Voice in the Night
it up!" the voice in the night said, "and take a deep breath."
It was a stormy night, a personal friends of ours shared, and we were awakened by an extremely loud clap of thunder. After the initial fright, checking the kids and the house, we went back to bed and to sleep.
Then came the voice: I was certain I heard someone say, "Sit up and take in a deep breath," it said.
I only half-awoke and thought I must have been dreaming, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.
The voice spoke again with more insistence, "Sit up and take in a deep breath."
This is weird. I must be hearing things, I thought so again rolled over and went back to sleep.
"SIT UP! Take in a deep breath!" the voice spoke again—this time with a great sense of urgency.
So I sat up and took in a deep breath ... and smelled smoke! I was fully awake in an instant ... woke up my husband ... rushed to wake up the children ... we had our oldest child phone 911 (for emergency) ... my husband took over the phone ... the operator asked if the lights were working ... my husband said they were going out one room at a time.
"GET OUT of the house immediately," declared the operator. "Your house has been struck by lightning."
SIT UP. Take in a deep breath!
As quick as a flash the family rushed outside only moments before the house exploded and burst into flames. It took firemen six hours to put the fire out. The house was totally destroyed, but the entire family was saved. Talk about a wake-up call!
Surely this was a God-thing. Fortunately the family members were committed followers of Jesus Christ and even though they lost their house, their lives were saved.
I can’t say that I have ever heard God speak to me in an audible voice but I have, on at least two occasions, had a dream that I felt was a message from God. One revealed to me a problem in my life I needed to resolve, and the other gave me an assurance that God was with me during a very difficult time in my life. And certainly God speaks to all of us through his Word, the Bible and through his “still small voice within” convicting us of sin or leading us to take a specific action.
As a general rule, however, God doesn't usually speak to most of us in an audible voice. He doesn't have to because his wake-up calls are spoken to us repeatedly in his Word, the Bible.
“Wake up!” God’s Word says to every one of us: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people,”1 and again, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”2
Wake up! “It is appointed unto man once to die and after this the judgment.”3
Wake up! "Flee from the wrath to come."4 The “wrath to come” refers to God’s final judgment of sin and evil at the end of this world age as we now know it. People who have confessed their sinfulness to God and have received his pardon will never face this judgment because Jesus Christ took on himself God’s judgment of their sins when he died on the cross and paid the penalty for their sins. They have accepted God’s pardon and their names are written in God’s book of life and they will be saved forever.
However, those who have not confessed their sinfulness nor accepted God’s pardon will have to face God’s judgment of sin for themselves. Their names are not written in God’s book of life.
God’s Urgent WAKE-UP Call
The following words are God’s most URGENT WAKE-UP CALL. This is to all whose names are not written in God’s book of life because they have rejected or have failed to accept God’s pardon and forgiveness of their sins.
John, the disciple of Jesus, referring to God’s final judgment wrote in God’s Word: “Then I saw a great white throne and him [God] who was seated on it.... And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne [of God], and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire [hell].”5
5. All articles on the ACTS International website are by Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise noted.
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