COMIC BIBLE - Eternity

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

 

"THE ETERNAL FATE OF THE UNREPENTANT"

 

Heaven is God’s sure promise for his followers. But at death, unrepentant sinners forever continue as they are without Christ. No possibility of transformation remains. Yes, they will acknowledge God’s existence, but so do demons even now, shuddering (see James 2:19).

Abraham and Lazarus dwell together in Paradise, but the rich man stands alone in Hell. Expect no comforting company in a place from which God has withdrawn. “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). Hell is horrible because it means being locked away from God’s presence. Since God is the source of all good, there can be no good where God is not. Dante, in the Inferno, envisioned this sign chiseled above Hell’s gate: “Abandon all hope, you who enter here.”

The rich man desperately desired to have his agony relieved; he even requested a drop of water from Paradise. Wanting out of Hell, however, is not the same as wanting to be with God. And God desires us to be with him only if we share that desire. Regretting punishment isn’t the same as repenting from sin, nor will the one in Hell cease to sin against God.

The redeemed say, “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). But the Bible tells us the unredeemed call to the mountains and rocks, “‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!’” (Revelation 6:16).

Both Heaven and Hell touch Earth—an in-between world leading directly into one or the other. What tragedy that this present life is the closest nonbelievers will ever come to Heaven. What consolation that this present life is the closest believers will ever come to Hell.

  • • Jesus came to save us from Hell. What must we do to find eternal life? (Hint: John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 8:24; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31)
  • • Lots of people don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. How would you respond to someone who claims we cease to exist after our physical deaths?
  • • How much does it matter that we live now with an eternal perspective and with the realization that we could die any day or hour?