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Can it be possible that at some moment I too must die? That this living, breathing, throbbing body of mine, through which the blood is now flowing so freely, must at some hour cease to be? That time will still roll on, others be born to work and play, the sun and stars still shine, but I shall not be here? And if I die tonight, where will I spend eternity?
A divine, unchanging voice replies:
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).
Everlasting punishment for me? Can it be possible that I have lived here all these years, intensely busy with the cares, debts, money-making and pleasures surrounding me, and have left God out? Oh, how blind I have been! I have given my youth, my talents, my thoughts, my ambitions, my all for things that are only passing, and I have neglected the most important thing of all—my soul’s salvation! But if I had taken the time to find God, to love and serve Him—what then?
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
And I—I have neither hearkened nor believed! Oh, wretched being that I am! If I were to die tonight, I would spend my eternity in hell. The divine voice confirms my fears. “Be not afraid of them that kill the body. . . . Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea . . . fear Him” (Luke 12:4-5). As I repeat these words, two remarkable occurrences appear before me.
After a life of sin and dissipation, Sir Francis Newport, the noted English infidel, lay dying. He threw himself upon the bed and exclaimed, “That there is a God, I know, because I continually feel the effect of His wrath. That there is a hell, I am equally certain, having received an earnest of my inheritance there, already in my breast. Oh that I was to lie a thousand years upon the fire that never is quenched to purchase the favor of God and be reunited to Him! But it is a fruitless wish—millions of millions of years will bring me no nearer to the end of my torments than one poor hour!
“Oh, eternity, eternity! Who CAN DISCOVER THE ABYSS OF ETERNITY? OH, THE INSUFFERABLE PANGS OF HELL!” and he died. See the contrast!
After a life of service and entire consecration to God, Dwight L. Moody, the evangelist, lay dying. Slowly and in measured words he said, “Earth recedes; heaven opens before me. It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet. There is no valley here. God is calling me, and I must go.” And he died.
Oh that I, like Moody, had lived for God! Wasted youth, fruitless years—would that I could recall them now. Is there no escape for me? Must I be lost forever? Am I too late to find my God? God’s Son answers, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
My poor, wandering, lost, sin-sick friend, come to Jesus. He is waiting, His loving arms outstretched, His heart overflowing in love and pity—waiting, knocking, patiently standing at the door of your heart. Open to Him before He departs forever. Will you do so, friend, right where you are? Will you pause in your hurry, for just one brief moment, close your eyes, and quietly surrender right where you are standing? God grant you will—for you may pass into eternity tonight!
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).