Saturday, November 21, 2020

What if your loneliness disappeared for ever?









All photos courtesy of Unsplash

One of the most undesirable experiences that we can have is loneliness. Some folks look back to childhood days when they were surrounded by family members. However, eventually the great enemy, death, gate-crashed the family circle and, one by one, loved ones were taken and loneliness ensued. Others feel the emptiness that comes with loneliness especially when their spouse is taken away after many years of marriage. How hard it is, not least in the long winter evenings, to be alone in the house that formerly was alive with conversation.


If loneliness on earth for a period of time is so sad and painful, what an awful thing it must be to experience this for the ageless eternity. For every soul that dies without the Saviour, the only outlook is the lonely, endless blackness of darkness. Jude v.13 describes those "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever". Some people have the mistaken idea that when they arrive in Hell they will meet with their friends and enjoy an eternal party!


The Scriptures are very clear with regard to the place called Hell and the Lake of Fire, where people will be eternally. Acts 1.25 teaches that Judas "by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place". Undoubtedly, this means the place of his own choosing, but also it indicates that it was a unique place for him, and him alone. According to the Bible all judgment by God is righteous, "the righteous judgment of God" Romans 2.5. I will not be punished for anybody else’s sins, but for my own sins, and since no-one has sinned exactly like me then no one will be in the exact same place as me.


How can we escape this punishment? The answer is in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He came from the glory of Heaven to save sinners: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" 1Timothy 1.15. How did He do this? 


Anne Steele wrote,


He took the ruined sinner’s place, and suffered in his stead:

For man (O, miracle of grace!) for man the Saviour bled.


In order that mankind could escape the lonely darkness, the Saviour endured the judgment of God in the darkness that descended when He hung on the cross at Calvary. The Lord Jesus was crucified at the Jewish time of "the third hour [9a.m.]" Mark 15.25, but the dreadful intensity of suffering was "from the sixth hour [noon] … unto the ninth hour", when "there was darkness over all the land" Matthew 27.45. It was then that "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities ..." Isaiah 53.5; when His soul was made "an offering for sin" Isaiah 53.10. It was from the darkness and in His loneliness that "at the ninth hour [3p.m.]", Jesus cried, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Mark 15.34. 


Hannah Burlingham wrote,


Alone upon His cross, God’s judgment Jesus bore,

He paid in full the cost of glory evermore:

His precious blood was freely shed,

And Jesus crushed the serpent’s head.



We come into the good of this by faith and not by works: "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" John 3.15.


Used by permission of Assembly Testimony Publications

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