Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 26, 2014

October 26, 2014 “True Terror”

“Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence.” (2nd Thessalonians 1: 8-9) 

Blessed Lord’s Day, My Dear Friends!

Being that it is less than a week away, local stores, movie theaters, and television programs have been replete with references to Halloween, including ghosts, demons, and frightening things. While most of these are regarded as harmless fun, there is a somber reality that faces those who refuse to know God and to obey the Message of salvation. Satan, our Enemy, will relentlessly attempt to  lull the uninformed and the skeptical into the erroneous and ultimately fatal conclusion that there is no God, or for that matter, no such thing as hell either. Scripture is not at all hesitant in expressing the error of such thinking. In this message to the Thessalonians, Paul warns the scoffers of what awaits those who refuse the Message…”eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power.”

The real terror of hell is not just “fire and brimstone”. Far more agonizing than this is the prospect of being eternally separated from the presence of the Master. While we dwell in this world, we are not separated from God and his grace. It surrounds us every day, whether or not we happen to believe in Him. The Word says, “This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.(Matthew 5:45)  Paul’s ominous warning to those who reject him is an irrevocable sentence of separation from this amazing grace and this splendid power for all eternity.That is true terror! It is virtually unimaginable, especially to those who take this grace for granted, as if it were simply a birthright.

Baptist pastor Charles Spurgeon once made this pithy observation regarding those who consider themselves to be atheists. He noted,

Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for “the devils also believe and tremble”  (James 2:19)

The Enemy is fully aware of God’s existence, as are all his minions. Unlike the self-proclaimed atheists, they believe…and tremble, for they know of his splendid power and superiority, and are themselves separated from him forever, with no hope of redemption. What shall we take from all of this? I believe it is to “love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” Then you will be assured that you will never be separated from his grace and his goodness, in this world or the next. Let’s pray!

Eternal God; May I never lose my awesome wonder of Your goodness, your grace, your power, and your love. May I never be dismissive of your mercy, but humbly and thankfully live to serve You alone, for all my life. This I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen!



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