by Bill Thomas
Describes two ways to pay off the largest of our personal debts.
|How to Avoid a Modern Day Pompeii
Nearly two thousand years ago, Mount Vesuvius exploded and sent billions of tons of pumice, smoke, and ash twelve miles high into the sky. The eruption continued for the better part of a day. As the hot smoke and ash cooled, it fell back to earth completely burying the nearby town of Pompeii where thousands of people died.
Thousands of years later Mt. Vesuvius remains an active volcano with a steady stream of smoke issuing out of its crater. Scientists predict that it is only matter of time before the volcano explodes again.
Suburban sprawl from the city of Naples has spread to the nearby regions surrounding Mt Vesuvius . The Italian government estimates that 600,000 people are presently living in an area that would be affected by a volcanic eruption and are concerned for their safety.
In order to prevent a modern day crisis like Pompeii of old, the Italian Government has decided to buy up existing homes in the region as they go up for sale. After the homes are bought by the government, families are requested to move out of the danger area, and the homes are bulldozed. The policy is expensive, but many consider it a prudent course of action because it may very well save tens of thousands of lives in the future.
Do you know that there is a far more costly buy back program going on in the world today? This costly program is concerned with the welfare of souls who have sinned and are headed towards eternal judgment. To buy them back, or redeem them from certain destruction, the Lord Jesus gave his life at Calvary's cross. The price required to buy back souls who have strayed into sin is the precious blood of Christ which far exceeds in value all the corruptible goods of this world such as silver and gold. "For ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money." (Isaiah 52: 3)
When a sinner believes in the Lord Jesus they are redeemed or bought back to God. Ephesians 1: 7 reads, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." Only by being redeemed can the broken relationship between a holy God and our sinful souls be restored. Those who have been redeemed are entitled to have a hope of heaven.
Just imagine for a moment that you are living in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius and you somehow obtain the information that shortly the volcano will violently erupt. Would you remain living in its shadow comfortably as if nothing were going to happen? Of course not. You would get out of there as fast as possible.
Well, this situation is very similar to the position of a sinner with God. God has told us that those who remain in their sins will face his fiery judgment. "Our God is a consuming fire." He may call them into judgment at any time, and a time of reckoning will certainly come when this short life is over. Those who have never repented and had a change of heart towards sin and God will be sent away to spend eternity in hell. God doesn't want this to happen to anyone. "The Lord . . . is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)In order to make a way they may return to God, the Lord Jesus died in the place of sinners that they may be forgiven and find a new home in heaven.
A songwriter of old wrote:
Redeemed, redeemed redeemed by the blood of the lamb
redeemed by his infinite mercy, His child forever I am.
You too can be redeemed and become a child of God by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus. Don't linger in your sins where death and judgment must surely overtake you but come to Christ. "He that cometh to me I shall in nowise cast out," the Savior said, and his words will never fail.( John 6:37)