But if they had stood before Me, and listened to Me, they would have spoken My words, and they would have turned My people from their evil ways and deeds.*
Do you ever remember back to moments when you questioned yourself or even friends about something being done which didn’t feel quite right? In a group you’d hear each voice. Some would have persuasive arguments for how all was fine; inwardly though was that tug of conscious. On rare occasions you might hear a voice from someone who agreed with your tug, but too often it was you alone, standing there to make a choice to go along or speak out for why you wouldn’t.
Long ago, the Lord said He’d put His conscious in our minds and write upon our hearts His own words of right or wrong (Paraphrased*). As we mature the gray becomes more definitive between lightness and darkness. Our actions and words must become certain because the cost of ambivalence is too high, for us and for those we love. We must stand in the only counsel that matters, the Lord’s.
*Jer 28:22, Jer 31:33b …I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people
My husband has reminded me about how the voices of the bible aren’t always warm and fuzzy; they are more direct and impacting. He is right. Even Jesus never sugar coated his message of love with words of flowers and heavenly encounters with cherubic angels. More often than not people got angry, resentful and let murder enter their hearts after hearing his message. There were some who received the truth he was speaking but the cost was high; being thrown out of their places of comfort, position and even family.
I speak of my husband’s reminder because he, like many of us are searching for truth at all cost, especially the eternal…
Can we talk about hell? I mean really talk about it? Seems as though this is a missing word in circles where I roam. Maybe it’s just because I myself don’t bring it up either. Why?
I remember having a conversation with my father. He is a man who knows scriptures and can easily overrun me with them. I was pushing my food around on my plate trying to understand what he was sharing with me. He’d had a health scare and started looking into the existence or should I say non-existence of hell as we perceived it.
My dad has been a Jehovah’s Witness for 40+ years. He kept trying to tell me hell was simply sleep. Inwardly I was disturbed by this doctrine that hell is laying in a grave alone, but he is my dad? He is a man who has been reading scriptures for decades and gone to so many services it is a lifestyle he gives all his time to. Who was I but a baby Christian in his eyes and my own? I knew he’d often been disappointed I didn’t come into the fold of JW ministry. To honor my dad I tried to listen until finally my spirit’s grief could be held back no longer. I spoke, “what it looks like I can’t answer, I just know I don’t want to be there!”
There is constant discussion of its description using many translations of the bible. Inwardly I think on much simpler terms. Jesus spoke of this not being a desirable place for us to exist. I believe Him and that seems enough for me.
Looking back I don’t really think my dad ever meant to share hell wasn’t real, he was just curious to dispute what it looked like. He was bold enough to share his thoughts with me. Maybe I missed the bigger point at the time of our conversation; his love for me to even speak about hell openly.
Why am I not bold enough to share with those I love and care about? I talk enough about love for sure, but perhaps I also need to love enough to talk about hell in a conversation…