Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
Psalm 55:15 Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, for wickedness is in their dwellings.
Proverbs 27:20 Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
Matthew 5:22 …But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 18:9 “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.”
Matthew 23:33 “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”
Luke 12:5 “But I will show you whom you should fear; Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes I say to you , fear Him!”
What is hell, anyway? I believe this is one of the hardest things for people to understand. This idea came to me as I was drifting to sleep and I begged God to let me remember it to write it down.
I thought of three points:
1. God does not send us to heaven or hell—although He has complete power to do so, He does not forcefully do it at all. if He did, our ability to choose would make no difference.
2. While hell is an actual place, it is also the result of a choice. Hell, essentially, is anywhere that God is not. The absence of God means there is nothing good and no love.
3. We reject God when we allow everything else to take His place in our lives. When we reject God, we choose hell over Him, whether we realize it or not.
God gave us free will. This means we have complete power over our lives. Probably not in the way we would like, but it’s still power. When we choose to live our lives in pursuit of power, control, wealth, family, career,…anything that does not pursue God and His will, we choose chaos. We choose to believe that we can control the outcome of any situation when in reality, our power is limited, and our judgment is likely flawed. But, when we choose to give our selves over to God and His purpose, we can have confidence that His wisdom goes beyond any circumstance. Even when things look bleak (that’s just temptation to try to do things yourself) God’s wisdom is proven every time, EVEN IF WE DON’T UNDERSTAND IT!
I think that’t the hardest part. God doesn’t expect or want us to understand everything. All He wants is for us to trust Him completely. We are the ones who insist on understanding everything and that’s where our problems start. When we don’t understand something, then we tend to deny it’s existence or possibility. “It must not be true” kind of thinking.
So, in giving us free will, God allowed us to make the choice whether we would spend eternity in heaven or hell. It seems like such and easy answer, but we tend to get to distracted by the world, our ambitions, what the popular people are doing (and try to emulate them), that the choice becomes blurred and we merge our selfish will into God’s will for our lives. God’s will never changes, but ours does. We try to make God’s will bend into ours, but that cannot happen. Our will must agree with God’s will. If it doesn’t, we are putting ourselves in danger of idolatry and sin….and hell.
If we can understand how this is ultimately a rejection of God, it’s easy to see how so many people who think they are going to heaven will find themselves completely separated from God…in hell. It is our job to realize this fatal misunderstanding and our choice to correct our actions. When we make the choice to submit to the ONLY PERFECT BEING, then we are on the path the heaven.