How Awful is it? (Hell)

barbara henderson-12-2012

On Good Friday of 1995 was one of those days when ‘The World as We Know it Ended’ for me and my family.  My beautiful 33 year old sister dropped dead for no apparent reason.  She wasn’t sick.  She didn’t drink.  She didn’t smoke.  She didn’t do drugs. She loved people.  She helped people.  The world needed her and a billion more like her.  

When she died I was in a daze for approximately one year.  I spent the first year doing my best to get through that first year – the first holidays without her – the first birthday – the first anniversary of her death.  So after what seemed like 25 years the first year was over and guess what?  April was still dead!  I don’t know what I thought was going to happen if I made it through a year, but basically what happened was nothing!

The second year I spent thinking about  some Bible verses.  

‘1 Corinthians 15:55 – O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’

My thought about this verse is, ‘If THIS is a mere sting – how incomprehensibly horrible is hell?’  It is the second death – and eternal death separated from all goodness.   No matter what the circumstances surrounding a death of a loved one it is no more than a taste of the second death.  My personal opinion is that with a death of a loved one being so overwhelming and unbearable  there is no way we can comprehend the horror of the second death.  But, we do have something with which to compare it.  We have a sort of measuring line.  We start with physical death and are utterly and completely overwhelmed.  Then we consider that hell is worse to a magnitude beyond what we can measure.  We don’t want to go to hell.  We don’t want anyone else to go to hell.

Then Job referred to the ‘shadow of death’ several times.  Physical death is a mere shadow of death for the born again.  Again I am thinking ‘If THIS is just a shadow of death – how awful is the second death?’  We can’t comprehend it.  

The loss of a loved one is something that gives us a glimpse or a taste of the sorrow ahead for the lost.  I am certain that if my sister April could visit the family for three minutes she would tell us to make sure the lost hear the plan of salvation.  Have you ever wondered what your loved ones already in heaven would tell you if they could come and speak to you just once?  That is what they would say.  Tell the world that Jesus saves.

There was a horrible mass murder this week at a school.  An entire classroom was wiped out.  For literally hundreds of people that was TEOFTWAWKI for them personally.  The life they were living prior to that brutally murderous event is over.  We all saw it on the news, but it is beyond comprehension that it actually happened.  I know it happened.  But tell the truth.  Isn’t there a part of your mind that simply says ‘does not compute’ when you hear about it?  The entire world is affected by such a loss.  Every soul is precious to God.  How can we respond to such a tragedy?  Obviously we need to pray for the families and friends affected.  We need to pray for the community, for the nation, and for the entire world.  We need to preach Jesus Christ.  We can’t reach everyone, but we can reach some.  

A tragedy like this highlights the fact that world needs Jesus Christ.  Individuals need to hear the good news preached.  They need to see the gospel lived by believers.  If anyone wants to ‘do something’ about this tragedy the most effective thing to do is make a commitment to live more like the Christian you claim to be.  

There are people demanding legislation to restrict the rights of gun owners to prevent such a tragedy in the future.  These same people are not attempting to restrict the use of automobiles because of the actions of drunk drivers.  They are not attempting to restrict the use of spoons because of people who eat too much.  They are not considering that the first murder was recorded in the Bible book of Genesis.  Cain killed Able without an assault rifle.  It is the heart that is evil.  It is God alone who can change a heart.  So we are back to evangelism again.  That should be the response of a Christian to virtually every situation.  We need more of God in our own lives.  One of the constantly occurring miracles is that although God can be living in His individual child, He is not bound up in that child.  The love of God flows through the Christians into the world.  Love God.  Keep the Commandments. Tell the world that Jesus saves.  It is a simple but effective plan of action.

In the midst of the perilous times in which we live telling the world about Jesus should be a priority.  That doesn’t take away the right to self-defense.  By example the Bible teaches personal and national defense. To those parents with children still in public school I give my sympathy.  In addition to the constant exposure to an environment where Donald Duck is given more respect than Jesus Christ by most of the students and staff they are exposed to a variety of religious ideologies that include everything EXCEPT Christianity or Christianity/Judaism.  I suggest you homeschool and pack heat.  For those who don’t know ‘pack heat’ means get a gun and carry it.  I have a pistol.  My goal this year is to get a laser sight.  Well, my first goal is to start actually carrying a pistol.  I have a permit.  My problem is that even an air-weight pistol is heavy once you put in the bullets.  I believe it is time for me to get over that.  

There is only one problem with carrying a gun and that is the possibility that you might have to actually use it one day.  Years ago my dad was a security guard at an apartment complex.  One night a man pulled a gun on dad.  My dad, a WW2 veteran, was unable to shoot the man because dad’s first thought was, ‘the man is not saved.’  So dad – a man with severe back problems, a heavy smoker, and a heart attack survivor – whacked the man upside the head with his new flashlight.  Someone called the police.  Dad held the man at gun point – who by the way had a black eye and broken nose from the blow from the flashlight – until the police got there. The man immediately claimed that dad had jumped him from behind and that he was innocent of pulling a gun on anyone.  The police laughed at him since the bruises on his face were obviously from being hit from the front.  

Anyway – my dad put his life at risk because he thought the man would go to hell if he shot him.  (Dad was a marksman.)  So that is one scenario.  Dad said if his family had been in danger he would have had no problem shooting, but with it being just him he wasn’t able to shoot.  This doesn’t mean I don’t think anyone should shoot to protect his/her self.  It just means my dad couldn’t do it.  SO – actually using a gun on another human being would be an issue to some people part of the time.  Other times like when a family member or friend was in danger it would probably be just an automatic reaction.  If the teachers at the recent school shooting had been armed does anyone think the outcome might have been WORSE?  I believe there would have been fewer lives lost – and possibly no loss of life at all.

We have seen some of what happened after the shooting on the news.  Well, you might have seen it. I basically wasn’t able to watch most of it.  AND, there is something more important than what was covered on the news that happened.  The shooter, his mother, innocent children, and school staff all faced God Almighty.  The children went straight to the arms of God.  It is my guess that the shooter and possibly his mother faced the second death which is hell.  Of all the things said about the mother and son I have heard nothing about any religious faith at all.  Actually I am thankful the news has not been calling them ‘Christian’, which does sometimes happen when something like this evil shooting occurs.

So, we are back to the question, ‘How awful is it? How awful is hell?’ All the awful evil things of the world are contained in hell. Hell is eternally awful.  There is no escape for even a Nano-second.  As Christians it should be our priority to provide people with the opportunity to escape hell through Jesus Christ.  

John 11:25-26, ‘Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’

Romans 10:13-14 ‘For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?’

Dear Christian Brother or Sister, YOU are that preacher.  You will preach by the life you live and the words you speak.

A line from an old hymn says it well when it says, ‘There are souls to rescue.  There are souls to save.’

barbara henderson-12-2012

By Barbara Henderson



Send the Light

There’s a call comes ringing over the restless wave,
 “Send the light! Send the light!”
 There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save,
 Send the light! Send the light!
Send the light, the blessèd Gospel light;
 Let it shine from shore to shore!
 Send the light, the blessèd Gospel light;
 Let it shine forevermore!
We have heard the Macedonian call today,
 “Send the light! Send the light!”
 And a golden offering at the cross we lay,
 Send the light! Send the light!
Let us pray that grace may everywhere abound,
 “Send the light! Send the light!”
 And a Christlike spirit everywhere be found,
 Send the light! Send the light!
Let us not grow weary in the work of love,
 “Send the light! Send the light!”
 Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
 Send the light! Send the light!

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