This is my planned communion meditation for this coming Sunday at the Contact Church.
When I was a teenager, I would go to the latest scary movies with my friends during this time of year. You could always count on being scared by movies like Friday the 13th or The Nightmare on Elm Street during the Halloween season.
In recent years, Guts Church in east Tulsa has sponsored a Hell House in the weeks leading up to Halloween. When people visit their haunted house, they see a depiction of the horrible consequences of living and dying without Christ in their lives. They get a glimpse of hell.
When you think about it, nothing is more frightening than the prospect of facing an all-powerful, all-knowing, and completely holy God with unforgiven sin in our lives. The Bible warns us, "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). Jesus warns us, "I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him" (Luke 12:5). God warns us that sinners face "the fiery lake of burning sulfur" (Revelation 21:8).
As we remember Christ's sacrifice on our behalf when we take the Lord's Supper today, we remember that we were heading toward hell at one time in our lives. As Paul wrote to Titus, "At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:3-7).
Since Jesus died and rose again for us, those of us who have believed the message of the cross and have been changed by it do not need to dread hell. We can now look forward to the day Christ returns to usher in "a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" (2 Peter 3:13), a time and a place in which we can live forever in a state of peace with God and each other.