Too Late To Mend

Title: Too Late To Mend

Bible Book: Hebrews 6 : 4-6

Author: Jesse M. Hendley

Subject: Procrastination; New Year


[Editor's Note: The late Jesse M. Hendley preached this sermon many years ago, but the truth in this message is as real today as it was when he first delivered it.]

Man says it is never to late to mend, but the Bible says in Hebrews 6:4-6, It is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted o f the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son o f God afresh, and put Him to an open shame."

Man says it is never too late to mend, but the Bible says there comes a time when it is IMPOSSIBLE, that a day of doom will come to a human soul. It isn't pleasant to warn people about this awful truth, but necessity is laid upon me as a minister of Christ standing before the souls of men. We have a tremendous responsibility. There isn't a man alive who stands in a more solemn place of responsibility than a preacher of the Word of God! We shall have to give an account to our God and to the souls before whom we preach. God says it is IMPOSSIBLE for some people to mend. A preacher is not to preach what man thinks or what man likes. A preacher is to preach what God says to preach, in the Bible. If DOOM is the Word of God, we cannot be silent about it.

I do not speak to you as an originator or discoverer of this tremendous truth---the impossibility of certain souls to be saved after they have reached a certain point. My business is to be faithful first to God, then to His Holy Word, and then to the souls of listeners, YOUR souls.

I. An Unpleasant Subject

I do not speak upon this subject with joy. It isn't joyful tidings. It is a solemn warning that needs to be brought. It isn't a joy for a surgeon, who loves you, to come to you with the news that an operation is imperative or you die. It isn't pleasant, but it is absolutely essential. So it is with a minister. Many times he stands not as a medical doctor but as a surgeon! He must do the desperate thing in order to save the life.

Much of the thinking today about "God" is false. The thinking of men about God and salvation is often inexact and untrue. This idea that it is never too late to mend is false. People say, "It is never too late to change my ways, never too late to come to Christ, never too late to begin my journey to heaven. I can come anytime. I can come in the last few minutes. I can turn at the last minute. It is never too late to be saved. A man may go deep into sin and fill up the measure of his iniquity; nevertheless, God is good. `His mercy endureth forever.' He will have mercy upon me."

Friend, you might find it entirely otherwise! The idea that you can go just as far as you please, then turn back; the idea that you can descend into the well of sin and climb out again, is a very comforting creed for those who believe it. But the question is, Is it TRUE? Will it stand the test? On the authority of the Bible, I do not think so; I say to you, it is FALSE.

Someone has said, "In the place we call Hell, Eternal Love - as in the place called Heaven - we will find." That isn't true. There is no eternal love in Hell. There isn't any God in Hell. There isn't any mercy in Hell. There isn't any salvation in Hell.

II. An Unsaved Soul

We read that God is not willing that ANY should perish. Does that mean that the will of God can keep you from perishing? No. God is NOT willing. It isn't His will that a single soul perish. Yet, men go on perishing anyhow. So the will of God isn't the only factor in this great truth of salvation. There is something in man that must make a response to that will of God if he is to be saved! God doesn't will for people to become drunkards, but they do. God doesn't will that gamblers go on in an evil life of gambling, but they do. God doesn't will that a home be broken, the man going this way and the woman going that way and children going down to ruin. Is God's WILL, then, sufficient to save a soul? No. There is something WE must do.

"God loves men," you say. But is God's LOVE the only factor in salvation? Or must there be a certain attitude on the part of the sinner if he is to be saved? Yes, the latter is true; there must be a certain attitude on the part of the sinner, or, in spite of the love of Gad, in spite of the WILL of God; that person shall find himself beyond the Point of No Return. "It is never too late to mend"? God says there WILL come a time when it is impossible to repent.

A famous scientist was doing an experiment in a glacier. Ha was lowered into the fissure, down between two great walls of ice that at any moment might crush him to death. They made preparations to pull him quickly back up again if anything should happen. They thought of every thing except one thing: the weight of that frozen rope. They found they COULDN'T pull him back up again! He dangled in that crevice, knowing that any moment he might be crushed. They had to send for help to pull him out. Help did arrive in time, and the man, suspended in that dangerous position, was finally pulled to safety.

