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The Hour Is Come!
John 17: 1
This was the crises hour in the life of Christ, and the pivotal point in the redemptive purpose of God.
Jesus Christ is about to die the death of the cross.
In the cross all streams of prophecy will meet, and from it will radiate all the glowing lines of history.
It was not only the hour of decision for the Son of God;
it was the hour of destiny for the redeemed among men.
The inhabitants of heaven, the glorious holy angels and archangels would crowd heaven's battlements
to watch with breathless interest this hour of decision and redemption.
Millions of human beings through all eternity will praise God for what Christ did for them
in this His crucial hour.
I'm going to lift this text out of its setting, and apply it to every unsaved soul before me.
This is your hour of decision!
There are those here in this service who must decide for Christ this very hour.
Think of all the millions and millions of years that lie ahead of you.
Among all the millions who are and have been saved, there was never one
- If you receive Jesus Christ in this service, you will have done something
that you will never, never regret.
- If you do not receive Jesus Christ, you will regret it for ever and forever.
who has ever regretted his or her decision.
The only regret that I have ever heard is that such a decision was not made sooner.
I am saying to every unsaved man or woman, boy or girl, that the hour is come for you to face
the greatest question you will ever face.
It has to do with the salvation of your soul -- your relation to God through Jesus Christ.
The time has come for all who are here without Jesus to end all intellectual dishonesty,
all moral cowardice, and without evasion or further delay, face honestly the fact
of where you are going to spend your everlasting future.
I would ask you to look at several plain, practical compelling reasons why you should
in this hour accept Christ, and join those of us who have received Christ as Saviour
on the highway to eternal glory.
The hour is come for you to consider the value of your soul.
Your soul is you, yourself.
Man is not a body that has a soul in it.
Man is a soul who lives in a body.
Your soul -- the real you, shall live forever.
Your soul is your greatest possession.
That is why Jesus said,
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
(Mark 8: 38)
Jesus Christ died to save you from the power and penalty of sin.
God valued your soul so highly that He gave His only Son to die that you might be saved.
What have you done about the salvation of your soul for which Christ died and that will live forever?
Suppose, that on your way home from this service you should see a house on fire.
You would run over and look through a bedroom window, and see a baby asleep in a cradle.
The flames are licking along the wall toward the cradle, and in a minute,
that infant will be engulfed in flames.
Suppose, you saw the mother of that baby down on her hands and knees on the floor
carefully picking up pennies.
She is slowly and carefully picking them up one at a time.
What would you think if you saw that?
You might think that in the excitement of the fire, that mother's mind had suddenly become deranged.
No sane mother would gather pennies while her baby's life was in danger.
I would say to all who are unsaved, you are like that mother.
You are picking up pennies while your soul is dying.
You are concerned and anxious over the trifles of the earth while your eternal soul is in danger
of burning forever in the fires of hell.
Surely, the hour is come for you to stop this insane gathering of pennies,
and consider the value and destiny of your eternal soul.
The time is come for you to see that: ingratitude to God is a grievous sin.
God is the giver and sustainer of life, as well as the redeemer of your soul.
You and I belong to Him by a threefold right of creation, preservation, and redemption.
God created you.
He daily preserves you.
And through the death of Christ on the cross,
He will pardon your sin.
In Romans 1, Paul lays this indictment against the pagan world of his day:
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God,
neither were thankful."
Does that describe you?
You know there is a God.
Do you glorify God?
Do you love, honor and obey God?
Have you confessed (and do you confess) before men that you believe in God
and are thankful to Him for what you are and have in Him?
God could have ordained that you be born, not in this land of liberty and plenty,
but in the jungles or in a depressed land or as a despised untouchable; but He did not.
Are you thankful for that?
Over 1900 years ago in a human body,
Jesus died on a dreadful cross for your sins, taking your punishment that you might go free.
Have you thanked God for that?
Imagine a person knowing that Christ died for him or her, yet has never thanked God for it.
"Blow, blow thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude."
Imagine the mighty God dying for puny, sinful men, yet there is no gratitude for God.
What a horrible sin!
In less than 100 years from now every person in this service will be gone from this earth.
- The hour is come for you to end such grievous ingratitude.
- The hour has come to turn to God: lest you miss the joy of living forever in God's heaven.
Some might be gone from this earth tomorrow or next week or next year,
but I can say, without doubt, that everyone here will be in eternity 100 years from now.
All who are saved will go to the wonderful place God has prepared for us in the eternal city called heaven.
What a glorious place it will be with all the saved people who ever lived assembled there.
What a magnificent new world it will be with all sorrow and sickness, all misery and need,
all wars and bloodshed done away with.
