Not so long ago, there was a popular country music song on the airwaves titled “Stand by You.” The chorus of this particular tune records, “Even if we can’t find heaven, I’ll walk through hell with you; Love, you’re not alone, cause I’m gonna stand by you.” The bond between these two individuals is so strong, according to the songwriter, that if one were to end up in hell, the other would follow them in death so that they would not be alone in eternity.
Sadly, the lyrics of this song are projected into real life, as many would claim to have these same feelings toward loved ones. Whether the author of these lyrics wrote metaphorically or not, it represents the life so many in this world are living: a life void of Jesus Christ. I love my wife (Ephesians 5:25), my children (Ephesians 6:4), and both my physical and spiritual families (Galatians 6:10). However, the love that I strive to have for our Lord, Savior, and Creator should be second to none. Jesus is recorded as saying in Matthew 10:37-38, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” To those unfamiliar with Jesus, this might sound harsh, cruel, and unloving. As Christians, we must love God to a greater degree because He first loved us (I John 4:19), He providentially watches over us (Romans 8:28), and because He sent his only Son to die on a cross for all humanity (John 3:16).
Hell is real. Jesus preached against it (Matthew 23:33). It is a place of eternal punishment and shut out from the presence of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 1:9). It was prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Would we expect Satan to allow us to have companionship in hell as the song lyric suggests? Our focus in this life should be finding salvation (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21) and then teaching as many as possible to “stand by you” on the day of judgment (John 12:48; Acts 17:31). Those that love God as He has requested (John 14:15) will do it with all of their heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27).