When you let yourself down into the awful depths of sin and say, "God is good. He will draw me up and out again," you might find that you hadn't counted on the WEIGHT OF SIN! It's easy to lower yourself down into sin; it isn't so easy to get out.

You say, "Nothing can change the Love of God toward me." I'm not so sure about that. The nature of God does not change, but what if YOU change? The Lord changes not, but man does change. You are not the same person you were ten years ago. You are gripped tighter, unsaved friend, by the terrible stranglehold of sin. You are deeper in sin. The vice of sin is tighter upon you. The web is strengthening around you. Yet all the while you are thinking, "It's never too late to mend. I can get out of this."

The New Testament teaches otherwise. The New Testament teaches that there is such a thing as an ETERNAL sin. The Lord Jesus Christ mentions it. Jesus said certain people would not be forgiven. It is impossible for some people to repent. Certain people go on in willful sin until there is no more sacrifice available whereby they can be saved. The New Testament teaches that certain people get into a position where they cannot believe! The awful sin of these SELF-DESTROYERS! DON'T BLAME GOD, my friend! If you put out your eyes and you can't see again, don't blame God. If you harm yourself, don't blame God.

Samuel Johnson, the famous man of literature, on his deathbed was flung into terror as he contemplated eternity and his soul going out to meet God. A friend standing by, beholding his agony, said, "You seem to forget the merits of the Redeemer." The dying man cried out, "The Redeemer has said He shall separate the sheep from the goats, that He will place some of us on the right hand and some on the left." Poor dying Johnson did not seem to KNOW which side he would be placed on by the Christ of God. I tell you, friends, it is an awful thing to WAIT, till your deathbed, to MAKE SURE ABOUT YOUR SALVATION. It is an awful thing, I say again, TO WAIT!

Not only does the New Testament teach that there is a time when you will be unable to mend, but it is against nature itself. If you do not USE an organ of your body, that organ perishes. If you cut a tree for turpentine, and you cut too deep, you lose the tree. You can take a curve in your automobile too fast, and you'll go over the precipice. It is against the very laws of nature. There comes a time when it is TOO LATE to obtain an education that you despised. There comes a time when it is TOO LATE to get that deadly cancer out of your body. You live with it until it strangles you. There comes a time when it is TOO LATE to save your marriage from the rocks.

III. An Unchanged Nature

Moreover, the great thinkers of the ages have recognized the time-element, the awful danger of coming too late. Victor Hugo in Les Miserables depicts this in Jean Valjean coming in contact with the good Bishop. Jean Valjean realized that the final struggle had begun between his wickedness and the good life that the Bishop was exemplifying and calling him to.

Milton talked about the devil as a free agent, and yet he writes of the devil, "All Good to me is lost. Evil, be thou my good." What an awful position!

Shakespeare in Hamlet says, "What can it be when one CANNOT repent?" He that repents shall be forgiven; but what if you CAN'T repent?

A habitual drunkard said, "If a glass of liquor were placed before me and I knew the abyss of Hell was yawning before me, still I would make a try to get it." His nature was fixed!

A man on his death-bed was restless. He was fumbling with his hands. The doctor said, "What is the matter?" The son standing by answered, "Each night my wealthy father would go to sleep handling some of his bank notes." Dying, that man was feeling for his money! UNCHANGED!

A woman called a preacher to pray for her dying husband. The preacher prayed, but even as he was praying, the dying man, who had been a pickpocket, slipped the gold watch from the preacher's pocket. As the man stiffened in death, there was the watch, dangling from his fingers

A young man with swollen eyes came to a doctor. The doctor said, "Young man, you are living an immoral life. If you do not stop, you will be blind in three mouths." The young man walked to the window and said, "Goodbye, world of light. I cannot give up my sin." It was TOO LATE.

My friend, listen, IF YOU WANT CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR, if you WANT to trust Him, if you WANT to be saved, then it is NOT TOO LATE. Your very desire to change and be saved indicates that there is yet hope. Will you, right now, turn with all your heart to Jesus Christ to save you? I WARN YOU, there will come a time when you CAN'T TURN. It will be too late! Come to Christ NOW and let Him save you. Will you do it?

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