Monday, June 23, 2014


Wow, when the forecasters say “cooler by the lake,” they mean it! The temps here on Lake Superior have been in the 40s at night and low 60s during the day for the past month. When they reach 70, we feel as if summer has finally arrived, but then our hopes are dashed once again. Ah, well, at least it isn’t snowing. Whatever the weather conditions are, we can bask in the glory of our Creator-King.


Summer heat

In spite of our recent, brutal winter, I prefer our up-north weather. Compared to southern climates, our summer days are seldom too hot for comfort. Heat and I don’t get along. I don’t like sweat, smelly bodies, thirst, or the chance of hyperthermia or heat stroke. I’ll take the north any day.

On extremely hot days, people say it’s “hotter than Hades.” Maybe not. The Bible speaks often of hell and hellfire. We’re told there is “danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22) for those who are angry with a brother. Our tongue alone, though small, can be like “a forest fire” in its iniquity. “The tongue … is set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6)

Jesus told the story about a rich man who died and was in torment of hell. He begged for mercy, but received none because his riches meant more to him than God Himself. The book of Revelation and other books of the Bible speak of the day of wrath, eternal judgment, fire and brimstone, and a fiery pit.

We don’t like to hear or think about such things. People question how a God of love can send people to such a terrible place. Many believe there is no such judgment and even joke about it. The truth is, many of us bring judgment on ourselves. We suffer the natural consequences when we refuse to care for our bodies, minds, and souls.

Some preachers use fear tactics to bring listeners to salvation. Conversely, other preachers speak exclusively of God’s love, forgetting about His justice. The Bible is full of either-or choices. God is a holy God who will not abide sin. 

Thanks to God, there is hope. His Word teaches that through His Son Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can approach God free from our sin. His extreme love opened a way for us so that we won’t have to spend eternity in hell. No one has to go to hell. Whether we will go there or not is our own choice. And whether we believe in hell, heaven, or God as Creator and Savior, one thing is certain. “At the name of Jesus every knee (will) bow … and every tongue (will) confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)        

Lord, thank You for Your great love that opens the way—the only way—to Your heart. By Your mercy and grace, we can experience eternal life now and forever with You. Increase our faith and give us the power and will to accept Your love and salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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