I live for moments like this that are so Holy. It’s so quiet here and I can feel the Lord so close.
I woke up at 3:00am and I haven’t been able to go back to sleep – my tummy hurts & there have been frequent trips to the toilet. I really should stay away from white bread. It’s clear my body doesn’t want it anymore. I haven’t felt like myself since I ate it 2 days ago.
I toss and turn on the bed, trying to find a position that is comfortable; one that can ease the pain in my tummy. I fail to. I pick up my phone instead and decide to scroll through, looking for something to distract me. I find some hot takes from Christians who are responding to statements made by an artist, saying that he created a demonic music video because he’d been threatened with hell fire by religious people. I shake my head. I continue scrolling. I see that somehow I am following an account that promotes cannabis smoking especially for women. I unfollow the account immediately. I close the apps on my phone.
My thoughts turn to the hot takes I’ve been seeing from Christians about how we need to stop talking about hell because it drives people from God and I sigh deeply. I want to do a video on my YouTube but then I worry that I won’t express myself properly or communicate what is really on my heart. I sigh again.
I’m concerned that in trying to move away from one extreme, the body of Christ has driven itself to another extreme. You see, when I read scripture and go over the words of Jesus Christ carefully, I hear Him talk about the Love of God and I also see Him talk about the wrath and judgement of God.
One is not separate from the other in His teachings. In fact, one explains the reason for the other.
I have tried to ignore the Christians who have been crying out against teachings that mention hell in recent times because I understand that they believe they’re doing something good but the problem is that God has not called us to be ‘good’. He has called us to be led by the Spirit of God. We don’t even have a correct sense of what is right and wrong – we must depend on Him always to guide us.
You see, God’s wrath may have been used as a tactic to scare people into accepting salvation in the past but it shouldn’t be branded a taboo topic because it makes people uncomfortable.
There must always be balance in the body of Christ, otherwise in an attempt to slay one beast, we will create another. Permit me to even add, that these hot takes I have been seeing from Christians almost sound like they’re defending (or at least trying to explain away) the darkness-inspired music video. It sounds like, “oh look at this horrible music video! It’s all you guys’ fault for speaking about hell fire and making this young man angry! If you all had instead told him only of the love of God, he will not have gotten angry and made this video!”
Sigh. We’re missing the point. I know many people who have been told only of the love of God and who have been led into error, believing that it is a licence to live a sinful lifestyle and even encourage others to. The solution is not to dwell only on one attribute of God but to continue to paint a holistic and clear picture every time we have the opportunity to spread the gospel.
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:5-6 NLT)
“You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” (Colossians 3:7-10 NLT)