Heaven, Hell, annihilation and procrastination

Hell's Eternal Punishment

Hell’s Eternal Punishment (Photo credit: vaticanus)

Just lately I’ve been thinking of hell- it’s terrifying: the idea of never knowing peace or relief from pain.  I can see why annihilationism is so tempting: the idea that it does not go on for ever, the idea that death is just an end for those souls who reject God and his salvation through Jesus Christ.  I really wanted to become an annihilationist when I thought about hell.  I don’t mean thought intellectually about it, but just thought about what it would be like, what it would feel like.  Body and soul are destroyed (Matthew 10:28), but as Mark 9:42-50 makes clear this is not a clean-cut absolute end as “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’”  Furthermore, if any part of you causes you to sin, Jesus says “It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell” (and gives other examples).  In other words, no amount of discomfort in this life is worth the pain of hell, even a lifetime of difficulty and pain does not compare.  On the plus side, “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17), which coming from a man who had suffered as Paul had, shows that Heaven will plentifully compensate us for any pain encountered on earth, even a death for trusting in Jesus (my wife has been going through Revelation).   And thank God that it is He who judges and directs the affairs of both Heaven and Hell!  We can know safety and Peace in His saving plan (John 3:16-18)! 

Jesus Van

Jesus Van (Photo credit: Darren Cullen)

This brings me to my final word: procrastination.  I often feel like I have no real purpose, no end in sight, no aim beyond survival, financial security, wanting my family to be well and happy.  And when things are going well or I have time off I am tempted to procrastinate (and often do).  Surely if we know what awaits us beyond the grave, we want to warn others or influence or save them from hell?  Surely we are amply compensated for any time spent so doing, for any humiliation and hatred we suffer for so doing?  Surely if one soul does not have to suffer such torment because of coming to know the Lord through us, it is worth it?  (see my other article for discussion of free will and predestination, and please note that I am not saying we try all this without God’s Spirit and on our own strength).  Surely, it is worth if for that individual who is saved?  Well, thus far these thoughts have inspired me to write this article, but I’m hoping and praying it is a wake-up call for a bigger change in my life (and yours).  If Jesus suffered so much so that I can go free, I have a better purpose than procrastination!  Oh, and please don’t get guilty and fearful about this- this is something that gives us purpose and hope and that can be a far more powerful motivator- how often did Jesus say don’t be afraid?  And will He ever abandon us?  No.

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One thought on “Heaven, Hell, annihilation and procrastination

  1. Just heard of someone being asked to take down a sign about hell on the grounds that it was “hate speech”. It’s bad news certainly, but if someone warns me my house is on fire, I don’t think I’ll accuse them of “hate speech” against my house. Of course the existence or reality of hell is not usually discussed, just a measure of how offended someone is. If you have just read this article and you are offended, sorry but this is not the best place to start discovering Christianity- you may want to look more up about the reality of God before you look at whether He judges…

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