One of the biggest questions . . . a Believer has got to settle--whether they believe it or not--is the reality of Hell . . . .
See . . . look how powerful and important BELIEF is . . . in this thing . . . .
So, how much do we believe of what is written? Do we come to parts that rub us wrong, or in our way of thinking seem like they shouldn't be . . . and then we concoct a new or different interpretation than what the clear, plain words say? Do we find it hard to believe, because we have been taught since childhood that the earth is millions or billions of years old . . . that there is no way the planet was created some 6000 years ago? So we devise complicated and unique interpretation to the word "days" . . . so that "6 days" actually means . . . ie., 6 billions of days . . . because we just . . . can't believe what is written?
I was listening to a sermon given by Gospel For Asia founder K.P. Yohannan, an Indian fellow--Believer--and he was recalling a wrestle with faith that I have been pondering a lot lately . . . ever since I asked God to give me a "heart for the lost" . . . .
K.P. was saying how once in his early walk . . . he was having trouble with the teaching and notion of eternal, conscious punishment . . . Hell. He decided to go carefully through the Bible, word by word, prayerfully and simply reading the plain meaning and expression of the text . . . to find out for himself . . . what really did the scriptures say . . . .
At the end . . . he came to the shocking, bracing conclusion . . . that there was no other way to twist or turn it. Hell is real!
I have come to the same conclusion . . . and the . . . consequences of that information . . . accepted . . . are profound, life changing . . . .
As K.P. went on to say, explaining how and why he began his Gospel For Asia ministry . . . "what in the world are we then doing here? . . . casually traipsing along, content with our comforts and using Jesus and so-called "Christianity" as a self-improvement, lifestyle regime . . . ? When people are in danger of ETERNAL TORMENT!!!
I think of the people close to me, certain friends and family, blithely . . . smugly . . . going about their lives with not a scintilla of sense or comprehension of the danger they are in . . . ! Let alone all the millions and billions who have not even heard the Gospel and the many who have not even heard of Christ . . . .
If Hell is real . . . . If you BELIEVE what the Bible says--what JESUS says about Hell . . . how can there not be an instant fire lit under you to go to the rescue? If we knew that just over the border . . . were devil worshipping, violent drug gangs . . . who captured, tortured and killed every single person who strayed into their territory . . . . AND if we had a relative or friend who we found out was unknowingly planning a trip straight across the border, into their deadly zone . . . or we say our child wandering that direction, just yards away from the murderers waiting hands . . . would we not do everything in our power to step in and save our friend or family from entering that terrible place? We would not say, "oh, looks like my little boy or my friend is going to venture over into the drug lords' territory today . . . . I think I will go to lunch though--I fell like a Philly Cheese Steak--I will check back tonight and see if they went afterall . . . no rush, no worry . . . . "
Yet that is just what we do when we treat this life and the consequences of sin against God as light things . . . shrugging . . . nonchalant . . . just carrying on about our own personal comfort, whims, urges wanting satisfying . . . while the gates of Hell stand looming and hungry . . . .
At some point . . . one has got to decide . . . whether this is to believed or not . . . . Do we pick and choose what to believe? Or do we rely on the plain, urgent message . . . of the Word . . . ?