Echoes of Grace: 1987-1988, He Giveth Life

Table of Contents

1. The Pharisees
2. Fatal Inattention
3. Rescued!
4. "Doctor, Don't Let Me Die!"
5. "No Profit" or "Great Gain"
6. Christ Is Coming!
7. The Cave
8. Just as You Are
9. Jesus Gave Her Water
10. "Just Lippen to Jesus"
11. ?Are You Crazy??
12. Healed
13. My Sinful Nature
14. Opportunity
15. A Tale of Two Horses
16. The Joy of Salvation
17. A Useless Ticket
18. The Smoke Alarm
19. "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus"
20. Dream or Reality?
21. The Fear of Death
22. Have You Raised Anchor?
23. Still Waiting
24. "This Man Receiveth Sinners" - Luke 15:2
25. Rich for a Moment
26. I Want More Time
27. Because God Says It
28. The Lost Sheep Found
29. Pathan or Christian?
30. Saved by a Thread
31. A Need That Is Greater
32. The Cure for Fear
33. "Pull Over"
34. Jesus Is Enough
35. A Friend of Sinners
36. Nine Religions
37. Confession
38. Skrudur Rock
39. Board the Train to Life
40. A Moment of Time
41. Will You Live to Be 100?
42. Be Prepared!
43. Too Cheap
44. "Let Go of Your Rope"
45. Dennis the Cat
46. Blind Landing
47. A Great Deliverance
48. Delivered From the "Pit"
49. Will Come
50. Behold the Man
51. The Gospel of Joy
52. Standing Before the Judge
53. He Took My Whipping for Me
54. A Happy Ending
55. Thirsty
56. How Do You Clean House?
57. A Message of Mercy
58. The Convict
59. What Is "Grace"?
60. The Red Light
61. Are We Free?
62. The Gospel Message
63. Caught" ?Red-Handed?
64. Memories
65. Just Another Day
66. The Kloof of the Crying Child
67. Asleep in a Burning Bed
68. "Far Too Easy a Way"
69. I Can Do Nothing
70. Don?t Panic
71. Pain
72. Choose Life!
73. A Pauper's Grave
74. For Seeking Souls
75. Heather?s Rescue
76. "Never Enough!"
77. The Last
78. The Love of God
79. Maximilian Kolbe
80. Only a Touch
81. "If a Man Does the Best He Can"
82. The ''Robber's Bible
83. God Will Not Sell His Blessing
84. Opportunity
85. How Foolish We Are!
86. Here I Am!?
87. Dear to God
88. Happiness
89. Procrastination

The Pharisees

"Pharisees—outwardly but not inwardly religious; self-righteous and censorious of other's manners and morals." -Webster The Pharisees were a sanctimonious sect in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. It was one of their number who "went up into the temple to pray" and said, "God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are," and went on with a self-righteous listing of his own good deeds.
Surely, the sect has died out by now? Surely, there are no pharisees today?
Judge for yourself! A recent poll published in USA Today found that a great majority of Americans believe in heaven, and most of them rate their own chances of going to heaven as "good to excellent." But they feel their friends are not nearly so likely to get there. ("Lord, I thank Thee that I am not as others!") Pharisees to the core!
What does the Bible say about it? Will being better than others save them? Will it open heaven's door to be "not so bad as some"? The Bible says that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23.
Being "better than others" does not make anyone less short of the glory of God, for all have sinned. And there we find the key: "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8. At the same time the Pharisee was telling God what a good man he was, another man also prayed in the temple and his prayer was only, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
A sinner! A self-confessed sinner! What claim did he have on the grace of God? The Pharisee thanked God that he was so much better than that, but what did the Lord Jesus say? "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other."
That is it. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." 1 Tim. 1:15. Heaven is not gained by doing good, or by avoiding evil; it is not won by being better than this one or not so bad as that one, but simply by receiving the mercy God offers to sinners. It is "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Titus 3:5.
It is a pity that that poor old Pharisee so long ago didn't realize that; it is more than a pity that he has so many descendents in the world today. It is a tragedy! And it is so unnecessary. It is still true that "this Man [Jesus] receiveth sinners." It is still true that "joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." The Lord Jesus Himself said that in Luke 15:7.
Then what about the Pharisee? He, too, can cause that joy in heaven, but only by taking his rightful place as a sinner before God and trusting in the sinner's Savior. There is no other way.

Fatal Inattention

It was a cold, clear winter morning, and Scott decided to walk to work. He was young and healthy, and the thought of a brisk walk in the cold air was appealing. Sticking his radio in his jacket pocket, he clipped the earphones over his ears and started out. Not far from his home was a newsstand, and Scott stopped by to pick up a paper. Now he was all set. With a radio to entertain and a newspaper to inform, he was ready to begin the day.
Scott negotiated several intersections successfully, but as he approached the railroad crossing, something either in the newspaper or on the radio was engrossing his attention. Totally oblivious to the flashing lights and clanging bells warning of the approach of a commuter train, Scott started across the tracks.
Friend, are you doing something just as foolish as Scott did? All around you are the warnings of judgment to come: gospel tracts, radio messages, the man next to you on the bus who speaks to you about your soul, the girl in the next desk at school who quotes Bible verses to you. Are you listening? Or are the pressures of school or business and the desire for entertainment blinding and deafening you to the danger which is so rapidly approaching?
The Bible warns us that "it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27. God does not want you to suffer that judgment. He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9. Have you ever paid attention to His warnings?
Scott didn't pay attention. His eyes were on the newspaper, and his ears were full of the broadcast, and those few minutes of inattention cost him his life. The train struck him, and he was killed instantly. What a terrible penalty to pay for inattention!
Your life may not be threatened as Scott's was, but if you have not acted on God's warnings, your soul is in danger. God offers you pardon and forgiveness right now. "Now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor. 6:2. He calls you: "Come unto Me," (Matt. 11:28) and promises that "him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. Won't you pay attention and accept His offer of free salvation today?

Rescued!

Many years ago my parents with their eight children were returning home from a visit at my grandparents' home across the state. Though only six years old at the time, I remember so well the near tragedy that occurred.
Because of the size of our family, we used two cars. In those days the roads were very poor, being narrow, unpaved and full of deep ruts, so my mother, a less experienced driver, drove her car behind my father's car.
After nightfall, about 50 miles from our home we encountered heavy rain and reports of several washed-out bridges ahead. Father stopped his car to walk back over a narrow bridge to direct Mother as she crossed the swollen stream. One of my older sisters followed him into the darkness. Just as she reached the narrow bridge, she stumbled and fell into the swift waters. She was able to grasp one of the bridge timbers, and clinging to it she cried out for help. With just her head above water and her hands slipping, she was truly in a desperate situation.
Above the sound of the rushing water and heavy rain my father heard her frantic cries. Following the sound of her voice he finally located her. With his strong arms he was able to pull my sister to safety.
My Christian parents felt that my sister's deliverance from drowning was a real miracle from God.
I have never forgotten that incident. But a more remarkable miracle has taken place in my own life. This is the miracle of new birth.
God the Father who gave His only Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross for all who believe, showed me by the Holy Spirit that I was a sinner, and believing that the Lord Jesus had died to put my sins away, I became a child of God—I was born again. Now I am on solid ground—the Rock Christ Jesus.
"He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters." 2 Sam. 22:17.
"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust." Psa. 18:2.
"And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God." Psa. 40:3.

"Doctor, Don't Let Me Die!"

The resident doctor bowed his head in silent prayer to God for help in this newest case brought into the burn ward. The patient, scarcely twenty years old, had been burned over 95% of his body. He was the victim of a fiery truck accident. At the bedside was his frightened young wife. The medical people knew that, aside from a miracle, the very longest the patient could live would be two or possibly three weeks. As the doctor opened his eyes after his prayer, they met the intense gaze of the patient, a penetrating look of fear and wild determination.
"Doctor, don't let me die! I won't die. I won't!"
"I will do all within my power for you," the doctor answered gently, "but power over death is God's alone."
"God!" He almost spat the word. "Satan is my god!" On his arm was tattooed a supposed picture of Satan.
Horror filled Dr. Jim Perry's soul. He looked at the young wife. "And you? Are you a Satan worshiper?"
She was not. Again turning to Armado, the patient, he said firmly: "Your greatest need is to change masters. Satan is a hard master. You need Jesus Christ."
A negative movement from the patient closed the subject for the time. Dr. Perry had been warned not to become emotionally involved with the patients, but the battle for the young man's life could not be, to him, separated from the struggle for his soul. He dared not ignore the terrible need of this young man.
So great was the Christian doctor's dedication to the case that the wife exclaimed one day, "Doctor, I don't understand you! Don't you ever leave to eat or sleep? Whatever it is you have, I want it too."
How gladly he told her that he knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. So it was that the wife was brought to the feet of Jesus, and together they prayed for the dying husband.
The doctor's own tears often made it difficult for him to put into words the tenderness, the greatness of the love of God in sending His own beloved Son to take his place in judgment at Calvary, but at last Armado said the words they so longed to hear. Yes, he would take Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Soon after this, he was no longer able to speak. Was it real with him? The doctor longed for more assurance that the Lord had indeed won the victory over Satan. One day when Armado was in obvious distress over a physical need which he tried without success to express, an idea flashed into Perry's mind.
"Armado, don't struggle to tell me. Just tell the Lord Jesus. He will help you if you belong to Him."
Within minutes, everyone who had duties concerning Armado came to that room as if drawn by a magnet! His need was met, and the Christian doctor rejoiced at this little sign from the gracious Lord.
"The Lord is far from the wicked: but He heareth the prayer of the righteous." Prov. 15:29. Before anyone can be termed "righteous," the deep, complete cleansing of the blood of Jesus Christ is necessary. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.

"No Profit" or "Great Gain"

Which are you working for: "No Profit" or "Great Gain"? Which is to be yours as the result of all your toil and labor in life? Are you wisely directing your efforts? Are you employing your energies in the right direction to get the best reward for their expenditure?
Solomon labored and strove for satisfaction. He put out all his strength. He engaged all his wisdom. He employed all his wealth in the pursuit of happiness, but he did not find it. After the vain search—a lifetime long—he wrote of his experience. We have it in the book of Ecclesiastes. His verdict upon his prolonged effort is: "Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought... and, behold, all was vanity... and there was NO PROFIT." Eccl. 2:11.
The Apostle Paul, after his conversion, spent his whole life for the glory of Christ and for the blessing of others. He had little of this world's goods. He could say toward the end of his career, "Godliness with contentment is great gain." He had secured success where Solomon had failed. He had learned in whatsoever state he was, to be content. He had Christ as Savior and Satisfier. The Holy Spirit within him gave him joys and delights which filled him to the full with satisfaction. In the service of God, he found GREAT GAIN.
Which are you working for?

Christ Is Coming!

"What's coming out of all this?" exclaimed a very bewildered man as he read the news headlines reporting the earth-shaking events occurring almost everywhere today. To this a Christian gave the following reply:
"Christ Is Coming!"
Yes, Christ is coming, and one of two things will happen when He comes; you will either be caught up to be forever with Him, or left behind for judgment. Think of it —left behind for judgment!
The Lord Jesus said: "As it was in the days of Noe [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." Luke 17:26. How was it in the days of Noah? A world of unbelievers, rejecting God's warnings, unprepared for His judgment, were in a moment swept away in those terrible waters!
It will be the same when Christ comes. Multitudes will be unprepared, because they refused to be washed in His blood, and so will be damned throughout eternity. Will you be one of them?
Too Late for Mercy Then!
There will be terrible crying and wailing in that day, men and women crying out for mercy, and wailing because no mercy can be found.
Those who have heard the gospel of God's grace, and turned carelessly away, will realize then that the day of grace is past, and that their doom is forever fixed. Will you be one of them?
I warn you that Christ's coming is no mere fairy tale. Don't trifle with the question of your soul's salvation! this moment for refuge to that Savior who still cries, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.

The Cave

It wasn't too easy to reach the cave. It meant a hike through the woods and then a scramble, helped along with ropes, to the mouth of the cave. But the little group of campers followed their guide manfully and at last they were inside.
Tom, one of the campers, surveyed the bats hanging upside down near the entrance rather apprehensively, but the group was moving further in and he went on with them. As they got further in, the daylight faded, and at last there was only artificial light.
The guide warned the campers that he was going to turn out the light. Suddenly, it was dark! Completely, totally dark! Tom tried to see his hand held in front of his eyes, but failed. Though the rest of the group was near him, and the guide was speaking just in front of him, Tom began to feel a loneliness creeping over his soul. It was strange—it was eerie.
What was this the guide was saying? He was telling them of another dark place a place of utter, outer darkness, a place called hell. He told them that one day there will be a departing from all light, all love and friendship, all hope, for those who are going into that place that is as black as the blackest night—that place of loneliness, loneliness forever.
What an object lesson! Tom will never forget it, and he has made sure that he will never go to that place of darkness. In fact, the Lord Jesus shed His blood on the cross so that "whosoever will" can escape that awful place. God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
But while it is true that "he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life," it is equally true that "he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36. And that will mean the blackness of darkness forever. Oh, do turn from darkness to light NOW, before it is too late.

Just as You Are

How many there are who think that they must feel differently, or that they must improve their condition before they come to Jesus! That is a mistake.
Jesus invites you to come to Him just where you are, and just as you are, and just now; and:
"If you linger till you're better,
You will never come at all."
Are you conscious that you are a sinner? Do you find that the publican's prayer, "God be merciful to me, a sinner" suits you? Then that is your recommendation. Come to the Savior, and be assured that He is waiting to welcome you. Only come to Him just as you are.

Jesus Gave Her Water

You would have loved Aunt Gertie. We met her first in a little gospel hall in Gordon Bay, Ontario. She was very old—one of the pioneers—and had attended the meetings there all her long, strenuous life. Her face was all furrows and wrinkles, her hands work worn and hard. But her smile was radiant as the sunshine, and her hearty handshake, genuine and warm.
"How long have you known Jesus?" we asked.
"Ever since I got lost in the bush."
"Tell us about it."
"I was eight years old. Already I was lost in my sins. But hunting the cows one hot summer day I got lost in the woods. I ran and ran till I thought I would die of thirst.
"So I knelt right down and called, 'Oh God, give me a drink!' Right away I found a drink waiting. There in front of me was a hole punched in the soft ground by a cow's foot long before. It was full of clear rain water. So I knelt down and drank."
As she drank, that verse in John 4:10 came to her, that she had heard in Sunday school: "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water."
She saw she only had to take it. And take it she did. She reached home late that day, but as a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:17).
Had not Jesus said: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink"? John 7:37. She came, she drank, she was saved. The Lord met her need, saved her soul, and gave her joy and peace.
Won't you, too, accept the salvation He offers you?

"Just Lippen to Jesus"

In the broad Scotch translation of the New Testament, the word "lippen" is used for the English word "believe." For example, John 3:16 reads: "For God se loved the world as to gie His Son, the only begotten ane, that like ane wha lippen till him sudna dee, but has life for aye."
An exact English equivalent for the word "lippen" is not easy to find. It expresses the condition of one who is entirely unable to support or protect himself, but trusts implicitly to the safekeeping of some other person or object.
For instance, a man walking across a rushing stream on a wooden plank "lippens" to the plank. If it breaks, he can do nothing to save himself.
The word "lippen" implies entire dependence when there is risk and helplessness.
Years ago a Scottish Christian doctor was visiting in a country district. The object of the doctor's visit was a poor old woman, bedridden and almost blind. Seating himself beside her, and after a few general inquiries, he spoke to her about her soul.
But the heart which he strove to enlighten had been closed so long, and was so dark that it seemed impossible that a single ray of light could ever penetrate it.
Still, the woman evidently was anxious to understand what the doctor was telling her. Encouraged by this he persevered, urging her to trust in Christ. At length, with a sigh of despair, the old woman said: "Ah! sir, I would fain do as you bid me, but I dinna ken how. How can I trust in Christ?"
"Oh, woman," was his expressive answer in the dialect of the district, "just lippen to Him."
"Eh! sir," was her reply, "and is that all?"
"Yes, yes," was his happy response, "just lippen to Jesus, and lean on Him, and you will never perish."
"Oh, is it just to lippen to Him? Why surely I will lippen to Jesus. He will never let me down, will He?" They bowed together, and she spoke to the Lord Jesus in simple prayer.
And that is all that God asks you to do to be saved. Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." John 6:47.

