Falling asleep, one moment I am cuddled next to my wife, content, warm, comfortable…
And the next moment I am on a cliff high above a boiling lake of fire.
Waves of unbearable heat lick at me, causing me to shield my face with my arm. The stench of sulphur is heavy in the air making it almost impossible to breath.
And worse than any of that, the screams.
There are so many people down there. Why are they down there? What am I doing here? What is this horrible place.
I know what this place is, I just don’t want to think that a God of love would condone it. Let alone create it.
Emotions rip through me, conflicting thoughts wage war. Everything about this place is contrary to the nature of the God I have come to know.
I try to justify what I am seeing. I say: ‘Maybe Satan created this place!’ But I immediately realize that there is only one creator. The sheer magnitude of this place testifies of a terrible temper. A vengeance so severe that it defies every scale.
Even a lifetime of evil could not warrant what I see here. These millions of souls have been in this hell for hundreds of lifetimes, many of them for longer.
What am I seeing?
What is this nightmare?
I see no love here, I see no evidence of a God of love here.
This must be my imagination conjuring up an antiquated idea of justice.
I want to wake up.
I can’t do this. The screams, millions of them. I can’t handle this.
I want to wake up. It’s a nightmare, not a vision like the others.
But Gatherer’s voice brings home reality.
Gatherer:
“This is no nightmare son of sorrow. This is why we fight. This is what happens to people when you and I fail in our assignments.
Or worse, when we succeed in our assignments and people refuse to hear us.
This is the eternal fire, reserved for the Devil and his angels before the fall of Adam. And now also the destination of all who continue to refuse to bow their knee.”
Me:
“This is not right. No loving God would make such a place! Oh God, oh God, Oh God!”
I begin to weep, shaking my head as the screams continue to reach my ears from below.
Me:
“I will not serve a God who justifies this kind of torture. I see no love here. I see no mercy here. Where is the famed grace that Paul so boldly proclaims? There is no grace here! None! This is unjust and unfair!
Where is the grace? Where is it?”
Gatherer:
“To a man who does not know the intricacies of the human soul, this will certainly appear unjust. But let me not speak for the spirit of grace, he is more than capable of speaking for himself!”
An old man suddenly appears between us. His hair is long and white, his robe a faded purple with the whitest rubies I have ever seen. He has golden rope around his waist and a full, neat beard.
Me:
“Grace is a spirit? Like the seven?”
The spirit of Grace:
“All that is, comes from the Father, All that is physical, comes from the son, All that lives breathes in the Spirit. You have yet to meet many spirits Abdiel but now, here, in this place it is I, the spirit of Grace whom you must hear.
I am the second chance, third chance, fourth chance, fifth through thousands of chances.
I am the presence of a patient God, present on earth before the manifestation of the word as the son. I am the last call before judgement. I was with Abraham when we searched for ten righteous men in Sodom. I am the one prophesied about by Zechariah and though you think you know me, you do not. For I am the measured wrath of God.
For I come to give you more time so that you may bend your knee to the Lordship fo Jesus Christ and do as He commands. I am the full expression of time extended. I do not cancel judgement, I simply give you more time to prepare yourself for it.
Do you know what that means Abdiel?
By faith you receive me. You receive me because you understand that I am the result of a sacrificial lamb. You receive me because you understand that you do not deserve me.
You cannot earn what was done for you. You cannot even fathom the pain of heaven, or the cost of what was done. A heavy price was paid for you so that I may give you more time, more context, more love, more goodness.
If you miss me, you are without excuse.
I am the reason that true believers are not immediately taken up to the sky. For they are filled with me and do what needs to be done so that all may hear and see that the Lord is good.
I exist so that every soul may have the fairest of fair chance to see what the Father has done.
To anger me, take advantage of me, frustrate me is to insist on eternal torment. Those who trample the son, ignore His words, twist His words, spit upon His sacrifice… these create within me an anger that you cannot comprehend.
You have no idea what was done for you and you have no idea what you deserve.
