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最后一夜

作者:乔·克鲁斯 牧师日期:2012-04-13 7:27:41浏览数:54104
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序 言

莫腓特博士用以下的话语翻译了圣经中最震撼人心的经文之一:“一灾接着一灾,主耶和华如此说:永恒……临近了!结局已经势不可挡,它正在摇撼你,末日的时刻到了!你的审判到了!”(结7:5-7)[根据莫腓特博士译文直译]

这段骇人听闻的经文,将我们的注意力引向了人类有史以来闻所未闻的最严肃的信息。它是一个警告,关乎到今日生活在这个星球上的每个人。因为每个人都将经历人生在世的最后一夜。那么,我们人生最后的24小时,将会怎样开始呢?

或许你曾听说过庞培城,那是很久以前座落在古意大利维苏威火山脚下的一座城市。公元79年,维苏威火山突然爆发,猛烈异常,刹那间,数以百万吨的炽烈熔岩一泻千里,倾倒在庞培城上,将之全部掩埋。其上所有的居民,无一幸免。

我的一个朋友曾行走在那坚硬的火山灰和浮石上,至今这些残存的岩浆仍覆盖着被挖掘出土的古城遗址。听朋友描述说,那些遇难者,虽然身躯已经腐烂,但他们所占踞的空间,却被浇铸成一个模型,使他们死亡之前的扭曲姿态,被完好地保存下来,如同石膏像一样栩栩如生。

我在想,如若街上的石头能开口发言,它们将如何讲述这座城市最后一夜的悲惨故事呢?当我这样思考时,整件事似乎清晰地展现在我的眼前:一座住满了百姓的城市,事先毫无警觉,却在霎那间遭遇了灭顶之灾。无论人们是否作好了准备,那一瞬,都被定格在了永恒之中。这经历实属非常!

朋友们,倘若你我面临同样的经历,情况又将如何呢?那时,我们还会固执于习惯性的罪恶而不放吗?许多人,正在犯着很显然的罪,就被死亡的洪流突袭而去,定格为永远的灭亡。

毫无疑问,庞培城中的许多人,都曾听到了火山最初喷发的声音,在他们被熔岩吞噬之前,都有时间抬头看一眼那可怕的烈火岩浆。对于他们当时的想法,今日的我们一无所知。但从尸首的姿态中,我们可以清楚地判断,在那个时代,罪恶已经成为人们的一门学问。在那一时刻,正在思考死亡或来生之事的人,就算有,也只是寥寥无几。

我不知道,当使徒保罗将恩典的福音传给庞培城的居民时,他所感受到的是什么。但可以肯定的是,保罗在向罗马帝国的主要城市布道过程中,一定访问了这个恶贯满盈、臭名昭著的中心城市。极有可能,这座沿海城市的居民毫不欢迎他,掩耳相拒。甚至可能,他们将保罗驱逐出境。在离开时,保罗不得不将脚上的灰尘跺掉!

公元70年,提多将军攻陷耶路撒冷城的恶行,正是从庞培将军那里征调了许多的士兵。或许,就是从庞培来的某些人投掷了燃烧的火把,将辉煌壮丽的圣殿烧为灰烬。

然而此时,那些参加战役的士兵返回家乡,在放纵无度中消磨着他们的时光。渐渐地,罪恶之杯将要满盈。在一个寻欢作乐、醉酒放荡的非常之夜,灭命的天使从庞培街道上的低空掠过。不难想象,上帝是怎样在最后一夜向每一男女老幼发出最后呼召的。在慈怜的天使合上翅膀之前,圣灵在每个人的心门外迫切恳求。歌舞消停片刻之后,人们在床上辗转反侧,强大的良心谴责使他们挣扎不安!但是最终,他们心中这种圣灵的感动,被一个接一个地拒绝、否定了。为满足情欲,他们甚至希望有更多的刺激,更多肉欲的喧嚷声,来把圣灵的声音淹没……庞培城的厄运就此注定了。

踌躇不前

圣经在创世记中,给我们提供了另一个有关世上最后一夜的惊人例证。一个城市将要因为它的罪恶邪僻而被完全弃绝,彻底毁灭。就在该城倾覆的前夕,罗得最后一次去看望在注定遭劫之城中安家的女儿和她们在所多玛城中的丈夫。但是他那急迫的恳求,却遭到了强烈的讥诮,并被视为是杞人忧天。

圣经记载说:“他女婿们却以为他说的是戏言。”(创19:14)当这个老人为他们的漠不关心而哀哭时,他们竟然在嘲笑他。倘若他们知道,这确实是一道从上帝而来的审判的信息,那该有何等的不同啊!他们若真正相信这是自己在世的最后一夜,一定会急切地作出回应,并速速逃离那行将毁灭的所多玛。

但他们不知道,也不相信。当人生中生死攸关的时刻来到时,我们中的大多数人是毫无察觉的。许多人没有得到丝毫的警告,就在突发事故中被死亡吞噬了,更不用说提前24小时发出预警。但是,假如你确知自己的生命还剩下整整两个月,或两周,或两天,你会怎么做?

我曾听人说:“哦,如果我能未卜先知,就能很容易地放弃自己所有的坏习惯,并下定决心全然跟从基督。”当然,事情或许是这样。但事实是,我们没有人能了解那一信息,而对于许多正在读这文章的人来说,那最后一夜业已日益逼近,远比我们想象的要近得多。

撒但是何等的狡猾啊。[因为我们每个人都不清楚自己生命结束的具体时间]所以,他正在利用我们心中这片未知的领域,进行他毁灭的工作。他很清楚,使人“耽延”是致人丧亡的最佳武器。决志的时间拖延得越久,就越容易想再多等一段时间,直到迟延的过程最终演变为致命的沉溺。随着人的主动性逐渐被拖延所侵蚀,意志力也就变得越来越薄弱了。最终使得一个人在为时未晚之前采取行动的可能性变得微乎其微。

圣经在讲论对上帝的呼召踌躇不前的题目中,运用了一些令人警醒的事例。当保罗与腓力斯谈论公义和审判之事时,我们知道,那巡抚觉得甚恐惧,并答应等他更“得便”时再叫保罗来。(徒24:25)但那个更好的时机并没有来到,就我们所知,腓力斯在他生命的终了,在不信中进了坟墓。当亚基帕王听到保罗关于基督的见证时,也深深信服。他喊道:“你这样劝我,几乎叫我作基督徒了。”(徒26:28)不幸的是,尽管这些罗马统治者恐惧战兢并深深信服,但他们无一采取实际的行动去顺服他们所知道的真理。我们要知道,只有“几乎”是不够的。

