Dwight L. Moody, by his own admission, made a mistake on the eighth of October 1871 – a mistake he determined never to repeat.

He had been preaching in the city of Chicago. That particular night drew his largest audience yet. His message was “What will you do then with Jesus who is called the Christ?”

By the end of the service, he was tired. He concluded his message with a presentation of the gospel and a concluding statement: “Now I give you a week to think that over. And when we come together again, you will have opportunity to respond.”

A soloist began to sing. But before the final note, the music was drowned out by clanging bells and wailing sirens screaming through the streets. The great Chicago Fire was blazing. In the ashen aftermath, hundreds were dead and over a hundred thousand were homeless.

Without a doubt, some who heard Moody’s message had died in the fire. He reflected remorsefully that he would have given his right arm before he would ever give an audience another week to think over the message of the gospel.

-Sermons Illustrated May/June 1989

 

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Evangelist Paul Rader has often urged a banker in New York State to receive Christ, but the man would not make the decision. One day the preacher sensed that God wanted him to go immediately and speak to him again. So he took a train to the town where the man worked, hurried to the bank, and found his friend standing in the doorway.
“Rader,” he said, “I’m glad to see you! I wrote a telegram begging you to come, but later changed my mind and didn’t send it.”
“That’s all right,” said the evangelist, “your message came through anyhow by way of heaven.”
Under deep conviction of sin, the banker was impressed by Rader’s earnestness and his special effort to reach him with the gospel, and within a few minutes he accepted the Lord. In his newfound joy he exclaimed, “Did you ever see the sky so blue or the grass so green!”
“Hallelujah, you’re truly converted!” came Rader’s response. “It’s just like the song says, ‘Heaven above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green; something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen”
Suddenly the banker gave a strange gasp and fell over dead! He had been saved at the very brink of eternity. What if Paul Rader had delayed or failed to stress the banker’s urgent need of turning to the Lord immediately? That man may have been lost.

 

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