The Way to Hell

You can't call yourself a disciple of Christ and not feel burdened about the world's eternal destination. Hence, my burden to write this piece. It's a topic rarely heard from the pews today because preachers have the idea that our fear tactics would not vivify unbelievers to avoid hell.

I'm not sure that's altogether true. After all, Jesus Christ's own teachings shed more light on hell than heaven. So must Christians not be intimidated by the politically correct and avoid warning unbelievers about hell. Today, there are Christians who go so far as to deny the reality of hell. Such is their pitfall for they unwittingly cause unbelievers to wind up in hell on account of appeasing the politically correct above pleasing God. In addition, a denial of the reality of hell is a denial of the gravity of sin and its consequence, which is why Jesus came to die.

The Bible warns us about two destinies that await every human being upon death: heaven and hell. There is no purgatory. There is no second chance. And there is no earth-bound wandering while your ghost seeks to settle some unfinished business. A minute - maybe even less - after you die, you will find yourself fully conscious in one of these two places. According to Jesus, who will judge the souls of all men and women, many will find themselves in hell: 

"Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13,14).

The reality of hell is validated by the Word of God. Hell is the generic name for the destination of all who die without Jesus Christ and is variously known as Hades, Gehenna, Tartarus and Sheol; it is described as a real place of torment, a place of fire that never quenches, and a place where the worm never dies (Matthew 11:23; Luke 16:23; 2 Peter 2:4, and Mark 9:43). Although created originally for Satan and his rebellious angels, hell is the destination of all human beings past, present and future, who have chosen not to believe that God means what He says and says what He means. And what God says and means is that all of us are sinners, have done wrong, and deserve death and hell. What God says also is that we cannot earn our way out of hell by doing good deeds, which are like filthy rags to Him, or through man-made religion, which is a form of pride.

There is a sure way to go to hell – reject God's Son, Jesus Christ, which is the unforgivable sin (Mark 3:28). Presently the souls of those who have died without a faith in Jesus Christ are in Hades, awaiting their final Judgment, which will take place at the Great White Throne Judgment of God, during which all rebelliousness, the devil and his angels, hell and death will finally be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20). This is the final abode for all who reject God's gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.

God doesn't want anyone to end up in hell. However, He will not violate our free will by forcing us to choose heaven. Contrary to what many suppose, God is not fond of sending anyone to hell; He sends to hell those who have freely chosen hell.

Heaven is an equally real place. It is promised to all who claim Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. It is an eternity with God in a place where there will be no more sin, tears, pain and suffering. Salvation from sin and hell is possible through the shed blood of Jesus Christ who was the propitiation for our sin when He died on the cross. We will be raised from death into eternal life because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and just as Christ rose from the dead with a glorified body, so will we be raised to eternal life with glorified sinless bodies.

God's invitation to heaven is open to all; in John 14:6 Jesus says, 

“I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.”

It's simple and all-inclusive: heaven is assured for all who believe Jesus is the Son of God who died for their sins, and have received Him into their lives. John 1:12 and 13 say: 

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

You're a couple of breaths away from being a son of God: tell Jesus Christ you believe in Him and ask Him into your life. However, you're just one heartbeat away from hell.

Heaven or hell – it's your choice. And it could be where you might find yourself tonight.