The Three Classes of People

A Message from Rev. Dwight Lyman Moody; Glad Tidings; 1876

Three Classes.—”I always notice many here at noon I whom we have met in the inquiry-rooms, and I want to speak a word to them. There are three classes of people who will not accept salvation—Those who neglect it, those who refuse it, and those who despise it. Many think they are not so bad as the scoffer at religion because they only neglect it, but if they keep on they are lost just the same.
1. Neglecting Salvation
Suppose there is a man in a boat going in a swift current down the stream; if he neglects to pull for the shore he is a doomed man. He will go over the rapids won’t he? If Noah had neglected to go into the ark after he had built it, he would have been lost with the other antediluvians. Nothing could have saved him. You let the cry be raised that this building is on fire, and see how many will keep their seats; they would be burned up as sure as they did.
2. Refusing Salvation
Then again in the 12th chapter of Hebrews, 25th verse, “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh.” The next step is to refuse salvation. A while ago they only neglected it, now they refuse it—that is the second round of the ladder. You can only do one of two things, take it or refuse it. You have all been in a house where the waiter passed ice-water to a number of people sitting together, and seen how some would take it and some would not; so the cup of salvation is passed among you to-day. How many of you will accept it? Are you almost persuaded? Remember—a hair’s breadth from heaven is not an inch from hell.
3. Despising Salvation

Again in the 10th chapter of Hebrews, 28th verse, we read:  “He that despised Moses’  law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.” Many despise the whole thing, hate it, and will have none of it—give them a tract and they light their cigars with it. There are the three words—neglect, refuse, despise. When there is but one engine and three cars attached, don’t they all go the same way? If you do either of these three things—you must suffer the eternal consequences.”