You did not deserve the sacrifice of the son, yet it was done for you. And the blood of the lamb is all that protects you from the wrath of the Father who judges you for what you are, selfish eternal beings who insist on following Satan.
Have you not read what is written? That all have fallen short of the glory of God? Have you not read what has been written, that there is none righteous, not even one?
None of you deserve eternal life, yet it is offered to you on a platter. Simply confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.
Then serve Him as Lord. For if He is truly Lord, and your confession is truthful, you will love Him and do as He commands.
But if you confession of His lordship is a lie, you will look for ways to abuse His grace.
And this angers me Abdiel.
This offends me greatly!
For such a man honors God with his lips but his heart is still attached to Satan.
Do you think you can deceive God? Do you think He will allow a second rebellion in heaven?
Do you think God an emotionless entity that cannot get hurt?
He created you in His own image, to love you and be loved by you.
AND YOU TRY TO MAKE A FOOL OF HIM?”
The absolute authority of this spirit is so completely undeniable and I know in my heart of hearts that I am standing before the full extent of God’s patience.
To test the spirit of grace is to test the patience of God.
This is the most passionate being I have ever encountered. The simultaneous presence of love and desperation is overwhelming.
I feel like I am in the presence of the manifestation of the appeal of the heart of God for man to repent and return to Him.
Grace is not what I thought it was.
It is a furious, passionate cry from the very heart of God for reconciliation. It is more than a second chance, it is an awareness of what lies in store for all who ignore the invitation to return to God.
Much has been given to humanity, and much is expected.
I start to weep as I realize that God is as upset about millions going to this hell as I am. No, much more upset than I am.
As tears stream down my face, the spirit of grace speaks in a calm tone, his eyes pleading for me to spread this powerful, passionate truth.
Spirit of Grace:
“This place was not made for your kind Abdiel.
It was made for angels who, knowing better, turned against God. And then, as if to prove that they deserve it, they turned their focus upon man to entice you with their rebellion.
And desiring that none should perish because of the lies of the enemy, the Father sent His son so that he who believes may not perish but have everlasting life.
This place is why the son had to give His life Abdiel. He came here and paid the price for all who would follow Him.
Hell is real Abdiel. It is real and terrible and this place was never intended for man.”
I am sobbing so uncontrollably now that the old man suddenly turns to me and embraces me with compassion that I cannot explain.
Let me tell you this:
The Spirit of grace is pure passion. A being with this amount of passion having to deal with the hardened hearts of man is a sacrifice that none of us can fathom.
His love for Jesus is absolute. His desire to have mankind turn their backs upon eternal torment is all consuming. His anger at those who dishonour what Jesus has done is a tip of the iceberg of the wrath of God.
I suddenly realize that the spirit of Grace is the heart of the Father.
The revelation smacks the breath out of my lungs.
I hug him back furiously and we both weep together.
Through exhausted sobs I ask a question.
Me:
“How can I help you with this burden? Take my life if you need it, take all of me. Take all that I have and all that I am. Here I am. Take me without reserve. Increase the workload and sustain me supernaturally so that I need not sleep. I can do more, I know I can! Let me do the work of those who refuse to listen, let me take their load.
Lengthen my days oh God so that I am may do your will! Give me more hours in each day, give me more days in each week. Let me be more than one man.
I am sorry for my people turning their backs upon you. I am sorry for your church being so passive and selfish. Let me make up for it. Let me serve you as no other man in the history of mankind has served you.
I make covenant with you now oh heart of the Father, I am yours to command as you will!
Increase my emotional capacity so that I may carry a larger burden. Tell me what you desire, I will do anything!
Oh God, that I may take but a small piece of this pain that fills your heart and make it mine. Break my heart for what breaks yours. Share this burden with me Father, let me a good son to you, a faithful steward, I am yours completely!”
The spirit of grace looks at me with a fondness that I cannot describe and I realize that the Father is looking at me through his eyes.
He doesn’t say anything, he just hugs me again.
I wake up.