It is said that Abe Mulky, who became the Texas Evangelist, went to an old-fashioned revival and was under deep conviction. He went home and said to his wife, “Mandy, what shall I do? I am lost. I am miserable. But you know we have gained our possessions crookedly and if I get religion, and make restitution, which I will have to do, we will not have a shelter over our heads. The house, the ranch, every cow and sheep will be gone. That is what will take place, if I get religion. And if I don’t get religion I will surely go to hell. What must I do, Mandy?” Mandy replied, “Abe, get religion.” Thank the Lord for Mandy.
Well, Abe went back and got real religion. He immediately began to fix up. Soon all was gone. Not one thing left. Abe and Mandy were sitting under a tree eating some cheese and crackers. Abe looked across and said, “What about this Mandy?” She immediately and joyously replied, “It beats hell, Abe, mighty bad.” (Story from sermoncentral.com).
Not many people know that the person in the bible who spoke the most often (and in the most graphic terms) about hell, was not one of the fiery Old-Testament prophets, or John the author of Revelation, but Jesus himself. 12 times in the gospels Jesus talks in explicit terms about hell. (More than any other single Biblical person)
11 of those 12 times Jesus uses the Hebrew word ‘Gehenna’ to refer to the place of hell. The valley of Gehenna is a valley located on the southern side of the city of Jerusalem. During the reign of some of Israel’s wicked kings, an altar to the Canaanite god, Molech, was built in the valley. The people would bring their sons to throw into the perpetually burning fire there, as a horrible sacrifice to Molech.
Later, during the reign of the good king Josiah, the altars to Molech were destroyed, and the valley filled in with garbage and refuse and the corpses of the wicked. It became a vast burning garbage dump – perpetually smoldering.
Jesus spoke in no uncertain terms about hell and the dangers of it. In Matthew 5:29-30 He warns us, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw t away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
It is clear, then, that we are to avoid hell at all costs. It is a place of unending sorrow and separation from God. It is a place reserved for, “…the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
It is a place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41) that is forever separated from Heaven. It is a place where the smoke of the torment of the wicked goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshippers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name” (Revelation 14:11).
So how are we to avoid this most horrible death? The answer as always comes through faith in Christ. Matthew 25:46 reminds us that those who have not placed their faith in Christ will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” It is those who follow Christ’s example born of faith who will inherit the kingdom. All others will spend eternity with no hope, only unending regret. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Many refuse to believe that hell is a real place, don’t let the devil convince you that this is true. There is a place where (those who refuse to believe in Christ) will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). That will be no place to be and one we should surely do all we can to avoid.
So, place your faith in the one who reserves for you a place in heaven. Come to rely on the one who gave His life as the perfect sacrifice so that you might not have to worry about what is to come after your life on earth is over. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:16-18). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, keep us from the torment of hell by Your grace and instill in us a heart that leads to a true faith so that we might be with you forever. Amen.