The last time I preached upon this question was in old Farwell Hall. I had been for five nights preaching upon the life of Christ. I took him from the cradle and followed Him up to the judgment hall, and on that occasion I consider I made as great a blunder as ever I made in my life. If I could recall my act I would give this right hand. It was upon that memorable night in October, and the Court House bell was sounding an alarm of fire, but I paid no attention to it. You know we were accustomed to hear the fire bell often, and it didn't disturb us much when it sounded. I finished the sermon upon "What shall I do with Jesus?" And I said to the audience, "Now, I want you to take the question with you and think over it, and next Sunday I want you to come back and tell me what you are going to do with it." What a mistake! It seems now as if Satan was in my mind when I said this. Since then I never have dared give an audience a week to think of their salvation. If they were lost they might rise up in judgment against me. "Now is the accepted time." We went down stairs to the other meeting, and I remember when Mr. Sankey was singing, and how his voice rang when he came to that pleading verse:
To-day the Saviour calls;
For refuge fly.
The storm of justice falls,
And death is nigh.
After the meeting we went home. I remember going down La Salle street with a young man who is probably in the hall to-night, and saw the glare of flames. I said to the young man: "This means ruin to Chicago." About one o'clock, Farwell Hall went; soon the church in which I had preached went down, and everything was scattered. I never saw that audience again. My friends, we don't know what may happen to-morrow, but there is one thing I do know, and that is, if you take the gift you are saved. If you have eternal life you need not fear fire, death, or sickness. Let disease or death come, you can shout triumphantly over the grave if you have Christ. My friends, what are you going to do with Him to-night? Will you decide now?
"A Day of Decision."
I believe there is a day of decision in our lives—a day upon which the crisis of our lives occurs. There is a day when the Son of Man comes and stands at our heart and knocks and knocks for the last time and leaves us forever. I can imagine when Pilate was banished how this recollection troubled him day and night. He remembered how that Saviour had looked on him —how innocent He was; he remembered how, when the Jews were clamoring for His death, and the cry echoed through the streets of Jerusalem, "Crucify Him! crucify Him!" It seemed as if He had nothing but love for them. Probably some one told him the story of the crucifixion, and how when nailed to the cross and the howling mob around Him, He cried, "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do;" he remembered how they clamored for his life, and how he hadn't the moral courage to stand up for the despised Nazarene, and that preyed upon his mind, and he put an end to his miserable existence.
Moody Puts a Man in his "Prophet's Room."
A few years ago as I stood at the door of a church giving out invitations to a meeting to take place that evening, a young man to whom I offered one said, "I want something more than that. I want something to do!" I urged him to come into the meeting, and after some remonstrance he consented. After the meeting I took him home, and after dinner I told him there was a room which I called the "Prophet's Room," and up stairs was another which I called the "Unbeliever's Room," and I would give him till night to decide which he would take. He was able by night to take the first, and the next day was at work urging young men to attend the noonday prayer-meeting. When I was burned out in the great fire and was left perfectly destitute, I received a letter with some money from this young man in Boston, who said: "You helped me and took me in your home, keeping me six weeks and refused to take anything for it, and I have never forgotten your kindness." I had lost sight of him, but he had remembered that as a turning-point in his existence.
—If you receive Him it will be well; if you reject Him and are lost it will be terrible.
—Thanks be to God, there is hope to-day; this very hour you can choose Him and serve Him.
—Now just think a moment and answer the question, "What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?"
—I believe in my soul that there are more at this day being lost for want of decision than for any other thing.
—One of two things you must do; you must either receive Him or reject Him. You receive Him here and He will receive you there; you reject Him here and He will reject you there.