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A Convenient Season

“ … When Felix came with his wife Drusilla…he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:24-25.

Felix did not want to give up his sins. He looked around. There was Drusilla. He knew that when he became a Christian, he must send her back to Azizus, her lawful husband, and he said to himself, “I will risk the destruction of my immortal soul sooner than I will do that.”

How many there are now who cannot get to be Christians because they will not abandon their sins! In vain all their prayers and all their church-going. You cannot keep these darling sins and win heaven, and some of you will have to decide between the wine-cup and unlawful amusements, and lascivious gratifications on the one hand and eternal salvation on the other.

Delilah sheared the locks of Samson. Salome danced Herod into the pit. Drusilla blocked up the way to heaven for Felix and unless some of you repent, you shall likewise perish. Yet when I present the subject tonight, I fear that some of you will say, “Not quite yet. Don’t be so precipitate in your demands. I have a few tickets yet that I have to use. I have a few engagements that I must keep. I want to stay a little longer in the whirl of conviviality–a few more steps on the road to death, and then, sir, I will listen to what you say. Go thy way for this time. When I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee.”

Do you know that your boat is on the edge of the maelstrom, and that the foam on the wave is the frothing lip of the destroyed, and that the gleam in the water is the glaring eyeballs of the banished, and that the roar of the wave is the groan of the damned? You had better clutch with both hands the handles of the oars, as with a death grip, and, putting the blades down into the black waters, pull for your eternal life, crying, “Lord, save me, I perish!”

Can you not offer such a prayer tonight, oh man, long wandering away from your God? Who is that I see running up and down in the prison-house of the lost, now trying to break through the gate, and failing, turning around and rushing to the other gate and beating against it, and in despair, crying, “Let me get out!” Who is it? Some soul tonight that will not give up his indulgences; some soul tonight that is bound hand and foot by the powers of darkness; some soul here that has a darling sin that he will not sacrifice, and who says to me when I present the great themes of God and eternity to his soul, “Not yet. Go thy way for this time. When I have a more convenient season, I will call for thee.”

T. DeWitt Talmage

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