The Danger of Being Sidetracked
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph. 5:11)
We frankly admit that error and false doctrine are some of Satan’s most successful means of recapturing souls. However, while this is true, it is also equally true that carnal associates and worldly friends have been the cause of more people backsliding and returning to sin and the world than all the erroneous books on earth. Therefore, newly converted souls cannot be too careful at this point. When money, pleasure, strong drink and all other devices fall in the hands of the devil to induce souls to return to the ways of sin, a subtle, sly, attractive human being (especially a woman) hardly ever fails, unless God mightily interposes.
A number of years ago in the midst of a powerful revival the preacher observed a young lady under deep conviction. He was moved by the Spirit to urge her to give her heart to God. He plead with her and urged her not to grieve the Holy Ghost, but she replied, “Not tonight.” She went home under deep conviction and told her parents how she felt, and how she had been halting between two opinions; that she never felt such concern for her soul before, and never realized her danger of being lost at any period during her life so much as she realized it that night. Her parents were unsaved and had no concern for her eternal welfare. On asking their opinion regarding her living for Jesus, they said in reply: “You are young and will have plenty of time,” so after a struggle with the Spirit of God for several days she yielded to the advice of her parents and sent the Holy Spirit away. Some weeks after the revival closed she was stricken down very ill and in a short time was on the verge of eternity. She tried hard to pray and obtain the favor of God but He refused to be entreated. She had allowed her loved ones to get between her and the Savior. Hence she went out into the great beyond — a lost soul.
A young man in the East, some years ago, was wonderfully saved and called to preach the Gospel; but his wife was quite a society belle and a great lover of pleasure, hence, she rudely withstood him for years until finally he decided to renounce all of his religious scruples and join her in the broad way of sin. In a few months he was stricken with a serious illness and was nearing the dreadful gates of death. Before passing away, he cried out in a shrill, fiendish tone: “R____, you have damned me! You have damned me! You have damned me!” and then glided over the “Falls of Eternal Death.”
Reader, whatever you do, be true to God and stand by your conviction, no matter if it causes you to lose every friend in the world, sleep in the street, die in the poorhouse and be buried in the potter’s field.