Been thinking lately on eternity. What is this life compared to eternity and why do I focus so heavily on what is perishing rather than what will never end; foreverness? Eternal things are incomprehensible to me. A God who always was, is, and always will be- who can fathom that? How can anything or anyone not have a beginning? And how is it possible that we will someday find ourselves in a ceaseless life of blessedness or a tormented life of endless suffering- this does not compute in my small, feeble, limited mind.
Last Sunday my pastor said something that made me stop and question my own idea of an everlasting future. I’ve had small reality checks in the past regarding my destiny in Heaven, however I’ve never really thought much on what lies ahead for those who have resisted their Lord; for those whose works will not permit them entrance into heaven; for those whose sins have not been paid for by the bloodshed of the Savior; for those faced with an eternity of suffering and sorrow. Who chooses to think on that?! Not me.
Who wants to sit around envisioning Satan fearlessly demanding obedience from our loved ones, pitchfork in hand, horns protruding from blood red skin? What kind of person meditates on such devastating thoughts? I can tell you I avoid this reality at all cost. And the truth is- it’s one of the greatest deceptions we have fallen for! This image of Satan and Hell- It’s not reality at all; it’s a lie.
As my pastor challenged my thoughts on those who will suffer in hell, I began considering a few scriptures I was familiar with:
· Hell was prepared FOR Satan and his fallen angels (NOT BY THEM)- Matthew 25:41
· The devil will be cast into the lake of fire and tormented day and night forever and ever (HE WILL NOT DO THE TORMENTING; HE WILL BE TORMENTED)- Revelation 20:10
· Those who follow after the beast will also be tormented forever and ever with no rest day or night (NO PARTIES GOING ON THERE)- Revelation 14:9-11
I recall years ago a person I care for mocking me and my beliefs and proudly proclaiming that he would one day be “Satan’s right hand man.” I was deeply saddened yet furious that he would even joke about such a thing. Eternity without forgiveness of our sins and separated from Christ is no laughing matter! You know what else?! There’s not gonna be any pitchfork parties! Satan is the ruler of this world (John 12:31), the god of this age (2 Cor 4:4), and the prince of the air (Eph 2:2), but he is NOT and NEVER WILL BE the pitchforked dictator of Hell that he has deceived us into believing. Satan will suffer, his time tempting and torturing us on this earth is short, and he and the fallen angels know this all too well (Matt 8:29). All that reject the grace and love of Christ will regret it. Partying it up in an eternal place of blissful sin and selfishness in hell sounds far more appealing than sitting on clouds playing harps for hundreds of thousands of years in Heaven. Truth is, that’s not truth.
And once again I find myself at the place of questioning why the truth of Hell, the truth of eternity, the truth of our eternal existence after this life doesn’t compel me to share Christ’s love with ALL. This life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. You Only Live Once. True, and how you live now decides where you spend eternity. Eternal torment and sorrow, or eternal peace and perfection. You decide, but when you make that decision, base it on truth and not mystical deceptions.
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