有时,一个人所面对的,是必须在短短几分钟之内作出抉择,而这一抉择将会影响他未来生活的整体方向。在这些稍纵即逝的罕见机遇面前,(其实并非我们想像得那么罕见),我们能掌握的黄金时机,只在宝贵的一瞬间,之后就会永远消失。很显然,腓力斯和亚基帕遇到了一个最重要、最有利的机会,可以选择以永生代替灭亡,但他们却坐失良机。他们耽延得太久了,以至心中的信服逐渐削弱,继而全然消泯。

今天的男女们,正在重蹈覆辙。他们等待着更加便利的情况出现——换一份工作,退休或资金安全时,他们向自己和别人许诺,一旦时候合适,自己就会降服基督,顺从真理。但是另有一位——撒但——一听到这些承诺,便立即开始幕后操纵,使那合适的时候永不出现。那些人一直在等啊、等啊、等啊,他们中的许多人,一直等到了水变为血、等到了恩门全然关闭。无怪乎圣经宣称:“看哪!现在正是悦纳的时候,现在正是拯救的日子。”(林后6:2)

当洪水来到、方舟之门关闭时,那一刻,人离方舟无论远近,都不重要了。那些与方舟一步之遥的人,和相距千里之外的人,同样都是灭亡。在长达一百二十年的呼吁之后,上帝的灵从地上收回了,祂的手关闭了方舟的门,世界的厄运已经注定。这件事与今日我们这些方舟中八个幸存者的后裔所要面对的景况有关系吗?当然有。因为耶稣说:“挪亚的日子怎样,人子降临也要怎样。”(太24:37)

基督所指的,正是我们所生活的末时。祂说:“也要怎样。”今日的文明和生活方式,与洪水前的情况是否相似呢?圣经告诉我们,人“终日所思想的尽都是恶。”(创6:5)这是对洪水之前人类的评价,它是否也能适用于当代挪亚子孙的邪恶景象呢?

关于这个问题的答案,看一看报纸和电视新闻就都清楚了。邪恶猖獗,犯罪失控,恐怖分子的袭击不断刷新着我们的震惊程度。毋庸置疑,邪恶的思想收获了暴力和不法,这正是给当今这个时代烙上了撒但的印记。

除此之外,有无证据可以证明,圣灵仍在极力争夺人心,并向众人发出最后慈怜的邀请呢?作为一个传道人,我可以见证,现在正有一场激烈的战斗在每个人的心灵迸发。一些读此文章的人,正处于生死抉择的边缘。同时,撒但也正在利用你毫无根据的对今世生活的恐惧,来竭力阻止你将自己完全献上。像腓力斯一样,你正在遭受试探,让你去等待一个更“得便”的机会,但这样的机会永远不会出现。一个人现在踌躇不前,就会重蹈先前被洪水毁灭之人的覆辙,他们正代表了耶稣再临时,那些未曾做好预备的人。

约旦河边

试想,在约旦河边,如果祭司在上帝下达命令时犹豫不前,会有什么事情发生?那时约旦河正是水势泛滥的季节,(书3:15)汹涌的河水涨过两岸,怒涛翻滚,湍流咆哮。

四十年的旷野征程已经结束了。此刻,上帝命令约书亚,吩咐祭司引领数以万计的百姓立即穿过约旦河,去占领迦南地。

他们既要踏入咆哮的水中,则必须全然信赖上帝的保护。倘若那些祭司迫切要求召开紧急会议,为要商议那叫全营进入显然是死亡陷阱的极端命令是否合理。百姓面对洪流的怒吼本已是魂飞胆丧,只要祭司这方显出丝毫的犹豫,都将导致众人陷入极度的恐慌,并拒绝前进。此时可谓一发千钧!河对岸的迦南人正在观看这一幕。如若上帝的百姓流露出任何一丝胆怯的迹象,都会促使迦南人士气大振,并发起总攻。

祭司来到岸边,河水并没有分开。在当时,踏入这汹涌的洪流无异于自杀,但祭司们仍然前进,直到他们的双脚踏入水中,(书3:15)就在那一刻,湍急的水流骤然而止,全营百姓如履干地,步入迦南。

今天的你是否正站在波涛汹涌的约旦河边?貌似有一千个理由可以说明下决心向前走是愚蠢的。因为这意味着完全的委身,以及甘心乐意遵命前行、义无反顾。这并非易事。你是否想说:“给我打开道路,我必前进。”但上帝的计划恰恰与此相反。祂说:“往前行,我必给你开道路。”当我们凭着信心往前迈动脚步,神迹就会出现。

我实感欣慰,因为当摩西命令他们向前下到海中时,队伍的领头者拥有坚强的信心。正像海水确实在他们脚下分开一样,今日,当上帝的百姓顺从地往前走时,环境中那可怕的拦路虎也会消失。要注意,在摩西的日子,下一步要怎样走,完全是由百姓自己来决定的。这对于那些脱离了灵性捆绑的人,也是一样的。上帝不能,也不会替我们作决定,但只要我们迈出了顺从的第一步,祂就会使我们被力量充满,去克服所有的险阻。

有些人可能会反对说,你给那些犹豫不决,正处于进退维谷之地的人施加了太大的压力。你可能对我强烈劝你当机立断跟从耶稣感到不悦。但请记得,我所说的,正是针对那些有可能正面临着他们在世最后一夜的人。我不认为顺从上帝还有嫌太快的,而且我也不认为天庭会因我这样清楚、简明、急迫地呼吁他们而责怪我。我之所以如此急切,是因为我看到了拖延太久的悲惨后果!

