Brethren Archive

The Wrong Password

by Inglis Fleming

“Halt! who goes there?”

“A friend.”

“Approach, friend, and give the password.”

Dismounting from his horse in the darkness of the night the rider drew near to the sentinel and found the man’s gun pointed at his breast.

It was in the time of the Civil War in America. The wounded and the dying were being visited and cared for by earnest Christian men who travelled from camp to camp with the message of life.

One of these now stood before the soldier’s gun. He had secured a password before leaving one part of the camp, in order to go to those needing attention in another part of it. But just after he had mounted his horse and gone out into the darkness on his errand of mercy, it had been found necessary to change the watchword.

Not knowing of the alteration, the Christian, in answer to the sentinel’s challenge, with all confidence gave the word he had received:


There was a dead silence. Amid the blackness and gloom the two men faced one another. For a moment the preacher’s life was in jeopardy. At length the soldier slowly said, in serious tones, “It is the wrong password. But that I know you your life would pay the penalty of the mistake. At the risk of my own life, I spare yours. Go back and get the right word.”

Before I finish the story, let me ask, Have you the right password for salvation and heaven? Now, are you quite sure? If not, make sure at once. Your eternal welfare depends upon it. Your soul’s everlasting blessing is at stake.

The great enemy of our souls—the deceiver of the whole world—the devil—is busy with his delusions. And many are being deceived and misled.

How may I know whether I have the right password, do you ask? The Word of God, the Bible, will tell you. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Read it carefully. Read it prayerfully. It will guide your steps aright. It will teach you the right password.

What is it? There is but one. It is—


JESUS—the Son of God—is the only Saviour. “There is NONE OTHER NAME, under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Go where you will on the face of the earth that name alone will avail for your blessing.

The names of Buddha, Confucius, Mahomet, and other great leaders of men are of no value for salvation. They are dead. Death defeated them. They could not save themselves. How then could they save others? The Lord Jesus Christ has defeated death. He can save you. In love for us He died. But now He is Risen. He who was on the cross is on the throne of God. He is exalted there to be a Saviour. You may look to Him and be saved—today—Now.

Mark it well:—

There is only one way of life—that way is Jesus—the Son of God (John 14:6).

There is only one means of cleansing from sin—that means is by the precious blood of Jesus, the Son of God.

There is only one passport to heaven—that passport is Jesus, the Son of God.

There is only one door of blessing—that door is Jesus, the Son of God (John 10:9).

The word of God is as clear as noonday as to this.

The Son of God Himself spoke in words of perfect plainness.


Notice that He does NOT say, “I am a door.” Neither does He say, “I am the best door.” Nor does He say, “I am the easiest door.” These might mean that there were other doors. No! He says: “I am THE DOOR.” There is no other way of blessing, there is no other door of salvation.

In order that there might be this door of salvation, the Son of God left His throne in glory and became man. But that was not enough. If He were to be the way of blessing He must be lifted up upon the cross and die (John 11:14-15). In no other way could blessing come to a sinner, but by the shedding of His precious blood.

Without shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb. 9:22).

“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

The sinner’s own death, his blood, could not put his guilt away. If a man dies in his sins, where Christ has gone he cannot go.

To return to the American story.

Thanking him heartily for his mercy and kindness to him, the Christian remounted his horse and rode back in order to obtain the necessary countersign. Having done this, he started afresh, and journeyed on until the challenge was made again. Dismounting he soon found himself near the soldier’s weapon, and responding to the renewed challenge, gave the right password:


“Pass on! and all’s well,” was the immediate reply.

“I cannot pass on until I have spoken a few words to you,” said the Christian. “At the risk of your life you have spared mine. Let me ask you, ‘Have you the right password for heaven?’”

“Yes, sir! I have.”

“What is it?”

“JESUS! sir.”

“Where did you learn that?”

“In your Sunday-school in Pennsylvania.”

Have you learned it yet, friend?

Some are told that religiousness or earnestness will save. No! neither religiousness nor earnestness will avail. Saul of Tarsus was religious and earnest while he pursued his downward path as the chief of sinners. He had to learn that his religiousness and his earnestness were not the right password.

Some are told that death on the battlefield, or in defence of their country, will be a sufficient title for entrance to everlasting bliss. But this, too, is only a delusion. We value the bravery of the troops. We honour the memory of those who have nobly sacrificed their lives for their country’s welfare. We heartily acknowledge the debt of gratitude which is owing to them, BUT these things have naught to do with the matter of the forgiveness of sins—of the salvation of the soul—of fitness for heaven.

If forgiveness or salvation or fitness for heaven could have been obtained by any other means whatsoever, then the Son of God need not have come; He need not have suffered—He need not have died. It was because there was no other way of deliverance possible that God gave His only begotten Son to die. Because of this the Saviour endured His unutterable sufferings at Calvary. Because of this His precious blood was shed.

We cannot save ourselves whether by life or by death. No man can by any means redeem his brother. Jesus, the Son of God, is the Only Saviour. Look unto Him, and be saved.


Scattered Seed 1916, p. 35

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