How shall we be ready for that day?
Believe God’s truth, and venture out upon it, by strong faith that gives glory to God.
We must have the same state of mind that we would have if we knew we were to die upon that day, the same entire consecration to God and deadness to the world.
I cannot better illustrate what I mean than to suppose a large flat rock in the midst of the ocean. A promise is made by a glorious and mighty prince that at a given time he will send a splendid steamer to carry all persons whom he shall find there with the evidence that they fully credited his word, to a glorious country.
Many venture out to the rock. Some, when they are safe on the rock, cut the rope, and their craft with which they came there drifts away from them, and they look after it no more, but are watching for the arrival of the steamship. They have no doubt of the truth of the promise, and risk all upon it. Others who come there think it is enough that they are on the rock. But they would be ‘wise’ and not run too great a risk.
“According to thy faith be it unto thee” (Matthew 9:29) had been sounded before the time the steamer was expected. The day arrives. The prudent ones, it may be, intend to cut their boats loose, and let them float off, if they see the steamer coming.
It appears in sight; but now it is too late to let go their boats without being discovered; and besides, the same prudence would dictate now that they do not let their boats float away till they are certain that they are not mistaken in the approaching vessel.
Now it comes so near that they cannot possibly cut loose without being discovered.
The steamer arrives at the rock. The question is asked:
What is the evidence that you had implicit confidence in the promise of the arrival of the steamer?
Our boats are cut loose, and have floated away from us, so that we could not possibly get to land, and must have perished if the steamer had not arrived, for it is a rock where no other vessel ever passes.
The Commander of the steam vessel cries,
That is enough, come on board; such confidence shall not be disappointed.
Those who had kept their boats made fast to the rock now crowd around and strive to get on board the steamer. The commander asks,
What mean those boats I see made fast to the rocks yonder, or whose ropes have only been cut since I arrived in sight?
We thought we would be prudent, so that if the steamer did not arrive, we might have something with which to get back to land.
The Commander cries,
You made provision for the flesh then, did you, and so doubted my words? According to thy faith be it unto thee. The evidence is against you. You made provision to return, and now you must reap the fruit of your unbelief.
19 So they could not enter in because of unbelief.
O, awful state of despair! Cut your ropes now, brethren; let your boats float out of sight; yea, make haste before the “sign of the Son of man appear” (Matthew 24:30). Then it will be too late. Venture now, and venture all. O, my heart is pained for you; don’t dally; push off that boat, or you are lost; for “whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it” (Matthew 16:25), so saith Jesus Christ, our Lord and Judge.
Make haste, then, once more I entreat you, O make haste! Let go every boat by which you are now calculating to escape to land; “if it don’t come.” That “if” will ruin you. It is now the last trial and temptation. Do as our Lord did with the last temptation of the devil: “Get thee hence, Satan,” said he. Then the devil left him, and “behold, angels came and ministered unto him” (Matthew 4:10,11).
So will it be with you when you have gained this triumph.