Hell. This word is often used as an expression by people in many ways (e.g. what the hell, when hell freezes over, a hell of a lot/time). But to Christians, hell is a very real place and is quite frankly somewhere that we would rather avoid! But the question remains, what is hell and more importantly how do we avoid winding up there?
Since the beginning of time, hell has been known as the home of the devil, and as a place of torment and suffering for those who have turned their backs on God during their time on earth. It has also become a scaremongering tactic to convert people and get them to consider a relationship with God.
Because in reality, nobody wants to believe that they are facing an eternity of suffering simply because they spent their lives ignoring God or denying his existence. “Do not be afraid of those who want to kill your body for they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew chapter 10, verse 28).
But what does the bible say about hell?
Matthew chapter 18, verse 9 describes hell as a place where the fire never goes out. “if you're eye causes you to stumble gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fires of hell.”
2 Thessalonians chapter 1, verse 9 refers to hell as a place of everlasting destruction where you are separated from God. “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of God and from the glory of his might.”
Those verses are enough to make me want to do all I can to avoid being sent there, but how can we prevent ourselves from suffering such a horrible fate?
The bible often mentions how you must be “saved” to enter heaven and avoid hell, but what does this mean?
Put simply, being saved means that you have given your life to God and believe in him with all your heart. Once this happens you are able to live your life for God and not fall victim to the consequences of living your life your own way with the devils temptations and deceptions.
“If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans chapter 10, verse 9). The simple act of living your life for God is what it takes to spare you from the punishment of hell.
Good alone is not enough
I recently took part in the heaven’s gates and hell’s flames production for my church. This is where several different scenes are played out and the actors/actresses from each scene are sent to either heaven or hell after they die based on how they lived their lives while on earth.
This highlighted the fact that “being a good person,” wasn't enough to get you to heaven. Many of the characters who got sent to hell were good people who provided for their families or did charity work. But they didn't have God in their lives, and it was that one vital missing ingredient in their lives that ensured them a one way ticket to hell.
So in closing I would like to remind everyone that hell is more than just a figure of speech or scaremongering tactic. It is a very real place of eternal suffering that can only be avoided by the saving grace of Jesus Christ and everything that comes from having a relationship with him.
My name is Kate and I love gardening, exercising, and being involved with my church social groups. I have loved to write from a young age, and took up poetry as a teenager. I have recently got married and am enjoying getting used to married life.