Living & Dying As If There’s No God

August 11, 2012

This last week another person went to Hell. Yes, I know many did, but this was the friend of my friend, Mr. B.

After visiting at the nursing home yesterday, I stopped at Mr. and Mrs. B’s house, as I usually do, to visit them. Mr. B told me that his friend –the one who had had the brain cancer– died earlier in the week. I was very sad to hear of it and asked if he’d gone to the funeral. “No, there wasn’t one,” Mr. B said. “He was cremated.”

“But there still could’ve been a funeral,” I said.

“True,” Mr. B replied. “But he wasn’t religious and so his wife said she saw no reason for it.”

I thought that was not only strange, but sad. For a wife to not want a funeral at her husband’s death could only mean she realized there wasn’t much comfort a preacher could give concerning her husband’s destination. It could only mean that she and others must not have any words to give in honor of the man. How sad.

Mr. B went on: “I almost asked my friend one day recently if he believed in God, but then I never did ask it.”

“Too bad you didn’t,” I said.

“Yea,” was all Mr. B said.

“He believes in him now,” I mused. “As he sits in Hell.”

“Now?” Mr. B asked.

“Yes,” I said and I explained that though we, on this earth, live in time, once we die, we go into eternity –which is outside of time. I said this is why some people believe that the Bible teaches “soul sleep” even though Jesus said to the repentant thief on the cross, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

Mr. B and I talked some more (Mrs. B was in the other room taking a nap through all of this) and I asked how many more chemo treatments he was facing. He told me he had three more to go and that that would make it eight in all.

“I’m so glad you are feeling so good,” I said.

“Yea, I’m fine,” Mr. B said with a big smile.

I stood up, ready to go, but Mr. B told me to go back and check to see if Mrs. B was still sleeping. She was, so I said goodbye to Mr. B, and left.

Driving home I prayed again as I have for so many years, “Oh Lord, please, please saved Mr. and Mrs. B. from going to Hell. Lord, I see that You have been trying to answer. You could force them to bow to You, but You won’t because You have decreed that, for the duration of their life on earth, men have the freedom to choose You or reject You. Oh Lord, so I’ve been asking You to give them strong warnings –but only in Your great mercy too– so that they will wake up out of their blindness and repent and believe! I know Mr. B’s cancer is one of those warnings, yet You also, in Your mercy, are helping him come through it just fine –because I’ve prayed that too, and You are the God who answers because of Your compassion. What a merciful God You are! And last year when their grandson died suddenly –that was a warning. And I know Mr. B’s friend now dying so quickly was another warning. Lord, please save them! Don’t let them go to Hell. Remember all of my prayers! Oh Lord, honor my prayers!”

I cry often for Mr. and Mrs. B –and many others. How can people reject the One who extends Life to all? How can they snub the amazing Good News? How can they stew in their resentment toward those who keep warning them of the reality of God and His requirement of a washed and pure heart –for everyone who expects to live with Him, the holy and pure God, forever –for everyone who expects to escape an eternity in the darkness?

There was another comment which Mr. B made during the course of our conversation about his friend: “He didn’t believe in God.”

Thinking of that statement, I think of how God’s Word says twice this simple statement: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” (Ps. 14:1 & 53:1) That word “fool” there means, “one who is morally deficient”. This description, then, is for all those who, even while they may claim they believe in God, or even Jesus, show, through the wickedness of their lives, that they actually do not believe in God. And like the Bs who claim to believe in God and Hell, but who have both shrugged and told me, “Oh, well; we know we’re going to go to Hell; but I guess we don’t care”, the Word of God calls them fools.

But may the Lord have mercy on fools. And may God’s people stop all their own indulgent partying while they know men are going to Hell, and instead lament and weep and fast and continue to pray that they will be saved. For if we resist or neglect God’s Spirit and Love in us –who certainly compels us to do so– we ourselves will be sinning against the Lord. (1 Sam. 12:23 // Amos 6:6) This sin is deliberate rebellion against what God has commanded us to do (Ezek. 33:1-20 // Matt. 28:19,20), and it is as grave as the sin of witchcraft –a sin abhorrent to the Lord, a cause for being rejected by Him. (1 Sam. 15:23 // Eph. 5:6)

with love,

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