Today I received a weather alert stating Heat Index near 97F tomorrow in Greenville, SC. What? I just moved from Alabama, and their Index doesn’t normally go that high till July! What is going on with the weather here?
Last year we had rain, rain, and then more rain. This year, heat, heat, and more heat (plus rain)! Geez! What did I get myself into moving here?
Despite my griping, I do love Greenville. And despite the heat, it’s really not that hot! I mean after all, I do use the steam room at the gym (110-120 degrees F at 100% humidity). I have also been enjoying the sauna (160-180 F at about 20-25% humidity). While many people may not enjoy the extreme heat produced by those, it is relaxing and a stress relief for others. And believe it or not, there used to be a sauna competition that required competitors to sit in saunas up to 230F (in 2010 the competition stopped after a fatality, of course).
However, these heats still don’t compare to what the future holds for unbelievers. We are told in Revelation (20:12-15) that the lake of fire (and brimstone) is the final resting place for anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life. This general description of the lake of fire is traditionally associated with eternal pain, and sometimes as a punishment for wickedness. I once heard someone describe it as having one’s body dropped into a vat of boiling oil! OUCH!
I’m not sure about you, but that’s enough to scare me senseless. So why did God create such a place? Is He evil? Does this support some atheist’s theory that God is not a loving God after all? No! In fact, many atheists love to use items like this to twist our mind and cause us to doubt our faithful creator. However, Jesus told us in Matthew 25:41 that the lake of fire was designed for “the devil and his angels.” And if we stay with John in Revelation, we can verify that the lake of fire was designed for evil: Babylon (chapters 17-19), the beast and false prophet (19:20), and the dragon [satan/devil](20:10), as well as Death and Hades (20:14). God created a place for this evil to be separated from Heaven. And although some critics claim that a death in the lake of fire will be sudden, the Bible clearly tells us that where the Beast, false prophet, and Satan are, they will be “tormented day and night forever and ever” (20:10). And, as a reminder, those whose names are not found in the Book of Life will also be cast into this same lake of fire (20:15).
Sorry to preach such sadness. Some Pastors stray from teaching on the negative side and consequences of sin and unbelief. However, the Bible clearly teaches us this for a purpose.
Would you allow a loved one or a dear friend to spend eternity being tormented? Or will you “risk your friendship” with them to tell them about Jesus, and how to spend eternity in Heaven?