The Woman In The Case

By Dr. Bob Jones Sr.

HTML Version 2000

"And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, 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 cailfor thee. He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him."—Acts 24:24—26.

I call your special attention to these two verses: 'And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, 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."

Paul, the great apostle, was in jail awaiting his trial. Felix and Drusilla, a very wicked couple, sent for Paul. They had two reasons, I am sure, for sending for him. One reason is made very clear in the last verse I read. They hoped to make some money out of Paul's trouble. That is just like some people. I have known folks who would look in the bottom of the cup of human sorrow for a dollar.

I remember years ago I was out in a Missouri town in a campaign. Just across from our auditorium was a saloon, the worst saloon in town. The man who ran it, with his crowd, would be boisterous and loud and almost disturb our worship when we met for services. One night while I was preaching, the saloonkeeper was over there pointing to the auditorium and saying, "Boys, you didn't go over to the revival tonight. The preacher over there is out after money, the evangelist is preaching for money."

A fellow came in and said, "Jim, let me sweep out your saloon for a drink."

The saloonkeeper said, "All right." So he swept out the saloon. While the fellow was making fun of the meeting, he walked up to take his drink. As he picked up the glass he fell dead. Someone told me the story.

Years before, that bum was a fine businessman in the city, a princely gentleman. One day he lost his wife, a wife he loved devotedly. He had no Christian faith so he tried to drown his sorrow in the cup at the bar. He squandered everything he had for drink, lost everything he had in the world, and had come to the place where he was a miserable bum. Then he fell dead at the bar where he had taken his first drink.

I would hate to be that saloonkeeper. I would hate to be a man like that. If I were like that I would not talk about a preacher preaching for money. I thank God that I never made a dollar out of human wretchedness and human sorrow. I would hate to think that I had ever turned the widow's tears and the orphan's tears into gold. I would hate to make money by appealing to human weakness and human suffering.

Felix said, 'Let's send for Paul. He is a Jew. We can maybe get some money out of his predicament.'

Then I think there is another reason he sent for Paul, though it is not mentioned here in the Scripture. I think he sent for Paul because time was dragging heavily on his hands. Time always drags heavily on the hands of a sinner. I think Felix had heard of Paul, heard he was a scholar, heard he was a philosopher, heard he was a rather radical, extreme sort of man. Yet he was an interesting character. He said, 'Wouldn't you like to hear him talk? Let's send for him.' He was looking for a thrill.

I am sorry for sinners, all you men and women without God who are looking for something to delight you, something to thrill you. The trouble about it is that the thing that satisfies you today will not satisfy you tomorrow. It takes something more exciting, something more stimulating, something more exhilarating. But we who have Jesus Christ have found Him a satisfying portion.

One day a lady said to Mr. Moody, "There is a very sensational show coming to this town. People say it is a little questionable, but I would like to see it. What do you think about my going to it? What do you think about a Christian seeing that sort of thing?"

"Oh," Mr. Moody said, "I always go to a show like that when I want to."

She said, "You do!"

"Yes, Madam; but I never want to go. I have something much better!" Say, we Christian people have something so much better! People lose their taste for garlic and onions when they feed on heavenly manna; they do not much care for the slop that the hogs eat when they can sit down at a table and have the angels wait on them and feed on the bread of life. Oh, the poor sinners in this city, running hither and thither, looking for a thrill! I have had a real thrill, the stimulating power of God's grace, a sense of God's nearness, a consciousness of God's presence. I am sorry for you sinners. Don't you sympathize with us Christians! We are getting along fine, thank you. We are having a good time. You are tossed about upon a restless, disturbed sea; we have calm that you know nothing about.

Felix said, 'Let's send for Paul,' and Paul comes into the presence of that wicked couple. Let's you and me coach him a little; let's tell him how to preach. "Now, Paul, you have a very prominent man in the audience, and a prominent woman. You are in jail. You are going to have a trial before long. Now, listen, Paul, you can make up to that couple. Here is your chance! Sell yourself to them. Try to sell yourself. Flatter them a little. Say some nice things to them. You can win them, and they will be eating out of your hand. When your trial comes up they will get you out. This is the opportunity you have been looking for."

