Especially during my teen and young adult years, I would often here this sentence said rather jokingly, “I’m going to Hell, ‘cause all my friends will be there!”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hell as, “a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness”. Although it may have been said in jest, Hell is real and not something to joke about. In Luke 16, a certain rich man died and went to Hades (Hell). He saw Abraham across a great barrier and begged for just some relief. From verse 25, “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.”
A friend and biblical scholar defines hell as “the complete absence of God.” If you think about the absolute, worst time in your life, God was still there. He brought you through it. Now think of what forever or eternity would be like without God at all, or any chance of ever accepting Christ. I believe that we on earth have no comprehension of absolute misery in store for those condemned to Hell.
But you don’t have to face the suffering and misery that Hell will demand. Christ will not only remove your sentence to Hell, but he also promises that we can live with him in Heaven where there is no more pain or suffering. A city so beautiful! God’s only requirement is that you believe that he sent His Son Jesus to take YOUR punishment, that Jesus won against Hell’s grasp and arose from the grave, and that now He reigns forever in Heaven! One day, we are told, that every single person will face a judgement based on their belief in God. At that point, there is no more chances. Make your choice today to accept Christ and experience the love he has to share!
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”