The Only Alternative
A boat is drifting rapidly towards the falls. It contains a single man. Breathlessly the multitudes watch from the shore. The current is bearing him on. The mighty cataract already thunders just ahead. He has no alternative but to be saved, or perish. It is rescue or death – nothing less. Another minute and he is gone. He has perished. It could not be otherwise.
Four lepers sit at the gate of Samaria. They are dying of starvation. Within the walls famine reigns supreme. To enter would mean death. There seems no hope. But wait! Around them is the enemy. Perhaps they will be merciful and spare them alive. There is a chance at least. But will they take it?
To remain where they are means death, certain and soon. To enter the city would be madness. They decide to take the only alternative that offers hope. They go. To their amazement, the enemy has fled: the camps are deserted. But—there is food in abundance. They eat and they are saved. It was their only hope (II Kings 7:4).
A wedding supper. Guests arrive. Finally – the king! Entering, he surveys the scene. Presently his eye falls on a man without a wedding garment. “And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.”
“Then said the king to his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 22:12-13
The law was that every guest must have a wedding garment. There could be no exceptions. Nor were there any other qualifications that would do. Hence, there was only one alternative. He must be cast out. It was his own fault.
My friend, have you a wedding garment? Or, will you attempt to enter Heaven in the righteousness of your own filthy rags? Remember, you have no other alternative. It is God’s righteousness with which you must be clothed or you, too, will be cast into outer darkness.
The word has gone forth that the cities of the plain must be destroyed. Lot is in Sodom. To remain means death; certain and sure. The fire and brimstone will fall upon all alike. The angels come. A warning is given. But there is no alternative.
“Escape for thy life,” Genesis 19:17, they cry as they lay hold on him.
He hurries out, across the street, through the gate and into the hills beyond. The fire and brimstone fall and Sodom is destroyed. It was his only hope, and he took it. He was saved. You, too, are lost. Death and judgment lie before you. You are headed for destruction. You may not know it, but it is true nevertheless. The blind man sings as he goes, knowing not that a precipice lies before him. But that does not alter the fact of his danger at all. Nearer and nearer he comes until, suddenly, he has taken his last step in safety, for the next plunges him to destruction.
He did not know, but it made no difference. He did not realize it, but that did not lessen his danger. No, friend, you may not know nor feel that you are lost any more than the blind man, but that does not alter the awful state of your condition the least.
You may not believe it, but that does not change the Word of God. The Bible declares that such is a fact; that you have no alternative but to be saved or perish, that salvation is your only hope. “Turn ye, turn ye… for why will ye die?” Ezekiel 33:11. You must turn or die; but if you will turn, you will not die. God entreats you. He asks, “Why will ye die?” plainly intimating that death is not necessary. There is an alternative, though only one.
God’s “excepts” are not to be trifled with. “Except a man be born again,” He declares, “he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. And, “Except ye be converted… ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3. And again, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3.
Without conversion, you are lost. Hell will be your eternal doom. Oh, I beg of you, make no mistake; be not deceived; you can never enter Heaven unless you have been converted. Stop, then! Answer as before God. Have you been converted? Can you name the time, the place? Do you know when the mighty transaction occurred? Or, if you know not the time or the place, do you know that the work is done? Have you passed from death unto life? Can you give to every man that asks you reason for the hope within you? Tell me, are you converted or are you not?
What! alive and don’t know it! Born these many years, and yet unconscious of the fact! Away with such folly! “These things have I written… that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” I John 5:13. Either you know or you don’t know, and if not, it’s better to be disturbed until you find out rather than remain blinded by Satan and perish eternally.
Oh, that the Spirit of God might use these words to arouse you out of your indifference and apathy, whether you are saved or lost, that you may take the trouble to find out if you have been converted, or if the Devil has lulled you into the sleep of death!
Can I say more? Will you not now “choose you this day whom ye will serve?” Joshua 24:15. Must I still plead? You must be converted or condemned, one or the other. Which is it to be? Enter Heaven as you are, you cannot. You must be saved – or perish. Oh, that I could convince you!
Will you argue with your Maker? Is the infinite God of the universe to be questioned by your finite intellect? His infallible Word declares that you have no alternative but to be saved or perish. Will you believe it? Well, then, why still delay? “How long halt ye between two opinions?” I Kings 18:21.
Salvation is your only hope. You must be saved or lost. “Except ye be converted ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3. Choose or perish. Act or die. Salvation or damnation. It must be either the one or the other, God or Satan, Heaven or hell. There is no third option, no further alternative.
For you He died. Your sins were laid on Him. The Lord Jesus accepted your guilt and gave His life for you. Divine love has done its utmost. Salvation may be yours “without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1. “The gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:23.
Oh, then, sinner friend, come! come to Jesus. While the voice of God is calling; while the Saviour seeks admission; while the Holy Spirit pleads – come! Before the day of grace is ended; before the night of death o’ertakes you; before your doom is sealed forever – come! Turn ye! oh, turn ye, for why will ye die?