A vengeful God dashes unwilling participants into an awaiting Hell
A vengeful God dashes unwilling participants into an awaiting Hell. While great swathes of fire rise up and burn the hair of their legs. He uses a stick to poke at them, to keep them down. Sound familiar? How can a loving God send people to Hell, well actually that is a good question, but floored by its very nature. Whilst fire is often used as a metaphor to describe Hell, it is just that, a metaphor, but a metaphor used to describe something infinitely worse than fire, something which we see here on Earth.
A magazine asked people to write in a single paragraph “what is wrong with the world?” One gentlemen, did not need a paragraph, he needed just a sentence, “dears sirs, I am.” We are the problem.
Hogarth Hughes: I don't know. You're made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don't die.
The Iron Giant: Soul?
Hogarth Hughes: Mom says it's something inside of all good things, and that it goes on forever and ever.
[Hogarth leaves. The Iron Giant lays back to look at the stars]
The Iron Giant: Souls don't die.
Supposing the iron Giant is indeed correct and souls do not die, then we have a bit of a problem. I have noticed over my many years on this planet that generally people get more like themselves every day. Now what I mean by that is that whatever you are, however your perceive life you will continue on that trajectory and become more set in your ways as you go through life.
Or as the Hindu’s put it “For the first 30 years of your life,you make your habits. For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.”
Now if the soul doesn’t die, then all my bad habits, like for example swearing will carry on into eternity. Which does not sound too bad till you realise that every other word that comes out of your mouth will be a swearword eventually. In fact you will do nothing but curse and swear, forever. If I am greedy I will become more greedy into eternity. In fact if over only 80 years I can be this greedy, I cannot imagine what I would be like in eternity. I would become so incredibly greedy. We know people like that, they are Hell to be around. They have few friends, and very little character, all the time their focus is on saving money at the expense of everything else. Hell is not some far off place, it begins like a small fire in our hearts that grows on into eternity and consumes us. God came to save us from ourselves, not from some smoldering pit.
There is an interesting parable that talks at length about this topic :
here 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.’
Notice first and foremost the way Abraham addressed the man, “Son” he identified him as a son, God to will continue to identify us as his children into eternity. What is so incredible about this story is that the rich man, was not like some rich men today, he would have prayed to God, even tithed his money, but he did all of this to earn favour with God. So despite this man actually having faith he put his wealth first and so it was into eternity. And notice he doesn’t ask to be taken from where Lazarus is, instead he asks God to send Lazarus to be with him. He still believes he has status over Lazarus. In his mind he is still the rich man.
So Hell is essentially an eternity given over to pleasing yourself, and as we know that never satisfies, because there is a God shaped hole in all of us, that was made by him to be filled by his spirit. The last thing I will pick up on is 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.’ Hell is permanent, there is a death bed repentance, but no post-mortem repentance,