Echoes of Grace: 1989-1990, In Time

Table of Contents

1. Such a Little Thing
2. Robben Island
3. You May Know
4. The Sky Diver
5. Amos Is Dead-Dead
6. The Ant Lion
7. Saved by Grace Alone
8. Little Orphans
9. A Pardon Refused
10. How Can I Meet God?
11. Too Far to Help
12. The Memorial
13. Who Are You Counting On?
14. Grandma's Faith
15. Street Gangs
16. Be Prepared
17. Can We Be Sure of Salvation?
18. ?I Always Knew There Must Be a Way?
19. The Saving Touch
20. It Stood the Test
21. His Last Ride
22. For or Against?
23. Eternally Night
24. Napoleon's Testimony
25. No Time to Get Ready
26. You Need Christ
27. The Land of His Dreams
28. Peace!
29. Danger! Keep Out
30. A Saved Moslem Writes..
31. The Homing Instinct
32. Three Certainties
33. Neglect, the Super Thief
34. Code 99!
35. Freedom
36. Taking God at His Word
37. Why Did This Happen to Me?
38. Change for a Twenty Dollar Gold Piece?
39. Why Didn't You Pay the Ransom
40. Treacherous Footing
41. One in a Million
42. It Has Life in It
43. The Love of Life
44. The Race Car Driver
45. Almost Gone!
46. What Is the Gospel?
47. A Personal Decision
48. No Punishment at All
49. Fun or Happiness, Which?
50. I Was a Prisoner
51. How Do I Know My Sins Are Forgiven?
52. The Brahmin Student
53. The Inventor
54. Polluted!
55. "There's Plenty of Time"
56. The Awakening
57. A Safe Harbor
58. The Work Finished
59. The Gospel in a Teacup
60. In Paradise
61. The Changed World
62. Just as You Are
63. A Lawyer Looks at the Resurrection
64. ?You Stole My Sheep?
65. Come Unto Me
66. Old Hundred?s Heart Trouble
67. Cash in and Cash Out

Such a Little Thing

It was only a tiny leak in a gasket — a trivial, little leak —but the oil dripped out and the motor ran hot and dry and the vacation trip was spoiled for the whole family. It was just a little cause, but such a disappointing result.
Only a scrap of metal—a tiny, tiny tip of a broken knife blade—but it was left in the compass box of the ship. The compass was deflected just a little bit, but it was enough to turn the ship off course and onto the rocks. What an expensive disaster—for a knife worth no more than a dollar or two.
It didn't take much to bring the Challenger down either. Only an O-ring, an O-ring that failed, and seven lives and millions of dollars were lost. Was that a little thing?
The smallest thing—the worst result—seemed only a little act of disobedience. Only to eat of the fruit "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"—and what a terrible result for the whole human race! Sin and sickness and sorrow, death and disaster, all came from that one act.
Worst of all, it separated man from God. Man, created in the image of God, created to be His companion and to walk and talk in the garden of Eden with his Creator, hid at the approach of God and has been seeking to distance himself from God ever since.
Look at the world today—there is none that seeketh after God—they are all gone astray—the fear of God is not in all their thoughts. What a morass of evil we are living in!
Is there no way out? No way back?
Yes, but we are not talking about "little things" now. To bridge the gap between God and man, to make human beings again fit to be in the presence of God, cost the greatest price in all time and eternity. It cost nothing less than the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, to cleanse us from sin and reconcile us to God.
The Lord Jesus has done it all, has given His life for us. Now what great work should we do to gain this salvation? What does God require of us?
"This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:29.
Just believe? What else?
Well, "I will take the cup of salvation." Psa. 116:13.
Just receive? Like a gift?
It is a gift. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23.
Isn't there anything we can give Him in return?
Yes, just "let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name." Heb. 13:15.
That's it: believe—receive—and don't forget to thank Him!
"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.

Robben Island

On a dark February morning in 1889 James Fish and his brother Joseph stood by the rail of the steamship, the Delhi, and waved goodbye to their mother and a few Christian friends. The brothers were traveling to South Africa to preach the gospel of God's grace. After preaching in South Africa for several years, James felt led of the Lord to leave that work to others and dedicate his time to spreading the good news of salvation on Robben Island.
Robben Island is a barren piece of land located in the mouth of Table Bay. Nobody would choose to live there, yet South Africa had stringent laws which sent people there and denied them permission to return. You see, Robben Island was a leper colony.
On April 15th, 1896, Mr. Fish held a gospel service for the men. This meeting was no different than many others he had held, except for the fact that he recorded his visual impressions in his diary. "One hundred and twenty came. What a sight to behold! Old and young were making their way to the meeting, some crawling, others shuffling in a most painful manner.... The most pitiful scene of all was a man with neither hands nor feet carried on the shoulders of another man."
As you read this, can you imagine what the men looked like as they filed into the meeting?
How different from the rest of the world! Or—is it? What is the rest of the world but a sin colony? It is a place where God's name is blasphemed by multitudes daily, a place where men live only to fulfill the lusts of their flesh, a place where sin abounds, and men and women love to have it so.
The word "sin" may mean little to you; it means little to most people today, but it robs children of their families—it destroys the health of men and women—it fills prisons—it hurls nation against nation in war. Everywhere you look you see the effects of SIN. As Robben Island was a leper colony, so this world is a sin colony.
As you read this, can you picture how God sees you with your sin on you? Remember, the past may grow dim in our memories but never in God's. He remembers and requires the sins that are past. Be assured that one sin in His sight is more vile than a thousand are in our sight. Deep down we all know it, yet we like to close our eyes to it.
Leprosy causes premature death. Sin causes eternal death. "The wages of sin is death." "The soul that sinneth it shall die."
"No! It can't be! I can't have leprosy!" a person might cry out after being informed that he had contracted the disease and must be sent to Robben Island. The same reaction of denial is common when the gospel is preached and men are told that the wages of sin is eternal separation from God. "No, it can't be—not in my case," and so saying they shrug off God's warning about sin.
Denial of the truth of God's wrath against sin is possible in this life. The moment a person dies is the moment when such denial will no longer be possible. At that moment the full force of the verse, "The wages of sin is death," will strike each one. Hear such a one cry out in bitterness as he enters the regions of eternal misery: "No! Not me! I can't go there. Not me!"
Sin has a price. The gospel that was preached that night on Robben Island told of what it cost God to offer the world eternal life. It told of the Savior who voluntarily went to the cross and died, so that sins might be put out of God's sight. "The blood of Jesus Christ His [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin." A million years of doing good works could never remove the stain from a single sin, but "Twice ten thousand sins, one moment takes away" —the moment a sinner trusts in Christ.
The good news of God's grace hasn't changed in almost two thousand years. He is still offering eternal life and the forgiveness of sins to all who will simply believe on the name of His Son. "The gift of God is eternal life." However, if you should refuse God's gift there will be nothing left for you but to collect the "wages of sin" which "is death." This is not physical death only, but spiritual death and eternal separation from God. Only in the name of Jesus Christ is there salvation for sinners.

You May Know

One afternoon mixing home from work I stopped at a neighborhood grocery store to pick up a few items. As I approached the checkout, I noticed some gospel tracts sitting there on the counter.
As my groceries were being checked out I asked the clerk, "Are you a Christian?"
Much to my surprise, she said, "I don't know. I guess I never thought about it!"
I said to her, "With all due respect, if you have to think about it then you probably are not!"
The simple fact is you can be sure. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1 John 5:13.
The clerk's answer was so matter-of-fact, so casual, that it left me with the impression that this most important question in the world didn't matter one way or the other.
In God's Word, the Bible, it says: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36.
How would you answer that question? Are you a Christian? Think about what your answer to that question is.
"COME! COME! COME "
There was once a man who was persuaded, much against his will, to attend a gospel meeting. Reluctantly he went, and as he went in they were singing the chorus of a hymn: "Come! Come! Come!"
He thought to himself that he had never seen so many fools together in his life before. The idea of all those men standing there singing, "Come! Come! Come!"
When he started home he could not get this little word out of his head; it kept coming back all the time. He stopped in a bar and ordered a drink, thinking to drown it. But he could not; it still kept coming back. Another bar, another drink, but the words kept ringing in his ears: "Come! Come! Come!"
He said to himself, "Now I am the fool for letting this bother me!" After a third bar and a third drink he finally got home.
He went to bed, but could not sleep; it seemed as if the very pillow kept whispering the words: "Come! Come! Come!" He cursed himself for going to the meeting at all.
In the morning he took up a hymnbook, found the little hymn, and read it over. "What nonsense!" he said to himself. "The idea of a grown man being disturbed by that hymn."
He declared he would never go to another of the meetings, but the next night he came again. When he got there, strange to say, they were singing the same hymn. "There is that miserable old hymn again," he said; "why did I ever come?"
Why did he come and come again? He came because God was calling him to "Come," and it was not long before he truly came to the Lord Jesus and learned the meaning of that invitation to "Come."
God is calling you, too, calling you to COME AND HEAR. "Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live." Isa. 55:3.
"Incline your ear," God says. You have sometimes seen a man who is a little deaf and cannot catch every word put his hand up to his ear and lean forward. This is the figure that the prophet uses when he says, "Incline your ear."
Man lost spiritual life and communion with his Maker by listening to the voice of the devil instead of the voice of God. We get life again by listening to God. The Word of God gives life. "The words that I speak unto you," says Christ, "they are spirit, and they are life." So what people need is to come and HEAR.
God invites you, too, to COME AND DRINK. Christ says, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink."
Thank God for those words: "If any man." That does not mean merely a select few—good people, rich people, respectable people—it takes in all—drunkard, thief, murderer, any man or woman. If you will come and drink at this fountain, Christ says you shall never thirst again. He has promised to quench your thirst.
"If any man thirst." How this world is thirsting for something that will satisfy! Men and women are thirsting for something they do not have. The moment a man turns his back upon God, he begins to thirst; and that thirst will never be quenched until he returns to "the fountain of living waters."
There is a thirst this world can never satisfy; the more we drink of its pleasures, the thirstier we become. We cry out for more and more, and we are all the while being dragged down lower and lower. But there is "a fountain opened... for sin and for uncleanness." Let us press up to it and drink and live.
One more invitation: COME AND REST. The Lord Jesus says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28.
God does not sell rest. If He did, we would not be rich enough to buy, but we can all take a gift. The gift Jesus wants to give is rest: rest for time, and rest for eternity. Every weary soul may have this rest if he will, but you must come to Christ and get it. Nowhere else can this rest be found.
Come and hear.
Come and drink.
Come and rest.
Come—come—come!

The Sky Diver

Sky diving! Thrilling, exciting, dangerous! Jumping from a plane at heights up to 13,000 feet, free-falling almost two miles before pulling the cord that deploys their parachute, sky divers risk their lives with every jump. Sometimes they lose.
One who almost lost was Frank Farnan, a sky diver of twenty-five years experience. He was practicing aerial formations when a teammate, also free falling, hit him in the head and knocked him out.
Falling, spinning, helpless, upside down and unconscious, Farnan was on the way to a sudden death.
Another teammate, Eddie Turner, saw him upside down, his arms "flapping in the wind like a rag doll." At first he thought that he was trying to open his reserve chute, but then Turner realized that he was unconscious. He began a desperate plunge to try to catch up with Farnan.
Breathless seconds passed. Now Turner was below Farnan. Spreading out his arms and legs, he tried to slow his own fall enough to catch Farnan. Still the two men fell at the same speed. At the last moment, another diver "flew" under Farnan and "stole his air away from him," and Turner was able to grab him.
Quickly he pulled the cord on Farnan's chute and then his own. The two chutes billowed out above the hurtling men less than ten seconds before they would both have crashed into the ground.
Farnan, helpless and unknowing, was falling straight to death. Many, many people are going about their daily business or pleasure just as unconscious that they are falling too—falling straight toward eternal death. They are helpless, too, and unable to save themselves.
Someone must come between them and the end that they are racing towards—someone conscious, in control and able to save.
Who can that be? It can only be the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His own life to avert that dreadful end for every one who will receive Him.
The picture fails a little here. Farnan did not know he was being rescued; he was saved unconsciously. You must consciously believe and receive. And Eddie Turner's courageous act almost cost his life, but not quite.
The Lord Jesus gave His life. He actually went through a horrible death to save you and me.
From a hospital bed, Frank Farnan thanked Eddie Turner for saving his life. Have you thanked the Lord Jesus for giving His life for you?

Amos Is Dead-Dead

Returning to a village in the West Indies, we asked a Christian woman, "What happened to Amos?"
She sadly replied, Amos is dead-dead!" We knew what she meant by that, and paused a little as we thought of poor Amos.
Amos had lived in a tiny hut immediately across from a little Christian meeting room in that village, where the gospel of the grace of God was regularly proclaimed and where Sunday school and other meetings were held every week for years. Amos could not walk, and had to pull himself around by his arms and hands. Sometimes he earned a little money by pulling weeds from around the little building, which was actually only six or seven feet from the door of his hut. During the meetings he often sat in his open doorway and listened, but would never come in to hear.
Sometimes Amos would make noises mocking the gospel, or make remarks that were not very nice.
Many people sought to be friendly with him and tried to talk to him about the Lord Jesus Christ, but he was often rude and would not listen. Many, many gospel tracts and Sunday school papers too had been given to Amos.
Our friend continued to tell us about Amos. His health grew worse and he had to be taken to the Poor House to be cared for. He had no family, or friends either, but several Christians went to visit him. They told him again the wonderful news that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved him and would save him. They told him that Christ died for sinners, and all that was needed was for him to take his place as a sinner and to receive Jesus as Savior, and then be assured of heaven. Amos still responded rudely.
Amos was not a young man when he died, and he had heard the gospel for many, many years, so when we asked our friend what happened to Amos, her response that, "Amos is dead-dead," told us that he had died in his sins, and would suffer an eternity in hell, the lake of fire, which is the SECOND DEATH. (Rev. 20:14, 15, and 21:8.)
All who knew Amos, and even the nurses who attended to his needs at the end, claim that Amos is "dead-dead"! Of course, only God knows whether poor Amos finally turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, but as far as our friend knew he never did and died in his sins. How awful! He died in the Poor House, and was buried in an unmarked grave, without family to mourn his passing into eternity.
But it did not have to be that way, and it does not have to be that way for you nor for any other sinner in the whole world. God is love, and God provided a Savior! "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!" 1 Tim. 1:15. And He came to save Amos too!
"The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:14. Have you ignored this wonderful salvation too? Do not be as foolish as Amos was. One of God's prophets of old was named "Amos" too, and he warned all: "PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD." Amos 4:12.

The Ant Lion

My backpack seemed to be growing heavier and heavier. At last, easing it off, I threw myself down beside the trail for a short break in the hike.
The day was hot and still, not a sound to be heard, not a leaf moving. Slowly the ache in my shoulders eased. The tiredness went away, and I was enjoying the stillness all around when suddenly a hint of motion caught my eye. In the dry sand of the trail little grains of sand flew up. Again—and again—and again, and a small round dimple in the sand began to take form.
More sand flew, and the dimple grew and deepened and became a tiny round pit, a trap, a real lion's den for ants.
At the very center bottom, almost buried out of sight, an ant lion waited for his prey. A little red ant came running along, seeking food in her usual busy way. She climbed up on the rim of the sandy cup and peeped over to investigate. Possibly sensing danger, she turned to scramble off.
Too late! The dry sand rolled from under her feet, and down she went to the bottom, right into the hungry jaws of the ant lion. Soon there would be nothing left of the ant but the empty case of her body to be flipped up and out of the pit in the same way the grains of sand had been thrown.
I found several such pits in the soft sand, some with the skins of the dead all around, but the inside looked pure and clean. The dead were tossed out of sight. There was no lion to be seen, but there was death in the pit.
Sometimes an ant would topple in and then struggle frantically to get out. It would climb and slip, climb and slip, until it could climb no more and slid helplessly down to the waiting mouth. Not once did I see one get out by itself; the only escape was for me to lift one up, out of that "sinking sand," and onto firm ground.
Does it sometimes seem to you that you are in just such a pit? Have you climbed and climbed, always struggling to get up and out, only to slip back further each time? You want to be better, to do better, but every slip, every fall leaves you deeper in that discouraging pit of sin.
Like the ant, you need help from above. God has provided the very help you need. In Job 33:24 He says, "Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom." The ransom was God's own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matt. 20:28.
He is able to save you; He is willing to save you. Why not just stop struggling to save yourself and say, "Yes, Lord Jesus, I thankfully accept this free deliverance from this awful pit"?
Then you can say, with millions of others, "The Lord... heard my cry. He brought me up also out of a horrible pit... and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God."

