“So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”–Luke 14:21–23
On Sunday night, October 8, 1871, D. L. Moody was preaching at his church in Chicago on the topic, “What Shall I Do with Jesus?” At the conclusion of the sermon, he told the large crowd to take the text home and think it over. The following week he announced that he would preach on the cross, and ask them to answer the question. But that night the Great Chicago Fire swept across the city, destroying thousands of buildings, including Moody’s church, and leaving some three hundred people dead.
“I have never since dared,” Moody later said, “to give an audience a week to think of their salvation. If they were lost they might rise up, in judgment against me. I have never seen that congregation since. But I want to tell you of one lesson that I learned that night which I have never forgotten, and that is, when I preach, to press Christ upon the people then and there and try to bring them to a decision on the spot. I would rather have that right hand cut off than to give an audience a week now to decide what to do with Jesus.”
Salvation is literally a matter of life and death—eternal life and death—and our presentation of the gospel to others should reflect that. It should be a matter of greatest urgency.
If we realize the certainty of Heaven and Hell, there is no room for casual witnessing to the lost.(Daily in the Word)