Your Rope's Not Long Enough
A preacher was holding an open-air meeting, in the course of which he exhorted his hearers to do good and be good; he spoke of Jesus as a pattern, and advised them to follow in His steps if they would be saved. A poor woman bearing unmistakably upon her features the marks of sin, listened attentively for some time, and then suddenly interrupted the preacher by crying, “Nay, mister, your rope's not long enough for the likes of us.”
Here was a case that the preacher's doctrine would not help; his rope would not reach her, and she felt it. Well, better throw no rope at all to a drowning man than mock him by throwing one that is too short, and the rope of salvation by works is far too short to save sinners. Nay! it is no rope at all.
But this woman may have been much worse than others? Outwardly no doubt she was; but do not forget that God has said, “There is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22-23). And all being sinners, all need salvation. Oh! that each unconverted reader might discover that he or she is sinking in a sea of sin, and must be overwhelmed by the waves of judgment for ever, unless salvation comes to them.
How eagerly would they then cry out for a rope both long enough and strong enough to save them. And can such be found? Yes; verily God Himself has provided such an One. He gave His own Son to die not as a martyr or an example to men, but as the Substitute for sinners. His death was sacrificial, meeting God's righteous claims, and enabling Him to be just, and yet the Justifier of all who believe in Jesus.
Here is perfect salvation for all—all need it; none are too bad for it. God proclaims the blessing world-wide—it is for whosoever will take it. “To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). “[He] was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 4:25; 5:1). Cease from your own merits; “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Then you will rejoice in the wondrous words of the Saviour, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Believe now.
Loving Words 1914, p. 74