Give me a word, Lord: HELL, FIRE, & BRIMSTONE

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 25:46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.

Revelation 20:15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Anyone who reads my devotionals knows that I attempt to write to encourage and inspire. Today’s devotional may be a bit different, but hang with me, Peeps. I feel like it’s important. It may be the most important one of all. I keep hearing the words, “2020 has been a terrible year.” Perhaps it has been one of the worse years of your life, but I have to tell you something. If you don’t know Christ as your Lord and Savior, there will be an eternity of days worse than all of the days of 2020. You are probably thinking, “Okay, KK, we don’t need all this gloom and doom. We’ve already had enough this year. What’s up?” I’m here to tell you that I love you, and I’m truly concerned about your future.

Yes, part of the reason that these words came to me is because of some of the events of 2020. Just in the recently passed months, there have been several distressing losses and events that have brought much grief. A young pastor friend of ours died suddenly in a motor vehicle accident. COVID has wreaked havoc on the nation, and has touched many lives of loved ones and acquaintances. We suffered through the virus, but our symptoms were mild in comparison to many. People have lost their lives to this horrible virus, and others are surviving on oxygen and a prayer. A high school classmate is on life support in critical condition after sustaining head trauma in a motorcycle accident. Another high school classmate lost her son this week tragically. I’ve diagnosed two patients with metastatic cancer in the past month alone. One thing that I know is that death is sure. Unless Jesus raptures us home first, we will all die at some point, and the thing is, we don’t know when that time will be. Each person I’ve mentioned likely had plans for the following day. They had appointments scheduled on their calendars. They had plans with family and friends, but suddenly, their time on earth was over much sooner than they had planned.

For those loved ones that have passed away that have placed trust in the Father and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, we have comfort knowing that they are already in their heavenly home. We grieve the loss. We cry tears of loss, regret, and sadness caused by the loss, yet at the same time, we can rejoice because we know that they are in the arms of Jesus. They are no longer suffering. They no longer have pain or the troubles of this world. They are finally free! But what about those that didn’t choose Christ, oh how we mourn their loss! Perhaps they thought they had one more day to make the choice to follow Christ. Perhaps they thought they would do it next year. Perhaps they thought they weren’t good enough yet. Perhaps they just did not believe. The thought of even one lost family member or friend spending eternity in hell literally breaks my heart. We are not promised tomorrow, my friends. Today could be our very last day on earth.

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting in the middle of a huge wildlife management area. It was heavily wooded. I was waiting for a deer to wander through, but because of the extensive underbrush and tree coverage, I only had a small trail with a width of about 20 feet to watch. I stared down that trail for three hours, and I saw a lot of birds, but not one deer. While I sat there waiting, still, not moving, I began praying. I began silently speaking prayers over all of the families I mentioned above. Then, I began wondering, did they all know Christ. I made a mental checklist in my brain of the ones who I had spoken with about Christ, and the ones that I knew without a shadow of a doubt were enjoying their heavenly home, and then I made a list of the ones that I had not had a conversation with regarding our Savior. Sadly, the second list was much longer.

This realization, my friends, is what prompted today’s devotional. This is the most important thing that I will ever say. Jesus Christ died for our sins…all of our sins. And just as prophesied, he was resurrected, and He will return some day. He came and suffered death on the cross so that we may be made right with God. When we leave this earth, whether by death or rapture, we are going to stand face to face with God. If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, your name will be found in the Book of Life. You will spend eternity in your heavenly home. If your name is not written in the Book of Life at that moment in time, it will be too late. There won’t be any do-overs. There won’t be any second chances. No one back home can pray you through those pearly gates. Time is up, and you will be spending eternity in hell. Eternity in hell…it’s spoken of so light heartedly by many. I’ve heard the expression, “I’m going to bust the gates of hell wide open.” Oh, how I pray that you do not! It is not a place that you want to spend one second, much less eternity. “The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:11)

I do NOT want anyone to spend eternity in hell. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want everyone to know about the wonderful, free gift of salvation. When we depart this earthly home, we are guaranteed to spend eternity in only one of two destinations. We have to choose our final destination while we are still here on earth, and we need to make that decision immediately. Tomorrow may not arrive for many of us. It will be too late. So, today, I ask you this very important question. Do you know where you will spend eternity? Are your sure? Will you walk the streets of gold singing praises to our Savior, or will you be in smoke and torment forever with no relief day or night? It is hard for me to write these words. I’m not trying to scare anyone into salvation, but please hear the cry of my heart today. If you haven’t made a decision to follow Christ, won’t you do it today before it’s too late? You alone get to choose. Please choose life everlasting with the Father. Don’t choose hell, fire, and brimstone!

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