We’ve all heard of the popular book, “Heaven is for Real”. And indeed, Heaven IS for real! Heaven is a wonderful place, a paradise filled with the peace and love of God, and His glory. But you need to also be aware of the fact that hell is NO LESS real! Jesus Christ often spoke about angels and Heaven, but would it surprise you to know that Jesus spoke TWICE AS MUCH about Satan, devils, demons, and hell than He did about Heaven and angels? Do you think Jesus would speak so much about something that did NOT truly exist? Friend, THEY DO exist…and hell is a horrible place, a place of darkness, torment, evil, fire, pain, and hopelessness. These are not my words. JESUS taught us, and warned us about these things. Jesus didn’t come to this earth and lay down His life so that we “could get rich”, or gain material wealth. Forget those teachings. If that’s the focus of your “church”…find a NEW church!
Why is it so easy for most people to accept the fact that Heaven is real, but not hell? How can someone think that goodness and light exist, but not evil and darkness…the other side of the coin? In fact, what makes goodness and light stand out, but the surrounding presence of evil and darkness? Would we even recognize goodness, if we had not seen wickedness to compare it to? Even the scientist Albert Einstein stated that darkness is simply the absence of light. This is also true in a spiritual sense. Where the light of God is NOT present, darkness reins. But where the light of God IS, there can be NO darkness at all. God is light, and darkness flees from His presence! Jesus is THE LIGHT of the world. (John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46). And I think we can all agree that this world is FULL of wickedness and darkness, lurking around every corner!
I was sitting at lunch with a man a couple years ago. Several of his friends had joined us at our table. One of his friends asked the man, “So, I heard you and your family started going to church again?” I was pleased to hear this, UNTIL I heard the man’s reply. He said in response, “Yes, I FINALLY found a church that didn’t preach about hell, fire and damnation. I don’t want my kids to be brought up in a church that believes that kind of stuff!” My heart sank. I wanted to immediately respond to him, telling him that he was incredibly off track, but I did not want to embarrass him in front of his friends. Maybe my decision to not speak out to him was wrong, because I never re-approached him about this matter. The man went on to say he was extremely happy with his new “church home”, because they sold his favorite kind of coffee in the break area, as well as delicious bagels that he could eat during the sermon. So, now I ask YOU…what kind of a “church” have we become?
WHAT HAS HAPPENED to the church of Jesus Christ? Is it a “CHURCH” at all? Has the church of Christ become a modern-day country club? Do we now put on our “spiffy” clothes each Sunday morning, load up the kids in the SUV, and head to the “church club” to pay our dues (tithes), feeling as though God owes us a “participation medal” for going to “church”? “Church attendance” does not save a man or woman. Only a sincere relationship with Jesus Christ can save a soul. So, if the above describes YOU, and you’re going to church weekly thinking, “now I deserve Heaven”…think again.
Judgment will indeed come, upon all men…and upon all nations. “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” (Matt 16:27). Let our deeds come from a pure heart. Hear God’s Word, and believe.