The Truth About Heaven and Hell
“It’s not that life is too short; it’s that eternity is so long.” —Author Unknown
I could talk about heaven all day long. Hell, on the other hand… not so much. Why not focus on the positive? Well, for one thing, Jesus spoke more about hell that he actually did heaven, so it sure couldn't hurt to take a look into this unthinkable abyss in order to get a little bit of perspective for living today. For while heaven is indescribable, the alternative, on the other hand, is intolerable...
- Hell is torment (Revelation 14:11).
- Hell is darkness (Matthew 8:12).
- Hell is a bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1, 2).
- Hell is continual and eternal (Revelation 14:11).
Hell is the opposite of heaven. Heaven is all good; Hell is all evil. When you're deciding between heaven and hell, it's not like you're deciding between Dallas and Chicago. The choice is more Maui and a Rwandan refugee camp… multiplied times a million and experienced all the way through eternity… that's the decision you’re making.
If we truly believe this, then I guess we have to give the yelling red-faced, sign-holding, soapbox-standing street preachers a little credit. Maybe they're just trying to scare the hell out of people, which is, by comparison, better than sitting idly by as people unknowingly rush to arrive there.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:16-18
Even this all-time favorite Bible verse draws a line and lays out a choice: Perish or have eternal life. God sent Jesus into this world on a mission, not to condemn it, but to save it. He now calls us to be a part of the same mission: sharing a message of salvation rather than pointing fingers of judgment and condemnation. The truth about hell is definitely part of that message. We need to remember that, and by the power of his Spirit in us, we can communicate that to others in a way that points the way to grace, mercy, and hope.
Holy Spirit, Check my heart. Is my life communicating judgment and condemnation to those around me? Today, through my words and my actions, live through me in such a way that those around me sense the eternal dangers of hell and recognize the incredible gift of your eternal life. Amen.