Saturday, January 15, 2011

Standing Where the Fire Has Been - H. A. Ironside

"Who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

One of the first Gospel illustrations that ever made a real impression upon my young heart was a simple story which I heard a preacher tell when I was less than nine years old.

It was of pioneers who were making their way across one of the central states to a distant place that had been opened up for homesteading. They traveled in covered wagons drawn by oxen, and progress was necessarily slow.

One day they were horrified to note a long line of smoke in the west, stretching for miles across the prairie, and soon it was evident that the dried grass was burning fiercely and coming toward them rapidly. They had crossed a river the day before but it would be impossible to go back to that before the flames would be upon them.

One man only seemed to have understanding as to what should be done. He gave the command to set fire to the grass behind them. Then when a space was burned over, the whole company moved back upon it.

As the flames roared on toward them from the west, a little girl cried out in terror, “Are you sure we shall not all be burned up?” The leader replied, “My child, the flames cannot reach us here, for we are standing where the fire has been!”

What a picture of the believer, who is safe in Christ!

'On Him Almighty vengeance fell,
Which would have sunk a world to Hell.
He bore it for a chosen race,
And thus becomes our Hiding Place.'

The fires of God’s judgment burned themselves out on Him, and all who are in Christ are safe forever, for they are now standing where the fire has been."

-Harry A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press; 1945.
Ironside (1876-1951) was a preacher, author of a number of expository commentaries, and pastor of Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, Illinois. During the last century his commentaries have been among the most popular.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, January 15, AD 2011.


  1. Great illustration David. I love how SAFE I am in Christ! A few words from a great hymn came to mind, "Thank you Lord for saving my soul, thank you Lord for making me whole.... thy great salvation so rich and free".

  2. Brenda,
    Good comments. I love that chorus as well. We should sing it more often.
    David R. Brumbelow

  3. What a joy it is to be in Christ, where the fires of God's wrath have already been. To God be all the glory!


  4. I would be most grateful for formal permission to use this illustration in my sermons.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    1. Bradley,
      Thanks for your comment.
      You are welcome to use this illustration in your sermons. I'd be honored for you to do so.
      You might also be interested in my two books in the right margin; they are filled with illustrations.
      May God bless you in your ministry.
      David R. Brumbelow


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