Many, many years ago in a land of the North, during the coldest time of winter and before there were the modern conveniences which we take for granted, a man was traveling on foot through a dense forest. It was a particularly wild part of the country with many dangerous wild animals prowling about.
The man realized that he would not be able to get to his intended destination before night fell. His life would be in terrible danger unless he could start a fire and keep it going all night long. He knew that the wolves and other animals would not harm him if he stayed close to the fire.
Searching through his pockets he found his match cannister. Carefully opening it he found that there were just three matches left. He carefully gathered together a pile of dead leaves, dried twigs and dead pine needles that lay on the snow. Very carefully he took out the first match and lit the pile. A little fire began to burn but then smoldered and went out. Even more carefully he took the second match, added some more dry tinder to the pile and lit the match. But much to his dismay, a puff of wind blew it out just as he held it to the pile. He had but one more match - one match stood between himself and certain death!
Dear reader how often have you heard the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ preached or spoken to you? How many opportunities in your life have you had to read the Bible, to learn of the love of God to you, and of your need of His salvation through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ at Calvary's cross? How have you treated these opportunities? Do you realize that your eternal destiny - heaven with Christ or the blackness and agony of hell separated forever from God and from every other soul - depends on how you treat the opportunities that God in love presents to you now to be saved? Perhaps even as you read this it may be that it will be the last chance, the last opportunity you have to accept God's salvation by repenting of your sins and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord.
You can well imagine how that man's hand trembled and shook as he struck his last match with the greatest care possible. Carefully shielding the tiny flame with his other hand he again put it to the dried leaves, twigs, and tinder, trembling as he watched to see if the fire would catch. Perhaps you also can imagine the joy he felt as he saw the tiny flame grow into a larger flame and shoot up into a fire - as he carefully piled larger pieces of wood on the fire, he knew that his life was saved. He would be safe from the wolves and safe from freezing for the night.
The traveller had three chances and he did not treat even one of them carelessly! And by the time he had come to his third match he surely must have realized with great dread, that it represented his last chance between life and death.
Dear reader, hear what God says in the Bible about you. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). "God...now commandeth all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:20). "God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not" (Job 33:14).
The traveller knew his danger and was not thoughtless or indifferent to it. Dear reader, are you indifferent to God's warning? He loves you for He has also told you in the Bible that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Will you believe God and receive Christ as your Saviour? Think dear reader! it may be your last chance to be eternally saved, to receive the gift of eternal life! Accept God's gracious offer of a full and free salvation to you (and to all who have sinned) through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
The Lord Jesus Christ said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation [eternal judgment]; but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:24).
Believe God and be saved "be passed from death unto life"
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Adapted and Revised, 2008