Dr. Shadrach Meshach (S.M.) Lockridge (March 7, 1913 – April 4, 2000)
Shadrach Meshach Lockridge was born March 7, 1913, in Robertson County, Texas, the oldest of eight children and the son of a Baptist minister. A graduate of Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, he worked for two years as a high school English teacher. In 1940 in Dallas, he felt led to preach. In 1941 he married Virgil Mae Thomas but they never had any children.
In 1942, he accepted his first pastorate at Fourth Ward Baptist Church in Ennis, Texas. In August 1952, he was named pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego where he served until retiring in 1993.
During Dr. Lockridge’s tenure at Calvary Baptist, a predominantly African-American congregation, his ministry touched the lives of more than 100,000 people. He preached at crusades, revivals, religious rallies and evangelistic conferences around the world.
He also served in key regional, state and national positions with the Baptist Church, including being elected the first president of the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America.
He held doctorates and numerous honorary degrees and was often sought as a public speaker, even after he retired in 1993. He served as guest lecturer at numerous schools and universities and on the faculty of several others, including the Billy Graham School of Evangelism.
Dr. Lockridge was active in the civil rights movement, and under his leadership Calvary Baptist hosted several of its leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson.
His best-known message is a six and a half minute description of Jesus Christ, known as “That’s my King!” for Lockridge’s repeated refrain.
A story of personal evangelism told to this editor by Ron Zywotko.
I was in Seattle preparing for my next meeting when I received a call from the pastor. He confirmed my engagement and told me of a man who was leaving soon for his second tour of duty in Iraq. He said the man had surrendered his life to serve God as an evangelist. Now, when have you heard of anyone doing that. I have, as I am sure you have, known of men to surrender to be a missionary, or a pastor, but almost never (in my case never) to be an evangelist. Praise the Lord!
The pastor asked if I would take this young man out with me to do personal evangelism in the public places of Seattle. He wanted him to gather some first hand experience from a man who has been doing this kind of work for the last 27 years. I assured him I would be happy to do this and we arranged a time to meet.
As is my custom, I arrived at the church early—about two hours early. It was unseasonably hot for Seattle and I remained outside in my car and prayed. I normally don’t spend a solid hour in prayer—especially in my car on a day like that one was, but I felt keenly I must have God’s power. I wanted this young man to have a blessed experience. So I prayed and I prayed some more.
When the time arrived for us to meet we were together and exchanged greetings. The pastor left and off we went to see about winning some poor lost souls to Christ.
When I tell you that we had a rough time of it, I am not joking. One person after the other rejected my approach. No one, it seemed, had the slightest interest in hearing anything about Jesus. We went into several public stores, a coffee shop, a market, a restaurant. The fish were not biting–they were snapping! Get out of here! Leave us alone! Nothing doing!
After a good long while, even I was discouraged. Remember, this is my line of work. Outside evangelism is my ministry. I am supposed to be gifted at this work. I am supposed to demonstrate that I have God’s power for this work. Nothing! People shouted—yes, shouted, profanities. I was ordered out of places. Angry people made hand gestures at us representing their attitude toward us and the Lord.
I was greatly disappointed, because I had hoped to show this young man how to engage people in public places and prayerfully win them to Christ. That didn’t happen. I felt badly for me, and I felt awful for him. I don’t think I have ever had an afternoon with so many painful rejections as that one.
I paused for a moment and walked over to a pole where I leaned my body against it and started praying. I remember telling the Lord my concerns and even fussed at Him a little. I wondered out loud to Him what good did that hour of prayer do? I felt like a complete failure.
I opened my eyes and the first thing I noticed was a young woman coming toward me from across a parking lot. She walked almost straight to me. I moved out to speak with her and asked her if she could possibly help me. I have used this approach a number of time to start a conversation. I asked, “Lady, I am not from here. I am from Tennessee. I wonder if you could give us some directions?” She was an Asian lady and she very kindly responded, “I will help you if I can. Where do you wish to go.?” I asked, “Could you give me directions to Heaven? I want to know how to get to Heaven.”
I thought the young lady would cry. She had a most pained expression form on her face, her countenance fell and she was obviously saddened at that question. She was not offended in the slightest.
She replied, “Mister, you have asked the wrong person. You see I am from India. My parents are steeped in their own religion over there, I left India to come to America where I hoped I would find this salvation that I know so little about. I visited one church and one religious group after another, but to no avail. I have been here for seven years and no one, it seems, knows the answer. I am very, very sorry that I can’t help you. I, too, want to know how to get to Heaven.”
