Parents like me just shake our heads in disbelief at this one. Mean nothing? Don’t care? Are you kidding? Someday, our children will understand that our desire to see them walk in obedience comes from a deep set, God-given love for them.
In fact, I came up with something the other day that made one of my kids do a double take. I said, “You are so special – that what you do matters.”
This is true for not only our kids, but for God’s kids as well. We are so special to Him that what we do matters, i.e., God has given us free will to choose between right and wrong and our choices are significant.
A few years ago, someone gave us a DVD of a dynamic speaker who shared about the universe and the solar system. He used the evidences he found to further “prove” the existence of God. We loved the DVD and even showed it to some relatives in hopes that they would gain a grasp of the magnitude of God and the reality of his creative work.
Recently, I heard that the same speaker came out with a book that seems to question the existence of hell. I was shocked that a pastor who could be so right on one subject could be so wrong on another. And, it panged my heart to think that the man may have joined the ranks of religious offshoots of Christianity that say that we’ll suffer no eternal pain for our actions
If there is no hell, I can do whatever I want right? Deny that God exists; that he sent is son to die for me? I can forget that the Bible is the infallible word of God and still enjoy all the benefits of heaven? Yup – in some people's opinion, I guess it’s a go.
But wait? If the Bible is true (and I happen to believe that it is), then why would Jesus, in his ministry here on earth, take the time to talk about hell? I mean it must be a big deal right?
Author Oliver Greene in his book “Hell” says that Jesus’ belief in hell was the very thing that drove him to the cross, “Jesus believed in an everlasting hell. That is why He left the Father’s bosom and came into this world of sorrow. He left the ivory palaces, the gates of pearls, the streets of gold and the singing of the angels and came to earth to be denied, condemned, crucified, buried – and to rise again to ascend back to the heavenly Father – and He did all this that we might escape the damnation of hell!”
Hell must be a pretty horrible place for Jesus to go through all that for us.
Currently, I’m reading through the book of Matthew and just this morning I came across some telling scripture as Jesus explains to his disciples a parable he told about the weeds in the field: “The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear” (Matthew 13:38-43).
Can the reality of hell be anymore clear? We are so special to our heavenly Father that our choices matter.
My daughter told me the other day that she’s talking to her friends about Jesus. And, from the sound of it, they’re getting some pretty good preaching from her. When I told her I was proud of her for sharing her faith, she simply said, “Well, I want them to be up in heaven with me!”
I heard someone say once that they’d rather spend their time on this earth believing there is a God than spend eternity wishing they had.
How about you? Are you and your loved ones heaven bound? I pray so.
Revelation 21:8 (New American Standard Bible) "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
2 Thessalonians 1:7b-9 (New Living Translation) “He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power.
John 14:6 (Amplified Bible) Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.