But Paul was not like that. Paul forgot himself. He stood in the presence of this wicked couple and preached the truth to them. He dared to preach the truth. Say, all Hell could not stop Paul! It did not matter what people did to him; they could not stop him. He did not mind a jail. I said the other day that if you built a prison across Paul's path, he would walk through the prison and come out on the other side with a convert under one arm and a prison gate under the other. Nobody could stop him. When Paul was preaching in a town he never did say, "I wonder what kind of hotel is in that town?" He said, "I wonder what kind of jail they have in that town. Say, Silas, were you ever in that place? What kind of dungeon was there?" Nobody could stop Paul. One day he was going down the road to Damascus and he saw a light flash from Heaven. He heard a voice out of eternity, and he never forgot it. When the sun comes up, the stars always hide. I met a man not long ago who told about his scholarship and his degrees—all about his experiences and how much he knew. How he did strut his stuff! He was a preacher, too. I thought to myself, "Brother, how many people did you ever win to Jesus Christ?" What good does a D.D. and an LL.D. and a Ph.D. do; what good does a university diploma and a seminary diploma do if you have never won anybody to Jesus Christ? What good is all the knowledge that men can give you unless you use it for God? A Christian has no right - to anything he does not use for God. You have no right to scholarship unless you use it for God. You have no right to money unless you use for God. You have no right to health unless you use it for God. A Christian has no right to anything he does not use for God! The only business a Christian has of getting is to get so he can serve. The more you know, the more responsibility you have.

People could not stop Paul. He had a vision. That day he met Jesus he forgot about his diploma. He forgot he was a D.D. He forgot that he was a blue-blooded aristocrat. He forgot about his ancestors. He said, 'Since I met Jesus Christ all these things amount to nothing to me. They sink into absolute insignificance.' I find that the more men know about God, the less they magnify some things that some folks magnify.

Let's suppose that you and I were living back in Paul's day. One day you are going down the road to Damascus and you see a little man running down the road. You say, "Hello, Mister. What are you running for?"

"Oh," he says, "they are about to kill me!"

"About to kill you? What have you done?"

"I was up there and some friends put me in a basket, took a rope, and let me down over the wall. If they had not done it, I suppose I would have been killed. But I am about to get away."

"Well, what did you do? Were you in jail?"

"Oh, no, no!"

"You didn't kill anybody?"

"Oh, no, no!"

"Well, what are you running for?"

"Well, I will tell you how it was. I was up there preaching. I was telling the people that God loved them and Jesus died for them, and they did not like it. They said, 'Let's kill him! Let's kill him!' And they would have gotten me if somebody had not put me in a basket, taken a rope and let me down."

"Now, wait a minute, Mister. You talk like you've been to school. I believe you are a university graduate. You talk like a scholar. Don't tell me you've gone off with those fanatics.

Say, you have a background; you have scholarship; you have standing!"

But Paul says, "Gentlemen, you don't understand. One time I was going down to Damascus, and I saw a light flash from Heaven. I heard a voice out of eternity, and I have been in debt ever since that time. I must pay the debt."

You say, "Poor fellow, isn't it strange that a man with his intelligence and sense and background would go off on a tangent like that, act the fool and be a warped man, a fanatic —isn't it a pity?"

Somebody answers you, "Well, you can't ever tell how a fellow is going to turn out, you know. Things like that happen. Here we are going along in the middle of the road, sane, and making some money.

Time passes and one day on the outskirts of the city you see some dogs and boys. You say, "What's the matter, boys?"

One of the boys says, "Well, Mister, I don't know; but it looks to me like this fellow is dead. I believe he's dead as sure as the world !"

You get off your horse, go over there and lay your head down on his chest. You say, "No, no; he's not dead. His heart is beating. Son, run get me some water. Hurry! I believe the fellow is alive, and we may be able to save him."

The little boy runs and brings some water. You wash the dirt off of his face. He opens his eyes and says, "Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!"

You say, "He's out of his head. He has a high fever and is raving."

He says, "No, I'm not out of my head. Hallelujah!"

"What's the matter?"

"They left me for dead. I thought I was about gone, too. Listen, I've been so close to Heaven that I was kissed by spirits from a world celestial, and was fanned by zephyrs from the wings of angels, and read my titles clear to mansions in the sky!"

"What is your name? What are you talking about? What are you raving about?"

Paul says, "I beg your pardon. My name is Paul."

"Paul? Why hello, Paul! We met you one time coming down the Damascus road. We knew something was going to happen to you. Why do you want to be crazy like that, go off on a tangent and take up with that crowd of fanatics?"

