July 15

Today's Bible Reading
     Joshua 22
     Acts 2
     Jeremiah 11
     Matthew 25
''Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41)
           When we received the call that my dear friend, and new church member, NorvilleFourroux, had been seriously burned in an explosion in an oil refinery where he worked, I immediately rushed to the hospital on the West Bank of New Orleans where he had been taken. I learned later that he had been burned worse than any victim ever taken to that hospital that lived. I could not believe my eyes. His appearance was that of a large charcoal with eyes strapped into a special provision to keep him from hurting himself any further. When he saw his pastor approaching, Norvillebegan to scream in a voice that could be heard all over that part of the hospital. He said, ''Preacher, tell them not to go to hell. Go everywhere and tell them not to go to hell."
           That is, of course, the business of my life - to go everywhere telling people they don't have to go to hell. Norvilleexperienced a little bit of hell that day and his obsession was that his preacher tells people not to go to hell. That is the responsibility of every Christian - to realize that there is indeed a hell and we must warn the world not to go to hell. Hell is real, but it was not created for you, and God has made every provision to keep us out of hell.
           Have you noticed? Modern man has attempted to remove Hell from his theology and his culture, but he continues to use it in his vocabulary. In the subconscious of man, there is awareness that there is, indeed, a place called Hell. Logic tells us there is a Hell. The law of opposites lets us know that if there is an up, there is a down; if there is an in, there is an out; if there is light, there is dark; if there is dark, there is cold; and if there is a Heaven, there is, indeed, a Hell.
           The wrath of God tells us there is a Hell. For the Governor of your state to empty the penal institutions and move the criminals into your homes would be a criminal act. To allow the Christ-rejecting reprobates to live in the Heaven prepared for God's people would go against the very nature of God.
           Even the love of God teaches us there is a Hell. The great love verse, John 3:16, tells us, ''For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not PERISH...'' There it is - in the great love verse - perish. This means to spend eternity separated from God.
           Sin tells us there is a Hell. The God of love will not send a man to Hell, but your sin will take you to Hell.
             The Cross tells us there is a Hell. If there is no Hell, God the Father was a murderer to put God the Son on the Cross where He experienced Hell on earth. But there is a Hell - and so the Cross was necessary. A radical problem like sin demands a radical penalty like Hell, and God has responded with a radical payment like the Cross. Our Lord was separated from the Father on the Cross so we would never be separated from Him in Hell.
             SURELY YOU DO NOT WANT TO SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL . . .SO TODAY SETTLE THE ISSUES OF FAITH AND REPENTANCE. God loves you and desires to spend eternitywith you in heaven.
           The predominantly Buddhist country of SriLankahas a population of approximately 20 million people.  Buddhism is the state religion and, as such, is protected and promoted. Although freedom for other religions is assured, there has been a steady erosion of that freedom. Christianity is perceived as foreign and an imposition. God has answered prayer for SriLanka, and there has been strong evangelical growth since 1980. Even though some claimSriLankato be the site of the Garden of Eden, it is now a very tragic island. The conflict between the Sinhala and Tamil has brought great suffering with an estimated 100,000 killed. In the face of this tragedy, evangelical Christians are making great strides. Pray for them today and the need for unity among them since the church there, as a whole, is deeply divided. They have set a goal that the number of evangelical congregations will triple.. Pray with them to reach this goal.
''I have but one candle of life to burn, and would rather burn it out where people are dying in darkness than in a land which is flooded with lights.''
A missionary