Summary: Satan offers three strategies to ruin people’s souls: "there is no heaven," "there is no hell," and "there is no hurry."
The Worst Home You Could Ever Own
A preacher was preaching to his congregation concerning heaven and hell. To emphasize the difference between the two, he asked that all who wanted to go to heaven to stand up. All the congregation rose. He then asked all who wanted to go to hell to stand up. No one stood up. For full dramatic impact he waited for several seconds before continuing. But during that pause a small boy slowly rose to his feet. The astonished priest spoke to the boy: "Surely a fine young man like yourself doesn’t want to go to hell." The boy answered, "Well of course not, but I just couldn’t stand the sight of you standing there all alone."
Two ministerial students from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, were doing summer evangelistic work in a rural area near Montgomery. One hot day they stopped their car in front of a farmhouse and proceeded up the path through a gauntlet of screaming children and barking dogs. When they knocked on the screen door, the woman of the house stopped her scrubbing over a tub and washboard, brushed back her hair, wiped perspiration from her brow, and asked them what they wanted.
"We would like to tell you how to obtain eternal life," one student answered.
The tired homemaker hesitated for a moment and then replied, "Thank you, but I don’t believe I could stand it!"
Obviously to her, if her hell on earth was going to last forever, she wasn’t sure it was worth it.
ABC News,stated on July 11, 2007, that in 1997, 56% of Americans polled said they believed in hell. After the terror attacks of 9/11/01, the number shot up to 71% (Harris and Gallup polls), then fell back to the 50’s in recent years.
Yet, according to the ’Philadelphia Inquirer,’ only four percent expect to end up there.
Regardless of our expectations or our beliefs about hell,
The Bible actually describes hell more than it does heaven!
Note some of the descriptive words the Bible uses:
30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the DARKNESS, where there will be WEEPING AND GNASHING of teeth.’
Sounds like a place full of regrets!
46 "Then they will go away to ETERNAL punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
How long is eternal?
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into GLOOMY DUNGEONS to be held for judgment;
The word means gloomy caves where prisoners were chained to the walls so that they could not move and were held there until they might be judged.
47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
48 where "’their WORM DOES NOT DIE, and the FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.’
The most common word used in the Bible for hell is “Gehenna”. Jesus said it eleven times. The people Jesus spoke to knew about Gehenna. It is a deep narrow valley south of Jerusalem that was used in Jesus’ day for a garbage dump. Gehenna was an open pit, infested with rats and reeking with decaying food and human waste. The bodies of executed criminals and those not having anyone to bury them were also dumped there. When the pestilence that fed on the dump began getting out of hand, the entire thing was set on fire. But even the fires of Gehenna didn’t purify - they sent billows of reeking smoke over the entire city, spreading disease and death.