It's Time to Break The Glass

The most loving thing Christians can do is sound the alarm

Pete Evans | 22:25, 13 October 2012

Fire AlarmLast night I was awoken at 2.50am by the fire alarm. It sounds like the claxon on a military base. As I staggered groggily around the flat, checking that we hadn’t forgotten to turn off our oven or absent-mindedly started an indoor bonfire before going to bed, thoughts turned to the inevitable horror that awaited us; the grumpy gathering of residents in the freezing cold outside.

Getting to know your neighbours can be difficult. People are usually very happy living their own lives and don’t feel the need to be your friend just because you live next door.

Standing half-naked in sub-zero temperatures waiting for the fire-service was slightly awkward. Small-talk is a skill I struggle with at the best of times, and 3am is not my best time.

Yet despite the general atmosphere of cold, irritable nudity, exacerbated when the cause was revealed to be a faulty smoke alarm, I am sure there was a consensus that fire alarms are generally a good thing. There was no-one raging against the evils of fire-alarms, no petition being drawn up to get them removed.

We know they are there for our safety. They warn us for our good. Even after false alarms, no-one thinks we should take the batteries out or ignore it in future.

I am grateful that Jesus loves us so much that He not only sounds the warning, He also pulls us from the flames at the cost of His own life.

One of the things Christians often get slammed for is talking about sin and hell. In a society that believes that your morality is your own business and no-one else’s, the idea of a universal standard of right and wrong and accountability for our actions is not popular. Lots of Christians have therefore stopped talking about it.

The person we seek to follow spoke about sin and hell plainly and often. Jesus said, 'If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell.' (Mark 9:47) That’s pretty full-on! Not only is hell real, it is so bad that the logical response is to do anything to avoid it.

Was he saying this to scare people into following him, to oppress freedom of expression and our right to behave how we want? Or was he sounding the fire alarm?

If I wake up tonight and see that the kitchen is ablaze, what is the most loving thing I can do? Break the glass on the alarm and warn others? Or go back to bed so no-one else is disturbed?

I am grateful that Jesus loves us so much that He not only sounds the warning, He also pulls us from the flames at the cost of His own life.

But here’s the thing – until the church starts setting the alarm off, our society will remain asleep and see no need for a Saviour. So, Christian, it’s time - graciously, lovingly and urgently - to break the glass.


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