With Christmas just weeks away, and the Lord’s return also very near, Christians are gearing up for a worldwide push to harvest precious souls around the world. The only people who can be assured they will “escape the wrath to come” (Tribulation) are those whose spirit contains the light of God. In other words, those who are born again believers.
This truth is made quite clear in the Gospel of John. Notice that John begins his gospel by referencing the Lord Jesus as the “Word” and the “Light.”
John 1:1-3New King James Version (NKJV)
The Eternal Word
1 In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Jesus was frequently called the “Word” in the Old Testament. For example, in Genesis 15 where Abraham SAW the Word of the Lord.
Genesis 15:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 After these things the Word of the Lord came to Abram in a VISION(Abraham saw the pre-Incarnate Lord)), saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
Back to John chapter one, where we learn also that Jesus, the Creator, was “the Light of man.” (verse 4) We then learn of the ministry of John the Baptist.
John 1:6-9New King James Version (NKJV)
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light(Jesus), that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.9 That was the true Light(Jesus) which gives light to every man coming into the world.[a]
The point we are making today is that Jesus is unequivocally called the Word and the Light, meaning the only way to salvation, beginning in John chapter 1. We have a sacred charge to fulfill (verse 9) and help every man coming into the world to receive the light (Jesus). Namely, Jesus is the true light, and the only light for those who would be saved.
John 1:10-12New King James Version (NKJV)
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own(the Jews),[a] and His own[b] did not receive Him(Unfortunately, the Jews had such a lofty view of God, they thought He was too good to inhabit human flesh). 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
Matthew expands on this subject in Chapter 5. He is speaking here of believers only.
Matthew 5:14-16New King James Version (NKJV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light(the light of the Christian community) so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
I close with a serious admonition to fellow believers. I walked into the shop where I get my nails done a few weeks ago. A lady I helped lead to the Lord about 35 years ago said something that flabbergasted me! She said, “I don’t believe God will leave people in hell forever. After all, God IS love.”
This view is unscriptural, and causes Christians to be lazy about winning the lost. Let us see what the scripture actually says, first of all the mild, but firm words of Jesus Himself.
Mark 16:15-16New King James Version (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
The Lord said those who do not believe will be condemned, and they will. A more forceful scripture on this subject, which many have never read, is the final verse of the great book of Isaiah. Did you know this verse was in the Bible?
Isaiah 66:24New King James Version (NKJV)
24 “And they shall go forth and look
Upon the corpses of the men
Who have transgressed against Me.
For their worm does not die,
And their fire is not quenched.
They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Daunting, isn’t it?
Finally, let’s listen to a passage in Revelation 14 that end time teachers quote often.
Revelation 14:9-11New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”
Yes, hell’s judgment is eternal. Begin now to pray daily for those unsaved relatives and friends you will see over the holidays. Not to say to them: “Turn or burn, fly or fry.” Rather, to ask the Holy Spirit to soften them through prayer, that we might have the opportunity to either witness to them, or at least show them by our love that they matter to us.