Saved by Grace Alone

I want to call your special attention to the fact that we are saved by grace alone, not by works and grace. A great many people think that they can be saved by works. Others think that salvation may be attained by works and grace together. They need to have their eyes opened to see that the gift of God is free and apart from works.
"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.
Many people would put it this way: "for by your works are ye saved—or by your tears, or your prayers, or your fastings, or your trials, or your good resolutions, or your money!" But the Bible tells us plainly that it is "not of works, lest any man should boast." If we could be saved by works, then of course Christ's mission to the world was a mistake. There was no need for Him to come.
Do you think that Christ would have come down from heaven, would have gone to Gethsemane and to Golgotha, would have suffered as He did, if man could have worked his way up to heaven? if he could have earned salvation by his own efforts? If man could have saved himself, Christ did not need to have suffered at all.
But God has put the offer of salvation in such a way that the whole world may lay hold of it. Anyone may believe. A lame person might not be able to visit the sick, but he can believe. A blind individual, by reason of his infirmity, cannot do many things, but he can believe.
A deaf person can believe. A dying person can believe. God has made salvation so simple that the young and the old, the wise and the foolish, the rich and the poor, can all believe if they will.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Titus 3:5.
Saved by grace alone!
This is all my plea:
Jesus died for all mankind,
And Jesus died for me!

Little Orphans

Sad to say, years ago Indian children who were orphaned or unwanted and abandoned were considered unadoptable. These children often were sent to Indian reservations by train, and anyone who wanted a little child could take it. Boys were in the greatest demand, especially on the farms.
In 1910 there was a whole trainload of babies, not one over three years old, taken from New York city to Houston and San Antonio, Texas. Prospective parents were to meet them at the train station, and each had been given a card calling for one baby. In another case, babies were auctioned off to the highest bidder. One woman discovered, many years later, that her father had been auctioned off for ten dollars!
One boy of eight was given to a German family. The family spoke only German, and the little fellow was made to learn Bible verses in German, even though he had no idea what he was saying. But, as time went on, he learned German, and at the end of his short life, he told his adopted family that he knew that the Lord Jesus would take him to heaven.
Another little boy was offered an ice cream cone, and when he took it he became the adopted child of the man who bought it. That boy grew up unloved and neglected. He soon became involved with the wrong people and began to use drugs and alcohol.
One day this young Indian met a missionary, and he thought he might make money through religion. After the gospel meeting he announced that he was saved. He began to come to the meetings regularly, and one day he went to the missionary and offered to go with him to visit the different Indian tribes and tell them about his salvation—if the missionary would pay him enough money. When he found out that no money would be given to him he turned away in anger. He even said that he didn't believe there was a God, and he went back to his old ways seeking his pleasure in this world. "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Matt. 16:26.
How dreadful it was that these little ones should be so mistreated! But God cares about them, and God sees and knows all. He saw it and allowed it, and we can be sure that He loved every one of them.
Will they all be in heaven then? We cannot say, because we do not know which ones believed and received the Lord Jesus Christ as their own Savior. All must repent of their sins and turn to the Lord Jesus as Savior, just as you and I.
Many children from fine Christian homes, who have loving parents, and who have gone to Sunday school all their young lives, may grow up and be on their way to hell. Why is that? John 20:31 says, "These are written [that is, the Bible] that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Rom. 10:13.

A Pardon Refused

About a hundred years ago a man named George Wilson was sentenced to be hanged for robbing the United States mails and for murder. Andrew Jackson, who was then President, exercised his prerogative and sent him a pardon. Wilson, however, refused it, and insisted that it was not a pardon unless he accepted it.
The Attorney-General said that the law was silent on this point and the matter was referred to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Marshall gave the following decision: "A pardon is a paper, the value of which depends on its acceptance by the person implicated. It is hardly to be supposed that one under sentence of death would refuse to accept a pardon, but if it is refused it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged!" And he was.
What could have induced Wilson to refuse the pardon that meant life and liberty to him? I do not know, but it was no greater folly than that which leads thousands to refuse, day after day, the pardon that is freely offered them by God. Men need pardon because they are offenders against God. Sin is a terrible offense in His sight, and all have sinned. ALL, therefore, need pardon. None can earn it, for men are not only sinners but "without strength."
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Rom. 5:6.
But the Lord "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." God has not left us to perish without hope. On the ground of the atonement made by His own Son, He offers a free pardon to all. However, that pardon, if not accepted, will do you no good. Do not, I beg you, let this priceless pardon slip from you through indifference or stubbornness of heart.
"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But 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 1:11, 12.

How Can I Meet God?

I was lying on my hospital bed, waiting to be taken to the operating room. The operation was to be a dangerous one, and for the first time in my life I seriously took my bearings. What would it mean for me to wake up in eternity? Where would I spent it? How can I meet God?
These were questions that demanded an answer, and promptly too. All I had depended on in the way of religious profession was giving way under me. I realized that the question of my sins was unsettled. It could be that I was going into the presence of God with my sins unforgiven.
Oh, how I longed for some little bit of the Word of God upon which I could rest for peace and assured salvation, but who could give it to me at that moment?
God Himself gave it for as quick as a lightning flash a verse from the Bible shot into my mind: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7. I had learned it from my mother when I was a child.
I seized it with all the eagerness that a drowning man would show in gripping a life buoy that had been thrown to him, knowing that there was no time to lose. I said to myself, "I will meet God with that!"
As in simple faith I thought of God's testimony to the virtues of that precious blood, sudden peace filled my troubled soul, such peace as I had never known before.
I was able now to go to the operating table with perfect confidence and calmness, and was, through God's mercy, brought safely through. Now I have come back from the very gates of death, able to say that trusting in the precious blood of Jesus, the worst sinner can meet God without a doubt in his heart.
You, too, may have only a little time to live. Don't wait as I did! Listen to the words of Scripture: "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.
Precious, precious blood of Jesus, Let it make thee whole;
Let it flow in mighty cleansing O'er thy soul.

Too Far to Help

In March 1988 the fishing boat, "Bonnie Lou II" out of Sambro, Nova Scotia, with a crew of five men was being battered by heavy seas and high winds. Another boat in the area heard the Bonnie Lou II on the radio reporting that the sea had knocked out the side door of the wheelhouse. She was taking on water. They later reported they had pumped the water out and were repairing the damage.
The next morning there was no response to radio calls and a search was begun. High winds and seas, clouds and fog hampered all efforts to locate either the boat or any debris. The probability of anyone's surviving in such conditions became more and more unlikely, and after several days the search was finally called off.
Five young men had perished at sea. It had been a hard week in Sambro where the five lived. Wives, parents and other relatives, in fact, the whole community lived in hope of some good news, but none came. The men were lost.
Lost! The word has an awful sound. We are asked in the Bible, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36. To lose your life is serious, but to lose your soul for eternity is far worse.
The nearest boat was too far away to help the men in trouble, but there is hope for the lost soul. "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10. The Lord Jesus came into the world to give His life for any who would trust Him as their Savior.
None of the fathers of these young men gave up their sons willingly or intentionally. They were taken from them. On the other hand, we read that, "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. Also: "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Rom. 8:32.
God loved—God gave! Think of this kindness of God toward those who are lost! "The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:14.
None of the crew went to sea knowing that his life would be taken; they went hoping for a good catch and to return and enjoy life. Instead they perished in the icy water.
The Lord Jesus came to die. He did so willingly. "Christ Jesus... gave Himself a ransom for all."
1 Tim. 2:5, 6.
The Lord Jesus was "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.... 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. 53:3, 5.
The men on the doomed boat had certainly heard the way of salvation; the gospel had been preached in their village for many years. We hope they did place their trust in the Lord Jesus and received Him as their personal Savior. If any of you who read this are still lost in your sins, don't wait until you are in danger. In fact, don't wait any longer! Confess your lost condition as a sinner to God. Receive Jesus Christ right now as your own Savior. Then confess Him to others.
"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 Lord Jesus suffered on the cross and took the punishment so that sinners who believe on Him could go free. "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 [judgment]; but is passed from death unto life." John 5:24.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
He's my Savior. Is He your Savior too?

The Memorial

Lawrence Hammond—Boyce Lawson—James McAndrew... the names glint in the Washington sunshine, names etched in the polished black granite of the Vietnam memorial, names of those who died. Their living loved ones come to stand and search for that one special name, to reach up to touch this one last tie, to whisper: "We remember—we will never forget—we love you."
Long after the last mourner has gone, when there is no one left able to say, "I knew him, I cared for him," the names will still be there: Nathaniel Lee—Marvin Lindsey—Dennis Pitsenbarger... it will be a voice ever saying: they lived, and they are dead.
Yes, every name on those stones is a memorial to death. Paul McNaly—Gary Tracy—Frank Wilson... they are remembered, they were loved, but those reaching hands, those longing hearts, can never really touch them. It is a roster of the dead.
There is another place where names are written: names that will endure for all eternity. It is spoken of in the Bible, in Rev. 21:27, where we read of those people whose names are written in "the Lamb's book of life."
These are names that will last forever, names of the living: Jennifer—Steve—Carole—Bryan...! Is your name written there?
Jesus said: "He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die." John 11:2S,26.
The names etched in granite are not there by choice. To die in the mud and blood and suffering of war was a terrible thing.
Far, far worse will it be to die without making sure that your name is written in the book of life. That choice is yours!
After the "dead, small and great, stand before God," whosoever is not found written in that book will be "cast into the lake of fire." That means eternal separation from God in blackness of darkness forever, in a state too horrible to contemplate.
Again, you do have choice! By believing in the Lord Jesus. Christ, by receiving Him as your own Savior, by confessing Him as Lord, you will insure that your name is in that book.
What does the Lord Jesus say to you then? "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven!" Luke 10:20.
Rejoice! Isn't that wonderful?
"It is Finished"
"It is finished." These three wonderful words contain the essence of the gospel. No unsaved person can properly understand their meaning. The gospel of the grace of God which tells what Christ has done for sinners—and not what they are to do for Him—when believed, is the power of God unto their salvation.
"It is finished" were the dying words of our truest, best and dearest Friend. The dying words of loved ones are long remembered and are not easily forgotten; when Christ uttered this triumphant cry He was in the act of giving up His soul as an offering for sin.
What was finished? His life of shame, of suffering and sorrow was ended. He had been "despised and rejected of men." Many a time He had been faint, weary, hungry and thirsty! That is all over. "For your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich."
The Lord Jesus appeared to "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Heb. 9:26. When He died at Calvary a full and perfect atonement for sin was accomplished. Christ "poured out His soul unto death." He "bare our sins in His own body on the tree." The ransom has been paid. The penalty has been met. Peace has been made. The law's demands have been fully met. God is fully satisfied with Christ's finished work, and He desires that we should be satisfied with that which satisfies Him.
"Christ did His part and left us to do ours," say some. In what part of Scripture is it stated that Christ did "His part" of the work of atonement? It was on account of our sins that He suffered and bled and died. If, then, God is eternally satisfied with what Christ did for you, what is left unfinished for you to do?
Don't insult God by bringing your prayers, works, vows, tears, good resolutions or happy feelings to supplement the work of His beloved Son. Can you add to a "finished" work? Salvation has been purchased at an infinite cost; and is now offered to you as a free gift.
"Then said they to Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." John 6:28, 29.

Who Are You Counting On?

Sandy was a patient in a suburban Chicago hospital, hospitalized with a very serious lung disease. When I went into her room to administer medication, I saw that she had a Bible on her bedside table. I asked her if she had ever read it. She stated that she had not. When asked if she knew where she would spend eternity, she said she wasn't sure but that many people were praying for her recovery.
As we continued speaking, I asked her if she knew she could have eternal life and have her sins forgiven by accepting Christ as her Savior. She said, "Nobody ever told me that before."
Three days later, Sandy was in the intensive care unit; the last thing she said was, "I'm counting on you guys." She shortly after had a heart attack, and our resuscitative efforts were unfortunately unsuccessful. Who are you counting on?
Has anyone told you that, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners"? 1 Tim. 1:15.
Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Or are you counting on the prayers of others or your own good works? The ONLY means of eternal blessing is through Christ as your personal Savior.
"Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." Isa. 45:22.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Titus 3:5.
Where is Sandy now?
If she received Jesus Christ as her Savior—HEAVEN.
If she did not accept him as her Savior—HELL. There are no other options!
"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.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36.
Friend, instead of risking eternity in hell, living a life without an assurance of eternal blessing, counting on the prayers and efforts of others, why not come to Christ now? Accept Him as your Savior for an assured and blessed eternity, and a much happier life here on earth. Jesus said that He came that you might have life, and might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10).

Grandma's Faith

She wasn't always a grandmother! Her story went `way back before that, back to her birth in a little cabin in Russia—back to her marriage to the man who was going to be "Grandpa," back to her long journey alone across the ocean to the United States after Grandpa, who came first, then sent money for her passage.
Life for new immigrants can be hard; Grandma found it so. There was little enough money for the two of them, but soon the first baby arrived, and another, and another—seven in all. Grandma took in boarders to help support their growing family.
Living in the "inner city" as they did there was little play space, but her children were not allowed to run the streets. No, every day that she was able, Grandma took them to a little park nearby where they could play under her watchful eye.
One day in the park she heard singing. It was in Russian. Instantly interested, she went closer to hear better. A group of people standing together were singing and speaking in her own Russian language. They were telling about the Lord Jesus Christ and the way of salvation, telling it as Grandma had never heard it before.
She listened intently. It was so simple, so sweet, so satisfying to a heart hunger she had scarcely known she had. Again and again she came to hear the preaching in the park and learned that "God so loved the world, the He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
Grandma did believe in Him; she received the Lord Jesus as her own Savior and found it true that "He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psa. 107:9.
Soon she was praying that all her family would find this wonderful Savior too. When she found a little Russian group whose simple little meetings gave her food for her soul, she began to go regularly. She took her children with her: on the street car, off the street car, on the street car, off the street car—two street cars going, and two more street car rides home. This she did alone; Grandpa just would not be interested.
She had never had the chance to go to school in the old country, and could not read. Now that she was a Christian she wanted so much to read the Bible. Studying the Russian alphabet, little by little she taught herself to read her Bible. What a joy it was to her to read and to pray—always, always to pray.
Her prayers were answered. All her children were saved. They grew up and established Christian homes and taught their children about the Lord Jesus. Many of these grandchildren are now saved, and some of the great grandchildren have also confessed the Lord Jesus as their Savior.
Only one prayer seemed unanswered: Grandpa said "No!" Still she prayed on through the years. At last, an old man listened—and understood—and in tears accepted the Lord Jesus for himself. Grandpa was saved!
Over the years many more of her relatives came to know the Lord: brothers, sister, cousins, each one in faith confessing the Lord Jesus as Savior and receiving "the gift of God, eternal life."
Someone may have been praying for you. Perhaps a mother, a father, a grandparent, even a great grandparent or a long-forgotten great aunt, perhaps only someone who knew you as a child and prayed for you that you might come to the Savior. What joy there would be in heaven if their prayers could be answered today!
If you feel that there is no one who ever prayed for you, no one who ever cared for your soul, then on your own just say "Yes" to the Lord Jesus when He invites you to "come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
That promise is for you.

