Thursday, June 15, 2023

Safety First

Some while ago, flights in and out of Europe and elsewhere were greatly disrupted because vast clouds of ash were thrown into the sky by the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland. The various bodies that control air travel decided that it would have been too dangerous for aircraft to fly through this ash since there was the possibility that the aircraft engines may have been damaged and even ceased working, as well as the fact that the pilots could not see. There were some who criticised the decision to stop all flights on the basis that the scientific evidence was flimsy. Others considered the problem from an economic perspective and since the loss of revenue was not sustainable, they said that flights should recommence. However, the overriding consideration had to be that of safety, and this gave bias to every decision - it must be safety first.
When pondering things eternal, this also must be the overriding consideration. Every person is in danger of perishing for eternity under the righteous judgment of a Holy God, Whose character demands that He must and will punish sin. It is because of our own personal sin that we are separated from God, "your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear" Isaiah 59.2. This is why we need to be rescued, made safe or, in the word used in the Bible, "saved".
To be saved is not an option; it is a command, "we must be saved" Acts 4.12. The glory of the gospel message is that we can be saved, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" 1 Timothy 1.15; "the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" Luke 19.10; "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved" John 3.17. The gift of God’s only begotten Son displayed God’s love for lost and fallen humanity, and He devised the means of salvation that allows Him to forgive our sins and save us on a basis that does not compromise His holy character. That meant that His sinless and holy Son had to bare the judgment due to sinners when He hung crucified on Calvary’s cross. It is for this reason that He is called "Saviour" - because He saves, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" Luke 2.11.
Perhaps some think that they can obtain salvation by their own merit, acts of kindness, philanthropy, religious observances and many other man-made schemes and devices. Let the word of God speak, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" Ephesians 2.8,9.
The question that needs to be addressed is, "Have I put safety first?" In other words, "Am I saved?" It will be sad in the extreme if some eruption of earthly emotion, religious fervour or whatever casts such a cloud across your mind that you can neither see nor think straight. How sad to have to cry for all eternity, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved" Jeremiah 8.20. God calls you to, "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" Isaiah 45.22. Preachers instruct you to, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" Acts 16.30,31.
Used by kind permission of Assembly Testimony
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