A Sermon on a Train

A preacher sat near me, I could tell he was so On the train to New York, many long years ago, By the clothes that he wore and the book that he read, By the dignified manner he bowed his grey head. Two men, (neat, well-dressed) had both noticed, too; And it seems they decided they would know what to do. I noticed they plotted to upset the old gent, How well I recall how the episode went. Spoke up one; "My dear pastor, the devil is dead! Have you heard the great news? He’s been murdered, tis said,"

"Alas!" said the pastor, without batting an eye, I am sorry to hear it,- are you wondering why? I’ll tell you; since Satan is dead, as you say, You are both orphans starting this very day And an orphan I pity, the poor little elf, For now he must struggle through life by himself. But I’ll not condole with you now, my dear men, Since soon, at your death, you’ll meet Satan again Those who ridicule Truth, though they say it’s in fun, Will fall victim to Satan when life’s days are done. Soon scoffing and laughing will end once for all And into perdition will both of you fall.

You guess I’m a pastor; in this you judge well, Of the wiles of the devil, many tales I can tell. He mocks God’s servants, 0 this I well know; To God and the church, he’s an implacable foe, But I also know Christ, who redeemed me from sin, Gave place to my heart, sent His spirit within. 0 He died on the cross, but He lives on for aye, Enabling His servants to warn and to pray; Emboldens me now to declare on this train Your riches will vanish, your honor is vain.

For truly, we all have transgressed in thought, word, and deed. But he who flees to Christ for help to guide on his way, Shall praise His glory and His might for ever and aye. O friends, I urge you, flee to Him, let nothing delay; The words TOO LATE are fearful sounds to hear on death’ s dark day.

The pastor was silent and on sped the train Through mountains and valleys, over river and plain Though these men rode together in one single car Life’s pathways they traveled were different by far. No stops for a church or a chapel were made, Yet the pastor, a message of truth has conveyed. His word, fitly spoken, pronounced in God’s name, Has put the foul spirit of Satan to shame. The two who had mocked when the journey began, Were now quite ashamed of their impious plan.

At the station, the pastor bade both a good day; They apologized humbly, and each went his way. What happened to them later on, it seems that no one knows, And did the message bear some fruit? Eternity’ll disclose. Except a man be born again, the Scriptures clearly state, Though praised by men, he’ll never see nor enter heaven’s gate.

Young friends, from this story, we learn how harmful it is to take religion lightly. It is also harmful to associate with people who take pleasure in mocking a person who is serious. The pastor spoke for his Master and it was an honor for him; the others did speak for their master too and it was shame for them. May each of us remember this at all times.