Listening for a Sound

When I was a boy at school, unsaved and unconcerned about my salvation, I was brought to think of eternity and my lost condition, through overhearing a conversation between my mother and a Christian woman who was at our house spending an evening. They were speaking together about the second coming of Christ—a truth that they had just recently learned from the Scriptures—and the change that would be wrought among the living and the dead in that moment of His descent to the air, for His people. I was sitting in the room reading a book at the time, but the conversation became so interesting that I forgot all about my story and sat listening to what they were saying.
"There is a dark side to it," said the Christian lady to my mother. "What about those of our households who will be yet unsaved when Jesus comes? They will be left behind for the judgment. The doom of those who have lived rejecting Christ will be sealed then. I often think if we should be caught away during the still hours of night, what an awakening it will be to the unconverted ones under our roof, to find us all gone, and them left behind."
I could sit no longer. I crept out and got off to bed as quickly as possible, but that word haunted me. What if during the night the Lord should come? I knew that my dear father and mother would be gone—they were both saved; so was my sister and the servant; I alone in the house was unconverted.
I spent several nights of sore trouble, thinking of the possibility of being left.
Several mornings when I awoke and all was quiet, I thought they had gone. One morning particularly I felt so uneasy I arose, dressed, and stood on the stair listening for a sound from the kitchen. How thankful I was to hear Mary, the servant, lighting the fire. I knew then the Lord had not come, and that I had another chance given me.
This went on for several days, until I could endure it no longer. I told a Christian young man, who worked in my father's office, of my state, and he told me it was God speaking to my soul, urging upon me the need of deciding for Christ, and that I ought not stifle my convictions, but close with Christ, accepting Him as my Savior.
"If you have Christ, you will rejoice then that He is coming, but mind there is no time to trifle," he said.
This seemed to sound as God's final warning to me. I saw clearly that I had to make a choice between Christ and the world: I could halt no longer. So going out into the dark night, I took off my cap, looked up into the starry heavens, and said,
"Lord Jesus, I accept Thee as my Savior;
I believe that Thou hast died for me; I want to be Thine." Just then I remembered that it was written in God's Book,
"I believed God's testimony, thanked Him for giving it to me, and hastened to my room. I was saved, everlastingly saved, all in so short a time, that I could scare realize it was true. But my heart was filled with peace, and I had the witness within me, as well as the Word of God before my eyes, that I was in reality saved. I could not keep it longer; I ran downstairs and told my parents and sister, and there was great joy that night."
Most blessed as is the truth to the believer in Christ, that the coming of the Lord Jesus —His personal return to call His ransomed people home to share His glory—is near, and that it will be sudden, whether at noonday or midnight.
"The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:16, 1716For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16‑17).
It has its dark side for the rejecter of the Gospel of God—the despiser of Christ. To all such, it will ring the knell of doom. There will be no more pleading from loved ones in Christ; no more tearful entreaties to come to Jesus. Full well the unconverted sinner knows all this, and dreads the coming of that long expected day.
Reader, these are the true sayings of the Book of God. They are not sentimental fancies; they are not cunningly devised fables. Jesus—the Son of God—will come again, and at His coming He will gather home His own, and the Christ-rejecter will be left for judgment, I only add the question —Have you ever thought what the coming of the Son of God will do for you? Will you be among those caught away to "eternal glory," or will you be left to the "eternal judgment?" Pause and think!
"These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matt. 25:4646And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46).
Left, though God pleaded often,
Asked thee again, again;
Called, but thou wouldst not hearken
Why was it all in vain?
Left, not because He wished it,
Left, at thine own self-will;
Left, and thy heart grew harder,
Thou wert rebellious still.

Left for the coming judgment,
Left for the sinner's doom;
Left, while thy life-day darkens
Into a solemn gloom.
Left, but instead of heaven
What will thy portion be?
"Weeping and wailing" only
All through eternity.