Danger! Keep Out

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Chuck and Walt were making their way cautiously down a steep mountain trail near Pike's Peak. As they rounded a curve they came upon an entrance to a cave. It was boarded up, and over it was a large sign: "DANGER! KEEP OUT!" Chuck stopped to peer between the boards into the darkness, exclaiming, "I'd sure like to explore this cave! Will you go in with me?"
"Most certainly not! No way!" answered Walt, and he begged him not to try it, but Chuck was determined.
At the foot of the trail Chuck obtained a lantern, said "goodbye" to his friend, and returned to the cave. Lighting his lantern and pushing aside the barriers, he entered the deep, dark cavern. At first his light seemed barely to penetrate the dense darkness, but as his eyes became more accustomed, he could see jagged rocks and walls and a path, down which he cautiously moved.
"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:1212There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12). All seemed to go well for Chuck for a time, but suddenly he stepped off into space and fell down a steep slope. He lay there unconscious for a while.
How many there are who grope by the flickering light of reason, and at death take a "leap in the dark!" "He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth." John 12:3535Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (John 12:35).
When Chuck came to himself, he was in thick darkness, his lantern in pieces at his side, and himself bruised and sore. In his pocket he found a few matches which he struck, one by one, only to have them flicker and go out. Their light had shown him the slope down which he had fallen, and that it was impossible to climb back up the same way.
Shaking with cold and terror, he hardly dared move for fear of falling again. Carefully he crept along on hands and knees until his trousers were worn through and his knees bleeding.
As if being buried alive, he felt sure he must die. In his despair his past life came before him, and he cried to God for mercy—not for rescue, for that seemed impossible—but for the salvation of his never-dying soul. Scriptures which he had often heard but paid little attention to came flooding back into his memory. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7). "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:3131And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Acts 16:31). "He that believeth on the Son bath everlasting life." John 3:3636He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36).
These wonderful truths, like warm sunshine, shone into his dark, cold heart—and he accepted the Savior who had died for his sins.
Still his circumstances were unchanged, and he decided to keep moving as long as his strength lasted. He had no idea of the passage of time as he painfully and hopelessly dragged himself over rocks and stones.
Thinking of his mother, he found a piece of paper and a pencil in his pocket and scribbled a note to her as best he could. He told her not to mourn for him but to rejoice, because this dreadful experience had been the means of bringing him to his Savior who loved him and had given Himself for him, and he was happy in the thought of soon being with Him. He wrote his mother's address, and asked that his body be sent to her.
Still crawling wearily on, his hand touched a rope. With breathless hope he followed it until something— was it fresh air—touched his face. On he went; then a pale glimmer of light appeared. It gradually increased until he could dimly see in the distance an opening. At last he reached it, and stumbled out into the light! The sun was shining brightly; he had entered the cave at four in the afternoon, and it was now noon of the next day.
When picked up by a search party he was a sight ragged, bleeding, dirty and weak. From all this he soon recovered, but his spiritual change could never be erased from his soul for he was turned "from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God." Acts 26:1818To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18).
How typical Chuck is of many in the world today! Many, many people are still choosing "the way that seemeth right," still choosing "darkness rather than light," even though God has plainly posted the danger sign: "The wages of sin is death." "After this the judgment." "I have set before you life and death... therefore choose life."
"O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" Deut. 32:2929O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! (Deuteronomy 32:29).