Sunday, May 01, 2016
The hell of Hell
Hell is rarely discussed in our day. To our secular world it paints the picture of a terrible cruel God punishing men and women for eternity simply because they didn't trust Christ.
They maintain that sin isn't really that bad to deserve an eternal punishment and so they label God as cruel, mean and horrible.
Today I read a really great article on the topic of hell in Relevant Magazine. The article is online if you wish to read it. You can find it here.
As I thought about this article, our culture and my own understanding of God and hell I had a few thoughts. Now, I have to say at the outset, like the author of the article I noted, I am not smart enough to see what God sees or to know what he knows.
There is so much we simply don't know about ourselves and our natures that would frighten us if we really understood. But, rather than addressing the flames and torture many describe let me approach it from another direction. The picture I want to paint is even worse than flames, fire, torture and the devil....even more horrific than the worst punishment we can conceive.
For the man who wants nothing to do with God, the person who simply doesn't believe in him, there is a simple reality: in the end God will give them their way.
This, in my mind, is the worst part of hell. Imagine with me, if you can, a place where God's presence, nature and influence is not...that's hell. For those who want nothing to do with God, in the end they get their way, but they won't like it!
For you see, all we value, all we love...all that's desirable in our world is part of the nature and blessing of God. Here's what I mean- Love emulates from God. It's part of who he is. If God's not in your world then this part of his nature, love, is missing too. Imagine an eternity without love and all it offers.
The bible says God is light. If God's gone then you find yourself in a place without light. NO LIGHT AT ALL. Utter darkness. Years ago we were in a deep came in the Southwest and they turned off the lights to show us how dark it was. I couldn't even see my hand right in front of my face! That's hell without God.
As you look at the nature and gifts of God they include all the things we value and love- peace, joy, happiness, kindness, laughter, friendship and a hundred more. If God is missing then none of these will be part of that reality.
The absence of God and all he is describes this thing called hell more graphically than flames and fire. It's a terrifying place, a place without love, light, peace, kindness, peace, joy, ETC! In that place flames would be a small annoyance!
The hell of Hell is that God is not there. None of us have ever experienced such a place. It's terrifying to me that I would be without all that God is, all that is part of his nature. That's the hell of Hell. If you are one who wants nothing to do with God realize what that means...it more terrifying than any horror film we have ever imagined.
But if, in the end, you want nothing to do with God he will give you your way......