Street Gangs

Street gangs! Everybody is talking about "street gangs"—as though it was some new thing. It is not! Over a hundred years ago a forerunner of today's youth gangs was out in the street one night. One of them tells his story: "We waylaid a man in the street about midnight. I grabbed a knife from my brother's hand and plunged it into his heart. We ran off, but my brother and I were soon taken and they found the knife in the road. The others were also taken and we were all tried, but there was nothing but circumstantial evidence against us. My brother (it was his knife) was sent up for life—but, you see, I was the murderer. The others got some time and left town, but God knew I was the murderer. I helped support my brother's family to ease my conscience, but I could find no peace anywhere. I just lived for the devil!
"I was working with a construction crew and one day as I looked down at a pile of stones lying below, I thought: 'Better to die and be done with it! Here goes!'
"I took the leap, but a power stronger than the devil let me drop into a heap of sand instead, and I lived.
"While in the hospital a visitor came and asked, `Do you know anything about Jesus, the Savior of sinners?'
"I didn't, but turned my face to the wall.
"The visitor came again and again, reading to me about the Lord Jesus who came into the world to save sinners. At last one day I turned to face the visitor and said, 'I want to know: is it murderers He saves?'
"He assured me that even murderers can be saved, that 'the blood of Jesus Christ His [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin.'
"Someone hung by my bedside a little framed verse from the Bible: 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' The truth of it sank deep into my heart and I did believe and knew that there was salvation even for me. Over and over I exclaimed: "That did it! It was that that did it! I'm clean enough for heaven now. 'Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of my soul, what a wretch you saved when you saved me!' "
This was over a hundred years ago, so we can be sure that long ago he went to be with his Savior in heaven, "clean every whit."
Why? Not because he "got away with it"—not because he claimed, "I didn't mean to do it—I don't know what happened—something just snapped." No, he simply accepted the fact that he had sinned, he needed a Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ was able to save "to the uttermost" one that came to Him in faith.
A hundred years have passed, but are there still murderers in the world? Take a look at today's news, and then answer. But the door of salvation is still open, and the Lord Jesus Christ is still the same, "yesterday, today and forever."
God's laws are the same too; they do not change. It is still true that "the wages of sin is death." Equally true it is that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Ask yourself: "Why should I refuse the gift of God, eternal life? Do I really want the wages of sin death?"
Honestly now, which will it be?

Be Prepared

Our town was buzzing with excitement. In just a few months the town would be celebrating its 150th birthday, and everybody was busy making preparation for the great day. Mr. Schmidt and his two helpers had volunteered to sandblast and paint all the old buildings on the main street if the local merchants would supply the paint. How much nicer Main Street would look! Some of the buildings hadn't been painted for forty years.
My husband, a volunteer for the local ambulance corps, and his boss were doing a roofing job just one block from where Mr. Schmidt was to start his sandblasting. Suddenly, my husband's beeper went off. There was an emergency just up the street, and as he ran to get the ambulance he saw someone fall to the concrete below. It was at Mr. Schmidt's work site!
Mr. Schmidt had called the utility company to come and disconnect the high-voltage wires that were close to the building and they had promised to be there shortly. But he was in a hurry, and decided to start before they arrived. As a crowd of people gathered down below on the sidewalk, Mr. Schmidt and Jason, his helper, were lifted in the basket of the cherry picker. They had barely started work when the basket swayed into those hot wires, knocking both men to the floor of the basket.
John, the second helper, was down below and he realized that something had happened. He tried to tell Jason how to get the basket lowered, but Jason was too upset to help. So John thought he had no choice but to climb up and help them. As he went up, he knocked the basket back into the hot wires and was thrown twenty feet to the sidewalk below.
A few minutes later the crew from the electric company arrived to disconnect the wires, only to find that Mr. Schmidt was already dead. John, severely injured in the fall, was taken to the hospital. Jason had only burns, but their employer had passed into eternity.
As my husband told me about the accident, I thought of so many things. Mr. Schmidt had been in the sandblasting business for eighteen years. He knew not to start work until the hot wires were disconnected, but he was in a hurry—no time to waste. His carelessness cost him his life.
I thought of Jason, so close to Mr. Schmidt, unable to help him. And the people below? All helpless.
And John, watching from below and trying to get to the basket to bring them down. He meant well, he wanted to help, but in his efforts he was hurt himself and caused the basket to hit the wires a second time.
I wonder if there is a reader who is like Mr. Schmidt, going on in such a hurry he can take no thought for the future. Or perhaps like John, full of good will to others and anxious to help, but good intentions did not get the basket down either.
No, only the power company could have made it safe for the men to work, and that brings us to the point: there is One—only One—who has the power and wisdom to make life safe for you—safe for time and eternity. That One is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. "There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Make sure of that salvation now, today, and be prepared for whatever your future holds.

Can We Be Sure of Salvation?

It is surprising how many people there are who imagine that it is impossible to be sure of salvation. Again and again they tell us that "no one can know" that he is saved until "the judgment day." Is this true?
As most of you accept the authority of the Bible, it will be well for us to turn away from men's opinions and see what God's Word says on the subject.
First: the way of salvation — "What must I do to be saved?"
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.
"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.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." John 6:47.
These and many other passages of Scripture make plain that salvation from the penalty of sin is obtained by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and by faith in Him alone.
Second: "How can we be sure?"
"We know that we have passed from death unto life." 1 John 3:14.
"Being justified by faith, we have peace with God." Rom. 5:1.
"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake." 1 John 2:12.
From such Scriptures it is evident that believers in the early days of Christianity had assurance of salvation, forgiveness, and eternal life. How did they obtain it? Through God's precious Word. They did not "feel" that they were saved; they knew it on the authority of Scripture. Think of that last verse quoted: "These things have I written"—not these happy feelings have I given unto you—"that ye may know that ye have eternal life."
If the Bible was written that believers might have the assurance of eternal life, why not claim the blessing? "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." John 3:36. I believe on the Son of God, that He died for my sins and rose again from the dead, and God says that I have everlasting life.
I don't feel that I have everlasting life. I know I have it on the authority of God's Word and I feel happy because of it. Could I have any better ground of confidence? If God says I am saved, which would be the greater "presumption"—to believe, or to disbelieve Him?
"He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:10-12.
Why call God a liar? Why not believe on Christ and obtain eternal life as a free gift? Believe now on the Lord Jesus Christ, and salvation is yours.

?I Always Knew There Must Be a Way?

A Christian who was taking the gospel to an Indian reservation in Canada went to a dwelling and knocked. He heard a voice from inside yell, "Come on in!"
The man saw two women inside and told them he brought them some papers. These were gospel tracts and Sunday school papers and other materials telling in a simple way the walk and ways of Christians. He placed the papers on a nearby table and said: "Is there anyone here who would like to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ?"
One of the women quickly said: "No, there isn't," and tramped out of the room.
The other then said: "No, we don't," and she too turned and walked away.
The Christian started to leave when suddenly a bedroom door opened and out came a man who yelled, "Wait a minute! I want to." The Christian happily went with that man into his room to have a visit.
He soon learned that this man was slowly dying of lung cancer. "Do you know where your soul will go when you die?" the Christian asked.
The man answered, "No."
So the visitor very slowly and carefully explained, from the Word of God, the way of salvation.
"Oh!" exclaimed the dying man, "I always knew there must be a way!" Then he arose and shouted: "Wonderful! Wonderful! I always knew there must be some way to be sure you are saved!"
One of the verses that had been read to him was: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life." 1 John 5:13.
"I want to be sure I go to heaven," said the man. He then closed his eyes, and as best he could he prayed to the Lord for forgiveness. He had simply put his trust in Jesus, the Savior of sinners and his new-found Friend.
Some months later the Christian again visited that reservation, and he went to that man's house to see how he was doing. As he approached the door a woman was walking slowly towards the house. He recognized her as one of the women who did not want to talk about Jesus when he was there before. He went to her and asked if she still lived there. She said that she did. He asked where her husband was, and she said, "In the hospital—far away from here in a big city."
He told her about her husband's being saved, and asked if she had noticed any change in him. She nodded, "Yes," and she too received the offer of free salvation.
Two days later the Christian went to that city and visited her husband in the hospital. He was very sick, but there was a Bible by his bedside and some gospel tracts too. He was rejoicing in the Lord, and he asked the visitor to please pray for his wife and family.
In like manner many others of that nation are being saved. "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Rev. 5:9.

The Saving Touch

"But how am I to come to Jesus? This is just what I don't see. If I saw Christ before me, I could get up and come to Him. But I don't really know what to do, nor what I should do. If I knew, I would do it. I want only to know when and how."
The quiet, reserved young man who asked this question was evidently earnest and sincere. To help him, I said: "I am glad that you have thought about this question, and the best way to answer it is to take you to God's Book. You remember what took place when the woman came near Jesus, and touched the hem of His garment?"
" 'For she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith bath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.' Matt. 9:21, 22.
"She was aware of her own sad condition. She believed He could cure her. She struggled to get to Him through the crowd. She touched His garment and immediately was made whole.
"Can you see how she came to Jesus? It was not the mere fact of touching Him. Others were touching Him. No, there had to be something more. This was no common touch, a touch merely by the fingers. Did not her heart go out to touch the heart of Jesus? Did she not put herself in such contact with Him that the soul was the instrument, and not the fingers?
"To come to Jesus you must do what this woman did. Try to put yourself into her place. Try to enter into her feelings and to realize what she felt. If you can do this, you will understand what is meant by coming to Jesus.
"Notice three things about her: she knew how sick and helpless she was. She believed that there was within her reach a mighty and a loving Savior, able and willing to save her. She did not withdraw until she had touched Him—she sent out her soul to Him in that touch. This is coming to Jesus.
"I will ask you only one question: If Jesus were now here present before our eyes, what would you do?"
"Oh, I would go to Him! I would fall down before Him and touch Him. I would cry, 'Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.' "
"But is He not here? Send out your heart's answer to Him now. Touch Him, and be saved. He is at hand, and He is waiting for this touch of faith from you."
At last he understood, and he touched Jesus with as true a touch as did the woman of old. The touch of faith was known to the Savior, and the sinner was healed.
And now there was a change that all could see. He had such joy in his salvation, such honest faith in the saving power of that touch, that he loved to tell everyone he met of that which was so dear to his own soul.
Friend, will you then touch Jesus, as the woman did? Let your heart reach out to Him. Touch Him, and be made whole.
"She only touched the hem of His garment, As to His side she stole Amid the crowd that gathered around Him, And straightway she was whole.
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."

It Stood the Test

There used to be a battered old safe standing in the window of a store on Broadway, in New York City, which bore the sign; "It stood the test—the contents were all saved."
It had been in one of the hottest fires New York ever saw, but the old safe had carried its treasure safely through it all.
Is there someone who has just tasted in some little measure the Savior's love, and fears that "it will not last"?
Look back at Calvary's cross! It stood the test. That love which stood the hottest fires of judgment, that love which many waters could not quench, that love will never fail.
"Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end." John 13:1.
It has been tested, tried, and found true.
"Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:36.

His Last Ride

"What kind of bike do you have?" asked a man in the office where I worked.
"It's a 5-speed," I told him. "That's no good at all," he said. "Throw it in the garbage."
I was not surprised at his reply because it was well known in our office how much this man liked bicycles. He had a bike worth over 500 dollars and kept it in perfect condition. "I have two chains," he told me. "I leave one in oil while I use the other one. that way the next chain is already oiled when I need it.
This man rode his bicycle to work every day and had a special jacket with warm cloth on the front and a light mesh on the back. This kept him warm when he was going down a hill and the light mesh on the back made sure that he didn't get too hot going up a hill. He had a catalog of bike parts which he often looked at and always ordered the most expensive parts.
One day I went by his desk and saw that he wasn't looking at his catalog but at a Bible calendar. "Those verses on the calendar are from the Bible," I told him.
"It doesn't make any difference to me where it comes from," he said. "It doesn't interest me at all."
Sadly, he would not let me say any more to him about the Bible. Not long after this he went on a holiday in Europe. He had told me how much nicer it was to bike than to go by car or train because he got to really see the countryside. I am sorry to tell you that I never saw that man again. While he was biking through Europe, he died of a heart attack and never finished his holiday.
He had prepared his bicycle with great care for his holiday, but as far as I know, he had made no preparations to meet God.
Are you like this man? Perhaps it is not bikes that interest you, but are you spending all your time thinking about and planning for the things in this world that you enjoy? Have you considered that you also must some day leave it all behind and go to meet God? The Bible says, "Prepare to meet thy God." Amos 4:12. The only way to be ready to meet God is to have your sins washed away in the blood of the Lord Jesus. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
God's Word tells us that one man said, "I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." God said to him, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" Luke 12:19,20.
"Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man [the Lord Jesus] cometh at an hour when ye think not." Luke 12:40.

For or Against?

"I tell you I didn't steal it, I bought it," he kept on repeating until at last the judge was obliged to silence him.
Kelly had been arrested on the charge of stealing a watch. There was no doubt that the watch had been stolen and found in his possession. In the opinion of both policeman and judge that was enough to convict him.
Just as the judge had apparently arrived at his decision, I stepped up to him.
"What do you want?" asked the judge.
"I want to give evidence in this case, sir."
The moment Kelly heard that he turned on me in a rage. "Don't listen to him. He doesn't know anything about it. He only came here to tell a lot of lies. He wants to make it hot for me."
It was useless to tell Kelly to keep quiet and listen. He seemed to think, because I was in police uniform, that I was bound to be against him.
At last the judge got him to keep quiet and told me to proceed. I said, "A few days ago I was taking two prisoners to the county jail. I heard one say, `I did old Kelly the other day!' How?' asked the other. 'I sold him a watch for thirty dollars that wasn't worth five!' "
What a change on the faces of all in the courtroom! As for Kelly, he looked as if he could have kissed me! Of course he got off, in spite of all the circumstantial evidence against him. The evidence I gave for him more than counterbalanced all that was against him. But—if he had had his way, he would never have known what was in my heart towards him.
That is just the way some people treat God. They will not listen to Him, because they think He is against them, but He is for them.
"For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:17.
Kelly was innocent, but God can be righteously gracious towards a guilty man, and let him go free.
That is more than any Court of Justice can do without sacrificing its name and character. But God can be "a just God and a Savior" (Isa. 45:21) at one and the same time. He can be "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. 3:26. He can justify the ungodly.
The great question is this: How can God righteously let the man go free when He Himself has proved him guilty?
The only answer is, by substitution.
In the cross we see God's love to the sinner displayed in the gift of His Son (the only. One who was capable of taking the sinner's place, being without sin Himself), who bore the sinner's sins (1 Peter 2:24), suffered for them (1 Peter 3:18) and "DIED FOR THE UNGODLY." This is the way—the only way—the sinner can go free.

Eternally Night

"I didn't care if it was night or day; for me it was eternally night." So said spelunker Veronique LeGuen after emerging from a cave in southern France in which she had spent 110 days. She is a scientist studying the effect of total isolation on the human body. What was her first desire after leaving the cave? "I wanted very badly to smell the flowers of the mountains," she said.
Exiting the cavern, in a small span of time Veronique had experienced two extremes: the darkness of the cave and the beautiful mountains which were full of light and the fragrance of flowers. When each of us dies we shall experience a tremendous change in a short span of time. For the believer who is trusting in Christ, leaving this world and entering the next will be like leaving a cavern and entering bright sunshine.
Instead of this earth, which bears the scars of sin and strife, his home will be in heaven where he has an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled and "fadeth not away." In heaven the fragrance of Christ shall fill every nook and cranny and He Himself fills the place with light. "The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [the Lord Jesus Christ] is the light thereof."
Are you absolutely certain you will spend eternity with Christ in glory? You can be. "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."
You do not deserve salvation. At first this might be hard to accept, for we tend to place so much importance on who we are and what we have done. But Christ's death and suffering show us what we truly are ruined sinners going hopelessly towards destruction.
"Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood," will be the theme song of those in heaven. Notice there is not one hint in this song about someone deserving to be there because of their own goodness or their own works. The song is all about Christ. This is the secret of being completely sure of our salvation also—knowing that it all depends on the Lord Jesus and the work He did on Calvary's cross.
BUT—"eternally night" describes the condition of those who die without ever having come to Christ for salvation. What will it be to pass suddenly from this world where, "the light is sweet and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun" into "outer darkness" where "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
"They shall never see light." the Bible says. "Never." That means eternally. Not for 110 days, not for 70 years, the average lifetime of a man, but for eternity which is inhabited by God Himself—time without end.
You can live without God—you can die without Christ—but you can never escape hell if you do. The serious consideration of what those will suffer in the regions where it is truly "eternally night" should lead each one to repentance and faith in Him who alone is able to save.

