“We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.” (Salvation Army Doctrine # 6)
People are going through hell right now.
Sometimes life choices and wrong decisions lead to hell on earth.
Sometimes hell breaks loose upon the innocent by others or financial woes and health issues.
Hell is alive and well here on earth.
Does it have to be? NO!
You see, though hell in the realms of eternity is “eternal separation from God”, there are many, many people who are enduring hell while they live here and now. Suffering is real. Sin is real. Sorrow, anguish, guilt, pain…all real. What can we do about this hell on earth? Are we not called to do something? Are we not called to offer compassion and care?
It was you and me.
It might have been our Moms and Dads, our brothers or sisters.
It is that neighbor across the street.
It is that person who comes to our food-shelf.
The drug addict who is on his fourth round of rehab.
It is anyone who is living through hell right now and wants to be saved from it.
Jesus came to free us from hell both on earth and after earth.
He came to redeem us from certain death because of sin.
He chose to willingly die in our place and His blood makes us clean.
Jesus died for the whosoever…regardless of the depths of sin and decay in the heart.
What if I’m not good enough to save?
This question is such a lie. Don’t buy this lie!
“For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
That’s right…ALL. Everyone one of us is not good enough. Everyone of us has fallen short, messed up, screwed up, royally wasted every opportunity and burned every bridge in our wake. It is for everyone who has thought hope – should never, could never be ours…but it is!
Jesus has saved you. You don’t have to be good enough…we will never be good enough to save ourselves. Jesus comes to our level and plucks us from our own personal hells. He can do that for others as well.
Dear Salvationist, people around our corps buildings and other places that we hang our shield and crest…some people around our neighborhoods are going through horrific hells right now. We can help! We should help! This isn’t some sort of social fellowship without an outward reaching – NO! We are called to be Christ’s hands and feet and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, help extinguish the flames of hell in peoples lives today. We have this sacred duty to perform. We are charged with not only the souls of our brothers and sisters in uniform, but in the soul care of the helpless, downtrodden, the outcast and the poor. All of whom have experienced hell on earth. All of whom may never have felt the soft touch of compassion and love before. Who may initially spurn our efforts and attempts to help because they fear we have ulterior motives because that is what the world has taught them through hard lessons.
Sin and death and hell are here and now. People aren’t required to wait to reap these rewards in some sort of horrific afterlife punishment because they are enduring them now.
Beware of Hardened Hearts and Apathetic Care!
We minister to many who have been marginalized and cast out from society. Many carry with them that bitterness from hard living. Dear Soldier, it would be very easy to become angry with such a soul. It could sometimes be very justifiable. We serve many who might take advantage of our gifts of compassion, and yet because of God grace that we have firmly accepted, we cannot in good conscience and love, harden our hearts and provide empty apathetic care to those in need. We may be the only light of Christ in a world of hell that they see. Take every opportunity to share that light! Take every opportunity you have to rescue these poor souls from their own personal hells.
Can we leave a poor wretch in such a condition if we have the power to transform lives in Jesus name? I say ‘no we can’t’!
Hell is more than some fire-pit of punishment doled out on the wicked at the end of all things. Hell is here and now among us. Hell’s flames of sin has decimated families, wrecked havoc on the hearts of men and women and Satan would love to convince us that there is nothing that we can do to help extinguish such a fire. Don’t buy that lie! We are witnesses for Jesus! We can live as kingdom people here and now, and in so doing we can say to Hell – NO! While we aid our poor brothers and sisters who are without hope by employing the Holy Spirit as our guide and strength.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7-7
“Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down, bring them down!
Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down, bring them down!
Pull down the devil’s kingdom,
Where’er he holds dominion,
Storm the forts of darkness, bring them down.
Glory, honor to the Lamb,
Praise and power to the Lamb;
Glory, honor, praise and power,
Be forever to the Lamb.”
(Storm the Forts of Darkness, Robert Johnson 1884)
Something more for our army world to ponder today…to God be the glory!
“Go for souls…and go for the worst!”