The Repeated Question

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
In a stately old mansion, situated in one of the prettiest country villages there lived, not many years ago, a widowed lady and her only son. Her husband had been an officer of high rank in the army, distinguished alike for his bravery and his noble character; and their only son, Trevor, seemed to have inherited his father's disposition, causing his mother at times much anxiety as to his future career. She was a Christian, and had set her heart on her son becoming a clergyman; while he could think only of the glories of military service.
In reply to some spirited declaration of what he meant to do when an officer, she would sometimes say, gently,
"I want my boy to enlist in God's army, and be a true soldier of Jesus Christ." To which he would answer, with characteristic candor,
"I don't know the drill yet, mother."
An active Christian took a warm interest in the son of his old friend, and would often speak to him of God's love to him in Christ. But, though he warmly respected religion, he had not as yet realized his need of a Savior, and the words were quickly forgotten.
Time passed on, and, when he had finished school, he tried to persuade his mother to allow him to enter a military college, with a view to his being trained as an officer. Seeing that he was determined to enter the army, she at last gave a reluctant consent to what seemed to her the blighting of her long-cherished hopes. But God had heard the mother's prayers, and, seeing the end from the beginning, was about to answer them. Trevor had not been many days at the college, when, walking one morning in the grounds, he met an old man who had seen much active service, and who then held the position of drill-sergeant in the college. Looking very earnestly at young Trevor, he asked, quietly,
"Are you saved?"
Surprised, and somewhat indignant at the straight question, he answered, not too courteously,
"No; I'm not," and passed on, ruminating as to what the query meant. "Saved!" That presupposed a lost condition.
This made him feel rather uneasy, and he determined not to think of it at all, and to avoid the old man as much as possible. That, however, was not very easy; frequently he met him—sometimes two or three times a day, and then, perhaps not again for several days. But the greeting was invariably the quiet question,
"Are you saved?"
At last, his indignation was fully aroused, and he began to positively dislike the old man, who did not seem to mind the anger and abuse his interrogation called forth, and repeated it on every possible occasion, in spite of such answers as,
"Mind your own business"; "I'm not saved; and I hate the very sight of you," and so on.
But the Holy Spirit was working in young Trevor's heart, convicting him of sin, and showing him his need of salvation, until he became thoroughly miserable, and, at last, determined, to leave that college and remove to one at B—, where he thought he would see life, and forget all that was troubling him. Before he had quite decided on this course, he went to visit his sister, who had lately been married, and resided some little distance off. He spent a very pleasant day until towards evening, when they were sitting together in the garden, and she remarked,
"What do you think, Trevor? the clergyman here asked me the other day, was I saved." She was not prepared for the effect her words produced on her brother.
"Bosh!" he exclaimed angrily. "Is that rubbish to follow me everywhere?" rising, almost determined at once to depart. She saw the subject was not pleasant to him, and immediately changed it. Soon after, he had to take leave of them; but the subject haunted him in the train; and when he arrived at the college, he at once wrote to arrange for his transfer to B—. The day came on which he was to leave, and, going up to the old man, he said bitterly,
"Look here; it is all your fault that I am leaving here, and if I go to the bad at B—you will have to answer for it."
"My Master wants you on His side," was the quiet reply, "and I believe you soon will be."
"Not I, indeed," was the only answer Trevor vouchsafed, as he strode away more incensed than ever. In this mood he got into the train and tried to anticipate the fun he would have at B—, for he had made up his mind to drown his unwelcome conviction in every pleasure and amusement that came in his way.
It was a long journey, and his fellow-passengers changed and re-changed without his paying much attention to them, until at last he found himself alone with an elderly man, who seemed to be observing him attentively. He was particularly fine-looking, and his noble face and manly bearing attracted young Trevor, when he suddenly leaned over, and, looking him full in the face, said, in a tone of earnest inquiry,
"Young man, are you saved?"
Those hated words again. Was he never to escape from them? Surprise and vexation were clearly depicted in his face and tone as he curtly answered "No," and turned all his attention to the passing scenery. But his companion was not to be silenced thus, and, by a few questions, drew from him the circumstances of his journey, and his intentions to seek forgetfulness of it all in sin.
We need not record all their conversation; but the light shone into Trevor's heart, and he passed "from death unto life." He saw his need of a righteousness outside himself, and how the Lord Jesus Christ had met that need, had borne his sins, and had made an atonement for them. Taking his place as a sinner, and believing in the work of Christ for him, he left the train a forgiven and justified soul, henceforth to live, not unto himself, but "unto Him who died for him, and rose again."
"Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee."
It seemed a message to him. While waiting for guidance in the matter, he received a pressing invitation to visit some relatives who lived not far from his home, and, taking this as an answer to prayer, he accepted it. A goodly number of guests were present on the evening of his arrival, among them his mother; and, after dinner, she had the joy of hearing him tell them of God's dealings with him. God blessed this confession in a remarkable way: many were awakened, and ere the close of his visit, he had been the means of leading several to Jesus. He gave up his military ambitions, and is today an earnest and devoted servant of God, having been instrumental in the conversion of hundreds of souls.
Here let me ask you the old soldier's question,
"Are you saved?"
Have you seen yourself in the light of God's Word—a sinful, helpless creature; and, realizing the depth of your need, have you taken the Lord Jesus as your Savior? In Christ there is pardon, acceptance, and peace for you. Outside Christ there is no mercy, no salvation, no hope. O, do not delay; your time may be shorter than you think. Just now, take the sinner's place, and claim the sinner's Savior
"BEHOLD, now is the accepted time;
BEHOLD, now is the day of salvation."