我在这里,可以讲述许多令人悲伤的故事,故事中的人们迟迟不肯降服,直到他们的心变得冷漠,麻木了。此外,我也可以列举那些经常参加布道会而顷刻间被突然的意外或事故夺去生命之人的姓名和住址。我一次又一次地呼吁人们作出决定,即使我当时并不清楚,对哪些人,这是他们人生中最后一次承受救恩的邀请。

如此之少

但是,为什么响应顺从号召的人是如此之少呢?难道只有像求爷爷、告奶奶似的,人们才肯进入救主荣耀的恩典之中吗?我想用一种你们永远不会忘记的方式,来回答这些问题。甚至连耶稣也曾证实,只有少数人愿意走窄路,进天门。绝大部分的人,都会选择那引到灭亡的宽路,而那条路正是当今大多数人正在行走其上的。

我们来看看刚才已经提到的,主所作的惊人言论:“挪亚的日子怎样,人子降临也要怎样。”(太24:37)在那全球性大灾难的日子里,有多少人获救了?只有八个相信上帝的话语而被关在一艘巨船中的人,——他们是仅有的幸存者。那么,在“人子降临的日子”又能有多大比例的人可以存留呢?所有的人都承认,这是有关世界终了和耶稣再临的事。

我曾听到这样的话:“唉,我若生活在当时,一定会和忠心的挪亚一同进入方舟。”但只是嘴上说说我们会在过去的某种特定环境下做些什么是何其容易。另有些人,在谈到中古黑暗时期那些因信仰之由而成为高尚的殉道者时,他们慷慨激昂地保证,自己也会为真理的缘故满怀喜乐,并且不惜牺牲性命。

如今,或许确有一些人会为真理而将生死置之度外,但鲜有人知的是,在那些可怕的日子里,为基督站立意味着什么!那些被绑在火刑柱上焚烧、被投给凶猛的野兽或被关在中世纪的地牢中受折磨的英勇的男男女女们,他们只要简单的一个手势便可以拯救自己的性命。在大多数情况下,只要他们表示愿意放弃自己的信仰,就会得到特赦并立即重获人身自由。所以,当眼见干柴在自己身边堆起时,他们非常清楚自己的选择意味着什么。他们可以选择在刑罚的火焰和浓烟中窒息,也可以选择归回家庭和亲人重享安舒。不计其数的人们,英勇地选择了在烈火中被活活烧死之痛,而不愿否认自己的救主。

你所熟识的基督徒中有多少人经历过如此舍己的信心与爱心呢?有哪些人愿意循着殉道者的足迹,走向火刑柱和斗兽场呢?但有一点是我们可以确定的:只有那些宁死也不违背上帝神圣律法之人,才能印证即使在严酷逼迫的岁月里,他们也会忠心于主。

不幸的是,我们生活在一个安逸、宽容的时代,舍己的精神已如此决绝地退出了舞台。在当代宗教普遍宽松的大气候下,真理已经变得可以通融了。人们非常欢迎多元主义,以至于申请入教的人在信什么与不信什么的问题上被赋予了宽泛的自由。即使有争议,也只是极个别的教义问题引起了人们某种程度的重视,辩论一下而已,根本谈不上为之献出生命。当然,也确有一些显著的例外,但这些例外却无不被视作另类,已经不属于所谓的正统的基督教信仰之列了。

倾其所有

举个例子,每当听到人们为自己不能跟从耶稣到底而找借口时,我就想到了萨迪克。那是1955年12月25日,我在巴基斯坦的拉合尔的家里,突然传来一串震耳欲聋的敲门声,我急忙答应着去开门。一位穆斯林着装的乡民从我身边冲进屋子,喊着说:“马上给我施洗!现在就给我施洗!”稍微冷静下来一点之后,这个弟兄开始向我讲述了一个令人惊讶的故事。他叫萨迪克,住在靠近阿富汗边界开伯尔山口的部落地区,政府对那个地方的控制十分薄弱,甚至没有。每个拥有刀斧或枪支的人都可以执行穆斯林的法律。

萨迪克有份不错的工作,家庭幸福美满。他还是个忠心的穆斯林,每天面向麦加朝拜五次。但他最近开始去听我的一个传教士朋友的证道,我这个朋友当时正在他住的那个地区主持一场帐篷会。每天晚上下班回家的路上,萨迪克都会站在帐篷外边的暗处,如饥似渴地聆听着那震撼人心的福音真理。但他不敢进到里面去,因为怕被人当作异教徒杀了。当台前开始进行献身呼召时,他只能在心里献上自己跟从了耶稣。

后来,他向自己的妻子坦承,要作一名基督徒。第二天他下班回来,发现家中已经空空如也。他的岳父带走了家中一切的东西和所有的人。他再也见不到自己的妻儿。几天之后,他被炒了鱿鱼,亲戚们也开始插手攻击他。接着,他被自己的家族成员伏击、暴打,甚至几乎丧命。为了活命他逃了出来,到了拉合尔热闹的城市,盼望能够找到人以帮助他完成从伊斯兰教信徒到基督徒的转变。我欣然提供帮助。在那个圣诞节的下午,我们往洗礼用的大水桶里注满了水,将这位勇士和他过去的主一同埋葬在水里。

当萨迪克从水中上来时,我看到了他身上的伤疤。这是他献身和牺牲的记号,将会伴随他的余生。他只要活着,为躲避亲人的怒气,就不得不流浪、逃亡。任何遇见他的人都把索取他的性命视为自己的义务。

当我主持一系列布道会时,大多数的听众都会被很久以前我的萨迪克弟兄在帐篷外所学到的同一真理所折服,每每如此,我就经常想到他。但并不是所有的人都像他那样做出回应。他们没有一个人需要遭受终身的失子之痛,接连不断的死亡威胁,或是极端的身体迫害,而这些在萨迪克的余生,都会一直如影随形。

一些人可能要受到一点点钱财上的损失,甚或失去几个朋友,他们便因此踌躇不前,为决志受洗所遭遇的艰难和牺牲而怨气冲天。事实上,他们根本不明白真正的舍己和牺牲是什么。除非人预备好可以为真理的缘故献出自己的生命,否则根本不配进天国。

有时我们听到热心的圣徒宣称:“我若活在耶稣的时代,必要成为祂的跟随者。”但是我们是否明白当时与拿撒勒人耶稣的公开结盟意味着什么呢?那时跟从耶稣的人,不管他们的地位如何,都会被立即赶出会堂。也就是说,他们的买卖会遭到联合的抵制,在家中被剥夺继承权,所有的朋友也会视他们为已死之人。如果说这些话的人们生活在两千年前的巴勒斯坦,真的会有人履行自己的誓言吗?一定会有,但只有那些在现今的环境中宁死也不愿犯罪的人,才会在两千年前加快脚步去跟从那个卑微的拿撒勒人。

