Distances, Great And Tiny
God created things that are infinitely large and things that are infinitely tiny. He sees and controls them all. To Him the huge universes are no more difficult to control than the tiny atoms. They are all within the scope of His plans.
About 15 miles west of my home town in North Dakota there is a river called the James River. It flows into the Missouri River. The Missouri flows into the Mississippi. The Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico. About 10 miles east from my home town is the Cheyenne River. It flows into the Red River of the North and ends up in the Hudson Bay. There are some small hills somewhere near my home town where two drops of water will fall inches apart. One will flow west into the James River and thus into the Gulf of Mexico. The other will flow into the Cheyenne River and thus into the Hudson Bay. Those two drops of water could end up 4 or 5 thousand miles apart. A slight breeze during a rainfall could change the destination of a rain drop by a couple of inches. Those two little inches could become thousands of miles.
In Luke chapter 16 Jesus tells the story of a poor man, Lazarus, and a rich man. They were probably within a few feet of each other in their earthly lives. But one ended up in Torments and one ended up in Paradise. You and someone else could be inches apart and one of you will end up in the Lake of Fire and the other in Heaven.
In this life there were only inches between them but Lazarus and the rich man were separated forever. The Bible says there is a great gulf fixed.
If you are a Christian, you are probably within inches each day of a person that is headed for Hell. But you are worlds apart. There is a distance between believers and unbelievers that cannot be measured or fully understood by men. That distance is far greater than a few thousand miles. Only God can span that distance. Only God can move a person from one side of that Great Divide to the other.
Luke 16:19-31: There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man*s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham*s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot: neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father*s house: For I have five brethren: that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
The rich man probably never prayed in this life but the place of torments he tried. It was too late. He tried to pray to Abraham. It may be that everyone that goes to the place of torments will try to pray there, but it will be hopeless.
Luke 16:24: And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
That rich man could see the paradise that was Abraham*s bosom from the place of torments. It will make the lake of fire all the more horrible because the people there will know what they missed. I believe they won*t be able to think about anything else. Heaven will be their obsession. If only they could close their mind for a moment and not have to know what they missed. Knowing what they have missed will torment them forever. The lake of fire will be horrible because those that go there will know that they are there because they deserve it. No one will be able to say I*m not guilty, I don*t deserve to be here.
God has made a way for us to avoid the place of torments and get to Heaven. Jesus paid for heaven for you and for me. He paid with His precious blood. You can*t buy it, it is a free gift. Eternal life in Heaven is more precious than anything, and it*s free!
Romans 6:23: The wages of sin is death: but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Greatest Divide is the cross of Jesus Christ. There was one thief on each side of Jesus just a few feet apart. One thief ended up in Paradise with the Lord Jesus. The other in the Lake of Fire. The one trusted the Lord Jesus and the other rejected Him.
The cross of Jesus Christ is not only the Greatest Divide it is the greatest bridge. When you trust Jesus and receive Him into your heart as Savior, He moves you what might seem like just a little ways. Just from one side of the cross to the other. But that little way will become enormous. I don*t have words to tell you how far it is from God*s Heaven to the Lake of Fire. No one has adequate words for that greatest of all divides.
Luke 23:32-33: And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Luke 23:39-45: And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
The veil of the temple was a barrier that separated people from God. Only the high priest could go past the veil into the Holy of Holies. And he could only go there once a year with blood. The veil was rent. The way was opened to God for all of us. The veil was a picture of our sin. Our sin keeps us from God.
Isaiah 59:2: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
Jesus wants to forgive our sin and remove the barrier between us and God.
Psalms 103:12: As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
My sins are as far away from me as the east is from the west. How about yours?
God wants us on His side right here, right now, today. He has done all that He can and all that is necessary to bring us to His side.
2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
John 17:24: Father, I will that THEY also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Does the Lord speak to your heart and tell you that you are on the wrong side and He wants you on His side? Or does He speak to your heart and tell you that you belong to him already?
If you have not made the decision to come to God*s side you need to decide today. The distance between God and man can only be conquered by Jesus.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Care to discuss Distances, Great And Tiny with Ron?