Hell

The-devil-and-hopelessnessMaybe I should write more about hell. I’m tempted to say, “If anyone could write about hell, it’s me”. I wrote an article about my experiences which ultimately brought me to faith in God, called “Lucifer and the White Moths”. It was perhaps the seminal experience of my life, in which Satan came to claim my soul.

The seed and the eggBut when the Bible talks about hell, what the experience is like, it’s not as strange and foreign to me as it might seem to some people, perhaps many. But it’s hard to describe because it is such a different experience from what we have here. Another place I wrote about this is “The Parable of the Seed and the Egg”.

There’s the phrase that’s used in some places, “middle earth”. Although it comes from the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, it’s a useful phrase because it is a little bit accurate. In this world, we are somewhat in a middle zone. We can be raised through faith in God and Jesus to the glories of heavenly experience and that has happened for some, recording in the Bible and other places.Lowest Hell flat But at the same time, we are susceptible to the magnetism of hell, the unutterable horrors, the hopelessness, the eternity, the indescribable remorse, the reality of eternity without hope of ever being able to undo the mistakes that you made and the damage you did.

King David said to God, “You’ve delivered me from the lowest hell.” (Psalm 86:13) Many of the preachers from years gone by really dwelt on hell. And it seems they actually scared a lot of people into heaven. We today look down on that approach. But it sure worked back then. And that was the only way that God could get through to me. As I’ve mentioned before, “others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jude 23) has always been a verse that I’ve felt has described my experience.

“Oh, Mark, that’s so horrible! How could a “God of love” do such a thing to you! You poor, poor thing!”

Friends, how could a person so alienated from the life of God, so hard-hearted, so obstinate and continually in resistance of the Holy Ghost find pardon and forgiveness in the infinite mercy of God? Truly, I can find no fault in God.

first road picture-flattenedAnd then, as I wrote in “Lights on the Road“, even after He delivered me from my soul being seized and taken to hell by Satan, a few months later I was back doing my own thing on drugs in my sports car with my girl friend, utterly impudent in my returning to my vomit of my former druggy ways.

“So this time He’d had enough and He allowed you to have what justice would allow, a just reward for your foolishness and backslidden nature after He had kept you from death a few months before? Right?”

No, He was merciful again, when I really, really didn’t deserve it.

But what about hell? How bad is it? It’s so bad that I’m always hindered from writing about it because truly, words fail me. And also it’s just so unutterable and hopeless, so much a condemnation of my own sins, so clear that I deserved every bit of it and so final and complete. I just don’t write about it as it’s just no fun and utterly something else from this world of “middle earth”. But I do feel this is what the Bible has described and when I first read about hell in the Bible, I immediately related it to what I’d experienced and come out of.

In my first months as a Christian, I memorized a few verses from the Old Testament that most reminded me of my experiences in hell. Here’s one. “There is one alone and not another. (The utter, utter alone-ness of hell was so vast and complete. I was alone, in solitary confinement, with only myself) yea, he has neither child nor brother (just nothing, nothing. No one in your universe. You are cut off.) Yet is there no end of all his labor (you are constantly striving to get out of that situation, your very being is intensely trying to “find a way out of there”, as Bob Dylan sang) neither is his eye satisfied with riches (no matter what you had, riches, intelligence, beauty, potential, whatever, it’s all utter vanity in the hereafter without the salvation of God) Neither does he say, for whom do I labor and bereave my soul from good? (You know something is terribly, terribly wrong, but you just don’t know what it is. You are in utterly dazed and confused and perplexed, but you can’t find the answer. And that is your eternal state,) this also is vanity, it is sore travail”. (Ecclesiastes. 4:8)

It sure is. “There must be some way out of here, say the joker to the priest. There’s too much confusion here, I can’t get no relief” Amen to that. Even Bob Dylan somehow had some glimpse of the reality of hell.

