FIRE DRILL: TAKE SHELTER IN CHRIST
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude vss. 20-21) (NKJV).
There is nothing worse than not being properly trained and prepared to evacuate a life-threatening situation. Fire drills are a repeated exercise in schools and at the workplace. At my former workplace, there were appointed individuals to make sure that everyone evacuated quickly and safely, when a fire drill was rehearsed. I was assigned to be the “Fire Marshall” on my job. When the fire alarm sounded, I sprang into action, and led everyone to the fire exits. It was also my duty to make sure no one was left behind. But there were always people who would not leave their office because they knew there was no real fire. These rebels made my duty to evacuate the staff difficult. There rebellion encouraged others to stay with them during the fire drill. This is the scenario of the many churches. The leaders are not preparing their congregation to evacuate the world and take shelter in Christ. Too many pulpits are still milking the “prosperity cow” and beating dead horse of “name it and claim it.” The fires of tribulation and extreme suffering and distress, are burning the faith and endurance of many who are weak in Christ. Consequently, prosperity preaching is not the fire drill evacuation plan to salvation. Prosperity preaching encourages people to stay in the world with their silver and gold and believe there is no real fire.
Jude is writing to the church, to warn them that there are those who are among them, that are defiant; and were distorting the foundation of salvation, which Jesus Christ laid to save their eternal souls. Jude was encouraging the Christians to follow the plan of salvation, which they had been taught when they first believed. The writer was warning them to continue the repeated fire drills of faith and love; and not to allow false teachers to persuade them to practice any other teachings concerning salvation. He was guiding believers to continue to learn the methods of Jesus Christ; and build themselves in him, that they may be prepared and presented faultless before God, so that they may enter the kingdom of Heaven. He wanted them to move swiftly and in a direct order to take shelter in Christ.
Now the question is, how does the Christian know there is a fire drill? It is by a spiritual fire alarm. The Holy Spirit is the fire alarm warning us to get ready to evacuate the world, this soul threatening hot spot. The Holy Spirit announces the outbreak of flammable doctrinal lies. Our spiritual training sounds an alarm in our hearts, when we are being forced to dishonor God by worshipping false gods. Also, when we hear false teaching and preaching. It is not until someone comes up with an idea that disagrees with our faith, that the fire starts to crackle. Those of us who have been taught the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, will take full shelter in Christ; and evacuate all social and intellectual Christianity that leads to destruction. Christians must get clear of this inferno of deception. We must exercise our spiritual training to escape the fumes of heresy and the condemning combustion of sin.
The faithfulness of God’s people has always been a wonder to the world. We are physically in the world, but we are spiritually in Christ. There could be, and will be, total chaos all around us and yet, we remain at peace. This is the result of taking shelter in Christ. If we are to avoid the flames of despair, do not play with social Christianity and the prosperity teaching because it is useless in a fire drill. “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.” (Ezk. 7:19). There is only one exit in any spiritual fire drill for Christians, and that exist is in Jesus Christ. We evacuate spiritually from the world’s catastrophic condition, and spiritually rest in the peace and safety of Christ, who is the extinguisher of all demonic fires! We are always being challenged by tribulations and persecutions. The Word of God tells us that persecution is inevitable for Christians: “You are going to hear noise of battles close by and …far away; but do not be troubled. SUCH THINGS MUST HAPPEN, but they do not mean that the end has come.” (Matthew 24:6), (GNB). There will be famine and earthquakes and many other disasters. However, when troubles arise, and I promise they will, just remember we are being tried in the fire: It is a FIRE DRILL: TAKE SHELTER IN CHRIST.”
For the record, this is written to all who want their soul safe and secure in Jesus Christ. It is a warning to turn or burn. God bless you and amen!
Written by Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor