"We are in hell right now, right here on earth. What can be worse than this?" Over the years i have heard this phrase waaay to many times. Another common misnomer is "Everybody goes to heaven when they die."
The previous line has validity to it, but not as some people think it does. More on that later in the post.
At points throughout my life i have had "hell" moments. Meaning there were times when its reality were becoming known to me. Most of these were in dreams (yes plural). Another, as i have shared in a previous post, was after the death of my mother and finally in the words of the holy bible.
Luke 16:19-31 tells the account of two men who lived a long time ago. The first man (simply called the rich man) and a beggar named Lazarus. The Rich man lived a life of luxury and Lazarus had sickness and hardships. At some point they both died and went to their eternal reward. Lazarus eventually went to Paradise because he was a righteous and god-fearing man. He had at some point in his life decided to follow God and is (after Jesus had gone to the cross, accept the work of the cross) now eternally secure. The rich man having too having known of the same God chose to live his life apart from His fellowship and thereby did not receive his perceived reward.
Verse 23-25 tells the reader what is happening to the rich man who is now forever seperated from the physical comforts he once knew and is now being tormented, and Lazarus who is no longer plagued by physical discomforts, now enjoying spiritual bliss.
Hell is a place of torment and suffering for all eternity. Looking at verse 24 the rich man is crying out "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."
His one desire at the time was receiving a touch from the finger of Lazarus with a drop of water on it to cool his tongue. His request was denied. My view of life and death was forever changed with this passage. The dreams i had been having and the questions that filled my mind had been answered. Hell's reality was emblazened in my soul and my lifestyle choices were leading me to that place.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end (result) is way of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
Hell is not a fraternity for party animals. No one seeks admission to such a place if they have know what it entails. Yet, many will devote life and limb to receiving good things in this life, many will devote an equal amount of time rejecting God for the bad things they receive in this life. Even fewer will thank God for what they have and still seek to devote themsleves to Him.
Hell is real because the word of God says it is real. I have read it and I believe it. I have dreamed it and I believe it. In none of the instances recorded in the bible does hell come off as a good place or the place to be for all of eternity.
I encourage you my faithful brothers and sisters in Christ to fight the fight of faith and do all that you can to either through love (the Cross) or fear (fires of hell) bring loved ones and anyone to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and into the kingdom of heaven for His glory.
Soli dios gloria