如今岂不是和挪亚的日子一样吗?我们已经知道,只有八个人甘冒被责难与讥诮的风险而成为挪亚方舟教会的成员。今天会有多少现代圣徒敢于公然开展这一石破天惊的工程——在干旱的高山旁建造一艘大船?在世界历史的长河中,可能再无一宗教团体比挪亚和他的家人忍受过更多的冷嘲热讽了。

最后一讲

有一件事总让我感到惊奇:很有可能挪亚曾雇了一些帮手来一同建造方舟,但后来这些人都灭亡了,因为他们拒绝了得救的特殊途径——就是他们投入了人生的大部分精力所盖造的那艘方舟。他们本是最有理由相信洪水要来的人。当老先祖日复一日地恳劝亲友到方舟来躲避灾难时,他们也听到了这至为恳切的信息。圣经上称挪亚是“传义道的”,(彼后2:5)这表明他花在呼召人们决志跟从主的时间,要多于他把钉子钉进方舟的时间。

挪亚和他儿子们的恳劝是被圣灵所充满,而大有力量的;不过人们的抗拒精神也同样惊人。这当如何解释呢?此事几乎成了从众心理的范例。因为害怕成为另类,驱使许多诚挚的人们无法把握自己,而拒绝听从良心的呼声和合理判断的警钟。在挪亚的日子如此,今日亦是如此。偏见和情感一经引发,其对某个决定的影响远胜于世上任何合乎逻辑之真理的作用。洪水前的人们谁也不能否定动物们一对一对地走进完工的方舟时那令人信服的证据,但其他众人的嘲笑却提醒自己,要计算众里独行的代价。他们不敢与众不同,不敢向那一小群不受欢迎的宗教狂热分子表示任何支持。

我试着想象挪亚向一群好奇的旁观者做最后请求时的情景。建造方舟的声音已经止息,工具也已经收了起来,动物们都已安全入船,挪亚的家人也已经把他们的家当搬进了这个巨大的、没有窗户的船舱。在人类历史所有的讲道中,这是我最想听到的一篇。当我们的主耶稣说:“挪亚的日子怎样,人子降临也要怎样”时,正是当时的情景再现。

另一次最后的呼召、另一场最后的讲道,也将给予在这个同样邪恶的世代中注定遭劫的百姓。这次的毁灭不是用水,而是用火。但是,将挪亚所传的紧迫信息与当代忠心儿女大声疾呼、传扬世界即将再次被毁之警告的信息相比,两者极其相似。

耶稣描述当时的人们对所得到的信息漠不关心。“那时侯的人又吃又喝,又娶又嫁,到挪亚进方舟的那日,洪水就来,把他们全都灭了。”(路17:27)耶稣的评论,何等准确地道出了罪的麻痹影响有多大!人们仍一如既往地经营着自己的事业,而最后宽容时刻却正在不经意间悄然溜走,一去不返。

曾否有牧师像当日的挪亚一样在如此的精神重压下讲道呢?他当时要完全相信,再过片时,自己身后的这扇门将被永远地关上,人类再无获救的希望。对于每一个活着的人来说,这今生听到的最后一次讲道,句句意义非凡。圣经指出,这是基督藉着圣灵通过挪亚向那些被罪捆绑的人讲道。(彼前3:18-20)

我相信在挪亚恳求人们和他一起进入方舟时,一定是泪流满面、声音哽咽的。听众中肯定有许多人是挪亚一辈子的邻居,他很有可能一一呼唤着他们的名字,竭力地恳劝他们,当机立断吧!当这个老人静默擦拭泪水时,群众们屏住呼吸,在这严肃的氛围中他们也深信不疑。紧接着,当有一些人似乎跃跃然想要迈步加入挪亚这边的一小群时,群众中就起了不安的骚动,他们立刻被自己的亲友伸手拽了回去。

挪亚转过身去,最后再次把自己的全家聚集在方舟内。挪亚彼时的心情我并不能完全理解,但他向群众发出最后一次呼召时所体尝的那种孤独,我能感同身受。每次在结束一场布道会,并发出最后一次邀请时,我都有如此感受。我经常与听众中的一些正在和上帝的灵交战的人们有个人的交往,他们相信真理,因自觉有罪而战兢,并且几乎下定决心往前迈进了。当挪亚转身再一次苦苦哀求时,想必也是这样。但最终他不得不离开他们的面,一边号啕着一边走进了方舟敞开的门。突然,那门的合叶开始扭动,很快地,砰的一声重响,门关上了。

当门关上时,有些人发出了紧张的叫喊,紧接着,人们便开始兴奋不已,滔滔不绝地聊起天来:“哎呀,你们这辈子听说过这样的事吗?”紧接着盖过这人的声音传了出来:“你们相信挪亚所说的洪水确有其事吗?”另一个人问。但随后是一片强烈的反驳声,有些人指着万里无云的天空,大声肯定着那自从方舟开工以来人们一直重复的话:“天从未下过雨,相信这种蠢事的人都是些狂热分子。”

在接下来的两三天时间里,众人一直都提心吊胆,尤其是在每天清晨去工作的路上,途经方舟紧闭的大门时。但到第四天,似乎对于所有人来说,挪亚的预言显然是完全落空了,甚至那些因自觉有罪而深深不安的人都为他们过去的忧虑而感到不好意思。为了掩饰自己的懊恼情绪,其中一些人开始逢人就发出讥讽的评论。到了第七天,再也没有一人对那与世隔绝的家庭表达丝毫的赞同之感了。

正在那时,洪水来了!乌云翻卷,满布天空,开始有雨点泼溅在饥渴的大地上。男女老幼都纷纷逃向任何一个可以避雨的地方,到处充斥着人们的尖叫声和哭喊声。但是随后,大雨倾盆如瀑般从天而降。此外,有水从地下巨大的裂缝中喷涌而出。那些挣扎着逃到地势较高之处的人们,也很快被大水所淹,而陷入了死亡的境地。然而此时,巨大的歌斐木方舟却安然地飘浮在渐涨渐高的浪涛之上。