Paul says, "By the way, did I tell you gentlemen about that day I was going down the Damascus road and saw a light flash from Heaven and heard a voice out of eternity? I just want to tell you that I am in debt. I have a debt to pay, and I am going to try to pay it. Will you help me to my feet? I believe I can stand alone if you will help me up. I am going to get to preach some more—hallelujah! I'm going to get to tell somebody else that God loves them and Jesus died for them. ''

You say, "Good-by, old fellow; it is too bad."

We go on off and talk it over. We talk about how wise we are and about how little sense he has.

One day we get aboard a vessel to go over to Macedonia. We are about to sit down when we see a fellow come aboard. I say, "By the way, that guy looks like . . . Say, Mister, wait a minute! Isn't your name Paul?"

"Yes, gentlemen. How are you? I am glad to see you.

"Where are you going?"

"I am going over to Macedonia to preach. I got a call from over there last night."

"Didn't anybody speak to the committee" . .

"No, while I was sleeping the angel of the Lord stood by me and said, 'I want you to go to Macedonia.' And I'm on the way over there to preach the gospel and tell the glorious story of God's love and God's redeeming grace. ''

"Now listen, Paul, I want to talk to you. You are just crazy, that's all. A man of your intelligence wasting your time like that! We have a bank over in Macedonia, and we need a good, honest, upright man—a man of culture, a man who can speak several languages. We will pay you a big salary."

Paul says, "That is very kind of you, gentlemen—say, by the way, I believe I told you fellows about that day I was going down to Damascus and the light I saw flash from out of eternity. I am going over to Macedonia to help pay the debt."

We say, "Oh. you can't do anything with him; he's crazy!" Time passes, and one day we are going down a road. As we draw near to a city we see people leading some prisoners off down a road for execution. In the front ranks is a little Jew with steady step. I say, "You know, that little fellow looks like that Jew, Paul. Say, Mister, what is your name?"

"My name is Paul."

"Why, hello, Paul!"

"Hello, gentlemen."

"Where are you going, Paul?"

"I'm going to Heaven in a few minutes."

"What's the matter?"

"They're cutting my head off."

"Why, Paul—what's the matter! Is there anything we can do for you?"

"No, no! Thank you very much, gentlemen. You've been very kind, but there is nothing you can do."

"Well, we're awfully sorry, Paul. We really have an affection for you. We thought you were crazy but there is something about you that commanded our respect and stirred our affections. We wish we could do something for you, Paul."

"By the way, did I tell you gentlemen about the day I was going down the road to Damascus and the light I saw flash from Heaven and that voice out of eternity? I want to tell you I have the debt paid. I have written Timothy a letter and told him I fought a good fight, I finished the course, I kept the faith. The debt is now all paid. I am ready to be offered."

You know, all Hell cannot stop a man like that! Guns cannot stop him. Jails cannot stop him. Kings on their thrones cannot stop him. Nothing can stop him!

That was the man who stood in the presence of this wicked couple and preached the truth to them. He dared to preach the truth to them. He did not preach love to them. I believe it was Gipsy Smith who said, "We have preached love in this country until some people are lovesick." Do you know what this country needs? This country needs six months of Hellfire and damnation preaching. This country needs the righteousness of God and the justice of God preached. We have turned God Almighty and Jesus Christ into sickly sentimentalists. We need some old-time Jonathan Edwardses turned loose in this country. We are a bunch of egomaniacs strutting our way to Hell, thinking we are too respectable to be damned! Of course, we ought to preach love to the right crowd. It is all right to tell a sinner that God loves him if you put the rest of it in there, too; but this thing of standing up and just telling sinners God loves them, and never telling them that sin damns them and that God is a just God, is not enough and you had better watch out if you are doing it.

I have always preached love to some people. I never preach Hell to a drunkard. You do not have to preach Hell to a drunkard. There is not a drunken bum in Chicago who wants to be a drunkard. There never was a drunken bum who ever staggered down the street who wanted to be that. He is a poor, helpless slave. Tell him that God loves him. Tell him that Jesus Christ died for him. But do you know who needs Hell preached to them? These frizzly-headed, cigarette-smoking, cocktail-drinking society women! These respectable folks who have their cocktail parties and think they are too decent to go to Hell—that is the gang that needs it! I never preached Hell to a harlot in my life. I have been in those homes of shame with the gospel, those places where the soiled doves of the underworld live in their infamy. You do not have to preach Hell to a harlot. She knows more about Hell than any preacher can tell her. No woman at heart wants to be that. I talked to one in a West Virginia city whose own dear uncle was president of one of the greatest universities in America. She told me the story of how she made her first wayward step. As I stood there with those prominent Christian women (she had requested to see a preacher) and told her God loved her, she said, "Not me. Not me!"

