A lot of people either don’t believe in Hell or they think that it’s a place where they can go to have fun for all eternity, drinking beer and having sex with other people who are also condemned to this sort of eternal “party”. But this is a distorted image of Hell because Hell has, for ages, been defined as a place of never-ending torment, or punishment if you will. I recently dropped a piping-hot slice of pizza, cheese side down, on my arm, and caused a first and second degree burn. This burn, which hurt for about an hour and then faded to nothing but a tiny blister on my fore-arm, got me to thinking about what Hell is really all about. Anyone who has ever experienced a severe burn, (thankfully, I have not) can tell you what kind of suffering that injury amounts to. Days, and weeks, and months, perhaps even years of debilitating pain, torturous medical treatments, and corrective surgeries are the usual end result of a major burn injury.
Take any burn you have ever experienced in your life, be it a sun-burn or a splash of boiling water on your hand, or a finger touched to a hot pan on the stove, or something far more serious, and think about that burn for a moment, will you? Remember how it hurt, and what things you had to do to relieve the pain. Now think about having that same burn over every centimeter of your body, and you have absolutely nothing to use to relieve it. You just burn and burn and burn and never stop, and never die, for all eternity. That is the definition of Hell that does the trick for me, I’ll tell you that. You wouldn’t get me to go there for all the gold in China. Hell is a place of pain, and absolute agony. There is no mercy, no sympathy, and nobody to hold your hand and tell you it will be all right, for Hell is also a place of loneliness and despair. And worst of all, it is a place completely devoid of God. That can’t be good.
You may read this and argue that I have never personally been to Hell and as a result what I am saying is only my opinion on the matter. Okay, I’ll grant you that, but your opinion is no better, if that’s the case, because none of you have ever been there either. Hell is clearly defined for us in the Holy Bible for those of us inclined to read it. It is a place where those people whom God doesn’t know end up spending eternity, and it’s a large enough place that nobody who goes there will see anyone else, ever. It’s a place where there is no water, so even though you thirst badly, you cannot quench your thirst in any way, shape or form. From the Bible’s description of Hell, I would say it’s just the loveliest place, huh?
You can also argue that you don’t believe in the afterlife, that there’s no such places as Heaven or Hell, no God and no devil. Okay, hold on to that argument if you wish, but what kind of existence is that really? No afterlife means that when you die, that’s it. You just cease to exist and I can’t imagine a fate worse than that. I would rather enjoy the thought of spending eternity in Heaven than to just wink out of existence forever. No consciousness, no soul, no nothing. What a miserable person to spend their lifetime dwelling on that. What I’m saying here is that no matter what truth may be in regards to Heaven or Hell, I would rather go to my death believing in an eternal destination, than to go believing I was about to vanish completely into nothing. I think I would choose to live on life support for about fifty years if I had no hope of an afterlife. If this is all there is, I would like to remain alive forever if possible.
Have you ever witnessed the death of a person who believes he or she is going to Heaven? It is beyond a doubt the most peaceful transition that person has ever faced. Their births are more traumatic than their deaths. They go, ready and willing, cooperating to the fullest right to the very end. They go without fear and without regret. I can’t imagine a better way to pass over to the next world. By contrast, have you ever witnessed the death of a person who does not believe in Heaven? Quite often they go out actually screaming because suddenly they become painfully aware that there is more existence out there that they must endure and they also realize that they have passed the point where they can make a decision about where they are going to spend eternity. For them, the future is forever, and it is very bleak. That is what Hell is really like.