“挪亚的日子怎样,人子降临也要怎样。”有一小群忠心的人,虽被看作愚拙和狂热,但仍有勇气坚守不合时宜的真理,并传扬那特别的警告——末期近了,他们必得蒙拯救。你听到了吗?你抓住主在有关挪亚的讲道中所阐发的教训了吗?“挪亚的日子怎样,人子降临也要怎样。”没有犹豫或猜测的空间,这里基督十分肯定地说:“也要怎样。”当天门大开时,每一个人都要经历他自己在世的最后一夜,那荣耀的天军仆役要铺设一条耀目辉煌的大道,来迎接万王之王、万主之主。浑然不觉之间,这件事就要成就,而对那些一直耽延、直到恩门关闭的人来说为时已晚。

时不我待

正如洪水前世界的宽容期限在大水来袭前七天就满了,同样,这个地球的宽容时期也将在耶稣再临前七灾开始时结束。圣经中说,在那使全地荒凉的最后七灾期间,没有人能进天上的殿。(启15:8)人类再无中保。将有伟大的宣告发出:“不义的,叫他仍旧不义;污秽的,叫他仍旧污秽;为义的,叫他仍旧为义;圣洁的,叫他仍旧圣洁。看哪,我必快来。”(启22:11,12)

成千上万的人们正在虚望中等待某件特别的事件发生作为信号,以便自己能速战速决做好必要的准备迎见复临的主。他们就像腓力斯一样,打算去利用更“得便”的机会。当他们徘徊不定时,心就越发刚硬、意志力也就更加优柔寡断。他们丢失了宝贵的判断能力,以至于不能判断自己的需要,不能从全局上辨识末世的兆头。

在挖掘庞培遗址的过程中,人们发现了一个女人的骨架残骸,显然她遇难时正在逃离一股从维苏威山坡上倾泻而下的汹涌岩浆。在她残留的手骨中紧紧抓着的,是一副镶有宝石的耳环。不难明白这个女人的经历所真正暴露的是什么。很明显,她曾被警告毁灭正在迫近,接着她就冲回家去抢救她手里的那两个小玩意儿。但是迟延使她不能胜速于飞奔的死亡洪流,她被熔浆吞噬并埋没。

我想问大家一个问题:那个女人错在哪儿了呢?她在哪里犯了大错?答案很简单。她以为“为时尚早”,但实际上是“时不我待”、机不再来。今天大多数的人们,也在犯相同的错误,而灭命的浩劫却正在一步步迫近。世界上未受洗的、不愿受约束的人中没有一个不犯这种错误的。他们想要得救,并打算在某一天决志跟从主,但是他们估算自己仍有非常充足的时间来实现这一切。

你是那个推延决志的日子而迟迟不肯将自己的意志毫无保留地降服于主的人吗?请听我一言:有极小的可能性,就是按你所预期的,你或许还真有另一次机会——但那只是一种可能。更有一种可能,就是你的计划根本无法实现!你在用灵魂的得救下赌注。你正在以自己的永生为赌注来玩一场致命的俄罗斯转盘的赌局。日子一天天过去,赌注越来越高,你获胜的机率却越来越小。牌越积越多,都是对你不利的。为什么要去赌自己将来可能还有机会呢?你不需要赌。现在就有一个机会摆在你面前!

方舟的门仍然开着,一步之遥的距离抬脚就可以跨进。为什么不就在此刻下定决心呢?慈爱的救主渴望将祂的平安和保障赐给你,愿你将自己的意志降服,并且对祂说:是的,主啊,我愿意!

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Introduction

One of the most dramatic verses in the Bible has been translated by Dr. Moffett in these words: "Evil on evil says the Lord, the Eternal ... it is coming, the hour is striking, and striking at you, the hour and the end. Your doom has come." Ezekiel 7:5-7.

Based on this startling text, our attention is drawn to the most solemn message ever heard by human ears. It is a warning to each person alive on this planet today, because every individual must pass through their last night on earth. What will it be like to begin living that final 24 hours of time?

Perhaps you ve heard about the city of Pompeii which nestled in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius in old Italy long ago. In A.D. 79 that mountain simply exploded with volcanic fury and millions of tons of molten lava came pouring down upon Pompeii to completely inundate it, wiping out all its inhabitants. A friend of mine has walked over the hardened ash and pumice which still covers the excavated ruins of that ancient city. He described the contorted postures of the victims whose forms have been perfectly pre-served by molding the space occupied by their decayed bodies.

I ve often thought, "If the stones of the street could speak, what a story they would have to tell about that last night on earth for Pompeii." The whole thing seems to come up before me as I think about it right now. The experience of an entire city full of people, overtaken without warning and thrust into eternity, whether they were ready or not. What will it be like when you and I face that same experience? Will it find us clinging to the same old sins that many of them were obviously committing as they were swept away by the sudden deluge of death?

Doubtless, many in Pompeii heard that initial explosion and had time to look up to see the terrifying wall of lava just before it engulfed them. We know nothing about their thoughts, but the graphic physical positions of their bodies reveal that sin had become a science, and few, if any, were thinking of death or the hereafter.

I wonder what Paul must have felt when he preached his gospel of grace to the inhabitants of Pompeii. Surely in his ranging over the chief cities of the Roman Empire he would have visited that center of vice and evil repute. But it is highly unlikely that the apostle received any favorable hearing from the dwellers in that seaport sin-city. Perhaps they expelled him out of hand, and Paul had to shake the dust from his feet as he departed.

It was from Pompeii that General Titus had drawn many of his soldiers for his infamous assault on Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Perhaps it was one of the citizens of Pompeii who threw the flaming torch which burned the magnificent temple to its foundations.

But now those veterans of foreign wars have returned to their home place to live out their years of retirement in unrestrained indulgence. Slowly the cup of iniquity fills to the very brim, and on a night of unusual revelry and drunkenness, the angel of death flies low over the streets of Pompeii. It is not hard to imagine how the final call of God was extended to every man, woman, and child on that last night. Before the angel of mercy folded its wings, the Holy Spirit pleaded at the door of each heart. Long after the music and dancing had ended, people tossed on their beds, wrestling with the powerful convictions of conscience, but one by one those tender impressions were suppressed and denied. The voice of the Spirit was drowned out by the fleshly clamor for more excitement and sin. The fate of Pompeii was sealed.



