In the ladies restroom at the office, I keep a devotional that I read on occasion. Go ahead and laugh, I know that’s funny, but be honest with yourself now… on occasion, you read in the bathroom too! Maybe you do a word puzzle or skim a magazine. Well, I read my small devotional. It’s perfect! The devotion is short and the scripture is already there for me. Okay, anyway, this is not the subject of my message, it’s just now become an awkward introduction.
On my way to work this morning, I had been praying to God that I wanted to be free from any captivity. I wanted freedom from the thoughts and hurts that haunt my mind and hold me ransom to the past. Why, after so long, do we still ask the Lord about things that happened long ago? How can we get past those questions (pun intended) and move forward?! How can we put that thing to death just as David put Goliath to death? I, as I’m sure you feel he same way, don’t want to give the enemy a foothold from the things of the past anymore! Victimized or deceived, we must break through the chains!
Well, wouldn’t you know it that God spoke to me about this in today’s devotional! (Praise God. I love it when He does little things like that to get my attention and confirm what’s already on my mind.) Below is the devotional…
Also interesting is that as I was reading the devotional, I heard the emergency bell from our office elevator. A little boy had been playing with the button because he liked the sound of the bell. How timely! The last line of the devotional calls out to listen for the “liberty bell” that is ringing. (Awesome, confirmation again!) The Lord is speaking to me in the spiritual and the physical. He wants to set the captive free! “Behold! Your liberty bell is ringing!”
Image credit to ScreamWorld
If you drive around Houston area freeways, no doubt you have seen a billboard somewhere in the city advertising Scream World. It sure is a “scream world” when you have no hope! That’s what most people who have experienced visions of Hades (God’s holding cell for the wicked until judgement time comes when all who denied Him will be cast into the lake of fire) or Hell say.
While most of the American population gets psyched up for Halloween and the haunted house scares, do they know that each day they live without accepting the Truth of salvation is a day closer to their eternal abyss in Hell? Yes, the screams and fears of a Halloween night are only temporary, but those screams will not be temporary when death curses them into the eternal place of torment. There, they will be in a forever “scream world” with no hope in sight. Hell was only meant for Satan and his angels (better known as demons), Matthew 25:41, but that’s where all who reject Jesus will go after the Great White Throne Judgement proves them guilty.
It pains my spirit that so many delight in the cheap thrills and horrors of Satan’s schemes, including Halloween, a day most regard as harmless enjoyment of candy, jokes and dressing up. The lost live for the short-term satisfactions of this world, they bathe in wickedness, and taunt the enemy for more. Do they know that Satan is laughing at every oblivious step that they take towards him? In this moment, those people probably care less to think about where their eternity will be, but if they fully knew about the torments in Hell, would they choose to turn around and meet Jesus instead?
Nassau Bay Baptist Church (among others throughout) offers an alternative experience to secular haunted houses called “Judgement House.” Here, relief of Hell is granted by another way other than simply walking out the other side of the building 10 minutes later. Here, relief to eternal Hell is offered through the saving grace of Jesus – the only way out of Hell’s own eternal “scream world.”
While Satan uses Halloween horrors to draw people closer to his merciless wickedness, we can be sure that God is also using it to pull His created into discovering His good nature. My prayer is that many will awaken from the schemes of the devil and turn to Jesus to save them before it’s too late!