Recently I read some deathbed quotes from those who denied there was a God while alive. They were terrifying and made me think about hell in a way I hadn’t before.
Prior, hell was a real place to me but distant in the way reading of a people suffering in a faraway country is real but not in front of my eyes. But, now, reading of these individuals and their experience as they were crossing from death to life brought the far away close to home.
In social media these days, I see such vitriol and hatred. Those with differing opinions are not prayed for, we don’t want the best for their lives, and some, we want to go to hell. That is because we either don’t believe in hell or the horror of it has not yet entered our thinking.
Trump, Biden, pro-life, pro-abortion, vax, unvax. We can see the opposition as our enemies and, of course, that would make them enemies of God too. Right? We comfort ourselves with the thought that they will pay in hell for their beliefs rather than pray for them and their wellbeing.
He died for each one we despise, for each one of us. It is not His heart that any would perish. It is only our flesh that wants that.
It is level ground at the foot of the cross. You are just as guilty of Christ’s death as the person you have wanted to see in hell.
C. S. Lewis said that if we could see someone in hell that they would be something out of our worst nightmare, a monster beyond anything we have conceived. It would have to be so for there is nothing good, no beauty, no light, no gentleness, kindness, love, peace, or joy in hell. Those who will inhabit hell will reflect the very nature of the place – a place where nothing of God is present. And, there is also no hope of change.
Think of your worst experience, your worst day. Multiply that by eternity. Make it without hope, without end. Make it without any hint of good ever. Who do you want to wish that upon? Does God want that too?
C.S. Lewis also said that if we could see one who is redeemed in heaven we would almost want to fall down and worship. There would only be beauty, goodness, love, kindness – a reflection of our great God Himself.
I challenge us all to wish for this good ending, pray for this of-God eternity upon all, even our “enemies.” We were all destined for eternal ugliness and horror, but because of Christ that is no longer our destiny. Will we pray that God will cause our hearts to want this for everyone?