The eyes of the glorified Christ were like a flame of fire, according to John the Revelator. The writer to the Hebrews informs us that His word pierces like a sword even to the division of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and that it discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. And although the person’s works as put forward in 1 Corinthians 3 were unworthy, yet the fire that destroyed them saved him.
Imagine if you would, a warm fire, giving light, inviting closeness. Now imagine an inferno scorching the flesh and blinding the eyes until the flames become black like night. It is written that our God is a consuming fire and that it is a fearful thing for the one who has counted the blood of Jesus commonplace, to fall into His hands. However, the Father offers Himself as forbearing; incredibly so, inconceivably so. He manifests to some as a warm, comforting, closeness, but to those who persist in unbelief, He is a raging black firestorm.
Somewhere beyond the blue comes there to be a fearful, burning, dark place, filled with the consuming fire of the terrific love of God, unrelenting, hounding, tearing at its inhabitants. The scriptures portray it to be torment, justice, punishment, banishment, and destruction. The genius of Dante’s imagination may have approached a true description of hell, but it most probably is inexpressibly more horrifying. Is its revelation a deterrent? Not for fools. Is it determined for retribution? God has no need for such as that. Is it redemptive? Many would scoff at the notion. Is it outside the bounds of God’s creative formulary and presence? Quite impossible, I trust. “If I make my bed in hell (Sheol), Thou art there.” - King David.
There must be no sin or sinner tainting the Eternal Day. The universe must someday be purged and pure with no hint of either. For it is the “pure who shall see God,” with all spot, speck, blemish, stain, and smear, vanished away. Might there remain a last gracious opportunity to repent upon realization of the Christ? Will His hand of grace still be begetting, provisioning, and personalizing atonement? Atonement; you know – if you have not heard it spoken elsewhere, then here – which is identified with other big words of Scripture such as Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Justification, Propitiation, et al, Salvation.
Be advised there are no casinos or lottery drawings in the sweet bye and bye. God holds no measure with chances, odds, mistakes, or surprises, but rather favors unchangeable, unalterable love. Attempts are sometimes made to morph love into fear but though fear may be a powerful motivator, it is feckless. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but it is love that covers sin. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I need to, but will assert that separation from God is serious in the extreme. The Bible doesn’t say all, but it says enough – enough to set us free - in the here and now.
If in the face of Absolute Good, the obstinate and prideful assert an abiding preference of things unrighteous and should they despise the goodness as personified and set down by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, it may be they are allowed to lock themselves into a withered, pained yet pleased, consumption into non-entity, their place at the table of hell accounted for and rid of them. Death which is both the wages of sin and the final enemy - death and all its cohorts - shall be consumed as lost identities, negated and providentially forgotten. Abiding, abundant life in all its permeating fullness will then declare forth forevermore, world without end. Hebrews 10:31, 12:29; Prov. 9:10, 10:12 ; 1 Peter 4:8
Redeeming love will be my theme and shall be till I die.” There is a Fountain: William Cowper.
Happy Birthday Dad, April 29, 1922-2007: