Sunday, June 30, 2024

England v Slovakia - saved by the Bellingham!

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Winning a match at the last minute can be viewed in two ways. You could say what a pathetic team; they only won by the 'skin of their teeth' and were just lucky. Or, you might say - 'they kept pushing', 'they got there in the end', 'they shone when they needed it most' - 'they showed their colours' when they needed to or 'when push came to shove' they won! 'Saved by the Bellingham' is the latest idiom used to describe the last-minute success of the England Football team based on the well-known phrase - 'saved by the bell'.  

The phrase 'saved by the bell' is used when someone has been saved by the timely intervention of something or someone or when one has been rescued from difficulty at the last second (source - 

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

So, where did the phrase come from?

The widely accepted belief is that 'saved by the bell' originated as an expression about people being buried alive. The concept was that if someone was unconscious and mistakenly pronounced dead and buried, they could, if they were later revived, ring a bell attached to the coffin and be saved. This theory, while plausible, is not without its uncertainties. There's no concrete evidence that anyone was ever saved by these coffins or that they were ever used, and there's a similar lack of evidence that the phrase 'saved by the bell' was ever used in that sense before it had been used in other contexts.

In fact, the expression is also boxing slang, and it came into being in the latter half of the 19th century. A boxer in danger of losing a bout can be 'saved' from defeat by the respite signalled by the bell that marks the end of a round. The earliest reference to this is in the Massachusetts newspaper The Fitchburg Daily Sentinel, February 1893: 'Martin Flaherty defeated Bobby Burns in 32 rounds by a complete knockout. Half a dozen times, Flaherty was saved by the bell in the earlier rounds.'

Let's put Bellingham, burial, and boxing aside. We all are in danger and need saving! You might never have considered that you are in any real danger, and if that is the case, you will have no idea what I am talking about.

If you find the topic and its potential implications intriguing, please delve deeper into some of the previous posts. They will provide a comprehensive understanding of the context and help you grasp the full significance of the phrase. 

Allow me to summarise the key message of the Bible:

1. The Bible claims that there is a creator God - the God described and revealed in the Bible.

2. The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) explain that humans were created in the image of God (to be like Him, morally, intelligently, creatively, having His authority and ability built into their character.

But, one more vital piece of information.

3. Having created the world and humans and vested in them all the qualities I described above, God, the creator, tells them—you are free agents to do and act as you choose, but be aware—that there is a safe, good way to behave and a dangerous way that has consequences. 

To keep the story short - humans decided to go their own way on their own terms and have ever since had to live with the consequences of illness, pain, brokenness, death, fear, etc. The Bible summarises it in these words - 'When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned' - (Romans 5. 12).

So, the danger we are in is that presently, life hurts, we are getting old, we get sick, and we will die one day - but it is worse than that!

Physical death is not the end of our existence; it is merely the door to the next life. 

But the condition you die in in this life fixes the condition you will live in forever in the next world. 

Jesus said to people one day (these were people who were not persuaded by His teaching or convinced that He was the Son of God - as He claimed to be) - 'I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins,' John 8.24. He had previously made this other statement: 'Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come,' John 7.33,34. 

The Lord Jesus was claiming that He was going back to heaven and people who are still sinners when they die and do not recognise that He (Jesus) came into the world to save sinners (by paying for their sins through His sacrificial death on the cross) will not be welcomed into heaven. 

The only alternative to heaven that is presented in the Bible is hell, but it is clear from scripture that God has no interest in sending humans to hell. 

He is, however, duty-bound to honour our choices. 

If we say we don't want God, don't believe what God has revealed in the Bible and refuse to humble ourselves before God and accept His offer of forgiveness and salvation, then God has no choice. Indeed, He must take our decision and exclude us from heaven and all it offers - life, peace, joy, purpose, meaning, safety, good relationships, satisfaction, purity and wholesome living with excitement and ecstasy. 

Please consider what God has revealed in His book for life, the Bible and don't leave it too late. You might not be saved by the bell and miss all you were created to enjoy.


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