A couple of friends of mine were driving down the road. David said, “John you’re in a great mood! What’s got you feeling so chipper today?” John replied, “David, I am NOT going to hell and that makes me really happy!”
Hell is God’s eternal wrath on the sin of those without faith in the sinless life and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and repentance from their sin. This is the wrath from which God has saved Christians. The apostle Paul writes about the contrast between believers and unbelievers.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV)
Hallelujah! What an amazing declaration!
With so many things in this world going awry these days (the economy, the pandemic, the social unrest, the political division) we could become despondent. However, if you have been given faith and repentance through the work of Jesus Christ, you have been forgiven your sin (past, present and future); you have the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ and you have been adopted by the only true God of this universe.
So, Christian, are you thankful to your Heavenly Father that you don’t face the eternal wrath of God?
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.Psalm 86:12-13
As you gather with family and friends around your Thanksgiving tables, don’t be simply “thankful”. Everyone can be thankful for the turkey, the ham, the corn, the gravy, the casserole. Are you thankful in recognition of the personal God who gave these things? But even more, complete the circle and be thankful to the personal and loving God and say it to Him.
Contemplate the transformation that He has provided to His people. Contemplate the change in your eternal destiny! He has rescued you from His just wrath and now you have the promise that you will be with Him forever in His glorious presence. He is the One who, in this life, gives you all good things.
Further He is the One who has redeemed your soul from destruction, because he is GOOD! Say “thank you” and try singing His praise around the table of Thanksgiving with the Doxology:
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above the Heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Bryant Hansen is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, 211 S. Chestnut Street, Prattville. Visit online at www.firstpresbyterianchurchofprattvile.com or in person on Sunday mornings.