Procrastination Sermon Illustrations

Procrastination Sermon Illustrations

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Tonight or Never

At the close of a meeting held in a mining district in England, a stalwart miner, in deep anxiety of soul, walked up to the preacher to inquire what he had to do to be saved. God's Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, had touched his heart, and he had made the awful discovery that he was a lost sinner on the way to everlasting perdition.

The preacher unfolded to him the way of salvation. He showed him, from Scripture, that Christ came into the world "to seek and to save that which was lost"; how He of His own free will gave His life a ransom for us, so that God's righteous sentence of death as to the wages of sin having been borne by our Divine Substitute, all who simply believe on Him—all who rest on His finished work—are saved: All seemed dark to the miner. The burden of unforgiven sin pressed heavily upon him. As the hours passed, the preacher urged him to turn from self and sin, and "behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." No impression appeared to be made, and as it was now 11 o'clock the preacher told the miner it was time to go home, suggesting that he should return to the chapel on the following evening.

With an agonizing look the poor fel­low replied, "No, I won't leave; it must be settled tonight or never!"

They remained together. Hours passed and the anxious inquirer did not lay hold of the soul-saving truth; but as the clock struck three, the light of the glorious Gospel suddenly burst upon him. He saw and believed the glorious fact that the work of Christ on the Cross had satisfied the justice of God on account of his sins, and joy and peace filled his heart. Rising from his seat, and clasping his hands together, he exclaimed, "It's settled now, Christ is mine!"

He thanked the servant of God who had been the instrument of leading him to the Saviour, and soon afterwards went to his work in the coal pit, happy and rejoicing, because a saved man.

In the course of the day a sudden crash was heard by those in the neighborhood of the pit. Part of the roofing of the mine had fallen in, burying a number of men beneath it.

As quickly as possible willing hands set to work to excavate the earth in order to rescue those who were underneath. After working for some time they heard a sound, and digging with renewed energy in the direction whence it proceeded, they reached the converted miner. Life was not quite gone, for he was speaking. Eagerly they listened, and the words they caught were these: "Thank God, it was settled last night." They were the last words he uttered. When taken out life was extinct. The happy, redeemed spirit had "departed to be with Christ." Little did the miner think how solemnly true the memorable words which he had uttered the preceding night were to prove in his own case: "It must be settled tonight or never."—Gospel Herald.

"'Tis Always Now"

'Tis always NOW, tomorrow never comes.
Where'er we go, or be, it is today;
Yet, e'en "today" not long with us will stay,
'Tis here, then gone; how quickly NOW succumbs!

What thou wouldst do, do quickly! do it now;
Wouldst thou be saved? Do not procrastinate;
Now is thy time; beware, ere 'tis too late,
While yet 'tis day, thy faith in Christ avow.

Wouldst thou the gospel story tell to someone lost?
Or wouldst thou go to lands which lie afar,
And preach the gospel, be a guiding-star?
Now is the time to go; count not the cost.—R. E. Neighbour

Without Remedy

One day my telephone rang and a lady asked me to come down and visit her husband, who was very, very sick, and unsaved. I went and stood by the bed—the man had double pneumonia—and I said, "Old boy, I am sorry you are so sick." After a while, as the Lord helped me, I talked of the Lord Jesus, and the man said, "Here and now I receive Him; and I will tell you what I will do; if the Lord will restore me, I will forsake my sin, and I will come down and be baptized."

In a few days I went again to see him, and he was out of danger. On the third visit I found him sitting on the woodpile watching his chickens—he loved good horses and fine chickens. I said, "You will soon be ready to come to church." He replied, "Brother Neighbor, I am going to keep my promise and unite with your church and be baptized a week from next Sunday."

A couple of weeks went by and he did not come. One day I saw him on the street riding a beautiful black steed. I hailed him and said, "Wait a minute, old boy. I thought you were coming on to live for Christ." He said, "Oh, Brother, I will come!" But he did not.

Then one day I met a grocery-man, a member of our church, and he said, "We are going to have a sudden death in this city." I said, "Who do you think is going to die?" He said, "The man that promised you all sorts of things when he was dying. The Word of God says, `He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."'

I do not believe a week passed until I heard that man's wife, over the telephone, say, "Oh, Brother Neighbor, come! B. is dead! He was at a banquet at the hotel and he fell over dead." I think that was the saddest funeral I ever attended.—R. E. Neighbor.

Deadly Indecision

I sat one day by the far-away shores of the Great Lakes listening to a tragic story from the lips of a white-haired fisherman. Years before, he said, when the village was but a hamlet the mail was carried from the distant shore of the bay to the fishing village by an Indian and his son-in-law. One bitter day in mid-winter they set out from the south shore for the long trip across the Great Lake. All day they traveled on the ice, skirting the frozen shore of the bay. As night came on they pitched their tent and went ashore for firewood. Gathering what they needed they started back from the mainland toward camp. Just as they stepped upon the ice it broke loose from its moorings and began to drift out from the shore. The boy, quick-witted and alert, immediately dropped his bundle of wood and leaped across the crevice in the ice. The father-in-law hesitated a moment and in that moment the gap widened too much to over-leap. He paused in hesitation, for the waters were black and forbidding in their deadly chill. The boy shouted to the older man to leap in and swim to shore, as that was his only chance for life. But the old man still delayed. Then the lad began to cry out in earnest entreaty for his father-in-law to leap, as it was his only chance to be saved from a dreadful death. The older man seemed paralyzed with fear and indecision. He began to call out farewell messages for his wife and children across the watery waste now rapidly widening as the wind kept drifting the great ice-floe out into the darkness. The last the boy saw him he was standing with outstretched arms drifting to death in the bitter cold and darkness of the night. He perished a victim of deadly indecision. "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"—James H. McConkey.

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