"Oh, of course, I intend to be saved sometime; but there is no use being in a hurry about it. There is always a chance, even at the eleventh hour. Remember the dying thief!" carelessly said a young man at the close of a meeting, when spoken to about his soul.
"Which thief?" pointedly asked his questioner.
"Why, I had really forgotten there were two. I mean the saved one," was the reply, as an anxious expression came over his face.
"Yes, one was saved, and is in heaven now. The other, who had an equal opportunity for salvation, is wailing in hell. What warrant have you that you will not spend eternity as he will, rather than as the other?"
It was a word fitly spoken, an arrow that pierced the joints of his harness; and the young man was led to see the folly of further procrastination, and that night was saved for eternity, through receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour.
Thousands, like him, forget there were "two thieves." They remember the mercy of God that saved the one, while forgetting the judgment of God meted out to the other. Carelessly they wander on, hoping to be saved at last; but, alas, how many are cut off in sin and damned forever, to whom the gospel was often presented, but who, presuming on the patience of God, rejected it until "there was no remedy."
Which thief, reader, we affectionately ask, would you be like? We recollect speaking once to a very refined and elegant lady on a steamer, who asked, indignantly, "You do not mean to say I have got to go to heaven like the dying thief, do you?"
"No, madam," we replied, "you do not have to. If you reject Christ, you will have to go to hell with the other."
And so we would remind the reader;
The saved thief believed on the Son of God, and is with Christ now.
The lost thief scorned a Saviour, and is in the depths of woe.
You must be with one or the other for eternity.
"Because there is wrath, beware lest He take thee away with His stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee."
Copied from The Only Two Religions and Other Gospel Papers by H. A. Ironside. New York: Loizeaux Brothers, Publishers, [n.d.].
Selections from The Only Two Religions...