Woe to those who do not follow the Lord. We start in Job.
“The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for ruthless. Dreadful sounds are in his ears; in prosperity the destroyer will come upon him. He does not believe that he will return out of darkness, and he is marked for the sword. He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that a day of darkness is ready at this hand; distress and anguish terrify him; they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle. Because he has stretched out his hand against God and defies the Almighty…..” (Job 15:20-25 ESV)
Then move thousands of years to the future that is yet to come to those who refuse to believe.
“And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9-11 ESV)
Back to Job. Where is his hope in all that has happened to him? He questions it all.
“If I hope for Sheol as my house, if I make my bed in darkness, if I say to the pit, ‘You are my father,’ and to the worm, ‘My mother,’ or ‘My sister,’ where then is my hope? Who will see my hope? Will it go down to the bars of Sheol? Shall we descend together into the dust?” (Job 17:13-16 ESV)
Job had his moments of despair. We all feel that way from time to time even when we don’t go through nearly as much heartache as he did. But take heart, our hope is in the Lord. We return to Revelation with a word from the Lord Himself.
“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, ‘Write this: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ Blessed indeed, says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:13 ESV)
This Christmas season, may we hold onto the HOPE that we have in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.