Napoleon's Testimony

While the "Great Napoleon" was talking one day at St. Helena to Count de Molonthon, he said: "Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires, but upon what did these erections of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions would die for Him.... I think I understand something of human nature, and I tell you all these were men, and I am a man. Jesus Christ was more than man; none else is like Him.
"I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me, but to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, of my words, of my voice.... Across a chasm of 1800 years Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He asks it unconditionally, and forthwith this demand is granted. Wonderful!
"In defiance of time and space, the soul of man with all its powers and faculties becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who believe in Him experience that remarkable supernatural love toward Him. This phenomenon is unaccountable; it is altogether beyond the reach of man's creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the divinity of Christ."
Napoleon believed in the divinity of Christ, but did he ever accept Christ for himself? One may believe in the divinity of Christ and be firmly convinced that He is the only and all-sufficient Savior of sinners without accepting Him as his own Savior. It is one thing for a sick man to believe that a certain doctor is able to cure him of his disease, but it is quite a different thing for him to put his case into the doctor's hands and be restored to health.
Jesus is the Son of God. He died on Calvary for you. By His precious blood He has made peace, and at this moment you may be saved by believing on Him. Do you believe?
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the word to save sinners." 1 Tim. 1:15.

No Time to Get Ready

God is very merciful, but He is just and righteous as well. When people disregard warning and entreaty, then law steps in. I once heard a woman tell her husband, who had always held aloof from things religious, about a man whom they both knew very well and who had just died very suddenly.
The man exclaimed, "What a terrible thing to be called away like that without any chance of getting ready!"
His wife could not help replying, "Without any chance of getting ready! Why, he has had fifty-four years of chances!"
Yes, it is perfectly true that the Lord "is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," but it is just as true that "he, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
"What Must I do to be
Lost Forever?"
What a question! Have you ever seriously thought about it? The Bible tells us that there is only one thing to do to insure being lost forever—one very simple thing.
What can it be? It is all wrapped up in one single word: NEGLECT. "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" Heb. 2:3.
Some people think you must commit very wicked sins to be lost forever. Others think it is not the kind of sins, but the number, and that you must commit a great number of sins to be lost forever. Scripture says, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"
You need only to go on living carelessly and indifferently, neglecting (not your duties, but) this great salvation and you will be lost, and lost forever.
God is now offering salvation by Jesus Christ to this sad, sin-blighted world. He is telling of a salvation which His grace brings for all men, a salvation which makes no conditions and makes no demands. It is for all. Based on the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is suitable for all people in their deep and desperate need. Then, to be lost forever, simply close your ears to this glorious gospel and neglect this great salvation. You may do anything, be anything, say anything—only continue to neglect this great salvation and your doom is certain.
Now let us look at the other side: "What must I do to be saved?"
The answer is so simple: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.
When?
The moment you believe.
Where?
Just where you are, as you read this.
How can I know I am saved?
God says so in His Word; you have it on divine authority. The Lord Jesus Himself 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.
Oh, do not neglect this great salvation!

You Need Christ

I had a good education and a secure place in society, but I turned my back. Enlisting in the army, my pal and I were soon known as about the worst men in the regiment.
One day a missionary came into the barracks. I knew a lot of the Bible, but had rejected all "religion" as I grew up. So, though this missionary looked to me to be a nice man, I thought to myself, "Well, I'll soon argue him down!"
I had always done so with others, and had no doubt that I could do it again. I launched into my best atheistic arguments. He listened to me, and when I finished he answered only, "My friend, you need Christ."
Instantly I looked for a way of escape, and went and lay upon my bed sick and weary at heart. But he followed me there, still saying, "You need Christ. You need Christ!"
He would not leave me till I had promised to go to a preaching he was to hold that night. I promised, and I went—and God sent me home saved!
God saved my soul through His own 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.
God saved me and keeps me. I said when I came to Christ, "Blessed Lord, Thou knowest what I am! If thou savest, Thou must keep me!" And so He has in the past, and I trust Him to keep me in the future. Every morning I just tell Him that He knows what I am, and that I cannot keep myself, and every night I just thank Him that He has kept me. I have nothing to boast in but Himself.
What about you? Are you rich in this world? If you have not Christ, how poor you are! Are you highly educated? In Him only are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
You possess an immortal soul. You have longings which none but Christ can satisfy. You need Christ! If you are tired of Satan's lies, come to Him who is the Truth. If you are wandering far from God, come to Christ: He is the way to God. If you are still "dead in trespasses and sins," come to Him and He will give you life, for Christ is "the way, and the truth, and the life." In Christ you may have salvation and pardon, but without Him you must perish forever. For "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." You need Christ!
Accept this blessed gift of God, His only begotten Son. Flee to Him for rest, for He said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28.
Lay hold on this eternal life; anchor your soul on this Rock of Ages. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.
"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 Land of His Dreams

Have you ever crossed a river? Did you cross over on a bridge or go across in a boat? About a week ago I heard of a man who crossed a river on the hood of a car!
Recently, many refugees have been crossing the border from Mexico into Texas. Some of those people are fleeing from persecution and difficult economic conditions in countries like Nicaragua and El Salvador. They have heard from others that life is better in the United States, and many have sold everything they have to make the long trip up through Central America and Mexico to the border of Texas. Some have left their families behind and come alone, hoping that they will later be able to send for their families.
So many refugees began arriving in Texas at the immigration center that the building could not contain everyone and the city of Harlinger had to close the building down as unsanitary. The people kept arriving, so the authorities finally had to make a refugee center so that these people would have a place to wait while their papers were being processed.
One refugee made the long trip from Central America in a wheelchair. When he got to the border, friends in Mexico put him on the broken hood of a car and floated him across the Rio Grande river!
It is touching to hear of this man who wanted so desperately to come to the United States. He was willing to suffer a great deal of hardship to get to the land of his dreams.
I am on my way to a lurid that is far more wonderful even than the dreams of that man. Because of the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary for my sins. I am on my way to heaven. Are you on your way there too? Unlike the man in the wheelchair, you cannot get to heaven with your own efforts or even with the help of your friends. You must simply come to the Lord Jesus for salvation. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." John 14.6.
Not one stain of sin will ever enter heaven. Everyone who is there will sing, "Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood... to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever." Rev. 1:5, 6.
I cannot help but wonder if the man in the wheelchair was disappointed when he arrived in the land of his dreams only to be placed in a crowded refugee center to wait for perhaps as long as two months for a decision on his request to stay in the States. But those who are saved will never be disappointed when they arrive in God's home! Surely they will say, "It was a true report that I heard in mine own land... and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and thy prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard." 1 Kings 10:6, 7.
I cannot tell what happened to that man. There is a possibility that he was sent back to his own country. This is not possible with those who are saved and on their way to heaven. The Lord Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." John 10:27, 28.
Are you certain that you have a home in heaven? You can be. Come to the Lord Jesus today for salvation—and I will meet you there!

Peace!

From very ancient times the hearts of men have longed for peace. They have longed not merely that there should be no more war but more particularly they have desired peace of mind and heart.
In the early days of Israel we have the benediction, "The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." The Sanskrit invocations end with: "Peace, peace, peace." The old Mohammedan greeting is, "Peace be upon thee."
Where can we secure this peace that men have longed for through many centuries? The answer is given us in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you.... These things have I spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace."
The peace that brings calm to the soul, even amid the storms that sweep over every life, is to be found in Him. It can be found nowhere else.
"He is our peace!" Eph. 2:14.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind in stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isa. 26:3.

Danger! Keep Out

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

A Saved Moslem Writes..

I was born in Calcutta thirty years ago. According to the Moslem rite, the words meaning the greatness of God and the apostleship of Mohammed were pronounced in my ears, and thus I was received not only into this world but also into the fold of Islam.
At a very early age I had finished the whole of the Koran, and under an Arab Hafiz I had begun to memorize it. I also acquired knowledge of my vernacular Urdu, and at the age of ten I knew how to say the prayers prescribed by Islam. Under the guidance of a professor of Moslem theology, I acquired some knowledge of it and of the laws regulating prayers and fastings. Thus armed with the necessary Islamic knowledge, I turned out to be a strict observant of Mohammedan laws. I could hardly tolerate the Moslems who did not observe the prayers and fastings, or who were not good Mohammedans, and my indignation against non-Moslems knew no bounds. Indeed I was growing into a fanatic.
The little reading of books about the early conquests of Islam so influenced my thoughts that I would delight in imagining another jihad (holy war) and drawing a sword against all unbelievers, and then dying a martyr in a glorious fight for Islam.
The guiding principle, or the motive behind my religious zeal, and the tenacity with which I followed the practice of Islam, lay in my blind faith in the truth of Islam. To me every other religion was an invention of the devil, and all non-Moslems, as followers of false religions, had no right to exist.
One day a copy of the Gospels was given to me by a Moslem friend. On previous occasions I had torn it into pieces as a book of Satan. This time I was prompted to read it again, and studied it carefully and tried to discover something Satanic, but there was nothing which I could discard as a lie or corruption.
The simplicity of the life of Christ impressed me. The story of the crucifixion was something new and contrary to what I was taught, yet it seemed to be the natural development of the whole thing. My faith in Islamic interpretation was shaken. The gospel story, either right or wrong, was not, at least, Satanic. The moulvies had told a lie.
I managed to obtain a copy of the Bible and started reading it every day. Then came difficulties: there were so many questions to be solved; I wanted someone to guide me. I was introduced to Dr. Zwemer who, using a mixture of Arabic, Persian and English, spoke to me on the Koranic text, "Show me the straight path."
It was the first occasion that the Christian message in its absolute purity was presented to me. I had found the existing Bible to be the real Torah, Zabur and Injil mentioned in the Koran.... Now I learned that Christ and only Christ is the Way, and that I must become a Christian not only for the intellectual satisfaction but in order to be saved, saved from the hell and judgment with which I was familiarized in Islam. I learned that I must accept Christ as my living murshid (spiritual Guide), and follow Him with unhesitating steps to the end of life.
It became clear to me that Christ is the Path leading to God, for He is the way between God and man, for He came from God and has returned to God. The path was clear and straight, and my soul cried out in exultant joy. It was the joy of a man who had lost his way and then found it again, and, recognizing it as his path leading to his home, would feel happy and relieved.

The Homing Instinct

Taken from its hive, the bee knows its way home and makes a "beeline" back.
An eel travels down the Rhine till she reaches the Azores, lays her eggs, and dies. Her progeny return to the Rhine and the process is repeated.
Terns were carried in a hooded cage from their nesting grounds off the coast of Florida to Galveston, Texas, released, and in less than a week returned.
Salmon leave the sea, enter fresh waters, and ascend far inland, deposit their eggs and die. Young salmon return to the briny deep, grow up, and then find their way up the very same river to pay their debt to their kind and to nature.
In the spiritual nature of man there is that homing instinct. Something within says, "Not here, not here, but back to God."
Isa. 44, verse 22 tells us: "I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee."
Have you returned?

Three Certainties

I am sure that there are many people who, though they know of the wonderful love of Jesus in giving His life a ransom for sinners, and have believed in His name, yet are not quite certain that they have eternal life and shall never come into judgment. They are often filled with doubts and fears instead of being filled with joy and peace in believing.
One such person was a young man who went to hear a servant of God preach the gospel, and during the preaching he came by faith to Jesus. He went home feeling very happy.
After a week or two the happy feelings began to get less and less, and he went again to hear the gospel to be reassured of his salvation. At the close of the meeting the preacher asked him, "Are you saved?"
"Ye-es, I am saved—but— "
"Have you got a Bible?"
"Yes, of course!"
"Well, when you get home turn to the gospel of John, 5th chapter and 24th verse, and there you will find three divine certainties. When you have found them, come and see me again, will you?"
The young man said that he would, and they said goodnight to each other.
"Three divine certainties in John 5:24," the young man kept saying to himself until he reached home. Going straight up to his room, he took out his Bible and began reading John 5:24, carefully weighing each word.
"Verily — verily — I say — unto — you" (that means me). "he that — heareth — My — Word" (that is what I have heard tonight), "and — believeth — on — Him — that — sent — Me" (I believe on Him), "HATH — everlasting — life."
Hath! Hath! He could hardly believe his own eyes: "hath everlasting life!"
"Have it—have it now!" and throwing himself on his knees, he could do nothing but thank God for this wonderful gift.
After a while he remembered that the preacher had told him of three things and this was only the first one. So he went again to his verse. Soon he came to the words, "And — shall — not — come — into judgment."
"What! No judgment! Oh, praise the Lord! I have everlasting life — shall not come into judgment; and now, what else can there be? What is the third blessing? 'But — is — passed — from death unto life.' Now, at the present time. Praise the Lord! I have eternal life; I shall not come into judgment, and I am passed out of death into life."
That was the end of his doubts and fears. The happy feelings might come and go, but his faith had found a sure foundation in the three certain things in John 5:24.

Neglect, the Super Thief

Recently in the dentist's office I saw a sign on the wall that said: "NEGLECT YOUR TEETH AND THEY WILL GO AWAY." It is bad to lose your teeth because of neglect, but it is far worse to lose your soul and be forever lost through neglect. To be lost means that you cannot go to heaven where the Lord Jesus has gone. God's Word tells us that, "ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Rom. 3:23. And the Lord Jesus said, "Whither I go, ye cannot come." John 8:22.
But how wonderful it is to read also in the Bible: "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Rom. 3:24.
In Rom. 4:25 the Bible also tells us that the Lord Jesus "was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification," and in Heb. 2:3 we read, "How shall we escape, if we NEGLECT so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him."
Oh, do not NEGLECT the most important thing in your life. Come to the precious Lord Jesus Christ and let Him be your Savior. There is no other Savior! Do not let NEGLECT steal everlasting blessing from you.

Code 99!

The hospital loudspeakers urgently sent the words, "Code 99!" vibrating through the busy corridors. This emergency message alerts hospital staff that a patient has suffered a cardiac arrest.
The Cardiac Arrest Team members instantaneously obey the message, leave what they are doing and race to the patient's bedside. All of the specialized knowledge, skill and equipment available are focused on one purpose—to save the patient.
If the highly trained Cardiac Team is successful and the patient revives, he may live a few hours, months or even years. However, some day, despite all the professional knowledge and skill, despite all the sophisticated equipment, the patient WILL DIE.
What then?
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27.
How can we prepare for that inevitable day of final "cardiac arrest"?
Jesus, the great physician, diagnosed the case: "They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5:31, 32.
We all need the "Great Physician." "All have sinned." Rom. 3:23. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." 1 John 1:8.
The apostle John describes a cure that is swift, effective and guaranteed: "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.
This prescription does not need to be repeated it needs to be taken only once.
When should it be taken?
IMMEDIATELY!
"Now is the accepted time... now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor. 6:2.
God has diagnosed your heart condition. He says: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Jer. 17:9.
Jesus Christ died to give us not only a new heart, but also a new direction and purpose in life: "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.
What a cure! No chance of rejection—no possibility that the medication will be ineffective.
Take God's remedy for your ailing heart now: "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God bath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9.

Freedom

At midnight the barriers were taken down. The borders of Hungary, tightly closed since the Berlin Wall was built in 1961, were thrown open to refugees from East Germany, refugees who had waited for weeks in growing anxiety to continue their journey to the West.
Now they poured across the border in carloads—45 cars in the first three hours—cheering, shouting, laughing, crying, whistling and blowing their horns as they crossed.
Later buses began rolling in, filled with refugees, to be followed in a few hours by the first trainful. Even taxis came to the border and stopped to let their passengers walk across the border.
They were following a dream, a dream of freedom and a better life. Long oppressed by an authoritarian government, they were willing to leave everything — jobs, homes, even families—to be free.
Will crossing a border to another country make them really free? Many people think that they are free, that living in the "free world" constitutes freedom. In another sense, a very real sense, they are still captives. As in the East, so in the West, whether East Germany or West Germany, Russia or Canada or the United States, there are laws that transcend all national boundaries.
One law is, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezek. 18:20. Also: it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27.
The gate of heaven would have been forever closed, had not the Lord Jesus come to earth "that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death... and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Heb. 2:14, 15. There is now "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" which makes us "free from the law of sin and death." Rom. 8:2.
This freedom is open to anyone, anywhere, East or West.
Those refugees crowding through the gates were people in a hurry. Hungary said that its action was "provisional" — that is, temporary. At any time the order could be rescinded, the borders closed and the bars in place again. Clearly understanding this, the refugees clear the checkpoints as rapidly as possible.
One day the door to heaven will close. It could be today. The last one will say "yes" to the Lord Jesus and the day of grace—the time we are now living in—will be ended. Then the Bible tells us that some will come saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us!" and IT WILL BE TOO LATE.
Hurry! Hurry through the open door of salvation! "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36.

