Burning the Rubbish

Spending more time at home during a cold winter, I have burnt more fuel then ever. Logs, coal, pallet-wood, sawn branches, twigs, cardboard egg cartons: all have kept me warm. The other week, I decided to burn also the contents of the vacuum cleaner. I carefully emptied it into a paper bag, and set it upon the glowing coals. It burned wonderfully, all that grey dust and muck: whoosh. It was quite satisfying seeing the filth being destroyed. It gave some good heat, too.

Recently, I have been contemplating hell. Someone had shared with me an online video on which some silver-tongued charlatan cooed about hell being a place of improvement, wherein God merely refines people for heaven. Great, everyone is saved in the end; it’s just heaven, or heaven via some time in purgatory. How comforting.

Our beliefs and doctrines should be based upon the plain reading of God’s word rather than our desires or imperfect sense of justice. Unatoned sin is a fecal stain, a gigantic paper bag full of filth and scum. Whereas mine was combusted in minutes, real sin requires an eternity’s conflagration. To suggest that it can be ignored or swept away, speedily forgotten by a finger’s click or an eye's wink, is to grossly underestimate its true horror. Our sin was so noxious that the Father abandoned the Sin Bearer to brutal crucifixion and estrangement. Disbelieving hell is an attractive avenue to travel, but it leads only to a terrible underestimation of sin’s terrifying gravity. And for the Christian, the magnitude of our guilt underscores the awesome magnificence of our salvation and God’s overwhelming grace which wrought it, bought it and brought it.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.