If your neighbor’s home was on fire, and you knew they were inside, completely oblivious to the fact that they were about to go up in flames and that their lives were in danger of burning to death, what would you do?
I am sure that you wouldn’t just watch their house burn down.
Wouldn’t you warn them? I am sure that you would do something.
Maybe you would ring the doorbell and call the fire rescue department. If your neighbors still didn’t answer, and you ran out of time waiting for the firefighters to arrive, I am sure you would knock on the door and bang on the windows to get their attention.
This would be the right thing to do. And if they still didn’t answer, maybe because they had the music blaring, I am sure that you would scream and shout at the top of your lungs to get their attention. And if they still didn’t respond, I am sure you would do whatever it takes to get in. I am sure you would, under these circumstances, be prepared to break down the door to save their lives before it is too late.
If your neighbors were caught in a ravaging fire, I am sure that you would do everything possible to get them out of danger, and to safety.
After all, Jesus called us to “love our neighbors.” (Mark 12:31) Warning them and getting them out of the burning house is the least you can do.
There is another fire, more dangerous, that has eternal ramifications, that we need to avoid at all costs. It is called the fires of hell!
The Bible tells us that there is more to life than just the here and now. We are told that life doesn’t end at the grave, but that it does on into eternity. In eternity, Jesus told us many times that there is a heaven and a hell, and that we will spend eternity in one of the two. We will either spend eternity in His Kingdom, where there will be no more pain, sin, or death; or we will spend eternity in hell, where there will be continual torment and pain. In fact, Jesus told us that hell is a “place of eternal punishment where the fire never goes out.” (Mark 9:42)
Jesus also wanted us to be ready for eternity. He said, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)
Jesus also told us, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)
The Bible talks a lot about life beyond earth. The Book of Revelation tells us about the judgment day …
“And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
God’s word is clear, if your name is not written in the Book of Life, you will be thrown into the lake of fire.
Your neighbor’s house may not be on fire today, but are they ready for eternity? Are your loved one’s names found written in the Lambs Book of Life? Are your neighbors ready to meet Jesus? If your neighbor, your brother, or your friend died today, do you know where they will spend their eternity? Will they be ready to meet God? Will you be ready?
You may not want to hear about eternal fires and judgment. I know it can make you feel uneasy. There are also many who think that God is a hard dictator who wants to trip people up and put them in judgment. Nothing could be further from the truth. God loves people. He loves your neighbor. He loves you. God gives you and me choices. He warns us of the consequences. I can assure you that he does not want anyone to be lost or spend eternity in hell. He wants to rescue those who are in trouble. He wants to save the lost. He wants to share eternity with his children.
Do you realize how much God loves you?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God doesn’t want anyone to perish. He loves people. He wants all mankind to be saved. The problem was sin. It cut us off from a holy God. That is why God sent his one and only Son, Jesus to pay the full price for our sin on the cross so that you and I can find complete forgiveness and be accepted into God’s Kingdom as his precious child. God desires an intimate relationship with you.
However, God has given you and me the freedom to choose or reject his gift. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. He wants all men to be saved. He sent Jesus as the firefighter for your soul. Jesus came to put the fire of destruction out on your life.
Sometimes we get so caught up in living our temporary lives on earth that we give no thought to eternity. We prepare for the holiday, we prepare for exams, we prepare for retirement, but often give little thought of eternity.
Many are in danger of the fires of hell without even realizing it. Are you prepared for eternity?
Jesus told us, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.” The people were completely oblivious to the danger that lurked. Jesus went on and said, “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” (Luke 17:26-30)
On that day, Jesus told us that we will all have to stand before God. Those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior will be welcomed into God’s Kingdom. However, Jesus also stated that on the judgment day he will say to those who reject his free gift, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)
Let me make it crystal clear. God does NOT want anyone to spend eternity in the fires of hell. He doesn’t want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to be saved. He offers you a free gift of life. You cannot earn it. You don’t deserve it, but God made a way through Jesus’s sacrifice for all people to have a close walk with him.
You can start your relationship with God today. You don’t have to face another day alone. God wants to equip you to rise up and live life on purpose and with passion. He wants to empower you. He wants to bless you. He wants to be your God. He wants you to live for him and impact your world too.
So many are lost and broken. So many are on a one-way track to hell. Jesus is calling you to be his ambassador, to be his firefighter, to reach those who are lost and in danger of the fires of destruction.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
God has called you to go out and share the Good News of Jesus. He will empower you and equip you for the task (Acts 1:8)
Jesus told us to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
Many are living in burning houses completely unaware of the fire of destruction. God has called you to reach the lost and save those on a path of destruction before it’s too late.
Let the words from the Book of Jude speak to you, “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” (Jude 1:22-23)
Do you know anyone in your circle whose eternal house is on fire? If you have a friend or family member who is lost or who is heading down a highway to hell and destruction, you need to reach out to them. You need to share the Good News with them. Maybe you will need to bang down their door, to get their attention, but if you see someone whose eternity is at risk, you need to do whatever it takes to rescue them.
And lastly, if you are in a dangerous place, take heed. There is a Savior. His name is Jesus. He came to “seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
You can call on Jesus to save you.
God’s word promises us that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Jesus came to put the fire of destruction out on your life. He is also the fire-lighter who can revive your heart. He wants to empower you to live an abundantly fruitful life on earth and to be his firefighter that will rescue those caught in the flames of destruction.
2 Peter 3:9-15:
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent.
But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along.
On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness. And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.
And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.”
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