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Danger Of Delay!
We are told repeatedly in God's Word that God is "plenteous in mercy" and
that He is "the God of all grace" and "the Father of mercies."
Many of us know that by personal experience.
"For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of man's mind;
And the heart of the Eternal is
Most wonderfully kind."
It is also taught in His Word, that it is possible for the pleadings of the Lord to cease
and for the unbelieving person to be finally left alone to die in his sin.
In Genesis 6:3, we read these words:
- We must remember that God is not only the God of love but that He is also righteous and holy.
- We must remember that there is a stern warning in God's Word as well as a tender wooing.
"My spirit shall not always strive with men... yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
Noah had earnestly preached to the people of his day.
He had sternly warned and tenderly wooed for more than 100 years.
But the people of his day had so defiled themselves and so frustrated the tender pleadings
of the preacher and of God's Spirit that God sent judgment through the flood.
It was grace or judgment.
It still is!
In Hosea 4:17 we read a startling statement concerning Ephraim,
"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone."
Could it be that the Lord has reason to say that concerning some who are here in this service?
They will regret their decision forever and forever!
- "Don't pray for them -- for her -- for him."
- "They are tied to their idols -- leave them alone!"
- "That woman is tied up with her filth -- leave her alone!"
- "That man is tied to his evil habits -- leave him alone!"
- "Let them have what they desire!"
Don't permit yourself to come to the place where God leaves you alone.
John 7: 34: "They shall seek me diligently but shall not find me."
Proverbs 1: 28-31 is another statement which is just as startling:
"Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer, for that they hated knowledge, and did not
choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
There shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices."
It is almost unnecessary to comment on this passage.
In the first chapter of Romans you will read startling statements like this:
- They hated God's truth.
- They set at naught God's Word.
- They despised the Lord.
- They repudiated His ways.
- They sowed their seed.
- They reaped their own harvest.
"God gave them up," or "God gave them over."
In John 12:39 we read: "Therefore, they could not believe."
Why could they not believe?
We find the answer in the context.
Verse 37 says, "But though he had done so many mighty signs among them
they would not believe."
First, they would not!
Later, they could not!
They would not and at last, could not, believe.
Watch out for spiritual stubbornness!
Close your eyes to spiritual facts and the moment will come when truth will be beyond recognition.
Keep on saying no to the Saviour and time will come when hope will fade forever,
and all ability to ever say yes will be gone.
Keep saying no to the Holy Spirit.
Close your eyes to the gospel truth.
Shut your ears to the preaching of God's Word -- and the time will come
when all your capacity to follow Christ will have fled.
Habit hardens and age fossilizes.
"Sow a thought and reap an act.
Sow an act and reap a habit.
Sow a habit and reap a character.
Sow a character and reap a destiny."
It is best to seek the Lord early in life.
The vast majority of all the decisions for Christ are made in the early part of life.
If you are in the middle of life -- the expectation of salvation is growing more and more remote.
The mathematical chance of an elderly person being converted to Christ is exceedingly slim.
- Your chances are ever receding.
Your hopes of heaven are diminishing.
Your prospects of salvation are growing grim.
Delay is dangerous!
It is perilous to procrastinate!
Old age is blessed if Jesus lives in the heart, but it is sad if there is no Saviour there.
"The aged sinner will not turn
His heart so hard he cannot mourn;
Much harder than a flinty rock,
He will not turn though Jesus knock.
"Tis awful, awful, awful."
I read of a man in Scotland who gathered eagles' eggs.
He did this for a living.
One day he was hanging over the side of a cliff seeking trophies.
As he glanced up he noticed that at the top the jagged edge of the rock
was slowly severing the rope that held him.
As he saw what was happening he knew that he had just a few moments to spare,
and that he must make the best of them.
He began to climb, hand over hand, until he was above the place in the rope
that was being severed.
He had fought back on top.
He had to hurry while he could and he was safe, but his nerves were shattered.
God's gospel and the Holy Spirit are the lifeline let down from above.
Every time you say a stubborn "No!" to the pleading of God's Spirit
-- every time you harden your heart when you hear God's Word proclaimed
-- you cut another strand of the precious rope of redemptive hope.
The hour is fast approaching when you will have your final refusal
and will fall into the bottomless pit of hell for all eternity.
Everyone is warned, "Quench not the Spirit." (1 Thess. 5: 19)
It very well could be that they are sinners left alone.
- Haven't you ever wondered how some men and women can go on living like beasts -- like animals?
