Our churches today rarely teach about hell, to our detriment. It’s just not a pleasant topic; don’t you agree? In late October, much of the Christian world celebrated the 500th anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door. His story is one worth knowing for you and your children. Marked by miracles, great faith, the love of family, and the struggles of illness and disease, Martin’s life and declarations changed the world.
Luther would have much to say on our verse for today because he believed we can only fully understand and appreciate the immense love of God if we understand the problem with have with sin and the dire consequences of rejecting the cross of Christ. He taught that the first fact humans need to see about themselves is their separation from God. How can you be grateful for your redemption from the pit, as this verse says, if you never believed that’s where you were headed without Jesus’ death on the cross? We need to remember this destination—hell—if we are to remain grateful for our deliverance.
The word pit means just that: a deep hole from which there is no escape. It is a trap, a grave, a deep blackness that cannot be pierced by light. It feels frightening just to write one sentence about that place. Jesus told us more in a parable about a rich man who died and was “in torment…in anguish in this flame” (Luke 16:22-26).
God wants us to feel the fear of that place, to feel the dread of going there, for He loves us and wants us to come to Him and belong to Him. He is not willing for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9).
-Do you know Jesus?
-Have you given your life to Him and received His gift of salvation?
It is good to remember that we have been redeemed from the pit. Give generous, abundant thanks for this undeserved benefit from God’s amazing love for you.
I’d recommend these books if you want to learn more about Luther: Martin Luther by Eric Metaxes-for teens and adults;
Reformation ABCs by Crossway Publishing, for elementary ages; and First Bible Basics, A Counting Primer by Danielle Hitchen, for preschoolers.