Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the Law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Most of us have been in situations we would prefer not to repeat. You know,
the time you told a hilarious joke and instead of laughter there was a deafening silence;
the time you asked a pregnant woman when she was due, and the lady wasn't pregnant;
the time you volunteered to lead a group in praying the Lord's Prayer, but the only prayer you could remember was "Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest ...."
At such moments you couldn't think of any place to be that would be worse than where you were at that moment.
I think 70-year-old Lawrence Ripple felt that way about much of his life. At least he felt that way about his marriage. How do I know? Well, in September, Ripple went into a Kansas City, Kansas, bank, told the teller he had a gun, and demanded some cash. He got about $3,000.
But Ripple didn't try to make a getaway.
Nope, he sat down in the bank's lobby and waited. When a guard showed up, he told the man, "I'm the fellow you are looking for." Ripple was arrested and is going to go on trial. If things go against him, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Of course, if you talk to Ripple, he will tell you jail time is exactly what he wants.
You see, he felt his married home-life was so bad, he was willing to do anything, including holding up a bank, to get out of the terrible situation. For Ripple, his home was the worst place to be.
It occurs to me that no matter how bad the situations of our lives may be, no matter how terrible we may feel about our circumstances, there is one place that is the worst of all.
That place is hell. Hell is the one place where we don't want to go, the one place we don't want to stay.
Now, thankfully, you don't have to go there. Nobody has to go there.
So hell might become an impossibility for us, our Heavenly Father sent His Son into this world to take our place. Throughout His entire life, Jesus did all that was necessary to rescue us from the torment that most certainly awaited us. His perfect life and His unfair death was the sacrifice necessary to rescue any and all who are brought to faith in Him.
His third-day resurrection from the dead is God's ultimate proof that hell's doors are shut to those who are part of God's family of faith.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that because of my Savior I won't be going to hell. May the Holy Spirit touch those who are headed that direction and turn them around. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"