A wealthy man sold all his possessions for cash and bought an incredibly expensive diamond. Then he put the diamond in his pocket and took a voyage from England to America. On the deck of the ship, he pulled out the diamond and began flipping it in his hand. Some of his fellow passengers warned him not to be so careless with something so valuable, but he took great delight in seeing how much they worried over his actions. So, to increase that worrying, he walked to the ship’s railing and started flipping the diamond there. It was there that, during one flip, the ship lurched forward unexpectedly and the diamond went down into the sea.
True story? I’d be shocked if it was. No one would be so foolish, right? But the fact is that millions of individuals around the world act even more foolishly every day as they take the ultimate gamble with the ultimate prize: their soul. What I mean is, they walk around literally one breath out of Hell.
Oh, there I went and used that inconvenient word, didn’t I? In this modern era, we aren’t supposed to say, “Hell” unless it is for the purposes of profanity or explaining where despicable people such as Adolph Hitler and Osama bin Laden go in the afterlife. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that the Bible is still God’s written word, and it still teaches that the souls of all those who die without Christ as Savior go to Hell.
The New Testament’s Greek word for this place is Hades, and in Luke 16:19-31 Jesus describes Hades as a place of torment, flame, separation, remembrance, and regret. In Matthew 13:42, He calls it “the furnace of fire” and says that it produces “wailing” and “gnashing of teeth.” Obviously, Jesus didn’t shy away from letting people know just how gruesome Hell is.
You say, “Okay, Russell, I’ll go along with you that Hell exists and that the souls of certain people go there in the afterlife, but God only sends murderers, terrorists, pedophiles, rapists, and all the other ‘worst of the worst’ there, right?” Well, that certainly sounds logical and reasonable to our modern mindsets, but it simply isn’t correct theology. There are so many verses that I could cite here, but I’ll just use a few (all from the N.K.J.V.) from the third chapter of the gospel of John:
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
And so, you see, the only way for you to escape the horrors of Hell is to place your belief in Jesus as your personal Savior. Such believing involves you turning from your sins and turning to Jesus, the divine Son of God who died on the cross as the eternal payment for all your sins. Anything less than you placing saving belief in Him is just you continuing to flip up the priceless diamond of your soul as you stand next to the ship’s railing of the afterlife. But why be so foolish? Jesus, the one who said, “…the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37), stands ready to save you right now.