We've had a few days of respite from the intense heat of summer, so extremely lovely ~ but apparently the 90's are coming back.
Everyone likes to talk about the weather. On beautiful days...we expound about how gorgeous it is outside. On extreme days...we complain about how hot, how cold, how rainy, how windy it is.
Globally, 2010 is set to be the hottest recorded.
Where I live, the heat seemed relentless. We had 64 days of temperatures of 90 degrees or more. The most since 1993. The all-time record dates back to 1980 with 70 days.
Now, the reason I bring this up is this:
I keep thinking that those hot summer days that seemed relentlessly ruthless are really a terrible foreshadowing of spending eternity in Hell...a blip on the radar screen of an everlasting fire.
Hell, is not a subject readily talked about these days.
A survey done by the Barna Group have found these results:
Most Americans do not expect to experience Hell first-hand: just one-half of 1% expect to go to Hell upon their death. Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) believe they will go to Heaven. One in 20 adults (5%) claim they will come back as another life form, while the same proportion (5%) contend they will simply cease to exist.
Oh, that that statistic would be close. I hope it is off by .05% ~ because God wants NONE to perish, but ALL to come to the knowledge of Him (II Peter 3:9)...and that is pretty darn close.
There is a condition that must take place in order for 100% to indeed, not experience Hell first-hand. That is to enter into a relationship with the Living, Triune God. How to do that is easy: Acknowledge that you are a sinner, and believe that Jesus Christ came to the earth, fully God and fully man, died a sacrificial death to absolve you of your sins, is resurrected and sitting on the Throne in Heaven.
Yesterday at our church, Ken Boa gave a sermon on hell. Not being a theologian or particularly adequate in expounding on this subject, I am going to give you a few of his quotes from his website:
"The reason Jesus spoke about hell more than anyone else did is because He wanted no one to go there. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9; also see John 3:16)
"Jesus taught the existence of hell. He had more to say about hell in fact, than heaven, in order to warn us and turn us to salvation. A few of the examples of Jesus' teachings on hell include Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; 10:28; 11:22-24; 18:9; 22:13; 23:15,33; 25:41,46; 26:24; Mark 9:43-48. Many other Scriptures affirm the existence of hell. The Apostle Paul spoke of everlasting punishment and separation from God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)."
(me again) Since God does not want us to have a relationship through puppetry (with Him being the Master Puppeteer), He gave us a choice. We can choose to believe we are sinners, Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross to take away those sins and restore us to a RIGHT relationship with our Creator, or NOT. That is what determines our eternal destiny....Heaven for those who accept Jesus as their Savior, and Hell for those who do not.
I am a nerd. I have a book, a "Weather Journal" in which I notate mostly extreme weather happenings.
Jesus has a book, too. It is going to determine the weather of each and every day (if there are days) of your eternal existence ~ ones which are beautiful, glorious and perfect, or ones which are unyielding in the blazing inferno.
"If anyone's name was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:15
Please, please, please have YOUR name written in the Book of Life. God loves you, but He is also HOLY, and can not look at sin. His wrath is for those who refuse and reject His offer of salvation ~ to repent, be cleansed by Jesus, the sacrificial blood of the Lamb that was slain for this reason, and to accept the greatest gift of all ~ reconciliation with God, and eternity in Heaven. Choose God's love.
The weather is perfect.