I caught a glimpse of something terrible Monday night. The imagery came straight from the pages of Scripture, but what the Scripture says affected me. Suddenly I felt what was being described. And it scared me. It broke my heart.
The Scripture passage was Malachi 4:1-3:
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.
Malachi is prophesying about the end of the age when Jesus Christ will return to judge the world. For those who die while still in rebellion against God, for those who never repent of their sin and trust Christ as Savior and Lord, destruction awaits them. They’ll be like chaff this passage says, which means that they’ll be blown away. Their end will be a fiery end as promised by this passage, but more explicitly detailed in Revelation 20:11-15:
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
But I’ve still not gotten to what I caught a glimpse of. As the preacher was preaching on the Day of the Lord, which is the day when Jesus comes in judgment, my mind and heart immediately went to Matthew 24:36-41:
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
Now we’re getting to what I caught a glimpse of. As the preacher was preaching on the Day of the Lord, I saw in my mind people unprepared to face judgment. They were going about their everyday lives—eating, drinking, marrying, working—giving no mind to the destruction at hand, just as in the days of Noah. They were unaware that destruction was looming on the horizon. They were in no way afraid that they were standing upon the precipice of eternal hell. And when the Lord suddenly came upon the earth in judgment, bringing destruction to the unrepentant, it was too late. IT WAS TOO LATE!
The glimpse that I caught left me fearful, not for myself but for those who stand without the covering of Jesus Christ. What I saw in my mind, straight from the pages of Scripture, leads me to say two things.
First, if you have not repented of your sin and trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, I beg you to consider the eternal danger that you are in. Jesus certainly talked about heaven, but even more, he talked about hell. Jesus talked about hell so much because He wanted to keep you from going there. It is a dreadful place from which there is no escape. It’s eternal spiritual death and destruction. It’s devoid of goodness. Please, I plead with you to turn to the only lifeline that you have. Turn from your sin and to Jesus Christ in life-long faith. Please, do not go to hell!
Second, if you have repented of your sin and trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you should have no fear of hell, but I want to persuade you to be afraid for others who are heading to hell. Those who are heading for hell right now are not afraid. They probably don’t even believe in the existence of hell. They’re not one iota scared. Therefore, you must be scared for them. And when this emotion happens inside of you like it did inside of me last night, you’ll tremble for them. You’ll weep for them. You will with hurriedness, boldness, and love go tell all that you can about the salvation from hell found only in Christ Jesus. I beg you to go and tell your family, your friends, your coworkers, your classmates, your neighbors, and even strangers.
I’ll leave you with the words of William Booth who was the founder of the Salvation Army:
“Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”
Come to Christ and be saved. Proclaim Christ so that all who will believe will be saved!