?Are You Crazy??

Joe, a college student, was returning to his dorm late one night when he stopped his car for a traffic light. A man jumped into the seat beside him and roughly thrust a gun against his side, ordering, "Drive on, and don't do anything to attract attention!"
Joe was a Christian, so as he obeyed the order his mind turned to the Lord and almost unconsciously the words came from his lips: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Now it was the bandit's turn to be startled. "What are you talking about? Are you crazy?" he demanded.
This gave Joe an opportunity to explain that because he was born again and Christ lived in him he had eternal life, and that physical death would only mean life forever in glory.
The stranger snorted: "Now I know you're crazy!" But his interest had been aroused, and Joe continued to tell him about the Savior.
Suddenly the gunman put his gun away and told Joe to "pull over to the curb," explaining that he wanted to hear more about how to gain victory over fear and death.
Gladly Joe complied. Opening his pocket Testament, he began to read from the third chapter of John. As he read and explained the 16th verse, his passenger suddenly stopped him. "I see it, I see it!" he shouted joyfully. He saw it, he believed it, and together he and Joe bowed their heads and thanked God for everlasting life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Healed

"There never was such misery as mine," said poor, sick Barbara as she tossed restlessly on the hospital bed. "I don't think there ever was such pain!"
"Once," was faintly whispered from the next bed.
Barbara paused for a minute, then in a still more impatient voice resumed her complaint: "Nobody knows what I feel. Nobody ever suffered more pain!"
"One," was again whispered from the same direction.
"You mean yourself, poor thing, but—"
"Oh, not myself—not me!" exclaimed Lucie. She spoke so earnestly that her restless companion lay still for several seconds and stared at her.
"Oh, not myself—not me!" she repeated softly. There was a short pause and then the following words, spoken in the same low key, broke the midnight silence: "And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked Him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon Him, and took the reed, and smote Him on the head.... And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha... they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall.... And they crucified Him.... And they that passed by reviled Him, wagging their heads.... And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying... My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Matt. 27:29-46. The voice ceased, and for several minutes not a word was spoken. The night nurse came in and refilled the pitchers of water by both beds.
"Thank you, nurse," said Lucie. "They gave Him gall for His meat, and in His thirst they gave Him vinegar to drink!"
"She is talking about Jesus Christ," said Barbara, already beginning to toss restlessly from side to side again. "But," she added, "talking about His sufferings can't help ours—at least not mine."
"But it lightens hers," said the nurse. "I wonder how?"
"Hush!"
The gentle voice again took up the strain: "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.... He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Isa. 53:4, 5
"Healed! That's a blessed word; I wish I was healed!"
Barbara was healed—healed in both body and soul. What the doctors and nurses with the Lord's help accomplished for the healing of her body in the hospital, her quiet night talks with Lucie did for her soul. Before she was dismissed, well and strong again, Barbara was able to say with truth, "He was bruised for my iniquities: the chastisement of my peace was upon Him; and with His stripes I am healed"!

My Sinful Nature

An apple tree bears apples. The apples are the fruit of the tree, but are not the tree itself. The tree is that upon which the apples grow, and if each apple were picked off, the tree would still be an apple tree. Its nature would remain unchanged.
So it is with the root sin, from which spring the fruits sins. Many a one is in distress about that which he finds within him. Where do these evil thoughts and actions come from? They come from the old nature which we inherit from Adam.
You may try to improve and cultivate the old nature in order that it may no longer bring forth bad fruit. You try to keep the law, that by it you may make the old nature better, but you never will.
An honest man must own that all his efforts have ended in failure; he has not been able to produce anything suitable to God. You have done your best, and failed, but it has been your work. You have tried to improve, get rid of, or, by law, act upon that old nature, and have not thought of Christ and His work on the cross.
Can you be sheltered from judgment by your own work? Have your own good deeds, has law-keeping saved you from your sins? No, that was Christ's work altogether. How has He done it? He forgives my sins, but He does not forgive the nature that produces those sins.
That must be condemned, brought to an end, by death. God never justifies the old nature—never! The only thing that can free me, in the sight of God, is death. "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8.
Not only did the Lord Jesus Christ bear my sins in His own body; not only was His blood shed to wash them away, but, He died and I died with Him. That is, God looks at the one who believes on Him as having died with Christ.
The Apostle Paul could say: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20.
He knows that you cannot improve your old nature, so He has done away with it at the cross. Think of it! Our judgment has been borne by Christ, our sins forgiven through His name, and the believer is now a new creation in Christ!
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17.

Opportunity

A criminal, who had never before heard of God's love to sinners, was condemned to die. According to his country's laws he had no hope of receiving mercy for his crimes. However, one who had himself received forgiveness for all his sins told God's message to the condemned man.
At this, his first hearing of the marvelous gospel, the wonderful good news, the hopeless sinner said afterward: "When I heard there was pardon for me from God, I just grabbed at it!"
My friends, what you may have so long and so coldly passed over, this poor man eagerly and instantly grasped.
In Isa. 1:18 God says: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
What gracious pleading is here! How will you treat your present opportunity? God delights in mercy, but since He is holy, sin must be judged.
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." Isa. 55:6.

A Tale of Two Horses

Many years ago, not far from our farm was a pasture where droves of unwanted horses were processed for fox food and dog food. To me it was a dreadful place.
One day I had the misfortune of losing one of my team. So, needing another horse, I called those in charge there to see if I could buy one of their live animals for a replacement. The answer was: "Yes, go over to the holding pasture and pick out the one that suits you."
I drove over, and what a sight! There were about one hundred horses out in that field. There were all breeds, colors, sizes and ages—some old and feeble, some evidently quite young. They were all doomed to die, so many a day, and more to follow.
It was a cold winter morning and the horses were eating what little grass they could find on the bare, frozen sod.
My heart ached for those poor horses in their miseries, and soon to be destroyed. However, glad to be able to save at least one, I looked around for the horse which would suit me best.
Singling out a fine, sleek mare, I went towards her, calling kindly and holding out my hands. However, she had no wish to be approached, even in kindness. Laying back her ears and opening her mouth wide, she stretched out her neck to bite. Then suddenly turning, she quickly ran away. I thought, how like many poor lost sinners who reject and despise God's proffered grace!
I turned sadly and selected another mare. She was not as good looking, nor so young either. But she gladly received the kindness I offered. So I took a piece of cord and tied it about her neck to identify her as mine.
Shortly afterward I happily led her home to our farm, where she lived comfortably and worked faithfully for several years.
To one that loved horses, that barren field full of doomed horses was a most sorrowful operation. But if we have eyes to see, how infinitely more sad is the sight of multitudes of poor lost sinners following the broad road that leads to destruction, despising the One whose nail-pierced hands are stretched out to save. Thank God, that some (like my humble horse) receive salvation and escape.
But my illustration is only a feeble picture, and falls far short of reality. I could save only one horse from death that day, but God is not willing that any—man, woman or child—should perish (2 Peter 3:9). He has provided a full, free salvation for all who will receive it, without money and without price.
"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" Ezek. 33:11.

The Joy of Salvation

The only people on earth who know lasting happiness or have an entrance into the joys of salvation are true "born again" Christians. Knowing that their sins have been forgiven and washed away by the precious blood of Christ, and that they are saved for all eternity, what could result but a flood of thanksgiving, for "believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable." 1 Peter 1:8.
Some people believe that conversion to God puts a damper on happiness, not understanding at all what it is about. If one has never tasted the pure waters of redeeming love, how can he compare it to the polluted pleasure streams of this world? The Bible tells us to "taste and see that the Lord is good." Psa. 34:8.
Have you believed the glad tidings? Are you rejoicing in eternal life? If not, you have missed the greatest, the only true and abiding joy to be found on earth.
"Yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." Psa. 144:15.

A Useless Ticket

How wonderful it seems to ride above clouds, high above the earth, looking down on the world beneath. The time it takes to fly from one place to another is so short that we hardly realize the distance.
Of course taking an airplane ride isn't a very difficult problem today, but one must first buy the ticket. Then you must go out to where the plane is ready and waiting for you.
You can study the time schedule if you wish, and talk to those boarding the plane, but there is one thing more—the most important thing of all. You have made your decision to fly, bought your ticket, checked the schedule, talked to others about it, and even seen the plane, but unless you get on board, it will not take you to your destination.
This is like being saved. Unless you trust Christ, you cannot be saved. Just as the plane cannot take you to your destination unless you board it, so you cannot reach heaven unless you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as you own personal Savior.
He paid the price in full. On Calvary's cross He died in our guilty place that we might be saved from our sins, and by accepting Him into our hearts by faith we are saved.
Once you are on the plane you trust the pilot to take you to your destination. And so once you have decided for Christ and have become a Christian, you trust Him, as your Pilot through life, to guide and keep you till you reach that home above.
The airplane pilot might fail, or the plane itself might fail, but the Lord Jesus and His saving power never will. He will bring every one of His redeemed ones safely to heaven, and there is no other way but through Him. Have you ever knelt down and thanked the Lord Jesus for His wonderful love in dying for you? If you haven't, won't you bow before Him now and, owning your lost sinful condition, thank Him for shedding His precious blood to save you?
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree." 1 Peter 2:24 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." 1 Peter 3:18.

The Smoke Alarm

Too late—too late! The fire had too great a head start, and when the fire fighters arrived, the fierce heat prevented them from going inside until the flames were brought under control. Then the sad search began, and soon the bodies were brought out—one—and another—and another. Three people lay dead in the ruins of the two-story house. No more could be found, but there was still a faint buzzing noise in the ruined house. Could someone else be alive?
The search continued, and the cause was soon discovered. Downstairs they found a smoke alarm, covered and muffled with old clothes, but still faithfully sounding the alarm—the alarm that, if they could only have heard it—would have roused them all in time to escape the burning building.
The sad fact is that they did not want to hear the alarm. They did not want to be disturbed and so deliberately muffled the sound that could have saved them. In peace and quietness they slept on until the moment when they awoke, engulfed in flames and doomed.
There is an alarm sounding for our world today—a warning that time is short and that "it is high time to awake out of sleep." Rom. 13:11. The good times will end; the luxury and self-indulgence, the fun and thrills cannot last. They may have muffled the sound of the alarm, may have diverted the mind for a time, but they cannot avert the eventual wakening. Will you awaken too late?

"Nothing but the Blood of Jesus"

Years ago a great conference of religions was held in Chicago. Practically every religion in the world was represented, and the delegates heard many great speeches and discussions.
During one of the sessions, Dr. Joseph Cook of Boston arose and said: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I beg to introduce to you a woman with a great sorrow. Blood stains are on her hands, and nothing she has tried will remove them.
The blood is that of murder and nothing will take away the stain. She is desperate in her distress. Is there anything in your religions that will remove her sin and give her peace?"
A hush fell upon the great gathering as the speaker turned from one to another for an answer.
No one replied. Dr. Cook then cried out: "I will ask another!" Then he raised his eyes heavenward and called out: "O God, canst Thou tell this woman how to get rid of this awful sin?" He waited, as if listening for a reply. Suddenly he cried: "Listen! God speaks: 'The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.' " 1 John 1:7.
Not one in that great assembly made a single move. The representatives of eastern religions and western cults sat speechless. In the face of the guilty sinner's need they were without remedy or hope. The gospel of Jesus Christ alone could meet the need.
That precious blood avails for you today.
What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me pure within?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Dream or Reality?

A dream? No, it was a nightmare!
I awoke in hell. Of course I knew millions had done so before; it was no new thing. But it was new to me, and I felt miserable, wretched. "Is this hell?" I thought. It was so unlike what I had expected.
What was it like? It was like nothing I had ever known or imagined before. I had always liked to explore a strange place; I had no desire to explore this! I dreaded even to move, for I felt certain that the more I saw the worse it would be.
Suddenly I heard my name mentioned, though I could not recognize the voice. It appeared a list was published in hell, daily, of the people arriving in a day or so, and my name was there, and they were expecting me, but I had come a day too soon. I awoke. I awoke on earth—was it earth? Where was I? On earth or in hell?
I was covered with an icy sweat. It was quite dark and I dared not move. The terror of that moment!
I was truly on earth, though hell seemed more real. I dressed in a daze, and got into my car to drive to Ascot. It was Cup Day at the races, but why I went I could not say, nor how I got there. My whole time was spent in thinking where I had been.
I was roused by a small accident, a "fender-bender." I don't quite know what happened. It was my fault, I suppose, for the other with an oath wished me in hell. I had heard the phrase thousands of times at school and in the army; yes, I had used it too, but now it was like a new language to which I had the key.
Shuddering, hot and cold by turns, I drove on to the track. The first acquaintance I met was a brother officer. He had not seen me since I left the service. Shaking hands, in a joking manner he asked me if I had been in hell.
I heard no more. I knew that I had fallen and was being taken home. As I was carried along I heard oaths and curses on all sides. I had heard that at racetracks all my life; now I started each time I heard the name—that name—mentioned. It was only a joke to them; it was grim earnest to me.
I arrived home. The doctor said I must have had a shock—he never said a truer word in his life—and that I must be kept perfectly quiet. Keep me quiet! How did I know I might not fall asleep and wake up where I had been the night before? I was not expected then; I was expected now—and forever.
The paper on the wall was a kind of diamond pattern with spots on it. I began counting them—I could not help it. Suppose I allowed one hundred years in hell to each spot, how many years would it make? I got confused and began over again. Would life there never end? I think I fainted. When I came to, my brother Jack was sitting by my bedside.
I asked him to read to me from the Bible about Lazarus and the man. I meant the dead man, but I could not bear to name the word, and half closed my eyes. Jack had to go out to get a Bible, and then he had to go again to find the place. At last he began: "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus."
That was wrong; I meant the beggar Lazarus. However, Jack read on slowly, though I did not listen. This story had no concern for me, but I knew Jack could not find the other one.
Lazarus was sick, was he? So was I. Lazarus was dead. Would I be dead in another hour or so? Then I heard no more until the words, "Lazarus, come forth," and Lazarus came forth. Where had this man been? It was strange that Jack should read about him. Jack stopped, but I asked him to read it again. Jack read it more slowly than before. This time I listened to every word. "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again." Jack's voice trembled.
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."'
"Stop!" I shouted; "say it again!"
Jack went over it three or four times and then went on: "And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
Now I always had a good strong voice. For the life of me, I couldn't help it: I gave such a shout as woke the whole house. Never a patient had such a speedy recovery! I was out of bed at once.
I read that chapter over at least fifty times; it got clearer and clearer. How I praised God for it. "Shall never die," I cried over the words for joy. No more hell for me!
My chief concern was Jack, but he saw it too, only he was quieter. "To think, Jack, I am forty-five and you are forty, and we never saw before that Christ died for our sins to save us from hell!"
"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.

The Fear of Death

There was once a dear old Scotch woman who wanted badly to go to the city of Edinburgh, but for years she could not be persuaded to take the railway journey because of her great dread of a tunnel through which she would have to pass. One day circumstances arose which compelled her to go. For a while her fears were great, and her agitation increased as the train drew near the dreaded tunnel. But before the tunnel was actually reached the old woman, worn out with excitement, dropped peacefully off to sleep. When she awoke, she discovered that the tunnel had been passed!
Sometimes even God's people are fearful when looking ahead to the dark shadow of death, but the apprehension is as needless as the old woman's fear of the tunnel. Jesus said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25. The resurrection hope takes the sting out of death; though we sleep, we shall awake in the full sunshine of His presence. "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness." Psa. 17:15.
This is "the blessed hope" of all the people of God, but what about the ungodly? It will not be so with them. To go alone "without God and without hope," into the darkness of death, is only the prelude to spending eternity in "the blackness of darkness forever."
Now, that is not a needless fear! It is the most sensible fear a human being can have, and if you find that fear in your heart, turn at once to the One who came into the world to die on the cross to "deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Heb. 2:15.

Have You Raised Anchor?

