The door of salvation soon swings shut
But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you... Prov. 1:24-26 (NIV).
I have known parents who had five children in heaven—all of the lambs in the fold, but they themselves outside of the kingdom. With some the voice of God has been ineffective. Sermons innumerable; hymns and psalms in numerable; solemn providences innumerable; and yet they have trampled on all these influences, and are no nearer the kingdom now than they would have been had they lived in Ethiopia, and never seen a missionary. Shall I tell them they have an immortal soul? They know it. Shall I tell them that the judgment is coming? They know it. I fear they will be lost. They will appear at the last day with none to defend them. All the sermons will plead against them; all the Bibles will plead against them; all their religious advantages will plead against them.
God will say, “But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you.” The door of mercy will not always stand open. It has begun to close. It moves faster and faster upon its hinges. It swings closer, and soon the announcement will be made that the door is shut!
All those splendid trappings that you have on now death will tear off, and you will go into eternity stark naked. Will you take that deathless spirit and toss it away forever? See! the ground on which you stand is crumbling away. Very soon you and I will be in judgment. “Look! He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him” [Revelation 1:7 Holman]. “It is appointed unto all men once to die, and after that the judgment” [Hebrews 9:27].
About the author and the source
Rev. Thomas De Witt Talmage (1832–1902) was a famous 19th-century preacher, clergyman, author, and editor in both the Reformed and Presbyterian churches.
T. De Witt Talmage. Daily Thoughts, edited by J.V. D. Shurts. New York: Dodd and Mead, 1875.