55A small party of pioneers was making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen and progress was necessarily slow. One day they were horrified when they saw a long line of smoke in the west stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before, but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames were upon them. It seemed as if they were hopelessly doomed until one man in the party who had an understanding of the situation commanded them to set fire to the grass behind them. As the wind drove the fire eastward across the grass behind them, the whole company moved back upon the space that was burned over. As the fire advanced from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, “Are you sure we will not all be burned up?” The leader replied to the child, “The flame cannot reach us here for we are standing where the fire has already been.”

55This little illustration is a picture of the Great Day when the fire of God's wrath will be poured out upon man because of sin. These in the above story were innocent victims who soon would have been engulfed in flames, but we are sinners and deserve God's wrath as punishment for our sins. God's Word declares, "Death passed upon all men for that all have sinned" (Rom.5:12). But, just as these people found a way out of their terrible situation by standing where the fire had already been, so God has provided a way of escape for those who will avail themselves of it.

55Friend, your way of escape is only through Jesus Christ the Son of God. God's judgment fell upon Christ when He suffered and died on the cross of Calvary so that we who deserve judgment might be free. The Bible says, “Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). It also says, “For He (God) hath made Him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

55Friend, are you safe in Christ upon whom the fire of God's wrath has already been poured out? You must receive Christ's death as payment for your sins or you will have to face eternal judgment. Are you trusting in Him for your eternal salvation?

55"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3: 16).