Outside of Yourself
Instant salvation! In other words, “How can every soul in this building be saved tonight?” I want to ask: Do you want to be saved? Have you come to-night for that purpose? Or have you just come here to see the audience? Or have you come here to sing? Or out of idle curiosity? Or because you have not anywhere else to go this evening? Ask yourself what has brought you here tonight: and if you can answer it by saying, “I want to be saved tonight above everything else,” then I have a message for you: And, God helping me, I will try to make it so plain that you can all understand it.
I remember, when at Manchester, at one of our inquiry meetings, while I was talking, a man came up. I thought when I first looked at him he was skeptical, and had come to criticize the meeting, and see what was going on. At last I noticed tears trickling down his cheeks. I asked him if he was interested. He said, “Yes; I want to be saved.” I said, “Thank God for that.” I turned my attention to that man, and I used one illustration. He said, “I want to feel I am saved.” I said: “God does not tell you to feel, you do not want to make a god of your feelings. It is not your feeling that is going to save you.” “But,” said he, “if a man is saved, won’t he know it.” “Yes, if he comes into the ark.” I asked him if it was Noah’s feeling that saved him, or the ark. He said: “I understand it now. I have to go on board the train tonight. I see it, I see it.” He shook my hand and we parted. Some time after, I was coming out of the Free Trade Hall, and this man touched me on the shoulder and asked me if I remembered the illustration of the ark. He said he had peace ever since. He said, “It was the ark that saved me.” He was one of the best workers we had in Manchester. Just trust the ark. Don’t trust in anything you can do.
Salvation is outside of yourself: may the Lord open your eyes to see it. Your sins may keep you out of Heaven; but they cannot keep you from Christ, because Christ will take them out of the way. The ark was built for sinners. If you were not a sinner, you would not need to come in. Death is the penalty of sin; and if a man could live in the world without committing sin, without transgressing the law, he would not die. That man never lived, except the Lord Jesus Christ; and he took upon him our sins and died for us. Your sins may keep you out of heaven; but they cannot keep you from Christ, if you want to come. Take the illustration we had this afternoon about Lot. There was one minute Lot was in Sodom; another minute, and he had crossed over the line and went out of Sodom. God said: “Make haste, escape for thy life. Flee to yon mountain.” It was Lot’s going out of Sodom that saved him: that was instant salvation. One moment he was in Sodom; the next moment he had gone out. He saved his life by obeying God. It was the going out of Sodom that saved him. We want to escape for our lives; we want to escape out of Sodom.
Some people say: “God is a God of mercy; I know he will be merciful and let me in.” He will, if you have washed in the blood of the Lamb; if you have turned to Christ and been born again. Some say, when they leave this world they will knock at the door of mercy, and mercy will let them in. You need not call for mercy then. Mercy has been offered for eighteen hundred years. Mercy is here. You must meet mercy here. If you find grace and Christ here, you will find an entrance into heaven. I met a man who had a dream. He dreamed he was taken by the angels to the gates of that City which is of pure gold; and they would not let him in. He represented that he had been a Sabbath-school superintendent; but they did not know him. Then he represented now much good he had done in the world; but they did not know him. Another man came and said he had been an elder in the church; they did not know him. Another came and spoke of his good works; they did not know him. At last came one crying, “Blood! blood! blood!” and the gates flew wide open and he entered in. The man awoke, and thought that if he entered that city he must be washed in the blood of the Lamb. The blood must be the token. There is nothing to prevent you from accepting this precious blood this very night and hour.
~ This is from “Instant Salvation” in The Gospel Awakening