That’s the line that I’m seeing more and more often from people calling themselves Christians. For someone claiming to be a follower of Jesus, calling Him a liar is no small thing. So what is causing this shift? As it turns out it's the reality of, or the horrors of hell that is causing some people to declare - Hell can’t be real.
Well there is no doubt that hell is unspeakably the worst scenario anyone could conceive of. That's probably why Jesus spoke more often about hell than He spoke about heaven. Who wouldn't warn people about such an end?
It's pretty easy to predict the human response to overwhelmingly bad news.
It can’t be.
It’s not real.
That’s not possible.
Just like when people began to hear about the horrors taking place in what we now call the Holocaust, people’s first reaction was to deny that anything like that could possibly be taking place.
While I’ve never had a very refined concept of hell, I’ve known enough to be embarrassed for those who have said profoundly stupid things like, "I’d rather be in hell than heaven ‘cause hell is where all the parties will be." Ya right. On the other hand, I’ve usually thought of hell ‘simply’ as a place where people are forever separated from the presence of God for eternity. And the Bible says that is a true statement. However, hell is so much more than that. Jesus taught "If you do not believe that I am who I say that I am, you will die in your sins." He taught that someday very soon, all of those who have refused to acknowledge Jesus as Lord during their life-time on earth will live in:
. The unrelieved absence of Love
. The complete absence of Good
. The total, all pervasive presence of evil
People who have chosen Hell over Heaven will spend eternity in:
. Absolute fear
. Unmitigated hatred
. Total darkness
. Unrelieved sorrow
. Unequivocal alone-ness
. Absolute shame
. Unbounded regret
. Undiluted violence. Sheer panic
. Unrelenting dissatisfaction
. All encompassing meanness
. Overwhelming stench
. Total betrayal
. There will be no freedom from pain, only total, all consuming, overwhelming pain.
The worst conditions on earth don’t come close.
Hell is for people who have not kept the first and greatest commandment to Love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and mind.
Hell is for people who have finally come to the end of a journey, the main focus of which has been to live a life without humbling themselves before Creator God.
Right now, even as I write this, millions of people, including George Carlin are suffering a special kind of torment as they are in a hell that they refused to believe in. Their special torment is that they convinced spouses, children, friends, students and other ‘open-minded’ people that hell didn’t exist. And now there is no way to turn back the clock. There is no way to warn their loved-ones about the horrendous consequences of following that error. On the other hand, Jesus himself said, that even the evidence of Him rising from the dead would not be enough to convince most people to stop living as though God and eternity did not exist.