Two Pictures

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Unsaved friend, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked." You know you must spend eternity in heaven or in hell. Yours will be either an eternity of untold joy and bliss, or an eternity of bitter misery. In all earnestness I ask you to ponder two pictures from the pages of Scripture.
Judas—"Went immediately out; and it was night." John 13:30. He went "to his own place." Acts 1:25. Stephen —"Looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus." Acts 7:55. He was "willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." 2 Cor. 5:8.
We see in Judas a man who had been in closest company with the Lord for three years. He had seen all His wondrous works, and heard His gracious words. Yet he turned his back upon Him who was the "Light of the world"—he went out from His presence, out into the night. Controlled by Satan, led captive by him at his will, Judas went to his doom, to his own place.
Do you resent being likened to Judas? Believe it or not, you are, if unsaved. You are led captive by Satan at his will. Like Judas, assuredly you are bound for your own place. Unfit for heaven, where then can you spend eternity? Unfit for God's presence, you will be banished forever into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Look on the other picture. Alone, in the midst of an angry crowd thirsting for his blood, gnashing on him with their teeth, Stephen stands undismayed.
Full of the Holy Ghost, he looks up. Heaven opens, and in the center of all the glory he sees a Man, the Man Christ Jesus, standing on the right hand of God. Lost to all else but that wondrous vision, he heeds not the cruel stones which his murderers hurl upon him.
He fears not "them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do." Luke 12:4.
What can they do? They can set his happy spirit free to wing its way to its own place—where Jesus is (John 14:3). Stephen goes in—into the light, into the glory—to be with Jesus. Happy release!
Tell me, friend, were God, in whose hand your breath is, but to withdraw for one moment His sustaining power and stop the beating of your heart, how would it be with you?
Hear Jesus speak: "Come unto Me."
"Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."
Dear reader, how is it with you? Are you still deluding yourself with the thought that Christ will not return in your day, and that death and judgment are far away? Listen, we beseech you, to the word of warning. As the stormy petrel flying strongly and swiftly towards land is the warning sign of coming danger to the Iceland fisherman, so hear the word that comes down to your Soul from the glory of God, from One who is at hand, and who is coming quickly, and with power to judge the quick and the dead: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isa. 55:7.
"Whosoever heareth!" shout, shout the sound!
Send the blessed tidings all the world around;
Spread the joyful news wherever man is found,
"Whosoever will may come."
Whosoever cometh must not delay
Now the door is open, enter while you may;
Jesus is the true, the only living Way:
"Whosoever will may come."