Have you heard about a place called hell?
- It is a place of intense and ferocious fire that never consumes its victims.
- It is a bottomless pit – blazing with fire.
- It is a place where worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.
- Imagine a lake of fire.
- In this place, they say, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
- And it is going to go on and on and on and on and on – forever.
Yet, in our anger we tell people to “go to hell.” In our judgment we make them guilty and sentence them to hell. In our preaching and teaching we are more concerned about debating about it than we are weeping and urgently proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
We do not talk about it anymore because some say it is unnecessary – it only scares people. Some of those in the forefront of church leadership say it is not a place. They say it is happening now all around us – suffering, pain, sickness and death. Still others could care less. It’s the pastor’s job. I am too shy. They will tease me. I could be fired. I don’t want others to look at me differently. We make all the excuses in the world. Yet, people need the Lord, and without him, they are going to end up in hell.
So, the question is do we really believe that hell is a real place?
Penn Jillette, an atheist said the following in a YouTube video:
If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that, uh, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward – how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize them? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed beyond the shadow of a doubt that a truck was coming to hit you, and you didn’t believe it, and that truck was bearing down on you, there’s a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that. Check out the video here.
In his book “Why Revival Tarries” Leonard Ravenhill tells a story of a preacher and a man sentenced to death. The preacher is doing business as usual as he read from “The Consolations of Religion,” but the man is troubled by what he heard and to that he said to the preacher:
Sir, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!