I said, "God loves you. "

But do you know who needs Hell preached to them? These women who are running to the divorce courts every week, getting a divorce on every little excuse, breaking marriage vows—this high-society, godless, worldly, sensual gang! The high-brows are the ones who need it! Jesus Christ never preached Hell to the sin-sick and world-weary. He told them about a prodigal son, a lost sheep and a lost coin. But those godless Pharisees he called a generation of vipers and said, 'How can you escape the damnation?'

Paul talked straight. He did not review the latest book. Nothing makes me so sick as to find some preacher on a Sunday night looking at empty pews and reviewing the latest book when he has the Word of God to preach—THE WORD OF GOD, the power of God!

Paul did not try to match wits with people. I have no patience with that either. A man said the other day, "When you get to talking to these university people, match wits with them. Do not use the term new birth because they will not know what you are talking about."

I said, "Jesus Christ used the term new birth to a man and told him he could not understand it."

Paul matched the Word of God against them. He reasoned of righteousness, temperance and judgment. He preached straight to them. He did not flinch. He did not dodge. He did not trim. He did not cut the message. And he preached to prominent people. Anybody can preach to the common folks, ordinary everyday people.

Years ago Peter Cartright, that pioneer circuit rider who rode his one-eyed horse across this country, that preacher who wore out his Bible and his saddle going from place to place preaching the gospel, came to Nashville, Tennessee, to a great Methodist conference. The Methodist conference would not preach him because he was a sort of a woodsman and countryman and Nashville was quite a high-brow city. It was called "The Athens of the South." They had some aristocratic people there and an aristocratic pastor, and they would not use him. People tried to get them to preach him. At last the Presbyterian pastor said, "If you will not preach Peter in the Methodist church, I will preach him in the Presbyterian church." The Baptist pastor said, "If you will not have him, we will have him in the Baptist church." At last the aristocratic Methodist preacher had to take him. Peter Cartright got up in the pulpit. He opened his Bible and started to read. As he started to read, the Methodist preacher behind him pulled his coat tail and whispered, "Peter, Peter."

Peter said, "WHAT? What do you say? You say General Jackson has just come in? Well, what do we care about General Jackson. Let me alone! If he does not repent he will go to Hell just like everybody else. Don't bother me!"

The next day General Jackson said, "Peter, come over and have dinner with me."

The next day they sat down together and General Jackson said, "Peter, if I could man my army with men like you, I could go across the Atlantic Ocean and take over the British Empire." The mightiest things on earth are preachers who will not flinch! There is no place on earth where a man is more tempted to compromise manhood than in the pulpit, and there is no place on earth where there is a greater opportunity to be a man than in the pulpit.

Paul preached to prominent people.

Years ago down on the seashore at Biloxi, Mississippi, one of those old-time camp meetings was in progress. The preacher was calling mourners up for prayer. Down the aisle came an influential Louisiana colonel. He got down on his knees but did not even bow his head. He looked at the common people around him crying. He looked around as if to say, "Now, God, if you want to save me, I'll let You do it. It will be quite a compliment to You—I'm Colonel So-and-So from New Orleans. If You save me it will be quite an honor to You. It will attract a lot of attention. If it is any favor, it is all right—I will let You do it."

The preachers would speak in an easy, at-home way to the plain people, but to the colonel they would say, "Now, Colonel, trust the Lord."

Somebody else would come by timidly and say, "God bless you, Colonel."

Another person would come by and say, "Turn loose, Colonel."

Another one would come by and say, "Hold on, Colonel." There was a little preacher on the platform twisting around and looking at the sight. After a while he ran down there, stuck his face right under the nose of the old fellow and said, "Say! You know Bill Smith in New Orleans who has been in jail a hundred times?"

"Y—e-s. Yes, I know him."

"You are a lot meaner than he is and your Hell will be hotter than his."

"W—h-a-t do you mean?"

"I mean what I say, Sir. You impudent, God-defying rebel! Here you are—you were brought up in a good home. You had a Christian mother and every other advantage in the world. And here you are not even humble enough to bow your guilty head and say, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner."