Lingering Over the Call

The Bible gives us another striking illustration of the last night on earth in the book of Genesis. A city was to be wiped out of existence because of its total abandonment to the perversions of iniquity. On the eve of its destruction, Lot made a final visit to his daughters and their Sodomite husbands who had made their home in the midst of the doomed city. But his urgent pleas were ridiculed as groundless fears. The Bible records that "he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law." Genesis 19:14. They actually laughed at the old man as he wept over their unconcern. How different it would have been had they known that it was indeed a judgment message from God. Eagerly they would have responded and hastened out of Sodom had they truly believed that it was their last night on earth.

But they didn t know, and they didn t believe. Most of us will never recognize when that fatal moment approaches in our own lives. Many are snatched by sudden accident and death without a second s notice, much less a 24-hour alert. But suppose you did know that you had exactly two months, or two weeks, or two days. I ve heard people say, "Oh, if I had that knowledge ahead of time, I could easily give up all my bad habits and make my decision to follow Christ fully." Of course, but the truth is that none of us are privy to that information, and for many who are reading these lines, that last night is much nearer than we can think or imagine.

How very clever Satan is in exploiting this personal area of the unknown in each one of us. He well recognizes that procrastination is his most effective weapon in causing people to be lost. The longer the decision is postponed, the easier it is to wait a little longer, until finally the putting off process turns into a lethal addiction. The will waxes weaker and weaker as delay saps the initiative and makes it less and less likely that the individual will act before it is too late.

The Bible has some very sobering things to say about this subject of lingering over the call of God. When Paul reasoned with Felix about righteousness and judgment, we are told that the governor trembled and promised to call for Paul when he had a more "convenient season." That better time never came, and as far as we know, Felix went down into a Christless grave at the end of his life. King Agrippa was also deeply convicted as he listened to Paul s testimony about Christ. He cried out, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Acts 26:28. What a tragedy that, with all the trembling and conviction, neither of those Roman rulers actually moved to obey what they knew to be right. "Almost" is not enough.

It is sometimes the case that individuals are faced with choices that must be made within a few minutes which will affect the entire future direction of their lives. In these rare instances (and perhaps they are not as rare as we think) that golden moment of opportunity flashes into focus, remains only a few precious moments, and then disappears forever. It seems patently true that Felix and Agrippa faced the most significant and favorable opportunity to choose life over death, and they blew it. They waited too long, and their conviction faded and disappeared.

Men and women do the same thing today. They wait for more convenient circumstances - a different job, retirement, or financial security. They make promises to themselves and others that they will surrender to Christ and obey the truth just as soon as the time is right. Somebody else - Satan - hears those promises and he immediately begins to manipulate events that will make that right moment impossible. Those people keep waiting and waiting and waiting, and many of them will be waiting when the water turns to blood and probation s door has closed on the human race. No wonder the Bible declares that "Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 6:2.

When the flood came and the door of the ark closed, it did not matter how near or how far a person happened to be at that moment. Those who were one foot out-side that door were just as lost as those who were miles away. After 120 years of pleading, the Spirit of God was withdrawn from the earth, the hand of God closed the door, and the fate of a world was fixed and settled. Does that have anything to do with what is happening to the progeny of those eight ark survivors today? Indeed, it does. Because Jesus said, "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:37.

Christ was referring to the end-time in which we now live. He said, "So shall it be." Are there similarities with the antediluvian culture and lifestyle? We are told that "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:5. Does that appraisal of man before the flood match the perverted picture of Noah s modern descendants?

For the answer to that question consult your morning newspaper and the local TV guide. Iniquity is rampant. Crime is out of control. Terrorists strike in unexpected places. No one would question that evil imagination marks the present age with its harvest of violence and lawlessness.

Is there also evidence that the Holy Spirit is striving with human hearts and confronting multitudes with their final invitation of mercy? As an evangelist, I can bear witness that there is a present raging controversy revolving around every living soul. Some who are reading these words are on the verge of making a decision that can mean life or death, and at the same time, Satan plays upon your ungrounded fears to try to hold you back from an all-out commitment. You are being tempted, like Felix, to wait for a more convenient season, but such will never come. To linger now is to become a part of the vast majority who were destroyed in the flood and who represent those who will be unprepared when Jesus comes again.



The Jordan River Place

Think for a moment what would have happened at the Jordan River if the priests had hesitated to move forward at the Lord s command. The Jordan River was in flood stage(Joshua 3:15), and its angry waters had overflowed its banks and were raging. The roar of its rushing water resounded against the sky.

But the 40 years in the wilderness were ended and, at God s command, Joshua told the priests to lead that host of millions through the Jordan River and get ready to possess the land of Canaan.

They were to step right into the roaring water and trust God to protect His people. Suppose those priests had pressed for a committee meeting to discuss the radical command to march the entire encampment into an apparent death trap. The people were already unnerved at the water s swirling roar. Any hesitation on the part of the priests could have caused the people to panic and refuse to go forward. Everything was at stake. The Canaanites were watching. Any sign of fearfulness here could have brought them charging out to attack God s people.

When the priests came to the water s edge, it did not part. It seemed suicidal to step into those dangerous flood waters. But the priests kept walking until they splashed right into the water (Joshua 3:15). Then the waters at once stopped flowing, and the entire encampment went across into Canaan on dry ground.

Are you standing by Jordan s storming waters today? There are 1,000 reasons why it seems folly for you to make a decision to go forward. It signifies a complete yielding of the entire life and a willingness to move forward in obedience- regardless of the consequences. It s not easy. Are you saying, "Open up the way and I ll go forward"? But God s plan is just the opposite. He says, "You go forward and I will open up the way" (Matthew 6:33). The miracles come when we move forward by faith.

I m just glad that somebody at the head of the line had strong faith when Moses gave the orders to go forward into the sea, and just as surely as the waters parted under their feet, so will the forbidding circumstances disappear as God s people today move forward in obedience to Him. It is interesting to note that the next move was up to the people in the days of Moses, and the same is true for those who have departed from spiritual bondage. God cannot and will not make the decision for us, but as soon as we take the first step in obedience, He fills us with the power to overcome every obstacle.

Some might object that I am pressing too hard upon those who are lingering in the twilight zone of indecision. You may get offended by my strong urging for you to act quickly to follow Jesus. But please remember that I am addressing those who may be living their last night on earth. I do not believe it is possible to obey God too quickly, and somehow I don t think anyone will ever chide me in heaven because I made the call to them clear, concise, and urgent. I m very much in earnest about it because I have seen the results of waiting too long.