Two drunken sailors wished to cross an arm of the sea in Scotland one night. The inlet was not wide, and usually it was crossed in twenty minutes. The two sailors were anxious to get over as quickly as possible and, getting in their boat, they set out with all their might to row over in less time than would be usually taken.
The crossing had never seemed so long! They redoubled their efforts, but instead of striking the other shore they were still out in open water. There was no current in the inlet, but the sailors imagined that the tide was against them and again rowed with all their might. Still they did not reach the other shore.
"Well," they declared, "either the boat is bewitched, or we are!"
They continued rowing, the hours passed, day began to break, and the increasing light revealed to the two exhausted but now sober sailors the cause of their trouble.
"Hello, mate," cried one of them, looking over the side of the boat, "we have not raised anchor!"
It was true, and now they saw why their night's work had been so utterly useless.
The drunken stupidity of the two sailors may raise a smile, but how many souls are in the same condition. Many a poor sinner struggles to believe—strange as that may seem—but all their efforts have been in vain and peace of heart is as far away as ever. The unhappy soul, pressed to despair, places the blame upon the devil, upon a fatal chance, upon anything at all, but the true cause which is not suspected.
The heart clings to hopes founded on its own righteousness which it does not wish to give up; it refuses to cast itself with childlike confidence into the arms of Jesus.
And you—where are you? Have you raised anchor yet? Have you cut loose from yourself? If not, all your efforts are useless. Raise then your anchor, cast aside your confidence in everything that keeps you here; cast yourself just as you are into the arms of Jesus, and you will prove for yourself the reality of the Word which says, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Rom. 4:5.

Still Waiting

I went to visit a fisherman who was deeply concerned as to his soul's salvation. "I am lost!" he said. "There is no grace for me. I did not open my heart when the Savior stood before its door, knocking. Now He has gone away."
The man had neglected to decide for Christ when some of his friends had opened their hearts to the gospel. Since then he had been in fear and sorrow, constantly saying, "I did not open to Him when He knocked, and now He has gone away."
"What you are saying is not so," I responded, "for if you would open unto Him now, you would find Him still standing there, waiting, for it is still the day of salvation."
He looked at me fixedly, but said nothing, and with this I left him. The next day the man came to me with a face beaming with joy, saying, "Oh, you were right! When I opened to Him, then I found Jesus standing there, still waiting. Now I have received Him and He is my Savior and Lord, and I am happy and at rest."
This man is still a happy Christian, walking with the other believers of the village in the narrow path of life which leads to eternal glory.
Behold the Savior at the door!
He gently knocks—has knocked before;
Has waited long—is waiting still;
You use no other friend so ill.
"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." Rev. 3:20.

"This Man Receiveth Sinners" - Luke 15:2

UK 15:2 {It is interesting to notice four classes of people who are mentioned in the gospel of Luke as receiving blessing.
The first is a leper (Luke 17), the second a beggar (Luke 18), the third a publican (Luke 19), and the fourth a thief (Luke 23).
God receives people like these. They all found that God was ready to receive them just as they were. They did not wait to become better people before they came; it was too late for the thief to talk of reforming when he was slowly being put to death for his crime.
You will notice four things about the thief. The first is, he feared God, saying to the other thief, "Dolt not thou fear God?"
The second is, he condemned himself, for he said, "We indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss."
The third thing was, he trusted in Jesus, saying, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom."
The fourth, he was associated with Jesus where He was, for Jesus said: "Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." Chapter 23:43.
All this is true of everyone who really believes on Jesus with the heart. Won't you, like the thief, look to Jesus for salvation?
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Rom. 3:23, 24.

Rich for a Moment

A ship was sinking off the coast of South America. Part of its cargo was a large shipment of Spanish coins. In the hope of saving some of them, a number of boxes were brought on deck, but the ship was sinking so fast that the sailors soon realized their only hope for life was to abandon everything and take at once to the boats. The last lifeboat was about to push off when one young sailor rushed back to see if anyone was still on board. To his surprise, he found a man on deck with a hatchet in his hand. He had chopped open several of the boxes and was busily heaping the coins around himself. "What are you doing?" shouted the sailor. "Don't you know the ship is breaking up fast?"The ship may," said the man; "I have lived a poor man all my life and I'm determined to die rich!" The sailor's frantic pleas were answered only by another flourish of the hatchet, and he had to be left to his fate.
Moments after the lifeboat pulled away to safety, the ship was engulfed in the waves and the man—rich for a moment—went down with it.
We consider such a man insane, but he has too many imitators. Many men seem determined to die rich at all hazards. Least of all risks do they count the chance of losing their own soul in the struggle. The only riches we can claim with joy in our dying hour are the riches of grace through faith in our only Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us make these riches ours before the dark hour comes.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36.

I Want More Time

An old woman of eighty wanted to become a Christian, but she had a problem. So she asked several Christian friends to come and talk with her. They urged her to accept Jesus as her Savior.
Said one, "Why not just trust Him now, within ten minutes?" Oh, she could not!
"Why not?"
She wanted time, she said: it was too sudden. Ten minutes! Oh, no! She must have time to think about it.
"You are old," said one; "how long have you been thinking about it already?"
She paused a moment, then said slowly: "Fifty years."
"Fifty years!" they cried, "and yet you want more time! Isn't fifty years enough?"
That was a new way of looking at it. Fifty years, indeed!
"What shall I do?" she eagerly asked.
"Do nothing," was the answer. "Christ has done it all, just trust what He has done and believe what He has said. You don't need fifty years for that!"
She did as her friends had said, and proved for herself that God's promises were true.
The Lord Jesus said, "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.
Have you heard—and believed? You may not have fifty years to think about it—or one year—or even another day. The risk is too great! Trust NOW!

Because God Says It

Elsie, with her box of water colors, was coloring pretty texts. Her aunt, suffering from a burnt foot, was unable to go out, so Elsie, desiring to keep her company, was painting texts to be given to the crippled boys and girls in the Children's Hospital.
As she colored the words, "The gift of God is eternal life," her aunt quietly said: "To me it seems strange for you to be preparing that beautiful text to show the little crippled children the way of salvation, while you are refusing God's gift yourself."
Elsie looked up from her painting, quite astonished at these words. She enjoyed coloring the texts, and was pleased to think that her work would cheer the little children in the hospital. But it never dawned upon her that she was rejecting the gift of God.
"What do you mean, Aunt, by saying that?" asked Elsie, looking seriously into her aunt's face.
"I am afraid that you, my dear niece, have not yet taken God at His Word, and received His gift of eternal life for yourself. It is one thing to know about it, and quite another to have it. I am sure you have heard and read about the gift of God, but I am anxious that you should be able to say it is yours."
A long silence followed. Then a tear was seen, followed by a sob. The Spirit of God was silently working in her heart, showing her that she really was an unbeliever, and that though she had a knowledge of God's Word, she had not received His gift of eternal life.
Raising her tear-filled eyes, and grasping her aunt's hand, Elsie earnestly asked, "How can I receive God's gift, and be sure I have eternal life?"
"By believing His Word, Elsie dear; that's all," said her aunt. "He says that He has given His Son to be the Savior of sinners, and Jesus the Son of God died that we might have life. All who believe on Him are possessors of that life, just as He has said. 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.' John 3:36.
"You must believe that, just in the same way as you believed the other day, that I had put your letter in the mailbox. You didn't see me do it, but you believed me when I told you I had. You took me at my word."
"Is that the way to believe God—just to take Him at His word? I never knew that before," said Elsie.
Later that night, Elsie threw her arms around her aunt's neck, and said, "I have the gift of God now, auntie. I know it, because God says it, and I have taken Him at His word."
Such was Elsie's faith, and as her life has since proved, she became God's child that night and a possessor of eternal life. Have you taken God at His word? If not, do so now!
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9.

The Lost Sheep Found

On the battlefield lay the wounded soldier. Around him were dead comrades who had fallen in the struggle, and he, weak with the loss of blood, feared his end was near.
"I am dying—dying, and I am not ready," he cried.
He realized he was not fit to meet God. What could he do? To whom could he turn?
Then before his mind came the days of his childhood and the gospel preachings he used to go to with his mother. He remembered the Bible story about the good shepherd seeking the one lost sheep among the wild and barren mountains.
And then the scene changed and he was in his childhood home, reciting the poem he learned as a little boy:
"Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me!
Bless Thy little lamb tonight;
In the darkness be Thou near me,
Keep me safe till morning light."
Lying on that lonely field, he began to repeat the words again. He also thought of the past years of forgetfulness of God, and how sinful his life had been.
The cry burst from his lips: "I am not His little lamb! I am a great big black sheep—a vile black sheep!"
He was both repentant and helpless. Who could help him in his great need?
Turning to the Savior he prayed, "Oh, Shepherd, come—find, save this great big black sheep!"
God who always hears such cries gave him peace. Soon he sank into unconsciousness. Found alive, he was taken to a hospital, and in a few weeks sent home to his mother. How they rejoiced together as he told her how he, the lost sheep had been found by the Savior, the Savior she had loved so long.
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isa. 53:6.

Pathan or Christian?

In India there lived a Kazi (a judge of a civil court) who was also a Pathan and a Mohammedan. Soon after trusting in Jesus Christ as his Savior, he went back to his frontier home in Afghanistan where he was entertained by his brother.
After a dinner in the brother's house, the Kazi became ill. He suffered more and more until he realized that he had been poisoned. Seeking to escape certain death at his brother's hands, he fled the house and ran down the road until he fell unconscious by the roadside. There he was found by friends and rescued.
Later a bullet whizzed by his head and he narrowly escaped death a second time. Still another time he heard the click of a trigger and turned just in time to let a bullet pass harmlessly by.
Yet when his brother fell into financial difficulty, the Kazi tried to help him. He succeeded in getting someone to go and help his brother. The ungrateful brother wrote: "You are not a true Pathan, for no Pathan would ever forgive what I have done to you. I disown you!"
The Kazi wrote back, "Whether or not I am a true Pathan, you must judge. But what I am, this book has made me," and he sent his brother a copy of the Bible.
Hard and unforgiving though the Pathan was, yet he could not resist the patient love of his Christian brother. Soon he was reading the Bible and learning of God our Savior "who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." All men—everywhere. Pathan or Indian, Hindu or Muslim, all are invited to come in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who promises that "him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.

Saved by a Thread

A tall chimney had been completed and the scaffolding was being removed. One man remained on the top to supervise the process. All seemed to go well, except one detail had been overlooked. A rope should have been left for him to descend by, but somehow it had been forgotten.
Unaware of the problem, the wife of the man remaining on top of the chimney was at home washing. Suddenly her young son burst in shouting, "Mother, Mother, they've forgotten the rope! Daddy might fall!"
Her lips moved in an agony of silent prayer as she rushed over to the new chimney. There she found a crowd looking up helplessly at the lone man. He was moving cautiously along the narrow cornice, terrified and bewildered. It seemed that at any moment he might fall.
His wife from below cried out: "Wait, John!" The man became calm, and again she cried out to him: "Take off your stockings; unravel the wool." And he did so.
"Now tie a small piece of mortar to the end and lower it down."
Down came the thread weighted by the mortar. Lower and lower it descended, eagerly watched by many eyes. Now it was in reach, and was gently seized by one of the crowd. Quickly he fastened a little heavier cord to the thread, as the wool thread was not strong enough to bear the rope.
"Now, pull up." The man got hold of the cord, then lowered one end of it. The rope was now fastened on. "Pull away again." He at last got the rope and made it secure.
There were a few moments of suspense as he slid down. Then amidst the shouts of the crowd, he threw himself into the arms of his wife, crying: "You saved me, Mary!" The wool thread had not been despised: it had drawn after it the cord, the rope and the rescue.
My friend, you may be sunk very low down in sin and sorrow, but there is a thread of divine love waiting for you to grasp. It comes from the throne of heaven, and reaches even to you. Seize that thread. It may seem small, but it is stronger than death. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.

A Need That Is Greater

A man who had been sick for thirty-eight years lay beside the Pool of Bethesda. We read of him in John, chapter 5, verses 2 through 15. He had no friend to put him in the water, and lay helpless while others stepped down before him.
Can you not imagine his despair as he saw others come from the water cured, while he must continue to lie there?
Then Jesus, One who was able to meet his need, came there. He said, "Wilt thou be made whole?"
The poor, helpless man answered, "Sir, I have no man...to put me into the pool."
Jesus replied, "Rise, take up thy bed, and walk." And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.
The Lord Jesus is no longer on earth going about healing as He did then, but He is always waiting to take care of a need that is greater than curing a sick or crippled body.
We, sinners, cannot go to heaven unless our sins are forgiven. We are just as helpless as the poor sick man.
Have you felt your load of sins and your need of a Savior? Jesus is able; He is willing and ready to save you. He is the Savior for those who cannot save themselves.
"Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Rom. 5:6.
Special gospel meetings had been going on for some time, and there had been many conversions. The effects had been felt throughout the city, but not everyone was sympathetic. Some young men ridiculed the whole thing, and they particularly laughed at the requests for prayer that were so much a part of the meetings.
One of them suggested that they should send in a "request for prayer" as a joke, and they promptly picked a young lawyer to send it. He wrote the note asking prayer, and he also went to the meeting to see the reception of his foolish joke.
As usual, each request was read out while the people knelt in silent prayer. The lawyer saw that his request was not read. The evangelist, however, soon called the attention of the audience to a request which seemed to him to be a hoax, but he asked the assembly to pray for the soul of the sender.
In perfect stillness the great crowd bowed in silent prayer, and the thoughtless young man in their midst realized for the first time how serious was the act he had committed. A whole multitude of strangers was praying for his conversion!
He stayed to listen to the whole meeting-stayed after the meeting to learn more of the way of salvation-and went home that night a "new creature in Christ Jesus." The next day he resigned his profession to devote himself to the service of God. He who once studied the laws and precedents of this poor, sinful world became an ardent teacher of another law: "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:2.

The Cure for Fear

The patient was known to be dying. All that doctors, medicine, and hospital care could do had been done, and nothing remained but to make his last days as comfortable as possible. The doctor, a caring, compassionate person, stopped often by the hospital room for a "cheering-up" visit.
One day at the end of a "real up-beat visit" the doctor casually asked, "Is there anything I can get for you?"
Wearily the patient answered, "How about something to take away the fear?"
There was no answer.
Medical science has no answer.
There is a whole arsenal of drugs and treatments to cure disease or to alleviate physical symptoms, but nowhere is there a specific drug to cure fear.
There is only One who can truly cure fear: the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death... that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.... and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Heb. 2:9, 15.
He can not only take away the fear, but He removes the cause of it. Death is no longer a terror if we can receive a life that is beyond death and the grave.
The Lord Jesus promises absolutely that, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?" John 11:25, 26.
Do you believe this? Do you believe John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"? Do you accept "the gift of God... eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"?
If you can honestly say, "Yes—yes—yes" to these questions, if you can truly call the Lord Jesus Christ your Lord, and say, "He tasted death for me," why should you fear?
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." 1 John 4:18.

"Pull Over"

The eastbound lanes of the four-lane highway were jammed bumper-to-bumper with commuters on their way into the city to work. Impatient motorists jockeyed for position in the never-ending stream of humanity.
Suddenly a fire truck appeared, siren blaring and lights flashing as it bore down on the slowly moving stream of traffic. But no one pulled over. The traffic surged relentlessly on as the fire truck, still flashing its lights and sounding its siren, slowed to a crawl at the tail end of the line.
What was wrong? Were the drivers all deaf? Of course not. The problem was not a lack of hearing, but a lack of attention. Sirens were so common in the huge metropolitan area, that motorists simply didn't notice them any more.
Perhaps you have been ignoring some warning signals too. The Bible tells us that God says, "I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded." Prov. 1:24. "God... now commandeth all men every where to repent: because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Jesus Christ] whom He hath ordained." Acts 17:30, 31.
Have you paid attention to His call and responded to His command? You've heard the warnings often— from your neighbor, from the girl at the next desk at your office, from the news media. Have you heard them so often that they just "go in one ear and out the other"?
The driver of the fire truck had one more resource at his command. Picking up the microphone in the cab of his truck he broadcast a stern command at top volume: "All drivers pull your vehicles over to the right."
The response was instantaneous. Every vehicle immediately pulled over to the right and the fire truck roared on by.
What made the difference? The personal touch—the voice of the fireman.
God has been speaking personally to you too. Remember the time you broke your leg? or the phone call that informed you that a loved one had died? or that near accident on the freeway last week? God uses these incidents and others like them to get your attention. How loudly is He going to have to speak before you listen?
His message is a loving one. He loves you so much that He sent the Lord Jesus to die so that you might have your sins forgiven. "For 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. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
He is lovingly calling you and warning you of the terrible consequences of ignoring His call. Won't you accept His offer of salvation today?

