ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near."
I have learned that when anyone
becomes in earnest about his soul's salvation and he begins to seek God,
it does not take long for an anxious sinner to meet an anxious Saviour.
"Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your
heart" (Jer. 29:13). Those who seek for Him with all their hearts, find
I am tired and sick
of half-heartedness. I don't like a half-hearted man. I don't care for anyone
to love me halfheartedly. And the Lord won't have it. If we are going to
seek for Him and find Him, we must do it with all our hearts.
I believe the reason
why so few find Christ is that they do not search for Him with all their
hearts; they are not terribly in earnest about their souls' salvation.
Everything God has
done proves that He is in earnest about the salvation of men's souls. He
has proved it by giving His only Son to die for us. The Son of God was in
earnest when He died. What is Calvary but a proof of that? And the Lord
wants us to be in earnest when it comes to this great question of the soul's
salvation. I never saw men seeking Him with all their hearts but they soon
It was quite refreshing
one night to find in the inquiry room a young man who thought he was not
worth saving, he was so vile and wicked. There was hope for him because
he was so desperately in earnest about his soul. He thought he was worthless.
He had a sight of himself in God's looking glass and had a very poor opinion
One can always tell
when a man is a great way from God for he is always talking about himself,
and how good he is. But the moment he sees God by the eye of faith, he is
down on his knees, and, like Job, he cries, "Behold, I am vile." All his
goodness flees away.
The Lord Is Near
When men earnestly
seek the Lord and are in earnest about their salvation, they will soon find
Christ. You do not need to go up to the heights to bring Him down, or down
to the depths to bring Him up, or go off to some distant city to find Him.
This day He is near to every one of us.
I once heard someone
in the inquiry room telling a young person to go home and seek Christ in
his closet. I would not dare tell anyone to do that. He might be dead before
he got home.
If I read my Bible
correctly, the man who preaches the Gospel will not tell me to seek Christ
tomorrow or an hour hence, but now. He is near to every one of us this minute
If the world would
just come to God for salvation and be in earnest about it, all would find
the Son of God right at the door of their hearts.
Than Precious Jewels
Suppose I should
say I have lost a very valuable diamond here worth $100,000. I had it in
my pocket when I came into the hall, and when I had done preaching, it was
not in my pocket but in the hall somewhere.
Suppose I should
say that anyone who finds it could have it.
How earnest you
would all become! You would not get very much of my sermon for thinking
of the diamond. I do not believe the police could get you out of this hall.
The idea of finding a diamond worth $100,000! If I could only find it, it
would lift me out of poverty at once, and I would be independent for the
rest of my days! Oh, how soon everybody would become terribly in earnest!
I would to God I
could get men to seek for Christ in the same way. I have something worth
more than a diamond to offer you. Is not salvation eternal life worth more
than all the diamonds in the world?
a Holy Fire
People seem to forget
that there is no door out of Hell. If they enter there, they must remain
there age after age. Millions on millions of years will roll on, but there
is no door, no escape out of Hell.
May God wake you
up and make you anxious about your soul. People talk about our being earnest
and fanatical about our being on fire. Would to God the church were on fire!
This world would soon shake to its foundation. May God wake up a slumbering
What we want you
to do is not to shout "amen" and clap your hands. The deepest and quietest
waters very often run swiftest. We want you to go right to work; there will
be a chance for you to shout by and by. Go and speak to your neighbor and
tell him of Christ and Heaven. You need not go far before you will find
someone passing down to the darkness of eternal death. Haste to his rescue!
What we want to
see is people really wishing to become Christians, those who are in dead
earnest about it. The idea of hearing one say in answer to the question,
"Do you want to become a Christian?" "Well, I would not mind"!
My friend, you will
never get into the kingdom of God until you change your language. Men should
be crying from the depths of their hearts, "I want to be saved!"
On the day of Pentecost
the cry was, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" These people were in
earnest, and three thousand found Christ when they sought with all their
When men seek Christ
as they do wealth, they will soon find Him. To be sure, the world will raise
a cry that they are excited. Let cotton go up ten or fifteen percent before
tomorrow morning, and you will see how quickly the merchants will get excited!
And the papers won't cry it down either. They say it is healthy excitement;
commerce is getting on.
But when you begin
to get excited about your soul and are in earnest, then they raise the cry,
"Oh, they are getting excited; most unhealthy state of things." Yet they
don't talk nor write about men hastening down to death by the thousands.