Taking God at His Word

How wonderful is the story of salvation, if accepted in simple faith!
I was holding meetings in a fishing village. Every night the meeting house was crowded, and the gospel was preached as simply and faithfully as possible.
One night among the inquirers who remained after the close of the meeting was a young man about twenty years old. During the address I had noticed him earnestly watching and listening, and each word seemed to go straight to his heart. Going up to him, I said: "Do you know Jesus as your Savior?"
"I never heard the like before," he exclaimed. He added eagerly, "Oh, tell me more about Him!"
I talked to him as I would have spoken to a child about the Lord Jesus. He was certainly ignorant, but the Holy Spirit had convinced his conscience of the true nature of sin and touched his heart with a sense of the amazing love of God.
This young man was able to grasp at once the most blessed of all truths, that Christ, the Son of God, had died for him. The beauty and majesty of the One who died for him won his heart. "I'll take Him at His word," he said happily, as we rose to leave.
It was the first time this young fisherman had heard about Jesus, but he gladly accepted Christ as his Savior and went on his way rejoicing in Him.
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8.

Why Did This Happen to Me?

Why did this happen to me?
Are you asking this question today? Maybe sickness has come into your life with its suffering, its expenses and its gnawing uncertainty. Or it could be that death has struck your family circle with its own sorrow. Perhaps an accident has upset your plans, or family trouble has brought misery and unhappiness into your home. Perhaps your dreams have been shattered by tragedy, debt or unemployment. For one reason or another, you are despondent, worried, nervous and ill. You wonder if life is worth living; you ask yourself repeatedly, "Why did God let this happen to me?"
It is a good question to ask; really, it is the only sane approach to finding the answer to your present difficulty. You could be defiant, of course, and determine to fight against your trials, or you could just give up with the fatalistic attitude that your troubles are unavoidable anyway. But the best policy is to ask yourself quietly and calmly, "Why did God let this happen to me?"
The answer is that God wants to speak to you. He has tried to speak to you before, but as long as things were going well you weren't interested in listening. The only way to get your attention is to allow trials to come into your life. God is so interested in you that He is even willing to let you suffer for a short time if, as a result, you might be made happy forever.
You see, if you had died before now, you would have been lost throughout all eternity. Your sins have never been forgiven and, because of this, you would have been barred from heaven forever.
But God does not want you to perish. He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross of Calvary. Christ died for sinners so that they might be forgiven. Three days after His burial, the Savior rose again and then He went back to heaven, where He is at this very moment, waiting to save you.
Now, here is the message which God is trying to make you understand. If you will acknowledge your sins and receive the Son of God as your Lord and Savior, He will forgive your sins and give you eternal life. He has definitely promised this in His word, the Bible, and He cannot go back on His promise.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." John 6:47.
The great question which you must answer just now is this: "Will I open the door of my heart and welcome the Lord as my Savior?"
If you refuse Him, you will only go on to face further sorrow and disappointment in this life, and everlasting regret in the next.
If you receive Him, you will be given strength to bear every trial and testing on earth, and will be guaranteed unending joy in heaven.
No matter how severe your troubles are just now, they will be well worth every throbbing pain, every falling tear and every crushing heartache if they are the means of bringing you to Christ. You can then say with the Psalmist David: "It is good for me that I have been afflicted.... In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me." Psa. 119:71; 120:1. Whatever your problem may be, make it a steppingstone to Christ.

Change for a Twenty Dollar Gold Piece?

The black workhorse of an engine, dusty and snorting out bursts of steam, rolled to a gradual stop in front of a small farming community on the sun baked plains of South Dakota. A long line of yellow and orange box cars lumbered behind the locomotive. From out of a doorway in the side of one of these freight cars two men jumped to the ground. After bags of mail were exchanged between the train and the town, the shrill steam whistle sounded and black smoke came belching out of the smokestack as the wheels once again began to turn.
As the train was rolling away the two men stood by the tracks brushing off the layers of dust which had accumulated on them during their ride.
Besides the clothes they wore, each of them carried a coat, his sole visible possession, under his arm. They walked to the edge of the small town and into the combined restaurant and boarding house. The woman polishing glasses behind the counter saw them and took them for tramps immediately. She had seen plenty of hoboes wander in off the trains before; most were harmless, some were mean. She didn't like any of them.
"What can I do for you fellows?" she asked with a hint of contempt.
"Please, my friend and I would like some milk and donuts," the larger of the two said in a thick, foreign accent.
The woman took a few steps toward the kitchen and called out to her husband in a subdued tone, "Honey, there are a couple of tramps out here who want some donuts. What do I do?"
The husband poked his head out of the kitchen to glance at the men. "Ah, give them the donuts we have left over from yesterday; then we'll tell them to leave and not come back."
She gave the men what they asked for.
When they were done the one who had spoken before reached into a tightly sewn pocket in his pants and produced a twenty dollar gold piece.
"Lady," he said, holding the coin up so she could see it, "do you have change for this twenty dollar gold piece?"
"No, we never keep that much money here," she replied, surprised that the men had any money.
"I didn't think you did," the man said as he dropped a few nickels on the counter, "but I heard you talking to your husband and you called us hoboes and I want you to know that my friend and I are not hoboes. Next time find out what kind of men you are talking about before you call them hoboes." To his friend he added, "Let's go!"
Although this occurred shortly before World War I, the man who told it to me, the same person who was mistaken for a hobo and held up the gold piece, is still alive in 1989. Steam locomotives and hoboes may be only relics of the past. The desire to appear approved in the sight of others, however, is as strong today as it ever was.
In our present day it is unpopular to point out the Biblical truth of the ruin of mankind. People try to brush off God's warning about sin and the judgment to come. When they hear the declaration, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," they hold up something — a philosophy, or a list of good works, or some personal qualities—which they use to prove they are not ruined sinners. Like the man holding up the gold coin, they want to prove to themselves and to those around them that they are not what God says they are.
Let's examine some of the "gold coins" that people hold up today.
Philosophy. You don't have to be a philosopher who can articulate profound statements about your beliefs to find security in a false philosophy. On the contrary, you can be an everyday type of person. In our western world the belief that man is basically good unless corrupted by society has such a hold on the minds of people that when you tell them that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, it sounds ridiculous to them. Why should anyone come to save sinners, when man is basically good and through education and social reforms he is getting better?
Is this how you feel? Is this the train of thought that gives you comfort and hope? If it is, I ask you to examine it realistically. Does education make man more moral? Is decency on the increase in the world? Are men becoming less covetous? Better parents? More trustworthy? The answer is a resounding NO! Man can fly to the moon and back again but his heart is not a bit better than it was thousands of years ago. If you are holding up the coin of man's innate goodness to prove that you are not a sinner, I beg you to consider how worthless it is.
Good works. When a person is first stirred up to think seriously of how he is seen by God, he almost invariably weighs his chances of acceptance before God according to the good works he has done or perhaps intends to do. "Granted I have done several wrong things in my past which you call sins," such a one may say, "but don't the good things I intend to do in the future make up for the wrongs in the past?"
This sounds reasonable and intelligent on the surface, but God, who knows the hearts of men, says it is impossible. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one!" This statement from Scripture should dispel any hope of being saved through good works. If that is the coin you are holding up before men and God, throw it away. It is counterfeit!
Personal qualities. Intelligence, good looks, amiability, business acumen, creativity: these and many more like them are all personal qualities which are valued by men. Have you something which makes you "special" in the eyes of others — and yourself? Think again. Your intelligence may set you apart from your peers and entitle you to a good education and an important job, but it will never entitle you to escape judgment before the God who is no respecter of persons. Your good looks may win you instant friends and make your future seem bright, but it will not make the least bit of difference on that day when God shall judge the secrets of men's hearts according to the gospel. If this is all you can hold up to find acceptance before God, you must get rid of the notion before it is forever too late.
How can anyone find acceptance before God? Only by repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Repentance means a change of mind. In order to be saved, you need to change your mind about sin and yourself. You need to see how loathsome sin is to God. In order to make the way of salvation open to all, God's Son died a horrible death on the cross. It is only at the cross where the Lord Jesus suffered such untold agony that we can begin to understand God's hatred for sin. When a person repents he sees sin in the same light that God does, and knows himself to be a guilty sinner.
How can anyone get free from the guilt of sin? Only by faith in Christ. The moment anyone believes in Him as the Son of God, the One who died for sin and has been raised again from the dead by the power of God, the blood He shed on Calvary washes that person clean — so very clean that the infinite eye of God can look at him and find no trace of sins on him. This is the only way of salvation, and the only means of acceptance before God.

Why Didn't You Pay the Ransom

In March of 1987, eight-year-old Marco Fiora was kidnapped and taken away from his mother at gunpoint. For seventeen months he was held for ransom in a mountain hideout in Italy while his captors demanded a two-million-dollar ransom. When paramilitary police had gotten close to the hut where the boy was held, his captors placed him on a mountain trail with the order: "Walk!"
The police found him on that mountain trail. His hair had grown past his shoulders. Around his left wrist were marks left from the chain which had held him to the wall, and he was wearing the same tee shirt which he had worn on the day he was kidnapped.
The national news media carried the coverage of the boy's recovery. Church bells were rung, and many people wept when they learned he was safe.
However, the mother's joy was dampened when her son was returned to her and he looked at her without any emotion in his brown eyes and asked, "Why didn't you pay the ransom? You don't want me back, do you?"
"He didn't even say 'Mama' to me; he was so cold," his mother later said.
The kidnappers apparently had told the boy that his parents didn't love him because they were not willing to pay the ransom. The ransom sum the men had demanded was far beyond what his parents were able to pay, but the kidnappers had repeated their lie to the boy so many times that he had begun to believe them.
In time, hopefully, the boy's heart will be healed and he will again be able to feel and show affection towards his parents.
The question, "Why didn't you pay the ransom?" can never be asked of God, for He paid the supreme ransom for our sakes. Nor can anyone doubt His love, because of the cost of that ransom.
"For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many," the Lord Jesus said. The ransom required to set men free from the power of sin and death cost far more than all the silver and gold in the world; it cost "the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot."
Through sin, death had such an iron grip on mankind that the only way to break it was for the Son of God to come and die in the sinner's place. When Christ died on the cross He fulfilled the promise that God made through Hosea, an Old Testament prophet: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." This referred not to physical death only, but to the second death of endless and eternal separation from God.
Because "Christ Jesus... gave Himself a ransom for all," the good news goes out to all men telling them of a free salvation. It is offered to all, but only received by those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God with all their hearts.
The gospel of God's grace reveals as nothing else ever could the immense love in God's heart. He proved His love beyond all doubt at the cross. That same love that brought Christ to the cross to die for sinners is active in the world today. God in love is calling sinners to repentance and faith in Christ through the preaching of the gospel. He "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Oh, won't you respond to that love which is far above any other, and come to Christ Jesus?

Treacherous Footing

A northeasterly wind had been blowing for days. It blew the ice which still lingered on Lake Michigan in March to the Illinois shore. The ice came in chunks about the size of a car, sometimes smaller and sometimes larger, and never in exactly the same shape. It piled up along the beaches and breakwaters creating a lonely, inhospitable landscape. A band of white ice lined the shore for perhaps fifty yards; beyond it the lake stretched for what seemed like forever with a few isolated ice floes dotting the horizon.
Edmund Furo finished up his work at the Resort Lodge at Illinois Beach State Park. Before driving home he decided to walk on the beach. For days he had been watching ice chunks pile up. Every day he had seen the band of ice growing thicker.
On a whim, Edmund stepped from the beach to a piece of the ice. When it didn't move, he felt safe to step to the next one which was wedged against it. He saw that the beach was near at hand, and the ice seemed solid, so he kept going. Edmund figured that, with a little caution, there wasn't any chance of his falling into any of the cracks in the ice.
You may be thinking to yourself that what Edmund was doing, walking on the ice, was foolish and that you would never do anything like that. However, if you don't know the Savior and what it is to have your sins washed away, you really are foolish too; you are walking through life on dangerous footing.
Now, if you are not saved, the ground you are walking on is dangerous because, if you should be called out of this world, it would be forever too late to receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior. Heaven's gate will be barred against you. You will have guaranteed to yourself a lost eternity by your rejection of Christ.
The time to receive Christ is now: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life!"
Another reason why walking through life without Christ is so dangerous is the treachery of sin. Like the ice Edmund was walking on, sin is slippery treacherous. Edmund never thought he would fall, and if it were possible this moment to go into hell itself and ask those who inhabit it if they ever thought they would have ended up there perhaps all would answer passionately: "No! Never! I never thought I would come here."
Edmund didn't expect to fall either, though as he walked further out he began to see small patches of water — cold, gray water — between the chunks of ice. Suddenly he slipped and fell through a crack in the ice which was barely large enough for his body to slide through. He tried to pull himself out of the hole, but the sides of the crack were too steep. He pulled until his gloves ripped and the flesh on his fingertips tore away, then the undertow dragged him under the ice.
Twice Edmund managed to surface for air before the current pulled him beneath the ice again. About a hundred yards from shore he surfaced next to a chunk of ice whose side he was able to climb up.
He sat there wet and shivering for three hours, not daring to move, before he was spotted by a couple on the beach. They contacted the Coast Guard, who picked him up in a steel basket lowered from a helicopter and covered him with heating pads as they flew him to a hospital.
Edmund was saved. And if you would be saved from your sins and get off once and forever from the treacherous footing all sinners walk on, you must come to Christ. "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out," the Savior said. The blood He shed at the cross means so much to God that when a person believes on the name of Jesus that person is saved for eternity. "The blood of Jesus Christ... cleanseth us from all sin." If sin has been dragging you under, or if you are only now realizing that you are on slippery footing, you need God's salvation offered through Jesus Christ.

One in a Million

Dad's oldest brother spoke sadly, "I never thought he would be the first to go."
"He was ready, Uncle Jess," I replied quietly. "He placed his trust in the Lord many years ago." I waited a moment then continued, "Maybe this is God's way of warning others in the family who aren't ready to meet Him."
"Well, maybe so," he muttered.
Seizing this opening I asked, "What about you, Uncle Jess. Have you ever trusted the Lord and His finished work on the cross for your salvation?"
"No," he frankly admitted, "I'm not good enough. Someday I'll get my life straightened out and take care of it."
He was already 78 years old!
"God doesn't expect you to be good to come to Him," I replied, "He just wants you to admit you
need Him as your Savior and allow Him into your life."
He shook his head and repeated, "Maybe someday..."
I couldn't forget our conversation and a few weeks later I wrote my only letter to him. In it I expressed my concern and ended with the following illustration.
One dark night a ragged man peeked into a window of a brightly lighted house. Well-dressed people around a banquet table laughed as they enjoyed their feast. The man crouched by the window pressed his hand over hunger pangs gnawing at his stomach.
Suddenly, the door swung open and the owner of the house stretched out his hand in welcome. "Come on in, Friend! I saw your face in the window."
"Oh, no," gasped the frightened man as he shrank back into the shadows; "I don't belong here!"
The host assured him that he would soon feel at home but the man protested. He wasn't properly dressed. His would-be host offered him a suit and use of a bathroom. He even promised to stay beside him but the man still hesitated.
What would you have done, Uncle Jess? Would you think anyone foolish to turn down such a good offer? Read on.
YOU are traveling through this world of spiritual darkness. If you could look through heaven's windows, you would see a beautiful home where there's never any darkness. If you knew there would be no sorrow or pain, no more death, no tears and no hunger, wouldn't you think it a wonderful place to live?
Jesus gives the invitation, "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved." John 10:9.
You told me you needed to clean up your life first. But you can't do it! God says, "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Isa. 64:6. His Word teaches that we're saved through faith in Christ, not by good works.
So if you refuse God's offer of eternal life, then you're among the following: "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:15.
Would you, would ANYONE, be so foolish as to choose hell when he could be in heaven? Each one who has not trusted Jesus Christ is already on his way downward. UNBELIEF is the sin that keeps a person from heaven.
Don't be offended at my "preaching." My guess is that after age 80, only one in a million ever changes and turns to Christ. The decision is yours, Uncle Jess.
He never answered my letter, but God used it and other circumstances in his life during the next two years. When I saw him again at the age of 80, Uncle Jess had become one in a million!
What about your decision? No one is guaranteed 80 years, or even one year. NOW is the time to accept Christ as your Savior.

