From Where I Stand: A Dry Heat  

Summer temperatures and drought conditions have been extreme across North Texas and much of the southern United States in 2011, provoking prayers for relief, threats of water and electricity rationing, and wistful recollections of that Super Bowl Ice Storm back in February. (Of course, many of us suffered through the inconvenience of power outages, then, as well.) Besides being conditioned to expect and endure such summery unpleasantness, we can take solace in our air conditioned cars and homes, and in the knowledge that, by Thanksgiving, coolness will prevail again. Surely, the rain will also begin to fall as the year wears on and the cracked soil around our houses will heal. The mighty Earth has a knack for adjusting and replenishing itself – it is, after all, the most enduring of all God’s creation. “A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4). Forever, though, is relative, for God has likewise promised eventually to be done with this planet, exposing it to a fiery finish, and subjecting every soul throughout history to final judgment. A minority will enjoy eternal life with him in Heaven; the majority will suffer a self-induced, everlasting heat wave in Hell’s fiery furnace. That’s a fall one can never be ready for.