There is the poor
drunkard look at him! Hear the piercing cry going up to Heaven? Yet the
church of God slumbers and sleeps. Here and there is an inquirer, yet they
go into the inquiry room as if they were half asleep. When will men seek
for Christ as they seek for wealth, or as they seek for honor?
As I have said,
if life is in danger, how terribly in earnest people become. That is right;
there is no doubt about that. But why should not they be as much in earnest
about their souls' salvation? Why should not every man and woman wake up
and seek the Lord with all their hearts? Then, the Lord says, you shall
Seek Christ Earnestly
There is a story
told of a vessel that was wrecked and was going down at sea. There were
not enough lifeboats to take all on board. When the vessel went down, some
of the lifeboats were near the vessel. A man swam from the wreck to one
of the boats, but they had no room to take him on. When they refused, he
seized hold of the boat with his right hand, but they took a sword and cut
off his fingers. When he had lost the fingers of his right hand, the man
was so earnest to save his life that he seized the boat with his left hand.
They cut off the fingers of that hand too. Then the man swam up and seized
the boat with his teeth. Now they had compassion on him and relented. They
could not cut off his head, so they took him in, and the man's life was
saved. Why? Because he was in earnest.
Why not seek your
soul's salvation as that man sought to save his life?
Will there ever
Will there ever
be a better time for the old man whose locks are growing gray, whose eyes
are growing dim, and who is hastening to the grave? Is not this the very
best time for him? "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found."
There is a man in
the middle of life. Is this not the best time for him to seek the kingdom
of God? Will he ever have a better opportunity? Will Christ ever be more
willing to save than now? He says, "Come; for all things are now ready" not
"going to be," but "are now ready."
There is a young
man. My friend, is it not the best time for you to seek the kingdom of God?
Seek the Lord; you can find Him now. Can you say that you will find Him
tomorrow? Young man, you know not what tomorrow may bring forth. Do you
know that every time the clock ticks, a soul passes away? Is not this the
best time for you to seek the kingdom of God? My boy, the Lord wants you.
Seek first the kingdom of God, and seek Him while He may be found.
About thirty years
ago a great revival swept over this land. A great many men stood and shook
their heads; they could not believe it was a healthy state of things. The
church was not in its normal state! The church from Maine to Minnesota and
on to California was astir.
As you passed over
this great republic, over its Western prairies and mountains, and through
its valleys, as you went on by train, passing through its cities and villages,
you could see the churches lit up. Men were flocking into the kingdom of
God by hundreds.
In a year and a
half or two years, more than half a million souls were brought in. Men said
it was false excitement, wildfire, and it would pass away. But, my friend,
it was grace preceding judgment.
Little did we know
that our nation was soon to be baptized in blood, and that we would soon
hear the tramp of a million men, that hundreds and thousands of our young
men the flower of our nation would soon be lying in a soldier's grave. But,
my friend, it was God calling His people in. He was preparing our nation
for a terrible struggle.
Supposing you could
win the world; what would you do with it? Would it be worth as much as Christ?
Let everything else be laid aside, and make up your mind that you will not
rest until you have sought and found the Lord Jesus. I never knew anyone
to make up his mind to seek Him but that he soon found Him.
At Dublin a young
man found Christ. He went home and lived so godly and so Christlike a life
that two of his brothers could not understand what had wrought the change
They left Dublin
and followed us to Sheffield, and there found Christ. They were in earnest.
But, thanks be to
God, Christ can be found now. I firmly believe every reader can find Christ
now, if you will seek for Him with all your heart. He says, "Call upon me."
No One Away
Did you ever hear
of anyone calling upon Christ with the whole heart, that Christ didn't answer?
Look at that thief on the cross! It may have been that he had a praying
mother, and that his mother taught him the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. He had
heard Christ pray that wonderful prayer, "Father, forgive them." And as
he was hanging on the cross, that text of Scripture came to his mind: "Seek
ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near."
The truth came flashing
into his soul. He said, 'He is near me now. I will call on Him. Lord, remember
me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.' No sooner had he called than the
Lord said, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." That was his seeking
opportunity, his day.
This Is Your
My friend, this
is your day now. I believe that every man has his day. You have it just
now; why not call upon Him just now? Say, as the poor thief did, "Lord,
remember me." That was his golden opportunity, and the Lord heard and answered
and saved him.
Did not Bartimaeus
call on Him while He was near? Christ was passing by Jericho for the last
time, and Bartimaeus cried out, "Thou son of David, have mercy on me." And
did not the Lord hear his prayer and give him sight?
