PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I once had a conversation with someone who was convinced that hell didn’t exist.
I’m sure we all know people who believe that, but she was adamant that God was too loving to ever send anyone to hell—whether they believed in Him or not.
I wish I’d had this conversation with her when I was a bit more developed in my faith.
I clumsily tried to explain why hell is very real…
If I could do the conversation over, I would explain that yes, God is loving.
But He’s also just.
And at the end of the day, God doesn’t send people to hell.
God has offered everyone a place in heaven, but not everyone RSVPs.
And God is too much of a gentleman to make people accept an invitation they choose to reject.
Eventually, the conversation morphed into deathbed confessions.
I absolutely believe in deathbed confessions.
I believe it’s very possible for someone to accept Christ moments before their death.
The thief on the cross beside Jesus is proof of that.
After all, when the thief acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus said, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).
That man was within death’s grasp and was offered forgiveness.
The same applies to us.
But boy what a risky way to live.
I see spiritual risk-taking all around me and it breaks my heart.
So many assume they have plenty of time.
But no one is promised tomorrow.
I know what it is to live for myself.
I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit finally got my attention and turned me back to the right path so that I can spend my life living for Jesus.
It’s a million, trillion, zillion, to-infinity-and-beyond-better way to live.
With the peace and assurance that Jesus has me safely in His hands versus the risky assumption that I have plenty of time to figure things out later.
Sometimes, they happen so quickly, there isn’t time to think.
When preachers plead from the pulpit for people to repent, it’s not for themselves that they plead.
It’s for the people who are taking the ultimate risk with their souls.
I compare it to those extreme parkour videos my son makes me watch with him on YouTube…
Daredevils who are flirting with disaster as they walk, swing, jump, etc on the edge of high rise buildings and scaffolding.
My stomach always clenches with anxiety when I watch those videos, scared for the person who holds their own safety in such disregard, all for the sake of a temporary thrill.
Yes, we only live once, but our souls will exist for eternity.
Either in heaven or in hell.
Jesus said in Mark 8:35-37, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
No, nothing is worth that.
And Jesus offers the ultimate thrill: a life in paradise that will never end.
An eternal life of joy and peace.
The alternative is a temporary thrill that results in eternal agony and sorrow.
It seems like a no-brainer, but still, people take the risk.
And it’s our choice.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for the gift of eternal life.
Pray for those who are taking spiritual risks with their souls — that they will recognize the consequences of their risk-taking before it’s too late.
If you need to make a decision to give your life to Jesus, please go to the page, “Finding Faith.”