I was reading the last few verses of Isaiah just now. Jesus quoted these verses a few times when talking about how dreadful hell is. Here is how Isaiah ends:
“All humanity will come to worship me
from week to week
and from month to month.
And as they go out, they will see
the dead bodies of those who have rebelled against me.
For the worms that devour them will never die,
and the fire that burns them will never go out.
All who pass by
will view them with utter horror.” (Isaiah 66: 23-24 NLT)
Just think, the last lines of Isaiah are referring to hell with those last words ringing in your ears “utter horror”. What a terrible way to end a book! I got to thinking today about why hell is so awful, terrifying, and dreadful. I came to the conclusion that hell is so bad because God is so Good! The magnitude of the agony of hell reflects the “perceived” absence of the Presence of God. Yep, God’s presence is just that good.
While getting my oil changed the other day I perused a recent edition of Time magazine. The last page featured an interview with Rick Warren. When Rick was asked about hell he said he didn’t just believe in hell, he eats it. The article went on to say that he grows 16 different varieties of hot peppers in his garden. (I intend to grow some this year!) I must say I love my brother Rick Warren. I am so proud of him and appreciate him and all that God has done through him. He talked about losing his son to suicide and talks about meeting him in heaven. Do we believe in God’s grace and forgiveness that covers our every sin – even that of taking your own life? I watched a video once of a girl who was about to shoot herself and prayed Jesus forgive her for what she was about to do. He did forgive her and gave her life back to her.
I was researching hell awhile ago after Rob Bell came out with his book. I was interested in what Rob had to say but because of all the warnings from people I respected I never did read it. I even got as far as going to Barnes & Noble, sitting down with a coffee and two books: Rob’s Love Wins and also Erasing Hell by Francis Chan. I couldn’t even open the cover of Love Wins but instead read Erasing Hell.
Why would I respect Francis Chan’s teaching over Rob Bell?
Well, I get the feeling that Francis Chan honors, respects, and believes the Word of God. He honors Scripture as Jesus did. While I have been blessed by many of Rob Bell’s Nooma videos (I talk about them in a few of my blogs) and I appreciate many other things he has contributed. But, Rob Bell has said some scandalous things regarding the Word of God and has taught things that directly contradict what the Bible clearly teaches Especially on the issue of Homosexuality.
Bill Wiese was shown a vision of Hell in November of 1998. Jesus showed it to him because so many people don’t believe in Hell. He said Jesus weeps over anyone that goes to hell. Love gives people a choice. People who choose to reject Jesus will end up in hell. It is a place of eternal torment. Jesus has shown us all how to avoid hell. Hell is a place where people are separated in their minds from God. They can’t receive his love. That’s why it is so horrible. I know for a fact that hell is real. Here is Bill Wiese’s testimony
I was thinking tonight about what John Crowder has to say about Hell in his talk “Hell Revisited”. He says that yes, “Hell is an eternal life sentence but does this mean that there is no parole?” After all Jesus has the keys to death and Hades and I have encountered several testimonies of how Jesus rescued some people who had died and “went to hell” and Jesus brought them back to life.
“I am the living one. I died, but look–I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” – Jesus (Rev. 1:18)
Check out what our brother John Crowder has to say on the subject as he opens the Scriptures on the topic: