Scripture encourages us to pass on the stories of God’s work to future generations.
Psalm 145:4 (NIV) One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts
Psalm 102:18 (NIV) Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:
Psalm 71:18 (NIV) Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.
Deliverance For You And Your Family
Acts 16:31 (NIV) “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
We often forget or don’t realize how practical the word “saved” is in scripture. While it does mean “born again,” a little study will show that it means much more than only that. It’s a practical word that means delivered and made whole, and scripture often uses it in a practical way.
What does this imply in the verse above? God’s protection and deliverance can extend beyond believers to cover people close to them, including unbelieving members of their families.
No Deadly Poison Will Hurt Them
Mark 16:16-18 (NIV) And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Of course, Jesus wasn’t telling his disciples to drink deadly poison! Poisoning people’s food or drink was a common way of taking people out in that time. Jesus was saying it wouldn’t affect them. This, in turn, was a sign for those who attempted to poison Christians. Similarly, Paul was bitten by a snake on the island of Malta. When he just shook if off into the fire and suffered no ill effects, this served as a sign to the people of Malta. (Acts 28:1-10)
But how could this apply to “you and your family shall be saved?” My mom told me about two different times when I ate poison as a child and suffered no ill effects.
When I was one year old, playing outside, my mom noticed I was eating something. They were yew berries!
While yew berries themselves are not poisonous, the seeds and almost everything else about the plant is. People and animals poisoned by yew have been known to show no symptoms and suddenly drop dead two hours later.
My mom prayed and I was fine. It could be that I didn’t bite any of the seeds and they passed through my body. Or it could be that God protected me.
When I was about two years old, we moved into a new house. My mom wasn’t aware that there were naphthalene mothballs under the furniture, and she found me eating them! She was alarmed, but someone else said I looked fine and a few mothballs wouldn’t hurt me. So against her better judgment, she let it go.
Two hours later she told the neighbor what happened. The neighbor said “Oh my! Those are deadly poisonous. You need to call the poison control center.”
So she did. They asked, “How long has it been?”
“It’s too late to do anything now except watch him and if you notice anything, take him to the emergency room.”
My mom had lost her little brother to an accident when he was a toddler. She wasn’t going to lose me. She started stomping around and rebuking the spirit of death. “You can’t have him!”
Maybe she wasn’t initially sure how much I’d eaten, but my diapers smelled strongly like mothballs for a whole week! It couldn’t have been only a little!
Mothballs are deadly poisonous. Even breathing too much of the fumes is poisonous. Eating them can cause convulsions within an hour. I think God was protecting me even before my mom went stomping around the house and rebuking the spirit of death!
Just dermal exposure to blankets and diapers that were stored in mothballs has caused acute hemolytic anemia in newborns. Mothball poisoning can cause internal bleeding, jaundice, kidney failure, coma, and death. But I had no symptoms except for my diaper smelling like mothballs for a week. The poison passed through my body without harming me.
Protection Against Accidents
My mom told us about some close calls my Grandfather had before he returned to Christ.She believes God rescued him from death at least once!
My Grandparents had a big house with a huge yard that went down to a gulley in the back. When my uncles were teenagers, they dug out a big area in the back of the backyard and made an underground fort. Once I saw an old picture of it. It was the size and shape of a small room, with walls and a ceiling to keep the dirt from caving in.
The ceiling eventually caved in with a heavy winter snow, and my grandfather began filling it with brush. It got infested with groundhogs. I imagine they were ravaging Grandpa’s precious gardens! He decided to burn the whole thing to get rid of the infestation.
Using gasoline to start a fire is a bad idea! The liquid burns, but the vapor explodes. The size of the explosion depends on how much vapor has evaporated and how it has mixed with the air. The temperature and the amount of time between pouring it and lighting it are factors that come into play. Maybe you saw someone light gasoline once and they survived the show. But sometimes the outcome is much worse.
My mom, at her middle school a mile away, heard a sonic boom! It shook the school, and she thought it was a jet or something. The kids at the high school two miles away heard an explosion. Her younger brother at his school on the other side of the bay heard it too.
Mom came home to find police, fire trucks, and ambulances all around the house! The explosion had blown out all ten windows on the back of the house, as well as the windows on the back of the neighbor’s houses. My mom thinks the explosion was about 50 feet away. I know the property well, and I think it had to be much further than that. Having worked in construction with a 25-foot tape measure, it seems to me that the distance to the location of the fort (which I saw in a photo) was at least three tape measures away. So my estimate is that the explosion was 80 feet away from the house.
The houses also have a fair distance between them. So to have blown out all the windows on the back of three houses and be heard miles away, this had to be a huge explosion!
My Grandpa just heard a “puff.” He was fine.
Was he “in the eye of the storm?” How did he end up fine so close to such a huge explosion? How did it not blow his eardrums out? How did he escape getting burnt? I don’t know. I’m not a physicist. But I think it sounds like God sent an angel to protect him. And I’ve had enough experience with God’s intervention to think that this explanation is as reasonable as any!
I’ve often been amazed at the stories people have of God’s intervention. Sadly, some people are afraid to share their stories for fear of being mocked or ridiculed. But they will share with you if they believe you are a safe person to share these types of things with, and if you ask.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Go to Heaven Now