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What Then?

What Then?


Back home for Thanksgiving Holiday, he was a splendid young fellow, 18 years old, a freshman at the University, of athletic build, keen-eyed, and with as bright a mind as even his parents could wish for him his father was my law partner, a devout Christian, standing high in his profession; his mother one of God’s saints. He came into the office looking for his father, who had gone out for a short while to keep an engagement. He shook hands with me in his friendly way and I asked him to have a seat and tell me about himself.

“How do you like the university, Harold?” I asked him.

“Oh, fine,” he said, “I’m crazy about it.”

“You are a very fortunate boy, Harold,” I said, “with the parents you have, and the opportunity to get a well-rounded education.”

“Yes, sir,” he replied, “I know it, and I hope I’m appreciating it fully.”

His father had one day, in a burst of confidence, told me that he and the boy’s mother were very proud of Harold, but they were deeply concerned about his spiritual life. He had seemed to lose interest in church and Sunday school, but talked a good deal about a new philosophy of life which he had discovered at the university. Recalling this, as the boy sat there in front of me, I wondered if I could say anything to help him, but hesitated to speak at once, knowing that young people do not like their elders to “preach” to them.

But I felt a strong urge to try, so I said, “Harold, what are you planning to do when you graduate?”

Promptly he answered, “I’m going to law school.”

“Fine,” I said, “and what then?”

“Oh, well of course I’m planning to practice law; I hope one day to be a law partner with you and my father.”

“Fine again,” I said, “and what then?”

“Well, sir, I’m determined to make a success of it, so I can succeed to the business when you and Dad decide to retire.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” he said, with a slight twinkle in his eye, “I’ll marry; I think I have the girl already picked out.”

“That sounds good,” I said. “What then?”

“Well, I hope to make the practice of law pay me well, so that I can accumulate a sufficient sum to build myself a comfortable home and give my children the best kind of education; also lay up something for old age.”

“And what then?” I asked.

“Well,” he said – and he did not seem so sure of himself now – “I suppose like you and Dad, when I get old I will retire.”

I waited a moment as he sat there in silence; then I said very quietly, “What then?”

He twisted a little uncomfortably in his chair and looked out the window, but I don’t think he saw anything. After a moment’s pause, he said with a forced smile, “I’ll die.”

I waited a little longer this time as we sat in silence, asking the Holy Spirit to “take over” and use His mighty power; then I said very softly, and with all the tenderness I could show in my face, “And what then?”

He jumped up and grasped my hand, and said, “Thank you, sir, I know what you mean; I’ll think it over.” Then saying he would wait no longer for his father to return, he went out.

Next morning his father joyously told me that Harold had come to him that night, had made a genuine surrender to Christ and told him he was ready to join the assembly of born again believers.

“All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

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