Flu season has hit and is in full swing here in Tennessee. Many schools are closed because of the high number of students who are already sick, and to minimize spreading the flu among those who are not. Scores of people are staying home to avoid the risk of contracting the flu virus. Some wear medical masks to keep from breathing in any potential germs when they go out in public.
Hundreds have received a flu vaccine that has had little to no benefit this year—some say it is less than 10% effective. All kinds of precautions are being taken to avoid the horrible sickness we call the flu. Anyone who has ever had the flu understands exactly why it is best to take precautions. In older individuals or those with compromised immune systems, it can even be life threatening sometimes resulting in death.
However, in most cases it proves to be a couple of weeks of misery. Bad to say the least, but not a permanent situation. It does come to an end, thankfully! I’ve had the flu a couple of times in my life, so I can attest to how miserable it can make a person feel. I also understand the reasons for taking precautions against it—of course no one wants to be sick. But, still I’m amazed at the measures we will take in an attempt to prevent something that is temporary.
I can’t help but think of how truly horrible it would be to experience eternal pain and suffering in Hell, and yet so many people choose to take no preventative measures to avoid it. Hell is real. It is not a myth we scare our children with to make them behave. Hell is a reality and it is not a couple of weeks of misery. It is eternal pain and suffering and total separation from God.
Matthew 5:29 ESV says:
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.”
Matthew 13:49-50 ESV
“So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Revelation 20:15 ESV
“And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 21:8 ESV
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
I don’t think there is a flu virus in the world that can compare to that kind of misery. The truth is, we don't have to be incredibly evil to go to hell. For all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) The awesome news is there is a Perfect preventative measure we can take. It is 100% effective. It is only by applying the blood of Jesus Christ to our lives that we can totally avoid the eternal punishment of hell. When our names are recorded in the book of life, we have no fear of eternal damnation.
Jesus became the Perfect Sacrifice for our sins and mistakes, when He laid down His life for us. We simply need to repent and turn from our sins, ask Him to forgive us, believe that He IS the Son of God, and confess Him as our Lord and Savior. Then we must strive to follow Him and seek His will for our lives, with all of our hearts. Seems like a really simple preventative measure to escape the flames of hell if you ask me. Yet so many people refuse to acknowledge that they need a Savior.
You can believe the enemy of our souls is spreading his nasty germs and his viruses to trap us in torment and misery with him. Misery loves company, and he knows how the story ends. He will be thrown into the lake of fire. His only desire is to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus has come so that we might have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
We must fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. We must spend time talking to Jesus, just as we would talk to our best friend. He wants to be your best friend. We must be careful to avoid the deceptions of the enemy and do our best to stay away from the things we know will cause us to stray or be tempted; just like avoiding germs.
One of my sweet ladies in the jail has repented and given her life to Christ, but as a baby Christian, she struggles with using profanity from time to time. As we began to talk about it last week, she shared that when she was busy cleaning the jail she would put a Rap CD into the CD player. The rapper uses a lot of profanity in his lyrics. I asked her if she thought that might have any effect on her using profanity when she gets frustrated or upset?
Just like we can breathe in germs from a flu virus, we must be careful of other things we allow inside our heads, and in our lives. I’m a firm believer in the phrase “garbage in—garbage out.”
Luke 6:45 ESV:
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Let’s be careful to take the right preventative measures in our lives. There’s nothing wrong with doing what we can to avoid temporary discomfort, but let us never forget that eternity is FOREVER. Let’s make every attempt to avoid eternal suffering, and plan for an exciting destiny with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in our Heavenly home!
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.