"Go to heaven for the climate, hell for the company... All right, then, I'll go to hell." —Mark Twain
I had a classmate in high school tell me once, "I'd rather party in hell with my friends than go to heaven without them!" If he had known what the Bible teaches us about Hell I suspect his "party cry" would be different.
You have to be cockeyed to verbalize this myth (let alone believe it) but many people do. It can be summarized by a poem on a birthday card:
Either you are well or you are sick.
If you are well you have nothing to worry about.
If you are sick you only have two things to worry about: either you will live or you will die.
If you live you have nothing to worry about.
If you die you only have two things to worry about: either you will go to heaven or you'll go to hell.
If you go to heaven you have nothing to worry about.
If you go to hell, you'll be so busy shaking hands with friends that you won't have time toworry! Happy Birthday!
The cockeyed myth says hell is going to be an eternal continuation of the party here on earth. It's simply not true. The truth is this: We will have a hell of a lot to worry about if we don't go to heaven.
What do souls do in Hell?
- They experience agony (Luke 16:24)
- They weep (Luke 13:28)
- They wail (Matthew 13:42)
- They grit and grind their teeth in frustration (Luke 13:28)
Hell is no party. The haunting descriptions we have of hell in Scripture indicate that souls who go there may exist in suspended isolation and darkness... forever (Matthew 8:12, Revelation 20:1-2). If someone says they would rather be in hell with their friends than in heaven alone, ask them why they think their friends are going to hell, and why they think they are going to be together? (They won't have an answer. People believe this myth blindly for no real reason.)
Honestly? Heaven is where the party is going to be! An eternal eruption of praise and worship together with souls from every tribe. No more tears, no more death, celebrating life together in the presence of God. Given the invitation, who wouldn't want to be there?!
Lord, use me today, as you see fit, to tell people about the party that awaits in heaven. By Your love flowing through me, invite those around me to join in the eternal dance of grace, together, with You. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World
It’s a challenge for most followers of Jesus Christ to live in a culture driven by values and views that run counter to our faith and to the truth of Scripture. And we wonder how best to relate.
Should we isolate ourselves from such a world, trying to keep ourselves “unstained”? Should we be intimidated by what our secular counterparts believe because we feel “out of step”? Then again, maybe we should identify more closely with the values of our world in order to win more people to Christ.
Stuart Briscoe takes you on a journey to discover how to live as a Christ follower in our fallen culture in his new small book, A Countercultural Life: Living Well in a Broken World. By looking at the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), Stuart shows you an excellent model for how we should indeed live in our world!
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