"Not Afraid of Hell"
December 12, 2013
For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, "There is no God." Psalms 10:3-4
In the course of his long life, President Ronald Reagan dealt successfully with many situations.
There was, however, one situation which defied his best efforts and expert abilities. That situation was presented to him the day his 12-year-old son told him he "no longer wished to go to church." It appears the boy, already at the age of eight, had decided that religion just didn't make sense and he wasn't going to believe it.
The senior Reagan was shocked and disturbed by what his son had shared. For years he worked, invited, and prayed for a change of heart in his son. That change never came. Today, Ronnie Reagan is boasting of his unbelief in a commercial he has made for FFRF, the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In his radio spot, Reagan says this anti-God group is the nation's "largest and most effective organization of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate."
The ad is disturbing, but what is most upsetting is the way the commercial ends. The late-president's son concludes the radio spot by identifying himself this way: "Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell."
Those last six words are scary. They're scary for a number of reasons:
1. Ronnie may have truly convinced himself there is no God, no Savior, no heaven, no hell. Yes, he may have convinced himself ... but he can't be sure they don't exist. He is taking a very big, a very bad gamble.
2. But there's more. Having convinced himself there is no God, Ronnie is boldly flaunting his unbelief and encouraging others to join him in rejecting the Lord's love and grace.
It is almost as if King David had personally met and was describing Ronnie Reagan when he was inspired to write about men who boast in their unbelief and are proud they have renounced the Lord.
In reply to such foolishness, all anyone can say is this: "While you still have time, rethink, reconsider, reevaluate." At this moment you are denying the Lord who sent His only Son into this world to live, suffer, die and rise for you. Right now you are declining His invitation to faith, forgiveness and salvation. Right now you still have time.
But it will not always be this way.
The day is coming when the Lord's invitation and call to salvation will be withdrawn. If you have not left your foolish position, you will be lost.
And when that day comes which no unbeliever wants to come, you will find you should have been afraid of hell.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, give Christians the insight and ability to break through the misplaced confidence of those who deny You and Your Son. Give us the words that will let them see the love that has been given to all sinners through the Savior's sacrifice. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries