One of the main points I tried to make in my message last Sunday was that we should resist the temptation of putting off till tomorrow to get right with God. To drive home my point, I gave several quotes from J. C. Ryle and his book, Thoughts for Young Men. From the first time I read this book, these thoughts have captured my attention. I hope they capture yours as well.
“Young man, it is appointed unto you once to die (Heb. 9:27); and however strong and healthy you may be now, the day of your death is perhaps very near. I see sickness in young people as well as old. I bury youthful corpses as well as aged. I read the names of persons no older than you in every graveyard . . . Are you thinking you will attend to these things tomorrow? Remember the words of wise King Solomon: ‘Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth’ (Proverbs 27:1) . . . Tomorrow is the devil’s day, but today is God’s. Satan cares not how spiritual your intentions may be, and how holy your resolutions, so long as they are fixed for tomorrow. Oh, give no place to the devil in this matter! Tell him, ‘No Satan! It shall be today: today!’"
“Young man, do not be deceived. Do not think you can willfully serve your self and your pleasures in the beginning of life, and then go and serve God with ease at the end . . . It is a mockery to deal with God and your soul in such a fashion. It is an awful mockery to suppose you can give the flower of your strength to the world and the devil, and then put off the King of kings with the scraps and leftovers of your hearts, the wreck and remnant of your powers. It is an awful mockery, and you may find to your horror that the thing, in fact, cannot be done."
"I venture to say you are counting on a late repentance. You do not know what you are doing. You are reckoning without God. Repentance and faith are the gifts of God, and gifts that He often withholds, when they have been long offered in vain. I grant you that true repentance is never too late, but I warn you at the same time, late repentance is seldom true. I grant you, one penitent thief was converted in his last hours, that no man might despair; but I warn you, only one was converted, that no man might presume. I grant you it is written, Jesus is ‘able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by Him’ (Heb. 7:25). But I warn you, it is also written by the same Spirit, ‘Because I have called, and you refused, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes (Prov. 1:24, 26).”
“Every day you are either getting nearer to God, or further off. Every year that you continue unrepentant and unconverted, the wall of division between you and heaven become higher and thicker, and the gulf to be crossed deeper and broader. Oh, I urge you, dread the hardening effect of constant lingering in sin! Now is the accepted time."