Have you ever heard the saying "What a difference a day makes"? How about what a difference a night makes. Ebenezer Scrooge had a night like the one I’m talking about. I’m certain that anyone over the age of 5 has heard of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and this is certainly true thanks to Jim Carrey and Hollywood films.
In recent years Jim Carrey along with Hollywood revised an old but very familiar Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol and of course Jim Carrey was as funny and witty as ever. If you haven’t seen or read the story A Christmas Carol, I’ll give you a little bit of the storyline just as away of wetting your appetite a bit. Ebenezer Scrooge was a crotchety old man who was best known for his miserly old ways. He loved nothing or no-one more than money. That is until the ghost of his former business associate Jacob Marley showed up to inform him that while he slept that night he was going to be visited by three ghosts: the ghost of Christmas past, present and future. Of course the job of each ghost was to try and convince Ebenezer Scrooge that his current life path will not end well if he fails at making some drastic life changes.
I often wonder what a visit to hell would do for a person who is alive and on this side of eternity. You remember in Jim Carrey’s version of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was shown by the Ghost of Christmas yet to come that many people were happy that he died. There was a scene where Scrooge see’s his very own gravestone and as he stood over his gravesite the ground sinks and he’s left there standing over a pit of fire. Pretty scary right? The good news is that all of this had a pretty drastic impact on Scrooge. When he woke up from that nightmare he was certainly ready to go and do life differently. I want to put some biblical perspective to this, after all, every truth can be tied back to scripture.
You remember the true story that Jesus tells of a rich man and a poor guy named Lazarus. Jesus said that while the rich guy was alive Lazarus stood at the gate of his house one day asking for food and instead of the rich man feeding Lazarus food he sent his dogs after Lazarus to attack him and chase him away. Well they both eventually die and one woke up in heaven and I don’t have to tell you which guy woke up in hell. Let’s pick up the bible story as the rich man and Abraham are having a discussion. Check this out. Luke 16:24-26
“And he (the rich man) cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that [would come] from thence.”
You see according to Jesus, hell is a place you don’t want to visit and if you do go there you certainly don’t want anyone you know to go there. In fact, if you read further in the text you’ll see that the rich guy becomes an instant believer and prays for Abraham to send a witness to his 5 living brothers because he knows that in life they obviously are a lot like he once was. Jesus goes on to say that though a person were to come back from death, men still will refuse to believe and of course we all know this to be a very true statement.
Jesus is alive and he was born as a babe in a manger, he lived a perfect sinless life, he died for all our sins and according to scripture he rose again from the dead to take away all our sin and if you would believe in him, hell or even the thought of hell is a non-issue. That story never gets old….LET’S GO