Did you see the INTRODUCTION to this A to Z series? Check it out here.
God's greatest understatement may very well be found in Romans 6:23 where He tells us that
"the wages of sin is death."
Perhaps there is much more expressed in this short verse than the brutally honest and absolute statement of finality we find on the surface. I wonder if it also means that there is KILLING in HELL. Or to put it another way; HELL is KILLING.
Think about all the things you know and love that can die. We typically lose our parents to death. Worse; we sometimes lose our children first. Our pets regularly die long before we are ready. We are stunned at times when a favorite celebrity passes away as if their fame should have made them invulnerable to the same ravages of sin and time that will bring each of us down in the end. And we are even double-stunned when two or three of them die in one week.
But there are things even more precious to us than entertainers. And closer to our hearts than the mass of foreigners gunned down or bombed or caught up in some accident or natural disaster. Have you ever experienced the death of hope? It had always been there--sometimes weak and thready, but at least present--and then it was gone! Perhaps you are familiar with the KILLING of laughter. With no more humor in your life, whether banished from the outside or from within, you have suffered a terrible death.
There is the KILLING of zeal and ambition, of plans and dreams, and of games and goals. Many suffer the KILLING of physical abilities: Death to sight or hearing or locomotion or even freedom from constant pain.
The end of a marriage for any reason brings a dearth of so many good things. It is like a KILLING of fellowship, of camaraderie, of sexual comfort, of partnering and even of sharing chores. No more doubling joys and halving burdens.
Both in heaven and in hell, people will be living in glorified bodies that are perhaps more spirit than physical. But these bodies will be real and material enough to enjoy eternally the good fruits of heaven or to suffer the KILLING nature of HELL forever. There is no reason to think that hell will eventually bring an annihilation of the soul. It will endure forever in the KILLING FIELD known as HELL, where everything good that one has ever known and cherished will die in turn. In John 10:10 Jesus said: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Choose life in Him--ever growing and vibrant--or the process of death--forever and ever destructive.
Remember the verse from Romans we started out with? Yes, "the wages of sin is death" but this verse has a wonderful ending!
"The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
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