It Has Life in It

When I was a small boy on my father's farm a large painted swan was given to me as a toy. I proudly carried it wherever I went! In the farmyard, ducks, geese, turkeys and hens were all eager to get in touch with their painted "brother" and would follow me. But my swan had no life! Pretty as it was, it was dead and could not answer them.
As a schoolboy I saw the wax figure of a great soldier, life-sized, dressed in the uniform of a general. It was very striking and many said, "lifelike," but it was dead. It had all the parts and outward show of a warrior, but it lacked life.
Later in life I visited a fine cathedral in which a most imposing service was in progress. Music, choir and robed preacher were there. The whole program was enacted without a hitch or jar. Ears and eyes responded to its magnificence. The audience said, "impressive," but the effect never reached conscience or heart. There was no spiritual life or power in it. It was religion, but not a living Christ.
Years later, in a little cottage where an elderly grayhaired woman lived alone, I rested one summer day. She gave me a hearty welcome and brought me a drink of cold spring water. As she handed it to me she said, "It is as free and refreshing as the water of life." ("Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17.)
She then told me the story of her conversion as a young girl, of her happy life as a wife and mother, and the peaceful evening of life as a widow. Her story went to my heart; there was life in it. It came from her heart as a living testimony to the power of Christ to save, to sustain and to satisfy. It convinced me of the reality of eternity, and became the turning point in my life.
I had been brought up to read and revere the Bible and go to church, yet I do not remember ever having heard of the need of being saved or of having eternal life from a living Christ. The life of that elderly Christian opened my eyes to the reality of a living Christianity and I determined not to rest until I had a personal knowledge of it in my own soul.
While listening to a sermon on "Christ the Life-giver," I was converted. I learned then that by looking to Jesus, the uplifted Savior, by believing His word and receiving Him, I too could have eternal life.
"He that hath the Son hath life." 1 John 5:12.
"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 Love of Life

Men do not willingly endanger their lives. We normally flee from danger if it threatens us; all our instincts work for our protection. We have eyes to see danger; our ears hear it, and our hearts beat the drum of alarm when we sense its approach. Then our feet help us to flee from it even before our minds grasp its full import.
If we were in a house and heard the cry of fire we would rush from the flames. If we were aboard a sinking ship we would spring into the lifeboat.
But another and more terrible danger threatens every human being. Every soul born into this world is a sinner by nature and is in desperate need of a Savior. God's wrath is soon to fall upon this world because people refuse the Savior He provided: His own dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every person who still rejects God's salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and the blood He shed there, faces the awful danger of eternal loss. For him is reserved the blackness of darkness forever, the dread certainty of spending an endless eternity in the fires of hell.
See your danger! Use your eyes! "Flee from the wrath to come." Matt. 3:7.
Listen with your ears to the gospel message now going forth: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31.
"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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Rom. 10:9, 10.
Not Cast Out I have never yet heard a single person say: "I came to Jesus, and He cast me out."
There never was such a case. If you are not saved it is because you have never come to Him. For nearly two thousand years His own words have been on record: "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise [no way] cast out." John 6:37.
Are you among those who have come? If not, come now. His invitation is, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28.

The Race Car Driver

Chino Mendez was the most famous race car driver in all of Bolivia. In fact, for many years he was probably the most famous man of any kind in Bolivia. He won every race in the country. They did not race on special racetracks, but they would block off the roads in the country and have their races right on the roads.
We often heard the race cars speed by in the town of Montero since the main street was only a block away from our home. The narrow and crooked street, full of potholes, did not slow down Chino Mendez at all. He could drive down that street at 200 kilometers per hour. Everyone cheered him as he won his races and we never met a single school boy that didn't know his name.
Mr. Mendez had carefully practiced a certain corner of the road in Cochabamba. This was to be his next race. He knew just how fast he could take that corner and was well prepared to win another race. When Chino Mendez arrived at that corner in the race, the car before him had scattered gravel on the road. He turned the corner at 180 kilometers per hour and spun out of control and crashed. He never regained consciousness.
His coffin was carried on the shoulders of citizens of Bolivia all the way from the central plaza to the cemetery. Mr. Mendez had worked for fame and the cheer of the crowd. At the end of his life the very best the country could give to its most famous citizen was a coffin and a place to rest it.
What will be there at the end of your life? Are you working only for money or fame or pleasure? Those who leave God out of their life can expect no more from this world than Chino Mendez received. But God has prepared much more for those who are His children. He has prepared a home in heaven where there is a street of gold for all those who are cleansed from their sins. The Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross for our sins. "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24.
We who are saved from our sins are not waiting for a coffin. We are waiting for the Lord Jesus to come to take us to heaven and to the magnificent future that is waiting for us. "God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us... hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace, in His kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus." Eph. 2:4, 6, 7.
Fame and riches were unimportant when Mr. Mendez left this world to stand before God. "That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. “Rom. 3:19. Will you admit your guilt before God and turn to Christ for salvation? His loving heart waits to give you a wonderful future in His own home in heaven. "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23.

Almost Gone!

Each week we collected children from various homes to bring to Sunday School in our car. Once, knowing we were going to be extra busy, we asked Jimmy Brown if he would please pick some up for us. He was willing to help, and could be counted on to be punctual.
Jimmy was better than punctual! He arrived at the first stop one half hour earlier than our regular time! But David was nowhere to be found. His mother explained that he had been there just a few minutes ago, and she called, "David! David!"
There was no answer, though she called both outside and in the house. She opened the cellar door and called again. Still no response! In sudden panic she hurried down the steps, and there was David hanging by his neck from the ceiling, almost strangled by the rope around his neck. His face was blue, and he was unconscious.
They made a quick call to the emergency squad, and the responding ambulance team worked on resuscitation as they rushed him to the hospital. God spared David's life and the next week he was at Sunday School.
We learned that David had seen a stunt man on television tie a rope to the bough of a tree and around himself as he swung from branch to branch. Attempting to imitate what he saw, David tied the rope securely to the ceiling and jumped off the cellar steps to swing to a new perch. The rope caught about his throat and almost ended his life.
We asked him where he would be now had Jimmy Brown not come early, and he said he didn't know. His teacher in Sunday School urged him to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, giving him that precious verse in John 6:37 in which the Lord Jesus says: "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
Time passed... and David, like other young men, took to the wide open spaces on his own motorcycle. One day, in an instant, his thrill of speed and personal control came to an abrupt end. He was thrown from his bike, leaving time for eternity.
We surely hope that David had accepted Christ Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Someone told us that he had, but our trust is in the Word of God: "The Lord knoweth them that are His." May we say to you, dear friend, don't leave your family and friends in doubt as to your eternal destiny. Trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior now — today — and let others know by your words and your life that you belong to the Lord.
"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.

What Is the Gospel?

The word "gospel" means "glad tidings," or "good news." It is not glad tidings if we must either save or help to save ourselves by our own efforts. God saves sinners by grace, not by works, "lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8, 9.
It is not good news if we must be saved partly by the good works or prayers of others. They have all been sinners, as we are: "All have sinned." Rom. 3:23. And "the wages of sin (even a single sin) is death," while "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23.
It is not glad tidings if we may be the children of God today, and lost tomorrow, for then we can not have peace. But the gospel gives settled peace and joy to the believer's soul. The Apostle Paul says, "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Rom. 5:1.
The true gospel of Christ is the greatest good news, for what does the sinner want? Does he want forgiveness? The gospel promises "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Eph. 1:7.
Does he want to be counted righteous before God? The gospel says, "To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Rom. 4:5.
Does he want salvation? The gospel says, "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.
Does he want everlasting life? The Lord Jesus Christ says, "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." John 6:47.
Does he want to be kept until the end? Christ says: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them... and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." John 10:27, 28.
This gospel is truly good news. This is the only gospel which can remove fear from our hearts and give us peace with God. This only can take away the natural resistance of our hearts towards God, and give either desire or strength to serve Him. And when we receive it, it produces love in our hearts toward Him. "We love Him, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19.
"The gospel of Christ... it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Rom. 1:16.

A Personal Decision

Many people believe in a general way the doctrines of the gospel, as they believe other things they read, but such belief brings no salvation to the soul. Faith is a personal reliance on Jesus Christ, confessing Him as "the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20.
It is a personal decision to receive as mine the One whom God has given to the whole world to be the Savior.
"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 moment anyone makes this personal choice and says, "Christ for me," receiving Him definitely and decidedly as Redeemer, Savior and Lord, God answers that faith by making the believing one His child. There is nothing more clear or sure than this fact as revealed in the Bible.
"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.
Yes, "born of God," then and there accepted and owned as His children and no longer strangers but of the "household of God."
Have you ever definitely and decisively accepted the Christ of God to be your personal Savior? If not, do so now, just as and where you are. Say to God, "Christ for me!"
This is not merely making a resolution; that would be of very little value. It would only be another human effort to do something toward salvation. Like all other such efforts, it would surely fail. But to accept Christ as Savior, Deliverer, Lord and Keeper, as He is presented in the gospel is to put yourself into vital touch and living union with the One who is mighty to save. That marks the difference between human efforts to obtain salvation and a personal trust in Another to do it all for you. This is saving faith.

No Punishment at All

A Christian read the story of the prodigal son with a neighbor. Together they read of the young man who took his inheritance from his father and left home to try to enjoy the world. Going to a far country, he wasted all his money and was soon left without friends, without money, and without food. Hunger drove him to think again of his father's home. He returned home planning to ask his father to make him a servant in his house.
Seeing his wayward son coming a long way off, the father ran to meet him. He kissed him, brought out the best robe, put a ring on his hand, shoes on his feet and killed a calf to rejoice that his son had returned. He did not make him a servant, but received him back again as a son.
As the Christian and his neighbor read this story, the neighbor said, "He punished his son very little, didn't he?"
"Oh?" replied the Christian. "Did he really punish him very little?"
"Yes," the neighbor said. "His son had been very bad wasting all that money and the father punished him very little."
"Think again," said the Christian. "The father did not punish his son at all! God tells us this story so that we might understand the love in God's heart that wants to receive sinners into His own family as sons. God does not punish even a 'little' those who come to the Lord Jesus for salvation because the Lord Jesus suffered all that was necessary for our sins."
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." 1 Peter 3:18.
"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.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:1.
Have you come to Christ to receive freely the forgiveness of sins? If you have, there will be no punishment for your sins—not even a little.

Fun or Happiness, Which?

Poor fellow! He climbed on to the bus beside me with difficulty. His head was bandaged, his jacket torn, and he had bloodstains on his shirt and pants. Turning to me, he said, "What's the good of living if you don't have fun?"
I didn't tell him that it was evidently the day after the fun with him now. I simply changed his remark to: "What's the good of living if you don't have Christ?"
He answered, "Oh, I know all about Christ. I used to be one of the pillars of our church, but it was a stodgy place—no fun at all."
"Yes," I replied, "and you might easily be such a pillar still, and never know Christ. It is trusting Him as poor, lost and helpless sinners alone that saves us. When we trust Him He then tells us to follow Him. This means to walk in His ways and do what is pleasing to Him."
"You're right, I know you're right. But I've just got to have some fun, and I don't care what happens to me anymore as long as I have fun."
"Yes," I said, "that is the way Satan deceives us. First he tempts us into sin, and then hardens us by it, so that we don't care. But think of the grace that brought our Lord Jesus down to save us, and how He now offers us eternal salvation through His death on the cross."
In the few remaining minutes of our ride together I tried to persuade him to turn from his sins to Him who says, "Thou hast destroyed thyself; but in Me is thine help." Hos. 13:9.
The world has "fun" in it — "pleasures of sin for a season" — but at the last it "biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder."
On the other hand, there is better than "fun" in Christ our Lord, even "fullness of joy and pleasures for evermore."
Two calls are being heard in the world: one, the voice of wisdom, saying, "0 ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.... For whoso findeth Me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death." Prov. 8:5, 35, 36. The other voice says, "Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell." Prov. 9:17, 18.
Take your choice. Which voice will you answer? Which course will you follow? Which end will you come to?
Be wise, then. Listen to God's gracious call. May your choice be not that of fun and "pleasures... for a season," but to be filled with "joy and peace in believing."

I Was a Prisoner

I was a prisoner of Japan for forty long months, thirty four of them in solitary confinement.
When I flew on the first raid over Japan on April 18, 1942, my heart was filled with bitter hatred for the people of that nation. When our plane ran out of fuel and the crew of my plane had to parachute down into Japanese-held territory in China and were captured by the enemy, the bitterness of my heart against my captors seemed more than I could bear.
It was soon after the death of one of my comrades that I began to ponder the cause of such hatred between members of the human race. I wondered what it was that made the Japanese hate the Americans, and what made me hate the Japanese. I remembered what I had heard about Christianity changing hatred between human beings into real brotherly love, and I begged my captors to get a Bible for me. At last a guard brought the Book, but told me I could have it for only three weeks.
I eagerly began to read. Chapter after chapter gripped my heart. I came to the books of the prophets, and found that their every writing seemed focused on a divine Redeemer from sin — One who was to be sent from heaven to be born in the form of a human baby.
Their writings fascinated me, and I went into the New Testament and read of the birth of Jesus Christ, the One who actually fulfilled the very prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and the other Old Testament writers. My heart rejoiced as I found confirmation in Acts 10:43, "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins."
On June 8, 1944, the words in Rom. 10:9 stood out boldly before my eyes: "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." In that very moment God gave me grace to confess my sins to Him, and He forgave me all my sins and saved me for Jesus' sake, even as I later found that His word promises clearly in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
How my heart rejoiced in my newness of spiritual life, even though my body was suffering terribly from the beatings and lack of food. Suddenly I discovered that God had given me new spiritual eyes, and that when I looked at the officers and guards who had starved and beaten me and my companions, I found my bitter hatred for them changed to pity.
I realized that they did not know anything about my Savior, and that if Christ is not in a heart it is natural to be cruel. I read in my Bible that, while those who crucified Jesus on the cross had beaten Him and spit upon Him before He was nailed to the cross, He tenderly prayed in His moment of excruciating suffering, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
And now, from the depths of my heart, I too prayed for God to forgive my torturers. I determined by the aid of Christ to do my best to acquaint the Japanese people with the message of salvation.
A year passed by, and the weeks I had been permitted to read my Bible were only a cherished memory. At last, freedom came. On August 20, 1945, American parachutists dropped on the prison grounds and released us from our cells. We were flown back to the United States and placed in hospitals to regain our strength.
After recovery I — former prisoner and bitter enemy of the Japanese — returned to Japan with one single purpose: to make Christ known. "For God so loved the world, (the world, not just America and Europe, but the world — all men everywhere) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

How Do I Know My Sins Are Forgiven?

