Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'll Show You Scary

Well, this time of year is upon us again, Halloween. An interesting day to say the least. Although Halloween is celebrated in different ways across the land, there is usually one attitude that promotes celebrations everywhere. This would be the idea of scariness. From serial killer movies, to telling ghost stories, and haunted houses, the idea of fright fills this day. In meditating on a topic for this month I asked myself, “what is the scariest most frightening thing I can think of?” Several thoughts passed through my mind such as killers like Freddy Krueger and being in a cemetery at night. Then even more abstract ideas came about like some people who have a fear of heights or clowns. I even thought about many of these movies that are out around this time of year that glorify demonic activity (and boy are those scary!) In the end however the absolute scariest most frightening idea that crossed my mind was living life without Jesus Christ!
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home. I’m twenty-four years of age and I have been saved for twenty years. In that time, like most people, I have had some hardships to face. Through it all, however, God was there to comfort me, guide me, and protect me.
Jesus speaking in a popular verse, John 10:10 (KJV), says:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
This is definitely true, while Jesus is offering life to the fullest the devil (the thief) is out here roaming the earth seeking and searching for people to devour (Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8). With that thought in mind I want to highlight a few situations in my life to show how scary life without Jesus is.
No. 1 I shall start at the very beginning. I was raised without a father. Observation and statistics show how detrimental life can be for young boys growing up without their fathers. They are more likely to be unsuccessful in life. Growing up I was never involved in criminal/gang activity and the like, although the opportunities were present. There were many times where I wanted an outlet to release my anger and stress of growing up with so many questions and concerns. Like most teenagers I did some things I shouldn’t have, but overall I learned to lean on God more and more and become a successful Christian man.
No. 2 The next event would be a house fire my family endured when I was sixteen years old. I’ll never forget the pain and torment I felt that morning as I watched everything my family owned burned down to the ground. I started to cry and scream as anxiety and anger absorbed my soul. Then, all of a sudden, an unexplainable calm took me over. It was the Holy Spirit spoke to me and helped me realize that God was in control, material things do not matter, and what was really important was that all my family members were safe. He calmed me down and kept me calm to point where I had a new outlook on life and a new passion to live for Jesus Christ.
No. 3 The third would have to be the passing of my mother. Her death was unexpected and very sudden. Here I was a young man with no father. I loved my mother with all of my heart and soul. One day she was here the next she was gone. When I realized what happened, feelings took me over that were surprising even to me. Instead of sorrow and sadness I was overcome with joy! Once again the Holy Spirit comforted me. He helped me realize that for Christians to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). He showed me that she was in the very presence of God and that she would never feel any pain again. He helped me understand that this experience would help bring me closer to Him of I would just learn to lean on Him. He had me to remember that all things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). The joy that God gave in that time allowed me to be a blessing to so many other people and therefore helped me understand God comforting power and omniscience much more.
Any of these situations in my life could have played out differently if I did not have Jesus. I could have fallen into depression. I could have become addicted to drugs. I could have become angry with God. I could have given up in life. Any of these could have eventually led to suicide. Moreover, if I (or anybody) were to die without Christ in my life I would spend eternity away from God’s presence instead of with Him in Heaven. This place, known as Hell to some, is referred to as follows:
A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30)

A place of everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9)
A place where men are tormented with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8)
A place where fire is not quenched (Mark 9:44)
A bottomless pit (Revelation 9:2)
A place of no rest (Revelation 14:11)
A lake of fire (Revelation 20:14)
A place of hopeless of unsatisfied desires (Luke 16:24)

Can you honestly think of anything scarier than that? I know I can’t! Without Jesus life is nothing but pain and destruction in this life and for eternity. Get to know Jesus Christ personally. If you know Him as your savior, tell others about Him! Remember Hell is not just scary, Hell is real…

Reflection Questions
Do I know Jesus for myself? Is have I accepted Him as my personal savior?
(link to becoming a Christian
If I were to die right now would I go to Heaven or Hell?
When troubles come, do I run to God or to the vain counsel and satisfaction of the world?
Do I spread the gospel of Jesus Christ like I should?
Do I understand salvation well enough to tell others about it?