Of Jesus Christ it is written, 'There was a division because of Him.' He divides man's destiny. All deserved hell, but He has 'brought life and immortality to light' and is 'leading many sons to glory', Heaven instead of Hell. He has divided Time in the reckoning of many countries into B.C. and A.D. He divides the human race into two classes—those 'in Christ' and those 'in Adam'. When He was on earth there was a division among the Jews as to His Person, His works and His words.
On a mountain in the Rockies in Canada, where there is a watershed, an arch of twigs has been erected, with the words plainly wrought on the rustic structure—`The Great Divide'. Drops of rain falling in the same shower separate there, some joining a stream that becomes a mighty river and flows to the Atlantic Ocean, others falling in the other direction into another stream that flows to join the Pacific Ocean. Though they fall in the same shower of rain, their destinies are hundreds of miles apart. So it is in families, classes in school, neighbourhoods, and places of business. Christ is the Great Divide, and the destiny of men for glory or despair is determined by the attitude of the individual to Him.
(Matt. 27. 22; John 7. 43; 9. 16; 10. 19)
So from the heights of will
Life's parting stream descends,
And, as a moment turns its slender rill,
Each winding torrent bends.
From the same cradle's side,
From the same mother's knee—
One to long darkness and the frozen tide,
One to the peaceful Sea.
(Luke 12. 49-53)
At the funeral of Dr. David Livingstone a man who appeared to be a derelict of humanity was seen to be weeping bitterly. When someone asked if he were a near relative of the great missionary, he replied, 'No ! but we were in the same class at school and worked at the same loom in the mill in Blantyre. Only I took the wrong road and have become a useless drunkard. David Livingstone when young began to follow and serve Jesus Christ, and that loyalty took him to Africa.'
(Gen. 24. 58; John 1. 12)
In 1839, when R. G. Wilder, missionary to India and founder of the Missionary Review of the World, graduated from Middlebury College, he divided first honours with his classmate, Foote. Strange to say, both had been born in the same year and on the same day.
Foote became a lawyer and rose rapidly in his profession. He amassed wealth and married a young woman of singular beauty. But in the midst of his prosperity, death took wife and daughter from him and, overcome with sorrow, he blew his brains out.
When Wilder turned from flattering prospects at home to devote his life to India, his twin-honour man said to him, 'Why bury yourself among the heathen, Wilder?' Wilder worked in India more than thirty years, preached in more than 3,000 cities and villages, scattered more than three million pages of tracts, and gathered into schools over 3,300 children of whom 300 were girls. He had Christ: his twin-honour friend Foote had not. Was not Wilder's the better choice?
In the case of those two brilliant men, also, Christ was the great Divide.
(Phil. 1. 21; 3. 7)
H. Delaney, the Scottish evangelist, was preaching in a hall in a town in Scotland. Describing the suffering love of the Lord Jesus Christ as He was mocked by Herod, questioned by Pilate, thorn-crowned, spat upon and scourged by Roman soldiers, and despised and rejected by the Jews, he said, 'And all were against Him, giving vent to their hatred and crying, "Away with Him! Crucify Him!" He stood alone: there was no one on His side. I wonder,' he added, 'if we had been there, how many of us would have taken His side.' It was a rhetorical question and the preacher did not expect an answer, but he got one; for a lad near the front of the Hall who had listened with rapt attention and been greatly moved by the story of such suffering and love, called out, 'I would, sir.' Stopping in his address for a moment, the preacher looked at the lad and said, 'And are you on His side now, my laddie?'
(Exod. 32. 26; Matt. 27. 22, 23)
'In my College life,' said Arthur T. Pierson, 'there were two young men who were mightily moved by the Spirit of God on the same night. They walked down to the Chaplain's house, intending to go in and converse with him, and then in prayer surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. When they got to the gate, one said to the other, "Jim, I think I won't go in", and he resisted all persuasions and parted at the gate. The man who went in and received Christ that night is one of the mightiest ministers of Christ in America today. The one who parted with him at the gate went into drink, into gambling and sensuality, went down to Cuba and was identified there with some rebellion where he was shot, and died in his sins. They parted for eternity at the gateway of the chaplain's house, and each man's future depended on the decision made at that moment.'
Your destiny may depend upon the decision made in these fateful moments.—John G. Ridley
(Matt. 27. 22; John 1. 11, 12)