We Must Be Sure
“Can you tell me the way to Newton Ferry?” The speaker was a tall, strongly-built man of about forty years of age. His keen gray eyes looked out of a fine-featured face, and the lady to whom the question was addressed took a sudden liking to him.
“Well, I’m not sure, but I think you must take the first turn to the left,” she replied, wondering as she did so, whether the man before her would think her directions worth following. She almost breathed a sigh of relief when he replied with another question.
“But are you sure?”
“No,” she said, “I only think that it is the correct way.”
“Thank you, Ma’am,” said the stranger, “but that won’t do for me, so I must ask someone else. You see,” he added with a little smile playing around the corners of his mouth, “I must be sure!”
He was about to turn away, in search of someone else to ask, when Mrs. Lewis spoke again.
“Please excuse me,” she said, hurriedly, “but might I be permitted to ask you a question?”
The man nodded ascent, his eyes upon her wonderingly. With a swift, silent prayer for help, Mrs. Lewis took the plunge.
“You’re too wise to waste five minutes for want of being on the right road, friend,” she said, “but are you equally wise about your soul? What is your hope for eternity?”
The man standing beside her looked surprised at her question. No one had ever taken the trouble to ask him about the welfare of his soul before! How should he reply?
“I think if a man does his best –,” he began.
“No, no!” – cried Mrs. Lewis impulsively. “If, ‘I think,’ is not enough to depend upon for time, it will never do for eternity. Sir! Let me use your own words and say: ‘You must be sure’.”
“How can anyone be sure of eternity?” cried the man. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” replied his companion quietly.
“ ‘I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him’ II Timothy 1:12 – the safety and welfare of my priceless soul. The Lord Jesus died on the cross to save my soul – and your soul, too. Sir, He shed His precious blood to blot out my sins and what He has done for me, He did for you! Will you not make sure of eternity tonight, and take Him at His Word? He says, ‘Without shedding of blood is no remission,’ Hebrews 9:22, but ‘The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin’. I John 1:7.”
There was a moment of silence before the man replied. Then he looked straight at the woman standing beside him with pleading in her eyes.
“I thank you for your interest, Ma’am,” he said. “You’ve touched the spot. If there is one thing I have longed for it is to make peace with God, but –.”
“You cannot do that!” interrupted Mrs. Lewis. “You cannot do that, for it is made already. It was made over nineteen hundred years ago, when the Son of God took your sins upon Himself, and died for them at the place called Calvary. All that is left for you to do is repent of your sins, and to put your trust in your Substitute. Like me you may say tonight:
‘My sins deserve eternal doom –
But Jesus died for me.’
‘Come unto Me,’ He pleads, holding out His scarred hands to you – scarred in making your peace with God. ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28. Will you not come to Him just where you are, Sir, and go on your way rejoicing because you have made sure of the way to Heaven?”
Again there was silence. Mrs. Lewis waited patiently, praying that the Holy Spirit would bring this sinner to the Saviour without further delay. Suddenly the man raised his head.
“I will!” he said with quiet determination. “God knows I have repented, but I never understood before that He had paid the price for me. I always thought there must be something I must do to improve myself! Now I see that He has done it all for me, and I do put my trust in His redeeming blood, and commit my soul into His keeping. Will you pray with me before we part, Ma’am?”
How gladly Mrs. Lewis consented to the request! No one was in sight, and there, standing by the roadside, she prayed that God would accept this repentant sinner, and cleanse him in the blood so freely shed for him. Then the stranger prayed, and humbly thanked the Saviour for dying for him.
Their prayer finished, the man turned to go on his way. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Ma’am,” he said, a note of real joy ringing in his voice. “Now I can go on my way rejoicing, for – I have made sure!”
Mrs. Lewis nodded, and smiled. But as she continued on her way, she murmured: “Thank you, Lord, ‘…I being in the way, the Lord led me…’ Genesis 24:27. Surely there is joy in Heaven over another sinner who has repented!” (Luke 15:7)