Jesus Is Enough

In a large hospital lay a young Irish boy of about 15 years of age, but who looked less than 12. His body was undersized, and emaciated, and his small, pinched face was white and sad. Small wonder that he excited the sympathy of a missionary visiting the ward!
Winning his confidence with some flowers and fruit, she soon found him willing, even eager, to hear the story of the sinner's Savior.
As he began to realize his own lost condition, he began seriously to consider how he might be saved. He spoke of penance and the confessional, of sacraments and church yet never wholly leaving out Christ and His atoning work.
Visiting again one day, the missionary found his face shining with new-found joy. When she asked the reason, he replied with assurance born of faith in the Word of God: "Oh, missis! I always knew that Jesus was necessary, but I never knew till yesterday that He was enough!"
Jesus is enough! It is believed by most people that Jesus is necessary; the whole fabric of Christianity is built upon that. But how few realize that He is enough!
It is not Christ and good works, not Christ and the church that save. It is not through Christ and baptism, or Christ and the confessional that we receive forgiveness of our sins. It is not Christ and doing our best, or Christ and the Lord's supper that will give us new life. It is Christ alone.
"Christ and—" is a perverted gospel which is not the Gospel. Christ, without the and is the sinner's hope and the Christian’s confidence. Through trusting Him and Him alone, eternal life and forgiveness of sins are yours.
The saved soul is exhorted to maintain good works, and thus reflect the life of Christ. But for salvation itself, Jesus is not only necessary—He is enough.
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.

A Friend of Sinners

"A friend of sinners!" What a name—what a title to give anyone! What man of the world would not consider it a disgrace to be called "a friend of sinners"? And yet that was what they called Jesus when He was here upon earth.
Who was it who gave Him this title? It was not those who were known to be sinners, but the respectable people, those who thought themselves better than others, those who kept up the outward appearance of religiousness. Speaking of the Lord Jesus, they said, "He receiveth sinners, and eateth with them!"
Although this is the title they gave Him—they, the respectable and religious people of that day—how true it was then! And how true it is to this very day! They little thought what a reality His friendship for the sinner was. They knew nothing of their own need of His friendship and His help. They hated Him because His presence and His words proved them to be sinners themselves, and showed that their covering of religiousness was a greater sin than any other, for it tried to cover up what could not be hidden from God's all-seeing eye.
Do you admit that you are a sinner? If so, there is a Friend for you. The Lord Jesus Himself tells us: "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.
The Lord Jesus speaks to us in our sins of God in His grace and mighty power. And then He speaks of Himself: "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners." "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Notice the words: not only to save, but to seek and to save.
Fellow-sinners! God's Word says that "there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." But the promise is to "WHOSOEVER believeth in Him." Can you not rest in Him, the One who took the sinner's place and suffered in the sinner's stead? For "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8.

Nine Religions

A man said he had tried nine religions, and had even been baptized in three different faiths, but none had helped him.
I took a folder of safety matches out of my pocket, put a match in his hand, and told him to light it. "Lend me the folder," he said.
"Oh, no; do it without the folder," I replied. "Strike it on a brick or stone or anywhere else you like."
He tried to light it, but failed. I gave him more matches to try to light on anything but the proper composition on the folder. Again he failed.
Then I said, “Just like that match and its folder, God has ordained and made known His one way of salvation. By a fixed and unchangeable law, our precious souls can never be converted by coming into contact merely with religions, whether nine or ninety. Nothing can set the soul on fire with lasting life and light and love unless it comes in contact with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is useless to touch anything else for salvation but the Son of God. Of course those nine religions were no good for you. Here, take this folder and strike the match on it."
He did so, and instantly the match was ablaze.
"Even so," I said, "the Son of God alone can quicken us into life, forgive us our sins and cleanse us from our iniquities."
Are you trying "religion" or church membership to give life to your soul? They can't do it. Let the Son of God set your soul ablaze with the light of eternal life!
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14:6.

Confession

Perhaps you have already come to Christ and have been saved by Him. If so, God knows this, and you know it, but God wants you to let others know it. He wants you to own that you belong to Christ. This is what is meant by "confession."
Take your stand for Christ! Wherever you may be, at school or at work, with your neighbors or (above all) at home, take your stand for Christ at once. He says to you as He said to another: "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee." Mark 5:19.
Tell it out! It will be a safeguard to you. It will strengthen you if you openly confess the name of Christ.
Is confession easy?
No, it is not! And it will be no easier if it is postponed. But if you confess Christ today, even with blunders and blushes and stammering lips, tomorrow it will be easier. Soon you may be so strong in His strength that you cannot help saying with the Psalmist, "Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul." Psa. 66:16.
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9.

Skrudur Rock

On December 27, 1986, a British tanker sailed right into the Skrudur Rock off the east coast of Iceland. The ship, named the "Syneta," was dashed to pieces.
There was no apparent reason for the accident; the sea was relatively calm. The bleak and barren Skrudur Rock stands like a giant monolith jutting out of the water 531 feet, and was plainly visible. Captain Hannas Hafstein of the Icelandic Lifesaving Association said of the rock, "It's high and it's straight... we can't understand why she sailed right into it."
The Lord Jesus Christ is also "high and lifted up"—far higher than the Skrudur Rock. He occupies the highest place in heaven because He perfectly glorified God at the cross and put away forever the sins of any who would believe in Him. In the Bible we read that "He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2:8-11.
You must bow the knee to the Lord Jesus. The question is, "When?" Those who recognize their lost condition and bow the knee (or submit) to Him as their Lord and Savior will spend eternity with Him. Those who reject Him now will be forced to bow the knee to Him in the day of judgment: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27.
The same One who is presented to us now as Savior will then be the Judge. Savior or Judge—He must be one or the other to you.
In broad daylight the "Syneta" sped on to her destruction. In the broad daylight of God's Word, will you not see your danger and receive Christ as your Savior?

Board the Train to Life

A poor immigrant was discovered walking on the tracks of a railroad in New Jersey. On his back he carried a huge bundle, and as he trudged on, tired and lame, he resembled the man in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress with his burden.
As he was passing a station, an agent ordered him off the track, threatening to have him arrested for trespassing, on railroad property. The traveler refused to leave, and produced a railroad ticket good for passage from Jersey City to Scranton.
The agent looked at him in amazement, and asked why he was walking when he might ride.
The stranger answered that he thought the ticket gave him only the right to walk over the road. The agent explained the true meaning of the railroad ticket, and soon the tired but happy walker boarded a train for his destination.
Even so today many thousands of people are trudging along, anxious and careworn, bearing life's burdens without divine help or future hope. How the angels must look on and wonder!
There is a ticket for everyone who will receive it—the promise is to "whosoever will"—and it is no halfway affair either. God offers a full and complete salvation, both for now and for all eternity. "Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee." Job 22:21.

A Moment of Time

It is in a moment that the most solemn of all decisions is made—the soul's surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. The soul itself, amid the conflict of emotions, may scarcely be able to tell the precise moment when the Yes is spoken, or it may have been back in childhood and forgotten.
There may have been long preparation going on, and the soul may have been hesitating and trembling on the verge of surrender, but the Yes that means acceptance of Christ and brings salvation is spoken in a moment.
A moment may make the difference between life and death. "Too late" may be too late by a moment only. The missing of the right moment may be the missing of the "accepted time."
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor. 6:2.
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" Heb. 2:3.

Will You Live to Be 100?

Since the Social Security Administration began to keep records of old age in this country, there has been a great change. Here are some of their figures:
In 1960, there were around 3,500 centenarians in the U.S.
In 1970: 4,574.
In 1980: 15,258.
In 1985: 25,355.
There were over 10,000 new centenarians in the past 5 years, and with every new year the numbers increase.
Why?
Every statistician seems to have a different theory:
Improved medical care—good genes—avoiding bad habits—prevention of accidents—staying active —being optimistic—the list goes on and on.
It begins to look as though a 100-year life-span is within the reach of many people, and the present craze for physical fitness seems to indicate that there are a lot of people working hard to stretch their years on earth to the farthest possible limits.
But after that, what? If one reaches that century mark, what then?
Death will be getting very, very close, and inevitable. And after death—?
Well, we know that "it is appointed unto men once to die"—science still can't get around that—"but after this the judgment."
After death, the judgment! No wonder people are anxious to postpone that to the last possible moment! But that last moment may be nearer than you think. While it is true that many will reach that century mark, many, many more will not!
The only sensible, reasonable thing to do is to make sure now, at once, that that day will not find you unprepared no matter when it comes.
To go on with that quotation from the Bible: "As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Heb. 9:27, 28.
Every man, every woman, and every child on earth is subject to death, but "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many," and none of those who accept the salvation He offers will face that terrible judgment.
The Lord Jesus says: "He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24.

Be Prepared!

Bobby Leach was the second person to brave Niagara Falls and live. He performed his death-defying stunt when he was 49 years old—sealed in a barrel.
Fifteen years later he met his end in a most unexpected way as the following news release records: "Bobby Leach, who achieved fame when he went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, died today of injuries received in slipping on an orange peel. Leach, who made the perilous Falls journey without receiving a scratch, broke his leg when he slipped on the orange peel. Complications set in following an amputation, causing death."
The case of Bobby Leach is only one of thousands reported, with many more untold. An officer, hero of many battles, escapes the sword, only to die later from a scratch by an infected pin. A sea captain, who had weathered many a storm and always reached port safely, was drowned in his bathtub at home.
Ahab, king of Israel, disguised himself in a battle with the Syrians but was brought down by a bow and arrow shot "at a venture," by an unknown soldier. (1 Kings 22.) Israel's king Abimelech died of a fractured skull when a woman threw a piece of a millstone down on him from a tower. (Judg. 9:53.)
The preservation or continuance of our natural life often seems, and is treated by some as a gamble. But if we could see with the eyes of omniscience, we would be compelled to say: "There is but a step between me and death." 1 Sam. 20:3.
The moral is plain: be prepared, for your time may be short—much shorter than you dream or think.

Too Cheap

A preacher of the gospel had gone down into a coal mine during the noon hour, to tell the miners of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ. After telling them the simple story of God's love to lost sinners, of man's state and God's remedy—the offer of a full and free salvation—the time came for the men to go back to work. The preacher came back to the shaft to ascend to the outside world again.
Meeting the foreman, he asked him what he thought of God's way of salvation.
The man replied: "Oh, it is too cheap. I cannot believe in such a religion as that!"
Without immediately answering his remark, the preacher asked, "How do you get out of this place?" "Simply by getting into the cage," was the reply.
"And does it take long to get to the top?"
"Oh, no; only a few seconds."
"Well, that certainly is very easy and simple. But do you not need to help raise yourself?" asked the preacher.
"Of course not!" replied the miner. "As I said, all you have to do is get into the cage."
"But what about the people who sunk the shaft and perfected all this arrangement; was there much labor, care, thought and expense about it?"
"Yes, indeed! It was a hard and expensive work. The shaft is 1800 feet deep, and it was sunk at a great expense to the owner, but it is our only way out. Without it we should never be able to get to the surface."
"Just so! And when God's Word tells you that whosoever believes on the Son of God has everlasting life, you say: 'Too cheap!'—'Too cheap!' You forget that God's work to bring you and others out of the pit of destruction and death was accomplished at a vast cost. The price was the death of His Son."
"Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... but with the precious blood of Christ." 1 Peter 1:18, 19.
"For 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.
Men talk about the "help of Christ" in their salvation—that if they do their part, Christ will do His— forgetting that the Lord Jesus Christ by Himself purged our sins, and that their part is only to receive what has been done.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8, 9.

"Let Go of Your Rope"

All bound and secured in his flotation vest, (Which oversized garment he clutched to his chest,)
With towrope in hand and skis on his feet, I could tell at a glance he was new at this feat.
As he readied himself I offered advice.
He was sure of himself, that his strength would suffice.
I said, "If you fall, let go of the rope."
He seemed to think me some kind of a dope!
Full throttle! The boat shot out with a roar!
The skier was jerked, he was seen to soar.
Head first through the air like an airplane he surged—
Then down through the water, he quickly submerged.
For seventy feet the rope stayed up tight.
We wondered if ever he'd come into sight.
He surfaced and skipped like a rock on the top
Till the boatman could act and hurriedly stop.
At last he let go and, gasping for breath,
He was sure that he'd come to the brink of his death.
The boat circled quickly to pick up our friend;
He was rescued and saved from a watery end.
As we think of this story, it's not so unique.
Man thinks himself strong, never spiritually weak.
God's Word would exhort him, "Let go of your rope,"
Instead he'll hang on, 'cause he's sure he can cope.
Though jerked and submerged in an ocean of sin,
Still, bobbing and bouncing, he holds to the end.
His pride would ensnare him, though facing sin's fare,
And he'd scowl at a God who would make him aware.
So, sinner, God bids you before you begin, "Let go of your rope, for the wages of sin
Are an ocean of death and will sink you to hell;
But Jesus has died, so there's good news to tell."
So let go of your rope and depend on the cross.
Trust His work and He'll rescue your soul from its loss;
Not sinking, but raised from the waters of death,
Buoyed up by His love in its length and its breadth.

Dennis the Cat

Dennis was uneasy. One minute, he had been sleeping soundly, enjoying a real "catnap". The next, wide awake, he had a sudden sense of something wrong.
The night was quiet. Around him the household slept; his ears flicking forward could hear nothing but normal night noises. But something was definitely WRONG.
His nose twitched uncomfortably. The air was not right; it was heavy, breathless, acrid—smoky!
Dennis ran on furry paws to seek Brenda. She was sleeping, but this was an emergency! leaping on the bed, he howled his best and loudest howls—and being part Siamese, they were very loud indeed.
Startled out of a sound sleep, Brenda found the determined cat on her chest voicing his alarm, and the apartment filled with smoke. Catching up two-year-old Kimberly, and Dennis, she fled the apartment in time.
The firefighters soon arrived and found the source of the smoke: a forgotten pot was smoldering in the kitchen. The captain credited Dennis with saving their lives. "Most fire deaths are caused when people are overcome by smoke," he said.
A grateful Brenda promised Dennis he would have "shrimp every day for a week!"
Yes, even though Dennis had clawed at her chest, howled in her ears and spoiled her comfortable sleep, Dennis had saved her life. And we are trying hard to rouse you today, but for a far greater purpose: to save your soul.
It isn't comfortable to be waked from sleep by a shout of warning; it's pretty scary to find a quiet and peaceful life suddenly threatened, to realize that death and eternity are ahead, but how wonderful to be waked in time!
Brenda saw her danger, and escaped in time. To have waited might have cost her life, but if you delay and wait "just a little longer" before deciding for Christ, it may cost your soul.
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." Isa. 55:6.

Blind Landing

On a dare from his copilot, the pilot of a Soviet airliner attempted a blind landing and crashed.
Two minutes before landing, the pilot ordered the flight engineer to pull blinds over the windshield. He tried to bring the plane down using only instruments. Blind landings were allowed only on training flights, and required an experienced instructor with full visibility to be in the next seat, but the pilot broke every rule.
During the plane's descent the pilot made several misjudgments. At 0.8 seconds before landing the blinds were released, which revealed that they were missing the runway. The pilot tried to abort the landing, but was too late. The plane struck, made a gigantic leap, overturned and caught fire.
The pilot, urged on by the copilot, caused a meaningless loss of life. What a picture this is of many souls today who, urged on by the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world (Satan), lower blinds over the eyes of their hearts lest the light from the glorious gospel of Christ should shine unto them and they should be converted and saved. The devil would have men attempt "blind landings" at eternity, and he does all he can to keep them in the dark spiritually. He knows that, unless a soul repents and turns to Christ, that soul will spend eternity in hell with him. This is what he wants.
The pilot was one of a handful of survivors of the crash. For his rashness, he was tried and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
A Soviet newspaper's report of the trial said that the pilot performed the action in an attempt to "test his flying abilities." It blamed the crash on his "exaggerated sense of self-assurance."
Friend, will you not let these familiar verses: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," and, "The wages of sin is death," abolish your sense of self-assurance as far as making it into heaven by your own abilities is concerned?
At Calvary's cross the Lord Jesus died for sinners. The blood He shed there is sufficient to wash away the sins of every member of the human race if only they will trust in Him. Very many, because of "an exaggerated sense of self-assurance," will refuse to see their need of salvation. Such, when they die, will make a "blind landing" at eternity and end up crashing into hell.
Will you not come as a lost sinner to the Lord Jesus and have your sins washed away in His precious blood? Those who trust in Him are entitled to have "blessed assurance" of sins forgiven and a home in heaven.

