The Spirit convicts me that it is proper, edifying and blessed--this recent appreciation of the seriousness of sin and accompanying apprehension of the reality of Hell.
Ah, but listen here. I was never afraid of Hell growing up; did not think of it, did not really believe in it. Like most, I couldn't believe that a "good and loving God" would really make such a place nor consign souls there. Surely there must be a misunderstanding of scripture . . . .
"Did He really say _______ . . . ?"
Then, coming finally to the Truth--that day of repentance and awe when He showed me my true state, when I was born again, it was not fear of Hell which brought me in, but , rather an awakening to His presence and a simple Seeing . . . that He was indeed "the way and the truth and the life" and that only through and by Him was salvation attained--all the rest were false.
Nor now--even though He shows me the seriousness of sin and the reality of eternal, final judgment--is the awful gravity of such things my main motivating factor toward righteousness. His love, His grace, His justice, His infinite power and glory . . . are what draws me onward . . . .
Nevertheless, when I asked for a greater "heart for the lost", what He shows me and makes my mind to understand . . . IS . . . the reality of Hell/seriousness of sin warned of in the New Testament scriptures and what Jesus Himself so often addressed. Any fear and urgency now felt considering the matter . . . is not for myself, nor others already saved, but for those . . . who . . . in fact, are currently LOST!
As the Holy Spirit continues His work on my soul, my character and path, it is the case that my own sin grieves me ever more; but it is a sweet grief. I am genuinely grateful when He speaks to my mind and heart and shows me those suppressed and hidden parts of me which continue in hypocrisy, pride, vanity etc. Because I am free! I am already justified in the eyes of the Father, my sins forgiven past, present and future, for I believe in His Son and that His sacrifice, His propitiation is COMPLETE! IT IS FINISHED! So, there is no wallowing or dwelling on sin and mistake, lest that become yet another secret source of false humility and spiritual pride. But there is a cheerful, quick and crisp acknowledgment of the "old man" still remaining and the gratitude in watching and experiencing the Spirit's ongoing work of regeneration, renewing, purifying--sanctification--so long as I continue in this mortal body and await the day of final judgment.
However, it was put into my heart not to become smugly callous or blissfully sanguine as to my own salvation . . . while others remain in the clutches of death, damnation and the Evil One. This too, I believe, is a typical component of the sanctification process: once we are ourselves Safe . . . He wants us to get busy with His mission in this fallen world, to save sinners; for He decrees that we are the means of His reaching others, as He at once begins to share His kingdom and calling with us--a holy people, a people of priests, spiritual doctors, ambassadors . . . .
It has also occurred to me that this line of thinking and general consideration . . . is extremely helpful during the troubled times we find ourselves in. Here is a great and powerful tool and spiritual weapon the disciple can use . . . as the persecution of the saints and all-out assault on the Body bursts into full swing.
For those of you who truly appreciate the evils of this day and who recognize the signs and clearly and boldly see where things are going; and who has no intention of bowing to the feet of anti-Christ, but also smartly anticipating just how treacherous and challenging maintaining faith and loyalty is bound to be . . . please consider and take to heart what I believe is being revealed to me in all of this recent hellish focus and talk. A powerful and maybe vital spiritual weapon to hold and wield . . . in the coming storms of the enemy . . . such as to keep you courageous, faithful, strong . . . set like flint against all the buffeting winds and missiles arrayed to dispirit, demoralize, terrify and, if possible conquer . . . the royal Family of God . . . who stand here in the gap, who will testify into the end, unvanquished, victorious, joyfully awaiting His arrival . . . .
So, more on this, if you don't mind . . . in a bit . . . .
God bless and brace you,