Thursday, January 10, 2013

Too Late

            Many years ago, I read a little book by F. W. Boreham, a New Zealander or Australian man who lived in New Zealand for many years, in ministry and in one of his very interesting articles that he wrote, he told a story of Ebenezer Wooten, an earnest but eccentric evangelist, who was conducting a series of summer evening services in the village green in England, at Lindford Brook.  “The last meeting had been held, the crowd was melting slowly away and the evangelist was engaged in taking down the marquee,” he said.  I assume that’s something like a tent.  It is what he had set up on Lindford Brook in order to conduct the meetings.  “And, as he was engaged in taking it down, a young man approached him and asked rather more casually than earnestly, ‘Mr. Wooten, what must I do to be saved?’  And the preacher looked up, kind of took his measure of the young man,’” so Mr. Boreham said. “And replied to the young man, ‘Too late.’  And he said it, in a matter of fact kind of way, glancing up from some obstinate tent peg with which he was struggling.  ‘Too late, my friend.  Too late.’
            Well, the young fellow was startled out of his indifference and he said, ‘Oh, don’t say that, Mr. Wooten.’  A new note of pleading coming into his voice.  ‘Surely, it’s not too late just because the meetings are over?’  ‘Yes, my friend,’ the evangelist said, dropping the cord in his hand, straightening up, looking right into the face of the questioner.  ‘It’s too late.  You want to know what you must do to be saved, and I tell you, you’re hundreds of years too late.  The work of salvation is done.  Finished.  It was finished on the cross.  Jesus said so with the last breath that he drew.  What more do you want?’”  

from "Hebrews and the New Covenant:  Hebrews 8:1-13" by Dr. S. Lewis Johnson