"Two Strings to Your Bow?

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
He was an old man of 97 years. He looked the picture of health, was sound in mind and did not even wear glasses. Unknown to him I had been asked to pay him a call.
I was a complete stranger to him. Offering me a chair, he asked why I had come. When I told him it was to read the Word of God and speak to him about his soul and eternity, he told me I might as well save my breath.
He did not believe in anything of the sort, he told me, and was not troubled in the least about the future.
"I am ninety-seven," he said, "and no thanks to anybody but myself. I have lived a most careful and abstemious life, and I mean to live three years more. When I am a hundred years old I shall have had enough of life. Then I shall quietly lie down and die."
"It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment," I rejoined.
"All nonsense," he said. "When a man is dead, he is done with; there is no hereafter for him at all."
Then for nearly an hour he quoted to me the most blasphemous passages from his favorite infidel authors.
The blood seemed to curdle in my veins as I listened to his infidel tirade. Here is a man on the brink of eternity, I thought. Surely God has sent me with a message to him, and I must wait for the opportunity to deliver it.
As the old man paused for breath, I told him that I had listened to him for nearly an hour. Now he must listen to me for ten minutes.
"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Psa. 9:1717The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17).
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:1616He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
I then fell on my knees and asked God to bless His Word to the old man, to open his eyes to his danger, to deliver his soul from the power of Satan, and let me meet him in heaven, washed in the blood of the Lamb—a brand plucked from the burning.
As I stood up our eyes met, all full of tears. He grasped my hand and said: "If there is a heaven, I hope I shall meet you there. If you are wrong and I am right, you are still as right as I am. But oh, if you are right and I am wrong, I am wrong indeed. You have two strings to your bow; I have only one to mine."
I was unable to call again for two weeks. When I knocked at his door and asked how he was, his Christian wife bade me follow her.
As we entered the old man's bedroom, the mortal remains of her husband met my eyes. Death had suddenly closed his long career on earth. That day, God had suddenly cut down the impious old boaster who had planned to live three years more.
I learned from his wife that she had a slim hope of her husband's salvation. After my visit, he had found no comfort in his infidelity. Although his friends, and even his doctor, all of whom were skeptics, urged him to "stick to his guns and die like a man," his infidel philosophy became to him but the blackness of darkness forever.
In his final moments, as firmly as his fastebbing strength would permit, he had clasped his wife's hand, and looking steadfastly at her proclaimed: "I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and in heaven and hell. These were his last words.
Dark, cold infidelity has nothing to comfort its deluded followers in the hour of death.
Christianity has everything to cheer its happy followers in sickness and health, in poverty and plenty, in life and death, in time and eternity.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.... surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psa. 23:4, 64Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm 23:6)
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