We had a funeral at our church today. A funeral for a man who was only 61 years old. He was diagnosed with leukemia and within a week he had passed away. A sudden loss, to be sure. This man leaves behind 4 daughters - all in their early 20's, and a 7 week old grandson. He was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.
As I talked to the family, both at the hospital and at the funeral, one daughter in particular was especially struggling. This man had trusted Christ as his Saviour, as had his wife and 4 daughters - Praise the Lord. As I talked with this young lady I reminded her of Heaven....and while it seems so far away right now, the time she and her dad will have there will make this temporary world look like a grain of sand on the seashore. While she knew these things to be true, her heart truly was not comforted....she found no comfort in Heaven. My heart broke for her.
As I laid in bed last night I began praying for this family, and for this young lady in particular. As I prayed I thought, "She would not be nearly as brokenhearted if she truly believed in Heaven.....if she truly thought that Heaven is real."
I am not doubting her salvation for one moment, but I think that she has lost the realness of Heaven. How could the promise of Heaven NOT be a comfort.....streets of gold, no sickness, no crying, no bills, no struggles, no separation, no cancer, no foreclosure, no night.....JESUS!!!! What a comfort it is for ME when I think of all these things.
For a moment last night I think, to my shame, I began to think a bit too highly of myself...."I truly believe in Heaven....I truly think it's real!!"
The Lord very quickly brought me back to myself when He brought this thought to my mind, "What about Hell? Do you truly believe in Hell? Do you truly believe it is real?"
OF COURSE I do!!!! Hell is real.
"If you truly believe that Hell is real, why doesn't that belief change the way you live? Why aren't you telling more people about Jesus so they can escape Hell? If you TRULY believe that there is a Hell - why isn't that belief affecting your behavior?"
I laid there stunned. I SAY that I believe in a literal Hell. I SAY that I believe that those who do not accept Christ will go there. I SAY these things.....but do I really believe?
Do I really believe?
My actions do NOT back up what I say I believe. I do not take EVERY opportunity to tell others about Jesus. I do not always notice the lost souls around me. I am not always conscious of the fact that HELL IS REAL and I must tell everyone of Jesus. I am going to change that...with the Lord's help, I am going to change that.
Yes, I believe in a literal Heaven with its untold wonders....joy forevermore.
Yes, I believe in a literal Hell where those who reject Christ will spend eternity....eternal torment.
My life, by God's grace, will prove that I truly do believe.
I really do believe.