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Is it too late for me to be saved? Have I gone too far to be forgiven?

Many years ago while preaching about the harlot who washed the feet of Jesus, the late evangelist JOHN ALEXANDER DOWIE (1847-1907) of Zion City, Illinois, related the following:

"This poor woman, a harlot, who came in from the streets is called 'Hamartolos'; in the original word, that is to say, a prostitute, a poor, wretched, outcast woman, a harlot. Oh, is there any being upon earth so much to be pitied, so deplorably miserable, as such an one?  Perhaps once she had known virtue, and a happy home.  She may have been pampered and petted; perhaps educated and made to think that she was the cynosure of all eyes.  Now she finds herself, by the betrayal of her heart's affection, a poor wretched outcast, whose only means of sustenance is to prey upon unclean and vicious and foul humanity.  I know nothing so sad as this.  In all its naked horror it appeals to no one.  I have never ceased to shrink almost with terror, man of mature years though I now am, whenever I have been accosted in the street by such an one.

One night when I was in far away Melbourne, Australia, I had been engaged in writing in a newspaper office.  I had been asked to write something for that paper, and I had written it for God, and for the people.  It was very late.  I came downstairs, and stood out in the cold night air for a moment, with bared head.  I was looking up at the stars from the quiet, silent street.  A little way off was a great thoroughfare where the people were coming out of a theatre, and crowding the street.  I was in a quiet part of the street, standing there thinking what way I should go home; whether I should take a cab or whether I should walk. 

I was enjoying, for a moment or two, that cool, fresh air, when I heard a clear and beautiful voice say to me, 'Good evening, sir.'  I turned around and saw the lovely face of a very beautiful girl.  I said, 'Good evening," but I trembled as I said it; because I knew at once what kind of woman she was. 'Good evening,' she said again; and I again said, 'Good evening,' and that was all.  She asked, 'Will you go home with me?'   And then, having prayed silently, I turned to her and said, 'Home with you?'  'Yes.'  'Where is your home?'  So she told me.  'Oh, no,' I said under the anointing, 'that is not your home.  Your home is the house of her which is the gate of Hell.  The dead are there.  If I went home with you I should share the fate of all who enter there, unless God delivers them.   BUT, will you go home with me?'  She was trembling violently, holding on to an iron post with a ring at the top of it, and her fingers were grasping the ring.  'Home with you?' she said.  'Yes, sir, but where do you live?'  I answered her, 'I live on earth, but my home in the heavens.  Oh, won't you go home with me to heaven.  I will take you tonight to a godly Christian woman here in Melbourne who will be as kind to you as to her own daughter.'  She then knew that she had spoken to one who was a child of God.

Although I am sure that she had not been long in sin, she opened her eyes wide and held up her hand, and I will never forget her cry - 'It is too late.  The waters have gone over me.  It is too late,' and with that she darted away.  I went after her, but she was lost in a moment amidst the great multitude that was surging up and down the streets from the theatre.   'Too late!  The waters have gone over me.'  I went home that night with these words ringing in my ears: 'Too late!  Too late!  The waters have gone over me.'  I declared, 'IT IS NOT SO, God; we shall search for that woman in this city UNTIL WE FIND HER.'  And blessed be God, tonight that woman is living a holy and happy and virtuous Christian life."   

Where are you going Shepherd?  To find My sheep.
How far will you go?  As far as My sheep.

How far may that be?  To the world's end.
How long will you seek it?  Until I find it.

When you find it, will it come to you?  No, it will flee from Me.
Where will it go then? To the rocks and the sand.

When will it stop? When it can run no more.
What will you do then?  Carry it home.

-submitted by Br. Terry Miller
Real righteousness is by grace through faith. 

Last updated: Sep, 2011
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