A Great Deliverance

Sailor Bob sat in a bar with his friend, Jack. He had just returned from a long voyage, and now he was busy catching up on his drinking.
"Just look at this," said Jack, as he pulled a little gospel tract out of his pocket. "Can you imagine these religious people giving out such stuff as this? How could it do you any good, I would like to know? It is just another way they have of trying to get your money."
Bob took the tract and tried to read it, but he was too intoxicated to read, so he thoughtlessly tucked it into one of his pockets.
Later, Bob was changing his clothes when the little tract fell out of his pocket onto the floor. He picked it up to see what it was, and then he remembered that Jack had given it to him in the bar. It was something about religion. He sat down and read it through, but he still could not understand what it was all about.
He realized that his life needed changing, but he did not have time to think about that right now. So he tossed the tract aside and went out. But he did not feel quite as comfortable as before. He began to realize that there was something seriously wrong, and that he needed something he did not have.
One evening soon after this when Bob was taking a walk, he saw a big crowd of people on the street ahead of him, and heard some shouting.
"Must be a big fight," he exclaimed, as he began running to see what it was all about. There was a big Irishman standing in the middle of the crowd. "After I spent my last dollar for whiskey, I would go home and beat my wife. Poor woman, she needed food, but all I gave her was a beating. I don't see why she put up with me. I did try to stop drinking and be decent to her, but the very next payday I got drunk as ever and then went home and beat her again. I just couldn't leave the drink alone.
"And then Jesus found me. A man told me that Jesus loved me enough to die for me, and that if I would accept Jesus as my Savior, I would receive the forgiveness of sins. That, was just what I needed, so I came to Him and received Him as my Savior. And thank God, He did save me and made a new man out of me. Now we have a happy home, a Christian home, and God has taken away my desire for liquor. What I needed was Jesus, and that is what you need, my friends. Come to Jesus, and He will save you from judgment and make you happy."
"That's what I need, too," said Bob, as the Irishman finished his testimony. Bob received the Lord Jesus as his Savior then and there, and he has lived to prove that what the Irishman said was true. Jesus can deliver you from the bondage of sin forever, and make you happier than you have ever been in your life before.
"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name." John 1:12.

Delivered From the "Pit"

With a drink in my hand, a girl at my side, in a jammed crowd in a New York night club listening to one of the top bands—who would have thought the time was going to end in tears rather than cheers? As I sat high-spirited at the lounge table (despite the fact that I was wearing a full-length cast on my leg due to a football injury), a tap on my shoulder informed me that I was being paged at the entrance.
A girl whom I had invited at the last minute to match with my football roommate was being kept from entering—found to be a minor. Anticipating difficulties in getting in, she had brought along a false identification for proof of age. However, the bouncer detected the deceit and asked her to write her name on a piece of paper. He compared it to the signature on the I.D. he was holding in his hand. It seemed as though she would get in, but a last-second glance made him notice a wrong middle initial and he said firmly, "You're not coming in here tonight!"
A few football buddies and I huddled together to see what strategy we could use to get her into the club, but the guard rejected all our proposals, even a bribe. I insisted that we send the girl back home (a thirty-mile ride), but my advice was unanimously overthrown and we went on to another club where the bouncer was more typical and all entered unhindered—no questions asked.
The next morning the N.Y. Times read: "The young people were dancing to the soul rock band when the band leader stopped the music to announce a small fire had begun in an adjoining part of the building. Within minutes, the sunken dance floor, called the "PIT," was a turmoil of black smoke and screaming, terror-stricken people. The narrow stairway to the exit was suddenly packed with people clawing at one another for air." Gulliver's night club became the second worst night club fire in history, exceeded only by Boston's Cocoanut Grove fire which took almost 500 lives in twelve minutes.
The fact of my thigh-to-ankle cast combined with the thought of the fifteen-step stairway to the exit brought me to tears thanking God for preventing me from perishing in the "PIT." The previous night's eat-drink-and-be-merry spirit was reversed to sober thoughts of death and its consequences. Eternity had never come before me with such force. Heaven or hell—which would my destiny have been? Getting right with God became foremost in my mind. Bible searching, prayer and religious inquiries were intensified. This state of agitation ended about seven months after the holocaust when I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior by the Holy Spirit's revelation through the scripture verse: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Isa. 53:5.
Where I would have gone if I had died in Gulliver's didn't hit me till about eight months after the fire. At the end of an afternoon nap, I dreamed about the club fire. In the dream I was back on the dance floor at the time the announcement of fire was made. Then the lights went out and the screams of young people struggling to escape and visions of hands waving and feet kicking to remove all obstacles from their path were vividly portrayed. My leg cast was too cumbersome to compete with the fast-rushing crowd. My lagging behind was keeping me too long in the smoke-filled "PIT." My gasping for breath was only to inhale more toxic smoke. I slumped down to the dance floor which became my deathbed, but the dream didn't end there.
I dreamed I went to hell! By now half awake, a sweat came over me, my eyes filled with tears and my body began to shake. The like-real symptoms of being in hell startled me out of my dream and I fell to my knees thanking God that I was saved from the eternal burnings which I would have justly deserved.
Are you aware of what's ahead for you when life's fleeting pleasures give way to the realities of a non-material eternity?... the deceptions of the god of this world (Satan) will end and your soul be shifted naked into the presence of the sovereign Master of the universe? The holy Word of God warns that God's house will not be tainted by anything that defiles. Your sins, which separate you from God and will bar you from heaven, must now be put away by faith in the work of Christ on the cross. He died and shed His own precious blood to wash away our sins.
If you trust the Lord Jesus Christ and the work He accomplished to save sinners like you and me, you'll then have the assurance from His Word, "that where I am, there ye may be also." John 14:3. If you do not believe, Jesus said, "whither I go, ye cannot come." John 8:21.
It was a great mercy of God to have been delivered from the "PIT" in that discotheque, but far greater was His love in sending His only begotten Son to take the punishment of my sins and to save my soul from the pit of hell. "Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back." Isa. 38:17.
You too can be delivered from the pit. "He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned... He will deliver his soul from going into the pit." Job 33:27, 28.
May you, as I, be able to say, "He brought me up also out of a horrible pit... and set my feet upon a rock [Christ]... and He hath put a new song in my mouth." Psa. 40:2, 3.

Will Come

The last opportunity of hearing God's gospel
WILL COME.
The last opportunity of accepting it
WILL COME.
The last moment of your life on earth
WILL COME!
"Boast not thyself of
TOMORROW,
For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."

Behold the Man

"How disappointing! He didn't keep his promise. When we elected him we were sure he would change things."
"That judge! There he is with a man's life in his hands and he's taking bribes under the table."
"Look at that religious leader... preaching to others and his own life is in shambles."
Time and time again we've been let down by those we've put our hopes in. Where is the man we can depend on?
BEHOLD THE MAN, as He stands before an angry crowd calling for His death by crucifixion. His back is plowed by the savage whip of a Roman soldier. On His head is a crown of thorns. His face is bruised, His features marred, yet He stands' in quiet dignity. This it Jesus, of whom it was said, "He shall save His people from their sins." What has He done to deserve this treatment?
... His closest follower, who referred to himself as one whom Jesus loved, said, "In Him was no sin."
... Pilate, the judge who was trying Him, said, "I find no fault in Him."
... Paul, a proud intellectual who once persecuted followers of Jesus, said, "He knew no sin."
... The accusing mob could not find anyone to convict Him of wrongdoing.
Listen to His own words: "So must the Son of man [Jesus] be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:14,15.
It was no accident that He was crucified; He came to be the Savior of sinners like you and me. It is written of Him, "Christ died for our sins... He was buried... He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." 1 Cor. 15:3, 4.
Yes, Jesus was crucified and put to death, but He has risen.
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9.
Won't you trust Him? This Man will never let you down.
"He that believeth on Him shall not be confounded [ashamed]." 1 Peter 2:6.

The Gospel of Joy

The gospel of Christ is a gospel of joy. Never forget that the gospel is "good tidings of great joy." That is how it is described in the Book of books—the Bible. And do not forget the words that follow: "Which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. It is clear that there is a gospel of joy, and it is also clear that it is for you. Have you believed the glad tidings? Are you rejoicing in eternal life?
Now, do not make any mistake as to the gospel of joy. Be careful to remember that the gospel does not make people happy in their sins. It makes them happy by delivering them from their sins. There must be freedom before there can be joy, and we know that there can be no freedom in slavery to sin.
When the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, announced His mission, He said He was come to "preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Luke 4:18. His salvation is a mighty deliverance. It takes possession of the heart; it overcomes the world, and makes its possessor the Lord's free man. You know real joy if this deliverance is your experience.
The world tells you that if you get converted to God you will cease to enjoy life. But the truth of the matter is that it is only when you receive God's salvation that you can begin to enjoy life truly. The world cannot give a true testimony in this question, for it speaks of a thing it knows nothing about by actual experience. If a man has not known the joy of redeeming love, how can he compare it with worldly pleasure?
If up till this time you have missed salvation's joy you have missed the greatest and the only true abiding joy to be found on earth.

Standing Before the Judge

Standing before the judge was a brazen young man who had just been convicted of committing a crime. The judge, having found him guilty, uttered the sentence: "Thirty days in jail!"
The young man in a show of defiance cried back, "I can do that standing on my head!"
The judge replied, "Very well, we'll see if you can do sixty days standing on your head! Do you have anything else to say?"
The young man hung his head and quietly muttered, "No, your Honor."
Many people in defiance to God show the same rebellious spirit as that young man. I have heard some say that they would tell God this or that, or wickedly say that they will spit in God's face when they see Him.
Oh no! They will be just like that young man after his sentence was increased. The Scripture says that "every mouth [will] be stopped, and all the world... guilty before God." Rom. 3:19. Yes, and it also says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Heb. 10:31.
But God has good news for the one who admits his guilt. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." Rom. 3:22.
Yes, my friend, judgment before a holy God awaits you, "for all have sinned" (verse 23), but God is willing to reckon you to be righteous if you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on Calvary's cross. "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." verse 24.
"Christ died for the ungodly." Rom. 5:6. Have you bowed your head and told Him you are a lost sinner, worthy only of judgment, and owned that you need Him as your Savior? Won't you do so now? He waits to save you!

He Took My Whipping for Me

Many years ago, there was a certain school, among the mountains of Virginia, which no teacher could handle. The boys were so rough that the teachers resigned.
A young, gray-eyed teacher applied, and the old director scanned him, then said, "Young fellow, do you know what you are asking? An awful beatin'! Every teacher we have had for years has had to take it."
He replied, "I'll risk it."
Finally, he appeared for duty. One big fellow, Tom, whispered, "I won't need any help, I can lick him myself!"
The teacher said, "Good morning, boys! We have come to conduct school, but I confess I do not know how unless you help me. Suppose we have a few rules. You tell me and I will write them on the blackboard."
One fellow yelled, "No stealing." Another yelled, "On time." Finally ten rules appeared.
"Now," said the teacher, "a law is no good unless there is a penalty attached to it. What shall we do with the one who breaks the rules?"
"Beat him across the back ten times without his coat on."
"That is pretty severe, boys. Are you ready to stand by it?" Another yell, and the teacher said, "School come to order!"
In a day or so, "Big Tom" found his dinner was stolen. Upon inquiry the thief was located—a hungry little fellow, about ten years old. The next morning the teacher announced, "We have found the thief and he must be punished according to your rule—ten stripes across the back! Jim, come up here!"
The little fellow, trembling, came up slowly with a big coat fastened up to the neck and pleaded, "Teacher, you can lick me as hard as you like, but please don't make me take my coat off."
"Take that coat off; you helped make the rules."
"Oh, teacher, don't make me!" He began to unbutton, and what did the teacher see! The boy had no shirt on over his little bony body.
"How can I whip this child," he wondered. "But I must do something if I am to keep this job." Everything was quiet. "How do you come to be without a shirt, Jim?"
He replied, "My father died and mother is very poor. I have only one shirt to my name, and she is washing that today, and I wore my brother's big coat to keep warm."
The teacher with rod in hand hesitated. Just then "Big Tom" jumped to his feet and said, "Teacher, if you don't object, I will take Jim's beating for him."
"Very well, there is a certain law that one can become a substitute for another. Are you all agreed?"
Off came Tom's coat, and after five hard strokes the rod broke! The teacher bowed his head in his hands, and thought, "How can I finish this awful task?"
Then he heard the entire school sobbing, and what did he see? Little Jim had reached up and caught Tom with both arms around his neck. "Tom, I am sorry I stole your dinner, but I was awful hungry. Tom, I'll love you till I die for taking my beating for me! Yes, I'll love you forever!"
Dear friends, we have all broken God's rules of righteousness. He says, "There is none righteous, no, not one"—eternal judgment. Yet there is a Substitute for us. The Lord Jesus Christ bore that dreadful judgment for sinners, when He died upon the cross. "For Christ also hath suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." If we will receive Him as our Substitute and Savior, the judgment which has fallen upon Him will never be repeated.
"He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isa. 53:5, 6.

A Happy Ending

"And they lived happily ever after." A "happy ending"—now, that's the way for a story to end. All troubles over, all problems solved, all relationships neatly worked out, and nothing ahead but enjoyment of the new and permanent pleasures.
Yes, that's the happy ending of a story, but—life isn't like that.
Life—mortal life—ends very differently. In a hospital or on a sickbed at home—in a crashing accident on the street in a war, or as the victim of a crime—life comes to its suffering, sorrowful end.
Mortal life, that is—the life we have lived in our bodies. But there is another life, a life that does not die, the life of the soul. That life will go on—and one—and on—beyond the utmost limits of our finite minds.
There will be no "happy ending" there; no end will be possible. But there are two choices for that endless existence: it can be spent with God, where there will be "fullness of joy"... where you will be in "the blackness of darkness forever." And the choice is yours.
The choice must be made, too, and made now before your life on earth comes to its end. It is not possible to wait until after death and then say, "Oh, I made a mistake! I don't like the darkness; I wish I had made the other choice. I'm going to change my mind!" It will be too late to cross over; there are no bridges between hell and heaven. If in this life you have refused—or merely neglected—to receive God's offer of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ, it will be too late to change—forever too late.
God says, "I have set before you life and death... therefore choose life." Deut. 30:19.

Thirsty

"Just give me a glass of cold water, please."
Nothing quite satisfies us when we're really thirsty like water. Our bodies naturally crave it and it is the single most important ingredient, next to air, for life. Water has a deficiency, however. That tall glass of ice water I enjoyed two hours ago no longer satisfies.
That's the way it is in life generally. The car I bought last year does not have the features of the newer models, so I want the newer car. The salary I earned last year does not meet all my desires so I would like more. The house which once was great no longer seems big or fancy enough. The cycle goes on and on —we desire it—we obtain it—and we desire more. Isn't there anything that completely satisfies, once and for all?
The Bible says there is. As a matter of fact, it tells us about a Man who promised us that if we drank of His water, we would never thirst again. His name is Jesus and these are His words to a thirsty woman who came to draw water from a well where He was sitting: "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14.
This water of life which Jesus had to offer the woman so completely satisfied her that she left her waterpot and went into the city calling, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" She had found that living water which so completely satisfies: the Person of the Lord Jesus. She recognized that He was the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God who should come into this world to save sinners. As a sinner she came and tasted that living water.
Won't you come?
"Let him that is [thirsty] come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17.

How Do You Clean House?

