A number of men are upstairs in a house, playing cards. What is that? The window is red! What is that cry in the streets? “The house is on fire!” says one. “Oh,” answers another, “shuffle the cards again, let’s finish the game; we have plenty of time.” “Fire! Fire! Fire!” The cry rises more sharply from the streets, but the gamblers continue their game. One of them confidently boasts, “It’s all right, guys, that door over there leads to the roof, and we can get out at the last minute. I know the way—it’s all right, go ahead with the game.” Presently one of them nervously asks, “Are you sure that we can get through that door?” and he goes to try, but finds it locked. “Never mind,” is the answer, “I have the key.” “But are you sure you have the key?” “Oh, yes! I am sure I have, here it is; try it for yourself, and do not be such a coward, man; try it.” The man tries the key. “It will not turn,” says he. “Let me try,” says his friend. He puts it in the lock, but lo, it will not turn! “O no!” he shrieks, “it’s the wrong key!” Now, do you think they will go back to their game again? No, now they will strain every nerve, and labor with all their strength to open the door, only to find that it is all too late for them to escape.

So many of our hearers are saying, “Oh, yes! what the preacher says is right enough, but you know we can repent whenever we like; we have power to obtain the grace of God whenever we please; we know the way; haven’t we been told over and over again simply to trust Christ?—and we can do that whenever we please—we are safe enough.” Ah, but suppose you cannot believe whenever you please? Suppose the day will come when you will call upon the Lord, and he will not answer; when you will stretch out your hand, but no one will pay attention! Suppose you cry out one day, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” and the answer is, “I never knew you, depart, you cursed!” O procrastinator, if you think that you can repent now, why don’t you repent now? You believe that you have full power to do so! Oh, do it, do it, and don’t take that power for granted! Otherwise, when the power is gone, you may find, too late, that in one sense you never possessed it!

Adapted from “Feathers for Arrows” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Will You Drink It For Me?
Faith Is the Eye Which Looks
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