Are You Anxious about Your Soul?
James Smith, 1859
"John," said a gentleman the other day to a laboring man, "Are you anxious about your soul?" The speaker knew the value of the soul, and had secured the salvation of his own—by faith in Christ. Being saved himself, he was anxious that others should be saved too, and therefore he put the question. Just so, the writer of this article, having obtained mercy myself, and having enjoyed the happiness of real religion, my heart's desire is, that others may obtain mercy, and be made as happy as I have been.
The Lord Jesus can make any sinner happy, for he has all the sinner needs to impart; and he is quite willing to do so, if the sinner is willing to be made happy by him. Reader, "Are you anxious about your soul?" Unless it is safe in Christ, you ought to be, for God has said, "The soul that sins—it shall surely die." Now you have sinned—you are therefore doomed to die!
The death threatened is most fearful—for it is eternal. It consists in banishment from God, exclusion from heaven, being associated with devils, and being shut up in hell forever! The lost soul will suffer the most dreadful agonies—and will suffer them forever. The body will suffer with the soul—and be its companion in the most bitter torments to all eternity!
Now this must be the case, for God must keep his word. It is no use to talk of God's being merciful, for he cannot be merciful at the expense of his justice and his word. He must be true. He must do—as he has said. He always has. He said he would drown the world—and he did drown it. He said he would destroy the seven nations of Canaan—and he did destroy them. He said he would punish the Jews—and for eighteen hundred years he has punished them. Yes, God will keep his word! Many find this out when it is too late. Millions are in hell proving this now, and we fear that millions more will go there to prove it yet.
We fear you may, and therefore hoping to prevent it, we ask you, "Are you anxious about your soul?" But if you are anxious, can you avoid God's threatening, and escape from God's wrath? Yes, oh, yes! But only in one way. You must have a Substitute to bear the penalty for you. Someone must die in your stead. God must punish someone instead of you. Thus, and only thus, you may go free.
Now the Lord Jesus is willing to stand as your Substitute. He is willing to pay the penalty. He suffered for sinners. He died the just for the unjust. Having done so, he sends his gospel to inform you of it, to invite you to come to him, to commit your soul to him, and to be saved by him. If as a poor, lost, ruined sinner, you come to Jesus—if you commit your soul to him—if you trust alone in him—if you place your entire dependence on him—he will transfer the merit of his life and death to you. His Father will place all that he did and suffered—to your account; and because he died, you shall never die; because he suffered for you, you will never be punished in hell. Jesus will stand for you, answer for you, advocate your cause, and so save you with an everlasting salvation. His person will be accepted instead of your person, his sufferings instead of your suffering, his blood instead of your blood, his obedience instead of your obedience, and his life instead of your life.
Thus you may be saved—but only thus. Thus you may be saved immediately, there is no cause for one moment's delay, for the Bible speaks to you when it says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved." You see there is no doubt about it. There are no difficulties in the way. Only sincerely believe in Jesus, believe in Jesus this moment, and this moment you shall be saved.
"Are you anxious about your soul?" Ought you not to be? Will you not wish by and bye that you had been? Yes, yes, you will. Let me beseech you, then—to lay these things to heart. Turn your mind to them at once. Fix your whole attention on them. It is madness to delay. Believe on Jesus. Seek the promised Holy Spirit. Cast yourself on God's mercy in Christ—and you are safe forever!