Those Who Are Forgiven Much, Love Much – Part 1

When I came back to Christ on September 4, 2004, it was a long time coming back.  I walked away from Him when I was about 14 years old (1984).  I had just entered high school.  I had been teased from grade school through high school about being a goody two shoes; been teased about being a Christian; been teased because my parents were strict and I wasn’t allowed to do many of the things my friends were allowed to do.  So, of course, when my parents gave me the option of choosing to continue to go to church at the age of 14 or not going, I chose not to go.  The peer pressure was far too great for me, and I walked away from my Lord and Savior.  I turned my back on Him, and denied Him.  Proverbs 29:25 “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.” 

When I think of that now, it hurts my heart to think of what that must have done to His heart.  I instead decided that my way was better.  I got caught up in partying and boys, and basically that was my life.  I ran that race fast and hard for many years, and I paid a price for it.  I wish I would have never done it now.   I had bad things happen to me because of my poor choices, I made poor choices during this time of my life, and I really don’t think I was myself.  Both of them (men and alcohol) became an addiction.

Even in spite of the life I was leading, God would continue to attempt to get my attention, and continued to pursue me.  All the while I continued to do my own thing.  As I look back over my life I see His hand in my life.  He continued to put people into my life that knew Him, and would tell me more about Him.  For many years I would refuse to let anyone talk to me about the Lord.  I thought that Christians were wackos and crazy.  I now know I was wrong. 

It was in about 2001, and I was working for an attorney that did corporate law.  I worked three days a week for him.  He was a Christian, and his partner was a Christian.  He would come into work and spend hours talking to me about the Lord.  He answered all my questions, countered all my arguments, and was able to do what no one else had been able to do — get through to me the Truth of Jesus Christ.  One afternoon, I knelt in that office and gave my life over to Jesus Christ.  John 1:13 “They are reborn — not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” 

I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I had a Bible and my boss got me a good bible study to work on.  He also encouraged me to come to church.  I told him “that’s not my thing.” 

It really is amazing when I look back on it now, the changes that Christ began to make in my life gradually.  My life began to fall apart, and it was FAR from perfect.  My life needed to be taken apart before it could be rebuilt correctly.  Basically, I lost everything.  I started at ground zero.  The part that I found amazing was that even in the midst of that huge storm, I had amazing peace.    Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”  The real surrender came in 2004.  That comes in Part 2.  More to come.

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Highway to Hell

AC/DC’s song Highway to Hell. 

Living easy
Loving free
Season ticket for a one way ride
Asking nothing
Leave me be
Taken everything in my stride
Don’t need reason
Don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothin’ I would rather do
Going down
By the time
My friends are gonna be there too, eh

I’m on a highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell

No stop signs
Speed limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Like a wheel
Gonna spin it
Nobody’s gonna mess me ’round
Hey Satan
Paid my dues
Playin’ in a rockin’ band
Hey momma
Look at me
I’m on my way to the Promised Land, wooh

Wow, sounds pretty enticing, huh?  Satan would love to have us believe that.  He would love to have us believe that it’s going to be one, big, fat party down in hell.  That God has all these “rules” here on earth, and it’s no “fun” and that if we can’t do it right here then we can just join all our friends down in hell and have one big party.  Here’s the scoop though.  It’s not going to be a party, and people will not be partying and they will not be having fun as the song says. 

In fact, it is going to be a terrible and miserable place.  God promises us that.  Jesus talks more about hell in the Bible than pretty much anything else.  Why do you think that is?  It is because He wants us to be acutely aware of the fact that it is real, and it’s not going to be fun.  We don’t want to go there, trust me.

In the book of Luke, Jesus tells of the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  Luke chapter 16:19-31.  Starting at verse 23 “In hell where he (the rich man) was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side (they were in Heaven).  So he (the rich man) called to him, “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.”   Does that sound like a party?  No.  It sounds like this man is alone, burning, and in agony.  It doesn’t sound like he is enjoying himself very much at all.  In fact, further on down in that verse, he asks Abraham if Lazarus can be sent back to earth to warn his family so that they will “not have to come to this place of torment.” (v.28)  The rich man thought that if someone came back from the dead to tell his brothers about hell then his brothers would believe.  (v. 30) 

In Matthew 8:11-13 “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 

Revelation 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.  They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”  Rev. 20:15 “If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” 

Matt. 25:30 “And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”    2 Thess. 1:9-10 “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.”   Mark 9:43 “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.  It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.” 

The Bible talks of hell as everlasting destruction, a fiery lake of burning sulfur, the smoke of their torment rises forever and ever, gloomy dungeons and fiery furnaces.  This is not a fun party place.  This is going to be a place of eternal torture and destruction. 

I know you’re thinking that if God is so loving, why would He send people to hell?  He’s not sending people to hell.  You may be thinking to yourself …. “what?  Yes He is.”   No, He’s not.  We all have been given a choice.  God gave us two options.  John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  !!  He gave us a choice.  We can choose Him, or not.  Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against  you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 

So if you’ve read this far, and you’re wondering to yourself “how do I come into a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?”  (At least I’m hoping and praying that you are wondering this.)  In Romans chapter 10:9-11 it says “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in Him (Jesus) will never be put to shame.”

If you have more questions, please message me and I’ll be glad to answer them.  This blog is intended to promote discussion, and hopefully draw people closer to the Lord.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  More to come!