What Is The Price
that you put upon your soul? You say you do not know. I will tell
you. It is the sin that keeps you from God. It may be whisky;
there is many a man who will give up the hope of heaven and sell his
soul for whisky. It may be adultery; you say:
"Give me the harlot, and I will relinquish heaven with all its
glories. I would rather be damned with my sin than saved without
re you selling out for, my friend? You know what it is.
Do you not think it would have been a thousand times better for
Herod to-day if he had taken the advice of John the Baptist instead
of that vile, adulterous woman? There was Herodias pulling one way,
John the other, and Herod was in the balance. It's the same old
battle between right and wrong; heaven pulling one way, hell the
other. Are you going to make the same mistake yourself? We have ten
thousand-fold more light than Herod had. He lived on the other side
of the cross. The glorious gospel had not shone out as it has done
since. Think of the sermons you have heard, of the entreaties
addressed to you to become a Christian. Some of you have had godly
mothers who have prayed for you. Many of you have godly wives who
have pleaded with you, and with God, on your behalf. You have been
surrounded with holy influences from year to year, and how often you
have been near the kingdom of God! Yet here you are to-day, further
off than ever!
It may be true of you, as it was of Herod, that you hear your
preacher gladly. You attend church, you contribute liberally, you do
many things. Remember that none of these avail to cleanse your soul
from sin. They will not be accepted in the place of what God
demands--repentance and the forsaking of every sin.
A child was once playing with a vase, and put his hand in and could
not draw it out again. His father tried to help him, but in vain. At
last he said:
"Now, make one more try. Open your fingers out straight, and let me
pull your arm."
"Oh, no, papa," said the son, "I'd drop the penny if I opened my
fingers like that!"
Of course he couldn't get his hand out when his fist was doubled. He
didn't want to give up the penny. Just so with the sinner. He won't
cut loose from his sins.
Your path and mine will perhaps never cross again. But if I have any
influence with you, I beseech and beg of you to break with sin now,
let it cost you what it will. Herod might have been associated with
Joseph of Arimathea, and with the twelve apostles of the Lamb, if he
had taken the advice of John. There might have been a fragrance
around his name all these centuries. But alas! when we speak of
Herod, we see a sneer on the faces of those who hear us. If one had
said to Herod in those days, "Do you know that you are going to
silence that great preacher, and have him beheaded?" he would have
replied, "Is thy servant a dog that he should do such a thing? I
never would take the life of such a man." He would probably have
thought he could never do it. Yet it was only a little while after
that he had the servant of God beheaded.
Do you know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ proves either a savor of
life unto life, or of death unto death? You sometimes hear people
say: "We will go and hear this man preach. If it does us no good, it
will do us no harm." Don't you believe it, my friend! Every time you
hear the Gospel and reject it, the hardening process goes on. The
same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay. The sermon that would
have moved you a few years ago would make no impression now. Do you
not recall some night when you heard some sermon that shook the
foundations of your skepticism and unbelief? But you are indifferent
I believe Herod was seven times more a child of hell after his
conviction had passed away than he was before. There is not a true
minister of the Gospel who will not say that the hardest people to
reach are those who have been impressed, and whose impressions have
worn away. It is a good deal easier to commit a sin the second time
than it was to commit it the first time, but it is a good deal
harder to repent the second time than the first.
If you are near the kingdom of God now, take the advice of a friend
and step into it. Don't be satisfied with just getting near to it.
Christ said to the young ruler, "Thou art not far from the kingdom,"
but he failed to get there. Don't run any risks. Death may overtake
you before you have time to carry out your best intentions, if you
put off a decision.
It is sad to think that men heard Jesus and Paul, and were moved
under their preaching, but were not saved. Judas must many times
have come near the kingdom, but he never entered in. I saw it in the
army--men who had