniel should rise up, they will not save their children” in the captivity. Now if even such righteous men as these are not able, by means of their ...