Oh Hell August 4, 2012Posted by lizp4 in Uncategorized.
Throughout Judeo-Christian history, the concept of Hell has been a part of the belief system, even though there have always been factions of some kind whose belief did not include life (or suffering) after death. But Jesus mentioned eternal punishment on several occasions. I would say that it’s safe to take His word for it, since He is the real authority on Eternal Life. A lot of people these days believe there can be no Hell because God is a loving God. “How can a loving God send people to Hell?” is the usual simplified question regarding the nether destination.
It’s true that God is a loving God, and that He loves each of us infinitely. But it is also true that part of His Nature is Justice. Humans who persist in evil behavior, who reject God and everything pertaining to Him, have made a choice. They have chosen “not-life.” They haven’t been “sent” to Hell. They have deliberately CHOSEN Hell, and God has merely ratified their decision.
Ideally, we would all love God and desire to be with Him forever in Heaven. But life on earth is far from ideal, and there are lots and lots of people who not only don’t know God, they don’t want to know Him. There are also lots of people on earth who will never even know He exists as Himself, but will believe in some other manifestation of a Creator. But God already has those bases covered, for Jesus also said, “In my Father’s house, there are many mansions.” We should take that to mean that He has made provisions for those who will never have the opportunity to understand Him as He is.
But Hell isn’t for the merely ignorant or the simple. It is a special place for those who refuse God and His Grace. Hell is something nobody wants to think about, as a rule. For most of us, just making sure we stay out of there is enough motivation to keep us behaving as correctly as we know how to do. We avoid breaking laws, we try to be kind, helpful, and generous, we love and support our families, and we try to avoid the company of people who would destroy any of these “decent” actions.
Hell is as real as anything else I can think of, including Heaven. It’s real enough to me that I want to avoid it at all costs. Whenever anyone asks me what I really want, my reply is simple: “I just want to make it to Heaven.” I don’t care if my share is just a little tile in the corner of the floor, just so I’m there.
If, as I tell atheists, they are right, and I am wrong about all I believe, then, when I die, NOTHING will happen. Simply nothing. If there’s nothing after death, then NOTHING will be what I get. But…If I am right, and the unbeliever is wrong, then, when he dies, a lot of very interesting things are going to be happening, and I don’t think he will like them very much. He can always say, “But…but…!! I didn’t KNOW!” But the truth is that he always had the opportunity, and chance after chance to find out for sure, and refused to take them, for whatever reason.
One thing we do know for sure about Heaven and Hell, and that’s that God is the final Judge. If our life was lived in a way that reflected our repeated choice of evil, then God will only be able to point to the chute that leads to Hell, with the explanation, “This is your choice. Take it.” If, on the other hand, our lives were spent in a constant quest to discover more about Him, to find ways to love Him through our love for others, then God, as Judge, will be only too happy to welcome us Home. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”