Saturday, November 17, 2007
Ants, Hell, and the Lake of Fire
I see enough of those critters every day. In this photo, ants are carrying away Painted Lady butterfly Vanessa cardui eggs for lunch.
I watch them carry away butterfly eggs, eat living caterpillars, chrysalises, and adult butterflies, and have pulled my screaming young grandsons out of antbeds and wiped off hundreds of these stinging insects from their feet and legs as well as my children's legs when they were young.
I've felt the burning pain of their stings.
Burning pain. We think of burning with thoughts of torture. We think of hell with thoughts of burning pain.
This turns my mind to paintings, stories, movies, tv shows, comic books, books, and sermons which include hell. In many of these, Satan is presented and/or shown as the king of hell, torturing people who are under his whip and the whips of his henchmen.
Let's rethink this; God didn't prepare hell and the lake of fire for Satan as Satan's kingdom. He will not reign there, continuing to torment humans. That would be heaven for Satan. That's his passion, his joy, his love; tormenting humans.
God prepared the eternal fire, into which death and hades are thrown, for Satan. It is his punishment, not a reward.
What a blessing, with such depth that we cannot appreciate it, is the fact that Jesus took the punishment for our sins so that we can spend eternity with him and God. For those who accept Jesus as thier saviour and Lord, there will be an eternity with no death, no mouring, no crying, and no pain. God himself will wipe away our tears. God himself will live with us.
Revelation 21;3-4 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Matthew 25;41 "... 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels'."
Revelation 20;10 "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. "