Time flies. It has been five years since God took my mom, Mdm Yeo Mui Choo home to be by His side. In our annual family gathering to remember her, many shared fond memories of this sweet gentle lady. She had given so much to nurture and bring me up. Her unconditional love for me moves me to tears (both of joy and of sadness too because I had often taken her love for granted). Her soft-spoken, meek and persevering ways had been a great model for me. I am thankful to God for her.
Above all, I am most thankful to God for her belief in Jesus as her Saviour and Lord. As a result, she is safe from eternal condemnation and is now joyfully by the side of Jesus.
The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) describes a rich man who lived a life of extreme luxury and Lazarus, an extremely poor man who simply longed “to eat what fell from the rich man’s table”. The rich man showed Lazarus no love, sympathy or compassion and was completely indifferent to his plight. Eventually both died. Lazarus was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side in heaven, while the rich man went to Hell.
This short passage uniquely contains a vivid description about Hell.
Place – Hell is below (the rich man had to look up), separated from Heaven above by a deep, impenetrable space which cannot be removed (v.26).
Environment – It is very, very, very hot there. The rich man who was in torment in the fire, shouted to Abraham for relief (v.24). Other parts of the Bible describes Hell as a “fiery furnace” (Matt 13:42a), a place where “the fire never goes out” (Mark 9:43b) and its inhabitants weep and gnash their teeth in great agony (Matt 8:12, 13:42b, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30).
Permanence – Each of their destiny was by then unchangeable. Throughout eternity, no one could cross over from either side.
Choices – Our choices to seek God or disregard Him while here on earth will literally affect where we spend eternity upon death. There will be no more second chances.
2 Thess 2:9 further describes Hell as a place of “everlasting destruction” and “shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power”.
Today, I wonder if we feel the frightening reality of Hell and burdened by the urgent alarming fact that this will be the destiny of our own dear pre-believing family, friends and neighbours, if they are to continue in their current path and die one day without believing Jesus?
People asked Jesus, “Master, what must I do to be saved?”
Jesus said in the famous passage in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Obviously all man seek to be sent to one and hope they do not end up in the other upon death. John 3:16 is very meaningful to me because the hope it speaks about is not a ‘lottery’ hope but an assured, certain hope. That means that if one believes in Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, one can be fully certain where one will be sent upon death.
As I think about mom, I am deeply thankful to God that mom had believed and therefore I know for sure which of the two places she is at now. Those who have believed also know for sure they will meet her again.
Thank you, Jesus, my Saviour and Lord!
By Sam Tan, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 17&18 September 2016)