The Three Warnings

A young man whose course of life for several years had been so desperately wicked as to attract more than a passing notice, had been brought on three separate occasions to what was thought to have been his deathbed. Three times he had solemnly declared that he was repentant, and vowed that if God would be pleased to restore his health, the remainder of his life would be consecrated to his Creator and Redeemer. Three times, God who is patient, and merciful, heard his supplications and responded to them, but alas! his fears were no sooner dispelled, and the danger passed, than he returned to his sins as "the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." (2 Peter 2:2222But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:22)), and like the unclean spirit in the parable (Luke 11:2626Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (Luke 11:26)):
"The last state of that man is worse than the first.”
Again he was brought to his bed by a prolonged and dangerous illness; the most terrible agony possessed his spirit; prayers, readings, conversations did not appear to produce either hope or consolation.
One day when he was in an agony of despair, he asked one who was seated near his bed to get the members of the family to retire to their rooms and pray for him. This they at once did and he was left alone. While they were all engaged in prayer, (and as it was afterward known, at the same moment) these terrible words came before the mind of each,
"Because I have called—and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand—and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all My counsel, and would none of My reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." Prov. 1:24-2624Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (Proverbs 1:24‑26).
Instantly, and as they said irresistibly, they returned to the room of the patient, and as they opened the door, the same awful words, "I will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;" escaped with a great cry from the lips of the dying man. In an instant all was still; the silence of death succeeded to the cry of agony, and his spirit took its flight to its eternal destiny (Heb. 10:29-3129Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:29‑31)).
Readers, these warnings are for you! Do not follow such an example of unbelief. Now is the day of grace for you! Do not trifle with your convictions lest you drive away from you the Holy Spirit of God; have pity upon your own souls.
"He, that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Prov. 29:11He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. (Proverbs 29:1).