Loch Ness is one of the most iconic landmarks of Scotland, and each year more than two million tourists flock there from afar, hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie, the monster that supposedly inhabits the lake. Very few of the visitors to Loch Ness have heard of another attraction, located not far away. Although it has great historical and spiritual significance, it receives such scant publicity that even many local people don’t know of its existence. The attraction is not spectacular, consisting of only two bare spots separated from each other about eight inches and imprinted about two inches or so in the ground. Both bare imprints are surrounded by lush grass. The spots are the size and shape of footprints, and they have been there for 194 years.
In the year 1827, an evangelist named Finlay Munro preached at that very place. He was a preacher well known for walking the highlands and islands of Scotland, preaching the gospel to anyone who would listen. He usually preached in the open air, and at many places, he attracted huge crowds. On this occasion he was standing under a birch tree, preaching to a congregation in the rural area of Torgyle, Glenmoriston, Inverness. His text was Amos 4:12: “Prepare to meet your God.” His preaching was interrupted several times by hecklers who scoffed at his view of God’s judgment. He finished his sermon by pronouncing that the ground on which he stood would bear witness to the truth of his words until the Day of Judgment comes.
Since that day, not a blade of grass has grown in the two footprints. In 1907 a terrible storm hit the area and blew off the top of the tree under which Munro preached. The roots of the tree went under the footprints and had the tree been uprooted, as would normally be the case, the footprints would have been destroyed. In 1976 vandals dug up the footprints and left a gaping hole in the spot they had occupied. However, when the hole was filled, the footprints reappeared, with new grass growing around them, but not on them. Today a cairn, a collection of rocks, protects them.
Our generation is filled with scoffers who pooh-pooh the idea of divine judgment, and many preachers receive their inspiration from the spirit of the age, not from the Spirit of God. Whether it’s timidity that leads them to compromise or fear of being branded as intolerant haters or judgmental, they refuse to stand boldly against the sins that the Bible clearly condemns. Nobody, whatever his title or office may be, who promotes abortion and the LGBTQ agenda, can rightly claim to accept the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. Denominational leaders have appointed committees to study what the church’s position should be concerning such issues as abortion, gender identification, same-sex marriage, and kindred matters. Why do we need committees to discuss matters that God has already decided? While trying to avoid offending public opinion and wanting to be popular with the culture, and mistakenly attempting to maintain harmony, they are censoring the Word of God rather than teaching it, and it’s a mockery to God. This kind of situation is exactly what Jude warns against in the third verse of his epistle. Compromising the truth is a far cry from contending for the truth.
We really don’t need Finlay Munro’s footprints to assure us of the truth of the gospel, as convincing as they may be. We have the witness of God Himself. There is but one gospel, and it is absolute, not obsolete. We don’t need a new and a modern gospel for a new and modern age. If it’s new, it isn’t true, and that statement is verified by Galatians 1:6-9. To say that there is only one gospel may sound bigoted and narrow-minded, but the gospel came by revelation from God, and He does not change the truth to appease public opinion. Never before in history have we seen such demonic indoctrination that is destroying our nation and infecting the church, and never before have we seen such timidity among God’s people in responding to evil. It’s time “to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”