Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Five Minutes in Hell Part II

The man stands like a statue, speechless and sober. The piercing, blazing eyes of the Almighty cut through him like a sword. How he wished he could escape, or run away and hide, or just lose his eyes, but he could not. He stood, fixed and imprisoned by the penetrating stare of the Most High. The disappointed, hopeless feeling in his soul seems to be reaching the breaking point, and he has a strong urge to scream out with despair. it seems he has already spent an eternity looking into the overpowering presence of the Lord God. The man's desire to die and remember no more is exceeding great. How he wished he had never been born--had never seen life. How he wished this was just an ugly dream, and that tomorrow he would wake up and lay hold on eternal life and embrace and love the Lord Jesus Christ with all his soul and strength.

As he continues to stare into the face of God, he sees the Lord Jesus in the bosom of the Father. The countenance of the Son of God is very sad, and the man knows it is because he has forfeited the salvation the Lord Jesus so freely offered. The man tries to cry out and beg for mercy, but his lips are sealed.

Then in a moment the great Creator speaks with a voice of thunder, authoritative and final, "Behold, I have made all things new. Heaven and earth have passed away, but My Word shall never pass away. It was appointed unto men once to die. Now this is the judgment. This is the day I appointed to judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom I have ordained to be the judge of quick and dead. It was My intent that man should not have lived by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded from My mouth. It was my Realization that all men had sinned and come short of My glory. Therefore I sent My only begotten Son into the world, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I did not send Him to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. It was My desire that whatsoever men should do in word or deed, they would do all in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks to Me thorough Him. I watched as He Himself bore your sins on the tree of Calvary, that you, being dead to sin, should shower your love and affection on things above. I received Him back to My right hand after I had raised Him Form the dead for your justification. I watched with joy as multitudes received Him as their Lord and Savior and lived, suffered, and died for Him. It was with regret that I blotted many out of the Book of Life because they went back and walked no more with Him. It was with sadness that I saw great numbers reject Him as their Lord and Savior and try to live in their own strength and self-will. Now in this, the day of revelation of my righteous judgement, I will render to every man according to his deeds. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into the lake of fire."

Horror stabs the man's soul like a dagger. The books are opened, and another book is opened, which is the Lamb's Book of Life. The man sees the written Word of God, and another book containing his every action, deed, thought, and motive--even every idle word he had ever spoken.

Eternity again seems to spend itself as each page of his life is explained in strictest detail. The man never realized until now just how vile he was in the sight of God. Even the many pages of good things he had done were considered dead works by the holy One because of his failure to give God the praise and allow Jesus to have the preeminence. Every commandment is slowly and precisely read from God's Word, and explained in careful detail. The man now sees with great clarity the absolute futility of any man thinking he could approach the Almighty without someone else being able to present him faultless before this great throne of gory. Never before had he realized just how much man needed a Savior.

The man is allowed to inspect every name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. The pain is exceeding as he realizes that not only is his name missing, but also the names of many of his children and grand-children. Envy envelops him as he sees names of those he did know—sometimes whole families. How he wishes he could go back and truly be the head of his household and provide the spiritual leadership God intended him to provide. The name in the book that hurt him the most was the one to whom he had lived the closest, and yet had really never ever known, because her faith and trust were so far removed from his. Paradise had claimed the only person he had ever really loved.

Th attending angels slowly scan the long list of names in the Book of Life page by page. Finally the last page is scanned, the Book is closed, and the angels solemnly bow their heads. The man, well aware of the verdict, falls heavily to his knees.

"Please don't do this to me!" pleads the man. "Please give me another chance! Please! I confess that Jesus is Lord," he cries, sobbing hysterically.

"Help me, Lord!" he begs while looking up and seeing the face of Jesus in the countenance of the Father. "Please don't let me perish! I've done many good works. Oh, give me one more chance! I believe now with all my heart. I was too proud to believe before. Please, Lord, please!"

The sincere outburst from the heartbroken man goes unheeded as the great Judge of heaven and earth solemnly declares, "Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast in to the Lake of Fire. Depart from Me, ye worker of iniquity, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

The man, now too weak with despair to protest, does not resist as the angels carry him to the base of the throne. How he would like to get just one more glimpse of that beautiful city before his departure, but he is too blinded by his own tears to see it, even if he could.

He is astonished at the great strength of the angels as they cast him outward with terrific speed. Almost instantly everything is black—oppressively black—thick, misty black. There is not the tiniest ray of light—not even a flicker from the great white throne.

Already he must be an immeasurable distance from the throne. He feels himself falling faster and faster. Down, down he falls, away, way down.

"Please help me!" shouts the man into oppressive blackness. "Please, please help me!" Silence follows for what seems like many hours, and the man continues to fall.

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