The Skeptic Saved

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 6
For five years Harold and I had been working together in one place of business. He was a young man of great talent and promise, but without God and without hope.
I had often seen that his companions were professed skeptics; together they mocked my profession of believing in Christ. Occasionally I observed on his desk infidel books, and anything I said to him was only listened to because as his senior he was bound to show me a measure of respect. The bitterness of his spirit, his opposition to truth, or to my naming the Lord was very manifest.
A few years of city life with its confinement, and seductions to a young man of energy and ability, were sufficient to germinate the seeds of consumption, and poor Harold was at length compelled to return to his old home.
One Lord's Day when I went out to see him, I found him sitting by the fire in a large and comfortable dining room. I had many inquiries to make about the state of his health and other things, to all of which I received pleasant answers. At length I spoke of sin, and God's remedy for it. For a moment or two he allowed me to proceed until I quoted Scripture, then he turned and said,
“With regard to those things you had better keep your own opinion to yourself, as I have mine, and as for the Bible it is only a collection of old manuscripts.”
I begged him not to allow Satan to deceive him with such a lie, but he retorted,
“There is no Satan, it is a mere get-up.”
I said but little more to him, as he met everything in the same way. At length I rose to go, my Bible in my hand, but I could not open it. I thought of praying but I could not pray. My heart was sick. I felt that I had failed, that every weapon was powerless. I held out my hand to say farewell, and almost choked as I said-
“Harold, you will not hear me now, but if ever the day should come when you feel your need of Christ, I shall come most gladly to see you, and tell you how you may be saved. Believe it or not, as you like, there is no rest for you, until you put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and although you will not hear me, I shall never cease to pray for you.”
Thus I left him, and weeks passed by. I heard occasionally that although his strength was failing, and his friends were dropping off, he was still as hard as ever. At length I received a message that he wished to see me.
This time I found him lying on a couch. I sat down, but he took little or no notice of me, his eyes seemed to be fixed on the wall. Presently I spoke of the sufferings he was passing through; but he said nothing. Then I asked,
“Have you found out yet that there is no peace for you until you accept the Lord Jesus as your Savior? Do you wish to accept Him now?”
His lips quivered, and I saw an evident struggle to keep down emotion; but he was as weak as a child, and his feelings mastered him. Taking his hand in mine, I asked,
“Have you ever tried to come to Jesus?”
“I have tried, hard, hard," he replied, and then he burst into tears and sobbed like a child.
I laid before him the truths of the gospel, how God had loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to bear our sins and their punishment. How God had laid our iniquities on Him, and how He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, and died the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God, and that him that cometh to Him He will in no wise cast out, but says,
“Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:2828Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).
“If the Savior were here now, visibly, and offered you pardon, would you not gladly accept it from Him?”
“I wish He would take me, but my heart is so hard, so wicked," he replied.
“Do you not remember that the prodigal in the 15th chapter of Luke said, 'Father, I have sinned,' yet the father kissed him? God has only that one way of receiving sinners, and upon all who believe, God puts the best robe. He has done all for you, removed everything out of the way, that you may come straight to His arms and heart.”
The next time I called, a smile of welcome on the pale, but now calm and peaceful countenance told me that the struggle was over, and that the Lord had found His own.
He was graciously spared for six months after this, to give evidence of a true work of God. We had often spoken of the Lord's coming for us, and so I said,
“Jesus may come very soon, and then we shall go together.”
“It is all one; for if He does not, I shall at any rate be with Him, and we shall meet there soon. It will only be as a moment until we meet again-the time will not seem long when I am with the Lord" he replied and smiled.
“Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry." Heb. 10:3737For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. (Hebrews 10:37).