Do you believe in God, who gave Jesus for our sins and raised Him up from the dead for our justification? "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.
Can anything be simpler? Could language be more precise or plain? Confess Jesus as Lord with the mouth, and believe in the heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. What follows? "Thou shalt be saved"
The knowledge of the forgiveness of sins is not a matter of attainment; it is simply and only a question of faith in the simple word of God.
Every believer in Christ can know now, at this present moment of time—while he reads these lines— that all his sins are freely and fully forgiven. God promises to forget them all, for "their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
The apostle John says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake." 1 John 2:12.
He writes down your full acquittal, so that you may read it for yourself, and be confident before Him. Paul says: "We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Col. 1:14. "We have" redemption and forgiveness. Could language be simpler? "We have" certainly expresses present possession.
Peter says, after preaching about a risen and glorified Christ, "Be it known unto you therefore... that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things." Acts 13:38, 39

The Brahmin Student

Millions of India's Hindus wash themselves in the Ganges River to purify themselves from sin and to testify to their devotion to their religion. They count themselves happy if they die on the banks of the Ganges or if their ashes can be committed to its waters.
A Brahmin student, who had tried without success to rest his soul in these sacred rites of his religion, heard the gospel of the grace of God preached at a festival. He bought a Bible in the Telegu language. As he read it alone the Spirit of God convinced him of his sinfulness and showed him the way of salvation through faith in Christ alone.
He believed the gospel, was saved, and confessed Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Family and friends immediately disowned him.
He went to a so-called "Christian land" and was amazed to find that many were not much further advanced than the Hindus of India who bathe in the Ganges to wash away their sins. He found some trusting in their baptism or christening or confirmation, others in their faithful attendance at religious services, and many depending on the good things they had done for others as the hope of their salvation. Some were even denying the truth of the Bible that they had sent out to convert the people of India.
The shocked young Brahmin wrote: "I solemnly say it is not the water but the blood that cleanses from sin, not man's works but Christ's work that justifies sinners before God, not human religion but regeneration by the Spirit that fits a soul for heaven. Nothing saves but Christ. The knowledge of my sin and of His cleansing blood brought me to God."
"The gospel is the power of God to save a Hindu like me, and 'Christian' people like you. There is only one Savior, one salvation, one way. Some of you deny the Bible; I receive it. I proved its truth. I know its power. It has brought life to my soul, joy to my heart, and rest to my spirit. I commend Jesus Christ to one and all — His blood alone to cleanse, His power to save."
"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.
"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 Inventor

When the Duke of Wellington won the battle of Waterloo he was a great hero to his countrymen. He was awarded every honor England could give, and had tremendous influence in the nation. Of course he became the target of all kinds of people seeking favors — people seeking office, or money, or just recognition. One such man came with what he claimed to be a bullet-proof breastplate. The inventor wanted to persuade the Duke to introduce it to the British authorities for adoption by the army.
Having letters of introduction from some of the Duke's personal friends, this man called and was shown into the presence of the great Commander. Though the Duke was very busy, he listened patiently as the inventor described his wonderful invention and spoke of its protective value.
Finally, the Duke broke in abruptly with a question: "Have you got the thing with you?"
Quickly the man brought out the breastplate. The Duke asked sharply, "Are you sure it is bullet proof?" "Oh, quite sure, your grace."
"Put it on then, and go stand in that corner." Wondering what the Duke meant by this, the inventor at once obeyed.
"Mr. Temple," shouted the Duke to his secretary, "tell the sentry outside to load with ball cartridge and come in here to test this breastplate."
Before the sentry could load the inventor flew through the door and disappeared. He had not enough faith in his own invention to risk his life.
Many, many people have their own religious inventions with which they think to appear before God. But, will they stand the test? Morality, reformation, good works or prayers, none can protect them from coming judgment.
We read in Heb. 11:6, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." And in Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Think of it! No tears that you may shed, no works you may perform, no resolution you may make, will serve to shield you in that coming day when "every man's works shall be tried."
The only refuge from the coming storm of God's righteous judgment on a wicked world is the Lord Jesus Christ. Everything else is useless. Will you not turn to Him now, trusting Him alone for your salvation?
He has said, "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.

Polluted!

It had been a long hot day of driving across Missouri, and the thought of stopping for the night was appealing. A look at the guide book showed a good campground at the next exit, so the van eased off the interstate and down to—where?
The map showed a town; the guide book marked a campground, but all that could be seen was a barricade across the road and a post with the name of the town that had been there: Times Beach.
True, there had been a town, there had been a camp, but map and book were both out of date. What had once been a thriving little town of 2,200 people — a little town where children played and men and women lived and worked and went on with their daily lives — was now a fenced-off area closed to human habitation. It was too polluted with the chemical "dioxin" to live in.
Pollution — a fact of life today. Times Beach was polluted. One small town, but it cost the United States government $33, 000,000 to move the populace to safety. Polluted!
In Alaska today there are more ghost towns in the making, towns where the inhabitants' food and livelihood are dependent on the fishing and other resources of the water in Prince William Sound. Oil is coating the whole shoreline, up to six inches of deadly black sludge destroying that once pristine habitat of wildlife and of the people who lived there. Millions of dollars have been spent, but it is unlikely that it can ever really be restored. It is too polluted.
In a southern state, farm workers went into a newly sprayed field. By noon thirty-six of them were ill and in hospitals with an acute reaction to the pesticide. A very minor incident, but no small matter to the sick workers, nor to the farmer who plowed up sixteen acres of cauliflower nearly ready to be harvested, nor to the grocery chain that pulled all the crop already shipped off its shelves and destroyed it. It was not a big, headline-making incident, but such small things are happening all over the world — all over the world we hear the same story, the same word: polluted!
Well might God say, "This is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you." Mic. 2:10. But He was not speaking of toxic chemicals, oil spills, contaminated food or drinking water! The problem of "the pollutions of the world" is far worse.
What can we say of the state of the world when drug abuse and robbery and assault and murder are the news of every day, when the breakdown of family life has become a bitter fact, when ten percent of the babies in some areas are born cocaine-damaged or already infected with a deadly disease, when, from the highest to the lowest, greed seems to be the number one motive — the list could go on and on. If this isn't pollution of the worst kind, what is?
The whole earth is suffering from pollution: physical, moral and spiritual. Physical pollution we can't escape; the very air we breathe and the water we drink are infected. Moral and spiritual pollution is another matter. Let's forget the big words and call it simply SIN. Sin can be dealt with; God has a remedy for that.
The Bible tells us that "all have sinned." So we are sinners, every one of us, and part of the sinful world. BUT "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8.
Now "through this Man [the Lord Jesus Christ] is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things." Acts 13:38, 39.
It is true that "all have sinned," but there is the promise to "all that believe" that they are "justified from all things." Now they can say, "the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7.

"There's Plenty of Time"

"Flee for your lives! Leave quickly! Soufriere is going to erupt!" George Edwards could be seen going from hut to hut in the little village, crying out these words, warning everyone he saw: "Leave now, before it is too late!"
Even as he spoke, rumblings could be heard coming from the volcano towering four thousand feet above them. Smoke was billowing out from the peak, as it had been for some days.
George Edwards was a God-fearing man who had for years told these people of safety for eternity by trusting in the Lord Jesus. Now he had two messages of warning to the people. The first was God's message: "Flee from the wrath to come." Matt. 3:7. And, "Beware lest He take thee away with His stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee." Job 36:18.
Now his warnings were doubly true. He was being paid by the government of the island of St. Vincent to watch the mountain and to give warning when it seemed ready to erupt.
During the past few days it was obvious that something was happening in the mountain. The quiet and peaceful area was disturbed by strange sounds and smoke and dust. However, after a few days the people became used to them and continued their work in their gardens and homes, that is, until Mr. Edwards came along with his disturbing cries: "Leave at once," he pleaded again and again. "It's not safe to stay!"
Some left their homes and gardens and fled, but many did not. It would be hard to leave everything, so they kept right on with their work. They said, "Ol’ Soufriere's OK. There's plenty of time!"
At last George Edwards dared wait no longer, and he fled the town just before the mountain burst out in a burning, flaming eruption. Molten lava came pouring down the mountainside, destroying everything in its path. Down, down it came, two miles — three — right through the village without waiting for any now as they tried to flee. Almost 2,000 people were swept into eternity: some killed by the poisonous gases, many trapped in the super-heated lava as it flowed onward four miles and then out to sea. Then even the sea began to boil and the sea water turned to steam. What a tragedy! How heartbreaking, even for those who had fled, to have their homes demolished so suddenly — but they had escaped with their lives.
Those who remained behind in the village no doubt intended to leave in time, but put it off until it was too late. Have you done the same thing to God's message? Have you put off your answer to His loving invitation? Oh, don't delay!
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Cor. 6:2.
Don't delay, my friend; delay is dangerous. Come to Him NOW! The Lord Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross of Calvary. He will save you today, if you will only own your lost condition before Him and flee to Him for shelter. We can warn and plead with you, but YOU must take the loving Savior at His word. "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.

The Awakening

He was just a very ordinary young man, living a very ordinary life. He was not conscious of having a single thought about his existence after death, and did not so much as believe in the existence of a God. What he might have called "religious things" had never entered his mind.
One summer day he was rambling in the fields. The sun was shining brightly, and all nature was beautiful. As he looked on the familiar landscape, suddenly (and for the first time) the thought arose in his mind: "All this must have had a beginning. How could it begin?"
Long thought led him to the conclusion that the world must have had a Maker. Then came the question: "What is He? Who is He?"
Again he launched out on a sea of speculation, and once more reached firm ground in the belief that the world's Maker must be a living, personal, very great Being.
By this time he had lost sight of the beauties of the landscape, and felt as if he were alone with the Creator. Now another question arose: "What am I to this Being, and what is He to me?"
On this line of thought he entered reluctantly, for he felt afraid of the result and feared that he would discover things that would make him unhappy. But he could not—he dared not turn back.
He now said to himself, "If there be such a person as God, I ought to know as much as possible about Him." He went home and set himself to reading and meditating and reasoning.
Soon he came to the painful conviction that he had never acknowledged this God, or done his duty to Him, but had in fact slighted Him by his negligence. As the sense of guilt fastened on him, he pursued his questions more and more anxiously.
Soon he began to add prayer to his reading and thinking. The light grew; his trouble increased.
At last he thought of seeing what Christians thought about the matter. They promptly introduced him to the Bible, the written Word of God. Here he found God. He found Him in Christ. He found Him at the cross. He found the answer to all his questions—and he found rest and peace in believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. What a wonderful answer to the idle question of a summer afternoon!
God does not lead all alike; sometimes He leads from nature up to nature's God. None may limit His power. And the promise is sure: "If any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." John 7:17.

A Safe Harbor

The fishing schooner, Flora, was sailing toward her home port in Lunenberg County, Nova Scotia, with her hold full of fish. The men were tired and anxious to be home after their two months on the fishing banks off the coast of Newfoundland.
In rough seas about 150 miles from home both the wind and tide were against them. They could see Isaac's Harbor Light. After sailing off about ten miles and then tacking back again, they were still off Isaac's harbor. They had made no headway.
At last, Captain Fralick decided to enter Isaac's Harbor for the night. As soon as the ship entered the harbor there was calm, peace and rest. What relief from the constant motion and pounding of the sea!
Lawson, a young Christian in the crew, thought, "This is just like heaven will be after the difficulties of life."
The Lord Jesus is there already. What peace and safety we have as believers in Him! He is our anchor, already in the harbor. "We... have a strong consolation [encouragement], who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast." Heb. 6:18, 19.
It is so important, whether your life is rough or easy, to have the knowledge of this safety when life is over.
Those whose sins have been forgiven can look forward to the rest and peace of heaven. Lawson is now an old man. He has weathered many a storm of life, yet he looks on with confidence to that home above, the Father's house. What calm—what peace—what rest await us there!
Oh, what pleasures there await us!
There the tempests cease to roar;
There it is that those who hate us
Can molest our peace no more;
Trouble ceases, trouble ceases
On that tranquil, happy shore.
Will you be there? How do you answer the hymn-writer's question, Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore When life's storms are past forevermore?
"The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." Isa. 57:20, 21.
Another hymn says: Had I wealth and love in fullest measure, And a name renowned both far and near, Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting, Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer, If I gained the world but lost the Savior Who endured the cross and died for me, Could then all the world afford a refuge Whither in my anguish I might flee?
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36.
Are you trying to gain more of this world for yourself or do you look forward with confidence to the peaceful shore of heaven—the Father's house? To be with Jesus—what joy it will be!
Which is it for you?

The Work Finished

"It is finished!" were the words of Christ on the cross. His blessed lips pronounced these words which have relieved many a burdened conscience and carried present and eternal rest to many hearts.
"It is finished!" They were His dying words; now, all is done and done forever. Divine righteousness has had its fullest vindication. Now God's love—the love of a holy, sin-hating God—flows out towards sinners, even the chief. It flows in a righteous channel. Our feet may now plant themselves upon a rock which the billows of divine wrath will never move. "Finished" is the word, not "finishing."
Oh, the calm of that soul that has come into pardon, peace and rest in that wondrously blessed utterance: "It is finished!"

The Gospel in a Teacup

It had been a long hike, and we were relaxing around the camp fire with cups of hot tea. One of us commented, "It took a lot of people to prepare this cup of tea! One got the fuel and made the fire, another boiled the water and brewed the tea, and I poured it out. All the rest of you have to do is to drink it."
"You must go farther back," said one of the party, as if afraid present company might get too much credit. "A man in India prepared the soil; others planted and tended the plant; others picked, dried and packed it; still others exported it; sailors brought it over the ocean; merchants bought it, and now-"
"And now, without doing anything, you are all drinking it!" the first speaker finished for him.
Another pointed out that this was a little like God's salvation-He did all the preparing, and lost sinners have only to receive and enjoy it.
He said it this way: "God promised salvation in the garden of Eden; it was prophesied throughout the Old Testament; it was perfected by Jesus Christ Himself, and now it is presented by the power of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is to 'take the cup of salvation,' and be refreshed and saved."
"If we do this," added one of the group, "we shall soon say, 'My cup runneth over.'" (Psa. 23:5.)
How hard it is to get thirsty souls to see that God prepares this cup! They must, they imagine, bring their own sugar or milk, or at least they must bring their own cups. No; God prepares a perfect salvation through Jesus. He treats us as Queen Esther long ago treated the king saying: "Come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared." Esther 5:4.
God makes His invitation a strong one: “Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come!" Matt. 22:4. The preparation is all on God's side. "Thou preparest a table before me." Psa. 23:5.
But this is the dinner table—let's get back to our teacup! It wouldn't say much for our cup of tea if all evening we were in doubt whether we had had a cup or not. Suppose someone said, "Have you had a cup of tea?"
Would the answer be, "I'm not quite sure; I half think I have, but I'm very uncertain." It would be pretty uncomplimentary to the maker of the tea, wouldn't it?
Nor is it to God's praise if, having drunk of His pardoning grace, we doubt whether we have ever tasted it. We must first drink what He has prepared, and then from grateful hearts give thanks to the Giver.
It is not even necessary to get one's heart into a right state to receive God's provision, for "the preparations of the heart in man... [are] from the Lord." Prov. 16:1. I take God's salvation in all its perfect preparedness, and He takes me in all my unpreparedness.
No preparation can I make,
My best resolve I only break,
Yet save me for Thine own name's sake,
And take me as I am!
"I will take the cup of salvation." Psa. 116:13.

