Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
I have seen this cartoon a few times in the past. I didn’t like it the first time I saw it, and I didn’t like it again when it arrived in my inbox recently.
Hell is not a game. It is serious business, and yet, at times, we turn it into a joke.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Does a lake of fire that burns forever and ever sound like a joke to you? Not only do you not want anything to do with Hell when you die, you also don’t want your worst enemy to go there for five seconds, let alone for all of eternity. Shouldn’t that include finding no pleasure in imagining or watching their suffering as well?
And do you really think that after finally seeing Jesus face to face and experiencing His all-encompassing loving embrace that you would find pleasure in watching people suffer for their sins? Do any of us really need a scene like that to comprehend and thank God for His grace and mercy? Goodness. Of course, not.
Now someone in Hell might―and I say might―want a viewfinder to look up into Heaven to see what is going on, but we would never want a viewfinder to look down into Hell to watch anyone in torment.
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Untying the Knot
Now think about the sentence that’s on the side of the viewfinder. There are a lot of people who have ex-spouses. Thank God for forgiveness. And I do mean to thank Him mightily for forgiveness. But is this the state of marriage vows today? Try out matrimony for a bit, and, if it doesn’t fit my preconceived notions of bliss, then dump that person and try it again?
If you don’t understand why God said for a man and a woman to stay married all the days of their lives, then you need to remember what the Bible teaches as well as the ramifications of divorce within a society. You run across this issue all the time when soul-winning. I dare you to talk to some high school or college-aged students who didn’t grow up in a two-parent household. Just broach the subject with them and notice the look on their faces. They know, they know, they know there is something missing in their life. They would have taken a two-parent household over everything else in the world, and they didn’t get it. That kind of rejection is hard to handle, and the pain from it runs very deep. Only Jesus can heal scars like that.
Maybe marriage should be held in very high regard rather than joking about ex-spouses being in torment. Maybe self-gratification shouldn’t take preeminence within a marriage. And maybe Jesus doesn’t want the lives of family members to be frayed, unraveled, and torn apart. Isn’t the institution of marriage supposed to be a picture of His betrothal to the church?
Caring for the Unparented
I have a friend who is married and has a few kids. A couple of days ago, I texted him for his birthday. He replied by saying, “Just so you know, you are the fatherly influence I needed in my life at the most crucial time. Thank you for remembering me and prioritizing me over the years. 1 Corinthians 4:15. Thank you, brother.”
That was a pretty neat text to get, but who he really wanted and needed in his life was his real father. Instead, he got a very poor substitute: me. When young people don’t get the real deal, they will pretty much take anyone they can get. But never forget, they always want the real deal.
Don’t live life, marriage, or parenthood in a secondary kind of way. These are always of primary importance. And even if all of our God-given institutions are destroyed by the world, God still takes them all very seriously. How do I know that? His Bible makes it clear as a bell. Keep your nose in it all the days of your life.
Hell is no joke. As someone once said, “We should be on a battleship at the gates of Hell trying to stop anyone from going there.” Interesting thought. Sure would lead to an interesting life for a Christian if one lived their life that way every day.
Until the Nets are Full,