Some of the ancient cliff-dwellers of Arizona had an interesting way of cleaning house. The smoke of their fires filled their old stone dwellings and covered their walls with a black layer of soot. When this became intolerable they did not wash or scrape it off, but calmly went to work and plastered over it a fresh white coat of a kind of mortar, one above the other—eleven layers of mortar—eleven housecleaning days, no one knows how many years apart.
We smile, but those who live in precisely such houses should not throw stones.
I do not mean to say that we clean house in just this way, (though it is possible to find houses where there may be four or five layers of wallpaper, one over the other). What I do refer to is the way many of us clean house in our own souls.
How we shrink from facing the dirt—the sin—within us! It seems so much easier to whitewash ourselves just as we are. So the whitewash is made up, a smooth blend of morality and respectability and self-righteousness, and it leaves the soul outwardly a fine bright white. But scratch it anywhere and—ugh! the black underneath!
Someday, in the white light of the holiness of God, all this whitewash will peel off and such soul-rooms will be seen to be pitch black—nothing but black—and black forever.
When God says, "Wash ye, make you clean" (Isa. 1:16), He does not mean a little cosmetic polishing up of outward appearances nor a little more socially acceptable behavior. God desires "truth in the inward parts," but, "who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?" Prov. 20:9.
David, the writer of the Psalms, knew the only way to be cleansed from his sins. He prayed: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy loving-kindness: according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.... Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.... Create in me a clean heart, O God." Psa. 51:1, 2, 7, 10.
Cleansed from sin—whiter than snow—a clean heart—no whitewash there! Cleansed from sin—how?
There is only one way: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
It is only through faith in His blood that was shed on Calvary's cross that we can be washed and clean and fit for the presence of God. No effort of our own can make us so, but believing and receiving His cleansing makes us "clean every whit."
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isa. 1:18.

A Message of Mercy

A man stood looking into the water as a scrap of paper came floating down the stream, tossed from ripple to ripple. "I am just as helpless," said he to himself, "borne downwards by a tide which I cannot stem, and from which I cannot escape. There is no one to lift me clear of the tide of destruction as I can lift you, poor miserable scrap."
As he spoke, he caught the paper with a stick and lifted it from the water. He noticed that it was a fragment of a torn-up letter, and one word upon it attracted his attention as being in thorough keeping with his own feelings. The word was "miserable" and the remaining fragment read like this: "I assure you.. I used to be very miserable... and trust Christ Jesus only... Salvation and now... Christ Jesus only Salvation and now joy and peace."
He read the words over and over. It had been written by someone who had been, like himself, very miserable, but who had been led to trust Jesus Christ as his Savior, and so had attained to joy and peace.
"Oh that I could find the same," said this poor young man. "And yet, why should I not? Christ Jesus came to save sinners. I believe if He chose He could lift me out of the stream of evil and ruin, as I have lifted this scrap of paper. I wonder if He would be willing to save me?" And then a verse of a hymn that he had sung in better days came into his mind:
"If I trust Him to receive me,
Will He say me nay?
Not till earth and not till heaven
Pass away."
"Oh, is it true?" he cried in an agony of earnestness. "Is it true? I believe it is. When He was on earth He received sinners, and invited the heavy-laden to come unto Him, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! I do not deserve it, but He will receive me!"
God has many ways of reaching the human heart, and can employ the humblest and meanest of instruments. Do not doubt His willingness to save, for the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.
Come then to Jesus Christ; trust Him as your Savior, and find in Him peace, and joy, and rest for your soul.

The Convict

"Well, friend, you haven't much longer to serve," said a guard to a convict. "What do you think of doing when you leave here?"
The convict straightened himself up and gruffly asked, "What?"
The guard repeated his question, "What will you do when you leave here?"
The defiant answer came promptly: "The first thing I'll do will be to kill a policeman."
"Oh! the first thing you'll do when you leave here will be to kill a policeman?" slowly repeated the guard.
"Yes," said the convict. "He gave the evidence that sent me up, and he'll have to pay for it."
"Well, after you've murdered the policeman, what then?"
"Then I'll be caught and locked up. You know I can't get far away from the pen," he said recklessly and with a bitter laugh.
"And after you're caught and locked up, what then?"
"Then I'll be tried and sentenced."
"Yes; and after you are tried and sentenced, what then?"
"Then it'll be death row and the hot seat, I guess." "And after you're electrocuted—what then?" There was no answer.
The man's thoughts had never traveled beyond death, and he was startled.
"Have you a Bible in your cell?" asked the guard.
"Yes, and I've read it through, often, to kill time."
"Well, have you ever read: 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life'?"
"No, that ain't in my Bible! I've read it through over and over, and that ain't there—no, that ain't in my Bible."
"Well, when you go back tonight you look up John 3:16 and you'll find those words."
"John 3:16," the man repeated. "Yes, I'll look! I'll look, but it ain't there!"
The next morning the guard was watching for the convict, and as soon as he saw him he said, "Well, friend, did you read John 3:16?"
"Yes! I've read it," he answered, "and I didn't know it was there. But do you mean to tell me that it means me? Me! a con for so many years?"
"Yes, oh yes! It means you. It is God's Word, and God always means what He says. You are one of the world, aren't you? And 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' "
The hard and bitter convict burst into tears. When he could speak he said, "I've never known what love was since my mother died. I was only five years old then, and my father kicked me out of the house. Since then I've knocked about the world, and every man's hand has been against me—and I've been against them. Yesterday when you spoke to me I had murder in my heart. But I can't murder the policeman now! God loved me! God gave His Son for me!"
He believed, and he received everlasting life. The same promise is offered to you today. Have you believed it? Have you received the "gift of God" which is "eternal life through Jesus Christ"?

What Is "Grace"?

What is the meaning of grace? Grace is free, undeserved, unmerited favor. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Rom. 3:23, 24. Because of Christ's work on the cross, God's heart can now come out freely in grace. Israel failed miserably under the law; salvation is now by grace alone.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8, 9.
I am saved, not because I deserved it, nor because I have earned it by my goodness. No, it is by grace, God's undeserved and free favor. God now offers freely to all salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Red Light

It was a stormy night, about thirty years ago, and we were rushing along on the Midnight Express at top speed. As we roared around a curve I suddenly saw a red light flash right in front of us, and my heart almost stopped.
"Brakes, Bill," shouted, "quick or we're gone!" and with all his might Bill applied the brakes while I shut off the steam and the train was brought to a dead halt. Not a second too soon either, for looming in the darkness before us we could see the wreck of a freight train that had derailed only a few yards ahead. How thankful I was that the red light was flashed that night!
But there was another night, not long after that, when I saw the red light flashing before me again. A friend of mine had been converted, and after work he came in to have a visit with me.
"Harry," he said, "do you ever think of where you will spend eternity? Do you ask yourself, as you speed along the line of life, what signal God is throwing out for you: a red stop light or a white go light?"
I never thought of it in that way before, but when I began to consider, I said to myself, "God can hold out no white light to me!" I saw the red light was being held out by the words my comrade read out of the Bible that night.
He read, "He that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16), and "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" Heb. 2:3.
I saw where I was—in fact, could not help seeing it, for there, as plain as could be, flashed God's red light before me. I pulled up that night—I don't mean reformed—but took my place as a lost sinner before God, and claimed Christ as my own and only Savior. Now I know He has saved me, and I hear Him saying, "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish." John 10:28.
Now, what is your response? You are speeding along at express train speed towards eternity. If you have not been "born of God" the red light is right before you—no doubt about it. Accept Him now, and you will be able to rejoice in the knowledge that you have "redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
Yes, you may now enjoy a full and free salvation through faith in Christ. For "ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold... but with the precious blood of Christ." 1 Peter 1:18, 19.

Are We Free?

The Roman philosopher, Epictetus, said, "No man is free who is not master of himself." If we are free, how can we explain the addicts of drink and drugs, the chain smokers, the slaves of passion and pleasure?
The devil promises us liberty while he binds us with chains of sin. Peter, in speaking of godless advisers, says, "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption." 2 Peter 2:19.
Christ said, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." All of us are serving either God or the devil. Although God commands obedience, He gave us freedom of choice. No one will be in heaven against his will. Jesus said, "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life." John 5:40.
People often think that surrender to Christ means giving up all freedom, whereas actually Christ has promised that "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32. And more: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36.
Without the help of the Lord Jesus Christ we subdue evil in one spot, only to have it break out in another place. God's solution to this universal human problem is Christ, the Savior. In Christ, "sin shall not have dominion over you." Rom. 6:14.

The Gospel Message

Christ's words to a ruler of the Jews come ringing down through the ages: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3.
When Nicodemus in deep perplexity asked thoughtfully, "How can these things be?" Christ gave him the gospel message of good news in twenty-five words: "For 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.
I ask: Have you entered into this? Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? If not, will you accept Him now? God's Word says in John 5:24: "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."

Caught" ?Red-Handed?

The bank teller lifted shocked, unbelieving eyes to the man in front of her window. This couldn't be happening to her! It was mid-morning in a new and beautiful suburban shopping center bank; this was no place to be face-to-face with terror.
But the stubble-faced man before her assured her it was so, that it was indeed a robbery, that he had a weapon and that she had better hand over the cash then and there.
Hastily complying, she handed him a package of money already prepared by the bank officials, and the robber ran from the bank and jumped into his car. He may have been thinking, "That was an easy way to make money! Hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars, for just a few minutes' risk."
If that was his thought, it didn't last long! There was an explosion, red smoke poured from the package, and the money was "flying all over the place" as an eye-witness said.
Not only was the money scattered, but it was marked, indelibly marked, with the hot red dye that sprayed from the package. And the hand that held the package was dyed too!
There was no way now to say, "I didn't do it—it wasn't me, officer!" And no way to profit from the marked money either.
"Be sure your sin will find you out" was immediately fulfilled in this case. It is not always so. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Eccl. 8:11. They think that they are "getting away with it," and forget that "God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Gal. 6:7.
The stain of sin is just as visible to God's eyes as the bank robber's red hands were to the guards, and there is only one way to wash it out: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
Believing that, believing in the value of the blood of Christ to wash away all sin from those who receive Him, one can rejoice in God's promise: "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isa. 1:18.

Memories

Some things just don't last. A beautiful sunset, a special occasion—these things pass away. Once on a beautiful autumn day I walked through the woods in North Carolina, crossed a small stream, clambered up a steep hillside and found myself in a tree-lined meadow. It was gorgeous! The meadow was opened up to the sunshine, and all around were multicolored mountains. The soft breeze topped it all off, and I wished I could hold on to the moment and keep it forever. But I knew it would not be the same; the fine edge of that vivid and wonderful afternoon would be worn away and blunted by the hustle and bustle and cares of everyday life.
Maybe you can identify with that same scene or something similar. Are you perhaps looking for things to last—something to hold on to? We all have dreams that remain dreams: friends go away, people die.
In spite of the changing scenes in this world and its tarnished beauty, how wonderful to know that there is One who "changes not." His name is Jesus Christ. In Heb. 13:8, it says: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever." Unlike earthly people or things, you can rest on this Person for salvation, comfort, everlasting peace and security.
The Lord Jesus said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30.
If you are seeking and not finding, trying to rest and you cannot, then give your heart to the Lord Jesus. That beautiful sunset, that memorable occasion, can still be wonderful and meaningful, but what will truly illuminate your soul for all eternity will be that moment when you first trusted in the Son of God for salvation. You will be born again into God's family, knowing your sins are forgiven because of His perfect finished work of redemption on the cross.
That really lasts, and is truly satisfying! "Come and see." John 1:39.

Just Another Day

It was just one day a normal day in just one town, a very average, normal town. Look at the news reports:
Boy drowns in lake.
Pedestrian hit by car.
Driver killed after ramming pole.
Three year old dies in collision.
Man disappears on fishing trip.
Man critically burned.
Man falls off sailboat, drowns.
Just one day's toll of accidents. Just one day in just one town. How many more were there in the nation? How many more around the world?
Not one of those people got up in the morning and said, "I'm going to face death today." There was no warning that this day would be different from every other day of their lives. They went about their usual affairs: walking, driving, swimming, fishing, until that unforeseen moment arrived.
Were they ready for it? We cannot tell.
Are you ready? Only you can answer that. If the next accident victim should be you, can you face it unafraid because for you death is only going to be with Christ, "which is far better"? If you already know Him as your Savior, know that He died for you, know that you have received Him by faith, then you can meet each new day in confiding trust. You can say, "The worst that can come but shortens the journey, and hastens us home!"
But if you are one of those who have "received Him not," you are living each day in deadly peril. If this is your day to meet that sudden, fatal moment, if today you pass into eternity without Christ, you will be lost and lost forever. Instead of the "many mansions," the love and light and joy of the Father's house, it will be darkness and despair forever.
Oh, do not risk it! Do not wait one minute longer. Tonight may be too late.

The Kloof of the Crying Child

There is a story, a legend, that is told around the fires in Africa when the day's work is done. In South Africa there is a kloof—a glen—called the Kloof of the Crying Child. As the story goes, it is haunted by a strange demon from whose power some have barely escaped with their lives and others are said to have actually fallen victim to its malignity.
Its manner of attack on unwary travelers was generally the same: as the traveler hurried through the haunted area at dusk he would hear what seemed to be a child's cry. Stopping to listen, he would see in the dim light a small child lying by the road—a child so helpless and attractive and appealing in appearance that he could not do other than take it up in his arms and carry it with him to his home for shelter and care.
But as he traveled homeward he found, to his horror, that it grew and grew—this thing that he had taken to his heart, nor could he cast it off. Its entrancing smile changed to a hateful scowl, and at last, with the hands of a giant, it would seize its victim by the throat—and some were left lying strangled and dead beneath the night stars.
Thus they tell the strange story, and although we lift a skeptical eyebrow at the tale, yet tragedies which this story but faintly figures are being enacted a thousand times over and not in one haunted glen only but wherever men are found.
Sin, what a power it is, and how subtle! It appears small, a little thing, and so attractive at the start that people take it to their hearts. Then it grows in strength, imperceptibly at first, perhaps—yet it grows and grows until at last with a vise-like grip it holds its victims and strangles their souls. It is soft as a summer breeze at the beginning—it is a devastating tempest at the close. It is like a smiling child at the start—it is a giant at the end, binding its victims with hands of steel and casting them down to everlasting destruction.
This South African story may be entirely a fable, but there is a story that is all too sadly true. I was preaching the gospel one night and a young fellow, 21 years old, was present. I was introduced to him, and we talked together on what I believe to be the most important subject in the world. I said to him, "Should you not think of your soul's salvation, and turn to Christ the Savior, and yield to Him as your Lord?"
He replied, "No! I want pleasure! I must have my pleasures!"
Less than three months later I saw a copy of the morning paper; around a paragraph in that paper was a blue pencil mark. In that paragraph I read of a young man who had been found dead in his room in a hotel with a towel twisted round his neck. The coroner's verdict was suicide.
It was the young man to whom I had spoken. Sin had killed him. But who could he blame? He had put himself beneath its power willingly and eagerly, and he had rejected the only Deliverer. There is a Deliverer for men; that is our Lord Jesus Christ, and besides Him there is none else.
"Sin is lawlessness," and though you love it, it is one of your greatest enemies. It is the determination of your heart to be insubordinate to God—to go your own way—to do your own thing. Sin has spoiled the earth; it has ruined men; it is the parent of sorrow, and crying and pain; it has forged the chains of darkness that bind lost souls in hell's deep dungeons.
Sin's awful power drives men onward, corrupted and deceived, with empty, unsatisfied hearts—onward and downward to the lake of fire.
The clock of time is ticking out your days, and every swing of its ceaseless pendulum carries you nearer to eternity. As you travel swiftly onward, if sin holds you on the downward road, you need a Deliverer—and there is one for you. He is our Lord Jesus Christ, but beside Him there is no savior found.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

Asleep in a Burning Bed

The mattress was on fire, smoke was pouring from the room, and a policeman was shaking him but he still slept on!
Finally the policeman succeeded in awakening the man and saved him from suffocating in his sleep. The officer then put out the fire which, he said, was apparently caused by a burning cigarette.
Do you think the endangered man scolded the policeman for shaking and waking him, and possibly even frightening him with cries of "Fire! Fire!"? Of course not! But there are those who are soundly sleeping on the bed of indifference to their eternal welfare who severely criticize faithful workers who warn them of hellfire.
If you are inclined to resent the warnings given regarding judgment and a lost eternity, stop and think that it is sincere consideration of your well-being that causes anyone to urge you to "flee from the wrath to come."
It is not pleasant to speak to anyone about hell, but faithfulness to God's Word and love to the perishing demand it.
It was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who asked the solemn question: "How can ye escape the damnation of hell?" Matt. 23:33. Surely, if hell were not a reality and if people were not in danger of going there, He would never have taken those words upon His lips, for He is the personification of grace and truth.
It is a joy to tell out the good news that none need perish since Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification. "For 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.

