Sixth River — Murder
“Thou shalt do no murder.” — Ex. xx, 13. God loves every one. He loves so intensely that He has made a Law punishing with eternal death any person who shall kill another.
Is it not terrible that man, who was created in the image of God, should fall so low and become so cruel and wicked that, worse than a wild beast, he will take the life of another?
The Stream of Murder is red with blood. Satan delights in pushing people into it, and sets many traps to keep them there.
God forbids all people from sailing on these waters. He warns them of its awful danger, and if they spurn His warning they do so at the peril of their souls.
People fall into these deadly waters–
By killing their fellow-men, by poison, sword, bullet, or any other manner.
By doing this deliberately or in a passion of anger.
By taking their own lives-suicide.
By inducing others to murder.
By exposing others to needless danger, as David did Uriah.
By shortening their own lives through the use of liquor, tobacco, opium, and kindred poisonous drugs. By manufacture, sale, or license of these.
By knowingly overworking employees.
By taking human life in any of its stages.
By hatred in the heart: “He that hateth his brother is a murderer.”
Reader, do you realize that, if in your heart you have hatred toward any one, in God’s sight you are just as really a murderer as though you were convicted of the crime and on your way to the scaffold?
By soul-murder; i.e., neglecting to warn the wicked when God commands it.
“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND.” — Ezek. iii, 18.
Thus He teaches that for souls lost whom we might have saved had we obeyed Him we will be guilty of murder.
By secret sins which sap the very source of life.
By dueling and prize-fighting.
By wars, contrary to the New Testament.
By becoming slaves of lust.
The murderer is possessed of the very nature of Satan himself, for it is declared he was “a murderer from the beginning,” and God says, “No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him,” and that murderers, with others who have broken His laws and rejected His Gospel, must “have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.” He also teaches that murder is a disease of the heart as well as an act of the life; therefore your heart must be right in order to save from the disease.
Two little boys were once playing. Suddenly one became very angry, and kicked his playmate just as hard as he could-so hard that in a little while he died from the effects of the kick, and the little boy became a guilty murderer, to be borne, by the swiftly rushing tide, into the River of Death and over the Falls of Eternal Despair, unless rescued by Jesus.
I once visited a prisoner who was confined awaiting execution. The day of his death was fixed, and in less than three weeks he was to be launched into eternity for murder. Christian friends had labored with him, and he professed conversion. I probed him deeply to test the reality of his conversion, and he met every test. In answer to searching questions, he said that he was heartily sorry for his sins, had renounced them all in heart, would make wrongs right, if possible, accepted Jesus as his Savior, felt that he deserved punishment, prayed for his enemies, and had confessed Christ before his fellow-prisoners.
He was asked, “If the governor would come and offer you a pardon on the condition you would give up your hope in Christ, what would you do?”
With strong emphasis he said, “I’d stick to my religion.”
His keeper was moved to tears.
The prisoner united with us in a fervent prayer, and touchingly asked God’s blessing upon those who had brought him to the Word of Life. He was executed in a few days.
Thus, now, as in the days of Jesus, many criminals go into the Kingdom before the self-righteous Pharisees, and it is proved that Jesus is able and willing “to save to the uttermost” ALL “that draw near unto God through Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
While no one who has fallen into this Stream can escape by his own strength or that of any other human being, yet God can rescue as easily as from any other of Sin’s awful Rivers. He can and has saved multitudes of murderers, for Jesus says:
“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast him out.”