Brother Marshall Keeble related an incident that happened during a Gospel Meeting in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, in which eighty-six souls were baptized. He told of a lady and her husband who attended the meeting every night and would jot down on paper the passages of Scripture that he referred to, and would go home and hunt them and read them. One night the wife could not find one of the Scriptures, and she said to her husband: “It’s almost two o’clock in the morning, but I am going to call Brother Keeble and ask him where is that passage of Scripture.” So she called the house where he was staying and the lady of the house answered the phone, and went and knocked on brother Keeble’s door, saying, “Brother Keeble, it’s very late, but somebody wants to speak to you.” Brother Keeble said, “The first thing that jumped into my mind was, something is the matter at home…My mind ran back to my home, and I told her ‘just as soon as I can get dressed, I will go to the phone.’ I went and picked up the receiver and said ‘Hello.’ The lady on the other end said ‘Is this Brother Keeble?’ and I said ‘Yes.’ She said ‘I want to ask you a question.’ Just as soon as I caught her voice, I knew it wasn’t my wife and my nerves got quiet. So I said ‘What is it?’ She says ‘Will you tell me where is that verse in the Bible that says Baptism washes away your sins?’ I said ‘Acts 22:16.’ Flop went the receiver. Poor thing was so glad to get it, that she forgot to say ‘Thank you.’ And the next night she and her husband came walking down the aisle when the invitation was extended to make the confession that brought death to our Saviour and demanded baptism to wash away their sins. Thank God for people that will sit up all night looking for a passage that says ‘Wash your sins away’” (“Who Shall Be Able to Stand?” Marshall Keeble: Biography and Sermons. Editor, B.C. Goodpasture).
Herein is a great lesson for us all. Some things are so urgent that they are worth losing sleep over. Knowing what God’s word says about the plan of salvation is one of them. One who puts his soul’s salvation and learning God’s word above sleep and personal convenience is the one who seeks and will find, according to Jesus (Mat. 7:7-8). It is too bad that more people do not “inconvenience” the preacher in order to be saved. Remember that the jailor and his house were baptized into Christ after midnight, and Paul and Silas were only too glad to teach and help them in doing so (Acts 16:25-34). Let us consider that salvation cannot wait, and that knowing and doing God’s will is the most urgent business that ever could be. Will you treat the Lord’s will and the doing of it, like these precious souls did? As a member of the Lord’s church, will you consider that prayer, Bible study, and carrying out the commands of Christ are worth losing sleep over? It is worth getting on our knees at 2:00 in the morning over spiritual matters. It is worth it to travel many miles and render great sacrifice for one’s own soul, as well as for the souls of others, and for the work of the Lord. Did not the One who suffered, bled, and died for us, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3; 1 Pet. 1:19; 3:18), say: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23)?