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Soon after I shook myself out of bed this morning, I noticed a vital substance typically taken for granted was not available.
I turned on the kitchen sink faucet and nothing came out. My initial thought was that my wife neglected to pay the water bill.
I quickly discovered that was not the case. A broken water line was the culprit, according to the good people at City Hall. Utility employees were working feverishly to fix it, they assured.
Sometimes we don’t realize the importance of things until we don’t have them. Water is essential for life – especially with four children at home!
Some people believe they experience the torment of hell here on this earth. But that’s simply not the case.
Pretty much any one of us can access a cold drink of water anytime we desire it. It is not that way in hell – or eventually the lake of fire, according to God’s Word.
Those who neglect accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will experience an eternity of torment separated from God. That’s just the plain reality of human existence.
God is not willing that any should perish. He proved that by sending Jesus Christ into the world to take our sin upon Himself at Calvary. Jesus died and rose from the dead on the third day to provide all humans an opportunity for redemption.
But if that invitation is declined, humans carry their sin into eternity and can’t dwell in the presence of a holy God.
Jesus told the religious leaders of His day that, “If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.”
In fact, humans are intruding in the lake of fire. Matthew 25:41 tells us that the lake of fire, or everlasting fire, was prepared for the devil and his angels.
God is love and doesn’t send humans to that place. If people go there, it is by their own choice – or free will.
One sad aspect about the lake of fire is all the regrets. In other words, one torment will involve recalling wrong decisions.
Another awful reality of the lake of fire is the company shared there. People talk about joining their friends for a big party in hell. But the Word of God reveals a much different picture. The devil and his angels and the beast and false prophet will be among those making their abode in that awful place.
The conditions found in the lake of fire are a stark contrast – completely opposite – of those in heaven. God’s love, peace and presence create the most blissful paradise that far surpasses our greatest imaginations.
Oh my, there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain.
Jesus came to give abundant life and an escape route from sin, death and hell. Paul told Timothy to “lay hold on eternal life.” It behooves us to repent, accept Jesus into our hearts and follow Him down that straight and narrow road of holiness that leads all the way to heaven.
We don’t want to look to the right or to the left. Just keep advancing straight up that good way, my friend.
Jesus gives us this warning in Mark 9:43-44, “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Knowing what lies ahead – it’s either heaven or hell – we who know Jesus Christ want to continue following Him and take as many as we can with us.
We must preach God’s love, as well as the reality of hell.
Jude 20-23 states, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire: hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”
Some people will respond to a message of God’s love, while others take heed to the hell message (save with fear).
I work for a newspaper and can recall a tragic house fire I covered. The firefighters were valiant. Chief Joe Harper knew the situation was dire. The home was fully engulfed, and children and grandparents were inside. With no regard for his own well being, Harper burst into the home with reckless abandon with only one ambition in mind.
He did everything he could to get to them. How much more should we, who know eternity is looming, snatch them from Satan’s jaws and into a relationship with God?
Sam Kaufman pastors The Church of God at 405 13th Ave. N in Alex City. Contact him at 432 266-0154.