I smiled and then told her that I could assist her. I explained that I was out here on the streets looking for people who wanted to know about Jesus. I asked, “Would you permit me to tell you how you can become a Christian?”
“Oh, yes. Please tell me.” And I did and right there on the sidewalk in Seattle I shared the Gospel with this Asian lady and she bowed her head asking Jesus to come into her heart and save her soul. I am happy to report Jesus, indeed, saved her on the spot. She was so happy. I asked if she had any word for us. This is what she said.
“I arrived in America some seven years ago. I have been searching for Jesus. I didn’t know how to search for Him. I didn’t know the right questions. I visited many of your churches and religious meetings and talked with numbers of people. It seems no one really knew the answer, at least no one that I was able to speak earnestly with. Then, today, just a few minutes ago, I was over at that Pizza place—she turned an pointed to it. I had ordered my pizza and the waiter said we are rushed it will take about 30 minutes. You can take seat, or you can walk around the mall while your order is being prepared. I took a seat at a table and was there about a minute when I had the strangest impression to get up and walk over here. I was compelled to come to where you were stranding. I didn’t know why. So that is what I was doing when you spoke to me.”
“Now I know why, but over at the Pizza place I didn’t know. God was ordering me to come to you and get my prayers answered.” She didn’t know it, but God was answering my prayers, too.
She gave us her name, her address, her phone number and her email address. She was so happy to be a Christian. We, too, were happy. The young man rejoiced with me and asked, “Does this kind of thing happen often with you.” I laughed and said, “Sure, all the time.” Then I told him the truth. This is the first time in 27 years it has been this way.
He left for his tour of duty armed with a remarkable answer to prayer and a testimony I am sure he will repeat many times in his ministry. I know I will. Winning souls is a work we are commanded to do, but we must never forget the salvation part is entirely God’s work. He does His work in mysterious ways and he uses all kinds of people to do it. Here was a case where He brought the workers and the sinner together under unusual circumstances. To God be the glory!
Editor’s Note: I have known Ron Zywotko since 1972. We worked together in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He has been a frequent guest in my home. He is an unusual human being. To say he is unorthodox would be a gross understatement. He may very well be America’s last circuit riding preacher. He goes from church to church to church each week. Usually preaches in 150 congregations each year and will have from 50 to 200 people saved in his personal visitations. I don’t know of another soul that has the discipline or drive to do this kind of work week after week. He rarely stays in a motel taking rest in church prophet chambers or private homes. Most of his worldly goods are stored in his car. I am glad to report this story here with complete confidence it is true.
Ever wondered where the current day troubles we have with Islam originated and why? The late Dr. W. A. Criswell, long pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, shares his studied thoughts and spiritual wisdom on the subject. Dr. Criswell was one of America’s best prepared pastors and was, indeed, a spiritual giant for the cause of Christ. His sermons in text, audio and video live on through his website cared for through his foundation. This message, ISHMAEL: ISLAM AND THE OIL SLICK is a fervent sermon that rolls back the veil that prevents the world from seeing the truth and the history of the great nations of Islam. You need to be acquainted with these facts, truths and spiritual insights of this man of God. The following web link will present his video from that site. Once there you will have access to over 1900 of his famous messages. Click here: http://tinyurl.com/n7xpqe
Notice the date Dr. Criswell preached this in his church: September 14, 1980
ISHMAEL: ISLAM AND THE OIL SLICK
Dr. W. A. Criswell
9-14-80 7:30 p.m.
It is a gladness, infinitely so, for us to welcome all of you who are listening on KCBI, the Sonshine radio station of our Bible Institute, and over KRLD, that carries the Cowboys game. But, we are a lot better than they, I can tell you that. All of you who listen on KRLD, you listen to a triumph every time you tune in on us. We never are defeated, never, ever; not until the kingdom comes and we look at Jesus face to face.
These days the pastor, and you are listening to him now, of the First Baptist Church in Dallas—the pastor is preaching two tremendous series of sermons. The morning ones are on the great doctrines of the Bible, and it will continue over three years. And the first two messages were introductory, delivered last Sunday morning, and this Sunday morning. And then, next Sunday morning, we begin the first section of the fifteen sections on “The Great Doctrines of the Faith.”
The first section concerns the Bible, Bibliology; and the title of the sermon this coming Lord’s Day morning is “Books and the Book.” “The Book: There is just one Book,” cried the dying sage, “read me the old, old story.” And the winged words that can never fade wafted his soul to glory. There is just one Book. That is the sermon next Sunday morning.
