Drinking Deeply

Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 1:35 AM

Hell is not a place where God is not

A common misconception is that hell is just an eternal separation from God. Of course, in a sense, that's true. At the right hand of God are pleasures forevermore, joy, true fellowship, delight. There will be no more tears, no more weeping, no mourning. There will be worship and sheer joy to be had in heaven.

In contrast, hell is, in the words of a dear friend, "not so much." We will be eternally separated from joy, from delight, from true pleasure, there will be pain, suffering, wailing. There is no rest for the wicked.

But this doesn't happen somehow away from God, as if it were His dark secret, that He keeps a little dungeon running somewhere far away from Him where no one knows or goes. It is declared continuously in Scripture that hell exists, that it is for those who do not fear God, for those who disobey Him, and it is where people are separated from God's grace and mercy, and brought face to face with His wrath and judgment.

Revelation 14:9-11, though admittedly speaking specifically about those who worship the beast and receive his mark, I think can be extended to include all those who worship false idols.
9And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name."
Notice specifically verse 10 - "He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb."

Hell is not going to be an eternal separation from God. It's going to be face to face with Jesus and the angels in judgment and torment. When people reject God, they will face wrath. And it is a wrath that is a righteous demonstration of a just God. It isn't a dark secret, but it's one that Jesus and all the angels will be watching and delighting in (Revelation 19:1-3).

This is for us! This is where we are headed. This is where you and I are headed. And unless we repent, this is where we are going. May it not be so!

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Blogger Jim Kang said...

Are you sure you are only a college student? If so, then I'm greatly encouraged and hopeful for our next generation of leaders and thinkers. Your posts show your maturity and passion to know, proclaim, and defend the truth. Keep up the God-glorying work.  

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Anonymous Mike said...

Where are you????? You never post anymore =P.

I like the post, btw.  

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Blogger Patrick said...

About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].

Peace Be With You
Patrick  

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