The old colonel began to tremble like a leaf in the wind. He said, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!"

Let me tell you something: when some people stand at the judgment bar of God, they will have better excuses than you have. Some of you in this house tonight have had every chance to be right with God. Listen! The hottest places in Hell are going to be saved for high-brows.

I have a lot of faults. I am just as human as anybody. I am too human. If God Almighty had not saved me I do not know where I would have been. But I am going to boast a little. I know I am boasting. I am in the pulpit, but I am going to boast. I have done a lot of things I should not have done; I have made a lot of mistakes. I have blundered many a time. But I have been preaching the gospel for forty-seven years— ever since I was fifteen I have been on this job. If I had to die tonight I could stretch my hands across my breast and turn my dying, staring eyes in the face of God Almighty and tell Him that I never trimmed my message. I am not afraid to meet God on that. I have not always known what to say. I have not always known as much as I should have known. I have not prayed as much as I should have prayed. I have come short in a thousand ways. But, God Almighty, You know that when I have stood up to preach everybody has looked alike to me. The rich and the poor, the high and the low—all have looked just alike.

Listen! I want to tell you tonight—I do not care who you are—if you are not right with God Almighty you will die some day and go to Hell. I do not care how respectable you think you are! You have to repent or be damned. You have to repent or perish! You have to trust Jesus Christ or go to Hell! And you had better face it!

Paul stood in the presence of this wicked couple and preached straight to them. He did not preach love to them; he reasoned of temperance, righteousness and judgment to come. They had a chance to hear. Felix had a chance, and

Drusilla had a chance. And Paul had a chance to preach. He had to go to jail to get that chance, but it was worth going to jail to preach a fellow like Felix under conviction. You know when you preach a man under conviction—if you do not do any more than that you have done your duty. Some people say, "Preach them into the kingdom." You should preach them into a state where they will never be happy outside the kingdom!

Paul had a chance to preach and Felix and Drusilla had a chance to be saved. How good God is to give a man a chance. Suppose you had been born on some island where you could never have seen a Bible. You ought to be on your face, saying, "Thank You, 0 God, for ever giving me a chance. Thank You that I ever saw a Bible. Thank You that I ever heard anybody preach. Thank You I ever heard a church bell ring. Thank You I ever saw a gospel tract." The gospel is going out over the air today to more people than have ever heard it before. There are more people hearing the gospel in this country than ever heard it before. Listen! Millions and millions of people today are hearing the Bible preached. They are having a chance. They are hearing the gospel. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth—it does not matter whether you preach it in church on Sunday morning, whether you preach it over the radio, whether you put it out by tract, or word of mouth. It is the power of God, the dynamite of God, the nitroglycerin, the high explosive of God. It is the power of God! And you have heard it.

Felix sat there that day in the presence of Paul, the great preacher, and listened to the gospel. He was convicted. He knew that he was a sinner.

In the old days when I began my evangelistic career, people would stay awake all night. They could not sleep. I have had them call me at all hours of the night. I have known them to wake up people all over the town and say, "Pray for me." May God Almighty bring back old-time conviction in this country! In those old days we said, "This is right and that is wrong." We had definite convictions about right and wrong And we believed there was a Heaven and a Hell. Listen! All this modern talk about not believing there is a Hell is because people have quit believing in sin. A man who believes in sin knows there is a Hell. You do not have to tell me there is a Hell. I have seen ten thousand hells on earth that were produced by sin. When I was a little boy at the age of eleven, I knew there was a Hell. I knew that was where I deserved to be. I used to slip out into the woods, get on my knees, and say, "0 God, if I am not too big a sinner, please save me." I was a little country boy. I had never seen an automobile, but I had heard the music of the birds in the treetops and the songs of the wind in the forest. Everybody was decent. There was not a bad woman in that country. People were moral and clean and respectable. I saw myself a sinner. I would stay awake at night and say, "0 God, maybe I am too wicked a sinner, but if I'm not, be merciful to me." Yet we have middle-aged people in this house tonight who think they are too respectable to be damned. We have to plead with you and beg you to get you to see that you are really lost. Listen, you just do not know what a sinner you are. 0 God, hold back Thy wrath. Hold back Thy wrath!

Let me tell you something! God Almighty will not put up with everything. You get this straight! "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.'" Do not get the idea that God Almighty will stand just anything. He will not do it!

Years ago there lived down South an old-time aristocratic southern gentleman. He had a cultured, refined wife and one boy. He put all the love of a father's heart back of that boy.