In Paradise

A nameless man has blazed a historic trail. We have heard of a place—paradise. We have read of its peace and cloudless joy, of its river of pure, undefiled pleasure, of its inhabitants who never say, "I am sick." We know that in this place there is no death, no pain, no parting, no sorrow, no sin. There is no cemetery, no hospital, no prison, no sound or threat of war. If it is true that one man has already reached there, we would gladly take the same road.
But how do we know that he has reached it? We want facts, not theories.
Paradise is a fact, for the Savior of the world, the Son of the living God, has made the statement: "lb-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." Luke 23:43. As surely then as Jesus Christ went into paradise when His eyes closed in death upon the cross, so surely did the man to whom He spoke.
Who was this man then, this man so favored as to accompany the Son of God? He was a robber, a thief.
He had a lifetime of evil deeds behind him, and it was useless for him to promise reformation for he now had only a little while to live. He performed no penance, he passed through no purgatory, he received no dispensation. But he turned to the Savior of sinners, and on the basis of his simple faith in that One he went straight from a robber's cross to paradise.
If, then, he received such wonderful, unmerited favor from the hand of God, may not we too have hope of similar treatment when we remember that He is a God of love, not willing that any should perish? Indeed we may, and the paradise of God is open free to all who come in the same way the dying thief came.
How did he come?
This evil man had spent his waning strength and his gasping breath in cursing the silent Sufferer at his side. He expected a blistering retort, but as he railed on and on and no word of rebuke came from those kind lips, no fiery glance from His compassionate eyes, the cruel, venomous words trailed off into silence.
Then the conscience of the dying thief awoke. He remembered that when he and his companion had been thrown upon their respective crosses they had cursed their executioners, but that when the gentle King of the Jews had been rudely maltreated, roughly hurled upon His cross and nailed to it, He had only prayed, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34.
This could be no ordinary man! What if it were true? He had heard whispered in Jerusalem that Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God. He had done enough miracles to support that claim. None had ever heard Him say an unkind word or seen Him do anything wrong. He never had to recall a sentence or apologize for a misdeed. Could He be the Son of God? And now to think of those words of forgiveness for His enemies! Surely here was God, if ever deity had visited this sin-stained earth.
He thought, "I deserve my fate, but this Man has done nothing amiss." He may have added, "If He really is the Son of God, this cannot be the end. Some day God will vindicate this just Man, and give to Him HIS kingdom."
Against the crowds who had cried, "We will not have this Man to reign over us," the voice of the dying thief was heard. He said, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom."
What joy these words must have brought to the broken heart of the Savior of the world! He recognized the simple faith behind them. Here was no recital of good deeds or promise of betterment. Here was a helpless, hopeless sinner casting himself unreservedly upon the Savior of sinners. How else could He respond except in His own princely fashion? This poor thief should go with the Savior Himself into paradise!
So he died. As his eyes, glazing in death, closed upon a dim and dying world, they opened upon his Savior's face and his ears heard his Savior's voice. For him there is endless joy, though he deserved the blackness of darkness forever.
And we too may take the same place as the dying thief.
The dying thief offered nothing, promised nothing; he accepted as a gift Christ's promise of immediate entrance into paradise-and entered into paradise with his Savior.
We too must come to Christ as guilty sinners, acknowledging, "I know that in me... dwelleth no good thing." We cannot bargain with God-no excuses for past sins, no promises for the future. We cannot turn over a new leaf or lead a better life or pay the way to heaven with good deeds or prayers.
By His death on the cross, Christ has satisfied all God's righteous claims against the sinner. God has "laid on Him the iniquity of us all," and God can now righteously pardon the sinner who believes in His Son and His perfect work.

The Changed World

An old man who lived in the Adirondack mountains lay dying, and he asked an old friend, a neighbor, to go for a man he knew to be a Christian. He needed to know how W be save.
It was a few miles to the Christian's house, and he found that the man was away from home and would not be back that day. But his wife, who was also a Christian, asked, "Is there anything I can do?"
"Old Jack's dying, ma'am, and he wants to know how to be saved."
"Just tell him this: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.' If he comes to Christ as a sinner, He will never cast him out."
"Ma'am," he said, "will you say that again? I want to get it straight."
"'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,' and if he will come to Him just as he is, he will not be turned away."
The old man went away. As he was going towards home he said to himself, "I don't like that word 'sinners.' I don't think old Jack is such a bad man. He used to chop wood for the neighbors and go for the doctor when anyone was sick, and he's done a lot of good. When I get home I'm not going to tell it to him just like that."
When he got back he said, "Jack, the man wasn't home but I saw his wife and she gave me the directions. She told me that Christ Jesus came into the world to save people."
"Didn't she say 'sinners'?"
"Well, I guess that's what she did say, but I didn't want to call you a sinner. I stuck up for you!"
"Abe, don't talk to me like that. Since you have been gone I’ve been thinking back to when I was a boy and we used to sing: Just as I am, without one plea But that Thy blood was shed for me.
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee.
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
And I'm going to come just like that. Now, if that is the message, I can die happy."
Yes, old Jack had to come to Jesus just as he was. Christ Jesus, the eternal Son of God, was born in a manger, and went all the way to the cross of Calvary. There He died, the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God. If you will only come to Him as a sinner and receive Him as your Savior, you can say, "He died for me."
Come now, just as you are, and where you are. Do not wait. Soon it will be too late!

Just as You Are

It was just too tempting! Jean couldn't resist listening to the girls singing inside the little building. As their happy voices blended in a song of their Savior, she stood just outside the closed door eagerly listening. Her eyes filled with tears. Suddenly the door opened, and about a dozen girls streamed out.
"Oh, Jean!" they cried in surprise. "You here?"
Instantly the tears were brushed away and the girl flung herself off, mortified and thoroughly ashamed of herself at having been caught eavesdropping.
"Just a minute, Jean," said a soft voice at her elbow. "I am going your way, and so we can walk home together."
"It's no use talking to me, Mary," answered Jean with an impatient shrug of her shoulders, "It's only a waste of time. Just leave me alone!"
But it was useless to try to shake the other girl off, so with another impatient toss of her head, Jean allowed Mary to walk beside her until they were out of sight of the others.
"Why didn't you come in?" asked Mary. Then stopping in the street, she put her arms around her friend. "Oh, Jean, we have all been praying for you tonight and asking God to save you. Do let Him!"
"It's no use, Mary; I'm much too bad, so leave me alone. Goodnight-and don't bother to pray for me!"
By this time they had reached Jean's home and, without another word, she rushed inside. Mary went on her way with a heavy heart.
Within, Father, Mother and the boys were seated at the table.
"I don't want anything to eat," said Jean, "so don't keep anything for me, Mother."
"In one of your tantrums again, I suppose," said the oldest of the boys, looking up for a moment from his plate.
Jean ignored this remark and ran upstairs. Her heart was very heavy. No wonder, for she had begun to realize her own sinfulness, and beneath the seeming indifference and open defiance was a great longing to be what she knew those girls were. They were such happy Christians!
She wanted to be alone, and knew this would be impossible soon, for there would be cries for "Jeanie" to do a dozen different things.
Quickly she slipped back down the stairs and out into an old shed in the yard. Safely out of everyone's sight she flung herself on her knees and wept as though her heart would break.
"O Lord Jesus, please forgive me and make me Yours" she whispered again and again.
And don't you think the Lord heard that prayer? Of course He did! There in that tumble-down shed He spoke peace to her soul, and she knew she was saved.
An hour later Jean was again with her friend Mary, and both were rejoicing over the fact that God had heard the many prayers for this willful, wayward girl and had brought her that night safely into His family.
Cannot He do the same for you? You know He can, and even now as you read this He is speaking to your heart. The Lord Jesus is telling you that He died for you and that He is waiting to take you as you are. Do not disappoint Him.

A Lawyer Looks at the Resurrection

Most people admit the fact of Christ's resurrection, and legally the question is beyond doubt. Any court of law should be compelled to admit it.
If you read your Bible you will see that there are thirteen witnesses, unimpeached and unimpeachable, and whose names are known. They were well acquainted with Christ, having met Him many times before His death. They saw and talked with Him after the resurrection. Five hundred persons also saw Him at the same time.
In the eyes of the law, one witness—not an accomplice—is sufficient to prove the highest offense known to the law: murder.
Could they have been mistaken? No! There could have been no case of mistaken identity.
It is said that the five hundred witnesses were liable to err through bias. But where was the motive? Their cause was condemned, their leader killed, themselves outcasts. Would they swear falsely to His identification? It is incredible! The witnesses to the resurrection of Christ never contradicted or denied their testimony, but told the same story as long as they lived.
These witnesses led exemplary lives. As long as life lasted they lived in poverty and virtue, as their Master had taught. Most of them suffered martyrdom, after preaching the gospel all their lives long at great personal hazard and discomfort. Had they not been sincere they would not have persisted as they did to the end.
"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.
SALVATION
God
thought IT
Jesus Christ
bought IT
The Holy Spirit
wrought IT
The Bible
taught IT
Faith
brought IT
The Devil
fought IT
Have you
caught IT
If not—it's time you
sought IT
Tor whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13.

?You Stole My Sheep?

When Mt. Soufriere, on the island of St. Vincent, erupted in 1902, there were warnings given, but few people believed them. Some fled the district in time, but many went on in their accustomed place and routine—and their unbelief cost them their lives when the eruption finally came.
Years later a man started the rumor that Mt. Soufriere was going to erupt again. This time, people believed him and they ran to their houses and made preparation to flee.
One woman had a little house and a sheep. The houses stand on pillars, and she tied her sheep underneath the house to one of the posts before she fled.
One day went by, two days, three days, and nothing happened. At last someone climbed the mountain to see for himself. He looked down into the crater and saw that the volcano was dead. How strange and how solemn that people failed to believe the truth, and yet believed a lie! But how like many people who refuse to believe the Lord Jesus and accept Him as their Savior now in this day of grace. They prefer to believe Satan, who is "a liar, and the father of lies."
The woman who had fled made her way back to her house, and when she looked under her house the sheep was gone. Someone had stolen her sheep!
A few days later as she was walking down the village street she saw a man coming toward her with a sheep. She recognized her sheep. She went up to him and said, "You have my sheep!"
"No, it's my sheep!"
"You're wrong; it's mine," she insisted.
"Well, you can't have it, because it's mine!"
She took the case to the authorities, and the day came when the judge summoned them to appear before him in the courtroom in Georgetown. There the charge was read against this man, that he had stolen the woman's sheep.
He maintained, "I didn't steal the sheep. The sheep is mine!"
The judge turned to the man and said, "If the sheep is yours you must go outdoors and call your sheep."
He went outside and called the sheep, but it didn't respond to his voice. Why? Because the sheep didn't know his voice. Finally the judge had the man called back to the courtroom.
Then to the woman he said, "Now you must go out and call the sheep."
She went outdoors and called her sheep, and right away the sheep went "Ma-a-ah! Ma-a-ah!" and ran straight to her.
It went right to the woman, because that sheep belonged to her. It knew the voice of the woman, and the woman knew her sheep. The Lord Jesus knows if you are one of His sheep. He said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." John 10:27, 28.
Have you answered His call? If you haven't, say "yes" to Him now and receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior. "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.

Come Unto Me

"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28.
Do you feel the load of your sins and guilt? Has your heart been pricked with God's arrow of conviction? These words of the Lord Jesus Christ are a balm for the burdened heart. "Come unto Me" is a divine invitation. Jesus wants to relieve you of your burden of sin.
God loves you. God's only begotten Son was made sin so salvation could be offered you. Jesus loves you. He has proved His love by dying on the cross of Calvary. Come with all your sins to Jesus.
Coming to Jesus you will find the precious cleansing fountain of water and blood flowing from His spear-pierced side. His blood cleanses from all sin. His blood avails to cleanse your darkest stain.
Sin-laden, weary one, do you want rest from your futile toil? Would you receive release from your burden from the nail-pierced hands of a loving, pleading Savior? "I will give you rest." Oh, lay your burden at His cross! Come to Jesus with your heavy load without delay! He will bear that load of sin far away. "As far as the east is from the west, so far" will He remove your transgressions from you.

Old Hundred?s Heart Trouble

"Have "Have you any pills for heart trouble?" asked Ah Kung, or Old Hundred, as he was generally called.
The Bible reader in the Chinese street chapel looked up as the old man came in. "Does your heart pain you?" he asked.
"No," Old Hundred answered. "It doesn't pain." "Does it jump? Or beat irregularly?" he questioned. "No," sighed the old man, "not exactly."
The Christian was puzzled. He was not a doctor and had no pills of any kind. Still, he was eager to help the old man and to know more about this peculiar heart trouble. He asked, "How does it feel?"
"Like lead," groaned the old man. "It feels like lead in here," pointing to his heart. "I have no peace in here."
"Oh, we do have a remedy for that kind of heart trouble. But it is not medicine to eat with your mouth. It is something to read." He reached for a small, red, paper-covered copy of the gospel of John. "Take this little book with you," he said, "and read it every day. Then your heart will get better."
"I can read!" exclaimed the old man joyfully, and his quivering fingers clutched the little booklet. "I will follow your directions and read it every day."
That night Ah Kung sat by the flickering light of his oil lamp. His big spectacles were balanced across his nose as he began to read the book. The next day people on the street passing by his house saw the old man intently reading down one page and then another. Every day he was seen reading the little red-covered book.
A week passed. Ah Kung still had the ache in his heart. It was just as heavy as ever, in spite of his faithfully reading the written remedy every day "as directed."
"Maybe this medicine isn't right for my kind of heart trouble," he thought. Taking his cane, he plodded back to the chapel.
"I read the book," he said sadly as he handed it back. "It is not for me. My heart sickness is no better."
Drawing a chair close to him, the Christian said, "Old Hundred (an honorable term to the Chinese for an aged man), you are like a man who lived in Ethiopia years ago. He read the book, but did not understand. Now listen. I will explain to you how this remedy will help you and heal your heart sickness. Your heart trouble is a disease that is common to all mankind. If you get rid of your sins, your heart will be alright."
"How can I get rid of my sins? Have I not been trying to do this for many years? How many offerings have I made to long rows of countless idols in the temple!"
The Christian began telling the old man the story of Jesus, who came to take away the sin of the world. He first told him about the Creator. Pointing to the trees outside, he asked, "Have you seen the trees, the grass, the flowers growing all around us?"
Old Hundred nodded his head approvingly, and cupped his ears to hear more.
"The true God made these for us," the Christian went on. "He gives us many things to enjoy. In spite of the goodness of the great God, man rebelled against Him. Then one day God sent His very best gift to the world—His own Son, Jesus. He came as a little baby, and was born in a manger. He was poor for our sakes, so that poor people would know how much He loved us."
He continued telling him the story of Jesus: "Finally, Jesus was nailed to the cross and died so that our sins and the sins of the whole world could be forgiven."
"And did He die for me, too?" asked the old man. "Does it say so in the book?"
"Yes. Listen to this: 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever [that is, Ah Kung] believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'"
"Let me see!" cried the old man, putting on his spectacles. "Is my name there?"
The Christian explained the meaning of the word "whosoever." "It means you, me, or anybody else," he explained.
"I'm whosoever," cried Ah Kung, grasping the truth. "I believe it, and—" he placed his hand over his heart and exclaimed, "it feels better in here too. The written remedy does work!"

Cash in and Cash Out

A certain attorney did all his business on a "Cash only" basis. Whenever a client sought his advice or service he was told, "Cash only, and up front!" He accepted no checks, and no charge cards either. His bookkeeping was astonishingly simple: "Cash in and cash out."
The Internal Revenue Department became suspicious of his system, for he would simply stuff money into his pockets, giving no receipts, and operated on a no-record basis. His books had two columns: "cash in," and "cash out." He was investigated by the income tax people, but no action was taken against him and they never were able to compel him to adopt a different accounting system.
He was a very ungodly man who hated the name of Jesus. At the mention of that name, regardless of when or where, he would spit in disgust. Finally, his time came and he died. His lifeless body was found at his desk in his office with his head on his arms and his pockets stuffed with money. He was in ETERNITY. He had cashed out for the last time.
But that is not the end of his story, nor is it for anyone. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Heb. 9:27.
He had made provision for his funeral and burial, all to be dictated by tradition. Yet he had "cashed out" of all opportunity to enter heaven; the most traditional funeral could not usher him into heaven, nor could he buy his way in with all his money. "They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever.)" Psa. 49:6-9.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived (except for the One who gave him that wisdom, the man Christ Jesus) wrote: "There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.... As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return.... And what profit hath he that hath labored for the wind?" Eccl. 5:13-16.
Heaven is a gift of God by grace. You cannot buy it and you cannot merit it by any amount of works. Only by the sacrifice of God's own Son, Jesus Christ, who died for sinners, may heaven be yours. That attorney could not "cash in" to heaven when he had "cashed out" of this life. Only God knows, but it is most likely that he "cashed in" to hell when he "cashed out" of this world. Surely God saw that man spit at the mention of His Son's name!
It did not have to be; that man had heard of the way of salvation, and the mercy of God could have reached even to him if he had only been willing to receive it. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But 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 1:11, 12.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us." Titus 3:5.
Today if ye hear
His voice,
harden not your hearts.
Hebrews 3:15
The time
is at hand.
Revelation 1:3
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