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The burning house - a 21st century parable
by Rod Smith
07/23/08
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There once was a certain man who lay sleeping.

He tossed and turned, sensing something was wrong. Then he sprang up from the bed, startled. The thick smoke around him was increasing like acrid rainstorm clouds. It filled his nostrils, beginning a sickening slow attack on his lungs.

He’d never thought it would happen to him. Flames were creeping up the door jamb. He began to panic, wondering if he were dreaming all this. Yet the ever-increasing heat told him no.

Images began to float through his head. He saw Sally smiling in the coffee shop. “Hey, I’ve just got a smoke alarm. It can save my life. Sue-Ann offered it to me free. She works at the hardware store. Gets a big discount. She’s got another if you wanna have it. You should have one.”

“Yeah, guess I should,” he had said, but he didn’t take it.

Now he was getting desperate. The bedroom door was heavy; it also had a deadlock - installed after that thief appeared at his bedside a year ago. “Damn, where’s the key” he muttered frantically, groping for the jeans lying on the floor.

He finally located them and desperately rummaged through the pockets. “Not these. Okay, must be the hip pocket. No.” He could hardly breathe. Then he heard a constant hammering on his door.

A loud voice yelled, “I’m a fireman. Open the door! Can you hear me, open up!” He tried to yell a response amid the crackling of the flames, but couldn’t. The fireman was hitting the door with something. Ferocious, thumping blows, but it didn’t give way.

His fingers felt the metal of the key inside the second hip pocket. He tried to grip it but the smoke was engulfing him like a hot winter fog. Again he tried to grasp the key. Still the fireman was pounding on the door. Then he knew it was too late as the flames enfolded him, and everything became black.

* * * * * * * *

The burning house in the parable represents the man’s life when it ended with the first death.

The smoke detector is the gospel message offered. Sally had the offer and took it, but the man who perished didn’t.

The fireman is Jesus, wanting to save the man. Yet there was nothing Jesus could do unless the man opened the door before the fire took hold.

The key again represents Jesus - who has the key to heaven if it is grasped while still possible.

God doesn’t want any of us to be a “burning house”. The love of God is real, but so is His wrath and justice. No-one is burning yet, but without Jesus’ salvation (and because we are all sinners) the Bible says we are headed for the second death in the flames - the Lake of Fire of Revelation 20:15.

Turn to Jesus today.

[If you wish, you can print this and give it to unsaved friends.]



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Connie Allen 23 Jul 2008
Very good. Very graphic. Thanks for sharing.




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