I could fill this book with emotional stories of those who postponed surrender until their hearts were cold and unresponsive. Further, I could give names and places where nightly attendees of the crusade meetings were taken in a moment by sudden accident or death. Time after time I have made calls for decision, not realizing that there were people in the audience listening to their last invitation to be saved.



Why So Few?

But why is it that such a comparative few respond to those calls for surrender? Why should anyone need to be begged to enter the glorious salvation of our Lord? I want to answer those questions in such a way that you will never forget it. Even Jesus confirmed that only a few would be willing to follow the narrow road to heaven. Most would choose the broad road of death where the great majority would be traveling.

Then we have that shocking statement by the Master to which we have already referred: "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." Matthew 24:37. How many were saved in those days from the global disaster? Only eight had the faith in God s word to be shut in that monstrosity of a boat. They were the only survivors. Will there be any kind of proportionate number spared "in the days of the Son of man"? All agree that this is talking about the end of the world and the coming of Jesus.

I ve heard the statement, "Oh, if I had lived in those days, I would have gone into the ark with faithful Noah." How easy it is to say what we would have done under certain conditions of the past. Others have talked about the noble martyrs who died for their faith during the Dark Ages and have stated with great assurance that they would have gladly laid down their lives for the truth s sake also.

Now it may be true that some would have died for their faith, but few have any conception of what it meant to stand for Christ during those terrible days. Those brave men and women who were burned at the stake, thrown to the wild animals, or tortured in medieval dungeons could have saved their lives by a simple motion of the hand. In most cases they were offered amnesty and immediate freedom if they signaled their willingness to renounce their faith. So the choice was very clear as they watched the dry faggots being heaped around them. They could suffocate in the midst of the punishing smoke and flame or else walk back into the comfort of home and family. Untold millions chose the heroic but horrible living death rather than deny their Saviour.

How many Christians of your acquaintance have that kind of self-sacrificing faith and love? Which ones would have followed the martyrs to the stake or the arena? Some might, had they lived in those days. But of one thing we can be certain: Only those who would rather die right now than to break God s holy law would have proved loyal to Him during those years of severe persecution.

Unfortunately, we live in an easy, permissive age where self-denial is decidedly out of fashion. Truth has become very negotiable in the relaxed ecumenical climate of contemporary religion. Pluralism has become so acceptable that membership applicants are given a wide range of what they may believe or not believe. Very few, if any, issues of doctrine are considered important enough to even contend for, much less die for. There are notable exceptions, of course, but these are often found outside the comfortable contours of the so-called Christian West.



The Man Who Gave All

For example, every time I listen to people make excuses for not going all the way with Jesus, I think of Saddiq. It was on December 25, 1955, that I responded to the furious pounding on my door in Lahore, Pakistan. A typically dressed Moslem villager rushed past me into the house, crying out: "Baptize me quickly! Baptize me now!" After calming down somewhat, the man began to pour forth an amazing story. His name was Saddiq and he lived in the tribal areas of the Khyber Pass near the Afghan border where there was little or no government control. Moslem law was invested in each man who possessed a knife, an ax, or a gun.

Saddiq had a good job and a wonderful family, and he was also a faithful Moslem who prayed five times a day toward Mecca. But recently he had started listening to an evangelist friend of mine who was holding a tent meeting in the area. Every evening on the way home from work Saddiq would stand outside in the shadows absorbing the thrilling truths of the gospel. He dared not go inside for fear of being killed as an infidel, and when the altar calls were made, Saddiq could only commit himself in his heart to follow Jesus.

Later, he confided to his wife that he was going to become a Christian. The following day he returned from work to find his house empty. His father-in-law had taken everything and everyone from the home. He was never to see his wife and children again. A few days later, he was fired from his job, as relatives intervened against him. Then, he was waylaid by members of his own family and beaten almost to death. Fleeing for his life, Saddiq had come to the teeming city of Lahore and sought out someone who could help him finish the journey from Islam to Christianity. I was happy to oblige. We filled the baptistry and buried that courageous man with his Lord on that Christmas afternoon.

I saw the scars on Saddiq s body as he came up out of the water - marks of devotion and sacrifice that he will carry for the rest of his life. He will also be a refugee and fugitive from the wrath of his own relatives for as long as he lives. Anyone who finds him will count it a duty to kill him.

I think often of Saddiq when I m holding an evangelistic series, and most of the audience have been convicted by the same truths that my brother Saddiq learned outside the tent so long ago. But all do not respond in the same way he did. None of them face the lifelong loss of children, the constant threat of death, or the extreme physical persecution that will follow Saddiq the rest of his days on earth. A few, though, are being tested by the possible loss of a few dollars and perhaps even a few friends. They hold back and complain of the hardship and sacrifice involved in making the decision for baptism. The truth is that we don t know what real self-denial and sacrifice are. Unless we are ready to give our lives for the truth s sake, we are not worthy of the kingdom of heaven.

Sometimes we hear fervent saints declare, "If I had lived in the days of Jesus, I would have been one of His followers." But do we know what was involved in such an open alignment with Jesus of Nazareth? Regardless of their status, people were cast out of the synagogue immediately. This meant they were boycotted in their business, disinherited from their families, and considered to be dead by all their friends. Would some indeed have made that choice if they had lived in Palestine 2,000 years ago? Yes, but only the ones who would rather die than sin in their current situation would have stepped out to follow the lowly Nazarene then.

And would it be the same for the days of Noah? We ve already learned that only eight were willing to risk the censure and ridicule of being a member of Noah s boat church. How many modern saints would have dared take a public stand for the outrageous project of building a huge ship on the side of a dry hill? Probably no other religious group in world history has endured more negative publicity than Noah and his family.



Noah s Last Sermon

It has always been fascinating to me that Noah probably hired helpers to construct the ark, and they perished later on because they rejected the very means of salvation in which they invested much of their lives. And these were the people who had the greatest reason for believing that a flood was coming. Day after day they listened to the earnest message of the old patriarch as he pleaded with relatives and friends to avail themselves of this way of escape. The Bible calls Noah "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Peter 2:5) which indicates that he might have spent more time calling for decisions than driving nails into the ark.

