One of the duties of a Counselor is to help those who have lost someone very close to them. Sometimes the passing is expected and their loved ones have lived long, full lives. At other times, the passing of the loved one came out of the blue and was totally unexpected.
There is often very few words that truly help people at this time. They must work through the stages of grieving at their own pace, and each person does that differently. Being a Pastor as well, I often get a question asked of me that frankly scares me to death but nonetheless, I have to answer it anyway. That question is – “did my loved one go to Heaven?”
It is usually at this time that I ensure that I have a comfortable seat and a cold iced tea near me because we are going to be here for quite awhile. I won’t go into all of the Biblical things that I help them work through, but tonight I do want to focus on a subject I talk with these folks about that I wish more people thought about while they were still alive and could do something about it. That subject is hell.
Let’s start with some facts about hell. To begin with, hell is mentioned more times in the Bible than Heaven is! That surprises many people, but to be honest, God is more interested in showing us the horrific reality that hell is for people and trying to ensure that we know how to live our lives in order to stay out of it! Heaven is a subject I love to talk about and will cover in a later post, and of course God wants us to know that it is more than just sitting on clouds playing a harp. Who REALLY knows how to play a harp anyway??? So yes, hell is so important a topic that God mentions it more than the very place He lives.
Here are three reasons why hell is hell:
- You can never forget – you will remember EVERYTHING you did wrong in life and Satan will remind you of it every minute of every day without ceasing. You will remember every bad choice, every hurtful word and actions, your selfishness, your lack of concern for others, your greed, your lack of empathy, your idolatry, and your moral rebellion against God.
Does this sound like fun to you? You think you might beat yourself up now when you mess up – think about doing that all day, every day, FOREVER!
- You can never leave – just like the Eagles predicted, you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave! Worse yet, YOU CAN SEE HEAVEN!!! Luke 16 tells a story about a rich man who treated a poor man very poorly and the rich man died and went to hell. He could see the poor man in heaven. He experienced spiritual, mental, psychological, and emotional hopelessness and despair – FOR ALL ETERNITY!!! There is no leaving. You are there forever. You cannot change your mind and start living better to get out. When the doors to hell close behind you, they literally disappear. Instead you are shown the doors to Heaven but they will never open for you. You will get to watch people enjoying themselves while you burn with envy and rage and deceit and hatred and sadness and loneliness and jealousy.
- You will never make a difference to anyone ever again – you will never be able to do anything good for anyone else ever again. You will never feel joy nor be able to make others feel joy. Here is the truly sad part, and I hope you pay close attention to this – the people you knew in Heaven will have completely forgotten about you!! Why? Jesus tells us there is no sorrow, sadness, nor tears in Heaven. This clearly shows that your friends and family in Heaven will have forgotten about you because if they remembered you and knew you were in hell, they would clearly be sad!! This means your entire life will have lived for – absolutely nothing but pain, sorrow, suffering, and torment.
Look, I’m not trying to scare you into being a Christian. God Himself chose not to make us do a single thing in life and neither will I. It is not my job to judge anyone, nor intimidate anyone into doing anything. It IS my job to interpret the Bible and help those who want to understand it and live according to it, and more importantly help those who want to stay out of hell.
I get told all the time that the Bible is simply too hard to understand and more than likely is not relevant in today’s world. To that I say, “Well, would that not be exactly what the devil would want you to think?” Look at it this way, atheists say there is no God. They cannot prove it with 100% certainty. I say there is a God, yet I cannot 100% prove that either. Yet we both have faith. Atheists have faith in themselves. I have faith in God. One of us HAS to be wrong. If I am wrong, well then I just end up in the same shaped casket they do, no harm, no foul and basically life has no true meaning. If I am right, then heaven and hell exist and they are in for a very brutal and horrific eternity.
I LIKE MY CHANCES!!!!!!!!
Besides, at the end of the day, atheists are following the basic tenants of Christian life anyway, minus the belief in Jesus as Savior. Ask any atheist if it is ok to steal from them, or lie to them, or steal their wives or husbands, or kill them – they will answer no. Remember the 10 Commandants that they don’t believe in? They are living by them anyway!
Let me end with this. There is one question that you better know the answer to and that question is this – “You are dead – NOW WHAT?” Look for my upcoming book that will help you fully and truly answer this question. Until then, if you have any questions or concerns about your eternity, I can help you be absolutely positive that you will stay out of hell. All you need do is ask!!
Father God, I know people today absolutely hate talking about or listening to someone else talk about hell. Yet God You said it was real and therefore it is. Just as people can say they don’t believe in gravity, yet they will fall to the ground the minute they jump out a window whether they believe in gravity or not! Lord, I believe that people’s eternities are something that not enough people think about and I pray that you will help me reach those and help those who cannot answer my question. God, please give people the courage to reach out if they are unsure about their eternity. After all, none of us is promised a tomorrow so we better know for sure where we will end up right this minute. Praise you God for giving us Your Word and telling us exactly how to stay out of hell! We love you God, and in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Pastor Brad Komgenick