Dusting off here! Yikes!
These past few weeks have been trying for me. Mostly because of the war between my spirit and my flesh. You know at times I wonder why I even write such things on my blog in the public; however, I recognize too that if I cannot be honest with my readers, then they cannot relate with my words or understand as well that I experience hurt, pain, questioning and heart breaks. There are days, I try to carry the load then I finally recognize I cannot do it on my own so I place it upon Jesus and at times it not easy.
I am by far the most imperfect human being I know. I struggle with decision making and many other thousands of things but you know what? Everyday I have to let God remind me His grace has covered for all my shortcomings; not that I should not strive to be as Jesus taught us to be but that I recognize my weaknesses and a need for a saviour hopelessly.
Therefore, I pray that I will allow Him to work with me, through me and walk with me in every step during the short period of my life on this earth.
So, let’s get to it.
I was thinking about hell early this month and I remember asking myself a few years back if hell existed and wondering what kind of people go to hell.
One time, I think almost five years ago, I heard men preaching to people in the streets, speaking about hell and I remember thinking, “these street preachers need to stop scaring people and speaking ludicrous things, there is no way a loving God can can send people to burn forever just because they did not follow Him and if truly there is a hell, then those who those deserved to go there are the murderers, pedophiles, rapists, thugs, abusers and the like.”
In retrospect, I see the error of some of my ignorant and non-factual conclusions. Where was I getting the notion that the murderers and thieves deserved hell more than I did? Why did I think that I was better or my sins were of much lighter weight than theirs? Because in all honesty I was saying, “I am a pretty righteous person. I mean, I had never committed such great atrocities”
Here’s the thing though, the people who inherit the kingdom of God are not the pretty righteous ones. They are those who see their brokenness and a need for a saviour, those who and are truly repentant of their sin and turn to God for help and redemption.
With just these thoughts I had already broken several laws of God in my ‘pretty righteous state.’
- Thou shalt have no other god before me
Isn’t it interesting how when we hear the word of God preached just as it is and we don’t like it, we think “uuuum, no way…God is not like that, He is loving and merciful and gentle, slow to anger and He is forgiving” And by this we create another god who our mind is comfortable with, a god who loves all people and doesn’t seem to be bothered much by sin or a god who is not wrathful. People perceive that having other gods is literally the worship of other images, but it is actually idolatry to create a god who suits our own views to escape the tag of our conscience. The God of the Bible is loving and wrathful. He loves all people and hates all sin so therefore He must judge sin otherwise He would not be at all just.
- And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
This is one of the worst kinds of pride. Thinking yourself to be better than others. “Well, look, at least I am not a rapist, or a murderer, I have only stolen from my parents some pocket change, lied a bit, and bribed my way out of the consequences of my actions with smiles and flattery in tight occasions.” Most likely your sins are not as grave as those of the worst human being to have walked the earth but according to God’s standard.
And aren’t we all guilty of such? Then howbeit that we think ourselves not worthy of hell?
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all
So is there a hell?
Hell yeah! See what I just did there? Lol okay. Yes there is a hell. In fact, Jesus spoke more about hell than any prophet did. His description was more profound on this matter seeing He is the creator of all things. The one who all beings were made by and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
If we study the ministry of Jesus, we recognize that He loved all manner of people but He also rebuked sin with great harshness, He never sugarcoated His words, He called a spade a spade.
To be honest, there are times we prefer if somebody was saying something truthful to us that they would just sugarcoat it a little and maybe it would hurt less. But that is truth, it is a painful pill to swallow and it is necessary that it be said and said with love. Jesus describes other instances of hell with terms like ‘lake of fire, where the worm dies not and the fire is never quenched’ Even I, get the shivers when I imagine the existence of such a place.
Revelation 21: 8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
What is hell?
To describe its state— it is total separation from God. Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus and in this story, Abraham says something quite interesting and scary “And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.–Luke 16:26
This means even if the rich man was repentant, he could still not go to heaven. All men under the sky receive grace and enjoy the goodness of God whether good or evil. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Think of a state where God’s goodness is not present, where there is no hope, no salvation, no love, nothing good, where the presence of the Lord is not there. This is the state of hell— total separation from God, that even if you called upon Him, He would not hear. It is a place of desolation, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Who goes to hell?
It would be comfortable if I said, I’ll let God decide, He is the judge anyway. So I’m just going to come right out with this one. ‘Those who don’t need a saviour’
If we think ourselves not to need a Savior then God cannot force Himself on us. But it’s important to understand we cannot save ourselves, no amount of good works can save us apart from blood of Jesus. We transgress God’s laws in so many ways everyday yet He desires a relationship with us. The reason He calls us to repentance is mostly because He loves us and He wants us to live a fulfilling life and enjoy His joy, peace and gift of eternal life. God does not send people to hell, actually people choose willfully by themselves to walk in their own ways and away from His mercy and salvation.
This is the free gift of salvation. Whosoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life. We all need Jesus. We all need the peace which only He can give, we all need our sins forgiven. Mere profession to believe is not enough, we must put our full trust and faith in Him and let Him order our lives in the steps of rightousness.
You know when I look at David, I really admire how passionately He desired the things of God than those of the world. He desired God’s presence even more than the glory of a king. I pray that we may all come to such a point where nothing in the world can be as important to us as God. God knows I need this prayer answered desperately for my own life.
My short post does not even exhaust the dangers of living a life without true repentance.
But what a great hope that even in the midst of all the struggle, the pain, hurt, disease and death in this world, we have the most beautiful hope in Jesus, that one day we shall see Him again and there will be no more crying, no more death, no more sorrow, no more pain.
Wishing you all a Blessed Sunday.