"Far Too Easy a Way"

The simplicity of the gospel prompts many people to say that believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is "far too easy" a way to get to heaven.
Thank God, it is an "easy" way to be saved.
It is "easy" for us, because the shedding of His precious blood, the enduring of the wrath of God against our sins, and the difficult work, has all been done by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
It was not "easy" for Him to be mocked and insulted by men.
It was not "easy" for Him to be scourged, spat upon and crucified.
It was not "easy" in the moment of His humiliation and agony to be forsaken by God.
It was not "easy" for Him to be "wounded for our transgressions,...bruised for our iniquities." Isa. 53:5
Though an easy way for us, it is God's only way of saving sinners, and if you are not saved in that way, you will never be saved at all.
"To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Rom. 4:5.

I Can Do Nothing

In one of the wards of a hospital lay a man, dying. A servant of Christ told him of God's free grace, of His willingness to save, and how He had saved the thief on the cross. The sick man said, "I believe it all."
"Then do you have peace?"
"No, I don't have peace."
"Why not?"
"Because, you see," he answered, "I have come behind in doing my part. I believe that God has done His, but then, I must do mine."
"And what is your part?"
"Well, I must strive to do my best."
The sick man went on in this way for some days, struggling, striving and seeking to work his way up to God, until life was almost gone.
Again the servant of God called to see him. Taking him by the hand, he said, "Well, what can you do now to get salvation?"
"Do?" said the dying man. "I can do nothing. My strength is gone. I can't lift that glass to my lips to take a drop of water."
"Then what will you do?"
The dying man looked up, his anxious face telling of the fearful struggle going on within, his eyes glazed by the nearness of death, and said, "I'll do what the dying thief did, I'll turn my head and look." So he did, blessed be God! Life and salvation were the immediate result.
There is life in a look. "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." Isa. 45:22.

Don?t Panic

King's Cross Station is a busy place, the busiest station in London. Five subway lines are served there, as well as British Rail trains. Throngs of commuters pass through it daily, the flow of traffic changing direction with the time of day.
It was evening, and Debbie Wren was homeward bound as she rode the escalator up from the subway to take her train. Suddenly her feet seemed to be too warm. She looked down and saw an orange glow under the rising step and caught the smell of smoke. Pushing quickly ahead, she reported her fear to a subway attendant.
The smoke thickened rapidly; the heat increased and people on the escalator began to be alarmed. Many ran back down to the lower platform. A train came through, and did not stop. Another rolled in and out again, also without stopping. Panic stricken by now, people rushed toward it, beating on the closed windows and doors as it went by. One woman even leaped onto the tracks and pursued the train, but without success.
The loud speakers crackled to life the announcement: "Don't panic! It's just a small litter fire."
But the smoke increased and the now-frantic people began trying to fight their way upward again. At last they met a figure of authority: a policeman appeared to take charge. Gratefully they obeyed as he firmly directed them onto the long escalator up to the concourse level. More and more were waved on to the escalator—and rode steadily, inexorably, up and into the flames.
One woman, Judith Dingley, saw what was happening and flung out her arms to stop people boarding the escalator. "People just glared and scowled at me as though I was out of my mind," she said.
The fire raged on until at last the fire fighters had it under control. There were 30 people dead from burns or suffocation, and 21 more seriously injured.
In one sense, humanity today is much like those London commuters. Most of us are hurrying back and forth in our "daily grind," already smelling the smoke of coming disaster—monetary collapse, a nuclear "accident," a deadly new disease, any of the catastrophes that could overwhelm our world but official-sounding voices are proclaiming: "Don't panic! Everything is under control. These are only little problems and technology will soon find solutions."
Don't listen to them!
There are others busily directing, "This way— this way up! Keep striving and struggling until you reach the top!"
Don't listen to them either!
Remember instead Judith Dingley with her arms outspread as she tried to keep people from rushing up the escalator into the fire and think of the Lord Jesus Christ with His arms stretched out to all humanity and calling, "I am the way!"
Yes, Jesus is the Way, the only way to heaven, for as He says, "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." We cannot achieve eternal life and safety by ignoring the danger of hell; we cannot climb up to the Father's house by any ladder of our own devising. It is only by believing in Jesus, the Son of God, that we are saved from perishing forever.
God is pointing out a way of escape from eternal death: "For 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.
The ones who believed Judith Dingley and did not ride up that escalator lived to tell of their escape. Those who "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" shall be saved (Acts 16:31). It could not be more sure, or more simple. Turn to Him now.
"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye... for why will ye die?" Ezek. 33:11.

Pain

Albert was lying in the hospital in much pain. It was difficult to talk with him because spasms of pain were causing him to groan and cry out.
I felt so sorry for him. I could not help him, although he said he was glad to have a visitor. The cries of pain were causing "butterflies" in my stomach.
The two men beside him felt very sympathetic too. When Albert cried out they expressed hope that something could be done for him. The nurse tried to help him. Everyone in the hospital ward felt sorry for Albert; no one joked or laughed.
Long ago, another Man was in pain. What a contrast the circumstances were! No one cared. People standing around did not sympathize; they actually mocked and made fun of the sufferer.
Do you know who this Man was? The Lord Jesus Christ! The Son of God! Where was He? He was hanging on a cross of wood. The Scripture says, "Sitting down they watched Him there." Matt. 27:36.
Was Jesus in pain? You know He was. He was wearing a crown of thorns that had been pressed down on His blessed head. The judge, Pilate, had had Him whipped and He was hanging by nails that had been driven through His hands and feet. Yet others all around the cross were mocking Him. They said, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save.... He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now, if He will have Him: for He said, I am the Son of God." Matt. 27:42, 43. Even the thieves that were crucified with Him were mocking too.
There was a further contrast. Albert was continually calling for the nurse to come and give him an injection for pain. Like most people when in acute pain, he could think only of himself. The Lord Jesus was thinking of those very ones who were mocking Him. He spoke to God and said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34.
He also cared for His mother and committed her to the care of John (John 19:25-27). He spoke with purpose to fulfill Scripture when He said, "I thirst." John 19:28. Blessed Savior!
But there is something much worse that the Lord Jesus endured while on that cross. Do you say. "What could be worse than all that pain"? Let us read Matt. 27:45, 46: "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
What happened during those three hours of darkness? No detail is given. God would not let anyone see. When those words were given prophetically in Psa. 22, it says, "Thou art holy, O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." During those dark hours the Lord Jesus was made sin for us. (2 Cor. 5:21.) "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isa. 53:6.
This was much worse than what man did to Jesus. This was entirely God's work; no man could have anything to do with this.
Dear friend, what does all this mean to you? Long ago it was written, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?" Lam. 1:12.
Jesus died for all, but it is only those who believe who have eternal life. It is "By faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." Rom. 3:22. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." John 6:47.
Jesus died so that God could "be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. 3:26.
Is He your Savior? Can you truly say, "The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me"? Gal. 2:20.

Choose Life!

It was near the close of a long and tiring day. We had been visiting among Indians at a reserve in the north, and had spoken to all who would listen about the love and grace of God in offering a full and free salvation to any sinner who turned to God for mercy.
Many had listened. Some were already saved, having heard the gospel before and having placed their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. For such, their eternity was blessedly settled. Others we had visited had accepted gospel tracts and calendars and laminated gospel and picture texts, which they hung on the walls in their otherwise dingy rooms.
We found very few men and boys. Most were away fighting forest fires which were blazing out of control in regions to the north. A group of men would be flown by the government to the site of the fires, and after ten days of fighting the fires they would be flown back and another group would take their place.
We left this reserve in the afternoon to pay a visit to a campground some distance away. This little settlement consisted of Christian families. When we arrived in other years they would quickly gather, men and women, boys and girls, with their Bibles at a large table at one end of the camp. A fire was always burning there, over which hung kettles of stew, meat and coffee. What a happy experience to enjoy the love and hospitality of children of God in a place like this! This is truly Christianity!
Only, this time, all was different. The camp seemed to be deserted. However, on a closer look we found three young men in one of the houses, singing a gospel song. On the table was an open Bible. They were cooking on a wood stove three rabbits which had been caught in snares that morning.
When we asked where the others were, they told us they had just returned from ten days of fire fighting, and sent the women and children to the nearest town to spend their checks on clothing and staples. (Such would not have been the case before Jesus Christ came into their lives!)
We were offered a cup of hot coffee, and then spent a happy hour talking about the Word of God, but it was too late in the day for us to wait for the return of the others. As we left we thought of the marvelous change in that group as a result of salvation. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17.
As we returned to our rented cabin, we drove through the reserve where we had spent most of the day. The men of that place had just returned. They too had been paid. Some of the checks were as large as $1,500, which is a great sum of money in that part of the country. But Satan was in command there, and his evil work was already visible.
We stopped at a home where the wife and mother was a Christian, although her husband was not. That house was now filled with intoxicated people, not only men, but even boys and girls. Shouting and swearing could be heard for some distance away.
Rock music was blasting out of the windows. All was in disorder. Alcohol and drugs were taking their toll.
As we sat there in our car, hardly believing the change that had taken place in such a short time, the front door flew open and a young man, about nineteen, came staggering out into the front yard and toward our car. His eyes were red and blurred, his hair badly mussed. He was wearing a new T-shirt, no doubt a gift from his Christian mother, for on that shirt in large letters was this:
God says
CHOOSE LIFE
What this boy advertised on his shirt is the Word of God. It is found in Deut. 30:17-19:
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE LIFE...and... live!
"But if thine heart.turn away, so that thou wilt not hear... I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish."
All in that house had heard, but most had turned their hearts away and would not hear with an ear of faith. Except they believe God and accept His offer of a free salvation, they "shall surely perish."
And God is saying to you today: CHOOSE LIFE, and LIVE!

A Pauper's Grave

Big headlines proclaimed: "HEIR TO FOUR MILLION DOLLARS IN PAUPER'S GRAVE." A newspaper reporter, writing about it, said: "Every heir to four million, or four hundred million, lies in a pauper's grave. Every corpse is a pauper. 'There are no pockets in shrouds,' no bank accounts in the place to which we go from here."
That is only partly true. So far as taking material possessions along when we pass out of this world, it has been expressed this way:
Out of this life I never shall take
Things of silver and gold that I make,
All that I cherish and hoard away,
After I leave, on the earth must stay.
All that I gather and all that I keep,
I must leave behind when I fall asleep.
And I wonder often what I shall own
In that other life, where I go alone.
But to say that there are "no bank accounts in the place to which we go from here" is the very opposite of the Scripture that commands us to "lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Matt. 6:20. On the other hand, we are told in the previous verse: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal."
Everything in this life is uncertain and perishable. The stock market rises, making "instant millionaires," and then falls and leaves them impoverished. Banks and savings institutions fail. Great corporations become bankrupt. Uncertainties, all.
But in heaven, everything is certain and sure. No banks fail, no thief or rust or moth threatens. Is your treasure there?

For Seeking Souls

"Oh that I knew where I might find Him!"
Is that perhaps the burden of your troubled soul? You have wept as you thought of your sins, and prayed that you might be forgiven; still you have no assurance that your soul is saved—you cannot say, "I have found Him," and that "My Beloved is mine, and I am His."
Why is this? Is it because God does not love you? No, that cannot be, for "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. Is it then because He will not save you? Never, for God "will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." And again, He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.
The fault then is not with God. You have been occupied with yourself and your doings, trying to improve that which God has condemned, for God says, "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." Rom. 3:12. Also God says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works." Eph. 2:8, 9.
"How then can I be saved?" you ask. The answer is in God's Word: "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree." 1 Peter 2:24. And in 1 Peter 3:18 we see: "Christ... suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."
Yes, the debt is paid; sin has been atoned for, and just before He died the Lord Jesus said, "It is finished." The work of redemption has all been done. God is satisfied. Then why delay? Accept Him as your Savior now, and then you will be able to say, "We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth." John 1:45.

Heather?s Rescue

The railroad ran right through the farm where little Heather lived, and one warm summer day she was having fun walking along the tracks in her bare feet, trying to keep her balance on the rails. Pete, her little dog, was scampering along beside her.
The ten o'clock train was due to pass in a few minutes, and already the whistle could be heard up the track. But Heather was having such a good time she did not hear it. The train whistled again as it came nearer, warning everyone to get off the track at once. Still Heather ignored it.
The engineer saw the little girl's danger, and gave another loud, long blast of the whistle. Pete scooted out of the way, and just then Heather looked up and saw the train bearing down upon her. Instead of jumping out of the way, she just froze with fear. The engineer was trying to stop the train, but it was going too fast. Little Heather stood right in its track, terror-stricken.
The train was almost on top of her when suddenly something struck her, knocked her off the rails, and sent her tumbling down the bank. It was Pete! Her faithful little friend had seen her danger and acted in the only way he could. The brave dog was grazed by the engine and sent flying down the bank after Heather, but he was not badly hurt.
How grateful Heather was to her faithful little dog! She had loved him before, but he was far more dear to her now after rescuing her from such a dreadful death.
Like the train coming swiftly down the track, the judgment of God is coming on this world. It cannot be stopped or turned aside, but the Lord Jesus came into this world to save those who trust Him as their Savior. He has died that we might live; He has borne the judgment that we might escape, and He will take all those who are His out of the reach of judgment and danger and put them in a place of eternal safety.
Have you been saved from judgment yet? "The Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear." Isa. 59:1.
"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.

"Never Enough!"

Perry Ellis "had it all." A designer who had won eight Coty awards, he was at the top of his profession. He was at the head of a multi-million dollar business, with one of the most beautiful showrooms in New York City. Charm and talent had won tremendous popularity for him, both personally and for his designs. An exciting career, a beautiful home, world travel, many friends—yes, Perry Ellis had it all.
But with all this, at only 46 he lay dying in a New York hospital. Slipping in and out of a coma, he roused a little as a friend came into the room and commented on all the beautiful flowers. "Never enough!" said Perry—and those were his final words.
Never enough! Wealth—fame—friends—it was never enough. And it could never be enough.
Perhaps he left God out of his life, and without Him the whole world is "never enough" to fill one human heart.
"There is an emptiness," as "Murphy the Surf" said. Do you remember "Murphy the Surf"? He (Jack Murphy) was another young man who "had it all." Born into a good family and in comfortable circumstances, he was a talented musician and a champion sportsman, yet with it all he said there "was still emptiness there."
So he began to look for more excitement. Looking for thrills, he tried stealing—spectacular stealing, no "small stuff" for him. He entered the gem room of the Museum of Natural History in New York and stole the 563 carat Star of India sapphire, as well as 21 other beautiful, valuable, and well-known jewels.
Capture was certain—and soon. But as soon as he was released from a short prison term he was busy trying to fill the emptiness again. At last he sat alone in a six-by-nine-foot cell in the state prison, serving a life term for murder. It was a total contrast from his "have it all" years, but one thing had not changed: the "emptiness" was still there.
The prison chaplain came to him with the message of God's love and forgiveness for sin, but Murphy told him to "take that to somebody who needs a crutch."
At last he began to listen, and to watch. He said, "When the 'losers' would ask the Lord to come into their lives... the lights would start coming on in their eyes."
Murphy, too, asked Jesus Christ into his life. He said, "I didn't hear any bells. I didn't fall down. It was just by faith!" And, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ "just by faith," he found the emptiness at last was filled.
One man had all the world could give, but found it "never enough."
One man had lost everything, even his friends, but found that "Jesus Christ is the answer to filling an empty life." Even in that six-by-nine-foot cell, Murphy knew that he had received, as he said, "a brand new life."
Today he is out of prison after spending 21 years of his life behind bars, but he is still working to help other convicts. He says he will continue "to work in the darkness, lifting up Jesus Christ" to the lost and lonely and empty-hearted in prison, telling them that "there is an answer."
There is an answer. Christ is the answer. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:17.

The Last

There is an end to everything here. There is the last year, the last day, the last invitation to come to Christ, and the last offer of pardon. Yes, the last time will come when those eyes of yours will see the bright sunlight. Then the last beat and throb of that heart of yours, and of mine, and then what?
Eternity! Think of it, a "never-ending now," in either heaven or hell.
Which will it be for you? There is only one way to heaven and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work upon the cross of Calvary. If you will accept Him as your Savior, you can say with assurance that to leave this world will be to be with Christ, whether you leave it at His coming (which is very near) or through death.
"The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober." 1 Peter 4:7.