There are some beautiful places in this world, but in heaven, everything will be beautiful
-- more than anything we can imagine -- beautiful beyond our fondest dreams.
It passes all human language to describe it, and human understanding to comprehend its glories.
The joys of the eternal life in heaven will be far, far beyond the joys we know in this poor, limited world.
Dr. R. A. Torrey said:
"Do you ask me what eternal life means?
I cannot tell you.
I continue what its beginnings are, for thank God, I have them in my own heart.
But what eternal life means in all its fullness, no human language can describe,
and no human imagination can conceive.
I will tell you what to do.
Take that moment of your life whose joy was purest, deepest, highest, holiest, divinest,
multiply it by infinity, and carry it out to all eternity,
and you will have some faint conception of what eternal life means."
I would ask every unsaved person in this place if you are willing to live and die
and never see and know God's glorious heaven?
I don't intend to miss the greatest sight our eyes should ever look upon.
You must decide for Christ now because you will certainly stand before God in judgment.
God's Word declares:
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."
(Hebrews 9: 27)
We all will die!
But that isn't all!
"... but after this the judgment."
That is an appointment every single individual will have to keep.
That is a meeting every unbeliever will have to attend.
I have thrilling news, however, for those not now ready to meet God.
In Revelation 20 we read,
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened...
and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books."
That means as surely as people have lived and died, so surely will face God
before that judgment throne unless they receive God's salvation.
Thank God, there is one way to escape that judgment.
"He that believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life." (John 5: 24)
Think of that -- shall not come into judgment.
Don't you wish God could say that of you?
You must know that the hour is come for you to be saved and escape the judgment of God.
I urge you to receive Christ because hell awaits every unbeliever.
I would think that just knowing the love of God should draw each unbeliever to Him.
But if not, you must hear of God's wrath.
People might scoff at hell.
They might use it as a swear word.
They might even laugh at Christians who believe that there is a hell.
But they won't be in hell one moment before they will really believe it.
Do you know that Captain Smith on the maiden voyage
of the supposed, unsinkable Titanic, while walking the deck one evening, was handed
a radio report warning of icebergs in the path of the ship?
He was not moved with fear to slow the speed of the ship, but calmly put the report in his pocket,
and resumed his walk while the great ship continued at full speed crashed into an iceberg;
and 1490 people, the captain among them died in the icy waters.
They died because he refused to be alarmed.
Did you know that on that tragic morning of Pearl Harbor,
Sergeant Joseph Lockhart, sitting at a radar screen, detected the approach
of a large group of enemy planes, and alerted his superior officer?
That officer refused to be moved with fear or to be alarmed, and told Sergeant Lockhart to forget it.
He insisted that they could only be American plans.
That morning nearly 3000 American soldiers were slaughtered like sheep
because that officer would not be moved with fear and believe the warning that had come.
What can I say, concerning hell, so that you will see it's awful reality?
People will live forever after they leave this earth.
There are only two places where they can do -- heaven or hell.
The saved will go to heaven.
The unsaved will go to hell.
What a fearful place hell must be!
To spend eternity in the place where Christ said,
"Their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
I believe that someone here is ready to say,
"The hour is come for me to be saved, lest I spend eternity in hell."
You must come for there is danger in delay!
This may not be the first time you have been near to the kingdom of God.
It may be the last!
With all my heart I urge you to let nothing keep you back from receiving Christ -- now!
The hour of decision is come for you!
God is ready to give you life and hope and joy.
You will never regret your decision to make this the greatest moment of your life.
If you refuse this golden opportunity, it could pass and never return.
In that case you will go out that door and commit spiritual suicide -- for your soul
could be doomed forever!
The verdict: a soul destroyed through indecision -- lost forever by delay!
One of the most intriguing stories of World War II was told by a young paratrooper,
who was led to Christ in a church in Chicago:
"He was one of ten paratroopers in training.
They went up in a large training plane to make their first jump.
He was third in line.
It was a tense, fearful moment.
The first man walked to the door, and bravely stepped out.
He floated down and landed safely.
The second young man went to the door and hesitated.
His nerve failed him.
He walked past the door and stood to one side.
Then, this third young man's turn came.
He summoned his courage and stepped out of the open door.
He also landed safely.
But, he had scarcely jumped free of the plane, when it suddenly exploded,
and every man aboard that plane died, including the young man who had had his chance and missed it."
So, for your soul's sake, don't linger any longer.
God has set before you an open door!
So many have found in Christ the true joy and meaning of life.
Step out for Christ now!
"Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
Don't miss this opportunity!
Come now, while there is yet time!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org