THE WHISTLE BLEW, and in the railroad shops of a Pennsylvania town the men laid aside their tools, hurried past the watchman and out the large gates to their homes, happy that another week of work was ended.
I worked in those shops a number of years near a young fellow named Joe. He was good natured and jovial. He loved hunting, and the season had arrived. Joe was ready for this, and anxious for the end of the week to come.
The shop closed at noon Saturdays, and Joe's plans for both Saturday and Sunday were all arranged. I had spoken to him many times of preparing for eternity and of the love of God toward us. Not willing that any should perish, He gave the best that Heaven had - His only beloved Son.
I longed for Joe's salvation, and pressed on him his deep need of the Saviour, who suffered, bled and died to save us from a horrible pit. (Psalm 40:2). "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3). Earnestly did I plead with him not to reject such wonderful love and mercy, and to repent and believe the gospel, receiving Christ now. Smiling as though he pitied me, he replied, "I will sometime, not now."
As he was leaving the shop I warned him about the hunting trip, and the many accidents and even deaths that occur during the hunting season. I called to him to be careful and said, "Good-bye, Joe." Never will I forget his look, as rushing away, he glanced back, waved his hand and called out, "Good-bye."
I returned Monday morning to the shop. The hour arrived to begin work, but I missed Joe at his bench. Supposing him to be late, I remarked to a fellow workman, "I wonder where Joe is?"
Reluctantly he replied, "Haven't you heard?"
"Heard what?" I asked.
"Joe's dead...killed Saturday afternoon in an accident with his own gun."
Yes, Joe is dead. Just a few hours before, he heard the gospel, was invited to accept Christ, but smiling replied, "Sometime, not now."
Thousands like Joe, may not be infidels or atheists, but procrastinators - intending or hoping to decide sometime, but "not now." O dear traveler to eternity, I plead with you. Ponder these things. You may have your plans all laid for a few or many days; at the most, how brief they are! Have you considered God in them? God loves you. Jesus is calling you. The Holy Spirit is awaiting you. Do not let the thief of time deceive you by putting off the salvation of your precious soul.
Dear reader, when you say your last "Good-bye," where are you going? Do not smile. Sin is a terrible reality. Eternity is near. Have you prepared for it? That is, are you trusting in the work and worth of the Saviour, the believing sinner's Substitute?
believe, this very hour,
Trust just now in the Saviour's power,
Then happy will your portion be,
Saved through a long eternity!
Open your heart's door, and let the light of these blessed Holy Scriptures shine in:
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
"Behold, now the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation."
(2 Corinthians 6:2)