Moving Forward

The old you is dead, and the person you are today is a brand-new creation: a child of God, clothed in His righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). While our full victory over sin won’t be complete here on earth, we can be confident that Jesus has declared believers holy, righteous, and blameless (Romans 6:1-11).

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 3, 2023.

The torment and eternality of hell

If anyone chooses not to believe upon Jesus for the salvation of his soul it’s important to know what that choice really entails. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). The torment described in Revelation 14:11 refers to ceaseless infliction of unbearable pain. I don’t know if you caught the story recently of a priest from Michigan who said he had a heart attack in 2016 and died and then saw hell. I don’t know if his story is true or not, there is no way to know that. But the priest describes a terrifying scene.

Gerald Johnson says he died in 2016 after suffering a heart attack, and what he saw—and more specifically, heard—was horrifying. Johnson says he saw terrible, gruesome sights of torture and pain, and heard music that was designed to cause maximum trauma. Here’s what he says he heard during his death experience. He says instead of heading straight for Heaven as expected, he went the other way, down into the pits of Hell. Johnson says he saw demons enslaving humans, and a man “walking on all fours like a dog and getting burned from head to toe. His eyes were bulging and worse than that: He was wearing chains on his neck. He was like a hellhound.” Johnson claims Hell was much worse than he could ever imagine. “I entered the very center of the Earth,” Johnson says. “The things I saw there are indescribable. Johnson says there is a section of Hell where music is played… but very badly. The priest claims he could hear Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” being used as instruments for torture. To make things significantly worse, the demon choir performing these songs was deliberately performing them incorrectly for maximum pain. Johnson says he made his way back to his physical body, but will never forget what he saw. “I was angry with God because I did so much good in my life and ended up in Hell,” he says. “I rose up out of Hell and returned to Earth — and God spoke to me. He said, ‘You were secretly angry with people who harmed you, you hoped I would punish them. These are not your people. These are my people. I just want you to focus on the task I give you.’ Even though I did good, the thing I had in my heart was a lack of forgiveness for the people who wronged me.”

Even if this story is not true and not actually a glimpse of Hell, it could very possibly be even worse than what Gerald Johnson experienced. God made us, and he made us to honor and glorify Him. God loves us, and Jesus came to save us from the price we must pay for who we became after what Adam and Eve did. Hell, regardless of how bad a place it is, is what Jesus wants to save each of us from having to experience. Instead, God wants us all with Him, forever. However, this required a great sacrifice-Someone volunteering to die to save you from eternal separation from God and having to live with excruciating pain every single day, forever. Ask Jesus to be your Savior, and He will hear you calling out to Him. Accept His offer to save you from this Hell, do it now, today. None of us knows when our last moment will be-after that point it will be too late.

Gerald Johnson’s story has been printed in numerous media publications, the above is from:

Living in Bondage

Freedom is one of humanity’s most prized treasures. Yet every human being is born in captivity to sin. Jesus said anyone who commits sin is a slave to it (John 8:34). The only way to be set free is if the Lord releases you. Salvation that Jesus provides is permanent liberation.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, February 3, 2023.

Genuine Salvation

Genuine salvation always results in transformation. When we receive Jesus as our personal Savior, He comes to live within us through the Holy Spirit. Our old way of life no longer fits our new identity, and the Spirit works within us to make us more like Christ.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 21, 2019.

The Sacrificial Lamb

If animal’s blood could actually erase sin-debt, we’d still be offering those frequent sacrifices and Jesus’ death would have been unnecessary. Yet we must remember that though the act itself had no saving power, the ritual of sacrifice was God’s idea (Leviticus 4). He established such offerings as a powerful illustration of the seriousness and penalty of sin. The practice also pointed to Christ’s perfect sacrificial death on our behalf and the salvation He offers.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 27, 2019.

No greater love

It’s important for us to recognize that even the strongest bonds will prove insufficient unless we nurture a still greater one – the relationship we have with our Creator, who loves us beyond anything our mortal minds can grasp. (See Deuteronomy 7:9; Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 John 4:16.) All of the people we share life with teach us something about God’s love, but they can never be an adequate substitute for Him and His perfect affection.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, September 11, 2022.