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Escaping the Lake of Fire
By: Rachelle Hamlin
Fort Fairfield Journal, October 15, 2014Fornicators are those who pursue sexual enjoyment without commitment at the expense of other’s unhappiness. Idolaters fill the void where Father God belongs with their own selected objects of worship. Adulterers are those who marry but defile their holy relationship by turning to lovers other than their own. Homosexuals are men and women who choose sexual relations with their own sex. Sodomites are sexually crazed individuals or gangs who victimize the innocent for fleeting thrills. Thieves take what does not belong to them and are never satisfied. The covetous are those who just wish they could have what others have. Drunkards abuse substances so as to lose themselves and blame their mistakes on others. Revilers can’t stop finding the faults in others. Extortioners go after what they want using force and subterfuge.
Unless these people are washed, sanctified and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God they are predestined for the lake of fire. This is from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 6, verses 9 through 11.
There are also some interior faults or habits that merit the lake of fire if not curbed or eliminated. Uncleanness is maintaining a careless or sloppy attitude about what we think, see or permit our hearts and mouths to dwell upon. Lewdness is public behavior that is suggestive of sexual activities that ought to remain private, and can include manner of dress and speech. Sorcery and witchcraft at its root is the misuse of power for self-directed results. Hatred is the ultimate rejection of union with God who is Love. Contentions are what we recognize as the result of the troublemakers of this world. Jealousies lead to many other sins against others. Outbursts of wrath are manipulative acts of the ego’s wish for control. Selfish ambitions erode the heart and steal the joy of those who put their trust in illusions of grandeur. Dissensions can grow into wars and at every level divide rather than unite. Heresies destroy the foundations of liberty and truth. Envy and murders we know only too well. Drunkenness can extend well beyond substance abuse to anything that becomes a destructive obsession. Revelries are due to the party spirit taken to excess such as raves, and other group excesses.
These are found in Galatians Chapter 5, verses 19 to 21. Fortunately the writer of Galatians went on to tell us what to do to escape the fate waiting for those who do not repent from their waywardness.
Love never fails because Love is a synonym for God. If anyone is taken in a fault, let them immediately begin to practice and learn how to love God and the people around them.
A search for joy can draw a soul away from a multitude of the sins listed above, because joy is like a spring of happiness that is hidden in our own soul. The pains and unhappiness that accompanies many sins cannot long exist in someone who is deeply committed to attaining joy in this life.
A search for Peace also has power to eliminate things like dissension, angry outbursts, and other nasty social problems. Peacemaking is a learned skill that benefits both the maker and the taker of it.
Longsuffering is the companion of forgiveness. Hatred, envy, murder, and contentiousness are undone when we learn to let other peoples’ shortcomings roll off our minds and hearts.
Kindness is one of the most fun things to practice. When we seek to be kind we become a magnet for all sorts of blessings. We attract love, fun, good friends, better events that create great memories and a sense of well-being. And that is just the start of it. It is hard for trouble to find room in the life of a person determined to be kind to others all the time.
Goodness is like the search for joy. Except that with goodness we don’t care if we actually get enjoyment out of it. We are more satisfied just knowing that we did something good, either for ourselves or for others. That brings us satisfaction beyond joy.
Faithfulness is a good path for those who have some religion or some knowledge of Divinity. It doesn’t have to be extensive knowledge. Under the USSR, some people had only one scripture. They memorized it and lived faithful to it. They reached great holiness that way. We have proof in their writings.
Gentleness. Wow! In two hundred fretsome years civilization has lost connection with what society once considered a foundation of human life. Where have all the gentle men and gentle women gone? The power of gentleness is in its capacity to allow every person in its reach the dignity to be free.
Self-control requires a knowledge of right and wrong. But when it is there, a hater brings hate down deliberately and a liar stops lying. A drunkard stops the self-abuse and the naked run for cover. It is the surest way to resist all the temptations that lead a soul to the lake of fire.
All of these many paths to heavenly peace and joy are there for the asking. They come as gifts from the Holy Spirit to all who ask for them, sincerely wanting to practice them. We can have any one of them or all of them. We do not have to end up in the lake of fire.
[Editor's note: the “lake of fire” has been expounded on by some as not necessarily a place of eternal torment; rather, it’s symbolic for “divine purification” – that is, its intent is to purify, not punish. However, the images of fire-breathing, pitchfork-wielding demons that the medieval Church adopted onto Christianity in the middle ages in order to scare and provoke people into accepting Christianity has led to a twisted version of “Hell” (in Hebrew the word is Sheol, which merely means “grave” with no connotations of fire and/or eternal punishment) that modern Christianity continues to perpetuate.)]
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