Ring of Fire

“And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”

Luke 16:24

I recently went to lunch with a friend from Freedom That Lasts, and it had been quite some time since we had met up. He was willing to meet me by my work, so it worked out great. I picked a restaurant that was close by and one that serves wings, which we both love. He likes the boneless, and I like the traditional style. I go there once a week or so, so the servers know me fairly well and they pretty much know what I want. I placed my order and I recently changed what I used to get, and I order my iced tea as always. We placed our order and waited for the food to come.

Our orders came and my order looked different than usual, and I figured she had just messed up my order. I devoured my first wing and it tasted hotter than usual, but I thought I would eat another one just to make sure. The other wing tasted just as hot, and I started to feel the sweat bead up on my head and run down my neck. I started to look around for my glass of tea, and I quickly sucked it down and was needing another. I ate the last three wings without trying to put my lips on them, and I knew this was not my regular medium wings. I regretted finishing my fries first as I had nothing to cool down my lips which were now on fire.

I look at the labels on my wing tray and they read “Hot” and “Mango Habanero”. I usually get the medium and Chipotle BBQ, which have spice but are still enjoyable. The last five wings were the mango habanero and they seemed to further ignite my already-on-fire mouth. I ended up drinking six glasses of tea, and I used several napkins to wipe my forehead and neck as sweat was pouring out of everywhere. I felt as though my lips were glowing and the tea only made me feel stuffed and did not quench my mouth. My lips were hurting for several hours after lunch and I tried to ice them down when I got to work. I vowed to always double-check my wings the next time as I did not enjoy this experience in the least bit.

Jesus told the story of the rich man in hell who asked for Lazarus to dip his finger in water to cool his tongue. He was in torment and I cannot begin to imagine what he was feeling when he asked for a momentary relief to his burning mouth and tongue. I thought my lips were on fire, but he experienced something on a whole new level. Hell is not a place where they will be partying and living it up, but it is a place of eternal torment and eternal separation from the Creator of the universe. The physical torment is just a piece of what hell has to offer, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I cringe when people make comments like, “this is hell on earth” or they condemn people there because they are angry. I am thankful for salvation and the promise that I will not have to experience the torments of hell. The ring of fire that happened when I ate hot wings was brutal, and I don’t even want to know or experience another level of that which never ends.

Where will you spend eternity? Will you spend eternity in torment or will you spend eternity in heaven? Jesus died so that we can have eternal life if we accept His free gift. Will you repent of your sins and turn to Him? May you accept His free gift and may you never have to experience the ring of fire.

Stay in the Fight!

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