What the Hell
When I look at our country today or the world for that matter I can easily ask the question, what the hell is going on?
The answer to what the hell is going on is in the question itself.
Hell is going on, that’s what.
Not truly the hell on earth that some people talk about but the evil that is and has come out of hell is what is going on.
First, let’s get our definition of hell down.
Hell is the absence of God, the total absence of God. And while it might seem to some that God has left the building, so to speak, He is very much present in this world and can be seen working if only we look for Him.
God is described in the Bible as light, “The light of God, the light of the world, heavens light” and so on. If hell is the total absence of God, then when Jesus talks about hell as “outer darkness,” we must take Him literally. Hell is a dark place, a very dark place.
One more thing, hell is NOT some place where you and your buddies that didn’t make the cut hang out and have a good time drinking, partying and playing poker.
Jesus talks about hell as a place where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, a place, truly without hope. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?
No matter how bad things get here in this country or this world, there is always hope; even when we die, if we are a follower of Christ’s there is the hope of heaven. If we do not know Christ or have refused to accept Him and we are close to death, we can still have the hope of heaven if we give ourselves over to Him.
While somethings make us feel like we are living through a hell on earth, what we are experiencing is not a true hell, because God is still near and there is always hope if we have faith in Him. What in many cases causes these feeling of hell on earth is the result of Satan or the devil if you prefer and his demons inter acting with the world and our lives.
I don’t know how else to explain some of the things that happen in this world.
When an angry, evil man takes a gun and shoots up a church on a quite Sunday morning, I think demons must have had something to do with it.
When a seemingly normal man brings guns and ammo into his hotel room and then kills over 50 innocent people and wounds over 500 more for no reason we can discern, I think demons.
When a man or a woman walks into a crowd and blows themselves up thinking that their god thinks that’s a good thing to do, I think demons.
When one side of a political group will not even listen to the arguments brought forth by the other side, while not exactly demons at work, I do begin to wonder what the hell is going on.
People don’t want to believe in Satan, demons or hell but they are real. Just as God, angels and heaven are real.
Jesus talked more about hell in the New Testament then He did about heaven.
There is true EVIL in this world and it comes to us in many forms.
While Satan and his demons may not cause everything evil that happens to us, they will use anything they can to destroy us or keep us from coming to or being used by God.
One of the reasons that I stay away from movies like “The Exorcist” is that demon possession is all too real. Though they don’t often possess someone in such a dramatic way, they do everything they can to harm us.
The Hell of Hate.
When something bad or disturbing happens to us, Satan will do what he can to make it worse. He will plant evil or dark thoughts in our minds. He will turn us against our friends, our spouse or our job. If we allow a dark thought to take root in our thinking, Satan will feed that thought until it grows and we do or say something that will hurt us, our job, our friend or our spouse.
That is why “Hate” is such a bad thing to harbor in our heart. If we allow hate to take root, Satan will cause it to grow and grow until, if we don’t get it under control, it will consume us.
I remember old cartoons, where a person is tempted and a little angel is on one shoulder and a little devil is on the other. Each is trying to get the person to come over to their side. That’s not a bad illustration of what goes on in our lives when we are tempted.
Too often we listen to the wrong voice.
Jesus teaches us to forgive; in fact it was so important that we learn to forgive each other that He tells us if we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive each other.
We must let go of the hate that is in our hearts. Whether it’s for a person, a state, a religion or a political party, we must let it go.
Sadly today in America, there is so much hate from one side of the political spectrum toward the other that they can’t even talk to each other, let alone listen to each other.
We are playing right into Satan’s hand, having us divided and hating is what he’s after.
This has to stop or that hate will be the end of us.
We don’t have to always agree with the other side, but we should at least be able to listen to them. We used to be able to work things out and compromise and get things done, but not anymore it would seem.
Some people seem determined to foment hate for one way of thinking or one group against another; and there seems to be no stopping them. That kind of thinking is straight out of hell. The devil doesn’t want us to get along; he wants us at each other’s throats. He wants to take us to hell.
Hell is a very real place and you don’t want to go there.
The only way to avoid the real hell is through a real belief in Jesus Christ.
But even a believer in Christ can be pulled, as it were, to the dark side, if they let hate take over their thoughts and actions. We can create our own hell on earth if we don’t push the hate out of our hearts.
Much of the hell we find ourselves going through in this life, outside of natural disasters which is another subject altogether, is caused by or used by Satan or his demons to affect us, our thoughts and our actions. Bad things happen; it is a fallen world after all. We can’t always prevent things from happening, but how we allow ourselves to react when those things happen to us, is something we do have control over.
When my wife Cara died, I could have been angry at God, but I didn’t let that happen. I turned toward God instead. I could have been mad that God had let all that happen to her and to us, but I was able to look past that anger and see some of the reasons He may have let things go the way they did. I may never understand it all this side of heaven, but I trust in a God that brought us together that it was time to take her home to be with Him.
If I had let that anger toward God pull me away from Him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I probably wouldn’t even be here.
There are a lot of things that happen to us in this world that we can’t control, they are going to happen. How we deal with what happens to us, is what we can control.
Don’t let hate win.
Don’t give Satan a foot hold in your mind, in your thinking.
If you do, that hell on earth that I’ve been talking about is sure to appear.
We have to try to understand the why of things, but not the hate of things.
Even if we don’t agree with someone or some side of an issue, we must not hate them. We can argue with them, try to persuade them over to our side, but we should never hate them just because they hold a different point of view from us.
But what about those who kill us or fly planes into buildings or blow up or behead innocent people, isn’t it alright to hate them?
I know it’s hard not to hate someone who does those kinds of things, but what we must try to understand is that they are most likely going to that REAL HELL I wrote about above. Whatever punishment we could or would met out to them in this world is nothing compared to what they will experience when they cross over. What I can hate is the ideology behind their actions, not the person who has been persuaded into committing the evil act.
I don’t hate those kinds of people, I feel sorry for them, and I pray for them to come to know the truth.
And so should you.
We live in a fallen world, and until Christ returns, bad things are going to happen. Many of the bad things come about because we make bad choices. God has given us freewill and He must allow us to exercise that freewill, even if it means we’ll do something bad because of it.
There is a whole discussion we could have about why bad things happen, and I and others have written about it. But for now, I’ll just say that bad things do happen and we must learn how to deal with them. Do we turn toward God or away from Him?
Do we let hate take over or do we let understanding, love and compassion win, even if we don’t agree with someone?
All this is not to say that when someone breaks the law, they shouldn’t be punished, they should. But we should pray that they repent, change their ways and ask to be forgiven. If they do, then we should be ready to forgive them, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t pay the price for breaking the law. If you do the crime, you do the time, as they say.
The Bible tells us that you reap what you sow, don’t sow hate.