Tuesday, January 3, 2017

deadbolt: "Hell will be locked from the inside."

The Word for today:
Revelation 3:14-22
Since Revelation is the book that takes us into eternity, we ought to get acquainted with heaven and hell.
Q. Where is heaven?
A. Heaven is a kingdom. You will find the kingdom wherever the King is.
Q. Alright, where is hell?
A. Wherever the King isn't.
Q. What's heaven like?
A. Like Jesus. Just as an artist's hand expresses his heart, everything in heaven will reflect God's character. To the extent that we know Jesus, we can begin to perceive heaven.
Q. What's hell like?
A. That is impossible to say.
Q. Why.
A. Because we have no precedent for it. Hell will be, as stated above, devoid of Jesus. But there is no place in our experience from which every Godly influence has been withdrawn. Thus, we cannot begin to imagine what hell is like.
Q. What do you mean when you say that every Godly influence has been withdrawn?
A. God has been kicked out.
Q. Kicked out?
A. Well, locked out. Look at Revelation 3:20:
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
Hell is the place just beyond that door. Notice who's doing the knocking. The notion that God kicks us out of heaven, or throws us into hell, is not the picture we are given in scripture. Instead, as C.S. Lewis stated,
"Hell will be locked from the inside."
Now ponder a place which has locked its doors to God, totally shutting out even any diffused Light of the World. I have an idea that it will be fine for awhile, just as the seven-year period called the Great Tribulation will seem fine for awhile.
But then the concomitant consequences of man's inherently self-centered nature will turn hell into, well, hell.  And that will be just the beginning of a perpetual descent. Sin, unchecked, will play itself out.
Q. Whew!
A. Not only did C. S. Lewis famously state that hell will be locked from the inside, but there is another well-known representation of John 3:20 that will literally shed some light on the subject of hell. It's a painting, by Holman Hunt, called "The Light of the World"--
When Hunt finished the painting, he called friends and family together to see it. It evoked nearly unanimous praise. But one friend said hesitantly, "Uh, Holman, it's a beautiful painting. But didn't you forget something?"
"What did I forget?"
"The handle. There's no handle on the door."
To which the artist replied, "No, I didn't forget the handle. When Jesus knocks on the door of your heart, the handle is on the inside."
Man, not God, will forever be seen as the creators of hell. But no matter what kind of life you've created apart from God, you can un-create it right now. The handle's on the inside.

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