Did that get your attention?
I’ll try a little louder.
Did you hear me this time?
This is the problem I was having in a dream I had last night.
The small house we were staying in was on fire. We had called 911, and everyone was leaving the house. Then I realized that the small house was attached to the larger house next to it and that the fire was spreading in that direction.
But I was having a hard time getting the attention of the people in the other house. I got a few to help me yell, “Fire!” But even they acted more like it was a game to play to make me go away so they could get back to their activities of the day, a huge wedding that they were getting dressed up for.
Many others in the house were totally ignoring us, as though they were deaf. Some even seemed to be taking a nap.
I hate dreams like that.
But it got me thinking about how when a house is on fire, the people inside are in danger, danger of being burned, but even more seriously, danger of death.
It is reality, even if they try to ignore it or say that it is not, and it will eventually reach them if they do not act to get away from it.
So, what if hell is real?
What if it is the reality that the Bible says it is?
Do you know that Jesus Christ preached more about hell than about heaven?
If it’s real, what do you and I need to do differently, either to get away from it ourselves, or to warn others who are in danger of going there?
For those who are not SURE they are going to heaven, four things need to happen:
- Admit to yourself and to God that you are a sinner and that your bad thoughts, words, and deeds are grieving a holy God. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
- Recognize that God has the right to punish you for your sins. “For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23a
- Believe that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came to earth and took your place on the cross; He took your punishment so you wouldn’t have to. When God resurrected Him from the dead, He showed that He accepted Christ’s payment for our sins. Believe it. “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23b
- Receive His gift and turn away from your sins toward God. Tell God you believe Him concerning these things, and ask Him for help to walk in His ways. “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in *(trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 *(from Amplified Classic Version)
But what if you are sure that you are on your way to heaven?
Should you and I ignore the plight of those without Christ, whose eternity will not be with Him unless they believe His message?
- Should we only warn them one time and walk away?
- What if they didn’t really hear us the first time?
- What if they were so preoccupied with their activities that they couldn’t listen at the time?
- Should we not try again?
- Are our hearts hardened to their plight?
Oh, to God, that we would allow ourselves to feel for those who are perishing and reach out to them with the Gospel!
Oh, to God, that we would turn from our own activities that are turning away our attention from their plight!
Lord, please help us to turn from our apathy and to have more compassion for the lost. Help us to realize that eternity is closer than we think, for us and for them, and that we all need to prepare for it. Forgive us for getting so focused on the pettiness of life on this earth instead of seeking first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.