A Wrong Prescription

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
A young friend of mine told a very interesting account of the circumstances of his conversion. He had been trained from his earliest days in strict morality, but without one spark of light as to Jesus and His salvation. His religion was cold and dreary. He had nothing to meet the need of the soul. The atmosphere in which he lived was intensely worldly. To make money was the grand object of his parents and friends.
It pleased the Lord, however, to visit this precious soul with the convicting grace of His Holy Spirit. He became really anxious about his eternal interests; and, in his anxiety, he thought he would seek for some spiritual advice from a Christian friend. Accordingly, he went to this friend and opened his heart to him. He told him of his exercises, and asked him what he ought to do. "Well," said this friend, "you can do nothing. All your efforts are useless. You must just wait until God's time comes; and then, but not until then, you will get what you are seeking." My young friend inquired how long he might have to wait; but this, of course, his adviser could not tell—who could? This spiritual adviser was wholly unfit to deal with an exercised soul. He prescribed theology in place of ministering Christ. It is a mistake to ever tell a soul he must wait, for now is the accepted time and day of salvation.
Well, my poor young friend was as unhappy as ever, and he thought he would betake himself to another physician belonging to a totally different school of religion. He did so, and opened his heart to him, and asked him what he should do to be saved. "Oh!" said he, "you must knock. 'Knock and it shall be opened unto you.' " "How long am I to knock?" inquired my friend. Of course, no one can tell that. He must just continue knocking, and, in due time, it should be opened.
Here we see misplaced truth. No doubt, it is all quite right for those who want to get in to knock at the door; but is this the advice to give to an anxious inquirer after salvation? Is such a one to be told either to wait in dark uncertainty on the one hand, or to knock in hopeless effort on the other? Are there no glad tidings to declare to anxious souls? Has the Son of God died on the cross, and finished there the work of redemption, merely to leave a soul waiting or knocking? For what have I to wait or to knock? Has not Jesus finished the work? Yes; blessed be His name, all is done; and hence both these spiritual counselors were defective in their advice, and they left their friend as miserable as they found him. He assured me he continued for three years knocking, and got nothing.
At length he went to a third adviser, and he at once told him, "You are all wrong together. You have neither to wait nor to knock, but simply to believe and be saved—saved on the spot—saved forever." Blessed news! Precious tidings! How welcome to a poor, harassed soul, just emerging out of a cold, dreary, misty formalism, and perplexed by the conflicting counsel of theological advisers, to be told, on God's authority, that all is done, that sin has been put away, that salvation is as free as the air he breathes, free as the sunbeams that fall upon his path, free as the dewdrops that refresh the earth, or the perfume that emanates from the flowers. My dear young friend drank in the gladsome message. He found peace. He was set free. The waiting and the knocking gave place to a joyous believing. He found Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. He grasped by faith the precious truth, and found therein all he wanted for time and for eternity.
"Salvation in that name is found,
Cure for my grief and care;
A healing balm for every wound;
All, all I want is there."
O that all who have to do with anxious souls may learn how to deal with them! May they point them to Jesus, and not perplex them with theology.