To the editor:
Hell, love, judgment, and meaninglessness. These are colorful topics for present day discussion and are pertinent because May 3 is the National Day of Prayer. On that day, thousands of United States citizens will gather in their communities to corporately lift prayers to God in Jesus' name. Pondering hell, love, judgment, and meaninglessness help us to recognize our need for God.
On the evening of May 3rd, here in New Ulm, at the Hope and Healing Event Center (by Hy-Vee), citizens of the New Ulm area are invited to attend a prayer service at 7 p.m. The National Day of Prayer offers an opportunity for people to gather and seek our Creator's help.
Many people are fairly comfortable talking about heaven. Last week's TIME Magazine's cover story was about heaven. But few people are comfortable talking about hell. Jesus talked about both, but he had more to say about hell. Hell is referenced many times in the Bible. In Ezekiel 3:18, the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel and said, "When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself." If hell didn't exist, Jesus wouldn't have talked about it.
It is difficult to admit that we are sinners who are bound for hell if we don't have a Savior. It is more pleasant to talk about God's love than his judgment, but both must be acknowledged.
Ravi Zacharias, honorary NDP Chairman in 2008 says, "I am absolutely convinced that meaninglessness does not come from being weary of pain; meaninglessness comes from being weary of pleasure." Mr. Zacharias came to faith in Jesus after trying to kill himself. Because he was so weak, his mother held the Bible for him and helped him read the words of Jesus from John 14: 19: "Because I live, you also will live." Ravi was desperate when he read Jesus' words and cried out to God asking, "If you are the author of these words; if you are who you claim to be, reveal yourself to me." God answered his prayer. Ravi believes that the prayer of a sincere seeker will not go unanswered.
Please come to the Hope and Healing Event Center on the first Thursday in May and pray with us. With heaven as our goal, we who trust in Christ as Savior will avoid judgment and hell because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for us. We can experience God's love today when we find meaning in our relationship with Him.