Do you believe in Judgment?
Lots of people don’t. They pretend that the nature of God is such that He will not allow anyone to be separated from Him eternally. On the surface, this seems like a pleasant thought. But it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, for the Son of God’s great sacrifice is diminished if it isn’t really needed. My friend, no one warned about Hell more than Jesus, and His tone was unmistakable. “Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” (Luke 12:5) If the Jesus you fellow would never say such a thing, then perhaps you have mistaken Him for someone else.
The problem with our effort to eliminate eternal Judgment is that it fails to recognize our own nature. We are eternal. Our souls last forever. Since this is true, what you are becoming is crucial. As C.S. Lewis pointed out, a slow increase in my temper which is hardly noticeable during my earthly life will make me a monster over millennia, and the same is true of my lust, or my jealousy, or my selfishness, or any other sin. When we forget this, we reduce His love which went so far to save us from the consequences of sin. Dear one, the gospel is not first a means to make me feel good, it is salvation from Hell. When I remember this, His grace becomes infinitely more precious and His love greater than any fantasy can possibly make it. Yet as soon as He offers His sober warning, Jesus hastens to say, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Lk 12:6-7) In other words, His grace is free to anyone who wants it. Real joy lies in discovering this, not pretending it isn’t necessary. I’ll see you on Sunday. Be true!