Why the Young Man Died


There was a young man who lived in the western part of the USA. He had never done anything really wrong, but one day he went to a party with some of his college friends and many of them were drinking. After losing a game of cards, he was mocked and lost his temper. He picked up a revolver and shot and killed his opponent and others who were laughing at him. He was arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. However, because of the fine and upright life he had previously lived, his relatives and friends started a petition for him. Before long people all over the state had signed it and at last it was taken to the governor, who happened to be a Christian. Tears came to his eyes as he looked at the large baskets filled with petitions. He decided to pardon the young man, and immediately wrote out the pardon certificate. Then the governor dressed in the garb of a clergyman, put the pardon in his pocket, and went to the prison.

As he approached the cell the young man sprang to the bars. "Get out of here," he cried. "I don’t want to see you. I have had seven of your kind already. I had enough religion at home!" "But wait a minute, young man," the governor shouted, "I have something for you. Let me talk to you. I am…" "Listen," the young man interrupted, "if you don’t get out of here at once, I’ll call the guard and have you put out!" "But I have good news for you," the visitor replied as he began to reach into his coat pocket. "Won’t you let me tell you about it?" "You heard what I said," cried the young man, "and if you don’t leave immediately I’ll call the guard" "Very well," replied the governor, as he turned sadly away and left. In a few minutes the guard of the prison came to see the young man. "Well, young man," he said, "I see you have had a visit from the governor." "What?" exclaimed the prisoner. "Was that man dressed like a preacher the governor?" "He was," the warden said solemnly, "and he had a pardon in his pocket for you, but you would not even listen to him!"

"Quick, warden, get me some paper and a pen!" He wrote: "Dear Governor, I owe you an apology, I am sorry…" In his office at the Capitol building the governor received the letter and read it sadly. Turning it over, he wrote on the back, "No longer interested in this case," and handed it to one of his secretaries. The day came for the young man to die, and he was asked if there was anything he would like to say before taking those dreadful steps to the gallows. "Yes," he said. "Tell all my friends that I am not dying for my crime. I am not dying because I am a murderer, even though I deserve to do so. The governor wanted to pardon me, and he had the authority to do it, I could have lived. But I am dying because I wouldn’t let the governor speak to me, and because I did not accept his pardon."

Friend, if you are lost and finally condemned by God, the righteous Judge, it will NOT be because of your sins. It will be because you would not accept the pardon and forgiveness that God offers you now through His Son. If you refuse Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what can God do? God is bound by His own Word, and you leave Him no alternative. You are turning down your one and only hope of salvation. Here is what His Word says about His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: "He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). That, friend, is the reason you are condemned.

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