Friday, July 21, 2006

HELL


Have we lost our sense of how bad a place Hell is? During my younger days in CCD hell was a place where bad people went after they died. When I became a Christian in my more foolish days I attended a legalistic church which made me terrified of the idea of falling out of grace. I left that church to go to a church that lost their way teaching more about having good feelings and such. I became a very complacent person focussing more on myself than on serving others or trying to reach the lost. Now I am fortunate to have a very normal church family with a pastor who tries to actually teach us what is important to grow as Christians and to impact the kingdom. Slowly, a fire has been slowly been growing in me (it's not a full fire yet, but God is working on that). While at a bar watching a friend of mines band perform I looked around me and realized that a lot of the people around me didn't know who Christ was and may very well be on a short trip to Hell. I became very afraid and heart broken for them. Hell is very real and a terrifying place.



Rodin's Gates of Hell is a terrifying vision. I have seen the work
in person. When you look at the door you'd hope to never find out
what's inside.


These days the idea of hell is absent from many pulpits. I can recall once in the last few years hearing Hell or sin mentioned maybe once in the past five years. Many people outside of the church has made Hell a punchline, usually because they've said or done something slightly naughty: “They are building a condo in hell for for that one.”


Am I the only one who thinks these guys are enjoying themselves
a little too much in Hell? Though this is a gospel album their attempts
to make Hell appear to be a terrifying place comes off looking silly.
Still this is a great Rockabilly album.


I do not want to become one of those fire and brimstone preachers sending everyone who disagrees with me to Hell. I wrestle with whether or not we still need to have a concept of heaven and hell anymore? A friend of mine remarked how twenty somethings like himself do not need to be reminded they are sinners since they've heard how worthless they are all their lives and only need to hear about the love and grace of God. The message of grace is also an important message. What happens when received a one sided message? Christ did more than just come down here to make us feel good about ourselves. That is an aspect, but not the only aspect of our faith. Christ came to give us abundant life as well as to close the gap between us and the father that has been in place since the days of Adam. Did Christ save the world from having a grumpy day? No. He saved us from the very grips of Hell.



Christ risen to full Glory!

posted by Out Of Jersey | 1:03 PM

12 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

i think the Louvin Brothers are a regular gig in hell!!

my idea of hell has evolved a little the past couple of years, for better or worse. more than just eternal punishment, maybe it's the logical merciful release as you choose "i don't want to follow Him".

the absence of God is torment enough - but if you don't want to be with God and find yourself in heaven, would the presence of the Lord be that much more inflicting?

just some thoughts.

3:15 PM  
Blogger jasdye said...

good post, cubicle. been thinking about these things myself.

some preachers say that Jesus spoke more about hell than he did heaven or just about anything else. but i don't think he ever really focused on hell, certainly not the way he was focusing on the Kingdom of God.

for instance, he didn't go around saying, "The fires of hell are as like a man walking out to a field one day..." seemed more like hell - or rather, the Lake of Fire - was the natural consequence for someone who didn't get into the Great Banquet, or the five careless virgins who forgot their lamp oil, or the evil farmers who killed the Land Lord's son, etc.

but yeah, i'm not sure where exactly to draw a line. your thoughts are certainly appreciated.

btw, sorry that my first comment on your blog was a blow-up rant. usually i try to be more careful about that type of stuff...

4:28 PM  
Blogger Shesawriter said...

The devil has done a good job in making the average person think of him and his dwelling as a joke. Many folks are in for unfortunate surprises. Weeping and gnashing of teeth will be real.

5:22 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Rick,
I would imagine just being without the presence of God would be the worst part of it. Isn't that where there'll be weeping and gnashing of teeth? That is a good point. I didn't consider that when I was writing this post.

Jasdye,
Didn't really consider it to be a rant what you wrote. But I know what you are saying about preachers, etc. That was my big concern while writing this. Like anything, you can either totally ignore it or focus so much on it it becomes an obsession.

Tanya,
To quote Kevin Spacy in the Usual Supsects, The greatest lie the devil ever told was that he didn't exist.

8:49 PM  
Blogger shes_a_sprite said...

I found the book that most helped bring Hell to life for me was called Dante's Inferno. The devil and his temptations are very real, in every day life. It seems harder to see Christ in everyday life. I guess you just have to feel him in you... :)

4:20 PM  
Blogger jasdye said...

rev. cubicle,

i meant on the racism post. obviously i wasn't ranting against preachers (we need 'em, despite what many of our contemporaries argue).

shesawriter,
yeah, that seems to be a major point in the screwtape letters, if i remember correctly.

1:18 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

I didn't see it as a rant, but a well thought out piece man.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Ryan S. said...

That was one hell of a post ;-)

3:09 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

lol those guys do look like they are having too good a time in a place like Hell! NO thanks!

4:49 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Ryan,
Sure it is one hell of a post.

Carmel,
That's how I always saw it. If Hell is so bad, then why are they enjoying it so much?

6:22 PM  
Blogger jasdye said...

ok, so one thought and a link:

1) i, as many of us have, family members who are (or, were) not christians. but i was never very serious about praying for them. one night, i have a nightmare about one of my brothers dying and - seriously - going to hell. i woke up with his name on my lips - and of course an urge to pray for him. but i also realized at that moment that hell is no laughing matter, that the idea behind it is so heavy that (much like God's name) the word itself shouldn't be used lightly.

2) in my study/devotion this morning, i came across this great li'l post that i think sums my thoughts on God's judgement as understood through the context of the Gospel of life: http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=1096. it's followed by some pretty engaging (in my mind, at least) discussion afterward.

peace.

9:44 AM  
Blogger LutherPunk said...

This may need a post all its own, rather than me simply putting in a comment. I'll let you know when it emerges.

5:41 AM  

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