If You Don't Like the Heat
In such circumstances we long for a cooler day, some rain, anything to bring us relief from the intense heat. And in most cases we are able to find something. A tall glass of ice water or a cold can of soda. A swim in a nearby pool. An air-conditioned room or at least a fan.
It seems no one would choose to live in a place that is constantly hot. Stifling hot. A place in which there is no way to cool off or find comfort. Yet, many are choosing just such a place for their eternal destiny.
Hell is real. The Bible clearly teaches its existence. Although not many details are given about hell, enough are given to make an unwelcome picture -- a terrifying picture.
Hell is called a lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). This fire is one which cannot be put out -- it burns forever (Mark 9:48). Hell is a place of darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 22:13). Hell is a place of punishment and torment prepared especially for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). However, the Bible tells us that those who "know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" will also be punished with eternal destruction and separated from the presence of God (II Thessalonians 1:8, 9).
There will be no goodness whatsoever there, for God will not be there. Sometimes our world seems bad. But we can find some goodness and beauty here, for God has not removed Himself from us completely. In hell, there is no beauty, no happiness, no light ... only darkness, pain, and destruction forever.
In actuality, we all deserve to go there. The Bible says, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" (I Corinthians 6:9a). Since no one is righteous (Romans 3:10), we are destined for hell, for we all have sinned. We have rebelled against God. We deserve His punishment.
What hope do we have? Where can we find escape from the hot fires of hell? Only in Jesus. It is His blood that cleanses us from all sin. By trusting Him as our Saviour and Lord -- only then can we live free from the fear of facing the fire -- hot, dark, and eternal.
It is easy to become envious of those who are prospering, to think we should compromise our standards for an easier life. However, a psalmist who faced these same feelings and temptations, gives us an example of how to deal with them and remain faithful to God.
The first step the psalmist took in overcoming his envy toward the wicked person's prosperity was to spend time with God. In Psalm 73:17 he says, "Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end." By taking his focus off the wicked and turning to seek God, he gained a new perspective on the end results of the wicked.
When we pray and read God's Word, we discover, as the psalmist did, that God is going to judge those who do not keep His laws. The wicked may prosper now, but their eternal destiny is destruction.
The second step the psalmist took was to worship God. When we spend time with God and meditate on who He is, our natural response will be to praise and worship Him. "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever" (Psalm 73:25, 26).
We can worship God knowing that regardless of the hardships we face in this life, we are secure in Him as we remain faithful to Him.
Finally, the psalmist determined to tell others about what God had done for him. "I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works" (Psalm 73:28).
As we reflect on the goodness of God and remember His blessings, we do not have time to think about how much easier life seems for the wicked. Telling others how God has worked in our lives helps us focus on God's goodness and also encourages them in their faith.
That you have transgressed God's will.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
That God loves you anyway and offers you His mercy through the salvation work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
"[For] God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
Christ's death and resurrection as God's provision for your forgiveness. Acknowledge your acceptance of Christ by praying sincerely:
"Jesus, I am a sinner. I accept Thee as the Lord and Saviour of my life. Make me an obedient child of God."
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12).
Your life to Christ and let Him be the Lord of your life as you prayed.
"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God" (Romans 6:13). DAILY READ GOD'S WORD to inspire you and to keep you growing as a Christian.
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