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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Hearty "Hell No!" to Hell

At work the other night, I was working with a fellow employee who I knew was not a Christian. When I first started working there, she thought I was a priest, so the inside joke was to call me "Father Timmy". While I have had the opportunity to talk to most of my coworkers about the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus, I had not talked to her. A couple of weeks ago, another seminary student started working on my belt (the only other seminary student in my area), and the three of us were working on the Chicago next-day air load together. While loading some boxes, she just came out and said, "You preachers are so weird." "Weird?" I said. "What's so weird about us? I mean we are not aliens are we?" (though we are in effect). "I mean we have two legs, two arms, look just like everyone else, talk like everyone else (though not really), and live in the same world as everyone else. We are sinners, whose hearts deceive us and have nothing to offer God to make us better in his eyes. So how are we weird?" I really wanted to know her answer to that question. Then I asked her, "______, what do you believe about Jesus? Do you understand why He came?" She replied, "Oh yes, I know about all that Christianity stuff. My mom's a minister. I know that you must 'accept Jesus into your heart' and all that. I just don't think it applies all that much to me." Then I asked, "So what do you believe it takes for someone to go to heaven?" She answered, "I think that you just have to be a sincerely good person. I mean, I don't think that you will go to hell just because you do some bad things." I responded, "______, do you believe that if you were do to die tonight that you would go to heaven?" She answered, "Probably not . . . but I know that I won't go to hell. There's no way that I am going to hell." Then it hit me why we are considered to be so weird. We believe that sinners who die outside a saving relationship with Jesus Christ will go to hell. It was a hearty "Hell No!" to hell, and such is the air we breathe. No, you cannot scare someone to becoming a Christian, but you are naive to think that there is not a "fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" What we need a fresh dose of Jonathan Edwards, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", and not as a piece of literature to be read in high school, but an announcement made to sinners of a soon and coming reality that they must face. With pleading lips and broken heart, we who believe in hell, must live like it. As C.T. Studd said, "Some want to live within the sound of a church or chapel bell, but I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell." So he did. But what about us? Do we live like sinners who die in their sin will go to hell? Are we reaching for the church bells or sinners arms? While we may not have a hearty "Hell No!" response to hell, we can glibly pass by the notion of hell because of our "eternal security" we have, and think, "Whheeeww, I'm glad I am safe!" and go on with living our lives like hell is non-existent. I learned a lesson that day. A lesson about hell. A lesson about weirdness. A lesson about a dry eye and hard heart.


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