Who wants to go to ****? It’s your choice | Faith
by The Press and Standard | November 17, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 13, 2019 at 12:40 pm
What! Pause! Stop! Rewind! Who wants to go to ****? What a thought-provoking question! However, so many of us live in a manner as if that is the place we are working on for our eternal home.
On this past Sunday, I visited New Life United Methodist Church here in Walterboro. Pastor Ken Carter really brought a word, “Don’t Settle for Less,” and within his message, he asked the question, “Who wants to go to ****?” I could feel the shocking atmospheric pressure rising! God dropped it into my spirit at that moment to write about this question this week for His people. The topic of **** is an unpopular one, but in the scheme of things, it is definitely real.
Let’s take a look at a few verses of Scripture that give us some insight into the description of ****. All of the verses are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV):
“And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house — for I have five brothers — so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment’” (Luke 16:27-28). This is the rich man asking for God to send Lazarus to warn his brothers about **** so that they will not end up there with him. In these verses of Scripture, we find that **** is a “place of torment.” This means that there is severe physical and mental suffering in ****.
“And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us” (Luke 16:26). The rich man is being told that Lazarus cannot come to him, and he cannot go to Lazarus. In this verse we discover that **** is inescapable. It is permanent. Once you get there, you cannot do anything to earn your way out. It is too late!
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matthew 25:41). In the final judgement God is telling the people that they did not feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick, or those in prison. Therefore, in this verse of Scripture, we learn that the fire in **** never stops burning — it is eternal.
“So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50). In these verses we find that there will be a separation of those who are evil and those who are righteous. The evil will be thrown into the fire. In that place called ****, the evil will continuously cry, and they will bite down in pain, anguish and anger. Of course, this will be of their own choosing because they refused to live in the will of God.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God did not send His Son to condemn us, but to save us. Consequently, we realize in this Scripture that **** is a place where those who do not believe in God will perish.
“And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness…” (Matthew 25:30). In this verse of Scripture, a servant takes the Master’s talent that was given to him and buries it. Therefore, he is condemned for his actions. We learn that **** is a place of darkness.
I ask you this loaded question again: Who wants to go to ****? Everyone wants to talk about Heaven, but there is also ****. Every day people are dying, but all of them are not going to Heaven. Heaven is a place for prepared people, so is ****. If we do not work toward eternal life in Christ Jesus, **** will be our home. However, God does not want to see us perish according to II Peter 3:9 (ESV): “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” He is a God of love, and He is a forgiving God. Remember that He created us in His image.
Therefore, I leave you with this quoted question: “Where will you spend eternity: Smoking or Nonsmoking?” Only you can answer that question as only you know how you are living your life.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)