Today, I went up into the roof to re-run two cables. You might recall me saying I was fitting a small TV onto a cupboard door. I eventually managed to fabricate a system where the door and hinges support the TV, and today was installation day. First, I needed to pull the cables up into the roof. Then, I needed to make a hole in the ceiling of the cupboard before re-running the cables into the cupboard and connecting all the cabling to the TV, decoder, speaker and Chromecast.
“All systems are go”, and they really work well. We are able to close the cupboard door and the TV is not visible when not in use. We have more space on the chest of draws and have no untidy cabling.
I needed to vacuum the room because the area where I worked had some dust from drilling through the ceiling. As I switched the vacuum cleaner on, Eskom switched the electricity off. This was 1pm, so we decided to have a bread and peanut butter lunch with some oros. We did a few other things and then at 3pm decided to lie down for 20 winks. I could not sleep, but Jen nodded off. 5 minutes later, the vacuum cleaner roared into life. Jen almost went through the ceiling with fright. Shame!
There are two things that come from this experience. The first is that the space in the roof is very dark and creepy. You need to have a torch and move carefully so that you don’t fall through the ceiling. Fortunately, we have some boards placed over the bottom of the rafters allowing one to move easier and safer. The other thing was Jen’s fright when she woke up. She really got such a fright she screamed!
Maybe it’s time for us to revisit the reason for Jesus’ atoning death on the Cross of Calvary. Without what He did and accomplished, each one of us would be damned to eternal hell and no one would be with Him in heaven! You can’t think heaven and glory without thinking hell and punishment. An essay I found online has the writer saying (I have chosen a few extracts):
The doctrine of Hell in the 21st century is taboo. Louis Berkhof stated in his day, “In present day theology there is an evident tendency in some circles to rule out the idea of eternal punishment.” J.I. Packer states, “The sentimental secularism of modern Western culture, with its exalted optimism about human nature, its shrunken idea of God, and its skepticism as to whether personal morality really matters—in other words, its decay of conscience—makes it hard for Christians to take the reality of hell seriously.”
The Westminster Confession of Faith in chapter 33, section two, states, “The end of God’s appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fullness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord: but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.”
Wayne Grudem in his Systematic Theology defines Hell as “a place of eternal conscious punishment for the wicked.” Charles Hodge states, “Our Lord in his account of the final judgment says, that the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.”
Lewis S. Chafer in his Systematic Theology states, “Uninstructed minds revolt at the doctrine of eternal perdition and the more sympathetic they are by nature the more they revolt; however, the doctrine does not originate with human reason nor is it influenced by human sympathy. The theologian here, as always, is appointed to discover and defend that which God has revealed.”
Shedd states, “The strongest support of the doctrine of endless punishment is the teaching of Christ, the Redeemer of man. Though the doctrine is plainly taught in the Pauline epistles and other parts of Scripture, yet without the explicit and reiterated statements of God incarnate, it is doubtful whether so awful a truth would have had such a conspicuous place as it always has had in the creed of Christendom.”
Can we ignore the Saviour’s teaching?
Mt 25:32 “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”
Mt 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'”
Mt 25:46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Or what about
Mt 22:13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”
Jude 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
And then there is the Apostle John:
Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Lastly there is Jesus’ teaching in Luke:
Lk 16:22 “The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where he was in torment … 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’”
The reason Jesus came was to save us from eternal suffering in the fires that never burn out!
Dear God, thank You for Your salvation plan to rescue us from punishment. Help us to be fervent in evangelism and faithful in obedience. We pray for opportunities to share the Gospel … especially with our families. Amen.