Figuratively speaking, Christ, in the act of sacrificial love, threw Himself between man and the eternal suffering and damnation that is called Hell. Why do so many step over Him to get there? Hell is not the choice of God, it is the choice of man who wants to reject God.
It is said of the great evangelist DL Moody that he could not speak on the topic of Hell without breaking down and weeping in the middle of his sermon.
The story is told of a criminal in England named Charlie Peace who was sentenced to death. Quoting from Wikipedia; “He was escorted on the death-walk by the prison chaplain, who was reading aloud from The Consolations of Religion about the fires of hell. Peace burst out “Sir, if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe(about hell), even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worth while living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!”
Hell is never presented in scripture glibly, though it is rarely mentioned in conversation any other way. Hell is always presented in the New Testament as the alternative to faith in Christ Jesus, or simply the only option for those who reject so great a salvation.
Everyone who laments the condition and circumstances of their life – who battles with demons – who cries for what he cannot have – who cries for the suffering and consequences of their own doing – all who wrestle with life and lose and give in to temptation and pay the cost alone – all need a savior yet almost no one will break down and admit it.
Is it pride or foolishness that we desire to pay our own piper and listen to the music we asked for when the sweet song of grace plays so near to each of us and it has already been paid for?
The issue of heaven and hell is not a lesson in morality it is a lesson in mercy. It is not about giving up, it is about giving in. It is not about being good enough; the answer is clear, you are not, nor could you ever be good enough. The issue of heaven and hell is simply this – can you believe that He loves you?
There are better ways than scripture to teach morality. No one was ever changed simply by reading the Ten Commandments. Words do not change the heart and the heart is where decisions on morality are made. God says He will take away the heart of stone, that cares nothing for righteousness, and give us a heart of flesh. God will take away the old, cold, heart of a man and give one that is soft and warm and is made for heaven. The dead exchanged for the living. That is the issue of heaven and hell; not to make bad people good, but to make dead people live.
You can do nothing to prepare yourself for heaven. Heaven is what happens when God’s will is put first. Hell happens when man must have his own will. It is the will of God that none should perish but that all should come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Notice I do not mention Satan/the Devil here. Heaven and hell are not his choice it is yours. He cannot coax you any direction you don’t want to go. Hell was made for Satan. Who do you want to spend eternity with?
Tremble at the thought of hell. It is that sort of place. Chose Heaven…chose life!