Isn't going to hell punishment enough?

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Josh Turner Long Black Train

Many decades ago I had a brief summer job with a woman who had a sales operation in her office in a small building downtown.  I worked part-time for her for a few months. and occasionally we talked a little about religion  She had in her office every weekend a group meeting to study the religion known as Unity.  I had little information on this group myself but I knew that it did not follow the Bible or the gospel.  But it was business after all, so I did not make much of our differences. My job was to sell, and not discuss theology.

Several weeks into the job Mrs. Bailey snapped at me and said, “You are the second person to tell me I am going to hell.”  I could not have been more surprised.  People decide to go to hell – no one sends them there.  Certainly not I.  So I let it pass.

The job didn’t pan out very well and I left after a month or so.  A year later I was driving in town and saw Mrs. B for the first time in a year.  I asked the Lord (while driving) “Why hasn’t Mrs. B been judged Lord?  The Bible says that all false gods will be judged?”

I could not have been more shocked over His response.  “Isn’t going to hell judgment enough?” He said.

Judgment on sin is at the end of life

That is when I realized that judgment is always at the end of life.  John and some other disciples were scolded by Jesus for bringing down God’s wrath on people.  It isn’t necessary.  God uses human being’s time of living to mold, move, instruct and discipline life.  All that fire and brimstone stuff comes after death.

Another year later I was at work in a nearby shopping center when the fire trucks made an awful racket.  It was Mrs. B’s office complex on fire, the very office in which they had their weekly Unity meeting.  Good friends of ours had the office across the hall.  I learned that, oddly enough, only her office had burned to a crisp leaving all the offices touched only by smoke damage.

Given what God had told me about this woman, it appeared that the fire was a warning shot across her bow.  You don’t need to tell someone they are going to hell; God will even do that with circumstances.

Today 40 years later I have no idea what happened to her, but I can see what God does with people who are out-of-order. He engineers circumstances to show them what is wrong with their path and choices. 

God’s discipline shows His love

The scripture says we are to rejoice when God disciplines – it’s a sign of His concern and love.

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The Ministry of the Watchman – An observer on the wall sharing a report of what God is seeing and doing in the world at large and also in the congregations of His people. Cornelia Scott Cree, Watchman, Change Agent, Essayist.

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The Ministry of the Watchman – An observer on the wall sharing a report of what God is seeing and doing in the world at large and also in the congregations of His people. Cornelia Scott Cree, Watchman, Change Agent, Essayist.

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