Leonard Ravenhill once said that he wanted to be known in hell. He was of course referring to the account in the book of Acts with the seven sons of Sceva:
11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We[a] exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered[b] them, and prevailed against them,[c] so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
“Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” Paul gave hell headaches. No matter what they did, they couldn’t keep him down. Even in severe weakness, Paul was a giant in the faith that accomplished mighty things for God. Mr. Ravenhill lists a few reasons why he was known in hell:
“He had no ambitions – and so he had nothing to be jealous about. He had no reputation – and so had nothing to fight about. He had no possession – and therefore nothing to worry about. He had no “rights” – so therefore he could not suffer wrong. He was already broken – so no one could break him. He was “dead” – so none could kill him. He was less than the least of the least – so who could humble him? He had suffered the loss of all things – so who could defraud him?”
Are we known in hell? We should be. But there are few who are. Especially in the western world, most Christians have been so assimilated into American culture, that they are almost fruitless. We are so preoccupied with entertainment & moving up the social ladder, that we have forgotten what it means to be used mightily by God. As Leonard says it,
“We live too much in time, we’re too earth bound. We see as other men see, we think as other men think. We invest our time as the world invests it. We’re supposed to be a different breed of people.”
Only a “different breed of people” is feared by hell. As long as we love the world and the things in it, demons have nothing to fear. But there are vessels that have set themselves apart, whom hell still suffers from. They have embraced the “narrow, difficult” road that few choose to walk on. Such men & women are not always easy companions. They insist on being a Christian all the time and everywhere. They are obsessed with Jesus and refuse to waste their time with anything less.
Whether we join their ranks is a decision only we can make. It will be costly. It will require us to die so that Christ can fully live in us. But it will be worth it!
but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. – Mark 8:35
It’s easy to write about & give a sermon on. It’s easy to talk about how great the “great” men & women of the faith are. But it’s a lot harder to do. Hell doesn’t fear Christians who watch television every night. It fears Christians who have been “crucified with Christ”.
Lord, give us courage!!!