-–a four-letter word meaning eternal separation from God.
—a topic most Christians won’t touch with a ten-foot candle-lighter.
—a swear word used to cover up the fear that maybe the place really does exist. And if it does, I’m probably going there.
HELL: a place so horrible, even Christians won’t think or talk about it.
But we have to come to terms with it. After all, Jesus thought and taught about it.
Here’s how I’ve come to terms with HELL. Imagine your bedroom. It’s your sanctuary. You’ve just had it cleaned and decorated all in white, because you like white and, since it’s your room, you get to make the rules. You invite some friends over, and tell them, “Make sure you’re clean before you come in. My room is spotless, and I want it to stay that way.” They come over. Two of them wash themselves in your shower and put on some of your clean clothes. The third friend is covered in mud. You don’t let her in. Instead, you tell her to go use your shower and you hand her some clean clothes. Outraged, she refuses to comply and vehemently denies that she’s covered in mud. You invite the other two in, but the third person has to stay outside. You may love your muddy friend, but she can’t come in. She’d dirty up your pretty white carpet. She stays outside, kicking the door and protesting how evil you are to make her stay out there in the dark.
In the spiritual sense, that is hell.
Hell is being shut out of the presence of God because the person refuses the righteousness of Christ.
To those who would claim it’s unfair to send people there, I remind you that God gets to make the rules on how clean a person has to be before they enter His spotless sanctuary.
He is not only love, He is also just. The reality of hell helps me realize the enormity of my sin in His eyes, and the magnitude of Christ’s death on the cross for me. In reality, nobody has to go to hell. God provided a fire escape. But people have to avail themselves of the fire escape. He isn’t going to force them onto it.