The Love of God

Do you think that God's salvation, as a gift, is too easy? True, all you need to do is receive that gift, and with it you are assured of eternal life.
Yes, it is easy for you. But think! What did that wonderful work on Calvary cost God, the Father of the Lord Jesus, who wrought that work?
God gave His own Son as a ransom for us poor, lost sinners. God gave the holy One for sinners, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible.
What else could have cleansed us from sin but His precious blood? What was capable of saving us from our lost condition but the shed blood of God's Lamb? Only by the sacrifice of the only Son of God could we who are wicked and ungodly be made perfect before God.
Oh, what love and mercy God has shown through Christ to worthless mortals! Through the agony of the Lord Jesus Christ the beloved Son of God who has gone through death, burial and resurrection, the Father can save sinners and bring them into eternal blessing. What a price! And what a Gift!
"For 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.

Maximilian Kolbe

A remarkable thing happened during the last days of July, 1941, at the dreaded Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. A prisoner escaped from Block 14! The next day Deputy Commander Fritsch arrived in crisply pressed uniform and shining jack boots. He ordered all the prisoners to line up in the courtyard, and barked out the order that 10 prisoners would be executed in retaliation.
He then chose ten, one by one. One of the ten, Francis Gajowniczec, a father with a little family, broke down and sobbed. There was a rustle from the line of prisoners, and one of them, Maximilian Kolbe, made his way to the front.
"Herr Commandant, I wish to make a request, please."
"What do you want?" growled the brutal commander.
Maximilian answered, "I want to die in place of this prisoner." He pointed to the sobbing Francis. "I have no wife and no children; besides, I am old and not good for anything."
The stunned man waited for the Commandant to say that both men would die, but after a moment Fritsch snapped, "Request granted."
Maximilian was led away with the other nine to execution; Francis was spared.
Many years rolled by, and the small town where Maximilian was born decided to have a special day to honor him for his sacrifice. After a long search, the town fathers found that Francis was still living. They arranged that he would come by airplane to speak to the crowd at the ceremony.
Francis, an old man with shuffling gait by now, made his way to the microphone when his time came. He told again the wonderful story of how Maximilian had taken his place and how his life had been spared through the death of his friend. At the end of his talk Francis said with emotion, "I never tire of telling the story of Maximilian Kolbe, the man who died for me!"
Maximilian died for his friend, and the Bible tells us that "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." But there is One who has died for us when we were not His friends, when we were far from God, when we hated Him. Only the Lord Jesus Christ would do that! "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8.
Francis, saved through the death of his friend, said, "I never tire of telling the story of... the man who died for me!" How about you? Have you ever been grateful to the Lord Jesus for dying to save your soul? Have you ever received life—eternal life—through His sacrifice for you? Have you ever said, "He died for me?" Can you say it?
No man of greater love can boast,
Than for his friend to die;
Thou for Thine enemies wast slain—
What love with Thine can vie?

Only a Touch

Poor woman! She had suffered for twelve years, and had been to many physicians, but nothing had helped her. In fact, she was only growing worse. In her search for healing she had spent all that she had— hopeless, penniless, she had no other resource.
But—she HEARD of Jesus, the great Physician, the Healer of body and soul.
Believing what she heard, she CAME to Jesus. Her desperate need brought her to Him.
Putting faith into action, she TOUCHED His garment. Happy moment for that poor, suffering woman! She was in the personal company of Jesus, the only One who could possibly heal her body and meet the deep need of her soul.
In a moment of time a change took place. She FELT she was healed! She knew and realized what was done in her.
She came in fear and trembling before Him,
She knew her Lord had come;
She felt that from Him virtue had healed her,
The mighty deed was done.
Oh, touch the hem of His garment,
And thou too shalt be free;
His saving power this very hour
Shall give new life to thee.
You can read the whole story in your Bible, in Mark 5:25-34. The Savior can meet the need of your soul just as He met her need. You cannot obtain the salvation of God through any merit of your own; you can only come to Him in faith.
The Lord Jesus Christ has done all the work of salvation; He knows what you are suffering, how many remedies you have tried, and that you have no way to pay Him, but He does not ask it of you. He wants to give, not to take!
"For 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.

"If a Man Does the Best He Can"

"I don't believe in your doctrine," said a sailor to a Christian. "My opinion is that if a man does the best he can, it will be all right with him in the end."
"And is that the only way by which a man can get to heaven?"
"I believe so, and don't you think it's a good way?"
"Well, let's see if it could ever work. How many times have you used profane language since you spoke to me?"
"Oh well, I have got into the habit of swearing, but I mean to give it up."
"And is that the only sin you are guilty of?"
"Oh, no; I am not one of those people who pretend to be perfect."
"Then you have not done the best you could. If that is the only way of getting to heaven, you have not the slightest chance of ever being there!"
The sailor had no more to say.
But do you expect to be saved by "doing your best"? This is not God's way of salvation. What is the use of saying, "If a man does the best he can," when God's Word emphatically tells us that no one has ever done so? God says, "They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psa. 14:3.
You know well that you have done what you should not have done many, many times. You "don't pretend to be perfect," but one sin is enough to condemn you! "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10.
The "best" that you can do is to admit that you are a helpless, guilty sinner, unable to do a single good deed to merit God's forgiveness. When you see yourself as a sinner, you will be anxious to learn what the Lord Jesus Christ did to save you; when you see that everything was fully done by Him, you will stop talking about your "doing" and rest instead on what He has done.
Remember— "Christ died for our sins" and "the blood of Jesus Christ His [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 Cor. 15:3; 1 John 1:7.

The ''Robber's Bible

The time: about two hundred years ago.
The place: deep in the Black Forest.
The scene: a clearing among the dark trees and a circle of men sitting. One man stood in the center of the ring and, by the light of a flaring torch, was holding up various articles for sale.
It was a gang of highwaymen who had held up a stagecoach that evening. According to their custom, they were auctioning the loot among themselves. Almost everything had been disposed of when a New Testament was held up. The auctioneer introduced this with some crude jokes, which made the forest ring with laughter.
One man suggested that he should "read a chapter for their edification." This was unanimously applauded and the auctioneer, turning the pages at random, began reading in a voice of mock devotion.
While the men were laughing it was not noticed that one of them, a middle-aged man who was one of the oldest members of the gang, became silent and, clasping his hands on his knees, was absorbed in deep thought.
The passage which the auctioneer read was the same as that which that man's father had read thirty years before on the morning of the day when he ran away from home, never to return. At the sound of the words the happy family circle rose to his mind. In his imagination he saw them all seated around the breakfast table. He saw his father, sitting with the open Bible, reading the chapter for the day. He saw his kind, tender-hearted mother sitting by his father's side listening attentively to the Word of God. He saw himself, kneeling with his brother and sisters while his father prayed for the guidance and blessing of God during the day.
It all came as clearly to his mind as if it had happened that morning. Since leaving home he had never opened a Bible, never offered up a prayer, never had a single thought of God and eternity. But now it was as if his soul awoke out of a sleep of thirty years—as if the snow of a long, long winter melted away at the sound of that well-known Bible verse. All the words which his father had spoken to him from his childhood—the lessons and prayers of his mother—which then were scornfully given to the winds—came flying back to his memory.
Absorbed in his thoughts, he forgot all that was around him; he heard nothing of the joking and cursing that were going on, until he was roused by a slap on the shoulder and the question: "Now, old dreamer, what will you give for that book? You need it more than any of us, for you are undoubtedly the biggest sinner on earth."
"So I am," he answered, struck to his heart by the truth in that rough joke. "Give me the book; I will pay its full price."
The next day the robbers scattered through the neighborhood to turn their bargains into money. The man who bought the Bible went also on his errand, but he did not direct his steps to a receiving-house. He went to a lonely place where he spent the whole day and night in the agonies of remorse. But for the consoling words which the Bible held out to him he would certainly have taken his life. But God had mercy on that repenting sinner and he learned that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," and that "Christ died for the ungodly," and peace came to his troubled soul.
At last he too ventured away from the sheltering forest. The first thing he heard was that his gang had been overtaken the night before by a detachment of soldiers and taken to prison. He promptly went to the police and gave himself up to the hands of justice. This proof of the sincerity of his repentance saved his life, for his comrades were all put to death. His story was told to the Grand Duke, and he obtained mercy from man as well as from God. Though he had to serve some time in prison, he was freed to live many more years as a blessing to all around him. At last he died in peace, praising Jesus Christ who came into the world to save sinners, of whom he felt himself to be the chief.
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." 1 Tim. 1:15.

God Will Not Sell His Blessing

Money cannot buy God's blessing; if it could, the rich alone could claim it, and the poor would go wanting forever. But God has made His salvation free; it is an absolute gift from Him to all who will receive it.
There are some who would like to put God in the place of the merchant in the marketplace, bartering His goods to the highest bidder, but this He will never do. There are two reasons why God will never sell His blessing: 1. Men are far too poor to buy it.
2. God is far too rich to sell it.
But He gives it gladly and freely to whoever will take it in simple, child-like faith. In Isa. 55:1 He says, "Every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
On the other hand, when a man offered Peter money, Peter said, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." Acts 8:20.
The gift may be taken, or it may be refused, but it cannot be bought.
THIS IS NO JOKE!
“You say you’re going to a funeral? You’re going to drive all that distance just to go to a funeral? I wouldn’t! Why, I’m too lazy even to go to my own funeral! Ha ha ha!” And the speaker laughed loudly at his own joke. It was not such a joke as he thought. Truly, he will not go to that funeral. His body will, but it is only the shell he has lived in all his life. His family and frends will look at that body in the casket and murmur, “Doesn’t he look natural? He looks so peaceful. He’s at rest now.” But the real essential being of the man will not be there. He will have gone — gone to an appointment he had to keep. The question will be, where has he gone?
There are two definite places. One is the “Father’s house.” Were Jesus said there are “many mansions,” and added, “I go and prepare a place for you... that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2, 3.
The other place is “the lake of fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” That’s right; it was not prepared for people. God did not want to send anyone to hell. He is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. But God will not force anyone to receive His Son; He will take no unwilling, unbelieving soul to heaven to enjoy the "pleasures for evermore" and the "fullness of joy" in His presence.
When you next go to a funeral, think for a moment about the soul that once inhabited that body. Say to yourself: "Where is he—or she—now?"
Then ask yourself one more question. "If I were lying there, where would my soul be?"
Think of it. Think of it NOW!
When your body lies in its casket, it will be too late.
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." Isa. 55:6.

Opportunity

A criminal, who had never before heard of God's love to sinners, was condemned to die. According to his country's laws he had no hope of receiving mercy for his crimes. However, one who had himself received forgiveness for all his sins told God's message to the condemned man.
At this, his first hearing of the marvelous gospel, the wonderful good news, the hopeless sinner said afterward: "When I heard there was pardon for me from God, I just grabbed at it!"
My friends, what you may have so long and so coldly passed over, this poor man eagerly and instantly grasped.
In Isa. 1:18 God says: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
What gracious pleading is here! How will you treat your present opportunity? God delights in mercy, but since He is holy, sin must be judged.
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near." Isa. 55:6.

How Foolish We Are!

Times were bad and money was scarce. Poor Mary Smith watched her bills mounting up and her rent getting farther and farther behind, and was terrified. Surely the landlord would soon be at her door with an eviction notice and she would be put out on the street. How could she live then?
Soon there did come a man to her door, but it was not the landlord. It was the representative of a charitable organization with vouchers that would provide her with food and heat and that all-important rent. He knocked, but there was no answer. He went to the window, to the back door, to every possible opening but there was not the slightest response.
At last he gave it up and went away, carrying his offers of help with him. Poor Mary thought he had come to collect money—and she had nothing to pay him. So she tightly barred every door and window and refused to answer the knocking. Foolish Mary!
There is Another who says, "I stand at the door and knock." It is the Lord Jesus Christ, and He too stands waiting with blessings in His hand. Many people, though, think that He comes to add to their burdens, to collect payment for their sins, to bring them only misery. So they shut Him out. Foolish people!
The Lord Jesus said, "If thou knewest the gift of God!" What is that gift He offers? "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23. There is nothing to pay—there is no possibility of paying—we have only to receive. "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God." Are you going to open the door? Will you receive Him? Or is He to be forever shut out of your heart? He will not force an entrance!

Here I Am!?

Heavy storms had been sweeping across the flat Louisiana parishes, and thunder was still muttering in the distance when a small boat set out on Lake Bistineau. It was not a good time to take a boat out, but lawyer Graves Thomas wouldn't wait any longer. He just had to go out in his new ski boat, no matter what!
Thunder rumbled again, nearer this time, and it was clear that the only wise course was to go back to shore. Thomas was exasperated. Jumping to his feet in the back of the boat, he shook his fist towards heaven and shouted defiantly, "Here I am!"
Moments later a lightning bolt struck him down.
Even though there was a doctor nearby on a houseboat, and they made every effort to revive him, they were unsuccessful. Graves Thomas was dead.
Not many people would stand up in an open boat in an electrical storm, making of themselves a perfect lightning rod. Not many people would openly challenge God as Thomas did. And very few meet such an instantaneous response. But be sure of this: "God is not mocked."
It is as dangerous to go on in indifference, ignoring God's warning, as it is to openly defy Him. You may not hear the rumbling thunder that tells you to be careful, but God is speaking to you today, perhaps even in this little paper you are reading now. He is warning you of a coming storm, telling you to get to port before it breaks, offering refuge and safety if you will only take it.
You need not shake your fist in the face of God to come under condemnation. John 3:18 says: "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Just not believing! How serious is unbelief? "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar." 1 John 5:10. That is as bad as Graves Thomas's bold challenge, isn't it?
On the other hand, God promises that "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned." John 3:36, 17, 18.
Believing, or not believing?
Condemned, or not condemned?
Which are you?

Dear to God

What is man?
Naturalism says he is a product of a long evolutionary process. Marxism says he has value only as he produces. Secularism says he is important only as he achieves—and his importance is measured by his achievement. Materialism says he is worth what he possesses.
In any case man has no value in and of himself—life has no meaning apart from usefulness—there is no such thing as human destiny.
According to the Bible, man is of intrinsic worth. He was created by God in His image—to be loved by God—to be a friend of God—to enjoy Him forever!
Man therefore is of infinite value. He is of such value that the Son of God left heaven and came to earth to die on a cross so that man could live forever in his heavenly Father's presence and blessing.
The measure of the value of one person—any person is the measure of Christ's sacrifice. To God, there is no such thing as an unimportant person. Each individual is precious eternally—precious to God.
"I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." Psa. 139:14-16.

Happiness

`Tis Jesus only that can give
Sweetest pleasures while we live;
`Tis Jesus only can supply
Solid comfort when we die.
The only one who has a right to be happy is the Christian. He alone has been delivered from the bondage of sin, death and judgment.
Well might the Psalmist say: "Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord." Psa. 144:15.
"In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psa. 16:11.

Procrastination

The steamship, Central America, on a voyage from New York to San Francisco, sprung a serious leak in mid-ocean. Another vessel, seeing her distress, bore down toward her. Perceiving the danger to be imminent, the captain of the rescue ship spoke to the Central America, asking, "What is amiss?"
"We are in bad repair, and going down; lie by till morning," was the answer.
"Let me have your passengers on board now."
It was a dark night, and the commander of the Central America did not like to send his passengers away, lest some might be lost. Thinking that they could keep afloat awhile longer, he replied: "Lie by till morning."
Once more the captain of the rescue ship called: "You had better let me take them now."
"Lie by till morning," was the only answer he received.
About an hour and a half later her lights disappeared and the Central America had gone down with all on board. Passengers, crew and captain—all were lost because it was thought they could be saved better at another time.
God says. "Now is the accepted time... now is the day of salvation." Not tomorrow, not a more convenient time, but NOW.
"Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth!" Prov. 27:1.
Courtesy of BibleTruthPublishers.com. Most likely this text has not been proofread. Any suggestions for spelling or punctuation corrections would be warmly received. Please email them to: BTPmail@bibletruthpublishers.com.