Psalm 9:17 “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”
Our bodies are a wonder.
Take the olfactory organ – our sense of smell. Many different sensations arouse it. Flowers are more beautiful when the scent associated with them is appealing. We welcome fresh air in spring after having been sequestered for months indoors.
Did you ever wonder why you cannot smell perfume or cologne a while after you applied it?
The olfactory nerve senses a constant input and blocks it from opening the opportunity to smell other things. God created us this way to protect us. If constantly bombarded by perfume or cologne or flowers, could I discern smoke from a fire or rottenness before it touched my lips?
We must be aware that we block information and sounds that are always coming at us. Those who live next to an airport will stop the occasional airplane’s sound after a while because it is familiar.
When we hear the truth that we know and believe, it becomes the constant input of perfume to our noses, and we block it or ignore it.
Such may be the case with the verse in today’s devotion.
We know God to be the Righteous Judge.
2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Yet, we often live as though there will be no judgment. For God’s saved child, our sins were judged on the cross, forgiven, and put as far as the east is from the west, in the deepest sea, and behind His back. God tells us that He will remember our sin no more.
Jeremiah 31:34 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Hebrews 10:17 “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”
While God’s children enjoy the blessings of sins forgiven and forgotten, we must always remember that some will not escape the judgment having never trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Having received Christ as my Savior, I find it easy to condescend to those who don’t have what I have. That is immature, prideful, and unChristian. To look at others in light of their eternal destination takes forethought and compassion.
We may very well conclude that Jesus Christ may come at any moment, but what are we doing with what we know?
Hell is a real place. Christ spoke of Hell more than He spoke of Heaven. Billy Sunday, an evangelist in the early 1900s, said to one who scoffed at the existence of Hell:
“You won’t be in Hell five seconds before you believe there is one! But, by then, it will be too late!”
We may suffer at the hands of someone evil and wicked. Yet, they have a never-dying soul that will live somewhere forever. Our example, the Lord Jesus Christ, taught us that He forgave those who scourged Him, beat Him, and drove the nails in His hands and feet on the cross.
Luke 23:34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
What an incredible act of forgiveness!
Can the abused forgive their abuser?
Can the family of a murdered victim forgive the murderer?
Can that family member forgive the drunk driver who killed their loved one?
Can we forgive our unsaved coworkers who oppress us because of our faith?
Can we forgive when wronged, and the perpetrator goes unpunished?
Can we forgive in the most extreme or severe circumstances?
Our Lord did. God asks us to do the same.
Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Let us not forget the multitude of sins forgiven us.
Salvation is simple, but not easy. We must offer the same message that guided us to believe to everyone that we can tell.
Heavenly Father, help us never to forget the deep need we had before our salvation. Help us to remember to be compassionate, loving, and kind just like You are to us. May we embody all that is holy and reject the selfishness, pride, and arrogancy. Please help us be ever ready to answer the hope that is in us. May we please You with our readiness to obey and witness to every soul You place in our path. Amen.