TODAY’S READING: Ezekiel 25–27
God’s judgments on the nations are intended to help them know He is the Jehovah (Eze. 25:7, 11, 17; 26:6). In the missionary meta-narrative of the Bible, this means Jehovah is the God of Israel, the God who created all men and all nations to worship Him and in that worship find their highest fulfilment. This means that the nations who do not worship the God of Israel will end up worshiping themselves and in that worship choose God’s judgment for themselves—both devastation now and eternal suffering in the hereafter. There is no suffering like eternal suffering. Yes, there is eternal suffering, and yes, the prophetic message is the missionary message that hell is real, and since man was created to be eternal, it is so much wiser if we will receive eternal life by grace. A merciful God sends or allows the little hells of earth to alert us to the certain eternal hell of eternity. Today’s chapters in Ezekiel portray the living hell that descends on all who rebel against Jehovah’s rule, and the warnings of God’s fury are intended to remind us that eternal hell is real and should be avoided. After all, hell is the just idea of a loving God. Dorothy Sayers objected to the ongoing objection of hell:
[Let] us face the facts. The doctrine of hell is not “mediaeval”: it is Christ’s. It is not a device of “mediaeval priestcraft” for frightening people into giving money to the church: it is Christ’s deliberate judgment on sin. The imagery of the undying worm and the unquenchable fire derives, not from “mediaeval superstition,” but originally from the Prophet Isaiah, and it was Christ who emphatically used it… It confronts us in the oldest and least “edited” of the gospels: it is explicit in many of the most familiar parables and implicit in many more: it bulks far larger in the teaching than one realizes, until one reads the Evangelists [gospels] through instead of picking out the most comfortable texts: one cannot get rid of it without tearing the New Testament to tatters. We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ.
As Ezekiel thundered away in prophetic ire, he did us one great service: He reminds us that God’s fiery judgment is real and that the wrath of God looms over every unreached people. Our missionary Bible does not view the unreached people of the world as innocent victims. Our holy God views the unreached people of the world as intentional rebels who insult Him and arrogantly worship themselves. Faithful missionaries must warn those they love that their future is undoubtedly eternal suffering unless they repent and turn from worshipping themselves to worshipping Jehovah, the God of Israel.
 Dorothy Sayers. A Matter of Eternity, ed. Rosamond Kent Sprague. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1973. 86.