Honestly, maybe I should talk more about hell; maybe I would help more people if I really dwelt on this subject. Even the Apostle Paul said, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”  (II Corinthians 5:11) It ultimately took a repeated series of experiences like this with eternity without God to finally get through to my hardened heart and reprobate mind that I was an utterly hopeless sinner, that life went on in one form or the other after death, and that I was ripe for “the grim reaper” of Satan to claim my soul, unless I turned in repentance to God.

I sure hope you’re not in that condition or situation. Friend, it is so utterly horrible that I may have failed to testify of its reality and its unspeakable horror. Get right with God. Even better, call out to Jesus; He’s the “mediator between God and men.” (I Timothy 2:5) Even if you just have a little faith and a lot of doubts, call out to Him. Hell is indescribably bad but you don’t have to go there. “Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart.”(Psalm 95: 7 & 8) Call out to Him now. “Call unto Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)

6 thoughts on “Hell

  1. For example, what is it really like compared to what the youngsters have been promised, with all their friends, never ending parties with drugs, fast women, racy music and a never ending supply of alcohol. If that were the promise you were offered wouldn’t you prefer it to the image of Heaven, sitting on a cloud with a harp, which sounds utterly boring, to be honest.

    • Well, I don’t think I was pretending to write about hell. I wrote what I personally experienced. Even that is too much for many people and I’m accused of scaring people into heaven. Hopefully those who read my site and the articles will find enough about heaven and miracles and the life and works of God that they’ll know that His Spirit and His reality are incomparable better than the lies of Lucifer and any ludicrous claims that hell is going to be some enjoyable place. That verse “everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37) is a comfort in that His true sheep, no matter how led astray they are in this world, will still have some ear to the truth and will know what is the truth and what is a lie.

  2. Sounds like real American southern christian fundamentalism “scaring people into Heaven” my oh my, what’s next, killing people into Heaven as Martyrs. It all sounds very strange to me!

    • While I have an American passport, I’ve lived 36 years of my adult life outside the States. Yes, some of my beliefs are in line with what could be called southern Christian Fundamentalism. But even that was mostly brought to us by ones from Europe like Charles Wesley and George Whitefield in the 1700’s. By sharing my personal testimony of what happened to me personally, my goal is to do what I can to open eyes to the spiritual realities that are found in the Bible. I don’t see how that jumps to killing people. Jesus said, “The son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9:56) And that’s certainly how I also want to live my life: to bring people to the Lord like the early Christians did.

  3. I Can relate to Love in action pointing an inspiring and encouraging Way to Heaven! Or rather inviting Heaven into our lives via Love in action! But I have a very difficult time getting my head wrapped around the concept that it is anybody’s business to go around scaring people into Heaven with fear and judgment….rather than doing what Christ taught was the most important commandment: LOVE above all. Only LOVE Is my Religion! Once you let fear in, there is no way out of the maze of suspicion, confusion and self righteousness! It unfortunately is a lot easier, and perhaps to the Bible Scholar, much easier to get carried away and wrapped up in the art of making interpretation and sense of Prophecy and Eschatological deciphering the scriptures!
    As believers of any religion – as far as I can see – the only good it will do to anybody, is to b ambassadors and manifesters of unconditional, Love! As I understand it: As believers in Divine providence and purpose we’re not responsible to save others, simply to Love them! Perhaps I’m wrong, but that’s how I understand it!

    • [First, to anyone following this dialog with my friend Leo, we’ve known each other for nearly 40 years and have a great deal of respect and love for each other. We may be disagreeing somewhat here, but only as friends and brothers in the Lord.]
      For me, I feel the best I can do is to take what has been given us as the best way possible to understand the Will of God and the teachings of Jesus. And that’s through the Bible. There are some things there which most of us find hard to swallow or even wish was not said or not the way it’s described. But for example, when Jesus said to His fellow countrymen in John 8:24, “If you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sins”. To our modern ears that sounds narrow and un-inclusive. And this is where the reality of who Jesus was and is comes to the fore. For me, I feel I can’t edit this passage and others like it out of the Bible or what I believe to be true. But I certainly agree with you that our greatest witness and the world’s greatest need is love, both our love for them and our witness of God’s love for them.

Leave a Reply to Mark McMillion Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *