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There’s this problem that I’ve had for a while that I didn’t recognize as a problem until recently. The problem is that when a person says or does something that reveals that they aren’t a Christian, I think to myself, “Well, they’re going to Hell.” The problem is not that it’s not true. The problem is that it’s not nice. I shouldn’t think like that. I should feel bad for those people and want to help them change the fate of their eternity. Instead, I feel a twisted sense of pride, as if I’m better than them because I’m going to Heaven, and their stupidity and ignorance are being rightfully punished by them going to Hell. It’s basically like, “What they believe is wrong, so they’re going to Hell. Good, it’s what they deserve.” See? Not nice. That’s definitely not how God thinks, and it’s certainly not how He wants me to think. Because the truth is, I deserve to go to Hell, too. I’m not any better than those people who have it wrong just because I got it right. I’m no more righteous or deserving of Heaven than they are. God sees me as righteous not because I am, but because Jesus in me is. It’s true that I’m going to Heaven because I believe in God and have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It’s not true that that gives me the right to consider myself better than anyone else, because I’m not. My sin killed Jesus just as much as theirs did. Their sin didn’t make him any more dead than mine did. God sees all sin the same. And he loves all sinners the same.
“Give me your eyes for just one second. Give me your eyes so I can see everything that I keep missing. Give me your love for humanity. Give me your arms for the broken-hearted. The ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten. Give me your eyes so I can see.” ~Give Me Your Eyes, Brandon Heath
Devotion for the week of 7/14/14-7/20/14 (Sorry it’s late. It’s summer and I totally forgot that yesterday was Monday…)
I have met many people in my life who I knew that if they were to die right then, they’d go to Hell. Every time I’ve met someone like that, it’s made me very sad and I’ve wanted to do something about it. Unfortunately, many times I didn’t do anything. But there have been times when I’ve tried very hard to save someone’s soul. Back when I was in 7th grade I had a friend who claimed to be a Wiccan. At that time I didn’t really know what she believed, and I still don’t. People used to tease her and call her a witch. However, as far as I know, she didn’t do any witchcraft or perform any rituals. She was just into the supernatural. Anyway, I spent a lot of time during that year, before she moved over the summer, witnessing to her. I wish I could tell you that she’s a Christian now, but I can’t. I remember one time in particular I was really fed up with her constant rejection of my attempts to talk with her about Christianity. It was after school and I had a flute lesson to get to. I saw her by the bathroom and we were talking. I don’t remember exactly what we said but I do remember what I said as I was walking off. And I know you aren’t supposed to be this blunt when you’re witnessing to people, but I was on my last straw and I didn’t know what else to say. So, angry, I shouted to her, “You’re going to Hell!” And her reply was even more surprising than my sudden outburst. She shouted back, “I don’t care!” … I had never gotten that kind of response before and I haven’t since. Usually people know that’s true but try not to think about it. But she knew it was true and didn’t care. I don’t understand how someone couldn’t care that they were going to be tortured for eternity in a pit of fire. I’ll never know if she truly didn’t care or if she was just saying that, but her words will stay with me forever. The Bible describes Hell in a few different places. In Matthew 13:49-50 Jesus says, “This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Revelation 20:14-15 says ‘Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire’. Based off of those descriptions, Hell does not sound like a place that I wouldn’t mind going to. I encourage you to witness to the lost souls around you and show them that Hell is not a place they want to go. But don’t do what I did and try to scare them into being a Christian. Yes, make them aware of how horrible Hell is, but also make them aware of how amazing Heaven is and how graceful and loving our Savior is.