The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. Revelation 14:19
The promise of eternal judgment and hell is not fun to talk about, but is a somber reality relayed by our Savior Jesus. He is our Savior because He saves us from our sins and from eternal damnation in hell. Hell brings separation—Jesus brings reconciliation. Hell brings torment—Jesus brings peace. Hell brings darkness—Jesus brings light. Hell hurts—Heaven heals.
Our same loving Lord who promises heaven, also promises hell. Indeed, heaven is sweeter, because of the sour taste eternal separation from God leaves on the lips of our soul. We begin our experience of hell on earth when we choose our own way, in contrast to Christ’s way. Separation from God on earth is a precursor to separation from the Almighty in eternity. It is a fearful place of loneliness that lacks love and security. An angel from heaven will swing his sickle of judgment on earth, harvesting unholy grapes (evildoers) destined for God’s winepress of wrath.
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him” (Luke 12:5)!
It is the fear of the Lord that brings focus to His holiness and our unholy condition outside of Christ. You may experience the wrath of men because you choose to fear God. But, better to be known as a God-fearing man or woman than to experience the wrath of God. The power of man looks powerless in the presence of the One who has the power to cast the unsaved into hell. Sinners in the hands of a holy God desperately need His grace.
So, you and I are blessed to have the opportunity to appropriate belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of the living God. He not only saves us from hell, but He saves us from our sins, and from ourselves. By His sacrificial love, He replaces eternity in an unrighteous hell with a righteous heaven. Yes, you can repent on your deathbed, but why not start heaven’s journey now? Hell’s fury is for the faithless, but when you walk by faith you have only the Lord to fear.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
Prayer: Lord, give me holy boldness and uncommon compassion to warn the unholy of Your wrath to come.
Application: What unholy attitude is my heavenly Father asking me to change by His grace?
Related Readings: Matthew 23:33; Mark 9:43-47; Luke 16:22-24; James 3:6; 2 Peter 2:4