Bible Reading: Hebrews 9:27-28
It is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27
Micah wanted so badly for his friend to understand what the Bible has to say about hell. After all, hell isn’t a bad word. It’s a bad place. And Micah really wanted his friend to be with him forever in heaven. So Micah spent months feeding his friend little bits about the love of Jesus and the total coolness of heaven. One day Micah’s friend actually started asking questions of his own about hell.
“Hell is forever?” Micah’s friend puzzled. “Isn’t that like getting sent to the principal’s office and never getting out? Won’t people feel bad and tell God that they really do love him and want to live in heaven with him? Won’t God let those people out of hell and into heaven?”
Lots of people figure that believing in God is like handing in a school assignment late: better late than never.
Not true. And not because God wants to flunk people out of heaven.
God knows that people in hell won’t flip-flop how they think about him. If a thousand more chances would have swayed them to choose his way, God kindly would have given them the chances. Remember: He’s the God who “does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives” (2 Peter 3:9, NCV). But because God knows everything in advance-including when people have totally made up their mind-God lets them go. He says, “It is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Unbelievers are like buckets turned upside down under Niagara Falls. They wonder, “Where is God’s love?” Yet they won’t turn their heart right side up and let the waterfall of God’s unlimited love fill their life. God’s love is a gushing torrent. But people who are against God don’t feel a drop. And hell is where people go when they have decided they don’t even want to feel God’s love.
Unbelievers are also like rude guests at a banquet. God offered his love on a platter. When people refuse his love, it’s as if they’ve knocked the platter out of his hand and stomped on the best food.
God doesn’t give unbelievers more time to choose him because he knows more time will do no good. But we can be assured that even when it comes to something as hard to understand as hell, God’s love for us is perfect!
TALK: The better you know God, the more you will want to share his heart of love with people who don’t know him. How are you expressing God’s love to non-Christians?
PRAY: God, help our non-Christian friends sense your love through us.
ACT: Take a bucket, turn it upside down. How much water goes in? How is that like a person who refuses to accept God’s love?