The devastating earthquakes that occur in various countries from time to time and destroy cities and kill thousands of people makes us realize more and more the uncertainty of life. The magnitude of destruction wrought by such force is overwhelming. There is a scripture I want to mention presently that deals with a particular earthquake.
In the sixteenth chapter of the book of Acts, the account is given of the conversion of a Philippian jailor and his household. The jailor, a gentile, was a non-believer in the deity of Jesus Christ. The day that Paul and Silas were beaten and cast into prison was perhaps an ordinary one for the jailor. While the day may have started out like any other day for this particular person, it certainly did not end in a common fashion. Something transpired that transformed the life of this Roman citizen and the lives of his loved ones. Something drastically happened. An earthquake occurred in this man’s life. It was a literal tremor, a movement of the earth that the shook the foundation of the building that housed those people in the prison. The jailor was awakened by this event and was about to take his own life because he thought his prisoners had escaped. Paul prevented this tragedy by shouting, “Do thyself no harm; for we are all here!” It was at this time that the jailor sprang forth and asked the most important question: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”After hearing and believing the gospel, this man and his family were baptized into Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 16:30-34; Mark 16:15, 16). The jailor began the day unsaved but concluded it by being redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Something wonderful came out of what seemed to be a truly horrible experience in his life.
Into every life, sometime, somewhere, somehow, ‘earthquakes’ occur. Not necessarily literal, physical movements of the earth, but events that can help to change our lives, if we accept them in a positive manner. These ‘earthquakes’ come in various forms. There was the death of a teenage son that caused his parents to turn to Jesus. A man was operated on and it was discovered that he had cancer. He repented of sins and came back to the Lord. Three months later he died. The person who lost all his material wealth realized for the first time that he had been trusting in the wrong values in life. He sought then the true riches in Christ.
Tragedies and trials can become blessings in disguise if we permit God to work in our lives (Romans 8:28 ). David stated “Before I was afflicted I went astray; But now I observe thy word.” He even declared, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I may learn thy statues” (Psalms 119:67, 71).
The gospel of Christ is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16 ). But, ‘earthquakes’ that come into our lives can and often do motivate people to realize their plight in life without God. It is then that we should seek the salvation that is the Savior.