Lenten Journey Day 36 – A Conversion Scenario

First of all, I want to share with you why I’ve been silent. My heart has been heavy, even troubled a little I guess. I have also suffered some writers block. With all that being said, I am still unsure what it is that I need to share but I’m listening to my soul and trusting in God’s Will. It has not been a lack of material to help me write but rather my own stubbornness and fear of the unknown, because I’ve read books, watched videos and currently my head is spinning. I actually feel like a character in Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters” having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, debating right and wrong; all the while, my head continues spinning. I decided today to take a fresh look at the devotional and re-read the chapter called “Hell.” The realization that “hell” is more than a word one uses without regard of thought or realism. It is REAL! It is a place and will unfortunately be a reality for some. Hell is as real as Heaven and should not be tossed into the imaginary world that some try to convince us of. The truth is not one of us deserves Heaven but indeed deserve Hell; the lie we receive from the world is we are “deserving.” With God, deserving isn’t even a word He uses; however, He does use words such as, “loved, chosen, created” to describe each of us. He knew from the moment we were created that we would be sinful, He loved us in spite of that fact. That fact alone is why Jesus willingly gave himself as a sacrifice, He took all the sins of the world upon himself at Calvary and died for us all. Yes, we don’t deserve saving, God loves us and wanted us to be with Him throughout eternity and dying on the cross was the only way. This may seem as if I’m trying to scare you, maybe even myself if that’s what it takes to believe. But, I’m not a preacher and I’m not trying to send a message of “hell-fire and brimstone” I am a person, created by God, with a conscious that is restless, a voice that needs to speak, and a heart that cares. I am scared of Hell, but my belief in God is not out of fear for Hell, rather it is a belief and faith in something/someone bigger than myself. I believe in what the Bible says and I am ashamed that I fall short daily of doing all that I should. Pain is part of being human, I have experienced pain and have felt the joys of its place in my life. God does not pour pain down upon us simply because He could, God uses painful experiences that happen in life to show us His redeeming love. There’s a plan and purpose for all things, we may not know them all or even begin to understand them but we can place our trust in God because He cares for us. I have experienced some horrific events in my life, some I didn’t think I would survive but here I am all because of God. Losing my mother was the most painful and heart wrenching experience I’ve ever had, it’s been almost 5 years and there’s not a day I don’t think about her, wanting to call her, share a story with her, to hear her laugh, see her smile, feel her hugs…this is all purely selfishness on my part. God used this painful experience to remind me just how blessed I was to have such a loving and caring mother, there’s an endless list of lessons and values I got from my mom and she lives on in my heart. She deserves her eternal rest with God, I know that she is in God’s care now. Pain, as Lewis describes, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Thank you for your continued support of reading my blog, my prayer is that God uses this space for His purposes, I am grateful to be able to share God with all of you and to remind all of us that we are loved by God! ~Peace

2 Peter 2:4-22 “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord. But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness. These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Psalm 55:15-19 “Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the realm of the dead, for evil finds lodging among them. As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me. God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change— he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.”

~Blessings and Peace~
References:
Preparing for Easter by C.S.Lewis
The Problem of Pain by C.S.Lewis
The C.S.Lewis Encyclopedia by Colin Duriez
The Problem of Pain-Video start at 2:56:00 for Chapter 8 “Hell”