Saturday, March 24, 2012
Light, Greensboro, NC
When Jesus states in John 3:16 that everyone who believes in him should not perish, he is referring to hell. The short one chapter book of Jude likens unbelievers as clouds without rain blown along by the wind, foaming wild waves of the sea, and wandering stars for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. Jesus tells of a rich man in hell who attempted to appeal to a beggar in heaven for relief, but the chasm between the two was impenetrable. I think it’s also thought provoking to consider that if you were born in this great country of America, you are considered as rich by most of the world. One of the best thoughts I’ve come across regarding the concept of hell is simply eternal separation from the love of our creator. We know that nature abhors a vacuum and once goodness is removed, evil replaces the void. Once light is removed, darkness fills the void. Jesus tells us that he is the light of the world.
I’m reminded of the human issue of SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s now an acknowledged disorder that affects many of us in varying degrees during seasonal changes where sunlight is withdrawn from our presence. It manifests itself in the human psyche as a depressed feeling of hopelessness. The most common prescribed treatment for SAD is exposure to a bright light. One of the oldest questions asked by inquiring minds is “why would a loving God condemn someone to an eternal life of darkness in a state called hell”? The short answer is that he doesn’t—they volunteer. When the chosen people of Israel turned their back on God, His response was to simply respond in kind and withdraw his protection. Jesus says that in the final day, some will be confronted with the admonition, “I never knew you. Away from me.” Once we have breathed our last, our book of life is closed and the light may be extinguished forever. But there will be no need for a sun or moon in the new earth, for God’s light will shine there eternally.