Just an Old Scarecrow?

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
"I’m not afraid of the devil! Do you know what I think? I think he’s just an old scarecrow!"
The listening boys were half shocked and half admiring as they thought over Warren’s boast. Warren continued, "I think that the devil is just something like the ‘bogie man,’ you know, something grown-ups think they can use to scare kids into being good with. Yes, sir! just an old scarecrow, and as for me, I’m not scared! What’s more, I’m not so sure there’s a hell either!"
Warren went on his way with a swagger, leaving his friends quite impressed. He was a leader among them, and in many ways a fine boy. But Warren was not a Christian, although his parents were, and his frequent swearing and careless attitude towards the things of God made them pray much for him.
One night, shortly after his boast, Warren was out hunting for the cows during a thunder storm. Of all places, he found them in the old grave yard next to the church!
It was dark and wet, and it was hard to round them up and start them for home with only the flashes of lightning to guide them. But in spite of stumbling over the tomb stones, all was going quite well, until a streak of lightning showed that one perverse cow had started off in a direction of her own. As Warren plunged into the darkness after her he swore angrily.
But no sooner had the words left his mouth when he began to feel himself falling—not just down a slope—but straight down! In a flash a great horror of fear was upon him. He thought he was falling straight down into hell! The swear words flashed into his mind that he had just used, and Warren felt that God in judgment had opened the mouth of hell, the bottomless pit, at his very feet!
Then his feet struck the bottom, and aided by the terrible fear of Satan at his very heels he managed to scramble out of the hole in a few moments.
The next day Warren learned that he had fallen into a freshly dug grave hole that had not been used, and had been carelessly left uncovered. But although the mystery was solved, the experience had made a much more thoughtful and sober boy of Warren. He realized now that in his heart he did fear Satan and hell, and that he was not at all ready or willing to go there.
So it was that God prepared his heart for the "good news" that the Lord Jesus Christ had tasted death for every man; for he learned that not only were Satan and hell real, but through God’s own Word he found how real the Lord Jesus and his salvation were! "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death... that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Heb. 2:99But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)).
"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:2121For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)).
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