Tonight we start a series called DIALOGUE. It is based on questions & comments made by those that do not necessarily come to Journey who might be called “seekers” (In some ways we are all “seekers” but that’s another post for another time or just re-listen to U2 Joshua Tree). The 1st message is on the topic of hell. It was asked about more than once and in way that seemed to be coming from sincere seekers or new to God types.
Anyway, I felt led as I was journaling this morning to post this prayer. Please join me in praying it. Actually the 1st part is a thought from my reading today, then the prayer. Here goes – unedited.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Psalm 66:20 blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor his HESED from me. Yes, Lord, thank You that in all my evil, in my maddening slowness of progress, in my returns to drink from the same stupid broken wells, You still hear my prayer. My life is still filled with evidence & reminders of your H.
TODAY: Father, today I am preparing & preaching a sermon on HELL. I’m happy to do so in that A. I am obeying You & being faithful to what is in the scriptures. B. I’m meeting a felt need. The people actually asked this question. C. There is a challenge in preaching this subject & making sure that Your nature is not distorted. Every cultural location has truths that are difficult to see b/c of the perspective in which they are immersed. Ours has great difficulty with anyone judging anything. It is hard for us to understand this (us being me) given the inherently contradictory things we assume about right & wrong, morality & our sin v. other people’s. Help me to be faithful tonight & this weekend. Faithful to Your justice, Your holiness, Your love, Your gospel. I’ve been praying a strange prayer. I’ve been asking You that people will come out of this message encouraged, positive & hopeful. As we worship may people find You to be as attractive as You really are.
The other thing that is hard for me is that I’m forced to face some of my own fuzziness on this issue. I’m forced to remind myself that I really do believe that it is a terrible fate to be apart from Christ. That it is a perilous life trajectory.