He put him through high school, and then sent him to university. The boy got drunk and was expelled. The father got him in another institution. Again he got drunk and was expelled. He got him in a third one. Again the boy got drunk and was expelled. People in the neighborhood said, "If he were my boy I would kick him out of the house." The old man went ahead. He had enough influence to get him in a fourth institution. But again he got drunk and was expelled. Then no other institution would have him. The boy came home. He would go downtown and get drunk and they would lock him up. The old man would go pay his fine, get him out, bring him home, put him to bed, and the mother would bathe him with her tears and nurse him sober. They would get him on his feet and then he would go back to town and get drunk.

One day somebody said to the father, "If that were my boy . . ."

The father said, "Don't say that! Don't say that! He is our only boy. My wife and I have talked it over. We are going to stick to him to the end, and we are not going to tolerate anybody's saying anything. You are our neighbor and our friend, but don't say anything."

One time the boy went downtown and stayed a day or two. The wife said, "Dear, you had better go get our son." The old man got a colored boy, hitched his horse to the buggy, drove downtown, hitched his horse in the wagon yard and started around to the calaboose where he expected to find the boy. He met the boy staggering along the sidewalk cursing. He came up and looked at his father and said, "What are you doing here? Go on back home and let me alone." And he spat in the old man's face. The father wiped the spittle off. Tears came in his eyes and rolled down his cheeks. The boy walked up and spat in his face again. The man wiped it off again. Then the boy hit his father and knocked out some of his teeth. The old man, with drooping shoulders, turned back and with trembling hands untied his horse. He drove back home, gave the horse to the colored boy who was there working around the house. The man did not say a word. He went up in front of the house into a grove and propped his feeble old form, in which there was a broken heart, against a tree. He stood there and cried like a baby. Then he stood back and gave an unearthly scream. He went back and stood by the tree thirty minutes longer, trembling and sobbing and crying. Then he threw himself back and gave the most unearthly scream ever heard fall from human lips. He turned and went back home. He went up on the front porch and walked up and down. He turned his eagle eye up the road-—didn't say a word to anybody.

After a while he saw the son stagger up to the gate, saw him thumb with the latch until he got it open, and then saw him stagger down the walk and up to the front steps. The father waited until he reached the top step. Then he caught him by the collar and shook him and kicked him off the porch. He said, "Get off these premises, and don't you dare to come back!"

In forty-eight hours that boy died with delirium tremens and the old man would not attend his funeral.

Let me tell you something: God is sensitive. God loves! Oh, how much He loves! He loved you so much He sent His Son to come down to earth to die, and you spit in His face. You strike back at His love and tenderness, and then expect God to let you live. Listen! You had better quit playing with God Almighty like that. You had better quit it! You had better listen to me—you men and women who are not right with God!

Felix—that poor, wicked, depraved degenerate—was decent enough to tremble. He said, 'It isn't convenient, Paul.'

It isn't convenient? What is the matter with you, Felix? What is the matter with you?

"I do not like the way Paul preaches."

Shut up! Shut up!

You say, "I don't want to come to God in a revival." Well, why didn't you come when you weren't in a revival?

You say, "That is not my way." No, your way is a Hell-bound way. Don't strut your stuff around some of us who have enough sense to know what is the matter with you!

"What is the matter, Felix?"

"I can't believe." Shut up! You old liar—shut up! Listen! a preacher said to me, "The Lord has called me to preach to honest doubters." There are no honest doubters. Jesus settled that. He said, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." God Almighty did not ask you for your head. What does He want with it! He said, "Give Me your heart." If you will give Him your heart He will comb all the kinks out of your head. Your trouble is not in your head; it is in your heart.

It is not convenient. What is the matter, Felix? Let me tell you what is the matter with him. He has a sin in his life. Drusilla was not his wife by rights. She really belonged to another man. She was the woman in the case. He was living in adultery. He came where the road parted and there was his woman and here was Jesus. He knew he ought to go with Jesus, but he was in the clutches of a woman. He stood there between the two trembling.

