Sunday, December 4, 2016

the last laugh

Lewis talks today about a horrible man who deserves hell in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He describes someone who definitely deserves to go to hell. But that brings up a great question. Who doesn't? I'm pretty sure that Christianity teaches that we ALL deserve to go to hell.

It's easy to slip into the role of the older brother, from the story of the prodigal son. It's easy to think "That smirking man who cheated everyone and went to his death smiling at how he won deserves hell. He SHOULD go to hell." But in that thought, we forget. We lose sight of the fact that WE also absolutely deserve to go to hell. Our sins take us there, without the free gift of salvation offered to us by God.

We truly have to offer the same hope of salvation to everyone, to avoid being the villain that Jesus talks about in several of His parables. The laborers who get mad when they get paid the same as the ones who only worked one hour. The ungrateful servant who is forgiven his huge debt and then strangles the man who owes him a small amount. It seems God isn't fond of our looking down our noses at other sinners.

So who gets the last laugh? This evil man who thumbs his nose at God and man and dies unrepentant? Or God by throwing him into hell where he certainly deserves to go?

My hope is neither. I hope that, when facing the consequences of his life of sin, and seeing that he is destined for eternal damnation, that the fool comes to his senses and becomes one of the "every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord." It may be a last minute thing, with almost no reward besides the greatest reward of all: eternity with Jesus. But I hope the last laugh is both the evil man AND God, laughing together in joy as the fool finds a home at last.

In the meantime, while we wait to find out who goes where, let's pray for the fools of the world. I know that the fools appreciate it. Because I have been one.

And who knows? I might be one now.

God, thank You for having a soft spot in Your heart for fools and little children. I'm glad, because I've been both of those.