|No... I have no idea what he's saying!|
One of the hell myths I love debunking most is the idea that hell is a New Testament invention, concocted by that meanie Paul, who's also homophobic and a chauvinist, and John for its fear factor in Revelation. Two O.T. texts mention hell pretty clearly; when I showed them to my favorite atheist, he immediately switched subjects... that usually means "Wow, you're right and I have no response!" Dan 12:1-2 and Isa 66:22-24 say:
"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt..... For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD. And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."
|What the Cross felt like...|
|"...but bad guys go to hell!"|
So what would you say to someone in hell? More to the point of my friend's question, can you
imagine what it would be like to see people you know in hell? "Yep, there's Bob, my neighbor (no surprise there with the drinking and domestic violence!), and Janice my secretary, and is that... no! Darrell!?! We were in choir together for years!" Seeing your family, friends, coworkers... people from every walk of life, from every socio-economic category, with one fundamental thing in common: they hate God and deserve His wrath. As I pondered that and thought about all the people I know, I was dumbfounded. The thought of that great crowd... I remember a great sermon by Paul Washer on Rev. 20, where he evangelistically asked the lost in his audience: "Did you know you're in the Bible?" Then he read vs. 12: "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne... that's you, if you're outside of Christ." If you're not speaking to people now about their eternal destiny, don't wait until they're in hell to do so.
Photos courtesy of gbrenna, Creativity103, brentbat