January 23, 2007

Point of No Return

2 Kings 17:1-23

All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God. 2 Kings 17:7


These words are both frightening and breathtaking. In 722 B.C., God wiped away the northern kingdom of Israel and "removed them from his presence."

The people had secretly done things against the Lord, but they couldn't really hide from God. They worshiped idols, burned their children on altars of pagan worship, got into the dark powers of the occult, and practiced astrology. They degraded themselves and made themselves worthless.

Hoshea, the last king of Israel, was no better than the other kings who had preceded him. So finally God's clock struck, and the catastrophe of judgment came--in the form of invasion from Assyria.

With God, there is a point of no return. When I read this chapter, I feel my heart lunging for the grace of God before I even have time to pray it in words.

Do you still believe in hell? I do. How can I not? The Bible describes hell as the place of punishment and total separation from God. Jesus himself spoke of it often. I don't want to go there. I don't want you to go, either.

Hebrews 4:7 says there is a day called "Today" when we should open our hearts to God. Do you hear God's voice? Use this day to lunge for Jesus, to cry out for forgiveness, to begin the walk that leads you to heaven.

Start with a prayer like this:

Father, change my destiny. Turn me back from the path to hell. Forgive me, and show me a new way to live. Lead me to a good church and to heaven, I pray. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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