It had been one of those days that early autumn borrows from summer. A breeze from the southwest gave promise of good weather; the small patch f corn in front had been just gathered. But the wheat, the cash crop, waited in the fields. The gentle wind rode the tops of the hills and gave the distinct impression that it was an ocean you were looking at, the waves rolling toward some distant shore.
But it was not an ocean. The past season had been very dry. The inhabitants of the simple farmhouse around which the wheat was growing had heard from a neighbor of an approaching prairie fire. They were standing on the porch, squinting toward the horizon. Fires like that could change direction in a moment. They could also travel at the speed of a runaway train.
“Dad look!” There it was. On the horizon, a billowing, black cloud and at its base raw, red tongues of flame licking up the farmland in its path. And it was bearing down on them with fearful rapidity.
Around the house and garden there was a fire-break, a belt of land the width of a wide road ploughed up, which served as a guard against an ordinary grass fire. But it soon became evident that with such a wind, now almost a gale, and with grass and prairie shrubs so dry, their narrow fire-break was useless. What could be done to stem this flaming monster? They couldn’t outrun it. They couldn’t stop its fury.
There was only one way of escape.
Taking a match, and using some of the very element that was racing toward his homestead-fire-the farmer lit the field nearest his house, across the fire-break. Tinder-dry, it did not take long for the flames to do their work. Soon, where only a short time before there had been golden grain, now there was nothing but blackened ash.
Leading his family out into the charred field, and covering them with blankets soaked in the well, the farmer awaited the approaching firestorm. It wasn’t long to wait. he had acted not a moment too soon.
They could hear the flames crackling closer. The wind sounded like an approaching train. The air became hot, almost unbearable. But the fire rages past them, leaving them safe. There was nothing left there to consume. They were standing where the fire had been!
You may or may not believe the Bible, but you ought to know what it says just the same. After all, can you say for certain that it absolutely is not true? What if it is?
Here is a statement: “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know no God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Say, what if it’s true? Are you ready? Simple as it is for a man to take a match and light the grass ahead of him, and then “stand where the fire has been,” so it is to find shelter in the finished work of Christ. God poured out the fire of His judgement on His Son, and now He has pledged a present and eternal security to any who will take their place in Him, take refuge in the One who took the judgement for us. “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).
Stand where the fire has been.