The Fire Has Been
From the Free Presbyterian Tract Society
It had been a dry, sunny day with a gentle breeze, and
everything was going on smoothly in the log hut. The small
patch of corn in front had just been gathered.
As the owners of the land gazed contentedly over the long,
waving prairie grass for some miles, they looked upon their
lot in life with undisguised satisfaction. After an
unusually hot day, the breeze had freshened.
Suddenly a long, dark cloud was seen upon the horizon,
followed almost immediately by a lurid glare. Although it
was miles and miles away from the little settlement, it was
none the less horrifying to the inhabitants, who, even if
they had never seen it before, could not mistake the awful
sight. With anxious looks the word went around, "The
prairie's on fire!" Yes, there it was, bearing down upon
them, coming right in their direction.
All soon saw that with such a wind-which had now increased
to almost a gale-and with grass and prairie shrubs very dry
by the day's hot sun, their narrow fire break was simply
useless before such a furious and galloping fire-little
short of a roaring furnace coming along at ten to fifteen
miles an hour. What could stem it? Nothing-simply nothing.
Oh, that you could just be within half a mile of it, and see
the roaring blaze sweeping along, and get a view of the
flying multitude going before it-a run for life, indeed.
You would never forget the scene. Buffalo, antelope, and
every four-footed animal-a mixed mob-a terror-stricken
crowd, all realizing the value of life in the face of
certain death. To prey upon each other never entered their
heads in the face of such a mighty foe. No time to think;
hardly time to breathe.
Those who live in the regions of the wild prairies know well
that there is only one way, only one means of escape from
the face of the awful foe we have just been describing. Is
it so? Can a man be delivered from those awful prairie
Yes, in this way. A man simply takes a match and lights the
long, dry grass at his feet. Swiftly, this new fire flies
ahead, consuming all before it. Before the great fire comes
up, he just walks on to the blackened ground, where all has
already been consumed. He is safe, quite safe. When the fire
comes up to this spot, it finds nothing left to consume, and
so it cannot come near him, it cannot touch him. With him,
perhaps thousands of poor, breathless animals rush to the
spot and stand safe; for the fire having gone over that
place once, cannot do so again. So now you understand
the phrase, "Stand where the fire has been."
This is but a poor picture of the Great Day when the
terrible fire of God's wrath comes. Yes, and it is soon
coming along. You may well pity the one who is not then
"standing where the fire has been."
It is simple for a man to take a match and light the grass
ahead of him, and then stand where the fire has been.
Similarly, it is simple to shelter under the death of Jesus
Christ. God spent the fire of his judgment on His beloved
Son as He hung on Calvary's cross. He has pledged a present
and eternal security to any who will take their place in
Him, take refuge in the One who bore on the Cross the wrath
of God for sinners.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
I said it is "simple" to trust Christ and shelter beneath
His precious blood. But only by the Holy Spirit can we
appropriate this work of Christ on our behalf. Yet the
responsibility is yours if you now neglect this salvation,
for there remains but one alternative for you, and that is
to take your place in the condemned crowd who will be left
to endure the wrath of God for all eternity in the lake of
Think! If God's wrath has fallen upon Christ, it can never
again fall upon those who come to Christ for pardon. Friend,
do "stand where the fire has been," and then all you have to
do is to praise God for having permitted His fiery judgment
to pass over and consume Another . . . to love Him . . . to
live for Him . . . who thus took your place and died in your
If you have any questions
about what you have read, please
1600 Neilson Road, Scarborough, Ontario Canada M1X 1S3