God's Heat Advisory

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As I write this, we are at the beginning of a mini heat wave here in northeast Wisconsin. We don’t regularly or frequently get several days that are above 90 degrees, so when it happens, it gives us something to talk about. But if we add into the conversation the many days in a row that the southwestern states of our nation have experienced a heat wave lasting weeks, with high temperatures reaching over 120 degrees for days on end, then we might want to think not only in physical terms but also in spiritual terms of “What does this mean?”

I say this in the same way that Jesus talked about unquenchable heat in recent Gospel readings in our worship services. Jesus associated this kind of heat or fire with “where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” He is referring to this place of torment or eternal punishment for a very important reason – as a warning. Hell is not merely a threat; it is absolutely real. It will be the fate for millions of people who committed sin and fostered evil in this world.

Death is not the only consequence for sin. Death followed by the second death of eternal punishment in hell is the reality of God’s wrath against sin. And it comes with numerous warnings that are written for us in the Scriptures. Only by hearing the warnings and heeding them can we avoid this terrible result.

This is why we need a Savior, the only One who can save us from death and from the unquenchable fires, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. Part of the suffering of hell is the separation from the presence of the ever-present God. This is what Jesus experienced while He was hanging on the cross. Jesus suffered and endured this so that He could save us from this emotional and spiritual torment, along with saving us from the physical and painful torment of the fire that never goes out.

Jesus gives us the warnings, not only to remind us of the physical and spiritual suffering punishment that is a very real possibility, but also to turn us to Himself as our Savior. He alone can deliver us from this everlasting suffering and give us everlasting life, joy, and peace in its place.

Listen to God’s “heat advisory,” repent of your sins, and find your only refreshment and relief from death and hell in Jesus Christ, your Savior.

In Christ’s love,
Pastor Paul Pett
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