How can we explain the amazing resistance to the powerful, Spirit-filled appeals of Noah and his sons? It seems almost a classic example of majority influence. The dread of being different has driven many sincere people to reject, out of hand, the appeal of conscience and sound judgment. It happened in Noah s day, and it still happens today. Prejudice and emotion, once aroused, has a greater influence on decision than all the logical truth in the world. None of the antediluvians could deny the persuasive evidence of those animals marching two by two and seven by seven into the completed ark, but the jeering multitude reminded them of the cost of non- conformity. They dared not be different and show any support for the unpopular little group of religious standouts.

I ve tried to imagine the dynamics of that last appeal Noah made to the crowd of curious onlookers. The sounds of construction have ceased, and the tools have been put out of sight. The animals are all safely on board, and Noah s family has finished transferring all their possessions into the massive windowless vessel. Of all the sermons which have ever been preached in the history of man, this is the one I would have preferred to hear. The drama of this moment was captured by our Lord Jesus when He said, "As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

Another last call - another final sermon, if you please - will be given to the doomed inhabitants of this equally wicked age. This time the destruction will not be by water but by fire. Yet, there is a terrible parallel between the urgent message of Noah and that of the faithful ones who will give the loud warning cry that the world is about to be destroyed again.

Jesus described the indifference with which that message will be received. "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." Luke 17:27. What a commentary on the paralyzing effect of sin! People continue, business as usual, while the last moments of probation slip away.

Has any other preacher operated under the emotional stress that constrained Noah that day? He was fully aware that in a few moments the door behind him would close forever on any hope of salvation for the human race. Only the words of this final sermon could make a difference for any living soul. The Scriptures indicate that Christ by the Holy Spirit was preaching through Noah to the spirits of those sin-bound people (1 Peter 3:18-20).

I m sure there were tears in Noah s voice and on his cheeks as he pleaded with them to join him in the ark. Many in the audience were lifelong neighbors, and perhaps Noah even called them by name as he pressed his appeal for decision. A solemn conviction held the crowd motion-less as the old man paused to wipe his eyes. Then, there was a restless stirring as some began to edge forward as though they would join the little group, but they were instantly drawn back by the hands of relatives or friends.

I cannot enter fully into Noah s feelings as he turned to join his family in the ark for the last time, but I have a strong kinship with him in that lonely last call he extended to the crowd. I ve felt it every time I close a crusade and give the final invitation. I always personally know individuals in that audience who are fighting the Spirit of God. They believe the truth, tremble with conviction, and are almost persuaded to come forward. That s the way it must have been with Noah as he turned to beseech just one more time. But finally he had to bring the meeting to a close and walk, weeping, through the open door. And suddenly that door began to move on its hinges, and within seconds it had swung shut with a solid thud.

There were nervous cries from some as the door closed, and then, a babble of excited conversation. "My, have you ever heard anything like that in your life?" one voice came out above the others. "Do you think he really could be correct about a flood?" asked another. But, then, there was sharp dissent, and some were pointing to the cloudless sky to loudly affirm what had been heard repeatedly since the ark project began, "It never has rained, and these people are wild fanatics to believe such foolishness."

For two or three days apprehension continued to grip the community, especially as they passed the tightly closed ark each morning on their way to work. But by mid-week it seemed obvious to all that Noah s prediction had been totally wrong, and even those who had been stirred deeply with conviction were embarrassed by their former concern. To cover their chagrin, some of them began to make mocking comments to anyone who would listen. By the seventh day not one sympathetic sentiment was to be found favoring the cloistered family.

And then it happened! Clouds seemed to appear out of nowhere, and drops of rain began to spatter against the hungry earth. Screams and cries rent the air as men, women, and children fled toward any shelter available. But then the water was pouring in torrents from the heavens, and out of huge cavernous cracks in the ground. Those who were able to struggle to higher levels were quickly overwhelmed and dragged to their deaths, while the great cypress ark floated gently and safely on the rising waves.

"As it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man." A few faithful ones, counted as fools and fanatics, but courageous enough to follow unpopular truth and proclaim a special warning that the end is near, will be saved. Have you heard it? Do you grasp the lesson our Lord was teaching in the Noah sermon? "As it was ... so shall it be." No ifs or ands or buts - "So shall it be." The last night on earth will come for everyone when the heavens split wide open, and the glorious retinue of angels provide a dazzling freeway of splendor for the King of kings and Lord of lords. It will be unexpected, and it will be too late for those who waited till the door of mercy closed.



Gambling For Time

Just as the probation of the antediluvian world ended seven days before the flood, so the probation of the planet will close seven plagues before Jesus appears. During those desolating, end-time seven last plagues, the Bible says no one can enter the temple in heaven (Revelation 15:8). There will be no intercessor for the human race. The great edict will have gone forth, "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still ... and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly." Revelation 22:11,12

Millions are waiting in the vain hope that some special event will signal that they can quickly make the necessary preparation to meet the returning Lord. Like Felix, they intend to take advantage of that "more convenient season." And while they linger, their hearts grow harder and their wills more indecisive. They lose the precious ability to judge their own need, or discern the panoramic signs of the end.

During the excavation of the ruins of Pompeii, they found the skeleton remains of a woman who was apparently running from the fiery river of lava that was pouring down the side of Mt. Vesuvius. Clutched in her bony, skeletal hands were two jeweled earrings. It was not hard to figure out exactly what had transpired in the experience of that woman. It was obvious that she had been alerted to the approaching destruction and had dashed back in the house to save the baubles in her hands. But the delay made it impossible to outrun the stream of death, and she was overtaken and buried under the lava.

Let me ask you a question. What was wrong with that woman? Where did she make her big mistake? The answer is easy. She thought she had more time than she really had. That is the same mistake that the majority of human beings are making today as the holocaust of destruction approaches. There is not an unbaptized, uncommitted individual in the world who is not making that mistake. They want to be saved and intend to do it someday, but they calculate that there is still plenty of time.

Are you one who has been postponing the day of decision, that unreserved surrender of your will? Please let me address you for a moment. There is a small chance that you may be right and that you will have another opportunity - but it is only a chance! There is another chance that you are dead wrong. You are gambling over the salvation of your soul. You are playing a deadly game of Russian roulette over eternal life. Every day that passes, the stakes go higher and higher, and your chances of winning become less and less. The cards are stacked against you. Why gamble that you will have another chance in the future? You don t have to gamble. You have a chance right now.

The door of the ark is still open, and it s only a step inside. Why not settle the uncertainty this very moment? Surrender your will and say Yes to the loving Saviour, who longs to give you His peace and assurance.