It was a good thing
Zacchaeus called or rather the Lord called him; but when the Lord called,
May the Lord call
you, and may you respond: "Lord, here am I; You have called, and I come."
Do you believe the Lord will call a poor sinner and then cast him out? No!
His Word stands forever: "Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out"
I was glad when
that man I told you of said he felt as if he were too bad. Men are pretty
near the kingdom of God when they do not see anything good in themselves.
At the Fulton Street
prayer meeting a man came in, and this was his story. He had a mother who
prayed for him he was a wild, reckless prodigal. Some time after his mother's
death he began to be troubled. He thought he ought to get into new company
and leave his old companions, so he said he would go and join a secret society.
He thought he would
join the Odd Fellows. They made inquiry about him, and when they found he
was a drunken sailor, they blackballed him. They would not have him.
He went to the Freemasons.
He had nobody to recommend him. When they inquired and found there was no
good in his character, they blackballed him. They didn't want him.
One day someone
handed him a little notice in the street about the prayer meeting. He went.
He heard that Christ had come to save sinners. He believed Him; he took
Him at His word; and, in reporting the matter, he said he "came to Christ
without a character, and Christ hadn't blackballed him."
My friend, that
is Christ's way. Are you without a character, with nobody to say a good
word for you? I bring you good news. Call on the Son of God, and He will
Let us be in earnest
about the salvation of our children and friends. Warn that young lady. Yes,
Mother, speak to that daughter. Father, speak to that child. Wife, speak
to your unconverted husband. Husband, speak to your unconverted wife. Do
not let anyone say, "Nobody cares for my soul." I never saw parents burdened
for their children but that the children soon became anxious to be saved.
What Are You
Going to Do?
Before I close,
I want to ask you once more: What are you going to do? If the Lord is near,
won't you call upon Him? Don't let some scoffer keep you out of the kingdom
of God. There may be a scornful look upon his face. Perhaps he makes light
of what I say. Don't mind him. Don't look to him, but look right up to God
and ask Him to save you.
Every true friend,
if you could get his advice, would tell you to be saved now.
Ask your minister,
"Had I better seek the kingdom of God now?" What will he tell you? "By all
means, don't put it off another minute."
Ask your godly,
praying mother, "Is it best to seek the kingdom of God now?" Will she say,
"Put it off one week, or a month"? There is not a Christian mother in this
land who would say that. I doubt if there is even an unconverted mother
whose advice would be to put off becoming a Christian.
Ask that praying
sister of yours, that praying brother, any friend you have, whether it is
not the very best thing you can do. And then cry to Heaven and ask Him who
is sitting at the right hand of God, and who loves you more than your father
or your mother or anyone on earth who loves you so much that He gave Himself
for you ask Him what He will have you do, and hear His voice from the throne,
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God."
And then shout down
to the infernal regions, and ask those down there. What will they say? ïSend
someone to my father's house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify
unto them, lest they also come into this place.'
Heaven, earth and
Hell unite in this one thing: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." Don't
put it off. Call upon Him while He is near. And if you call upon Him in
earnest, He will hear that call.
You May Call
I have no doubt
that those who would not pray when the ark was being built, prayed when
the Flood came; but their prayer was not answered.
I have no doubt
that when Lot went out of Sodom, Sodom cried to God; but it was too late,
and God's judgment swept them from the earth.
My friend, it is
not too late now, but it may be at twelve o'clock tonight. I cannot find
any place in the Bible where it says you may call tomorrow. I am not justified
in saying that. "Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day
Those men of Jerusalem,
what a golden opportunity they had with Christ in their midst! We see the
Son of God weeping over Jerusalem, His heart bursting with grief for the
city as He cried, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Thou that stonest the prophets,
how often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her brood, but ye
He could look down
forty years and see Titus coming with his army and besieging that city.
They called upon God then, but it was too late, and eleven hundred thousand
Now Is the Time
to Be Saved
Now is a time of
mercy. It may be I am talking to someone whose days of grace may be few,
to someone who may be snatched away very soon, who may never hear another
gospel sermon, who may be hearing the last call. My friend, be wise! Make
up your mind that you will seek the kingdom of God now. "Behold, now is
the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
Christ is inviting
you to come: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest." Oh, may we all find rest in Christ now! Do not let
anything divert your mind, but make up your mind this hour that you will
settle this great question of eternity.