On August 24, 79 AD the people of Pompeii lived their day to day lives as usual. The day begun at sunrise like any other day; the bell-tower struck and the town’s population of free-people and slaves went to work. Merchants carried their valuable items to the main trading sea port, slaves taught the wealthy to read and write, marketers shouted their wares, friends met at public bath houses to chat, and the women weaved and sold fresh produce. The paved Roman roads were bustling, the people were noisy, but just nearby was Mount Vesuvius–the once-quiet volcano that began to groan and release its magma. The Romans were completely unaware of this as they continued to do their daily routines; it was by the end of August 25 that the volcano covered the town in ashes and molten rock. The people of Pompeii were no more.
The excavation of the city took place in the 18th century. Archaeologists discovered a bone-chilling find on the uncovering of ancient Pompeii: the ashes of the volcano preserved the people. Whatever position the lava caught them in, that was the position in which they died. I cannot help but think of the coming of the Lord. Christ was emphatic and absolutely serious when He said He is coming back when no one is suspecting it–very much like how this volcano did–and will catch us in whatever spiritual standing we’re in:
“Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy. Behold, I am coming quickly…” (Revelation 22:11,12).
This is the eternal fixedness. If the servant is found righteously working in the kingdom of Christ, he will still be found righteous. If the individual is found unrighteous at the coming of the Messiah, he will stay in that spiritual state forever. There is no last minute opportunities of repentance and purification or second chances. The apostle Paul wrote again:
“…the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3).
My dear readers, let us count the patience of the Lord as salvation (2 Peter 3:15). Each day that we awake and each day that Christ has not yet returned means another chance of not being eternally fixed in a position we do not want to be in. Therefore, let us strive to reap fruits worthy of repentance and be found as righteous workers in the kingdom of Christ so that when that glorious day comes, we will be satisfied with our spiritual position.
Information on the History of Pompeii from:
Rome by Odyssey online
A Day in Pompeii by Zero One Animation
Pompeii: Daily Life of the Ancient Romans by Ryan TV