Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Fire of Judgment Day

There is an old sermon illustration that compares Judgment Day to a wagon train crossing the prairie. Heading west, the pioneers saw a line of fire across the horizon coming straight toward them as it was driven by the wind. Quickly the wagon master gathered all the people together. Then he took several men with him, and they walked back over the trail to the east from which they had just come. The men deliberately set the grass on fire. After enough of it had burned, they moved the wagons back onto the blackened landscape. Now the original fire was coming toward them furiously. Some of the people cried out in fear as it approached. But the wagon master assured them: "Don't be afraid. We are standing where the fire has already burned."

That is a beautiful illustration of Judgment Day. We who believe in Jesus stand with Him on Calvary where the judgment of God against sin already burned. In His death, Jesus took the fire of God's wrath for us. As the wrath of Judgment Day approaches, those who are in Christ have nothing to fear. They stand where the fire has already burned. For more on the Christian view of Judgment Day, see my sermon on Judgment Day from November 20, 2011.

1 Thessalonians 1.10 (We)"wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come."

Picture: Prairie Fire by William Ranney, 1848

Note: This illustration is adapted from one attributed to Henry A. Ironside. Henry was a well-known preacher in the early 1900s. But he was also a strong advocate for the teaching of dispensationalism - an approach to Bible interpretation that I strongly reject.