“…how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” (Hebrews 2:3)
On my flight yesterday evening from London Stansted to Lamezia Airport, I had a wonderful conversation with a man sitting next to me called Rodolfo from Calabria. He has lived in the UK for over 40 years, and visits Calabria frequently to see family. In our conversation I had the opportunity to share the Gospel message with him, which he understood and enjoyed. Rodolfo has a Catholic background, and over the years has become more and more disillusioned in his faith in God. One of the many reasons was being let down by church leaders, as well as having a number of people let him down in his business over the years. People have clearly discouraged him so much that he has ended up suppressing his own awareness of God. Despite this, we had a good conversation and I was able to encourage him in his journey of faith. I hope to send some literature on to him in due course. Rodolfo shall continue to be in my prayers.
It is quite interesting that all of us have an innate sense of God’s existence (Romans 1:18-21). But some may suppress that deep-down awareness of God and may even convince themselves that He is not real – until a moment of crisis.
God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Novelist Eric Ambler was making a World War II documentary in Italy, The Battle of San Pietro, when exploding shells knocked him to the ground and he thought he might die. In his autobiography he wrote, “My unconscious mind chose to play a nasty trick on me. I heard myself saying, ‘Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.’” Unhurt, he resolved never to reveal that momentary abandonment of his unbelief.
Such a flash of insight is a gift of grace that can cause the long-suppressed truth to become conscious trust in God. But Ambler refused to let that spark of faith become a steady flame that would illuminate the darkness of his unbelieving soul with redemptive truth.
Felix, the governor of Judea, put off a decision for Christ until “a convenient time” (Acts 24:25) – but convenient times have a way of eluding us. We all need to commit ourselves into the hand of God, not just at death but in life. It starts by accepting the gift of salvation by faith in His Son.
So, my message to Rodolfo and many others in the world is that if you have not yet trusted Christ as your Saviour – then do it today!
You can’t repent too soon, because you don’t know how soon it may be too late.
10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: “I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense. 11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me. 14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, 15 and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. 16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
17 “After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. 18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance. 19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me. 20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin— 21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: ‘It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.’”
22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. “When Lysias the commander comes,” he said, “I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.
24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.” 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.