If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, have you ever thought through what you have been saved from? We speak much of heaven and the picture painted for us of heaven:
Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
It is one of glory and bliss and it is very necessary that believers look to that reality to remain true, faithful and motivated to holiness. But have we ever really thought about the opposite … what we have been saved from? Listen to Jonah’s words as he prays:
Jnh 26b7 “But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.”
The word “pit” would have referred to the grave or the place of the dead. A grave is a pit … a hole in the ground … the place of the dead could go further than the physically dead … it could also mean the place of the eternal dead, referring to hell. That is the place where God is not! Listen to John in the Revelation again:
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.”
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Where none of these are comprehensive, what about:
Gal 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In a nutshell, all sin is rebellion against God and all rebellion is sin against God. In two places in these passages we find that sin prevents a person entering the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is anywhere and everywhere Jesus reigns! He does not reign in hell though He reigns over hell! Consider damnation:
Lk 16:24 “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.’”
Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Have you ever thought about the eternal place you have been saved from? Have you ever thought about the horrendous pain, suffering and agony where the fires never burn up? The Biblical picture of not being in God’s presence for all eternity. Surely that must be the one single thing that excites your soul. Then you need to contemplate the fact that you did not and could not do anything to secure being saved from the eternal fiery pit. Jesus did that! Now think about God’s rescue plan. He had you in mind before creation because he chose you before creation! Feast upon this:
Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Spend some time prayerfully meditating on this passage. Take a paper and pen and list what God did before creation, then in another column list what He did through Jesus during the history of this world in the First Century! Forgive me for this, but this is nothing less than mind blowing! Because we have been saved as listed above and are so grateful for being saved from sin, guilt and hell for heavenly bliss … the desire of our hearts ought to be:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Now look at how the prayer comes to its climax:
Jnh 2:6b But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. 7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. 8 “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. 9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD.”
We will return to this.
O God thank You for remembering us, leading to You to be merciful and gracious, saving our souls from eternal damnation … from the fiery pit to be with You. Amen.