Ask the dying sinner, stand by his bedside and inquire of him, whether it proves a comfortable and supporting thought that he has cared more for the world than for his soul.
Perhaps you never saw the deathbed of one who had not got his feet upon the rock. Oh! It is a fearful, instructive, soul-moving sight! When the heart begins to beat faintly and the eyes grow dim, when friends are weeping all around and human medicines avail no longer, when all the intoxication of worldly pleasure or business is past and far away, when each lies in his own silent chamber, with nothing apparently between himself and God, when something whispers, ‘You shall not come down from that bed on which you have gone up – but shall surely die!’
“In that solemn hour, beloved, we have little idea how small appears this earth and how broad eternity; how much the memory of sin improves; how deeply a guilty conscience darkens. You would then hear him acknowledge that his life had been a grand mistake; you would hear him confess that the care of the soul was indeed the one thing needful, and bitterly repent the time he had lost, the opportunities he had neglected and the instruction he had despised. God grant I may be spared the pain of seeing any of you in such a plight!”
~ J.C. Ryle
Tract: Profit and Loss