There has been a lot of awareness recently on “ending slavery” in the world, primarily focusing on the 27 million trapped in forced labor, sweat shops, and the sex trade. Slavery at any level is absolutely horrible. The stories of those enslaved, whether in the sex trade, sweat shops in communist nations, or armies of kid soldiers who are forced to kill their families are some of the most heart breaking atrocious evils any individual can endure.
I really believe slavery in any form is the “ultimate suffering” here on Earth. Slavery, innocent murder, and persecution of any kind is the most horrific horrible act anyone can commit. It was horrible hearing it, but when I was in Cairo, Egypt a few summers back I heard stories of Christians who had been imprisoned, tortured, had stakes driven through their bodies, had family members dragged out into the streets and lynched in broad day light, all for simply expressing their belief in Jesus. Slavery, persecution, and torture are the ultimate suffering I think one could experience here on Earth, and there are no words strong enough to describe how horrible an injustice the institution of slavery is.
As horrible as slavery or any other type of oppressive regime here on Earth is, it fails in comparison to the eternal fate that those will experience who don’t know Christ. It’s a fate a million times worse than any slave will ever experience on this planet. It’s a fate that leads to the ultimate suffering. As a believer I pray not only for liberation here on Earth, but for the eternal liberation of the soul.
As a Christian, I am convinced that we are called to do everything we can to help put an immediate end to slavery and persecution at every level. But as horrible as that suffering is, it pains me to say it, there is an even worst suffering for those that choose to be separated from God for eternity. Pain and suffering, no matter how horrific, is only temporary. But it doesn’t end there. Humans aren’t just flesh and bones. If we were just flesh and bones, then YES, it WOULD BE the most horrific thing imaginable. But we are flesh, bones, AND a soul, and it is the soul that lives on. At the end of life, all that are separated from God choose it. Without that self choice, there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires eternal joy will ever miss it. “Those who seek, find. To those who knock, it is opened.”
It is the teachings of Christ spread throughout the world that held emperors, and kings, rulers, and republics, responsible before its tribunals, and held them responsible for all injustice and oppression of slavery to the standard maxims of Christianity. It was the Pastor Martin Luther King Jr who spread the Gospel, arming himself with a two edged sword, more rapid and consuming than lighting that tore down the walls of hate in the hearts of the individual.
There is nothing we can do in our own power to go to heaven. No good deed, no matter how great will ever be enough. It is Jesus, through His suffering and dying on a cross for me and you that paid the price. Tortured, beaten, and flogged under the most horrific punishment imaginable, a Roman crucifixion. And He did it all, freely, because He loved us. How incredible is that? I tear up when I think about what God went through all because He loved us. He died with His arms on a cross, wide open, yet many still reject Him every single day. There are many that were forced to be slaves on Earth, many that have been persecuted for their beliefs, many that have been aborted in the womb and not given a chance at life, many that were killed, tortured, abandoned, that are now living in perfect peace and happiness in Heaven, because they believed in Christ. They are in peace for all eternity where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more sadness.
There are NO words to describe the atrocities of slavery, and I think it is the closest thing to hell anyone can experience here on Earth. But it doesn’t begin to come close to the eternal enslavement of the soul apart from God for all eternity. This is much different than physical torment.
God is coming again. He will invade. Many people live their lives not thinking about what it will be like when He comes again. Something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every person.
“God is going to invade, all right: but what is the good of saying you are on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else – something it never entered your head to conceive – comes crashing in; something so beautiful to some of us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left? For this time it will be God without disguise; It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.” -C.S. Lewis