What Will You Do in the Last Conflict?
James Smith, 1859
A short time ago, I heard a young man, who was dying in a consumption, speaking of the exercises of his mind, and he said this thought was often made use of by the enemy to depress him, "What will you do in the last conflict?" He referred to death, which is the last enemy the Christian has to conquer, and by faith in the blood of Jesus, he will conquer him.
But everyone of us must meet death alone, we must each of us encounter him for ourselves, and we must conquer—or be conquered by him. Death, to an unsaved sinner is a dreadful foe—he has an awful sting; for the sting of death is sin. If death meet us with guilt on our consciences, and with unpardoned sin laid to our account—the conflict will be terrible, and the consequences will be dreadful. As we must meet death, as each one of us must meet him alone—let us attend to this solemn quesion, "What will you do in the last conflict?"
I think I hear the Christian say, "I will present to him the blood of Jesus, which has atoned for all my sins; I will rest on the word of Jesus to banish all my foes; and I will cry aloud for the presence of Jesus, to strengthen and embolden me. In that final conflict, I shall look to, rely on, and expect victory through Jesus alone. I shall meet death in union with Jesus, and expect that he who conquered death for me, shall conquer death by me!"
Well, and so he will, and meeting death thus, you will have to exclaim with the apostle, "We are more than conquerors, through him who loved us!" Precious Lord Jesus, you have delivered our souls from death, and you will give us the victory over our last foe!
But unsaved sinner—what will you do? When all the sins of your past life come up before you, when the justice of God makes its demands upon you, when eternity bursts on your view, and the pains of hell get hold upon you—what will you do? What can you do? With no Savior to deliver you, no Comforter to speak peace to you, and no hope of heaven to sustain you. When conscience accuses you, God frowns upon you, Satan stands ready to seize upon you, and death has lifted up his dart to strike you—what will you do? Oh, what! you will not find a friend in all God's universe. All will take God's part against you, because you refused all his counsel, and refused to be saved by his Son.
Let me tell you what to do: submit at once—accept God's free invitation at once—go, fall down before God and confess your sins at once—believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved. Do not delay another moment. Trifle no longer. You may be called to meet the last foe, and be found in the midst of the last conflict, before you are aware of it. Now, Now—you may obtain pardon through the blood of Jesus. Now, Now—you may be prepared for death by the work of God's Holy Spirit! Now, Now—you may be united to Christ, and receive such grace and strength from Christ, as shall enable you to meet death exclaiming, "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, the strength of sin is the law—but thanks be unto God, who gives me the victory through Jesus Christ my Lord!"