Why Not Now?

I had a business communication from the United States today, which ended up with the following striking sentence:

“A decision must be made sometime,

WHY NOT NOW?”

I followed up that advice, and returned an emphatic NO to the proposal made.

But the sentence set me thinking of something infinitely more important—a matter not of time but of eternity, not merely relating to the body, but affecting the soul. Would that I could get you interested in it! It is truly a matter of life or death, of eternal happiness or everlasting woe.

You must say, Yes or No in this matter. Which shall it be?

There is only one way of saying Yes, and that is by receiving with repentance of soul the Gospel of God. Either the Bible is blessedly true or unspeakably false. You must say, Yes or No to the Bible, and if you say Yes to its message that includes the gospel. By receiving the testimony of God that you are a sinner your need of a Saviour is felt, and God offers a living loving Saviour to you—One, who has fully wrought salvation by His atoning death on the cross. Accepting this blessed Saviour you have received the gospel and salvation is yours. Your eternal happiness depends on this.

But there are two ways of saying, NO, and both are equally decisive.

There is the emphatic NO of the man of the world, of the infidel, of the sceptic—men and women who want nothing to do with the gospel.

A landlady of a boarding home at a fashionable seaside resort found a gospel book lying in her sitting room and was furious because she could not find out who had placed it there in order to forbid a repetition of the offence! Fancy the giving of the gospel being an offence. A newspaper, a picture magazine, a novel, anything, but that which speaks of God, is welcome.

But there is another way of saying NO. It is wrapped up in the word, procrastination. Multitudes give an outward assent to the truth of the Bible, and recognize the need of salvation in a general way, but the world has too big a hold of them. They don’t want to give it up before it is absolutely necessary. They may be religious, give devout attendance to ritual, and yet this is their attitude. Alas! little do they understand the awful danger they stand in.

A day may come when unexpectedly life with them ceases, and their procrastination is crystallized into an emphatic NO. And further the habit of procrastination grows upon the one who practises it, until at length the habit has become his master and tyrant. Old age sets in. Faculties are benumbed. Will is impaired.

I was called in to see an aged man. His heart was in a perilous condition. Any moment might to his last. He was alarmed as to his future and anxious to be saved. But his regret was that he had procrastinated all his years, till three score and ten years and more had passed over his head, and he found it hard to decide. Be warned and take the advice of the pushing firm in U.S.A.

“A decision must be made sometime,

WHY NOT NOW?”

Nay, take the advice of God Himself, “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).

The American firm expressed a fervent hope that there should be no unavailing regrets, which they thought would be the case if their offer were refused.

But what will be the unavailing regrets of those who say NO to the gracious offer of God in the gospel? No words can adequately describe them. No mind can conjure up how terrible they will be. They may well be described as the worm that dieth not and the fire that is not quenched, though this description means much more than that.

God grant that He may give the reader of these lines the grace to say, Yes. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The Gospel Messenger 1921, p. 1