It was a gloriously warm day, and the beach was crowded with children and their parents, taking full advantage of the welcome sunshine. The children were busily building sand castles and so on whilst mum and dad lay sun-bathing, with a watchful eye on the youngsters. Suddenly this relaxed and happy scene was disturbed by shouts from the cliffs near by. All eyes turned to see a man in swimming trunks just a few feet up the cliff with the sea lapping just below.
The man had been so ‘busy’ sun-bathing that it was not until he felt the water wetting his toes that he realised he had been cut off. He was a non-swimmer, and the main part of the beach was not within safe walking distance, so he called and called until eventually he managed to attract the attention of a family near the cliffs. Someone was hurriedly sent to find the life guard, and soon the swimmers and bathers saw the life boat heading towards the trapped man.
The man in the lifeboat threw a slim nylon line to the stranded sun-bather but, to the astonishment of all, he shook his head. “Oh no” he said, he could not possibly trust his life to such a frail and slender life line. The man on the boat used a loud-hailer to coax him to try, as time was passing and the tide waits for no man. After some minutes the man was persuaded to grasp the rope and jump into the sea. Here he was pulled swiftly and safely into the waiting life boat.
The danger for us
Suppose the above was a cutting from a newspaper. How foolish we should think the stranded sun-bather, to quibble over the strength of the life-line, when his life was in danger. But before we put it out of our minds as something we would never do in any circumstances, let us think again.
God has given an opportunity to every man to grasp a life-line, an eternal life-line, through His book the Bible. In this exciting and unique book He sets out His ways for all who read so that they may find out how men may gain eternal life. He tells us (and this, of course, we know without doubt) that we shall die, and that is all we deserve.
But God is willing to save us from this certain death if we will only do everything in our power to follow His ways. He is willing to do for us what He did for his son, to raise us from the dead and to give us eternal life here on earth, when Jesus is king over a righteous and peaceful world.
What the Bible says
All this and more God has promised us if we will read the Bible carefully, and believe that He means what He says. It is often said, even by Christians, that we should follow what our conscience say’s; this will be acceptable to God. The Bible, however, says quite plainly that this is not true. The prophet Jeremiah says “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10 v 23)
This surely makes sense, for as God has felt it necessary to reveal His purpose, and even allow His son to die to save us, it cannot be acceptable to Him if we do just as we like. We must face the fact that God’s plan for saving mankind in his terrible plight must be sought carefully and from the right source.
Let us think again about the man stranded on the cliff. Are we not in the same position as he was? Like him, doomed to die unless someone rescues us. God has thrown out a life line. Are we going to say we would rather die than accept it?
God leaves us to make the choice. God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2 v 4). He holds out salvation for us. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3 v 9)
Submitted on 03/07/2014