What is Hell?

http://myasiansexdiary.com/author/weava/ Listening to country music for all of eternity. Just kidding.

http://trrepair.com/classic-66-ford-f-100/10666110_653958224702940_2044235589546893629_n/ There seems to be this overwhelming impression that hell is a burning pit below the surface of the earth that people get tossed into to suffer for the rest of eternity. It's a punishment for all of the bad stuff you've done on earth, and people are begging to get out once they realize how much it sucks. How you get there seems to be a flip of the coin (hopefully you've done enough good to offset the bad in your life). At first glance, it seems to be a really unfair and irrational concept.

Let me attempt to paint a different picture of what hell actually is from a Christian perspective. By definition, it simply means "eternal separation from God." No one is separated from God because of circumstance or situation. He is always there with us. What actually separates us from Him is choice, which is the premise of free will. God allows everything to happen, but it is up to us to continue seeing Him in both the good and the challenging times of our lives.

If we choose to put God first, then we go to heaven. Hell is a place filled with people who actively choose to ignore God or deny His existence. Let me demonstrate what hell is like with a more tangible example (I'm borrowing this concept from Timothy Keller, who writes about it very well in his book "The Reason for God"). Let's take an alcoholic because many people either are one or know one (this example can be substituted with any kind of addiction -- gambling, porn, sex, money, career, even kids and family).

 


 

Imagine yourself dealing with your typical daily work stress, family stress, etc. You have a couple drinks at night just to calm yourself down and relax. You drink a few too many and end up with a small hangover, which affects your work the next day. You get berated by your boss for being unfocused and making mistakes. You think he's just being an unreasonable jerk, so you drink a bit more to relax yourself after an extra stressful day. Your hangover is worse the following day, and you repeat the cycle. For many people, this pattern repeats itself over and over again until they've destroyed their careers. However, the entire time, they think they are in control and everyone else is being unreasonable. It's a huge lack of insight that perpetuates this cycle. Nevertheless, these people want to address things their own way, and so they continue to drink.

 

Many of us probably know someone struggling with this or may even be struggling with it ourselves (with various vices).

 

Here's how this scenario applies to the concept of hell. Every night, they choose to drink instead of leaning on God for the wisdom and strength to address their problems and stressors. They may think "God's not really there" or "God can't help me with this problem" or "If God existed, He wouldn't be putting me in this position anyway, so screw Him." They then believe that they have to handle everything on their own, and when things become too overwhelming, they depend on alcohol as their remedy. Here, they've relinquished control to alcohol instead of God, and they're perfectly content with that choice. They're not necessarily happy with how their life is going, but they've used alcohol to maintain some semblance of "control." That feeling of "control" can be empowering because it numbs the pain, but only temporarily.

The downside of this choice is the aftermath each morning. Every time they choose to drink, they wake up with a hangover. They feel empty and unfulfilled inside. They wonder why they can't get out of this rut. They may even feel convicted at some point to change it. However, every night they again fall into this cycle of drinking again and wake up worse every morning. If you've ever woken up with this feeling of emptiness and hopelessness (either from drinking, meaningless sex, career burnout, etc.), you know how depressing this can be. It gets worse and worse each day the longer it goes.

 

Hell is experiencing this sinking feeling of emptiness and hopelessness every day for all of eternity.

 

Not just that, but the emptiness and hopelessness get worse every single day for all of eternity. Every. Single. Day. For Eternity. Let that sink in for a moment. That terrible feeling will grow stronger and last longer with no end. And you thought being depressed on earth was bad. That's only 80-100 years in your lifetime compared to forever.

The crazy thing is that it's still your choice! People in hell still hold on to the same convictions that "God isn't real" and "God can't help me." They sit around with other people in hell laughing and mocking people who "foolishly" and "naively" believe in God, and they sink together because of their vices, unable to see anything outside of their worldviews.

It's a really interesting concept, and it's a very powerful one when viewed in the right context. It's a choice to ignore God. Hell is a self-defined path of self-destruction away from Him. No one throws you into it. You chose it for yourself. God has already given you a one-way ticket to heaven through Jesus, and some people just stubbornly choose to look the other way. Do yourself a favor. Stop trying to control a world you didn't create. Choose everlasting life and love.

 

~5/6/2017

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