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Just before the first battle of the Solomon Islands during World War II, a destroyer left the shores of the United States. Before they left, each man was given a New Testament and Psalms. One man, who’d never read a Bible before, stuck his copy in his pocket and forgot about it.

After several days en route, the destroyer reached the war zone and was involved in fierce fighting. During the battle, the ship was sunk. Five men managed to jump into a life raft and were carried away by the waves. As they drifted out into the South Pacific, they became frightened, realizing there was little chance of rescue. The life raft had saved them when the ship sank, but it wasn’t much of a refuge in heavy seas in a vast ocean. As each man thought about the improba­bility of rescue, he had to deal with the probability of death.

As each one privately weighed the grim outlook, the man who had put his New Testament in his pocket remembered it. When he brought it out to look for comfort and help, three of the others ridi­culed him. But the fifth man said, “Keep on read­ing! And read out loud so we can all hear.”

The Testament had opened at the Psalms, and the man began to read aloud Psalm 91: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” What comfort and hope was available in those words for the five men whose futures were so uncertain!

As feared, before the sun set that same day, high waves swept three of the men off the rubber raft into watery graves—the very three who had ridi­culed and mocked the reading of the New Testa­ment. The two survivors, who were spared in the providence of God, had both believed what was written in that Psalm 91 and had turned their lives over to the Lord Jesus, trusting Him as their Refuge and Fortress. They had the comfort of knowing that, should their lives be lost at sea, their souls would be safe in the arms of Jesus.

As darkness came on that night, a sweeping beam of light from an approaching ship suddenly lighted their life raft and locked on it. Although the high waves tossed the little raft up and down, the steady beam of light never lost them. Finally the ship came alongside, and the men were lifted into the safety of the large ship. They learned, to their relief, that the ship was another U.S. destroyer.

The first thing the two grateful men told their rescuers was that God had saved their souls! Then they told how He had preserved them from the tur­bulence of the heavy seas that had taken the lives of the other three men. How wonderful are God’s ways for those who trust in Him!

The Bible forewarns that God’s patience with man’s unrestrained, willful sin will not last indefi­nitely. The storm of His wrath against sin will fall, perhaps sooner than any of us realize. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6). God has already set the date to bring judgment upon this world. “He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man [Christ Jesus] whom He hath ordained” (Acts 17:31). And every sinner will bear God’s wrath against his sins...unless...he has claimed the Refuge that God Himself has provided in the person of His Son, Christ Jesus. “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26).

Jesus saw the sinner’s need and told His Father that He would be that Refuge for them. He knew the terrible cost—He would have to bear God’s fierce wrath against every sin for each sinner who would come to Him for refuge. He went to Cal­vary’s cross and fulfilled that requirement—bear­ing God’s justified wrath against sin. He died and rose from the dead, and now, as a Refuge for sin­ners, He offers you forgiveness for your sins and an eternal home with Him.

But what about those who die in their sins— without Christ as their Refuge?

“I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.... And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11‑12,15).

God in great mercy offers you a Refuge—His Son Christ Jesus. Will you accept Him as your Ref­uge from God’s wrath against your sins? Your de­cision determines where you spend eternity.

“Flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7).

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