By Elizabeth Prata
“And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Hell is not a pleasant Bible concept to ponder. So most of the time, Christians don’t. But it’s the end-all of the journey for millions and billions of people. Forever. So we must.
When someone dies, we are very respectful of the body. You see on television police shows, the agony when a slain officer is left on the ground, they want the Law Officer’s body picked up as soon as possible. Dead bodies are covered with a sheet. The funeral rituals from whatever country are surrounded by care for the body. Fragrances, wrappings, coverings, positionings, and a solemn burial are all usually part of handling the corpse.
The entire situation is handled sensitively. Funeral homes have thick carpeting that dims sound. Mourners speak in hushed tones. People move slowly. No raucous laughter, no wild gesticulations.
As for the deceased body itself, if there had been an organ donation, the corpse is sewn back up before the funeral home receives it. If there was an autopsy, the same thing happens. The dead body is made up, combed, and dressed.
Death is sobering, and as humans, we do what we can to be compassionate, and the way we handle the body even though there is no life in it anymore is one way we seek to be caring of the remains.
Compare that with the scene in Revelation. The dead, who are alive and fitted for an eternal body ready, are judged. Then…THROWN into the Lake of Fire. CAST into the Lake of Fire. Not place. Not prettied up, cared for, and gently laid. THROWN.
It’s because we are unholy people doing evil against a holy God. Unrepentant, in the end our evil deeds will cause our Holy God to treat the evil body as garbage, and throw it out . Heaved into their final place. It is not a place of rest.
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We tend to forget that John the Baptist came speaking not of love and joy and comfort and encouragement, “He first preached preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;” (Luke 3:3). He spoke of wrath and the coming of Jesus. (Luke 3:7, 16). The Gospel of Jesus Christ has two parts, and the second part is almost upon us: His Second Coming. He could come at any time. Or, death could come for you, any moment.
Are you ready to face the Holy God who created you? To defend your sins, to be tried and found guilty, and be thrown into the Lake of Fire in the end?
Of are you ready to face the Holy God who created you as a repentant sinner who flung himself at the feet of Jesus begging for forgiveness? Who entered the Door and lived as salt and light until the moment of death? Who loved Him, and others as yourself, and upon departure from this life, be ready to be ushered into heavenly glory?
The “End Times” are about Jesus!
1. He will be unexpected (Mt 24:37-51)
2. He will gather His people (Mt 24:31)
3. He will establish His kingdom (Dan 7:14)
4. He will judge unbelievers (Mt 16:27)
5. He will be glorious (Mt 16:27)
6. He will be seen by all (Mt 24:30)
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