Today I had way too much caffine before my Old Testament class. I was sitting through class shaking and unable to sit still. But my mind was very alert and perceptive. I am so blessed to be learning from the professors at my university. Not only does my professor teach the Old Testament, but he loves it. He reads it. He meditates on it. He applies it. Everyday I leave the class with a new desire and longing to know God more. Again, I’m one of the very lucky college students.
Today I was reminded about the day I was asked by a family member how God can send ”good” people to hell? At the time my answer was something like ”Well, God says that the only way to get into heaven is to believe in and accept Jesus. It’s just the way it is.”
However, now I would say that there really is no good person. We’re all born into sin. We’re all inherently evil. We are all self-serving and self abosrbed indiviuals. Today I would say, “why would anyone want to spend eternity worshipping a God who they rejected and hated for an entire lifetime when all He wanted was to love them?” Even if they did want to get into heaven at the end of their life it would be for a selfish reason: to escape hell. Not because of the passion and love for God that lies within their hearts. The reason would have nothing to do with God, but heaven has EVERYTHING to do with God. God doesn’t send people to hell because He wants to watch them burn, he sends people to hell because they’ve chosen to not love Him. They’ve chosen to live a life contrary to what he has for them. So many times we ask the wrong questions. We ask “Why does God send people to hell?” when we should be asking “Why do people reject the God who loves them and the opportunity to be with Him for eternity in Heaven?” Before we ever reach the gates, the choice has already been made. We make the choice by the way we live and what we choose to love: the world and ourselves or God.
God has done so much to present Himself to His created people. God has revealed Himself enough through creation for us to recognize Him as Creator. Through the created world and apparent order in nature, God is recognizable.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Paul even goes so far as to say that “people are without excuse” for not believing in the creator because of His general revelation through creation. Although their doctrine and theology have no real way of being formed through creation alone, God can be seen and accepted. Humans are created with an internal longing for and knowledge of a higher power present.
For those of us who are already pursuing an intimate relationship with the Creator I offer this question.
What is more important-The presence of God or your plans? Are you in constant yearning to be united with the King in Heaven?
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ
I’m the first to admit my desire for a family and a career. I’m the first to admit that I’ve often thought “Man, I hope the rapture waits until I can get married and have a family.” I’m also the first to admit that sometimes during my Cardio Karate class I pray for the rapture just to get me out of the butt kicking work out. But my prayer is that I’m willing to hand over all my plans, desires, and possessions at any time because of my burning desire to be with my Lord. There’s a difference between being ready but unwilling to be with the Lord now, and desiring to be in His presence so passionately that you’d willingly go and leave EVERYTHING and EVERYONE behind at any given moment without a second thought. So what’s more important?