Monday, August 14, 2017

Fear of Divine Judgment - How Jesus Overcomes Our Fear of Death

Many people assume that death is bound to be better than our suffering right now. How often have you heard somebody say, “Well, at least he’s not suffering anymore…”? Or “Now she’s at peace; she’s in a better place.”

If you’re in heaven, you are in better place where there is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” Tears and suffering are over forever.  But according to Jesus, not everyone goes to heaven. Christ said, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT, my emphasis).
           
If you end up in hell, the suffering is infinitely worse than anything you might experience in this life. Christ described hell as a place where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched (Mark 9:48).

In three previous posts I’ve talked about the reasons why people may fear death. But this last one, fear of divine judgment, is the most important one. People should fear being punished for their sins.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Jesus' Cure for Frustration Over Other People's Business

Have you ever worried about how God is handling other people’s business? Sometimes out of love and sometimes out of more negative emotions - resentment, frustration - you find yourself unsettled because of what’s happening in someone else’s life.

Even one of Jesus’ apostles was not immune from being stirred up about somebody else’s business. (Of course the apostle was Peter, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.)

Peter had had a very public melt-down the night of Jesus’ betrayal. After  the resurrection Christ challenged and restored Peter. There on the shore of the Sea of Galilee Jesus patiently and gently put Peter back where he needed to be. The Savior’s thrice repeated question to Peter - “Do you love Me?” - was followed by a threefold commission:  “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).