06 April 2012

Happy GOOD Friday...Thank you Jesus!

A bird's-eye view of Hell!

"I beg you, father Abraham--send Lazarus to my father's house! For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don't end up in this place of torment!" Luke 16:27-28

Jesus takes off the covering from the bottomless pit--and gives us a bird's-eye view of Hell!

There is a young man there. He was rich. He was surrounded by a multitude of earthly goods. He has forfeited them all--and now he is in Hell. His doom is fixed--and fixed forever. He cannot obtain one single drop of water to cool his parched tongue!

He finds that it is now no use asking favors for himself. But he has brothers--five brothers. Can he prevent their coming to Hell? He will try. He therefore prays that Lazarus may become a missionary--and be sent on a mission of mercy to his father's house. Hear him: "I beg you, father Abraham--send Lazarus to my father's house!" Who would expect to find mercy in Hell--or pity in Hell--or prayer in Hell! But here it is!

Can earth be worse than Hell? Can professed Christians be worse than this lost soul? Shall lost souls in Hell wish to send someone to their ungodly relatives--if possible to prevent their damnation--and will you neglect your relatives? Has pity for the souls of your lost relatives no influence on you?

Is Hell only a fable?

Is eternal torment only a trifle?

How then, can you let them go to Hell without pity or concern?

Souls are perishing!

Hell is filling!

Time in flying!

Are you, can you be careless about the eternal happiness or eternal misery of the souls around you?

Where, O where is your pity for poor perishing sinners?

(James Smith, "A Voice from Hell!" 1856)

05 April 2012

Have Christians LOST Our Heart for the LOST? - Timothy Gray Muse

 From All Things Reformed

After reading and being reminded again this past week how Jesus WEPT as he approached Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, I meditated, asking myself the question “Do I and other Christians today – WEEP over the lost – the way Jesus did?”

Sadly, as I survey my own present heart and much of what I see on the whole in the life of the church, I confess my answer is “No.”

I come to this conclusion after comparing Jesus’ example with my own recent thoughts and track record, with that which I observe in the lives of those I regularly read or communicate with, along with those things in the church as a whole which seem to consume our time, direct our attention, occupy our passions, fill our conversations, and form our service and labors of ministry.

While the things I speak of do not apply to all, it seems that while many of us in the church have become adept at doing things like doctrinally defending God’s justice against the non-elect while extending his redemptive mercies and grace to the elect, and preaching and explaining how the gospel is to be held out to all, and how the reach of missions is to extend to the ends of the earth, … that at the level of our hearts – we do not tend to be as broken, caring, warmhearted and concerned as Christ over those who lack peace either temporally and/or eternally and who experience difficulties of various kinds and measures on a daily basis because they fail to recognize God’s coming to them in Christ.

After meditating on this question this past week and praying, I went for a run to get some exercise on a bright and beautiful day. In God’s providence in the course of my three mile run, I was interrupted and called over to talk to three individuals (one of which I never met before, another which I only spoke to once in passing on a former run, and the other a man of whom I had become aware of the presence of some personal issues but whom up until this day I had never spoken with directly about these problems) who ended up asking or accepting an offer for me to pray for them or a family member.

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