Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Did she say Hell?!

"And anyone not written in the book of life was
 thrown into the lake of fire."
Revelation 20:15

Let's address the elephant on the page: my blog address is "JOYfromJackie" and the title and verse suggest a very different connotation. I'm aware. Please, though, stay with me. Out of all of my blogs so far -- yes, a whopping four of them-- this one weighs on my heart the heaviest. 

Growing up in the South I have learned a thing or two about what it takes to a Southern Belle. I don't feel like I have earned that level of status, but I do know (and fit) some of the qualifications:
   *say "bless their heart" --- check  
   *love sweet tea --- check
   *grew up listening to country music --- check
   *have the ability to drive a truck --- check (not debatable!!)
   *refuse to believe anyone's cookin' is better than mamma's or grandma's --- check
   *dream about a perfect wedding --- not a check yet.... but we'll see
   *go to church on Sunday --- check
   *love Jesus --- check
   *never hurt people's feelings (especially never bring up Hell) --- unchecked

I'm not exactly sure when being a "sweet, southern girl" took precedence over admitting you are a sinner and surrendering your life to Christ, but I'd say it's time we get a priorities in order. I hope you are wearing some thick boots while reading this, because I'm afraid I'm about to step on some toes. 

You know when the preacher on says, "coming to church on Sunday doesn't make you a Christian"? 
He means it.
No, really.

1Corinthians 15:2 says, "By this gospel you are saved, if you should firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain."

This verse (and multiple other verses) says through the gospel you are saved. It does NOT say going to church saves you. It does not say giving money to the church saves you. It does not say repeating ritualistic prayers saves you. It does not say acts of kindness or of service save you. Are these bad things? No. These are all great way for a Christian to obey and honor God. But  SO many people have missed the first step. In fact some people quit reading because this hit too close to home. Others reading this have started skimming trying to get to the "juicy" part. SURPRISE!!! This IS the juicy part. You can not go to Heaven without being saved. 

Recently I watched "The Avengers" and noticed a parallel between the "Loki" character and Satan. There is one scene where one of the good guys tells Loki that he is going to lose because it is in his nature. They argue and the good guy tells him he will lose because he has no conviction. The more I think about it, the more I get a sinking feeling in my stomach and realize Loki resembles more than just Satan. He also reflects to an extent what will happen to every single unbeliever. They will lose in a BIG way.

Feeling convicted about something does not mean you simply know something is wrong yet you do it anyway. Conviction is not feeling bad for a split second yet you never change your ways. Feeling convicted means you realize you have sinned against a holy, perfect God and whom will send you to Hell if you don't turn away from your sins and believe in His Son Jesus Christ and commit you're life to him.

We've heard you can't go to Heaven if you are not saved. But rarely is the alternative verbalized. 

If you aren't going to Heaven, you are going to HELL
If you lack conviction you aren't saved.
Again, if you aren't saved you are going to HELL
It's biblical.

A little tough today, but it is only because I LOVE YOU! I do not want you to spend eternity in a miserable pit of fire (HELL). I want you to experience the love of Jesus Christ for the rest of your earthly life and all throughout eternity!!!

God Bless,

Jackie J