30th October 2012

No One’s Going To Ruin Eternity

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”
Isaiah 32:18 (NIV)

The estate agent told us that the large caravan we could see in a field over the back fence was going to be removed. It was still there when we moved into the house. We soon became aware of the unhappiness caused by the owner of the field and the caravan, who lived two doors down from us. His confrontational attitude and his grousing and grumbling had made him a thorn in the side of the community. Rather than keep his unused caravan in his drive or garden, he had parked it in his field right up against a neighbour’s fence, and its sizable bulk had obliterated her view.

The dispute had already rumbled through all the legal hoops. Judgment was against our troublesome neighbour and he had been told to remove the caravan. However months went by, a New Year came and went, and it was still there. ‘Mr. D has to be given time to comply,’ the council said as their warning letters and injunctions were ignored. Clearly time was in abundance, whilst love for neighbour and respect for the law were noticeable by their absence.

Then one day we opened our bedroom curtains and saw a small crowd, a big black-clad policeman and a large yellow JCB in the field over the fence. We watched as the JCB’s huge claws demolished the caravan and flung its battered remains into a lorry. Finally time had run out and the wrath of the law had fallen. Not long afterwards the ‘Disturber of our Peace’ moved away from the area and our little hamlet breathed a collective sigh of relief.

So I ask you, would we really want to live forever with a man like that? I know that far, far worse things been done by neighbour to neighbour – but eternity with this cantankerous self-serving man?

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NAS). And though of course we are thankful that God gives us all the time and more, surely we also need to be grateful that there does come a day when he says enough is enough. We can find it hard to line up God’s wrath with his love. We’d much rather talk of love, and it is in love that he says ‘no’ to those who refuse him and cling to their own dead ways.  Hopefully there’s going to be a transformed Mr. D joining us in our joy when he has come to his senses. Jesus assured us that with God ‘all things are possible’ and so we look forward to meeting Mr. D again – although we may have difficulty recognising the Spirit-led, Christ-filled, new man.

Father of love, we bring you our thanks for your great power to accomplish your will and to bring all of us, your quarrelsome children, into the bond of everlasting peace.

Study by Hilary Buck

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One Response to “30th October 2012”

  1. Ian Woodley on November 1st, 2012 10:26 pm

    Thanks for this article Hilary. It has given me a new perspective on our eternal destiny – especially with regard to God’s offer of love to all. Hell is the the time and/or place where those who refuse God continue to cling to their own dead ways. Not what God wants and hopefully no one will choose that. However, God will allow us our free will, for only free will can truly appreciate and respond to the love that God has shown us.
    Thanks again

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