Hell, I Guess
February 4, 2020
“Hell, I Guess”
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6, NIV 1984).
He was doing pretty well from his chronic leukemia but had recently had a close call in a motor vehicle accident. “I’m not necessarily ready yet, but I’m good to go when the time comes,” he said.
“Where are you going, when you go?” I asked.
“Hell, I guess,” he replied.
“Aren’t you a Christian?” I asked.
“I sure am, but I’ve got a whole list of things I need to make up for.”
“Don’t you worry about where you are going, Ken.” I said. “Jesus took care of all of that. That was what the cross was all about.”
He gave me an “I hope” look and made his next appointment.
Do we get what we deserve in life?
I’ve been pretty good in all the big things, much better than most. People who watch me would agree, most of the time. I’m kind to patients, usually pleasant with co-workers, rarely curse, faithful in marriage and donate generously to those in need.
However, like the man above, I, too, “have a whole list of things I need to make up for.”
There lives within me enough greed and pride and envy and selfishness and despair to shut tight all the gates of heaven. And I can’t fix me on my own or overcome the sin that is truly me.
As Oswald Chambers put it: “Any human being can do what any human being has ever done…But for God, I am that, and much worse.”
However, as I told Ken, “Jesus took care of all of that. That was what the cross was for.”
Jesus endured the cross not just for the really bad people that we all can point out, but for all really bad people like you and me.
Thank you for the cross. Cleanse me, forgive me, change me.