The Dying Infidel
Just read this by C.H. Mackintosh and was thinking about his visit with this man which you will read about below. It made me wonder, gift or no gift; if each one of us were to speak with even one of those we know as a dying infidel, what could happen. Maybe we would pleasantly surprised and maybe even have new faces coming into the assembly. Just imagine, with all those with whom we pass by, interact or work with, could there be one of the Lord's in them. We will never know unless we move out of our comfort zones (different for everyone) we may be surprised at how many the Lord may use us to reach.
The Dying Infidel
To be a clever infidel is often connected with honour and importance among a certain class of men. Some, who wish to excel in arguments against the truth of God, hang upon their lips, admire their oratory, and commend them for their intellectual powers.
Such it is with men when in health and vigour; but, when death stares them in the face, it is sometimes very different. They find then that neither oratory, nor argument, nor admiration of men will avail them anything. They feel life drawing to a close, and death near them, and some conscience within them. A few more sighs and groans and then eternity. Oh, “that unknown future," say some”, “how will it be then?" Some are much perturbed, others filled with remorse, and cry out, “Too late! Too late!” or “I shall be in hell at six o’clock”, and such like.
We might enumerate many cases, but one has just come before us. A working man, who visited this dying man, says: — “Last Lord’s day, I was requested to go a mile from this, to see a dying infidel, and pray by his bedside. I asked my Lord’s permission to go. I got His answer in my own soul to go. It took me one hour to walk that mile (being so unwell). But the Lord strengthened me, so that I arrived safely at the infidel’s house, and found a crowd of people gathered around the old man. I asked him, “what he wanted of me?” He replied, “I want you to say a good prayer by me that will take me to heaven.”
“I never pray by the bedside of an infidel.” “Then you do not want me to go to heaven?”
“Yes, I should like to meet you in heaven, but it must be on safer ground than saying a prayer to you.” The old man replied, “What can be safer than prayer?” I replied, “The foundation which God hath laid is the only safe ground for a poor sinner.” The infidel then said, “Oh, put me on that foundation!” I asked him if he would let me read God’s own word? To which he replied, “Yes, I should like to hear it read.” I at once looked to the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance in this important matter, and, taking up my Bible, turned to Chapter 3 of John’s Gospel, and read from verse 14 to verse 21. Then I went back to verse 14, and shewed him what Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness was to those transgressors in that day; and that it was a true type of Jesus Christ being lifted up on the cross for the sins of all those who see their need of Him as a Saviour. Then, as the blessed Spirit gave me words to speak, I set them before this poor old infidel. I shewed him from the word of God that Christ on the cross for God and for the sinner, was the only foundation which could be laid.
The poor old man then burst into a flood of tears, and cried out, “Thank God for this foundation.” It is well for those who are building all their hope on the security of the foundation which God has laid in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ; “for other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”,(1 Cor. 3:11.) By the death of Christ alone can the sinner be reconciled to God. In a dying hour, the soul wants solid ground on which to rest, in the prospect of going into eternity.
"Eternity! eternity! How long art thou eternity? As long as God is God, so long Endure the pains of hell and wrong; So long the joys of heav`n remain, O lasting joy! O lasting pain! Ponder, O man, eternity !"
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