On July 25, 2000, Air France flight 4590 from Paris to New York crashed less than two minutes after takeoff. Speeding down the runway, the Concorde supersonic jet had run over a small piece of metal which cut a tire and sent debris into the left wing, where it ruptured a fuel tank. A devastating fire followed, which shut down two engines and brought the plane to the ground, killing all 109 people on board and four others on the ground.
The flight voice recorder revealed two very striking statements made during the short flight. First the flight controller in the tower says, "Concorde zero...4590, you have flames... you have flames behind you." One minute later, just before the plane crashed, the pilot is heard to say, "Too late.""You have flames behind you..." Anyone who witnessed the crash, or who has seen pictures of the accident knows what an unbelievable sight it was.
Did you know that you may have flames ahead of you? When you pass from this earth, what awaits you is either the peace or joy of an eternity in heaven with those who have believed in Jesus for salvation (1 Peter 1:3-5), or the torment and grief of an eternity apart from God in the "lake of fire" with those who have rejected Christ (Revelation 20:15). Just as those in the cockpit of flight 4590 could not see the severity of the flames behind them, do not be blinded to the reality of the fames that may be ahead of you. Do not take this warning lightly. "...too late..."
As the plane was going down, an effort was made to divert it to a nearby airport, but it was already too late to change the outcome for the wounded craft and the souls on board. Likewise, if you are without Christ, it will soon be too late for you to divert from the terrible end that you are speeding toward. We have no guarantee about how long we will live before we meet our Creator. If you have not trusted Christ, the Bible says that your unbelief has already set your course: "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already" (John 3:18).
A small strip of metal on a runway may seem like an insignificant thing - until we see the tragic end of flight 4590. Likewise, until we understand the absolute holiness of God and the sinfulness of man, it may seem that God is being unjust or unfair to make a "big deal" about what we think is just a "little sin." God's holiness prevents Him from allowing even one sin to enter His presence. This is why the Bible says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). However, His great love and desire for us to be with Him has provided the way by which we can have our sins taken away, be washed completely clean, and be made fit for His presence. The Bible simply says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). Escape the flames before it is too late!