My thoughts on this cool February morning were drawn to a subject that’s not easy to think about.
While reading an excellent book “Follow Me” by David Platt, I came across these words by the Scottish writer James Denny. Allow me to share them with you.
“If there is any truth in Scripture at all, this is true – that those who stubbornly refuse to submit to the Gospel, and to love and obey Jesus Christ incur at the Last Advent an infinite and irreparable loss. They pass into a night on which no morning dawns”.
These words “infinite and irreparable loss”,
“night on which no morning dawns”, echoed in my mind throughout the day. Blackness, loss, no hope. This past year I lost several close family members, and it made these words especially poignant as I honestly do not know the eternal fate of some of them.
While the subject of hell and eternal separation from God is difficult and unpleasant to think about, we cannot refuse to. It is critical to our salvation, to those we love and all that are lost in this world. I have not always claimed the name Christian and I still struggle with failure, sin, my own demons. But the words of David written in Psalm 51, have identified me, convicted me of my sin, and given me hope.
“Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God,
according to Your generous love.
According to Your great compassion,
wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes.
2 Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds”
For me, for all who believe in Him, and trust Him, every day, no matter what our failure and sin might be, there is opportunity to experience His mercies that are new every morning, (Lam. 3:22-23) His grace, forgiveness and love.
I am always mindful that this wonderful gift, that has been given to me, a sinner saved by grace is my hope to escape this world and the judgment to come. All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, but it doesn’t have to end that way. It is heartbreaking to think of anyone passing from this life without knowing that salvation, grace, forgiveness, restoration to the Father is available.
The idea of hell is not a popular subject in our present contemporary Christianity world.
Some reject the notion that a “loving God” would send anyone to hell.
They claim that hell is not a real place, only symbolic, or if it is real only temporary not eternal. A popular writer of recent years claims in his book that “Love Wins”.
In the end everyone is saved, a happy ending for all.
This is not the narrative in the Old Testament or in the New Testament.
Jesus is very clear that not everyone makes it to heaven in Matthew 7:13-14 and is clear on the subject of hell as an actual place.
Reference this in Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50; Mark 9:43, 48-49; Matthew 22:13, Matthew 8:12; Matthew 25:46; Luke 16:23. John makes a further case for this reality in Revelation 14:9-11, 19:3. and in Revelation 20:14-15
David Platt goes on to say on the view that hell is images or symbolic “Even if they are symbols what are they symbols for? A wintry retreat or a summer vacation? No these stand for something much worse. Surely smoking sulfur and burning fire are not symbols for a nice place to be. They are images that represent a terrifying place” Hell is real and the destination of all who refuse God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
Those who would dismiss this as truth follow the lie of the original deceiver,
“Did God really say?”
This is the question that led to the problems of all humanity. It is an attempt to cause us to doubt the truthfulness of God, a suggestion that we can form our own meaning, our own truth. It is a lie that can have serious consequences one of which is discouraging the urgency of reaching out to the lost.
The family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker maybe even someone you sit beside in church on Sunday.
Through our disobedience and unbelief allowing people to be robbed of the opportunity to escape the punishment to come, and to miss the life that Jesus said was “more and better” than they could imagine.
Love doesn’t win by giving everyone a pass, denying the redeeming work of the Cross.
Love wins because on the Cross the wrath of God was satisfied
Love wins because Jesus through the shedding of His own blood, death on Cross and resurrection from the dead, made a way for all who would
Believe in Him
Confess their sin
Accept him as Savior
Submit to Him
To receive salvation
All who refuse Him and I say this with tears and sorrow…Lose.
God is long-suffering not willing that any would perish. Someone must tell them. If not us who?
Before the night is coming on which no morning dawns.