He was not a bad man. Moral, respectable, honourable, amiable, he would generally be called a good man. Nor was he irreligious. He was connected with a so-called “place of worship.” He listened to the sermons courteously. More than once he was much moved as the preacher put before his audience the way of life and the way of death. Like Felix of old he trembled, but like Felix he said, by his actions, “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee” (Acts 24:25).
With him it was always Tomorrow! TOMORROW!! TOMORROW!!!
At length serious illness prostrated him. The preacher took an early occasion to call. He enquired earnestly as to how he stood with God. “Did God see fit to take you away now,” said he, “are you ready to go?”
“Oh! sir,” said the sick man, interrupting him, “I am in agony! Please excuse me. Oh! my head! my head! I cannot talk to you now. Come some other time.”
“When shall I call?”
“Tomorrow,” said the sick man. The preacher retired in tears.
The next day he called again. The knocker was muffled—an ominous sign. When he entered the sick chamber, the man was delirious, uttering incoherent sentences. Dead, yet living—what a condition. Alive in this world, yet unable to hear words of warning or entreaty as to his soul.
The preacher looked, and as he gazed upon the poor wreck of humanity, with reason fled, the tears coursed their way down his cheeks.
As he left the house the poor, sorrow-stricken wife asked him to call again.
“When shall I call?”
“Tomorrow.” This was more than the preacher could stand. All the way home he could not restrain his tears, thinking how his friend had said, “Tomorrow, TOMORROW, TOMORROW,” so long, and now it seemed too late.
The next day the faithful preacher called once more. The patient was still worse. The doctor had left strict orders that on no account was any visitor to see him. The crisis had come, and the slightest excitement might be fatal. But the doctor knew how earnestly the preacher desired to see the sick man, so he had said that if the patient revived he might see him tomorrow.
The preacher scarcely slept that night. Next morning early he was at the door of the sick man.
Knocking gently, he anxiously enquired of the maid, “How is your master?”
“Oh! sir,” replied the girl, “he is dead.”
“Dead! dead!!” was all the preacher could say.
“Yes, sir, he died at four o’clock this morning.”
Reader, has this no voice to you? Does not God’s word say: “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). “TODAY, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb. 4:7)?
Will you never respond to the invitations of the glorious gospel, or pay heed to the solemn warnings as to the awful end of a Christless life?
Your end will come sooner or later. How solemn, then, to trifle with these tremendous realities.
Let me beseech you to give prompt attention to the question of your soul’s salvation.
This habit of procrastination slays its tens of thousands. At first it is like the silken thread of a gossamer web. But as the habit is formed it is increasingly easy to continue, increasingly difficult to renounce, until at length its binding power is like that of heavy chains manacling their captive’s limbs. It has been well said that the road to hell is paved with good resolutions.
The great need of the hour is decision. How loudly is God speaking just now. Will you not hear? Will you not be wise, and consider your latter end? Remember, if you miss salvation, you will miss it for ever. There is no second chance beyond the grave. How true it is—
“There are no pardons in the tomb,
And brief is mercy’s day.”
Decide! Decide!! DECIDE!!!
Gospel Tidings Annual 1915, p. 93