Hope for the Prodigals
"Let us learn never to despair of the salvation of anyone, as long as he lives. Fathers ought never to despair of prodigal sons. Mothers ought never to despair of self-willed, headstrong daughters. Husbands should never despair of wives, nor wives of husbands. There is nothing impossible with God. The arm of grace is very long, and can reach those who seem very far off. The Holy Spirit can change any heart. The blood of Christ can cleanse away any sin. Let us pray on, and hope on, for others, however unlikely their salvation may appear to be at present. We shall see many in heaven whom we never expected to see there. The last may yet prove first, and the first last. The famous Grimshaw of Yorkshire, when he died, left his only son unconverted, careless, thoughtless, and indifferent to true religion. The day came when the young man's heart was changed, and he walked in the steps of his father. And when he lay upon his deathbed, one of his last words was, "What will my old father say when he sees me in heaven!"
JC Ryle, The Upper Room, 209