It was a woman who robbed Samson of his strength. That mighty man—with his head in the lap of Delilah! It was a woman whose voluptuous dance sent Herod to Hell, and Herod is not the only man who was ever sent to Hell by the voluptuous dance of a woman. It was a woman who stood in the gate of Heaven and shoved Felix down to Hell. Listen! There are millions of men being damned by women! The best thing outside of Heaven is a good woman, and the meanest thing outside of Hell is a mean woman! We talk about men and women living on the same plane. They do not. Women have more soul than men. They are always a little above or a little beneath men. There are more girls seducing boys in America than there are boys seducing girls. There was a time in this country when thinking mothers said, "How can I protect my good girls from bad boys?" Now in America intelligent mothers are saying, "0 God, help me to protect my boys from bad girls." In Bob Jones College in normal times we have about as many girls as we do boys, about fifty-fifty. I will match the purity of my boys against the purity of my girls in Bob Jones College. Men in this country, as a whole, are just as good as women. That was not so twenty-five years ago. The percentage of good men, I think, has been slightly on the increase. But the percentage of good women year by year has been on the decrease. No nation ever went to Hell until its women went to Hell. There might be some hope for America if all men were bad and the women good. But there would be no hope for this nation if all men were good and all women were bad. Listen! Don't you mothers blame the world—you had the babies first. You put your stamp on them before the world ever got them. You taught them to lisp their first baby words. You saw them make their first little steps. A man can go to Hell with a good mother, but it is not easy to do so. Oh, the grip of a woman's power over a man! I saw a man in this meeting three nights ago under conviction. He sat beside a woman. If she had come, he would have come with her. There are women in this house whose menfoiks would come to God if they would come to God. Your sweetheart would come to God if you would come to God.

Felix trembled. The Bible does not say that Drusilla trembled. You would have thought it would have been Drusilla, but it was not.

There they sat. I can see her. She is not moved. But Felix is trembling as he says, 'It isn't convenient, Paul. It isn't convenient. I'll send for you later. If it ever gets convenient, I'll send for you. Go on back to jail, Paul.'

I can hear Paul's footfalls and the rattle of his chains as he goes on back to jail. Back to jail, thou man of God! Back to jail, thou hero of the cross! Back to jail! I would rather wear your prison chains than the chains of passion and the slavery that bind Felix. Go on back to jail. Go on back, Paul; we will never forget you. Two thousand years hence a preacher in the Arena in Chicago will be telling people how you preached. You have given all the preachers of all generations an example of heroism. Go on back, Paul—back down the corridor, back to jail, thou wonderful man of God! (Footfalls heard as Paul goes back to jail.) You chose to suffer rather than to compromise. Go on back, Paul! Go on back! He went on back down the corridor, inside the cell, and the door was closed. And the door that shut him in, shut Felix out.

I believe that was the day of destiny for Felix. I believe that across every sinner's path God Almighty draws a deadline. On one side there is hope; on the other side there is death. That deadline is possibly at the door of this building for somebody tonight. If you go out without God after facing this hour, it may fix your destiny for eternity.

I have learned that a sinner may have many sins, but every sinner has one sin that dominates him, one king sin, one sin on the throne, one big sin. There is always, in every case I have ever found, some one sin in the sinner's way; and when that one goes, the others go. You may have a thousand sins, but if you are not a Christian there is some one thing tonight in your way. It may not be a woman or a man. It may be intellectual pride. It may be selfish ambition. It may be a strange love of pleasure. It may be something that I do not even think to mention; but if you are a sinner, tonight you are where the road parts. Here is Jesus on one side and here is sin on the other side. And you are going to make a choice tonight. Everybody in this house is going to make a choice. Jesus is here. You are going to make a choice.

Wait a minute! The recording angel has his pen in his hand. He is going to write the choice of every one of us down.

"Recording angel, put mine down, will you? Yes, I am willing for you to write it. Put it down, 'Bob Jones.' Yes, that is the name. Write it down—poor, weak man—yes; ten thousand faults—yes; blundered thousands of times—I know it. Yes, I know it all. Blundering, miserable, helpless, human—yes, I know; but write it down: 'I choose Jesus. Jesus first'—put it down."

O Jesus, hold back the hand of the recording angel tonight and give somebody here a chance. Somebody in this house tonight has come to where the road parts. Help them to choose, Jesus.

Now every head bowed; every eye closed. I want to ask you something. There is not going to be any dodging tonight. My business as a preacher is to take every sinner's blood off my hands and throw it back on his own soul. I have not done my duty as a preacher until I leave everybody in my audience without excuse.

Men and women, let's play this game square with God tonight. I want to know how many people in this house tonight can say—think it over before you say it—"If I know my heart, I am right with God tonight."