Tuesday, March 26, 2019 -
Today, I finished reading C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain, which was interesting; but after reading five C.S. Lewis books while here in prison, I’m still not a big fan. I’ve never been very much into philosophy, as I am more or less a black and white person, and don’t need a lot of reasoning to prove a point. Just give me facts and let me rely upon my faith!
But I found that what he said about those who reject the doctrine, or should I say, Bible truth, about hell, to be quotable. Lewis said the answer is in itself a question: “What are you asking God to do? To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.” For Jesus Himself says in Matthew 25:30 that if we do not become His slave, we will be cast “into the outer darkness, in that place, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” They are indeed left alone when they deny Christ’s redemption.
But what else does Jesus says, or other places in the New Testament, say about hell, besides it being a place of “outer darkness?” Jesus also tells us in Matthew 25:46 that it will be a place of “eternal punishment.” In Matthew 10:28, He says it will be a place of “destruction” (fear Him who is able to destroy the body and soul in hell.) In Matthew 25:12, He says it will be a place of rejection. In Luke 16:23-31, we see that hell is a place of agony and torment, where thirst cannot be quenched, and the regrets of one’s life will haunt them, yet they will see where they could have been, and it is a chasm that cannot be breached. Revelation 19:20 calls hell a “lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” Revelation 21:8 says, “But for the cowardly and sorcerers (drug addicts) and idolaters and all liars, their part will be IN the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Perhaps this second death was what Jesus was referring to in Luke 13:3-5?
So how does one avoid this eternal, everlasting outer darkness, never-ending destruction, torment, and agony? Indeed. God provided a way by sending His Son Jesus so that we would not perish (John 3:16). Out sinful nature, which we all have (Romans 3:23), separates us from God because God can have no fellowship with sin. He is perfect. Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb who was sacrificed for your sin and mine. He bore the punishment for you and me so that we could be forgiven of our sin and avoid the eternal punishment we all deserve (I John 2:2). But first we must recognize that we indeed are a sinner (Isaiah 64:6) even if we consider ourselves “good,” and so we must repent from the heart (I John 1:9). To repent means to return from, and hence we must embrace Christ as our Redeemer and the Lord of our life. This means we make Him our Master. He is on the throne of our hearts, and we place nothing in prominence above Him. God indeed provided away, but you must act now. Tomorrow may be too late. “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life: these thing s I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life: (I John 5:12-13).