Parents often ask questions to their children that are just plain silly. For instance, when a child spills a drink, a parent may hotly demand, “Why did you do that?” Clearly, it was an accident, and there was no “why” to it! But still we ask.
Then there is my personal favorite, the mother of all “dumb” questions: “Do you want a spanking?” What an intelligent, reasonable question! Apparently we think there is a chance that a child may actually want to get spanked! Obviously, such is not the case. Or is it?
You see, here’s the thing: no child actually, truly wants to get a spanking, or any kind of discipline for that matter, and if you were to ask them outright, every child would answer with a resounding, “No!” However, when parents ask that question, it is because the child is behaving in such a way that suggests that a spanking is precisely what they want! In other words, they must want a spanking, because they are doing exactly what warrants a spanking!
Now here is the beautiful, yet painful, irony: all of this applies to us adults, as well. Let us slightly rephrase the question: “Do you want to go to hell?” How many people (in their right mind, of course) would answer “Yes,” to that question? One would think zero; but how many people are living in a way that will get them there? Now that’s a different story.
If that isn’t ironic enough, then consider the sad reality that many who claim to be Christians are also living in ways that will result in hell. And even more: many members of the Lord’s church are, as well! They are those people Jesus parabolically spoke of on one occasion:
“NOT EVERY ONE WHO SAYS TO ME, ‘LORD, LORD,’ SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT THE ONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN. MANY WILL SAY TO ME IN THAT DAY, ‘LORD, LORD, DID WE NOT PROPHESY IN YOUR NAME, AND IN YOUR NAME CAST OUT DEMONS, AND IN YOUR NAME DO MANY MIGHTY WORKS?’ AND THEN I WILL DECLARE TO THEM, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO WORK INIQUITY.'”
— Matthew 7:21-23 —
So let me ask you the “silly” question: “Do you want to go to hell?” And, as you think to yourself, “No,” consider your life, your actions, your thinking, your choices, your priorities, your influence, your daily planner. As a child’s choices in the cereal aisle at the grocery store might indicate the desire of a spanking, do your choices in your general life indicate the desire to go to hell?