A glimpse into the pit – hell

By Dave Henning / August 6, 2022

“A glimpse into the pit won’t brighten your day, but it will enlighten you understanding of Jesus.  He didn’t avoid the discussion.  Quite the contrary.  He placed a one-word caution sign between you and hell’s path: perish.”- Max Lucado

“Get away from me, you who do evil.  I never knew you.”- Matthew 7:23 (New Century Version)

“Hell disappeared and no one noticed.”- Martin Marty

In Chapter 10 (“Hell’s Supreme Surprise”) of 3:16 – The Numbers of Hope, Max Lucado observes that God speaks through nature and nurture, majesty and mishap.  Also, through all and to all He issues an invitation to come, enjoy this forever.

However, many people express no desire to accept God’s offer.  They want nothing to do with God.  As a result, when God speaks, they cover their ears.  And when God commands, they scoff.  They spend their entire lives telling God to leave them alone.  So, the moment of their final breath, God honors their request.  Thus, they face the most somber of Christian realities: hell.

But, Pastor Lucado asserts, no topic stirs greater resistance.  Rather than think about eternal punishment, we prefer to treat the issue in a casual manner.  Hence, we joke about hell’s residents or turn the noun into a flippant adjective.

Consequently, when church historian Martin Marty canvassed one hundred years of scholarly journals for entries on hell, he found none.  Max explains:

“Easy to understand why.  Hell is a hideous topic.  Any person who discusses it glibly or proclaims gleefully has failed to ponder it deeply. . . .  Jesus spoke of hell often.  Thirteen percent of His teachings refer to eternal judgment and hell. . . .  Jesus wasn’t cruel or capricious, but he was blunt.  His candor stuns.”

In conclusion, John offers these words of hope: “Whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Today’s question: What feelings stir when you take a glimpse into the pit?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Much perishes in hell – hope, happiness”

About the author

Dave Henning

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