- Haven't you ever wondered why the truth of Christ makes little or no impression on many?
They have driven Christ from the door to their heart.
There are those who think it is smart and manly to repress their feelings, to stiffen their neck,
and to harden their heart against God's pleadings.
They drive away the repentant tear.
If they continue to resist God, the time will come when they may want to offer a fortune
for a tear and they will offer it in vain.
Some people are prone to procrastinate and think they can come to Christ whenever they desire.
This is the Devil's delusion!
This is a Satanic snare!
No one can make a convenience of Christ.
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him;
and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6: 44)
I would ask all those who are not Christians--
Can you feel the tug of God's truth?
Do you sense that the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart?
If you do -- come to Jesus -- come now -- without delay!
"There is a time, we know not when;
A place we know not where;
That seals the destiny of men,
For glory or despair."
"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck,
shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." (Proverbs 29: 1)
There is another warning in Isaiah:
"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:6)
"Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart." (Psalm 95:7, 8)
The great poet, Lord Alfred Tennyson, taking Luke 13:24, 25 as his inspiration,
has expressed the vivid truth of the doom of delay.
"Late, late, so late! And dark tonight and chill!
Late, late, so late! But we can enter still.
Too late, too late! Ye cannot enter now.
No light, so late! And dark and chill the night!
O let us in, that we may find the light!
Too late, too late! Ye cannot enter now."
Have you not heard the Bridegroom is so sweet?
0 lead us in, though late, to kiss His feet!
Too late, too late! Ye cannot enter now."
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:22)
"Life is brief and death is here;
Our day is like the falling of a leaf.
The dropping of a tear.
There is no time to while away the hours,
All should be earnest in a world like ours."
Richard Weaver tells of an experience he had while conducting a revival meeting
in the southern part of England.
A young schoolteacher attended the services.
She was greatly concerned about her spiritual needs.
She lifted her hand for prayer.
She stayed after the service and Christian workers talked with her and prayed with her.
Although tears flowed down her cheeks, she refused to give her heart to Jesus Christ.
Because she was so upset, Richard Weaver felt led by God to go to her home that night,
and to talk further with her about her need to trust Christ.
When he arrived at her home, her mother said that she was so relieved that he had come
because she had prayed that someone would come and help her daughter.
Richard Weaver pleaded with the girl.
Her parents pleaded with her.
For over two hours they pleaded with her -- no change.
But then, the girl stood up and stated,
"See here! I am determined to be left alone."
Richard Weaver and her parents were amazed.
Now, there were no tears.
She stood calm and unmoved and determined to be left alone.
He continues the story by saying,
"I took my hat and coat and left -- I felt I was in the presence of a soul's tragedy."
The girl's mother told Richard Weaver the rest of the story.
The next morning the girl came down to breakfast and there were dark lines under her eyes.
The mother said, "Mary, why didn't you settle it? You did not sleep last night.
I heard you walking in your room."
The girl answered, "Mother, how can a doomed soul sleep?"
The mother replied, "Mary, there is life. While there is life, there is hope.
Please don't talk like that, you are breaking my heart."
Mary answered, "Mother, I have settled it.
My destiny was settled this morning when you and Mr. Weaver were on your knees.
I settled it then, and I am lost."
They were sitting down to breakfast and she was taking a piece of bread.
Her mother saw her hand tremble.
Before the mother could get around the table to put her arms around her,
the girl slumped lifeless to the floor -- dead!
"He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed,
and that without remedy." (Proverbs 29: 1)
Is Christ speaking to you?
Then hear Him and give yourself to Him!
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek;
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him."
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:12,13)
You may not have the opportunity tomorrow!
"There is a time, I know not when,
A place, I know not where,
Which marks the destiny of men
To heaven or despair.
How long may man go on in sin,
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end and where begin
The confines of despair?
One answer from those skies are sent,
Ye who from God depart,
While it is called today, repent,
And harden not your heart."
To all who are not yet Christians -- respond now to Christ!
Delay is dangerous!
Delay is deadly!
If you are aware that the Saviour is knocking at your heart's door
-- open your heart -- let Him in!
He knocks now!
He may not knock again!
He died at Calvary to save you from your sins.
He rose from the dead that you might live forever!
Receive Him now!
"Admit Him, for the human breast,
Ne'er entertained so kind a Guest;
Admit Him, e'er His anger burn,
'Ere He depart, and ne'er return."
Do not delay!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org