The Unopened Letter

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 11
AN extraordinary instance of how small a matter sometimes makes the difference between life and death is related in an Austrian paper in an article on the death of the late King Alexander, of Servia.
On the afternoon of the tragedy, a servant brought a letter to the Minister of War from one of his friends, containing details of the plot to assassinate the King, and the names of those concerned in it. He was about to open the letter when something demanded his attention, and he put the letter in his pocket, and forgot all about it. The Minister, who was one of those remaining faithful to the King, was killed at the same time as his master, and the letter was found in his pocket by the conspirators, still unopened.
If the Minister's attention had not been diverted to some comparatively trivial matter just at the crucial moment, the letter would have been opened, the plot discovered, and in all probability King Alexander would have been still upon the throne of Servia. His death, and that of his Queen and many of their servants, may be said to have been the direct result of the letter of warning being unopened and forgotten.
Will you believe me if I assure you that this terrible tragedy may possibly be repeated, with details far more awful, and that you may be one of the victims, and that it will probably be the result of an unopened and forgotten message?
Of course I refer to the fate that irrevocably awaits the unrepentant and unbelieving sinner. Sin is of far greater seriousness in the sight of God than it can possibly be in ours. It is utterly intolerable to Him, and no sinner with his guilt un-purged and un-forgiven can be suffered to abide in His presence. Righteousness demands that sin should be visited with His just displeasure, and the sinner punished with the doom that he deserves.
But God, though so absolute in holiness and inflexible in righteousness, is rich in mercy. His heart is full of tenderest compassion, and He has provided a means of safety. His own Son has stepped into the sinner's place and poured out His blood to make atonement. As a result, free pardon and salvation are offered to all. No works are demanded, simple faith in Christ being sufficient to secure this priceless boon.
Now the Scriptures contain the tidings of this gracious provision. They also bring faithful warnings as to the consequences of remaining without active faith in Christ. How do you treat these gracious messages, these faithful warnings? Is the Bible an unopened book to you? Are its words of mercy forgotten by you?
Let the incident of the unopened letter serve to remind you of the folly of maintaining an attitude of neglect and forgetfulness with regard to God's message of salvation. Open the letter, read your Bible, receive the glad tidings, thank God for His warnings, put your confidence in the Savior, stake your soul upon the merits of His precious blood, and your future, otherwise dark with the terrors of coming judgment, will be bright with a sure hope of eternal glory.
H. P. B.