Most of us, I assume, do not have real experience of an earthquake. What I experienced about it hardly can be called an experience.
I was eleven, it was a Friday night, we were watching the TV, when I noticed that the light hanging from the celling was slightly swinging. That was it. For me, and for our city. But for others, who lived some 560 km away, where the epicentre was, the experience was disastrous! 1578 died in that earthquake!
Earthquakes can be devastating. They can change the landscape unrecognisably! Luke tells of an earthquake in Acts 16:16-34 that changed things profoundly.
The Apostle Paul and his companion, Silas were badly beaten and in chains in prison in Philippi. At about midnight they were praying and praising God. Suddenly a great earthquake shook the earth, the prison doors all opened up, and the chains fell off the prisoners. When the guard saw the open doors, assumed that all the prisoners were gone, he wanted to commit suicide. Paul stopped him, saying that they were all there. To this the guard asked: “What must I do to be saved?” Paul responded: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” And that man believed and got baptised. He cleansed their wounds, took them home, set a meal in front of them, and rejoiced because he and his household had come to believe in God!
Not only the foundations of the prison shook because of that earthquake, but the foundations of this jailer’s life were also profoundly shaken! The door of his heart also flung open, and his eyes were opened. He believed the word, and accepted Jesus as the new Lord of his life, whom he obeyed. He washed, and bandaged and fed Paul and Silas. For when someone believes in Christ and becomes His follower their thinking, their whole life changes. Up to that point they wounded others, now they heal the wounds!
Sometimes we need a spiritual earthquake to realise the most important question of our life is: “What must I do to be saved?” Happy and blessed is the person who is not reaching for their sword, but for the life giving word! They do not turn inwardly, trying to do it themselves, but turn to God, and His messenger to them. They do not want to end their life, but begin their true and full life offered by Jesus.
Do you want to know more about the life Jesus is offering us? Why not join our Online Alpha Course, starting after Easter?