And the next Sunday night, the series on Sunday night regards “The Problems of Human Life—the world in which we live, have to live, you cannot escape it. You cannot say, “Stop the world. I want to get off.” We are in it, and we are involved in everything that happens. And the sermons on Sunday night are concerning some of those dramatic problems that are forced upon us.
Forgive me for this shocking header. One of the great horrors a woman has is being assaulted. The following is the account from interviews with a group of men who are in prison for rape and date rapes. They provide tips on how you or your daughters can, hopefully, avoid becoming a victim of this horrible crime and assault. I publish it here for your precaution and safety. Please scroll down for all the tips on this subject. (Received these tips in an email)
Through a Rapist’s Eyes (No Joke)
This is important information for females of ALL ages.
When this was sent to me, I was told to forward it to my lady friends. I forwarded it to most everyone in my address book. My men friends have female friends and this information is too important to miss someone. Please pass it along.
A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:
1)The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle.They aremost likely to go after a woman witha ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed.They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
2) The second thingmen look forisclothing . They will look for
women who’s clothing iseasy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.
3) They also look forwomen on their cell phone,
searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between5: 00a..m.and8:30a.m.
5)The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots. Number two isoffice parking lots/garages. Number three ispublic restrooms.
6) The thing about these men is that they arelooking to grab a woman and quickly move her to another locationwhere they don’t have to worry about getting caught.
7) Only 2% said they carried weapons because rape carries a 3-5 year sentence but rape with a weapon is 15-20 years.
8) If youput up any kind of a fightat all,they get discouragedbecause it only takes a minute or two for them to realize thatgoing after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.
9) These men said theywould not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.
Keys are not a deterrentbecause you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it..
10) Several defense mechanisms he taught us are: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell,look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: “I can’t believe it is so cold out here”, “we’re in for a bad winter.” Now you’ve seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.
11)If someone is coming toward you,hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP or STAY BACK !Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back . Again, they are looking for an EASY target.
12) If youcarry pepper spray(this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,)
yell: I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.
13)If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can byoutsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind,pinch the attacker eitherunderthe arm(between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERYHARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands -the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it hurts.
14)After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful . You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he’s out of there.
15)When the guy puts his hands up to you,grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible! The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.
16) Of course the things we always hear still apply.Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can andif you see any odd behavior,don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts!!! You may feel a little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.
1. Tip fromTae Kw on Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2.Learned this from a tourist guide inNew Orleans. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM Toss it away from you….chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3.If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will.. This has saved lives.
4.Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS!)The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
a. If someone is in the car with a gun to your headDO NOT DRIVEOFF, repeat:DO NOT DRIVEOFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5.A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.)Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
B.)If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.)Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
6.ALWAYStake the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)
7.If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control,
ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likelyWILL NOTbe a vital organ..RUN, preferably in a zig -zag pattern!
8.As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP. It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women . He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim ..
***** Here This! ******
9.Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her “Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.”
The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, “We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.” He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby’s cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.
Please pass this on and DO NOT open your door at home for a crying baby —-Thisshould probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America’s Most Wanted when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana..
Forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, share this with your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.
Editor’s Note: I can not vouch for the validity of these methods, but they seem like good advice to me. Prayfully consider them and file them away in your mind. Always be alert and ready to defend your person. Don’t ever, under any circumstance get in a vehicle with a person who almost certainly means you harm. An ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure. Stay safe!
– On February 5, 1837 in Northfield, Massachusetts Dwight Lyman Moody was born the sixth child of Edwin and Betsy Holton Moody. He started Moody Church and preached in the slums, emphasizing literal interpretation of the Bible and the need to prepare for the Second Coming. In 1870 he teamed up with the hymn writer Ira D. Sankey, and they began a series of highly popular revival tours in Britain and the U.S. He also founded the Bible Institute that bears his name.
Tomorrow May Be Too Late
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” Isa. 55:6.
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 Christ.
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 found Him.
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 of himself.
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 Us Now
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 to save.
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.
More Precious 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?
Hellfire Necessitates 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 church!
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 hearts.
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 find Him.
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 bea better time?
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.
Multitudes Can Be Saved!
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 in him.
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.”
Christ Turns 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, ïHe 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 Opportunity Now
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, he came.
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” (John 6:37).
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 hear you.
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 Too Late
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 of salvation.”
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 would not.’
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 people perished.
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.