A CLOSE CALL                                                                                                                                Andy Hollifield 10-22-18

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ and called:

Today is the anniversary of a televised speech by then President John F. Kennedy. The speech in 1962 made Americans aware of the fact that the Soviet Union was building missile sites in Cuba capable of striking much of the eastern US. The Cuban Missile Crisis, as it came to be known, was a 13 day standoff from October 16-28 in which the president demanded immediate dismantling of the missile sites and the Soviets and Cuba refused. After several days of a blockade of Cuba by the US Navy to prevent shipment of Soviet weapons into the country, the Soviets finally agreed to dismantle the sites and return the missiles to back to the Soviet Union. This was a big scare that had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war between the US and Soviet Union

The reason I mention this is not only because it is a major event in the history of our country, but also because it was a time when a lot of Americans called on God to intervene. This was two and a half years before I was born. I know about it because my uncle was in the Air Force at the time. He was supposed to be the best man at my parent’s wedding but he was confined to base during the crisis.

The story of this crisis serves as a reminder how quickly things can change. I remember in January 1991 when the coalition forces led by the US attacked the Iraqi military in Kuwait. That was a time in my life when the US wasn’t exactly sure how that all of the major nations of the world would react. There was a lot of prayer then because experts said that our military would by wiped out by the Iraqi Republican Guard. After only 100 hours of ground combat, the coalition called a cease-fire after a decisive victory with the coalition forces obliterating the Iraqi military.

These are only a couple of times that the Lord has preserved our country. There are stories of divine intervention and prayer in the Revolutionary War as well as WW2 and probably all of the other engagements our military has ever fought. We have a prayer answering God. I am sure if we all looked back at our lives we can find a lot of times when we have had close calls. You know; those times when things should have ended badly but for some reason they didn’t. I recall a wreck in a Ford Pinto hatchback in which the car was totaled without a scratch being put on it. The gas tank, which was known to explode on impact, landed only inches from a huge rock that would have almost certainly made it explode and probably killied both of us. There was the days from the time my kidney rejected until it started responding to treatment and working again. Numerous times as a truck driver that God has intervened to preserve my life. I have run late for work and was frustrated until I saw an accident that, had I been on time, I would have likely been involved in. I am sure we can all tell those stories.

There are also close calls that went the other way. In Acts 26, Paul testifies before King Agrippa. The king responded telling Paul that he almost persuaded him to be a Christian. There is no record that I know of that tells that the king ever did accept the Lord. The people Noah preached to prior to the flood. They walked by and saw that ark every day. They heard the same message every day. Yet they rejected it and were destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah had angels of the Lord right in their midst but because of their wickedness, missed forever a relationship with the Lord. The rich man in Luke 16 probably passed by Lazarus every day when he left his home. Lazarus may have even testified to him. At any time he could have found out about the Lord and repented and accepted him. God laid a man at his gate that could have told him but the Lazarus was rejected by the rich man. There are a few more good ones I want to mention. Jonah could have drowned and came close but God had prepared a fish to swallow him. Abraham came close to slaying Isaac but God provided a ram and had an angel to stop him. Rahab came close to being a victim of Israel’s attack but it was her house that the spies came to and she hid them.

I could go on and on but there is just one more I have to mention. Heaven or hell. One will be your choice and the other will be a close call throughout eternity without end. You will either repent and accept the Lord and will have had a close call of going to hell or reject him and will have had a close call of going to heaven. Which place would you rather have a close call for? I would rather go to heaven knowing that I had a close call with hell except for God’s gift of salvation. What about you? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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